Review of May Meeting

Adults with learning disabilities being recalled for re-assessment when on Incapacity Benefit/Income Support  – A number of HALDS carers have had contact about their cared fors benefits and advising they have to be re-assessed. When the forms are received Damian & his colleagues from Halton Disability Advice & Appeal Centreare helping to complete the forms, most are passed okay to stay on Incapacity benefits/Income Support, but some are not and a member has now had her benefits stopped, whilst the carer is contesting the decision.  I have inside information that there are a number of people with autism, Asperger’s etc. who are being taken off their benefits (Non HALDS members) and are having to attend back to work courses, as they have no chance of completing the 10 tasks which need carried out to enable them to get their job seekers allowances, the person taking the course is signing that tasks are complete (rightly or wrongly, this is being signed off, as otherwise the person with the learning disability would not get any benefits)  I have been to see Derek Twigg on this matter, who is in agreement that an adult with a learning disability should not be getting called for re-assessment and is willing to take on our case to Parliament, there is to be a meeting on Friday  5th July at Vine Street Mind Centre at 1pm. Please try to attend this meeting as all our cared fors will at sometime be affected by these re-assessments.   I have also contacted The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) who have recently reported in the paper about ‘Carers are at risk emotionally’ how we should be routinely screened for depression and mental health problems!!!

At our last meeting Damian advised on a Community Union, if carers became part of this union, we would have more of a say in a large group, instead of the individual. I have been in touch with Unite who are sending me applications forms and which I should have at the next meeting in June.

Pam

Important Information from May Meeting

Respite Vouchers– If you receive vouchers for your respite care, please note a member was waiting for theirs to come through, but when they phoned you now have to put a  request in each year for your vouchers, the telephone number to call 0303 333 4300.

Council Tax Reduction – Are you aware that anyone caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18, could be discarded on the council tax, so the person with the disability is not counted, the carer is not counted, so if this only leaves 1 other adult in the household you may be able to get single person discount of 25%.  Also if your house has been adapted for the person with a disability you can drop down a bracket on the scale. I.e. an extra room, an extra bathroom.  If you think that you could be entitled to disablement reduction, you should complete the – Council Tax – Disablement form which you can get from your local Halton Direct Link One Stop Shop.

Autism Spectrum Condition – Attention Card – To help someone with Autism Spectrum Condition explain themselves you can now apply for an Attention Card for Police and Emergency Services, if you would like more details or apply for a card please contact ChAPS on 01928 722384

Thanks.

Pam

Update on June Meeting

The speaker at May’s meeting held on 20th May should have been Andrea Holland from HBC Direct Payment Team, unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances she was unable to attend.  Andrea is now going to be coming along to our next meeting in June; hence we will have 2 speakers at the meeting on 24th June 2013.