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.