Dozens of Kingston disabled people wrongly rejected for benefit money
Dozens of disabled people have overturned wrong decisions to stop their benefits.
More than 57 people successfully appealed against the decision not to grant them disability living allowance last year.
Disability campaigner Jane Young, from New Malden, blamed the perception of disabled people costing the country too much for the number of rejected claims.
She said: “One of the more traumatic results of a failed claim is the loss of a disabled person’s Motability car, which is funded by the higher rate of the mobility component.
“As many disabled people are unable to use public transport, this can lead to isolation and difficulty in travelling to medical appointments and social activities – it can even force a disabled person to give up work.”
The Government plans to reduce the disability living allowance budget by 20 per cent and move claimants to a new benefit, called a personal independence payment, from next year.
But Mrs Young warned this would make the situation worse and said 500,000 people would lose their benefit and 280,000 fewer disabled people would qualify for the Motability scheme.
Pippa Mackie, chief executive of Kingston Citizens Advice Bureau, which helped 60 people through the appeals last year, said the process was daunting for people required to explain in detail how cuts would affect their lives.
She said: “It is very difficult for an individual who has developed coping strategies for their condition to de-construct them and be totally realistic about the negative effect on day-to-day living and to remember all the restrictions that they face.”
Theo Harris, chief executive of Kingston Centre for Independent Living, said: “I can only imagine the waste of resources involved in having to look at so many cases again through the appeal system.
“It is not efficient use of public money and furthermore, it could be put towards ensuring that those people who need disability living allowance are able to get and keep it.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "It’s clear that the current benefit system is not always reaching those who need it most.
"That is why we are replacing disability living allowance (DLA) with personal independence payment (PIP) and introducing a new face to face assessment and regular reviews – something missing under the current system.
"Under PIP, support will be focused on those who need it most, with a greater proportion getting the higher rates compared to DLA."
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