Over 50,000 disabled people could stand to lose their jobs if changes to their vital disability support go ahead, leading charities have warned.
The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), a national coalition of over 50 charities including Leonard Cheshire Disability and RNIB, have analysed the potential impact of planned changes to mobility support for disabled people.
According to the Government’s projections nearly half a million disabled people are set to lose either part or all of their payments under planned welfare reforms.
A Freedom of Information request revealed one in five people receiving this support (Disability Living Allowance – DLA) are currently in work. In a survey of over 1000 disabled people, over half of those using DLA in work said it could be impossible to stay in work without it. This could mean that over 50,000 disabled people currently receiving support (DLA) would be put at risk of losing their jobs.
If these job losses happen as a result of cuts to mobility support, lost National Insurance and income tax contributions would cost around £278m. Disabled people leaving work would also require out of work benefits. Payments for disabled people leaving work could cost over £186m.
The Government’s total cut in mobility support for disabled people in work could save £145m on paper. However, based on the DBC’s estimates this could cost £464m before other costs are taken into account.
Rosanna Singler, Co-chair of the DBC, Policy Officer at Leonard Cheshire Disability said:” We are extremely concerned the Government has failed to fully consider the impact of these reforms. If it is the case that nearly 50,000 disabled people will be at risk of losing their jobs the Government really needs to think again.
We are calling for a full investigation of the costs of these reforms to ensure disabled people can remain in work. It is hugely important that the Government get the change from DLA to PIP right. We should not forget this is a lifeline to many disabled people, giving them more independence. Disabled people need to get out like everyone else, go to work and see their families and friends, and often it is DLA that makes this happen.”
Steve Winyard, Co-chair of the DBC Steering Group and Head of Campaigns at RNIB, says:
“One in five disabled people use DLA to help them in work. But thousands could be forced out of employment as a result of cuts to mobility help.
DWP has failed to analyse this issue to date. It is vital that cuts don’t force disabled people out of work and cost more to the public purse overall.”
For a full copy of the report please click here.
For further information and interview requests please contact:
Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) Press Office: Theresa Hart020 3242 0290, theresa.hart@LCDisability.org. Out of office 07903 949 388.
Notes to Editors:
DLA is a payment to help disabled people with higher costs of living – available in and out of work if eligibility criteria are met. Disabled people in work experience higher transport costs than non-disabled people and DLA helps towards those costs.
The Government plans to cut DLA mobility help are online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/251631/pip-mobility-consultation-government-response.pdf
If 50,333 disabled people at risk of losing work were all currently receiving high rate mobility payments, the total annual cost for this group would be £144.6 million.
Other costs the Government may face as a result of disabled people leaving work include: new benefit assessments and associated GP/medical appointments to access essential independent medical information to provide benefits assessors. Disabled people moving out of work could no longer make pension contributions and could also require greater council social care services or NHS interventions.
The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) is a national coalition of over 50 different charities and other organisations committed to working towards a fair benefits system.
Using our combined knowledge, experience and direct contact with disabled individuals and carers, we seek to ensure Government policy reflects and meets the needs of all disabled people.