An often quoted but quite damaging statement, unfortunately.
We did hear of one DWP welfare assessor stating 'if you are adamant online (and the welfare agencies have checked your facebook/Twitter site), you are not disabled, then why are you applying for welfare benefits ?'
The deaf were particularly identified because they said they had no disability, just a language, and a culture. Assessors responded 'we have Polish/Urdu and 100 other ethnic areas living in the UK we don't fund their 'English' support about their daily lives, so why should we fund yours socially ? after all, it is a 'preference' isn't it, not a need.'
The Deaf were hammered by the DWP who further went on 'You have right of access, but you don't pay for it, you mostly have free travel, you don't want to access mainstream areas, so have nothing to ask us for..' 306,000 deaf and HoH got turned down for DLA alone, and now it looks like 89% of PIP claimants will be as well. 'Access' has been our undoing because it isn't defined properly, or put in context.
If you add the view Deaf do not feel Hard of Hearing have any issue either..... Except access isn't actually there or the means to make the most of it, which is the 'Deaf' fault apparently for preferring to live in a Deaf world. I forsee a time when deaf cannot claim anything, not least because 'communication' and 'socialising' is not defined within the PIP forms, and huge ambiguity in what type of access or social area deaf actually want. Clearly the DWP are not wanting to fund enclaves.
If the welfare support is to be provided, it is to (Theoretically), enable you to move outside whatever restrictions you feel you are subject to. The PIP points system is also deliberately designed to identify any positive in your life as a cure for what ails you.
One crude example is where you do not have difficulties walking, you have no difficulties socialising or hearing. Quality of life is inadmissible as an issue to the DWP. There are hearing people who don't have the social access you do, what are you complaining about ?