Monday, 17 December 2018

The disabled and benefit denials..

Image result for deaf refused welfare payments

I think it silly they re-assess on a situation that cannot change e.g. people deaf for life, blind for life, unable to walk, unable to communicate, have terminal health issues etc.

The UK welfare system argument seems to be, that as medical, social, technological, legal progress advances, then the old arguments about access and support are no longer valid.  E.G getting financial help because someone provides no access or support for you has been 'undermined' via the suggestion laws now exist to enforce that access for you, but the reality is the issue of forcing precedent, area availability, and basic staff available.  

Welfare awards only work if awards match the COST of buying in that support, because outside the established system there is no real onus or way to demand others provide it because access laws insert 'reasonable' into the terminology of rights, ergo it is 'unreasonable' to offer access in a listed building if it alters or changes the reason for its listing, also, there is no parity existing between welfare awards and the actual costs of that support.  In some cases the reverse!  In that BSL demands for employment and further Uni/college support, exceed by double the amount they could ever earn.

This raises issues in that welfare arms are saying 'compensation' is no longer the right way to allocate welfare, and lower awards are just 'pocket money', but the real issues as stated are that the awards never meet the cost of help.  Compensation also needs an area to 'blame' for your issue. Welfare systems say they should not be paying for what is a legal right anyway, so it is up to the disabled or deaf to instigate their legal right.  

This is dangerous territory for the disabled and deaf as it is an 'argument' where legal rights can be used to prevent support being provided when we know the legal approach is not working.  Local Authority provision can and is, simply withdrawn altogether and are, because there is no money to pay for it, but the welfare agencies say this has no bearing on your legal right to it or any obligation on them to give you the means to pay for it.

Direct Payment (A welfare system designed to offer selected severely disabled areas the finance to buy in help direct), rejected deaf applicants.  However legal challenges are not possible in most cases because the state took away the right to subsidised legal support (Legal aid).  This is the state cutting the vulnerable out of it, as legal aid should be our right and any costs paid for by those who refused to obey those access laws. Deaf and disabled are headed off at the pass.

If most welfare is purely an antiquated system of compensation, and a poor compensation at that, it is not a pathway to access or support either.  It also reminds us again, service/sign interpreting provision is against the 'client' having control over who pays them.  They don't want us as 'employers' they don't trust us, and say we lack the capability to manage it, and its too random.  Non-signers have no system set up to demand help with. There are examples of BSL employment support grants/allowances being cut or have a cap put on them, and no longer covering support wages forcing deaf signers back into unemployment and out of further education.

Some areas can refuse to offer access on the grounds it is financially impossible (LA's, even charities e.g.), or even they have no record of anyone disabled asking for such access.    One can have some empathy with a few employers under the cosh for access where the demand is simply one based on the legal and not on the actual demand by people.  Some semblance of common sense has to exist. We need to pick our fights.

Many complaints are access areas being blocked by 'alternatives' being offered, that discourage choice, so instead of demanding a ramp for a wheelchair user, the area offers you a telephone number to call instead, they are still 'technically' offering you 'access'. Moving the goalposts constantly.  Recent concerns were aimed at Sign Solutions offering narratives instead of captions to signed output that also 'comply' with the access law but in essence, blocks captioning others need and that comes from our own area.  There is no black and white rule to use.

As regards to defining IF the deaf are entitled to welfare, many assaults are taking place via assessments convinced deaf don't have a point to make, because all sorts of aids and options are available now.  The blind in the UK were told they had no clear case for support to go shopping, as they could go online to do that e.g. They were told basically they had no inherent right to leave the home and claim support.  The deaf also obtained free public transport options in areas, via the terms 'issues with mobility' there are demands for deaf now ceasing to qualify for this welfare 'perk', after deaf students were reported to be saying its extra beer money for them.  Deaf had claimed they needed help to travel etc..

We can forsee a time when welfare depts state the deaf are no longer entitled to financial support at all, just because they cannot hear, and the issue of communication support is legal, and no longer welfare based.   The upsurge of deaf and HoH campaigning, where many are actually rejecting the term disability when applied to them, further enforces the welfare view of no entitlements by default.  Didn't we just state we aren't fitting that criteria?