If government is so obsessed with “helping” disabled people, why did it close the Independent Living Fund?


A lot of disabled people used the Independent Living Fund to pay for the extra support that they needed to get to work and college, and so on. You’d think a government that was so obsessed with getting disabled people to work would have kept a crucial fund that allowed a lot of disabled people to – err, work. Nonetheless, the government closed the ILF earlier this year.

Makes you wonder what the government agenda for disabled people really is.

9 thoughts on “If government is so obsessed with “helping” disabled people, why did it close the Independent Living Fund?

  1. not to mention closing down the Remploy enterprises that employed disabled people for many years. i would like to know where IDS gets the number 350,000 disabled people ‘helped into work’ thus far? with plans to ‘force’ many more into work, as it will make them better and cure them of whatever it is that is keeping them from working! what kind of logic is that? and, when able-bodied, fit people are impoverished by less that a living wage, zero hour contracts, 12 week work periods to deny any kind of benefits, etc. – where are these employers who are going to make arrangements to support chronically ill and disabled people into work ‘for a few hours a week’? envision people wheeled into these places of employment in their hospital beds, connected to breathing aparatus, IVs, etc. which is not far fetched when people in comas have been found fit for work by the WCA. what a joke (not funny haha). truly crazy thinking.

  2. Now we see the ugly head of Tory ideology raised up above the water, like the Loch Ness Monster. They have closed the ILF, and now they will ‘help’ the disabled even further by forcing them to work against their will, and over the protests of their own doctors.
    In their version of the future, everyone will be first and foremost a ‘worker’.
    All graded according to their physical and mental abilities.
    How soon before the curfews start ?

    England Prevails

  3. Maybe we have a situation parallel to the old riddle of whether the chicken or the egg came first, or as Social Scientists say, Nature vs Nurture.

    I mean:
    Do they give a toss?
    And/or, have they got a clue as to the damage they are doing to people’s lives?

    In reality, I guess, the main thing — and we won’t get them to admit this, I suspect — is that they have been ‘advised’ by a dodgy American health insurance company since at least the mid-1990’s.

    See A Tale of two models: Disabled people vs Atos and Unum…., and
    The Hidden Agenda – a research paper

    And I recall that when David Freud was officially unleashed as Blair’s ‘welfare reform guru’ in 2008 he trumpeted that wonderful savings to the public purse could be made by giving private companies £62K for getting ‘the average’ Incapacity Benefit (IB) claimant off benefits and into waged work. He affirmed that the claimant’s own GP had a vested interest in awarding the claimant/patient IB in the first place. Welfare is a mess, says adviser David Freud.

    That left then Child Poverty Action Group CEO Kate Green (since 2010 a Labour MP) to state that his figures relating to loads of wonderful savings to the public purse were predicated on ignorance of a fact that he could have learned from just a Google search with keywords “Incapacity Benefit”. That would have netted him the fact in the top finding that the IB eligibility test was carried out by a private company sub-contracted to the DWP.

    While a BBC news report Two million wrongly get benefit led with the investment banker Freud’s assertion that 2.7m wrongly claimed IB, the same news story did include her recitation of how IB was actually adjudicated, and gave her analysis: “His suitability must be under question for the task Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell has set him”

  4. On further reflection and with specific reference to the title of this blog piece, if government really wanted to help disabled people, they would listen to us and take on board our concerns, wouldn’t they?

    And at the time that the Telegraph first started spouting David Freud’s nonsense about people on Incapacity Benefit not ‘pulling their weight’ I was not the only disabled JSA claimant and volunteer I knew who had been serially abused by successive governments under-resourcing our career development in their relentless drive to ‘cut costs’ and promote ‘efficiency’. The obvious fact is that they have been listening far more to dodgy ‘disability denial factories’ such as Unum far more than they have bothered to give the slightest consideration to putting themselves in our place.

  5. Fishing For A Sanction ? – The Jobcentre Plus Annual Verification Form

    An unemployed friend of mine, just received a copy of the new
    Annual Verification Form for his Jobseekers Allowance claim.
    This AVF form is sent out by Jobcentre Plus in order for them to find out if there are any changes in the circumstances of the claim. Change of address, any work you have done, extra savings, whatever.
    Obviously a claimant could find themselves in some trouble if they do declare a change of circumstances on this form. Because they are supposed to update the jobcentre immediately on any such changes, as a condition of their JSA claim.
    So they could easily be sanctioned for failing to previously declare any changes.
    Then faced with a demand for overpayment of benefit.
    Worse than this however, is the actual design of the AVF form, which seems almost tailor-made to catch out the unwary claimant.
    5 Pages of instruction, including a detailed checklist on Page 3 entitled
    ‘Changes You Must Tell Us About’.

    If like my friend, you have no change of circumstances, none of these changes would seem to apply. So at first glance there is nothing that you need to tick, or even any reason to return the blank form if there are no changes.

    He showed the form to me, and I looked carefully through it, and couldn’t find any reason why he should need to tick any of the boxes or return the form. Having no changes to declare. It seemed odd however.
    Call me suspicious of Jobcentre Plus if you will, but I went very carefully back through the form a second time. Then I found the hidden catch.

    A small tick-box buried beneath a larger outlined section for providing further details of any changes.
    Even the JSA claimant who has no changes to report must still find this tick-box on Page 5.
    Sign a declaration that seems only to refer to any actual changes, and the return the form.
    All 5 pages – even if the form is blank !
    If the AVF form is not returned by the stated date, any claim is immediately suspended, and all payments stopped. Changes or no changes.
    As a test, we showed this AVF form to two other people, and neither of them was able to see where a person who had no changes to report should sign. Or that they had any need to return the form, if they didn’t have any changes to report.
    There is nothing in the 5 pages to say what a person who has no changes should do.
    Or that, even if they have no changes to report, they must still find the tick-box and sign the form. Though this appears as if it is only something for people to sign if they have changes to declare.
    Confusing or what ?
    Imagine trying to complete this form with learning difficulties, a disability, or perhaps where a person’s first language is not English ?
    It’s basically a potential sanction on a stick.

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