Disabled woman fears she may lose her independence if Government bill is passed (From Borehamwood Times)
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Disabled woman from Borehamwood fears she may lose her independence if Government bill is passed
A disabled woman has talked about how she may lose her independence if the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill is passed.
Margo Milne, 49, of Cranes Way, Borehamwood, who has multiple sclerosis and cannot work as a result, has talked about how the bill will affect her if it is passed.
She uses her benefits to help pay for her electric powered wheel chair and allows her to lease a car from a charity.
She said: “If these reforms do go through then I face possibly losing my car, which gives me a sense of independence and my ability to go out and about.
“I think it’s an unfair attack on the sick and disabled in this county. We’re vulnerable enough as it is, and this will make things worse."
The Welfare Reform Bill has been condemned by disability campaigners who said it will result in half a million disabled people losing their benefits.
“There is a general rhetoric in the media about benefit scroungers who are claiming incapacity benefits when there is nothing wrong with them, but that paints a negative picture of those who really need these benefits.
“I don’t want to see people getting the allowances if they are not disabled, but these reforms will hit those who really need them.”
The Welfare Reform Bill was defeated in the House of Lords last week, but Ministers in the Coalition have said they will push the reforms through.
There are two main changes in the proposed reforms the first being the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which will replace the current Incapacity Benefit.
The ESA will be means tested or based on National insurance contributions, and could lead to disabled people losing their benefits after a year if they are deemed fit to work at some point in the future.
There are also plans for a Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which will be replaced with Personal Independence Payments.
The government has said it wants to reduce the number of people getting this payment by 20 per cent which could leave hundreds of thousands of people without support.