Benefits for humanity

This is a tricky one to write. This is the story of a young adult with Type 1, who has late stage kidney failure, being refused PIP, the new adult equivalent of DLA (Disability Living Allowance). Her battle is an extreme example of one which is being fought everyday, as unqualified assessors working for a private company (ATOS) make decisions about who receives financial support. A company target driven to reduce payments, and one which has already had to buy themselves out of their “fitness to work” contract due to heavy criticism.

Please also understand, the severity of this young woman’s complications are not necessarily a reflection of her commitment to control her Type 1.  Unfortunately even excellent control only reduces the likelihood of complications and almost all Type 1s will have some form, for example, of retinopathy after 20 years.  (By the way, screening for retinopathy was reduced from yearly to biannually a week ago, a nice way to half costs in the short term).

Her story is not uncommon. Whilst all children under 12 with Type 1 should be eligible for at least middle rate DLA, claiming is a science, requiring research, time and support simply to fill the form.  A luxury many vulnerable people and their carers don’t have.


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