Disabled People Face Funding Upheaval

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Government cuts are predicted to affect most of the disability services and organizations throughout Croydon as the Spending Review shows welfare funding facing a £7billion slash.

The Council  will soon begin the process of setting the budget, but  it will be weeks before residents know exactly which sectors and facilities will be most affected.

Vanessa Hosford, Chief Executive of Croydon MENCAP,  said the organisation has already lost some funding for next year and anticipates more cut backs: “We do not have a definite amount yet but we expect to have cuts like other local voluntary authority groups.”

Mind In Croydon’s Chief Executive Richard Pacitti said: “It need not to be all bad news.  It is about individual local authorities seeing how we can work together to make sure that if there are to be savings that they don’t affect front line services and vulnerable people in serious ways.”

“When there is a genuine wish to find new and innovative and cost effective delivery of services, voluntary organizations will be in the position to take advantage of the cuts decision.”

“There is a lot of talk about the voluntary sector becoming more involved in the delivery of services in a creative way. We are efficient, effective, innovative and we provide good quality services.”

“We will not know the potential we have to develop the work that we do until we see the details.”

Individuals claimants also face direct cuts.  The budget for Disability Living Allowances will be reduced by £135 million a year as claimants in residential care see two forms of benefits merged.

The Treasury said: “It will affect the estimated 58,000 DLA claimants in care homes who are in receipt of the mobility component. These customers receive on average £33.40 per week.”

Fully self funding people in their own care will not be affected.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which is the main incapacity benefit, has been time limited to one year after which claimants will have to re-apply or move onto the lower Job Seekers Allowance.

By Olivia Vachon and Francesca Waite

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