Can applying for disability benefits be made easier?

A woman stands before a semi-circular desk with chairs around it

As someone with dual sensory loss, I was recently asked to give evidence to the Work and Pension’s Committee on applying for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). I wanted to address the training of assessors and alternative ways of applying.

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A valued workforce or a challenge to national productivity?

A man sits behind the desk of a radio station, about to speak into the microphone

Last week, the Government announced its ambitions and plans to get one million disabled people into work over the next ten years. Sense cautiously welcomed this announcement knowing that this will only be successful if it has a meaningful and positive outcome for disabled people.  ‘Getting people in to work’ is more than just finding a job for someone; it’s about finding the right job and disabled people getting the support they need to find work and stay in work.  For this to be realised, it’s crucial that employers and job centre staff have positive attitudes and understanding of what disabled people can and want to achieve in work.

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Sense responds to Government’s disability employment announcement

A woman pushing a trolley in a pharmacy

Sense has responded to the government announcement that they plan to get one million more disabled people in work over the next ten years.

According to ONS figures, disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people. About 80% of non-disabled people are in work compared with just under 50% of disabled people.

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The Government has delivered a social care snub to disabled people

A woman holds hands with a person and looks up towards them

By focussing the long awaited social care green paper on one group, older people, it will be impossible to create a truly sustainable system. The Government’s green paper should take into account the broad range of people who access social care and their differing needs in its search for a long term solution.

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More working age people need social care at a time of great pressure

A smiling woman holds the arm of a young woman as they walk through a supermarket together

The social care debate is all too often focused on ‘care for the elderly’. But the reality is that growing numbers of disabled younger people, often with very complex needs, are using social care at a time when the sector is under severe pressure.

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Having a job reduces loneliness, but finding work can be tough when you’re disabled

I was privileged to be asked to speak at the Parliamentary reception for the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, about my own experiences of loneliness as a disabled person.

I am deafblind; I’m severely sight impaired and have a severe to profound hearing impairment. Accessing social situations and noisy busy environments can be very difficult for me. Feeling frustrated, annoyed, angry, scared or upset because I cannot access something, or go somewhere – due to the implications of my impairments – can be made worse by feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

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Campaigning for Sense helped me give my brother a voice

A boy smiling
Saima’s brother, who is supported by Sense

My name is Saima and I have been campaigning for Sense for a number of years. I got involved in campaigning after personally experiencing the difficulties of getting the right support and service for my brother.

My brother is supported by Sense in Luton, and has been for several years. The team there are fantastic. Since my brother has attended, he has transformed into a confident, happy and independent young man, and it is all down to the hard work of the team. I have been a supporter of Sense since then.

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What I’ll be asking from the next government at the Disability Hustings Event

Picture of Emma, smiling in orange Sense t-shirtA hustings is a meeting where potential candidates for an election talk to voters. On Tuesday 30 May I will be at a Disability Hustings Event where disabled people pose questions to these candidates, raise issues, and tell them what they think should be prioritised if they are in post after the general election.

My name is Emma Blackmore. I am a 29 year old who was born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome. My lifelong ambition is to help others and that’s where Sense comes in. Not only have I been a member of Sense since I was 14 years old but I work at the Sense Woodside Family Centre in my home town, Bristol. I am also part of Sense’s Campaigners’ Network.

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Time for parties to commit to social care

Lady caring for an older manFollowing Theresa May’s surprise announcement that we would be having a snap general election, all the political parties have jostled for air time, trying to capture the public’s imagination with their key messages.

So far, Brexit has remained top of the agenda.

However, there are vital domestic issues facing the country as well, top of my list would be the crisis-stricken social care sector.

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