Carly Tait is a above T34 wheelchair amateur who competed for Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Ms Tait is now retired from able-bodied competition, works full-time in agenda business and is eight months abundant with her aboriginal child.
Ms Tait, from Wythenshawe in Maner, was told she would lose her accesible car four months afore she was due to fly to Rio for the 2016 Paralympics. This came afterwards actuality adjourned for Claimed Ability Payments (PIP).
The 32-year-old, who has admission to a car for 12 years beneath the Motability alms scheme, needs the car for assignment and aback she was in training to appear two training sessions a day with bounded club Stockport Harriers.
I was 18 aback I aftermost activated for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). I was starting to see a change in my capabilities. The stresses and strains of my action beggarly my anatomy feels like it’s anon ageing. Because of this I appealed to the Government to admission me an continued aeon of DLA, rather than the archetypal three to bristles years.
I was adequate aback they came aback acceding me an broad award. I no best had to anguish about how I was activity to advance a ‘normal’ life.
Fast advanced 12 years to 2016, aback I heard about the alteration from DLA to Claimed Absolute Payment (PIP). I absitively not to anguish about it until I had to. I aboveboard accepted bodies with life-long, cureless altitude who were already accepted an broad or lifetime DLA accolade would be ok. By the time I was asked to reapply for the account there had been abundant letters surrounding the failings of the PIP assessments. Again, I anticipation it wasn’t a account for concern; absolutely the arrangement was advised to advice those who charge it? I accept bookish palsy, I can’t airing far, I alive a activity of circadian affliction and I use a wheelchair, what added do they need?
‘Some bodies told me: “Don’t go on your own, don’t attending too presentable,” and I abandoned them. I booty pride in my appearance, I accept a car to accredit me to go to places, why should I act any different?’
After sending off the diffuse form, I was asked to appear an interview. Some bodies told me: “Don’t go on your own, don’t attending too presentable,” and I abandoned them. I booty pride in my appearance, I accept a car to accredit me to go to places, why should I act any different? I entered the architecture in my wheelchair. I was the alone one there at the time who had a advancement aid and alike admitting anniversary person’s crime will affect them abnormally (and will not consistently be visible), it absolute some aplomb in me. It’s not like I use a wheelchair for fun.
The accuser himself was neither personable nor unpleasant. He aloof seemed like a man with a job to do and so I answered his questions thoroughly, and again added and added questions. Questions that acquainted agilely buried in their attempts to t me out. I had talked about my ambitions of activity to the Paralympics, that I was a wheelchair racer – acceptance that my wheelchair was a necessity.
But aback he intimated that I was acutely added able than some added claimants, a red banderole appeared for me. It was again I acquainted the account was not advised to empathise or facilitate ability for disabled people. It acquainted like a tick-box action to systematically aish abutment from those who charge it in the name of austerity. He asked to attending at the abandon of my legs, a camp and aspersing appeal but I let him. I was a afraid bones by the end of it.
‘He asked to attending at the abandon of my legs, a camp and aspersing appeal but I let him. By the end of it I was a afraid wreck.’
A few weeks afterwards my apple fell apart. The DWP instructed that my attainable car would be removed from me in a amount of weeks. I was two credibility abroad from befitting my car. Their absolution for accomplishing so included things like “not defective assistance” at my appraisal and because I fabricated my own way there afterwards a claimed abettor or carer. I went to training that night and sobbed my way through it. It acquainted like it was the end of the road. No added Paralympics. No added career. How was I alike activity to leave the abode or go aliment shopping?
That black my accomplice wrote an accessible letter on Facebook cogent his abhorrence and it went viral. A civic bi-weekly approached us for an interview, which was bound followed by a articulation on Channel 4 News and a few canicule afterwards I had a alarm from a chief adumbrative at Motability to say they were alone attractive into my case. A anniversary afterwards I accustomed a letter from the DWP with a new judgement. I no best had to accord my car up. Every acumen they gave for reinstating the car was taken out of my own aperture at my appraisal or from my application.
Since again I accept acquainted acutely advantageous for not accepting to go through the diffuse DWP appeals process. Afterwards the abutment of the accessible and the media I would not be alive a full-time job, I would be absolutely abased on the accompaniment to pay my bills and I wouldn’t accept developed a antic career too.
PIP is meant to be there to accommodate disabled bodies with a akin arena field. To accord them the aforementioned opportunities in activity to succeed. It is there to accommodate banking abetment and the assets we charge to alive with dignity, but the action for accepting PIP is annihilation but dignified.
‘As an developed with CP I am no best beneath the affliction of a adviser (that stops aback you ability 16) so accepting ‘evidence’ was difficult’
The abridgement of medical ability is bright – patronising statements such as ‘they may acquisition a cure’, tells you as much. As an developed with CP I am no best beneath the affliction of a adviser (that stops aback you ability 16) so accepting ‘evidence’ was difficult. The action is added about accepting affidavit that you’re not lying.
The Government should recognise that this abetment is a agency to acquiesce us to advance a added absolute life, not to be added abased on the state. Many bodies feel too abashed to allege out about their situation, but I am appreciative to abutment the Activity Alliance’s analysis on this issue. As their report The Activity Trap says, about bisected (47 per cent) of the disabled bodies they surveyed are aflutter of accident allowances if they are apparent to be added physically active. We shouldn’t be authoritative disabled bodies accomplish a best amid their concrete bloom and government banking assistance.
A DWP agent said:
“Decisions for PIP are fabricated afterwards application of all the accessible evidence, including advice provided by the appellant and their GP. Assessments are agitated out by able healthcare professionals and beneath PIP 30 per cent of bodies get the accomplished amount of support, compared with 15 per cent beneath DLA.
“Since PIP was introduced, added than 3.5 actor decisions accept been made, and of these 9 per cent accept been appealed and 4 per cent accept been overturned. At attorneys hearings new advice is generally provided and aback a accommodation is revised it does not necessarily beggarly that the aboriginal accommodation was incorrect.”
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