How welfare reform will take away my independence (video)

The Government wants to take away my wheelchair accessible vehicle. Oh, they haven’t told me personally, of course, they don’t need to. They’ve just decided that if I can walk more than 20 metres (which they may decide I can, as I still walk around my home) I no longer have need of it, and the independence it represents. The detail is explained in my last post:

This week I’m using my vehicle to go to stay with a friend in Kent for a couple of days, just for a bit of a break. It’s rather complicated, because I have to take large specially-made supports to shape the bed, my specialist pressure-relieving mattress, oxygen cylinders and a veritable pharmacy of medication, not forgetting plenty of morphine. But the important thing is, I can go; and I can also go to hospital appointments, support my elderly mother and her disabled neighbour, do voluntary work, go shopping etc. But I can only make these journeys because I have my wheelchair accessible vehicle, part-funded by Government grant.

I’ve made a video to show you what I mean. But it’s not just about me, it’s about all the others who have similar mobility needs to mine. As you watch the demonstration, please think about them too. As Benjamin Franklin said:

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are”

Go to to find out how you can help.

20 thoughts on “How welfare reform will take away my independence (video)

  1. Great Video Jane,
    although i think any of us who can also need to video showing it is people like US who will be affected – many might say but jane we dont mean people like you..its those others we mean.

    Im thinking of being videoed walking 20M – maybe as far as 50 to reall make the point and the after affect. Relaibly, Repeatedly, Safely and Timely need to be in the regulations and legally binding or virtually everyone can kiss any support goodbye

    • I agree. The purpose and strength of my video is that it debunks the whole ‘we don’t mean people like you’ argument – because they’re so incompetent that they DO mean people like me!

  2. Great video Jane, if I had the capability I would do one of my vehicle, a side entry Kia Sedona which I enter in my powerchair and the chair autolocks in place as either front passenger or driver as I cannot transfer, like you I use handcontrols on the rare occasions I still drive.

    The more our specialist equipment is shown in this way the better IMO. Also should say that I don’t use Motability Operations as prefer to use my DLA mobility to purchase the vehicle using HP. Yet another option open to DLA recipients.

  3. Well done Jane!
    A well thought and intelligent video.
    Hopefully it may help people see what this Government are doing to our most vulnerable.
    As an ‘able bodied’ person I am ashamed of the petty prejudice fueled against others.
    Let them remember its possible for us all to become disabled, ill and old!

  4. If you’re worried you’re going to lose your vehicle and you use an electric wheelchair and an adapted car then I most certainly will lose mine. I have a wheelchair but someone pushes it for me and my car isn’t adapted.
    I’m actually terrified now.

    • I don’t know if this will help, but if you can’t walk 20 metres you should be fine. Also, if you have an indefinite DLA award, you won’t be assessed for PIP until October 2015 or later, so it’s not so soon. We’re all furious with the Government for making such a dramatic change to the criteria for moving around at the last minute after all the consultations stages are over!

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  6. Hello Jane, Thank you for your video.
    I have severe osteroarhritis in my knee and can only walk in severe to extreme pain. I am having difficulty claiming DLA. I am confused as what to put down when they ask you how far can you walk.Do I put 0 metres?
    My knee is at the stage where it could do with a total replacement.
    I am on no income my husband has to keep me. I feel at least I should be on the mobility component. As I have difficulty with there form. I got refused last year,Thank you Liz

  7. Well done Jane. A helpful summary and gets the message across really well. I’ve tweeted far and wide! Happy New Year let’s hope so!

  8. Well done jane.We have been campaigning against the changes which are reminisant of the Nazsi’s in 1933. This government even employ the same propoganda against disabled people.Unfortunatly they will ignore us until we fill the streets outside of number 10.
    Best wishes to you and thank you for helping people understand ther issues.

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  10. Great video Jane and really helpful as clearly people are not being treated as the valuable,unique individuals they are. I believe this toxic government must go as they are not only failing our society, they are causing pain and devastation to people, without fear of flouting common decency and basic human rights.
    All good wishes to you. I hope that we can come together to protect each other. I want a public outcry which will stop these cruel, inhumane blows against our liberty.

  11. This Government is to be applauded because it is doing what no other had the guts to do: face up to the “disability industry” & make cuts! ESA – & soon PIP – have tightened the criteria as to who is disabled. They will cut the benefits to many – this is what they are intended to do! The Government must stand firm to reduce the welfare cost – & not be swayed by “hard luck” stories!

    • Er, it’s not a ‘hard luck’ story – it’s an illustration of the practical consequences of what the Government is doing. If you think they should take away my ability to support my family and my mother’s disabled neighbour and to volunteer (Big Society?), take myself to medical appointments etc, then your opinion puzzles me, but you’re entitled to hold it. You presumably think the extra cost to other parts of the public sector are justified, or perhaps you just haven’t thought about it. If you take away mobility support from someone with very limited walking ability and they can no longer get to vital medical appointments, you’ll end up having to find another way to get them there, so that’s not a saving, just a way of doing things that gives disabled people less independence because they’ll need other kinds of support for other journeys.

      We’re not an industry, we’re people who have more costs to bear because of our impairments. In the 1970’s, which is presumably a time to which you wish us to return, people could get an invalid trike if they could walk 50 metres; when they gave up their trikes for a mobility allowance they were told they would get that allowance for life. For most disabled people, the bits of support that enable them to live reasonably independently are all vital; if one part is removed it doesn’t take long for the rest to unravel. This Government isn’t just removing one part, but several, and there is already great hardship, but you are probably immune from seeing that.

      Have you thought about what aspects of your life would become a whole lot more problematical if you couldn’t walk more than 20 metres? That distance doesn’t represent a practical level of mobility; it’s about the length of two double decker buses…

    • You short sighted moron. Being disabled is not a life choice.Can you make me walk again ,i doubt it . I would not wish disability on anyones clearly your disabled enough.

    • How sad for you Ed : you lack both understanding and the ability to empathise. ‘Hard luck’ is not a clear way to see peoples’ needs and difficulties : how we treat each other illustrates our humanity, or lack of. You are missing something important, you need to look and listen carefully, or else make the world a worse place.

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