Anna’s guest at Women’s Radio was Svetlana Kotova
Anna’s guest at Women’s Radio was Svetlana Kotova.
‘All things Autism” will be aired at 1pm and 1am every day this week. Please see www.womensradiostation.com
Svetlana shared her campaign that we are supporting:
Scrap social care charging campaign
Inclusion London is working in a coalition with many Disabled People’s Organisations and carers groups to campaign against punitive charges for social care.
Why this is important
Unlike the NHS social care for adults is not free and even people on means-tested benefits have to pay towards the cost of their social care support. The problem became even more acute now, when cash strapped local authorities are trying to close social care funding gap by asking people to contribute more.
Thousands of disabled and older people throughout the Covid pandemic have experienced social care cuts and increases in care charging. Families and carers are struggling to pay the week’s shopping bill. Others are being pushed into debt. We came across many cases where people received huge bills they cannot afford to pay.
We believe it is wrong to make people who already are struggling to make ends meet pay for essential support they need to live a normal life. It is wrong to make us, disabled people go through benefits assessments for those benefits then to be taken away by local authorities. Many of us need social care support to do very basic things in in life and we believe having to pay for it is a tax on disability.
We are, therefore, calling on the government to abolish social care charging and introduce free home care. In the interim, we are urging the government to ensure Disabled and older people are not forced to pay for social care out of their benefits.
However, a lot can also be done at the local level. And this is why we urge people to get together and start local campaigns. Not all local authorities charge for home care, for example, Hammersmith and Fulham borough of London does not charge at all.
This policy in Hammersmith and Fulham was achieved as a result of years of campaigning by disabled people, who at the end persuaded local authority to work with them and co-produce policies that truly support disabled people.
Now when reforms of social care are on the horizon, we believe we can achieve the change we want if we campaign together.
You can find out more about our campaign and support it by following this link: https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/home-page-blocks/social-care-charging-campaigning-resources/
You can learn more about your rights and how to challenge financial assessments here: https://www.disabilityjustice.org.uk/take-action/social-care/
You can follow Inclusion London on twitter: @InclusionLondon
Anna Kennedy sent this letter on the 30th June to Boris as her MP.
Scrap care charging and introduce free home care
Dear Boris Johnson
I am emailing as your constituent, an Autism Advocate and Chair of the UK Autism Charity AnnaKennedyonline to ask for your support to scrap social care charges.
Social Care is unfair and a post code lottery. It is time for FREE home care. Thousands of disabled and older people throughout the Covid pandemic have experienced social care cuts and increases in care charging. Families and carers are struggling to make ends meet and pay the week’s shopping bill. Others are being pushed into debt.
It really is a choice for some people between heating their home, or eating or paying the care charges. As Sue explains: “Out of the blue in August, my son got a bill for £4,500. He’s nineteen, profoundly disabled. He lives in a care home. I have no idea how we can pay for it.”
Many Disabled and older people need social care support to do even the most essential things that non-disabled people take for granted as unlike the NHS social care support is not free. Recent reports on the BBC have highlighted the awful plight of disabled people, carers, and families due to care charging.
Kelly, for example, explained that she started needing social care support after a life-changing accident that left her paralysed. Her mum had to give up work to look after her. She was paying £10 a week for 18 months for her care and support, but following a reassessment, she was asked to pay £98 per week, which on appeal was reduced to £90. She then received a letter from the Council threatening court action if she didn’t pay them within seven days. She owed them £7.5k. At the time, she was recovering from major surgery.
I am asking you (as my MP) to call on the Government to abolish social care charging as part of the promised reform to social care and legislate for free comprehensive home care.
In the meantime, I am also asking you to push the Treasury to significantly raise the levels of Minimum Income Guarantee as a matter of urgency, so that Disabled and older people, carers and families do not have to make a choice between food or heating and essential support they need to live a life.
Anna Kennedy OBE