Resources for people with disabilities in the UK
Disabled people are increasingly being empowered as economies grow. This is because most economies, such as the UK, believe that everyone forms an integral part in any society and no one should be left behind as time goes. These people are therefore increasingly being supplied with resources to help them better their lives and at the same time help in expanding the economy.
With the general elections fast approaching in the UK, the government is doing much to ensure it meets it brings to life the promises it made to the disabled while the competitors for the next election are building manifestos that focus more on people with disabilities. Statistics show that less than 50% of those with disabilities have jobs. Considering this fact, and the fact that they get an extra cost to maintain themselves, these hinder the economy in a major way. This is why policies are being put in place and resources are being provided to ensure that they play their role in building an economy. Some of the resources they get include:
- The disability living allowance. This living allowance pertains to funds given to the disabled to help them meet the extra cost they incur to meet their needs. This was to be implemented between 2013 and 2016. It can be accessed by both children and adults.
- Grants for the disabled. These are funds given by the government through the local council to disabled people that is meant to help them make their houses and homes friendly to their living and compatible to their needs.
- For those looking to hold major government offices such as be in the UK parliament, a police and crime commissioner, a mayor or being in the Greater London Assembly, they are entitled to elected office funds between 250 and 40,000 euros. This funds are not for campaigning but for catering for disability related costs.
- An attendance allowance is given to those over 65 years to help them cater for their needs. The amount you get depends on the extent of your disability and the care you need. If this is not sufficient then the one caring for you can apply to get a Carer’s allowance to help you.
- If one is injured, falls ill or gets disabled while working or while on a training approved by the government, then they are entitled to industrial injuries disablement benefits. The amount one gets will depend on the extent of damage done.
- If an injury makes you not earn as much as you used to earn before the incident, then one should get a reduced earning allowance which is fixed at 66.40 Euros each week.
- In the case that one gets severely injured or disabled such that it renders them completely unable to work, then they are entitled to the severe disablement allowance. The amount is fixed but may change in case one gets better though. The amount will not change in the case that one volunteers to work, earns less than 20 euros a week or works less than 16 hours a week getting less than 101 euros.
- A vaccine damage payment is given to those who get disabled due to a vaccination program. The amount is fixed at 120,000 euros. This amount will however affect other benefits such as the working tax credit, pension credit, universal credit, income support and the child tax credit. One should therefore let the authorities know in case they get the vaccine damage payment.
One can use a benefits calculator which is free online to calculate the amounts they are entitled to in the case are or get disabled. The amounts depend on one’s savings, income, existing benefits, tax bills and outgoings such as rent and mortgages.
Being disabled doesn’t mean that you should stop working out, or going outdoor. It is a common feeling that one should alienate himself/herself from other people as a person’s esteem may get affected. But this is normal and one should fight it. Go out, mingle and engage in fun outdoor activities, eat well and exercises because after all, you still need to stay healthy and keep your mind busy.
- Hit the gym
There are gyms meant for people with special needs. If you meet the threshold they need, then you can certainly register as a member. The gym also helps you interact with other new people like you and this may help boost your morale and esteem. For those in wheel chairs, they can decide to focus on the upper body or even the arms. In the long run, there is everything for everyone on the gym.
- Go swimming
Just like the gym, swimming pools have provision for the disables or those with special needs. Swimming is probably the best sport for you as it focuses not only on the legs and arms but in all parts of the body. It keeps all the muscles busy. Anyone can swim to, even without legs or arms. The water also helps someone relax his/her mind. For those on wheel chairs, it is a great way to get freedom to move.
- Eat healthy
You can consult a dietician for this. They may help you know what nutrients you need the most, what you should stop eating and what foods you should lay emphasis on. This may help you get stronger and more cheerful. Vitamins are the most recommended foods by doctors hence one should get his/her vegetables and fruit portions right. Reduce on your calorie intake if overweight and also watch the amount of salt you take.
- Go for walks
One doesn’t have to lift heavy things or run so as to feel rejuvenated or stronger. You may choose to walk in case your disability limits you to do other activities. Walks help stretch on muscles and also strengthen other tissues. This can be done better with a friend or a relative.
- Play chess or other board games
The brain also needs to remain fully active and functional. Its working can be boosted using such games as chess or even scrabble. It even gives you the opportunity to interact with other people. You can even go ahead and form a chess or scrabble group for the disabled. This will go a long way in improving one’s interaction with others and improving the brain’s capabilities.
Exercises will have a lot of benefits for one apart from just making you stay active. They give you the strength you need to move around, lowers fatigue levels, improves one’s moods, improve the functioning of the heart, improve how well one thinks, gives one the feeling of being independent and improves how well the person sleeps. Some of these benefits may take long to come while other are noticed immediately.
Be careful to avoid drugs such as alcohol or cigarette smoking as they will only serve to deteriorate one’s health. Before engaging in physical activities, it is important for one to consult their doctor and get advice on how much exercise they should engage in, what they should do and what may be harmful to them. Be careful with what you do and remember to start small and keep growing. Be gentle with yourself at first and celebrate every progress you make. All this would give one a sense of achievement.
DLA is an allowance given to the disables who should be provided with personal care or who have problems walking or both. The money is not taxed by the government. The fund’s purpose is to enable one meet the extra cost that disabled people incur in their day to day lives. It may be used to get person to care after you and such. The amount one gets depends on the severity of the disability and how much one really needs. The lowest weekly amount may be 21.80 euros which can be got by people who need help with lesser issues such as their cooking or activities during part of their days.
A medium weekly amount of 55.10 euros is given to those who need frequent help though not at all times. They may need to be checked on most times in the day and at times in the night. An example may be a sick person on dialysis. The greatest amount one can get in a week is 82.30 euros and is given to those whose case is really severe and need constant supervision during the day and night, or those with terminal illnesses. The amounts are payable every four weeks and are deposited in to one’s bank account.
Who is eligible for DLA:
Both children and adults are eligible to DLA. The conditions for both cases do vary. For adults who need someone to care for them, one can get the funds if:
- They are in need of basic services such as being dressed, being fed, using the toiled, washing or even communicating.
- If one can put themselves in danger and need someone to look out for them so as to avoid this.
- If one is on dialysis and is at home and does not have anyone to look after them.
- If one cannot prepare themselves a main meal.
- If you live alone and have no one to take care of you.
- If one can’t walk on their own or has problems after walking through short distances. One can get the funds too if they have no feet.
- If one is restricted to bed rest or can fall ill in case they try to walk.
- If one is declared totally blind or 80% deaf, or if one needs to be with a person when outdoor, then you can apply for the funds.
A child below 16 years who has mobility problems or needs to be taken care of is also entitled to this allowance. The amount may go from 21.80 euros to 139.75 euros a week. The child qualifies for the money if:
- They live in in Great Britain or Switzerland at the time that they are applying for the funds, except for those whose relatives are in the forces.
- If the child is over 3 years old, he/she child must have stayed in Great Britain for 2 of the last 3 years.
- The child must not have any issues with immigration control
Applying for DLA:
To get the allowance, one needs a passport or a birth certificate. One can also use bank statements or the life insurance policy. All one needs to do is fill the DLA claim form which is available online. In case of any terminal illness, one needs to attach a medical report to the form. In case one already has DLA, they may apply for PIP too.
The conditions for getting this funds is that one must use them for their intended purposes and that one should inform the authorities in the case that their conditions get better or else they might be penalized.