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2010 National Disabled Members' Conference
7 July 2010
Carried as Amended

Conference agrees that Mr George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on 22 June 2010, delivered a vicious attack on disabled workers when he said that all recipients of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) would be forced to undergo medical examinations to see if they would continue to receive DLA.

Many disabled people are able to work because of the financial support they receive through one or other (in some cases both) components of DLA.

·Mobility component may in many cases, allows the recipient to have access to a car-leasing scheme, or exemption from vehicle excise duty. These measures meet the additional transportation costs for a disabled worker to travel to and from work or be able to get out and about with the help of a Designated Driver.

·Care component can provide financial assistance for a disabled worker to remove barriers that would prevent them being able to attend paid employment.

Conference also believes that the measure is being introduced as a means to make financial savings that will serve the political aspirations of the ConDem coalition. We also believe that the proposed DLA medicals are not warranted as many people when claiming, or renewing a claim, for DLA will be subject to a so-called medical by a Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) appointed doctor.

We are particularly concerned about the benefit medical reviews for gay men and transgender people. Until the 1983 Mental Health Act was introduced gay men were deemed to have a psychiatric illness, they could be incarcerated for their ‘perverse’ actions and they could be sectioned. The Disability Discrimination Act recognises that people with a past history of disability status have entitlement to protection from disability discrimination.

As far as transgender people are concerned the medical profession frequently misdiagnose the quest for gender reassignment as gender dysphoria and enforces psychiatric treatment in some cases.

Some gay men some transgender people therefore face higher risk in their benefit review of having a mental health history being considered as a factor that could impact on their chances of having the extra cost of disability met through state welfare benefits, there is also a potential impact on their right to discrimination free employment prospects.’

Furthermore, we know that many disabled people regularly undergo medical examinations connected with their disabling conditions by medical experts. They do not deserve to undergo the indignity of Government inspired medicals that are only designed to diagnose their own moral turpitude.

Conference instructs the National Disabled Members Committee through all means at its disposal to

1.Ask the NEC to write in the strongest terms, an open letter to the Prime Minister, informing him that DLA is not a means tested benefit for those not able to work. The open letter should clearly state that DLA is an allowance that is very hard to obtain, that is designed to assist disabled workers to take their place at the workplace as well as being able to lead their lives with a degree of dignity.

2.Promote awareness that the Government appear to be targeting disabled workers as part of their attack on both the public sector and DWP allowances and benefits.

3.Seek through the NEC to be involved in public demonstrations against the DLA medicals, by disability organisations who meet UNISON criteria.

4.Ask the NEC to, where possible, maximise media awareness and comment on this injustice against disabled people.

5. Lobby government to remove all measures within the Disability Living Allowance review that could potentially discriminate against disabled gay men and disabled transgender people.