Welfare Reform

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2012 National Disabled Members' Conference
6 July 2012
Carried as Amended

This Conference asserts its opposition to the Government’s attacks on the benefit system and that disabled people are at the forefront of these attacks.

This Conference is gravely concerned that disabled people will experience substantial detriment from these changes, particularly the replacement of Disability Living Allowance with the so-called Personal Independence Payment .The emerging evidence of the horrendous death toll amongst people who have been removed from employment and support allowance as a result of the fundamentally flawed work capacity assessment is nothing short of a scandal.

The damage done by an incorrect decision is compounded by the manifestly unreasonable delay in having that decision reversed on appeal. It is almost inevitable that the rising workload in the Social Security Appeals system, as a result of the introduction of PIP, will further exacerbate these delays.

Conference calls on the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1. Continue to work with all UNISON structures in opposition to these changes.

2. Specifically work with Learning and Organising Services to develop information and training materials to enable our representatives to support members defending their position.

3. Work with the National Executive Council and others to consider whether publications in relation to disability benefits could be provided to all representatives as a working tool.

4. Mount a campaign with the National Executive Council and Labour Link to argue for a substantial increase in resources for the appellate system to reduce delays.

5. Work with the National Executive Council and others in making representations to Motability to ensure that robust systems are in place to enable people to retain Motability vehicles whilst pursuing appeals.

6. Ensure that UNISON Welfare is fully aware of the changes and the specific risks that they represent to disabled members.