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State targets parents of children with disability

category national | health / disability issues | opinion/analysis author Thursday September 07, 2006 13:53author by Miriam Cotton Report this post to the editors

Benefits for families slashed

We're all aware of the contempt with which people with disability and their families are regarded by the state. And as if the present government were not already unpopular enough among this community of people, they have decided arbitrarily to slash the Carers Allowance which mothers of children with disability are entitled to.

In my case I have had my allowance slashed from over 130 euro a week down to 36 euro. I now have to spend time and energy I can ill-afford challenging this decision through a lengthy and protracted process designed, most people believe, to break you down.

Another woman I know who lives in Limerick has told me that her Account Manager at the Bank of Ireland has said they have had several customers complaining about the same treatment and its affect on their finances. Some of them have spent months on end fighting similar decisions only to have the decision reversed and their benefits increased. In my case, our income is less than the income of some people who have been awarded more benefit than I was in receipt of before it was cut. The lady at the Bank of Ireland says that it looks as though particular people are being targetted because there is no consistency about who is affected. And because most people feel embarassed talking about such matters they are not communicating with each other and therefore dont realise what is happening.

I may be attaching way too much importance to myself but might there be a connection between the fact that I have complained loudly on Indymedia and in other places about the governments' treatment of people with disability and the fact that I have been targetted three years running to go through the assessment process when most people only get to do it ever three years or so? And now that I am doing my best to make disability an issue before the election campaign, I find that my allowance is more or less withdrawn. Social welfare, Irish style. Will we ever stop electing bullies in this country?

author by Completely Unmanageablepublication date Thu Sep 07, 2006 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If anyone else reading this is affected (and if even if you are not but you're decent enough to give a damn about it) maybe you would take the time to write a short letter of complaint to all of your local opposition politicians about what is happening.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Sep 07, 2006 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What grounds were given for the cut in the allowance?

You probably already know but any refusal or cut in social welfare allowances or benefits may be appealed to:

Social Welfare Appeals Office

Post: Social Welfare Appeals Office
D'Olier House
D'Olier Street
Dublin 2

Telephone: Locall 1890 74 74 34

Fax: 01-6718391

Email: swappeals@welfare.ie

http://www.socialwelfareappeals.ie/

At the above website you will get details of case studies, publications etc.

You can also take the case to the Ombudsman:

Contact Information

The Office of the Ombudsman is open between 9.15 and 5.30 Monday to Thursday and 9.15 to 5.15 on Friday

18 Lr. Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: +353-1-639 5600

Lo-call: 1890 223030

Fax: (01) 639 5674

ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.ie

http://ombudsman.gov.ie/en/

author by M Cottonpublication date Thu Sep 07, 2006 17:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.welfare.ie/foi/carers_all.html

Link to website setting out the conditions for the allowance.

 
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