Mike Freer MP Stands Up for Deaf People in Finchley and Golders Green

Finchley and Golders Green MP, Mike Freer, today announced that he would be quizzing Ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions on benefits available to deaf people.

Following the Government’s announcement that existing Disability Living Allowance claimants are to be reassessed for the new Personal Independence Payments, Mike Freer has sought clarification from Ministers on how eligibility tests will be conducted for the profoundly deaf.

This year, the Department for Work and Pensions is to begin the new assessments which look at an individual’s ability to perform a number of basic functions that enable the claimant to live independently. Mike Freer is concerned that the tests will not sufficiently take into account the needs of those who are deaf and rely on multiple aids such as alerting systems or miniphones to complete daily chores.

Commenting today, Mike said “A number of deaf constituents have contacted me to raise their concerns over the tests. I have asked what safeguards are in place to ensure that support is not withdrawn from deaf people that vitally need it”.

Disability Living Allowance was first introduced in 1992 and will be phased out in April 2013 to be replaced by Personal Independence Payments. PIPs are designed to allow a more tailored approach to disability benefit payments, and the new system recognises that the needs of people with different disabilities need to be addressed in different ways.