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Future reform of Disability Living Allowance is cause for concern for people living with HIV

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NAT reacts to the Emergency Budget

The Chancellor’s announcement today that Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will be reformed from 2013/14 is a serious cause for concern for people living with HIV. DLA is awarded to disabled people in recognition of the extra day-to-day costs they incur because of their disability. People already have to submit lengthy forms and medical evidence when applying for this benefit; measures to make it more difficult to qualify for this support may have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of some people living with HIV.

Many people living with HIV have already been through a reassessment of their eligibility for DLA following the recent Special Rules review; this announcement will only add to fears about the future of this important support.   
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, comments:

"I am very concerned by the announcement that from 2013 Disability Living Allowance will be targeted only at those with the highest medical need. For many people living with HIV, this benefit provides the additional financial support they need to maintain their health and stop them falling into poverty. 
HIV is a complex fluctuating condition which cannot easily be assessed and any forthcoming medical assessment for this benefit will need to take into account the specific needs of people living with HIV. I hope the Government will consult fully with people living with HIV and the organisations that support them when considering how to implement this change.”

Notes to the editor:

For further information please contact:
Katherine Sladden
Communications Officer
020 7814 6733 / 07947 725299
NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expert advice and practical resources. We campaign for change.
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