"Your Disability Living Allowance is ending."

I've just received a letter from the DWP with the heading 'Your Disability Living Allowance is ending.'

It says that if I want to claim PIP, I'll either have to telephone them or use a text phone number, before the deadline.

However, I've not had a text phone for a long time because it was very unreliable, I prefer to use e-mail.
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So how do I claim?

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  • The big problem with all this is that the law is only specific about certain things. For example it's clear that the model for deaf people's PIP was the signing deaf person who does not use speech. Now the thing is that while there are still a lot of those people around they are no longer typical of the profoundly deaf person. But the DWP have taken this type of deaf person as the model for the use in assessments.

    I know of many Deaf people who have got PIP first go because they rely on sign and don't speak much. There's nothing wrong with that, they don't regard themselves as disabled but the Government does. There is little to no acceptance of the fact that the vast majority of deaf people, of whatever degree of deafness no longer rely on sign.

    Of course there are loads of people who use it because it is convenient, useful and generally low stress but we also use our hearing, lipreading, electronic gadgetry and some fantastically good hearing aids to get along in the hearing world. As time has gone on we have become less dependent on the traditional deaf ways and embraced new ones. I don't think the DWP have accepted that. One of the complaints the BDA were asked to deal with was a specific test to be carried out at the discretion of the assessor. It involved the deaf person facing a wall and the assessor would stand behind them and speak several phrases.
    As a result of many complaints the BDA approached the DWP and pointed out why this is wrong, but the fact is... they have been using a test that was phased out in WW2.

    In the case of deaf people we come under Descriptor 7, "Needs help in communicating with people" and also Descriptor 9 "Needs help with engaging with people socially"

    Now the point here is that although Descriptor 7 is pretty clear about what problems a deaf person could have, Descriptor 9 is not. It does say that people with mental, physical or sensory disabilities are eligible but then it does not define what these are. There needs to be a test case to define what is and is not allowed. Hopefully some of us will be able to apply retrospectively once this is sorted out.

    In the meantime this case acts as the nearest thing we have to a precedent but as you will see it does call for a judgement on Descriptor 9. This means that someone has to be brave enough to go to Court and someone else has to be brave enough to pay for it!

    CPIP/2559/2015. Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest.

    In the meantime would followers of the thread please read the following thread and respond if you can. Maybe we can get some changes made in Parliament.

    www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/.../deafness-and-hearing-loss.aspx
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