Benefits 'handouts': A different perspective

A worrying trend in 'benefits figures published today' media stories would have you believe there are millions living the high life on the welfare state. According to the Telegraph on Monday, there are 2 million people who have unquestioningly received 'handouts for decades'. This figure is the number of disabled people who have an indefinite award of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Over 18,000 people with Parkinson's receive DLA. This is far from a 'handout' - it's a lifeline, a modest but essential payment to support the added cost of a serious disability. And most people with Parkinson's quite rightly receive an indefinite award. For what sense is there – especially in cost to valuable public funds - in constantly reassessing someone whose condition is certain to only progress?

But that's just what the Government is proposing to do.

Meanwhile, work to reassess 1.5 million people on Incapacity Benefit began this week, with claims that 500,000 people 'on sick' are really fit to work. The implication: that half a million are playing the system.

But 'fitness to work' is being assessed by a test so blunt and inadequate that people with some of the severest forms of Parkinson's are being told to get a job. This sort of reporting is not just inaccurate but causes great anxiety for people with Parkinson's.

Join us and others to give the media and Government a reality check. Visit The Hardest Hit website to register for the London protest on 11 May or find out how to protest online.

If you need advice on benefits, contact our helpline for confidential advice and support on 0808 800 0303 or email

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