This is a text-only version of an article first published on Monday, 10 June 2013. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.
FIND out how you can stand up for disabled people affected by welfare reforms at a Diocesan Justice Forum later this month. The event, organised by the Diocese of Oxford's Mission Department, will bring together leading speakers to explore what the changes to benefits will mean to people with special needs.
The event will bring together Benedict Leigh of Restore, Tatu Delaney of MENCAP, Jill Segger of the Ekklesia thinktank, and Rachel Lampard of the Methodist Church. It was arranged after Wendy Bryant, Diocesan Disability Adviser, called for the Diocese to explore how benefit cuts affect people with special needs.
She urged Christians to pray, reflect and act on the situation. "Reflecting for me would be reading some of the reports on the situation, and then acting on them.
There are a wealth of reports on the situation.
Praying and reading leads to action.
Talk about it at work, at church, in your house groups. "Ordinary Christians can feel very powerless but they can get involved in some of the campaigns by the leading disability charities.
Mencap and Scope have really good campaigns.
Write a letter or email your MP and come along to our Justice Forum on 23 May," said Wendy. Disabled people who are worried about the cuts were all too nervous to be named in the Door. One man, who was frustrated with having to fill in forms more than once, including all of the details of his disabilities, in order to claim his benefits said: "There was the threat that I would lose my invalidity benefit, which would be a great loss for me.
I know what is wrong with me, but putting it in black and white seriously gets me down and makes me more depressed.
Why can't one form do for life?" He said that since the new benefit rules came in, he has lost 20 per cent of his benefit as it is now taxed. One woman said: "Luckily I own my home, and so I don't have a cut in housing benefit as I don't have it in the first place.
I also own my highly adapted 11-year-old car. " But she says she will lose the income she uses to run her car or take taxis, and thus her independence when the Severe Disability Premium is abolished in April next year. Everyone is welcome at the Justice Forum at Diocsean Church House, North Hinksey Lane, Oxford on Thursday 23 May, 10am to 2pm.
Email alison. webster@oxford. anglican. org or call 01865 208213 to book.
See comment piece on the benefit cuts: page19.