The Independent London Newspaper
24th May 2017

Victory for woman who was told ‘repay £800 benefits’

    Published: 8 October, 2015

    • WE’RE delighted to announce that Natasha Cox’s weekly care charges, and Camden’s demand that she repay them £842 care money, have been cancelled (Plight of woman told: Repay £800 benefits, August 6). 

    Thank you to the New Journal for highlighting this injustice. 

    Ms Cox was billed when the council changed earlier advice, now saying she was not allowed to spend the care money she is allocated on buying petrol or coffees as a thank-you to friends driving her and helping with shopping. 

    Ms Cox and other people with disabilities are in a Catch-22 situation. Direct payments, where we are in control of money allocated to us for our own care and choose who comes to our home, is being misused by councils to cover for cuts.  

    They save on administration costs and allocate less money than we need for our care so we are dependent on family and friends helping out unwaged. But when we buy small thank-yous for them, we are penalised, told we can’t spend our direct payments that way and sent huge bills. How many other people in Camden are being wrongly charged? 

    At WinVisible we are proud to be part of local and national campaigns against care cuts and charges, to Save the Independent Living Fund and for a living wage for care staff on zero-hour contracts.

    Why are day centre users facing cuts and closure and being charged for attending the centre when Camden has spent a shameful £123million on a new town hall, and £130,000 on three art works – the amount being cut from Highgate Day Centre services and staff?

    CLAIRE GLASMAN & HAMIDEH HASHEMI
    WinVisible, Crossroads Women’s Centre, NW5 

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