In 1989 I had a major stroke, spending 9 months in Hospital and stroke units.
· On discharge I was awarded DLA (Disability Living Allowance) at the higher rate, this allowing me to obtain a car through Motorbility and with the help of a PA live as near as normal as possible.
In 2007 I was asked, and accepted the new Direct Payment Scheme, to save the council administration expenses.
· Together with my DLA this worked very well and I could continue my life and voluntary local public work the next few years with the invaluable help of my PA/Carer.
In 2011 the council administrators decided, without warning, to cut the payment for weekend care down to the flat weekday rate only.
· (i.e. In 2007 the payment was £9+ per hour weekday and £13+ for weekend) this to include employer NI and work insurance for the employee.
· I was paying my PA/Carer £9.50p. per hour. Not been able to give a rise since 2007. He helped me far beyond ‘the call of duty’ and the hours the council paid for. This cut resulted in a drop of my income for care of £102 per month.
The administrators, without medical assessment, took my DLA (a Central Government Allowance, not from council tax payers) a further cut in PA/care income of £210 per month.
This cut of £312 per month at a time when my physical condition was worsening with age problems compounding on the effects of my stroke.
· In 2007 I could still walk on wrist crutches, shower myself, dress, and still drive and prepare my own meals.
Now in 2012, I am wheelchair bound and have to be taken everywhere, now heavily incontinent have to be showered daily, have to be dressed, cannot drive my car, obtained with the mobility component of DLA. My PA/Carer getting my main meal.
· The council have taken the other component of my DLA, as part of their care plan, leaving nothing to pay to be driven out, and the attention I need, when out, with my catheter etc.
· The reduction in the hourly rate and the taking of my DLA, by administrators, has resulted in a loss of 32 hours of help I need as assessed by occupation therapists, medical staff, and central government.