Blind people on benefits deserve better than this
Most of us could not begin to imagine what it must be like to be blind or to suffer from serious vision problems. Trapped in a world of darkness, even the most ordinary of tasks, such as walking down the street to the shops, become a huge and trying challenge. So those who do suffer from blindness should be given our respect and also our help so they can enjoy their lives just like everyone else.
However, those points, sadly, seem to have escaped those people who designed this country’s benefits system. Campaigners say blind people are “routinely” asked to complete a variety to tasks to prove that they have this lifealtering disability.
They also argue that this still happens despite blind people going to a PIP meeting armed with an official document stating they have vision problems.
To add insult to injury, some assessors even add on official paperwork that interviewees displayed “good eye contact” during meetings.
These claims are deeply worrying and leave the benefits system open to accusations that it is unfeeling and unsympathetic.
We all understand that checks must be made to ensure those people receiving benefits are entitled to the support they are given.
We also understand that there is a minority of folk who will cheat the system in order to get their hands on money.
However, that does not excuse the creation of system that, at times, appears to put suspicion first and sympathy second.
We can only hope that those campaigning for better treatment of the visually-impaired are successful in their fight for improvements.
And we can only hope that someone with the DWP listens to their case and provides better training to its staff.