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Event explains disability pensions and benefits

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 16/04/2013

Held at the Turnberrie’s Community Centre in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, the fully booked event was hailed as a great success. Its purpose was to circulate information about current and planned changes to benefits and pensions and look at how they will affect disabled people. It also aimed to encourage people to get involved in the Disability Equality Network, and launched their new e-bulletin service that will provide disability related news on local and national issues.

The audience was filled with representatives from organisations working with disabled people in South Gloucestershire, along with individual disabled people who are members of local organisations.

The event featured a range of speakers including representatives from the Department for Work and Pensions, South Gloucestershire Citizens Advice Bureau, and CVS South Gloucestershire. These guest speakers explored the changes to disability benefits and pensions, and discussed how these changes will affect people, with the well received presentations sparking some lively and challenging questions.

Three main areas of disability benefits were covered:

  • A look at new pension arrangements for the State Pension.
  • The transition of Disability Living Allowance to the new Personal Independence Payment.
  • Changes to housing benefit, and the removal of the spare room subsidy in the social-rented sector (‘the bedroom tax’).

There were also individual advice sessions with advisors from organisations such as the North Bristol Advice Centre and South Gloucestershire Citizens Advice Bureau.

Will Bee, Equality Coordinator at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “This was a fantastic event. I think it was really beneficial for all involved to be able to get together and discuss the changes to pensions and benefits for disabled people that are coming through, which many people have high level of concerns about. Feedback from the event’s attendees suggests that this was a very successful and valuable event that people would like to see more of in the future.”

This event is hopefully the first of many, with plans being made for similar events in the future to discuss subjects such as new developments in social care and transport services for disabled people in South Gloucestershire.

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