One in 20 city people claim disability allowance

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DISABILITY Living Allowance claimants in Sheffield have risen by a fifth in the last eight years to more than five per cent of the city’s half-million population.

And large rises have also been noted in other areas, including Doncaster, where the number of people receiving the benefit has climbed 17 per cent, according to the Government.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, Sheffield has the second-highest number of claiments, with 32,320 recipients last November, compared with 26,880 in 2002. Leeds has the highest number of claimants, 37,050.

The November 2010 figures also show 21,480 claimants in Doncaster, 20,260 in Rotherham and 19,770 in Barnsley.

Maria Miller, Minister for Disabled People, said: “The number of people claiming DLA has soared, but it’s clear that the right support is not always getting to those who need it the most.

“DLA needs to help disabled people live independently and remove the barriers that they face in day-to-day life.

“This is why the Coalition Government is replacing DLA with a Personal Independence Payment to ensure the right level of support is available for disabled people.

“The new proposals include reassessments over time to ensure everyone receives the correct support as their needs change.

“Currently, around 20 per cent of all people on DLA haven’t had any contact with officials in the last 10 years.

“We are committed to ensuring that the £12bn spent on DLA every year goes to where it can make the most difference.”

Moves to change Disability Living Allowance has faced protests but the Government says it will continue the policy.

Reforms include creating a £100m a year Access to Work scheme to help disabled people into suitable employment and a Work Choice Programme to provide tailored support.