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The whole question of what is a disability and what is not (and who is a
disabled person, and who is not, is, as you've guessed, a fraught one.
It comes down to definitions. What is a disabled person? There are (at
least) three models of disability. The two most common are the medical
model, which says 'you are disabled, because you have X, Y, or Z'. The
other is the social model which says 'because society is the way it is,
there are barriers which you face when you try and do X, or Y or Z, and
therefore you are disabled'.
The Disabled Living Allowance is payable if you meet their criteria, not
yours, mine or anyone else's of what disability is.
There are two reasons for not claiming DLA, one of which I can somewhat
sympathise with (and I guess Ingrid falls into this class), and one of
which I think dispicable. First reason:
'I know I might fall within the DLA definition, but I believe that this
money should go to those most in need of financial support, and while
not rich [or I am rich] I am not as needy as other people'.
'I know I might fall within the DLA definition, but my view of 'disabled
people' is that they are second-class citizens, and I don't want to be
lumped with them, thank you. No, I'd rather starve on the streets than
have anyone think that I'm not capable of living a full life'.
While I can understand that first reason, I don't agree with it 100%.
There is even an argument that all diabetics _should_ apply because it
would show that we believe that the additional costs of diabetes should
be met, and that money for people with disabilities is not charity on
behalf of central government, but the result of good business planning.
If everyone who _might_ meet the definition applied for it, and then
gave the money to charity if they didn't need it, those who weren't so
financially secure would not feel guilty about applying for it.
I _know_ I'm disabled. I'm not able to drive a minibus - as good an
example from the social model of disability as you are every likely to
find. However, I don't think I meet the DLA definition (because I never
need anyone's help during a hypo, or at any other time (apart from when
it comes to driving a minibus or large van)). Does anyone think that
might count, for them? If so, I'll apply!
In message <email @ redacted>, Ingrid Morrow
<email @ redacted> writes
>I'm a bit confused.
>I can understand claiming it if you have a "disability" caused by DM (or
>whatever), but I can honestly say I would not believe in claiming it simply
>because I have DM. By your argument I could say that because I have had a
>couple of severe night time hypos, I need someone to look after me (thus my
>husband question), and thus I could claim it!
>But I am not disabled, and I am in fulltime work (I know I am lucky, and
>there are others a lot less fortunate than me).
>Does anybody else think this could possibly give Dmers a bad name?
email @ redacted
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