'The Government is out to destroy me'

A disability rights campaigner has claimed 'the present Government is out to destroy me'.

Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 2:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 3:11 pm
Adrian Rimington is concerned about Universal Credit. Picture by Rachel Atkins.

Adrian Rimington said he will lose £2,000 a year from 2019 as his disability premiums will disappear under Universal Credit, which merges six benefits into one.

Mr Rimington, 61, of Horsley Close, Chesterfield, said: "I use my premiums for theraputic interventions which keep me well and out of the Hartington Unit in Chesterfield.

"When my money is cut, I will be in a state of distress and I will find myself using the Hartington Unit.

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"My circumstances have changed since my last stay there 22 years ago - now I have no support I could possibly be discharged to.

"Sadly, I feel it would be a considerable time, possibly years, before I could safely be discharged.

"However, I am determined I will not go to the Hartington Unit.

"When my money is cut, I shall be in the centre of Chesterfield with my placard 'victim of Universal Credit' and be competing with the homeless people for change from the public to pay for my theraputic interventions.

"Simply put, the present Government is out to destroy me - and I will make a fight of it to the end."

National campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts has voiced a number of concerns about Universal Credit, including the scrapping of severe and enhanced disability premiums, mandatory health and work conversations for disabled people and an online application process which is inaccessible to many disabled people.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "We are committed to supporting people into work while making sure the right care is in place for those who can't.

"Unlike the previous system, Universal Credit is more targeted and support is focused on those who need it most.

"Transitional protection is also available for those people who move on to Universal Credit from other benefits, provided their circumstances stay the same."