People with disability related welfare claims may be affected as Diverse Cymru plans to end its benefits service this month. A lack of funding from Cardiff Council means the contract will not be renewed.
Diverse Cymru say 82% of cases were overturned as a result of their service. They had helped welfare claimants fill out forms and appeals. They would also make home visits for the convenience of their clients. These services will not be available from next month onward – another consequence of Cardiff Council’s budget cuts.
Anna Worgan of Diverse Cymru laments the end of the five-year-old service. She says they had built a valuable rapport with clients, who would go on to recommend them to others. Now, she says, all of those specialised skills will be lost. She says that clients will be too intimidated to appeal in case of rejection. This would mean that they would probably lose out on deserved welfare.
Diverse Cymru says that from April-December last year, over £2 million in benefits was claimed by the team.
Citizens Advice and Cardiff Council will continue to provide guidance to claimants. Liberal Democrat Councillor Elizabeth Clark says that it is imperative that alternatives are put in place. Otherwise vulnerable groups may lose out on much needed help.
The council has been making cuts to save money since 2010. It relies on the Welsh government for more than half of its funding. This has been severely cut under austerity measures.
Our Families First project will not be affected by this change. Diverse Cymru will continue to support families who care for a disabled child or children, or young disabled people up to the age of 25.
Originally published on Cardiff News Plus: http://jomec.co.uk/cjsnewsmaij/your-cardiff/end-of-welfare-benefits-service-by-diverse-cymru