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Govt benefit cuts 'will affect people with Parkinson's'

Govt benefit cuts 'will affect people with Parkinson's'
25th October 2010

The government's proposed changes to Employment Support Allowance (ESA) could badly affect the lives of people with Parkinson's disease.

This is the view of Parkinson's UK, which claims the new ESA will unnecessarily target people with long-term health conditions.

As part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the government announced that ESA would be capped at a year, although this would not apply to the "severely disabled" or those who claim it on an "income dependant basis".

Anjuli Veall, the charity's social policy and campaigns manager, said that people with Parkinson's often have problems convincing assessors of the progressive and fluctuating nature of their symptoms.

Ms Veall said that this could mean some people with Parkinson's disease losing much-needed benefits.

"Most people with Parkinson's have paid national insurance and tax all their working life, only to find that there's no safety net when they need it the most," she added.

A recent study from the University of Grenada suggests that the impact of a chronic disease is dependent on the patient's pre-conceived notion of the disease.

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