So it was quite disappointing to need to send the following Email to firstname.lastname@example.org this morning:
I was going to complain about http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/15/disability-living-allowance-scope-cuts erroneously claiming that DLA is “the benefit now given to 1.9 million people deemed physically unable to work.” But you corrected while I was in the middle of typing.
However, I’m not satisfied with your correction. The correction says:
“The original conflated the number of people on disability living allowance and the incapacity benefit. This has been corrected.”
That’s not true. “DLA is given to people physically unable to work” is not a conflation of figures, it’s an outright untruth.
As a DLA claimant I would appreciate greatly if you corrected your correction.
Additionally an older version of the article with a different URL, title, photo and byline here http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/14/disabled-face-increasing-hostility-strangers still contains the inaccurate “disability living allowance, the benefit now given to 1.9 million people deemed physically unable to work.”
DLA is not an out of work benefit. DLA is to cover the extra costs of being disabled regardless of your employment status. If a wheelchair user finds a job, does their need to buy a new wheelchair every few years disappear? No.
If someone who needs help getting out of bed in the morning gets a job, does that assistance need disappear? No.
So DLA, the benefit to help pay for those things, doesn’t disappear when you get a job either.
Ironically the article is about the hostility towards disabled people since welfare reform began. Articles like this only fuel that hatred by making readers think there are more “fakers” than there are. By stating that DLA is an out of work benefit you’re feeding people the lie that there are numerous workers fraudulently claiming out of work benefits. Because there are many people on DLA that do work legitimately.
Edit 24/5/11: Happy to report that the article published on Saturday May 14th has now been corrected. However the article posted on Sunday 15th May still has the inadequate amendment.