Our Frequently Asked Questions page has been put together to help answer some questions we often hear from Deaf and Disabled People we come in contact with. It is not an exhaustive list and we encourage people who use the page to send us questions that have not been answered here. We will do our best to answer your questions and continually add them to this page.
As a pan disability and inclusive organisation we will provide versions of this frequently asked questions page in alternative formats in due course – watch this space.
Finally, we have taken great care to ensure all the links that are on this page work but if for some reason some links are broken please contact us as soon as you can using our contact form on our website. The contact form can be accessed here
Please note: Camden Disability Action is not responsible for the content of any of the external publications or website links listed here. Every effort has been made to make sure that the summarised information is correct but this resource is for general information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice.
Please click on the Arrows next to the Questions to see the Answers
Camden Disability Action
Q – What is a D/deaf and disabled people’s organisation (DDPO)?
A – A DDPO is an organisation formed by and of D/deaf and disabled people. DDPOs are made up of and governed by a majority of D/deaf and disabled people at the membership and leadership level. DDPOs are grassroots (for local people) community organisations set up to promote and advocate for the rights and inclusion of D/deaf and disabled people in mainstream society. DDPOs work strictly within the Social Model of Disability, cultural model of deafness and human rights framework. DDPOs are social change organisations (they campaign for equality and social justice) not only service providers. CDA is a DDPO and we seek to change and break down barriers that have for long contributed to D/deaf and disabled people not being actively included in our communities.
Q – When was CDA started and is the organisation only for specific groups of disabled people who live in Camden?
A – Camden Disability Action is a user-led pan D/deaf and disability organisation which aims to promote the equality of D/deaf and disabled people living or working in Camden. CDA was created in May 2015 by a group of disabled people when a previous only disabled people’s led organisation in Camden went into administration. By pan disability we mean an organisation that includes all groups of D/deaf and disabled people from every culture, sexuality and gender.
Q – Does Camden Disability Action provide help for D/deaf and Disabled people about Benefits they are entitled to?
A – Although we do not provide advocacy and advice service directly to clients, we help in so many other ways. For example, we provide support by signposting and guiding you to well researched information on a range of subjects. We have put together a directory of organisations and services that are staffed by trained advisers and advocates – please check out our directory page on the website (our website is currently being redesigned and the directory page may currently be unavailable, apologies for any inconvenience). We will take calls and investigate which support or help are appropriate to the caller (we will always tell you we are not advisers and will only guide you to appropriate support) and finally we have arranged a number of advice organisations/services to deliver (by appointments only) advice sessions to clients in our Greenwood place office. Times, days and organisations are posted on our website and you will also find information on how to book appointments there.
Care and Support
Q – Do I need to register that I am a Disabled person?
A – There is no longer a national register of Disabled people, so technically you don’t need to register as disabled. If you require for example, a care needs assessment, you don’t have to first register as disabled with the local authority as the assessment will look at the full range of your needs if you are disabled – on the grounds of having an impairment or disability. Sometimes medical reports are needed by the DWP, but not necessarily for the care needs assessment.
For people with visual impairments or who are blind, voluntary registration is available on a register kept by the Council. The process of registering is not difficult and has been eloquently explained on RNIB’s website which you can access here
Q – How do I get funding for my Care and Support?
A – You may be able to get funding from Camden Council’s Social Service or the NHS to fund your care and support. The NHS website has produced a summary on funding for care and support which you can find here
Camden Council’s Social Services also has a page full of useful information that can be found on their website by clicking here
Q – How do I get an assessment from the Council?
A – If you want an assessment (read more about what an assessment is here) to find out what help and support you need, for example healthcare, equipment, help in your home or residential care – you need to call the Council’s social services. They can be reached on 020 7974 4444 or visit their website here. They will tell you what you need to do next.
If the Council considers that you need support that it can provide, they may also carry out an assessment of your finances. This assessment will determine whether the local authority will meet all the cost of your care, or whether you will need to contribute towards your care cost or whether you will have to meet the full costs yourself.
Direct Payments and Personal Health Budgets
Q – What are Direct Payments?
A – A direct payment is one of the ways you can receive money from your council to help you pay for the care and support you need. Choosing to have a direct payment gives you more control over the services you use and where you get them from.
The history of direct payment started in the independent living movement when some disabled people successfully negotiated a financial package which enabled them to move out of the institution they were in and into the community. Very soon the Direct Payments campaign in the UK was initiated in order to change the legislation to make it easier for local authorities to establish Direct Payment schemes.
Direct Payments can be used to directly employ a personal assistant (in this case you will legally be classed as an employer with all the responsibilities under UK law) or hire care workers from a private domiciliary care agency (Personalisation Support in Camden (PSIC) a subsidiary charity of Age UK Camden can help, please find more information about them here
On rare occasions the Council may refuse to give a direct payment. This is usually related to personal capacity issues and councils’ decisions are often subject to reviews or appeals, so don’t worry too much about this.
Once funding is allocated after assessment claimants have a right to either receive the amount as a whole or a mix, thereby retaining the traditional methods of care provisions.
If you need to apply for Direct Payment visit UK Government page here for more information and guidance.
Q – Can I get Direct Payment support from Camden Disability Action?
A – We don’t provide support directly to people who the Council provide Direct payments to. However, we know a great organisation in Camden who does and that organisation is called Personalisation Support in Camden (PSIC). PSIC is the organisation responsible for providing support for all service users (aged 18 to 55) who receive Direct Payments from Camden Social Services or who receive Personal Health Budgets from the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). You can find details on how you can get them to support you by visiting their website here
Q – What are Personal Health Budgets?
A – A Personal Health Budget is an amount of money allocated to support your identified health and wellbeing needs. This is planned and agreed between you and your local NHS team. The aim is to give Disabled People and people with long-term health conditions greater choice and control over their healthcare and support.
Personalisation Support in Camden (PSIC) can also provide support around personal health budgets, contact them here
Q – Where can I get advice about getting into employment?
A – You should ask to see a Disability Employment Adviser at your local Jobcentre. To find the jobcentre close to you please enter your postcode in the search box on the Department of Work and Pension’s website here.
Your search result will direct you to your local jobcentre where an adviser will be able to help you find a job or gain new skills and tell you about disability friendly employers in your area. You can find more information about looking for work on the Gov.UK website here.
There is also information on Camden Council Local Offer website. Follow this link and you will find employment, apprenticeship, supported internship and other related information to help you along the way.
Making complaints about services
Q – How can I make a complaint about Health Services?
A – If you’re not happy with the care or treatment you’ve received or you’ve been refused treatment for a condition, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated, and be given a full and prompt reply. The NHS Constitution explains your right, you can read about those rights here
The complaints document can be read here
Most issues can be resolved without you having to make a formal complaint. Try having an informal chat with your doctor or a member of staff first. For example, if you have problems booking a GP appointment speak to the practice manager about it. If you are worried about something during your hospital outpatient appointment talk to one of the nurses or the clinic manager.
If this doesn’t solve your problem, then you should make a formal complaint to your service provider. If you cannot make a complaint yourself, then you can ask someone else to do it for you.
However, if you are not comfortable about complaining to the service provider directly, or you are unhappy with their response, then you can make a complaint to the commissioner of the services.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who is independent of the NHS and Government.
There is plenty of information on their website which you can read here
You may also want to contact Healthwatch Camden to find out if they can help you go through the process, visit their website here
Q – How can I make a complaint about Social Care Services?
A – If you have a complaint about a private or voluntary care provider, the organisation to contact is the Care Quality Commission. Their website is a rich source of information and the page to need can be reached here
If your complaint is about Council’s social services, you can use the statutory complaints system. The Council should respond to your complaint within 20 working days. They will also inform you of how long your complaint is likely to take to investigate.
If you are not satisfied with the response you received from them, you are entitled to ask the independent Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) to investigate. The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about local councils. Further information is available on the LGO website here
Transitioning into Adulthood
Q – I am a young disabled person looking for information that will prepare me for adult life, where should I go?
A – The journey from childhood into adulthood usually starts in year 9. Many disabled young people want to live their lives like their non-disabled peers and it’s important for young people to be supported to make informed choices. The starting point is to understand the Social Model of Disability. There are loads of articles you can read about the social model, starting with our brief description of it in our information Guides.
The Social Model of Disability will show you that the problem is not you but how society is structured and organised. It is not about having an impairment but about society disabling disabled people by not taking our impairments or differences into consideration.
You can find more information here about your journey from childhood to adulthood.
Another useful organisation to go to is SENDDIAS Camden. An impartial Service which is confidential, free and operates at arms-length from Camden Council. You can also find information about how they can support and help you understand your rights under the Care Act 2014 here