The mother of a disabled man who starved to death after he was found “fit for work” and lost his out-of-work disability benefits has called for ministers to face criminal charges. Jill Gant says work and pensions ministers should be tried for misconduct in public office for failing to take action that could have saved the life of her son, Mark Wood. She spoke out after signing a letter, drawn up by the Green Party and backed by Disabled People Against Cuts, that calls on work and pensions secretary Damian Green to order an independent inquiry into the links between his department’s procedures and the deaths of benefit claimants. The party has produced a dossier of 50 cases in which the deaths of benefit claimants have been linked to decisions taken by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Mark Wood starved to death in 2013 after being found ineligible for employment and support allowance (ESA), even though he had never been able to cope with the demands of a job and his GP had
Source: Mother of ‘fit for work’ victim calls for ministers to face criminal charges | DisabledGo News and Blog
Healthcare professionals who carry out face-to-face assessments of benefit claimants have lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations, according to a two-month Disability News Service (DNS) investigation.
The investigation has compiled evidence from more than 20 disabled people who have contacted DNS over the last year or have commented on previous DNS news stories to claim that their assessors – usually qualified nurses – lied repeatedly in reports they produced for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The evidence compiled during the investigation suggests a far-reaching, institutional problem that stretches across DWP and the two private sector contractors – Atos Healthcare and Capita – that assess eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP) on its behalf.
Source: PIP INVESTIGATION: Assessment reports show widespread dishonesty by nurses | DisabledGo News and Blog
Atos appears to be committing a crime against the disabled and sick with the connivance of the Government and the Department of Work and Pensions. A theft of needed benefits to maintain a reasonable life.
If the same degree of actions were metered to Foreign Aid how much would be paid out.
Let me raise a glass to your festive generosity. You, the taxpayer, have showered your charity on the needy and deserving: otherwise known as Atos and Capita, two private companies that have been given more than £500m of your money since 2013.
Your munificence is boundless: you don’t expect returns from your donations, given to these companies to provide effective personal independence payment assessments (PIP) for disabled people. No: despite years of being solemnly told that there simply isn’t enough money to properly fund services and the welfare state, you have made it your mission to look after the hard-done-by shareholders of state-dependent companies.
Within these contracts to Atos and Capita there should be a quality standard in that if an appeal is won by the claimants then these organisations should have to pay back some or all of their fees received. This would go some way the ensure that the assessments were subject to good quality, for if they were then the appeal success rate would not be so high, or is it the benefits themselves are not fit for purpose as well as the organisations conducting the assessments.
How it is on the other side of the desk, no one being a claimant or an assessor should be put in that situation. For goodness sake the Government and the DWP should come to the sharp end and see for themselves what they are doing to people or is it that they do not care.