Archives for posts with tag: Department of Work and Pensions

This current Tory Government and probably the previous Tory Governments and New Labour are promoting Government euthanasia. By this I mean they are and were creating policies that remove benefits from persons with disabilities so that they cannot survive. Therefore they are creating situations where their death is almost inevitable. In doing so they are reducing those on benefits because on death the benefits cease, if not before due the benefits for their existence being wrongly withdrawn.

Euthanasia by Government policies.

Same Difference

Scope, the charity for disabled people, tweeted an interesting number when the general election was announced. There are, it said, 13 million disabled people in Britain. Some 89 per cent have said they will vote. 

The reason that number is worth paying attention to is that if the 89 per cent are true to their word, and if they use their franchise to hold the Government to account for its brutal treatment of disabled people, it might just spell trouble for Theresa May’s dreams of a three-figure majority. 

Now, let me make one thing clear at the outset. I’m not about to say who you should vote for. Journalists too often do that. I would simply invite you to consider the Government’s record when it comes to disability.

If I were to take on the role of prosecuting ministers over that, I would struggle to find somewhere to start. So long would…

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Alice Kirby tells Ruth Hunt how DWP benefit assessment practices contribute to the deterioration of claimants’ mental health, causing an increase in suicidal feelings

Of late, there have been great strides made regarding the understanding of mental illness and suicide, attempted suicide and suicidal feelings. Unfortunately, this hasn’t reached the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), despite its “disability-confident” slogans.

You would think it would want to avoid any more bad press but this dysfunctional and dangerous department can’t seem to help it, especially with regard to the now-notorious Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment.

Recent research conducted by Jemina Napier from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University has found that the ESA assessment process “caused a deterioration in people’s mental health, which individuals did not recover from. In the worst case, the WCA experience led to thoughts of suicide.”

Debbie Abrahams, shadow secretary for Work and Pensions, said this proved the system is “not only unfit for purpose but is causing harm to some disabled people.”

The despair and suicidal feelings some people experience are hardly surprising as they live for months with the threat of financial insecurity hanging over them. Once on such benefit, they still face arbitrary and bewildering decisions to sanction them by removing their benefit for a period of time.

A freedom of information request in 2013 showed that six out of 10 sanctions were given to those with a mental health condition and/or a learning disability — so when Tories talk about the “safety net’ for the vulnerable, those affected know it’s so threadbare many fall through.

Suicide and suicidal feelings are complex — often there is more than a single reason why someone takes their own life. Research has pointed to various indicators that would alert a nurse or doctor. Financial insecurity or the threat of financial insecurity — the brown envelope on the doormat — and previous suicide attempts should be an automatic red flag.

Thankfully, most organisations and mental health professionals have moved on from the days where suicidal feelings or attempted suicide were seen as just “attention seeking.”

However, the DWP is one of those organisations still stuck in the past. Its WCA and PIP assessments are based on an outdated medical model of disability, with little interest being shown in what actually disables someone.

It takes a lot of courage for someone to reply to questions about suicidal feelings and/or suicide attempts especially in the high-pressured environment of a benefits assessment, but we have to ask why these questions are asked at all.

Source: Pushed to the Brink – Black Triangle Campaign


More than 50,000 disabled people have had specially-adapted vehicles taken away by the Government, a charity has said. The Motability scheme entitles disabled people to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair using part of their benefit. But thousands of people are now being denied Motability as they transfer over from disability living allowance (DLA) to the controversial new disability benefit PIP. The latest figures from the Motability charity show 51,000 people have been taken off the scheme after a reassessment for personal independence payments (PIP) since it launched in 2013 – 45% of all cases. Of these, more than 3,000 have since rejoined after the decision to refuse them PIP was overturned. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says a fraction of PIP decisions are overturned, while those taken off the Motability scheme are eligible for £2,000 of support. But charity Muscular Dystrophy UK said 900 cars are now being taken away every week, as more people are rejected

Source: Thousands of disabled people lose special cars in controversial new scheme | DisabledGo News and Blog


With a clampdown on PIP and related benefits, students such as Lauren Hall are struggling to finish their degrees For three years, Lauren Hall, a final year undergraduate studying French and German at Jesus College, Oxford, has relied on disability benefits to help her through her degree. Hall, 23, is on the autistic spectrum and has coordination problems, anxiety, and fatigue from her medication. She struggles to work long hours, or cook and shop for herself. Her personal independence payment (PIPs), enabled her to buy pre-made food – but after she was reassessed last June, her benefits were stopped. When she asked the Department for Work and Pensions to reconsider, Hall says the fact she was at university was used as evidence she didn’t need the benefit. “They stated that I ‘evidently’ had no issues with socialising or independent living, despite me outlining that going outside entails physical exhaustion,” she says. Hall was already finding it hard to study with her disability –

Source: Disabled students fear for their future as independence payments cut | DisabledGo News and Blog


Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – Mar.30: This is another example of governments using ‘ Third Parties ‘ under Contract to provide services and designing the agreement in favour of PROFIT and allowing the government to AVOID a Negligence Claims by ‘ Passing the Buck ‘ The independent report blasts the “confusing” and “stressful” assessments used by thousands of people to get Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

MirrorOnline reports that a damning review for the government slams ‘erosion of trust’ in cruel disability benefit tests

Soaring appeal rates are “clearly eroding trust” in the Tories’ cruel disability benefit tests, a damning review for the government has found.

The independent report blasts the “confusing” and “stressful” assessments used by thousands of people to get Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

PIP, which helps with living costs, launched in 2013 to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – but a…

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Ministers have been forced to scrap a drastic change to benefit rules that meant seriously ill claimants found unfairly “fit for work” were no longer allowed to take an extended period …

Source: Ministers forced into sickness benefit u-turn over ‘sanction fodder’ measure


The PIP assessment certainly needs reforming and be flexible to related to the numerous conditions and the levels of severity which means the disabled people encounter extra costs. This requires a level of understanding from each and every assessor, instead of the judgmental decisions people are encountering at present..

This all assumes that the DWP under direction from the Government care enough about the persons who are subjected to these assessments to ensure the system is fair to all.

Scope's Blog

The Government recently announced changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) that would tighten up access to PIP for disabled people. We are concerned that this will result in disabled people missing out on vital support to help meet some of the additional costs they face as a result of their impairment or condition, on average £550 a month.

Figures today show that 65 per cent of claimants are successful at tribunal when they challenge a decision on their PIP assessment.

This shows that the PIP assessment is not currently working effectively for disabled people. Below, Abbi, a young disabled woman, shares her experiences of the process of applying for PIP.

Abbi’s story

When the little brown envelope informing me of the need to apply for PIP dropped through my letterbox, I was nervous.

Since first qualifying for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in 2009, my health has deteriorated. Both the benefit…

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Evolve politics have published a story today showing information from the DWP that they were forced to provide. This is a great article and shows exactly how the DWP stop the truth being reported a…

Source: Proof DWP silence the media.


This is a good idea providing the panels with have some form of authority in that their findings will be recognised and acted upon. Or will it be just another paper exercise, tick box that will be conveniently ignored.

For the Service Users are the experts and not the Ministers and their Civil Servants who are just working to a political purpose.

Same Difference

  • I receive regular representations from disability organisations and hon. Members regarding personal independence payments. As I have previously stated, we want to do more to create real-time feedback across the whole country. We will shortly be introducing service user panels to feed directly back from claimants on PIP and employment and support allowance.

 

  • Unfortunately, I have to tell my hon. Friend that I am still receiving complaints from constituents about the procedures regarding personal independence payments, so what is she doing to improve the process, reduce delays and support people through what is often a traumatic assessment process?

     
     
  • The goal is clearly swift, accurate and admin-lite assessments. Good progress has already been made in many areas—for example, reducing the average…

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When launching a new or revision of benefit it is usual practice to do this, initially, via a pilot where any problems can be noticed and sorted before an enlarged rollout. It is my understanding that such a pilot was under took for Universal Credit and with the degree of current problems should not been subject to the larger rollout until the problems had been sorted. To reduce the intendant rollout should never have been considered, let alone allowed to occur. To many if not all of the claimants the benefits they receive are their only sources of income and they should not be expected to exist on no income for any period of time, let alone 6 weeks.

This is gross incompetence on behalf DWP and to say they are working with local authorities to provide extra support at a time when the Government is drastically cutting local authority funding is adding insult to injury. DWP have for some many years proved they and their processes are ‘not fit for purpose’.

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