As it has been stated before that this whole processed is geared to produced as much stress as possible and in many instances, if not all, the assessors and the system is not open to reason.
Unlike our legal system, where you are presumed innocent until proved guilty, the benefit system appears to make everyone guilty until found innocent.
As though the conditions people have are not enough to cause concern and stress, this benefit system only adds to it, thus making people feel even worse.
If people are already distress and/or stressed, this additional stress could make a person worse, which could result to create a situation where they are in a state where they have no hope, which is a state where persons could take their own lives. Creating situations which is the final straw, until you have been there, you will not appreciate those feeling of extreme despair.
Has the system been designed to create this? It certainly makes you wonder, a case of permanently removing people from the benefit system.
Would this Government really do this!
DWP staff shortages are causing thousands of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants to be sent home unseen from health assessment appointments.
Figures revealed by a DWP minister show that in 2018, 5,700 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants attended their health assessment, only to be turned away due to the unavailability of a health professional .
PIP, which replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has been widely condemned by experts, charities, and front-line services, with some saying the controversial new system shows a “lack of humanity” from the Tory government, and has caused a culture of “inherent distrust” of the welfare system.
Source: Thousands turned away from benefit assessments due to staff shortages : Welfare Weekly
Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton MP gave a statement on the 20th of December updating the House of Commons on the progress of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). What seems to have gone largely unreported is that at least 4,600 people who were found to have incorrectly lost their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in 2017, still haven’t been contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The Minister was updating MPs on how decisions from several legal cases that have affected the disability benefit, are now being implemented. From her statement it’s clear that the DWP are doing their best to delay making payments to those who’ve lost out.
She gave an update on the progress of implementing last Decembers High Court ruling that found the PIP assessment guidelines for mental health conditions was discriminatory.Out of 140,000 identified cases, 1000 have been repaid so far. The reason for the low number was due to “the complexity of the process.”
People are encouraged to do all they can to improve their lives and are then penalised for doing so. In many of these instances it is the benefits they receive which enable them to participate in the wellbeing activities and when these benefits are withdrawn due to their increased wellbeing they go back to how they were when they had not undertaken the wellbeing tasks, therefore they then have to go through the benefit process again.
Is this not ridiculous?
Yes, there are persons within the benefit system who should not be there, but these persons are more likely to know their way through the system and still retain their benefits, while genuine claimants fall by the wayside.
It is these non-genuine claimants, the real scroungers, that should be caught in the system, not the genuine claimants and the scroungers will be minimal in number and not the majority which the Government and the media tend to imply.
A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) minister chose to release some staggering figures during the afternoon of Friday 20 July; essentially dropping them and running off for the weekend.
The DWP: sneaking things out on a Friday
how many people with epilepsy who were in receipt of Disability Living Allowance [DLA] did not receive an award as a result of a reassessment for personal independence payments [PIP]…
Newton’s response on Friday 20 July was shocking. She said:
Since the introduction of… (PIP) a total of 6,330 decisions on claims with an epilepsy condition listed as the main health condition have been made as part of migration from… (DLA) to PIP. Of these, 3,380 did not receive any benefit award at the initial assessment and 1,120 of these people subsequently appealed their decision. Of those who appealed their decision 870 cases were settled in favour of the claimant.
This means the DWP denied PIP to over 53% of people living with epilepsy who previously had DLA. Moreover, of the 33% of people who appealed after the DWP denied them PIP, a massive 77% of people ended up being given the benefit.
In a seeming attempt to gloss over these figures, Newton claimed:
Under PIP, 29 per cent of working age claimants with epilepsy recorded as their primary disabling condition receive the highest level of support compared to 6 per cent under Disability Living Allowance when PIP was introduced.
The government’s decision to stop regular benefit reassessments for some people with “the most severe, lifelong conditions” shows that replacing disability living allowance (DLA) with personal independence payment (PIP) was a waste of time and money, it has been claimed.
Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, confirmed this week that claimants with such conditions who are awarded the highest level of support under PIP – if their needs are expected to stay the same or increase – will no longer be subjected to repeat assessments.
Instead, they will have to undergo a “light touch review” every 10 years.
The announcement confirms a suggestion made by the government in its response to a report on the disability benefit assessment regime by the Commons work and pensions committee earlier this year.
In that response, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) suggested it would change guidance to its civil servants to ensure that PIP claimants receiving “the highest level of support get an award duration that is appropriate to the condition and needs arising”.
Now Newton has confirmed that this guidance will be changed, with a new version to be published later this summer.
She said: “We’ve listened to feedback from organisations and the public, and this common-sense change will ensure that the right protections are in place while minimising any unnecessary stress or bureaucracy.
“The government will be working with stakeholders to design the light touch review process so that it adds value for both our claimants and the department – for example, by providing information on services available and ensuring that contact or bank details have not changed.”
Despite some claims in the media that this will mean all people with conditions such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis will no longer face PIP reassessments, this is unlikely to be the government’s intention.
A new campaign by the charity MS Society is calling on the DWP to scrap a “senseless and unfounded” policy that’s harming claimants and costing the NHS millions.
The 20 metre rule
MS Society represents people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a “condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord”. It causes a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, trouble walking, numbness, muscle stiffness / spasms, and problems with balance.
The charity’s campaign is focused on scrapping the ’20 metre rule’ which governs access to the mobility component of the PIP disability benefit. A press release for the campaign seen by The Canary states:
People with MS have been increasingly losing vital support since Personal Independence Payment (PIP) began in 2013. The biggest change has been the introduction of the 20 metre rule, used in PIP assessments to determine eligibility for the higher rate of mobility support. Under the previous benefit – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the measure was 50 metres. Now, if you can walk just one step over 20 metres, roughly the length of two double-decker buses, you won’t qualify for higher level of mobility support. Under DLA 94% of people with MS were receiving this higher rate but this has fallen to just 66% under PIP.
The charity has also released a campaign video highlighting the callousness of the 20 metre policy:
A mum whose young daughter has a twisted spine and only one fully functioning lung claims her girl has had her benefits stopped because she ‘has some mobility and goes to a mainstream school ‘.
Charlotte Ormrod, 11, has double curvature scoliosis, which means she struggles to walk and relies heavily on a wheelchair.
She also has a deformed hip and ends up in hospital regularly due to a weak immune system.
Since her diagnosis last year, Charlotte has been admitted to hospital 12 times due to problems with her lungs, her mum says.
But following a reassessment by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Charlotte has been told she’s no longer entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for her personal care, Chronicle Live reports.
Julie, 44, claims one of the reasons it is stopping the benefit is because the youngster attends Albany Primary School, a mainstream school in Washington, Tyne and Wear.
Julie said: “I’m absolutely disgusted.
“She is entitled to that money. I’d maybe understand if it was an adult but she is just a child going through this.
“They said she was not entitled because she has some mobility and goes to a mainstream school.
The SNP’s Westminster Social Justice spokesperson has echoed concerns raised in a new report which highlights that disabled people across the UK are facing “substantial costs” for their cost of living, due in part to the UK government’s flawed social security system.
The report published by the disability charity Scope, found that on average disabled people face extra costs of £570 a month related to their condition – with the figure rising to £632 in Scotland. The findings also show that for every one in five disabled people, extra costs amount to over £1,000 per month.
Neil Gray MP warned that the current Personal Independence Payment (PIP) infrastructure is simply not fit for purpose, and that the UK government’s “tick-box exercises” are failing people with disabilities across the UK, and ignoring many aspects of their experience living with a disability.
The SNP MP pointed to Scottish Government plans to put in place the necessary infrastructure to take on responsibility for the provision of PIP assessments, as well as creating a new social security system in Scotland based on dignity and respect.
Source: Tories failing disabled people over ‘substantial’ cost of living : Welfare Weekly