Archives for posts with tag: DWP

A disabled women says she was left to sit in her own urine for nearly two hours after her plight was ignored by a healthcare professional carrying out a disability benefit assessment.

Maria Lane has spoken up about the “devastating” experience she endured during her personal independence payment (PIP) assessment, in the hope that other disabled people will not have to go through similar experiences.

She told – and showed – the assessor just 10 minutes into the assessment that she had had an accident and had emptied her bladder into her incontinence pad, and that urine was leaking into her trousers.

But she said the female assessor – who works for the government contractor Atos – “looked for a second at the pad” and then continued typing.

Atos has now launched an investigation.

For nearly two hours, she was forced to continue answering questions, with the assessor warning her whenever she failed to do so that if she did not respond she would have to return for another assessment.

Maria Lane has a number of long-term health conditions, including diabetes, osteoarthritis – which affects all of her joints and has spread into her spine – sciatica, a slipped disc, high blood pressure, and depression.

She is waiting for a major operation on her bladder, because of severe incontinence which means she has to wear pads permanently.

 

Source: Woman ‘forced to sit in her own urine for two hours’ by PIP assessor – Black Triangle Campaign


What you will read may be very distressing for you, but we are looking at the worst-case scenario and identifying measures to help you and other claimants.
It would be good to have some feedback on the Health and Work Conversations from people who have made an ESA claim. More we know about it, and more we can fight this.
What you should not do, is to decide not to claim ESA. That is what DWP wants you to do.
Some documents released by the DWP have shown the direction of travel in terms of claiming ESA under UC.
Under the old regime, a person wishing to claim ESA was placed in the ESA assessment phase, attracting the lowest ESA rate (JSA rate), and also no conditionality, and this until a Work Capability Assessment could decide whether the claimant was fit or unfit for work.
The Work and Health Conversation
Under Universal Credit, a person wishing to claim ESA will be first called for a Health and Work Conversation (HWC). This conversation is basically a Work Focus Interview, and is mandatory, which means that a claimant can be sanctioned for not attending. Attending does not only mean being physically present at the interview but also fulfilling all the requirements set by DWP for a WFI:
Regulation 57 of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008:
57.—(1) A claimant is regarded as having taken part in a work-focused interview if the claimant—
(a) attends for the interview at the place and at the date and time notified in accordance with regulation 56;
(b) provides information, if requested by the Secretary of State, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (2);
(c) participates in discussions to the extent the Secretary of State considers necessary, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (3);
(d) assists the Secretary of State in the completion of an action plan.
 (2) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(b) are—
(a) the claimant’s educational qualifications and vocational training;
(b) the claimant’s work history;
(c) the claimant’s aspirations for future work;
(d) the claimant’s skills that are relevant to work;
(e) the claimant’s work-related abilities;
(f) the claimant’s caring or childcare responsibilities; and
(g) any paid or unpaid work that the claimant is undertaking.
(3) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(c) are—

Source: Nobody is Unfit for Work – Black Triangle Campaign


Activists ‘horrified’ by universal credit rules forcing sick claimants into work activity  

“Very dangerous” rules are forcing severely-ill people applying for the government’s new universal credit to look for jobs and take part in training, even though their GPs have said they are not fit for work, “horrified” disabled activists have warned.

The rules – which have never been announced or publicised by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – apply to new universal credit claimants who are waiting for an assessment of their “fitness for work”.

And they mean they could have their benefits sanctioned for up to three months if they fail to follow strict instructions from a job coach with no medical training.

They are forced to take part in work-related activity, such as a work-focused interviews and “work preparation”, which could mean training or employment programmes.

They could also face sanctions if they fail to show they have searched for a job for up to 35 hours a week, and have not made themselves available for paid work.

Potential sanctions will continue to hang over their heads until their fitness for work is eventually tested through the notorious work capability assessment (WCA), which could take months.

Dr Stephen Carty, medical adviser to the Scottish grassroots campaign group Black Triangle (BT), who

 

Source: Shock as Universal Credit rules treat sick as ‘fit for all work-related activity’ – against GPs explicit orders – Black Triangle Campaign


Perfectlyfadeddelusions

I’ve been thinking about for a while, especially when I was at Maximus under the ESA WRAG programme the government and DWP felt I was capable of work. I have also seen how stretched the Mental Health Trust in my area is, and how long people have had to wait for therapy services, add to that the amounts of cuts the government has made to the services as well.

My idea is to have all the charities, businesses, and departments work together so that people with mental health problems could get help, but also bring more to NHS Trusts. I know this is something you are working on at the moment, and it is great to see that local places in the area are trying to help. Therefore a lot more people could get help during waiting for treatment from local community centres, and community therapies. As well as having…

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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 accused of ignoring a public consultation and ploughing ahead with plans that will make their “fitness for work” testing regime even more stressful and unfair for sick and disabled people.

A presentation delivered by two senior Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants earlier this month suggests that ministers have decided – as many disabled activists feared after the publication of last year’s green paper – to introduce new benefit sanctions for sick and disabled people with the highest support needs.

The presentation at a DWP “Operational Stakeholder Engagement Forum” appears to confirm that the government had decided how it would reform the system of out-of-work disability benefits before its “consultation” process had finished on 17 February.

The government had claimed that it wanted to make the work capability assessment (WCA) less of an ordeal for claimants, with work and pensions secretary Damian Green telling last October’s Conservative party conference he wanted to support those disabled people who cannot work, and “sweep away unnecessary stress and bureaucracy which weighs them down”.

But slides from the presentation appear to show that his new regime will be even harsher, and that many employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants with the highest support needs and barriers to work will for the first time face having their benefits sanctioned if they do not co-operate with the regime.

The slides show DWP has already begun introducing a compulsory, face-to-face “health and work conversation” (HWC) with a jobcentre work coach that will apply to nearly all new claimants of ESA, weeks or even months before they go through the WCA process to decide whether they are not fit for work and eligible for the benefit.

Source: DWP presentation on ESA plans ‘confirms worst fears’ about green paper – Black Triangle Campaign

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