The UK Government has admitted that many more sick and disabled people were underpaid benefits than previously thought, following a shameful blunder by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that resulted in vulnerable people missing out on thousands of pounds in vital benefit payments.
New estimates published by the DWP on Thursday suggest that as many as 210,000 sick and disabled people were underpaid Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) when transferred from Incapacitity Benefit.
This mean that an extra 30,000 people were underpaid ESA compared to the DWP’s previous estimate of 180,000, with each person affected owed an average of £4,000 in backpayments.
Source: 30,000 extra sick and disabled people underpaid thousands in ESA benefits : Welfare Weekly
Yesterday on Twitter, I posted one of my previous posts – Jobcentre tells GP to stop issuing sick notes to patient assessed as ‘fit for work’ and he died –in which I discuss a letter addressed to a GP regarding a seriously ill patient. It said:
“We have decided your patient is capable of work from and including January 10, 2016.
“This means you do not have to give your patient more medical certificates for employment and support allowance purposes unless they appeal against this decision.”
The patient, James Harrison, had been declared “fit for work” and the letter stated that he should not get further medical certificates.
However, 10 months after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacted his doctor without telling him, he died, aged 55. James clearly wasn’t fit for work.
Source: DWP tells GPs not to support benefit claimants with sick notes : Welfare Weekly
Yet another DWP atrocity, but what is happening to all these assessors who appear to be unable to conduct assessments correctly.
How can a person who is unable to do basic simple maths be assessed by the assessor, who said she could work out a complex budget.
Are theses assessor still assessing, been or being retrained or have they been dismissed.
A DWP spokesperson said: “Universal Credit staff give tailored support to people with learning disabilities and all our assessors have significant clinical experience.” How with all the evidence can a DWP spokesperson say this?
The DWP, certainly have some explaining to do.
All assessments should be suspended, until every DWP assessor is questioned about any assessments they have incorrectly completed.
If this is not done we can only assume that these assessors are incorrectly assessing with the complete full support of the DWP.
Public trust in the DWP’s ability to protect the poorest and most vulnerable people in society has become so damaged that it is no longer fit for purpose and should be axed, a leading thinktank has suggested.
In a new report, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Demos says welfare reforms first introduced by the Tory-Libdem coalition and then continued by the Tory government have “caused more harm than good”, and demonstrate a “lack of compassion” that has become synonymous with the DWP and the welfare system.
The thinktank states: “The Conservative government and its predecessors promised transformation, yet their changes have amounted to little more than palliative tweaks.
“Universal credit and the replacement of incapacity benefit with ESA caused more harm than good.
Source: DWP is unfit for purpose and should be axed, says thinktank : Welfare Weekly
A truly worrying situation and one that could be happening within the UK. The DWP situation with Benefit claims and while the appeal process is reversing many of the wrongful dismissed cases, will this always be so. Not if we implement the American system as we appear to be doing.
It is very worrying and this should be noticed by the DWP, but will it be, I fear not.
More than 4,500 sick and disabled people were wrongly refused benefits despite having a “good reason” for missing assessments, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has admitted today.
The startling admission was slipped out in a statement to MPs as they prepared to head off for their winter break, in what some campaigners have described as a ‘deliberate attempt to bury bad news’.
“We expect around 4,600 people to gain as a result of this review exercise”, the statement says. However, the Independent reports that many of these people have yet to identified.
Source: More than 4,500 sick and disabled people wrongly refused benefits, DWP admit : Welfare Weekly
Record numbers of sick and disabled people are winning appeals against cruel decisions to reduce or axe their vital disability benefits, official figures show.
Figures released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) reveal that a record 72% of negative Personal Indepence Payment (PIP) decisions are overturned in favour of claimants on appeal.
The same percentage (72%) of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) are also successfully overturned at appeal stage, with critics and opponents of the disability benefit assessment system labelling the two benefits as “not fit for purpose”.
MoJ figures show 20,133 people who appealed a decision to change or deny their PIP between July and September 2018, of which 14,581 won their case at tribunal.
Meanwhile, 13,508 people appealed a decision to change or deny their ESA payments, of which 9,684 also won their case on appeal.
Source: Record disability benefit appeal success rates show this ‘cruel’ system is ‘unfit for purpose’ : Welfare Weekly
The authorities are saying they understand and are apologising but still no concessions.
They are sheep following the rules with no regard to the people who are affected by these rules. Why can there not be some discretion in applying these rules.
Staff working for a discredited benefit assessments contractor threatened to call the police after a claimant asked about the mental health qualifications of the nurse who was assessing his eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP).
Atos has now launched an investigation into what happened at the assessment centre in Leeds, which saw the nurse abandon Kris Weston’s assessment after just a couple of minutes.
She did not realise that Weston, a composer and trained sound engineer, had been recording the assessment.
Weston began the assessment last month by telling the nurse that he had stayed up all night because of the extreme anxiety he experiences when he has to deal with institutions.
He had spent three days putting together a 10-page description of his complex mental health problems – and what he says is the “continual failure to even listen to his problems by multiple institutions” – in the hope that the assessor would help him secure the financial and health support he needed.
He explained that he had been unfairly described in the past as “violent” by the NHS after a telephone argument, although she told him that Atos had no record of this.
She appears to have wrongly blamed the decision to refuse him a home assessment on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), when such decisions are taken by the assessment companies, Atos and Capita.
Source: Atos threatens to call police after claimant questions PIP assessor’s mental health training | Govt Newspeak