Disabled campaigners believe they are “one step closer to justice”, despite losing a legal case against the government over the potentially ruinous costs of taking discrimination cases through the courts. A high court judge yesterday (Wednesday) dismissed an application for judicial review […]
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
A disabled campaigner has won his third legal case against separate government departments over their failure to provide information in accessible formats.
Graham Kirwan had already secured victories over the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health.
DWP previously paid him £1,700 damages for refusing to communicate by email over his personal independence payment claim, and in 2015 he was responsible for persuading NHS England to publish its first accessible information standard, thanks to another legal action.
Now he has secured a confidential sum of damages from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) over its failure to provide accessible versions of the forms he needs to take legal action for disability discrimination under the Equality Act.
Kirwan, who is partially-sighted, has computer software that can magnify text, but it does not usually work with scanned or PDF documents.
He had tried in 2015 to access forms from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) “form finder” web pages but they were only available in PDF format.
He asked HMCTS to make all its forms available in both PDF and Word formats on its website but was told instead to contact his local court every time he required a form.
But this “reasonable adjustment” meant it sometimes took six weeks for a form to arrive, while on most occasions he never received it.
Great for Freedom of Information requests (FOI), for without them we would not know details as these.
Now we need to restore all the cuts to legal aid so those who have suffered miscarriages of justice have an avenue to bring back justice.
Global security giant G4S faced a record £2.8m of fines for breaching its contract with the Ministry of Justice last year, HuffPost UK can reveal.
The latest figures mean G4S has been fined almost £7m since 2010, but the firm has refused to say how many separate fines that represents or what they were for.
Lawyers and campaigners have raised fresh concerns about the government’s approach to providing legal advice to people who need help with discrimination and special educational needs (SEN) cases, after ministers abandoned efforts to award new contracts in those areas.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) had been seeking organisations to take on contracts to provide advice from 1 September on discrimination and education cases through the Civil Legal Advice (CLA) service.
But it has now announced that it has abandoned those efforts because there were not enough “compliant” bids from organisations seeking the new contracts.
There are now fears that the government’s difficulty in finding organisations willing to take on the CLA services from September could make it even harder for disabled people to secure the legal advice they need.
Following the passing of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) in 2013, it became possible to seek government-funded advice and assistance on discrimination and SEN issues only through the CLA telephone “gateway”.
But campaigners say the introduction of the telephone gateway has had a dramatic negative impact on the ability of disabled people – such as those with communication-related impairments, mental health conditions or learning difficulties – to access legal advice and support.
Jeanine Blamires, who gave evidence two years ago to the House of Lords Equality Act 2010 a
The Supreme Court has ruled that the government broke the law by introducing fees for disabled people and others who take cases for discrimination or other illegal or unfair treatment to employment tribunals. The court ruled unanimously yesterday (Wednesday) that the government’s introduction of fees of up to £1,200 to take a case against an employer to an employment tribunal, in July 2013, was unlawful under UK and European Union law because it “effectively prevents access to justice”. The court also ruled that the introduction of the fees by the government discriminated against women. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has confirmed that it will scrap the fees and provide “full refunds” to those who have paid tribunal fees since 2013, but implied in a statement that it could reintroduce fees at a different level. It pointed to the statement by one of the Supreme Court justices that fees “can, in principle, reasonably be considered to be a justifiable way of making resources available for the justice system
Horrendous news reported by the Guardian this morning that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has denied compensation to around seven hundred children for sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of adults – even after those adults have been jailed:
Ruling will halt thousands of applications involving those with learning disabilities who need treatment involving loss of liberty.