Why are we learning about disabled Errol Graham TWO YEARS after the DWP stopped his benefits and he starved to death? | Vox Political


Someone did a good job of hushing up this abomination. If John Pring hadn’t reported the inquest on Disability News Service, we might never have learned how the Department for Work and Pensio…

Source: Why are we learning about disabled Errol Graham TWO YEARS after the DWP stopped his benefits and he starved to death? | Vox Political

Ministers are pushing ahead with controversial plans to merge two disability benefit assessments into one


Is this another Government Benefit disaster waiting to happen, for while the theory sounds sound the practical aspects never appear to go right for the benefit claimants.

Is this just accidental or is it Government policy?

Govt Newspeak

Ministers are pushing ahead with controversial plans to merge two disability benefit assessments into one, despite concerns raised by disabled campaigners.

Therese Coffey speaking to the work and pensions committee

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) wants to offer a single face-to-face assessment – with the agreement of the claimant – that would replace and merge the current work capability assessment (WCA) and the assessment for personal independence payment (PIP).

A parliamentary petition calling on DWP to abandon the plans was signed by more than 7,000 people earlier this year. But the new work and pensions secretary, Therese Coffey, mentioned the proposals as she gave evidence for the first time yesterday (Wednesday) in front of the Commons work and pensions select committee.

In an evidence session marked by apparent frustration and even anger from some opposition MPs, Coffey (pictured) also insisted that – despite repeated and serious concerns raised by disabled activists, campaigners, charities and MPs – the new…

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Civil servants fail to answer key DWP deaths questions


The meeting was a start, but the answers need to be coming, with a significance change of practice to eliminate mistakes, now that would be something.

Govt Newspeak

Civil servants fail to answer key DWP deaths questions after meeting grieving parentsJoy Dove head and shouldersSenior Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants have failed to answer key questions about links between the government’s policies and the deaths of disabled benefit claimants, during a face-to-face meeting with grieving parents.

Emma Haddad, DWP’s director general for service excellence, and Colin Stewart, its work and health director for the north of England, spent more than an hour in Monday’s meeting with Joy Dove and Eric Whiting, the parents of Jodey Whiting.

The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) concluded earlier this year that DWP was guilty of “multiple” and “significant” failings in handling the case of the mother-of-nine, who had her out-of-work disability benefits stopped for missing a work capability assessment (WCA), and took her own life just 15 days later.

During the meeting, Dove asked 13 key questions that had been drafted for her…

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Callous Tories refuse to ease ‘pointlessly cruel’ benefit sanctions regime : Welfare Weekly


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has come under fire after it refused to adopt of series of recommendations that are designed to protect vulnable benefit claimants from financial hardship caused by sanctions.

An investigation by the Work and Pensions Select Committee (WPSC) found that reducing or completely stopping a person’s benefit payments for failure to comply with arbitrary requirments is “pointlessly cruel” and often “counter-productive”.

However, the Government rejected the Commitee’s recommendation that claimants already found to have limited capability for work should be exempt from sanctions.

 

Source: Callous Tories refuse to ease ‘pointlessly cruel’ benefit sanctions regime : Welfare Weekly

Preventable harm and the Work Capability Assessment


Introduced in 2008, the work capability assessment (WCA) is used by the UK government to limit access to the long-term sickness and disability benefit, known as the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The scope of the assessment was increased in 2010.

Extensive evidence suggesting that the WCA is a dangerous and fatally flawed assessment model for disabled and chronically sick people continues to be disregarded by successive governments. This article identifies the influence of American corporate funders with UK welfare reform policies since 1992.

I argue that these influences have shaped the WCA in ways which cause preventable harm in the lives of chronically sick and disabled people, who are dependent upon the ESA for their financial survival. Further, I argue that the ESA assessment process was adopted to encourage the general public to purchase income protection insurance which intentionally undermines the UK welfare state.

Introduction

Successive calls for welfare reform in the UK are not as progressive as they might appear to the outside world. From the point of view of chronically sick and disabled people themselves, the problems started thirty-five years ago under the Thatcher government when privatisation, a consumer model of care and individualism were introduced, arguably to the detriment of disabled people.

 

Source: Preventable harm and the Work Capability Assessment

A mum whose two children were murdered faces eviction thanks to the DWP | The Canary


A woman whose husband murdered her two children now fears eviction thanks to the DWP stripping her benefits.

Her case is indicative of the DWP’s apparent refusal to appreciate the difficulties of living with mental health conditions.

‘Fit for work’

As the Sunday Post reported:

A medical assessor has ruled June Martin is fit for work despite being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression after losing her children, Michelle, 25, and son Ryan, seven.

Martin’s ex-husband murdered their two children in 2008 and is currently serving life in prison. Since findingher children dead, she has struggled to rebuild her life. She suffers from multiple mental health conditions and has felt suicidal at times.

Shocked

Martin was receiving the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) disability benefit until she failed a Work Capability Assessment. The decision was upheld by a tribunal on 20 June. Independent Assessment Services, formerly known as Atos Healthcare, conducted Martin’s assessment. After the tribunal, a spokesperson stated:

Whilst the tribunal accepts Ms Martin has mental health problems and balance problems, the nature and extent of the resulting limitations are insufficient to score the required number of points.

As a result Ms Martin does not qualify for either component of personal independent payment.

But Martin claimed that the assessment was not fit for purpose. She told the Sunday Post:

Neither the assessor or the tribunal last week seemed to want to know about the trauma I suffer daily reliving finding my children posed as if they were asleep in their beds, or pulling back the covers to find them stabbed to death

 

Source: A mum whose two children were murdered faces eviction thanks to the DWP | The Canary

‘Fit for work’ assessor suspended for describing examination that did not take place | DisabledGo News and Blog


An occupational therapist who carried out a “misleading” benefit assessment has been suspended for a year after regulators found she reported carrying out a physical examination of a disabled man that did not take place.

Paru Vekaria has shown no remorse over the incident, in which she stated in a written report for government contractor Maximus that she had carried out a detailed physical examination of the claimant.

But both the claimant – referred to as Service User A – and his daughter, who attended the work capability assessment (WCA) with him, said no such examination had taken place.

As a result of her “misleading” report, Service User A was found fit for work by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and so ineligible for employment and support allowance (ESA).

DWP later rubber-stamped the decision through the mandatory reconsideration process, and it was only at an appeal tribunal eight months later that the decision was overturned and Service User A was found eligible for ESA.

 

Source: \’Fit for work\’ assessor suspended for describing examination that did not take place | DisabledGo News and Blog

You’re losing everything – but you don’t understand why : BBC News


A run of bad luck leaves one man struggling to make sense of the UK benefits system. Very soon he is left with no income and at risk of losing the roof over his head. Can he find his way through a bafflingly complex maze of rules? Put yourself in his shoes.

Your name is Tony Rice. You’re the sort of bloke who gets along with everyone. Always making people laugh. Ever since you left school you’ve been in and out of all sorts of jobs. Manual labour, mostly – builder, dustman, crane driver, painter and decorator. Hawker Siddeley, the aerospace company – you like it there, until the factory shuts.

You split up with your girlfriend so you ask your mum to put you up until you can sort out a flat. Save a few quid. You’re very close to your mum and dad. They’re your best friends, really. Your dad has lung cancer and needs a bit of looking after. You take him for a drive most days because he doesn’t like staying in all the time. He’s like you, not a man to sit about. At one time he worked three jobs, all at once. Still does half an hour each morning in the garden.

So you’re back in the council house in Chingford, north-east London, that you’ve

 

Source: You’re losing everything – but you don’t understand why : BBC News

Concerns over criteria for ‘fitness for work’ reassessment exemptions | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled campaigners have criticised new Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rules that explain which benefit claimants will no longer have to be repeatedly put through the much-criticised “fitness for work” test. DWP announced last month, on the eve of the Conservative party conference in Manchester, that some claimants in the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) – and the equivalent universal credit group – would no longer need to attend “routine reassessments”. Only those with “the most severe and lifelong health conditions or disabilities” will be exempt from reassessments, and they will be told of their exemption when they receive the results of their next work capability assessment (WCA), the test which assesses ESA eligibility. Although DWP declined to release the eligibility criteria for exemptions, the guidelines have now been published by Disability Rights UK, one of the disability organisations that took part in discussions with the government as it

Source: Concerns over criteria for ‘fitness for work’ reassessment exemptions | DisabledGo News and Blog