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The figures cover a period beginning under David Cameron and ending with Theresa May [Image: PA].

The Department for Work and Pensions’ current system of assessing the sick and disabled for benefits is on a par with medieval tests for witchcraft*.

Back in the day, people accused of being witches were submerged in the nearest river using a ducking stool, on the expectation that their evil powers would allow them to survive. When they died, the conclusion was that they weren’t witches after all. This was, of course, no comfort to the dead suspect or their bereaved family.

Now, people with illnesses that are expected to end their lives in the near future are being deprived of Personal Independence Payments because “they were expected to live beyond six months”.

What if they don’t?

The DWP will conclude that they were terminally ill after all – but you can bet there will be no comfort for the dead claimant or even their bereaved family as the DWP will not even offer a back-payment of benefit.

This is despite the possibility that deprivation of benefit may contribute to the deaths of claimants.

It is a sick, sick system.

This Writer would advise anybody who has lost benefits to start going through the appeal process. If the DWP’s treatment of you affects your mental health in such a way that you consider self-harm, or even suicide – write a letter to them, spelling it out, and give a copy to a near family member or friend. And keep a diary of ways your health is affected because of the DWP’s decision.

The government gets away with this treatment of innocent people because it has been able to deny responsibility for what happens to them. If you make this denial implausible, these people will have to think again – possibly while facing criminal charges.

Thousands of people with progressive diseases and mental illness have lost their disability benefits in a cruel Tory cut.

Charities sounded the alarm tonight over a “devastating” shake-up which has axed or reduced 230,000 people’s Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Around 110,000 DLA claimants who were reassessed for the new benefit – 21% of the total – have been rejected since PIP launched in 2013.

Another 121,000 – 23% of those reassessed – were given PIP but at a lower rate than their previous benefit.

Those who lost out include many with progressive diseases – around 450 Parkinson’s sufferers, 3,069 people with multiple sclerosis and 4,450 suffering unspecified ‘malignant diseases’.

Others with progressive conditions who saw benefits axed or reduced were around 294 cystic fibrosis sufferers, 36 people with motor neurone disease and 1,617 people classed as “terminally ill”.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said those in the last group were found to no longer be “terminally ill” because they were expected to live beyond six months.

Mental health charity Mind warned 74,580 former DLA claimants with four key psychiatric disorders lost some or all of their benefits – 55% of all those who were reassessed.

PIP was denied or cut back for around 2,525 blind people, 570 people with AIDS, 128 haemophiliacs and 19 double amputees.

Also hit were around 20,050 people with back pain, 34,545 with arthritis, 8,084 with chronic pain syndromes and 10,725 with learning difficulties.

All figures are approximate because the DWP rounded the total number of claims for each condition to the nearest hundred.

The figures, covering April 2013 to October 2016 and compiled by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), were slipped out without fanfare on the government’s website.

Source: Thousands with progressive and mental illnesses lose their disability benefits in cruel Tory cut

*Don’t congratulate me on the comparison; I’m simply quoting somebody else.

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