Tory promise to stop re-assessing benefit claimants with lifelong illnesses was a LIE

Tim Farron with benefit claimant John Heaton and his carer Kath Dunning [Image: Cumbria Crack].

How could we have expected more from the Party of Liars?

Well-deserved congratulations go to former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron for exposing then-Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green as having lied when he said assessors from private companies would no longer re-assess claimants who have long-term illnesses.

At the time, Mr Green said it was “pointless” and “only adds to their anxiety and difficulties”. So why is the minority Conservative government still doing it?

The answer to that, of course, is in the information provided to Mr Farron:

The Tories could never stop re-assessing people with long-term illnesses because the Department for Work and Pensions simply does not make a note of which claimants have them.

Damian Green must have known this when he made his statement last October.

In fact, it confirms what This Writer suspected when I published this article, at the time – and this article, one month later.

So we knew Mr Green was lying at the time; the Conservative government of the day was criticised for it – and did nothing.

Is it time to pressurise the new, minority Tory government to keep its promise – or sling its hook?

Tim Farron has slammed the Government for lying to local people over plans to stop re-testing benefit claimants who have long-term chronic illnesses such as Huntingdon’s, MS, and Parkinson’s.

Back in October last year, the then Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, Damien Green, said that they would no longer reassess benefits for those who have long-term sickness as it is “pointless” and “only adds to their anxiety and difficulties”.

However, a freedom of information request from Tim Farron has revealed that the DWP never intended to carry out this proposal as they do not even record data which would allow them to pull out the group of claimants who have chronic illnesses.

An example of someone who the Government has broken their promise to is John Heaton. John has a degenerative brain disease and severe obstructive pulmonary disease of which he has a sick note to cover him from his doctors. He is also suffering from a hip injury and extreme weight loss for which his dietician nurse makes home visits.

Kath Dunning, who is John’s carer, said: “I received a letter from the DWP saying that John had missed a medical assessment. I rang the relevant authorities to tell them that I hadn’t received a letter about the assessment.

“They told me to put it in writing which I did. They then replied four weeks later after numerous phone calls from myself to say that they were upholding their decision. This meant that I would have to take it to a tribunal and John would have to apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance.”

Read more: Farron slams DWP over breaking promise to stop re-testing claimants with lifelong illnesses

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3 thoughts on “Tory promise to stop re-assessing benefit claimants with lifelong illnesses was a LIE

  1. marcusdemowbray

    A friend had her FOURTH Assessment yesterday. She has an Incurable, debilitating condition. Yet again she had to provide all the letters and documents which has already provided before. She had to answer an hour’s worth of questions while the Clerk typed the answers onto a computer…..the 3 previous assessment clerks did the same. All those words on the computer already, all the documents already supplied and copied and scanned in many times before.

    Worse still, we had to wait ONE HOUR AND FIVE MINUTES in a cold room for her Assessment….any Claimants who arrive a minute late for any DWP meeting get Sanctioned, Penalised or Disciplined, yet the DWP is allowed to cause huge pain and suffering making disabled people wait for over an hour. Yes, the DWP also made it impossible for her to have a Home Visit.

    I have written again to my MP Amber Rudd.

  2. Barry Davies

    It wasn’t a lie, what he meant was those of us with long term conditions who have been denied help will not be reassessed because the “you will work whatever your capacity” assessment has deemed us fit.

Comments are closed.