Paralysed woman told to find work after husband forgot Jobcentre appointment

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign]

Only yesterday, This Site criticised the claims of Scottish DWP operations manager Tahira Sharif, who insisted that benefit sanctions are “not about hurting people”.

Here is a person who is not able to anything at all for herself, who has been subjected to the ultimate sanction – being kicked off-benefit altogether – simply because her partner had a momentary mental aberration.

As a carer, This Writer sympathises. We all get overloaded sometimes; we all forget important matters that need our attention.

In most cases, if these matters involve other organisations or statutory authorities, they are reasonable, accept that mistakes can be made, and re-arrange.

The Department for Work and Pensions is not reasonable in this way. But how many of its employees, bosses and the ministers who run it can honestly say they haven’t made similar mistakes?

Take the decision-maker who refused to accept Vince Rodger’s explanation – has this person never forgotten an important appointment? Does this person not know anybody who has done so? Do they not understand that these things happen?

If not, they’re in the wrong job!

Or they would be, if the DWP had not been completely ruined by the Conservative Party in government. It isn’t necessarily the choice of the decision-maker to rule that a forgotten appointment is unacceptable; that’s a rule decided by the Conservative Party.

Even so, these people should have discretion to make their own decision – especially in the case of a woman who cannot do anything for herself.

What job is she expected to do?

Tahira Sharif said sanctions are “there for a purpose” and will be used when people on benefits are unable to meet their “obligations”.

Perhaps this person can explain how the DWP’s treatment of Julie Rodger is “supportive”?

A paralysed woman with brain damage has had her benefits stopped and told by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to start looking for work, after her husband mistakenly forgot to attend a mandatory Jobcentre appointment.

Julie Rodger is a tetraplegic, due to hypoxic brain damage, and is completely dependent on the care provided by her husband Vince and others.

Vince wrote on Facebook: “To all who know me and know my wife Julie, the Government have in their wisdom taken Julie off her employment and support allowance due to an oversight on my behalf and now has been given her P45 to start looking for a job/work.

“Julie is a tetraplegic due to hypoxic brain damage and can’t do anything for herself.

“Julie will be attending the job centre on Monday morning after the miracle worker has been and rid her of her disabilities.”

Explaining why he missed the appointment, Vince wrote: “I received the letter asking for Julie to attend an interview………. I put that letter in a safe place and on the morning of the interview I forgot all about it.

“I received a letter to explain why she didn’t attend, so I told the truth and said that I had forgotten, they sent out a reply stating that they were not accepting my reason and removed Julie from her benefit.

“I appealed for the decision to be changed and a new interview to take place, yesterday I received their reply that they were sticking to the original decision and removed Julie’s benefits.”

Source: Paralysed woman told to find work after husband forgot Jobcentre appointment

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  1. Roland Laycock September 18, 2017 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    I remember some time back a good friend a paraplegic that was allowed out of bed for an hour so by the time he had been to the loo and had a bath he was so shattered he had to go back to bed so being an ex BT engineer I put him an extension line in on he could have the phone at the side of his bed he could also plug his PC in as serf the net which was great and it relieved his boredom when a DWP lady came to see him she told him he could get a job inputting data

  2. rdevitt2012 September 18, 2017 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    The DWP must be put under extreme pressure to change this decision and others where a person is too severely disabled to ever be able to work. Under no circumstances should severely disabled or seriously ill people suffer sanctions, neither should they be under pressure to work when they simply can’t. This and other examples of the extreme cruelty and irresponsibility of the DWP should be taken up by Jeremy Corbyn at the next PMQs.

  3. disabledgrandad September 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    His first mistake was excepting she had to attend a interview! If your in the support group you can tell them to go away nicely. If it’s about Him then he has to attend, it’s just a fishing exercise to catch people out. They have tried in on my self and my partner / carer, before I found out you can say no.

    I feel sympathy for the gentleman but with the evil DWP / Tories running rampant the first weapon you have to equip yourself is with knowledge of the system.

  4. Stu September 18, 2017 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    This is nothing more than a cruel, cynical, opportunistic ploy on the part of the DWP to save a few pounds regardless of the consequences,
    Vince and Julie will be forced to re-apply for ESA receiving the new lower rate (without enhancements) for 6 months and then be on the new low rate permenantly losing at least £100 a month.
    Being a new claim. chances are they will go onto UC losing even more money and have their benefits delayed as long as possible – simply because they can.

    This is about to happen to me so I know, my heart is with them.

  5. marcusdemowbray September 19, 2017 at 6:38 am - Reply

    A friend had a 4th assessment recently, despite various incurable conditions and despite the Government’s promise 18 months ago NOT to re-assess those with serious permanent conditions. The notification unreasonably did NOT give enough time to make an appointment with the Doctor to request a Home Visit. Knowing full well how UNREASONABLE the DWP is we aimed to get to the Assessment 20 minutes early, but traffic congestion meant we were only 10 minutes early. We sat in unsupportive, uncomfortable chairs in a very cold room for 1 hour and 15 minutes as they were running late. Notices on the walls told us about “Unacceptable” and “Unreasonable” behaviour. It is only fair that if “Customers” have to behave “Reasonably” and “acceptably” to the DWP’s staff, surely the DWP should behave similarly to us. If we had been 1 hour and 5 minutes late my friend would certainly have been struck off, but they are allowed to treat Disabled people and the carers with callous disregard.

  6. hugosmum70 September 19, 2017 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    this is absolutely disgusting and those responsible, whether threy were obeying orders or not, should be brought to book for it. those who were indited (think thats the right word) for war trials at the nuremberg trials often used the excuse that they “were only following orders”………it didnt wash then and should not do so now.

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