allowance, Christopher Brasil, Department, Disability Living Allowance, DLA, DWP, employment, ESA, evict, hb, housing benefit, Jobseeker's Allowance, JSA, Mike Sivier, Pensions, starve, support, UC, Universal Credit, Vox Political, work
This story tells you all you need to know about the benefit system under the Conservative government:
Just read about Chris, 54, who is going blind. He got an eviction notice after the DWP lost his sick note, stopped his benefits & deemed him ‘fit for work’. His electric was cut off & had to go to soup kitchens. He worked all his life just for the Tories to treat him like shit.
— Rachael Swindon #GTTO (@Rachael_Swindon) November 3, 2018
Rachael is right. The story of Christopher Brasil illustrates every cruelty that the Conservative government can inflict on you – and I mean you, because it could happen to anybody, given the fact that the trigger was an accident, and we can all be prey to them.
Check out the details, according to iNews:
Mr Brasil was a lorry driver for 30 years, until he fractured his hip after he was hit by bicycle four years ago. The incident left him relying on walking sticks, and diabetes caused his eyesight to deteriorate, so the DVLA revoked his heavy goods vehicle licence and his employers dismissed him on grounds of ill health.
Now, suffering from blurred vision, vertigo, poor hearing and epilepsy, he says he is “unemployable”.
But the Department for Work and Pensions disagreed.
After three years in which he claimed first Disability Living Allowance and then Employment and Support Allowance, the DWP started messing with Mr Brasil.
First, Job Centre advisors lost his sick note and stopped his payments for four weeks. He says he brought it to the office in January, when staff took it off him and said they faxed it to someone else. But then he was told he had not provided it; it was not recorded on their systems. They imposed a four-week sanction.
The lesson for all benefit claimants who need to hand in sick notes to prove benefit entitlement is: Get a receipt for them, signed by the staff member you are booked to see.
One month later, he was made to take a work capability assessment, told he was fit for work and ordered to claim Jobseekers’ Allowance.
He said the assessment report was “blatant lies.” It said he attended the assessment on his own, but he was with a social worker from a charity. In addition, they report said he did not use walking sticks and was fit and capable.
Then he was told Universal Credit was being rolled out in his area and he was switched to it. This meant he was forced to endure the standard five-week wait for the first payment – meaning Mr Brasil was left without payments for a total of two months.
That is when Mr Brasil, who lives alone and has no family, was forced to go to a soup kitchen and food bank. With his gas and electricity cut off, he had taken out a credit card and considered resorting to pay day loans.
Finally, after his Universal Credit claim began in September, Mr Brasil was told he was no longer entitled to housing benefit. He ran up rent arrears and was served with an eviction notice.
Who’s going to tell me all that is purely accidental?
I think this man was targeted. His sick note was deliberately mislaid; his work capability assessment was deliberately rigged.
The intention was to torment him. It didn’t matter whether he became homeless, starved, succumbed to his illnesses or became suicidal and tried (or succeeded) in killing himself as a result (see this article for information on how this can happen).
The comment the DWP provided is formulaic rubbish. I doubt if anybody checked the details of Mr Brasil’s case; they certainly would not have spoken about it or admitted any wrongdoing.
I wonder, though – what was the name of the Job Centre advisor who took Mr Brasil’s sick note in January? What did they do with that sick note? And can either of them be traced?
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