Petition launched to scrap privatised disability benefit assessments after brother’s death

Dave Smith with his (now late) brother Jamie Oliver. After denying him PIP twice, the DWP wanted him to attend an appeal hearing – five months after he died.

The brother of a disabled man who was denied essential benefits while he was dying has launched a petition to end the outsourcing of assessments to private companies by the UK government.

This Site covered the case of Jamie Oliver a few months ago. He died on April 9 after a long battle with chronic liver disease – and after being refused Personal Independence Payment by the DWP on the grounds that he wasn’t sick enough – twice.

Five months after his death, in one of the hugely distressing and insulting cock-ups that have made the DWP infamous, one of Mr Oliver’s children discovered a letter saying an appeal hearing had been arranged for late September.

The move infuriated Mr Oliver’s brother Dave Smith, of Hastings, – whose MP happens to be Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd.

In an incendiary Facebook post, he wrote: “I honestly cannot think of an organization as shambolic, insensitive, incompetent and unhelpful as the DWP and the sooner all this PIP/Universal Credit fiasco is kicked into touch the better.”

According to Disability News Service:

He has launched a petition that he hopes will secure enough signatures – 100,000 – to ensure the issues are debated in parliament.

His petition calls for an end to the use of private contractors for DWP disability benefit assessments, both for PIP and for employment and support allowance (and its universal credit equivalent).

He says in the petition that the disability benefit assessment system is linked to many suicides and “accelerated deaths”, like his brother’s.

And he says he believes that there have been “multiple lies” in the written assessment reports completed by nurses, paramedics and occupational therapists working for Atos and Capita (the other PIP assessment contractor).

If you feel strongly about this, visit the petition site and sign.

You can find much more information on Mr Oliver’s case here: Months of PIP distress ‘hastened my brother’s death’ – Disability News Service

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5 thoughts on “Petition launched to scrap privatised disability benefit assessments after brother’s death

  1. Liz Douglas

    What many are unaware of is the DWP DS1500 terminal illness form that has a built in 6 month ‘Die by date’ This form allows medical health professionals to sign the form to prove a claimant is terminally ill but only if they can confirm the claimant has only 6 months to live. This rule was brought in in 1991 and has been excoriated by many MP’s and benefit support groups.

    I applied to my GP last week requesting form DS1500 be completed as I have Emphysema he refused on the grounds he could not state how long it would take me to die. DWP assessors are apparently questioning health professionals who do complete the form and it is often refused. I also requested my Consultant to fill it in to stop the egregious continued assessments of the chronically ill disabled and dying. In June this year in my last consultation he informed me that I’m terminally ill and that Emphysema has no treatment unlike Cancer and could not tell me how long I have to live. I received a response from his secretary a couple of days ago he said ‘He was unable to complete the form on my behalf as Emphysema is NOT a terminal illness.

    I’ve pushed this out on twitter ‘Labour will save lives Give Sick Disabled & Dying true Social Security Remove egregious DS1500 6mnth Die by Date rule Med health professionals refuse to sign They can’t predict how long it will take for terminally ill to die My GP said his hands were tied’

    “Universal Credit ‘Ditches Fast-Track Claims For The Terminally Ill’
    System to speed up claims of those with just weeks to live “has been removed”, charity says. DWP denies claim.”

    This from a GP surgery “Fees for completing the DS1500 can be claimed by a GP or GMC registered consultant using the DS1500 fee form. Completion of the DS1500 can be delegated (see section 3.2.7) but payment can only be made to a GP or GMC registered consultant if they have authorised the DS1500 by signing at the end”

    .Anyone terminally ill but likely to live 6 months must take benefits tests

  2. Jeffrey Davies

    Signed but iv no hope they change this lot one bit aktion T4 rolling along with out much of a ado. All MPs now by now after very many emailing them about this DLA pip ESA very highly trained HCP oh dear it’s stacked against they taking a piece of history reenvented it reprogramed it with unums help culling the stock through benefits denial. Jeff3

  3. Tony

    According to a recent article in the Sun, the Chancellor is looking at the idea of abolishing inheritance tax.

    There is so much disinformation about this. It only applies to the top 5% of estates and even those that are affected by it only pay above the threshold of £325,000.
    An absolutely disgraceful ordering of priorities when you contrast it with stories such as this one.

  4. wildswimmerpete

    Don’t know about now, but up to few years ago certain conditions cannot be assessed by a nurse, physiologist or any other health professional but only a qualified doctor. These are serious conditions such as stroke and heart conditions like heart failure or the aftermath of a heart attack, dementia. I seem to recollect that those conditions include serious mental health concerns including Aspergers syndrome (and yes, I’m Aspie), clinical depression and schizophrenia.

  5. Rik

    Poor chap. . totally disgusting by the DWP. . rip chap

    Well they sort of sacked Atos a while back only to be given more mi££ions under a new name. . .
    for the same s**t

Comments are closed.