Tag Archives: mobility

Another pack of lies over PIP assessment shows they should ALL be recorded

Some fools are going to say “this is a grandmother-of-10; hasn’t she got enough relatives to help her cope with this benefit cut?”

Silly, silly people – who have probably never had to rely on the charity of their own families. Different people have different circumstances and it is wrong to expect particular results in situations about which you know nothing.

So let’s progress to the substantive issue: the claim that Janet Williams, of Shirehampton, Bristol, lost almost half of her PIP payments because an assessor lied about what happened during an interview.

Ms Williams, 59, has severe arthritis in both knees, and one leg is two inches shorter than the other after three operations, making walking extremely painful.

She has fibromyalgia and a swollen spine, feet and knees, and she also has anxiety, depression and stress.

But after the interview, her Personal Independence Payments were slashed from £148.85 a week to £82 a week – and the Department for Work and Pensions also took away her mobility car.

She was left housebound.

At an appeal tribunal, the assessor said Ms Williams had refused to be examined; Ms Williams herself said the woman had decided not to carry it out because she could see that Ms Williams was in pain.

The assessor also said Ms Williams had said she could walk a mile to her GP surgery; Ms Williams said she had not been asked that question.

These claims could have been resolved easily – if the DWP habitually ensured its assessments were recorded.

But that’s the last thing the DWP wants – which is why it has demanded that assessments may only be recorded on a Neal CD Interview Recorder which claimants must buy at a cost of £1,400 each.

How many benefit claimants do you know with that kind of many going spare?

So Ms Williams must go without her benefit and her car.

And the DWP can gloat in the knowledge that it has got away with this trick yet again.

Source: Gran-of-10 ‘cut off outside world’ after DWP almost halved her PIP benefits – Bristol Live

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The DWP, disability, and denials: ‘hostile environment’ for claimants is no mistake

[Image: StrongerStabler on Twitter.]

Are you getting tired of hearing the Conservative government claiming the latest tragedy to befall sick or disabled people is the result of an administrative error?

If so, think of the reason: You’ve heard it too often.

Every time we hear of a new instance in which the Department for Work and Pensions victimises somebody in a position of extreme vulnerability – possibly to their death – the Tories say it was an error, often with a comment that measures are being put in place to ensure the same mistake can’t happen again.

Then we read another story in which it happens again.

Here‘s Patricia Nimmo, of Hull – a woman so crippled with the pain of severe arthritis and fibromyalgia that she struggle to walk, move her hands, or even talk.

The DWP has spent the last two years telling her she is not disabled enough to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – or failing to get the amount of PIP correct. Notice that, in Ms Nimmo’s story, spokespeople couldn’t even be bothered to apologise.

The department didn’t apologise to Paige Garratt last year, either. She had Stage 4 cancer but apparently wasn’t sick enough to receive PIP either. That was many months ago, and we are told she made a full recovery, despite the DWP’s refusal to acknowledge the seriousness of her condition or pay her the benefit she was due.

Here‘s Pat Higgins, who has multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety and liver problems. Moving her onto PIP, the DWP decided she didn’t deserve half the money she had been receiving and took away her mobility car. The loss of her independence seriously harmed her mental health.

The DWP tried to claim that she could have kept her mobility car for three months and was entitled to a £2,000 payment – but she said she was never offered the cash as the DWP – the same DWP – had said she didn’t qualify for it.

Ms Higgins said the DWP had made her feel like “a scrounger and an outright liar despite having the documentation”. She also said, “If it isn’t affecting their life then they aren’t bothered.”

How about Malcolm Tower, who has lost his home because the DWP insist he owes £18,000 in overpaid benefits, despite the fact that he was cleared of the accusation in a court case? The DWP is still insisting he was overpaid, and claiming (unconvincingly) its debt management team is useful in supporting people having problems.

Check enough cases and you’ll see that the DWP is working to a plan. As Sue Jones describes it on her own site, this government department is subjecting innocent people to “strategically placed and thoroughly demoralising ordeals, which are being passed off as arising because of bad administrative practices and simple errors”.

This cannot be true, she states, because “such ordeals are happening far too frequently to have arisen through random error” and “there is an identifiable pattern of government sponsored behaviours… which is aimed at simply denying people support”.

Isn’t that what we are seeing?

Ms Jones wrote: “Many people who have challenged a Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) decision not to award them Personal Independent Payment (PIP) in court successfully are finding that soon after they have won their appeal, they face a reassessment, and their award is taken from them again.” That’s what happened to Patricia Nimmo.

“Even when people appeal, the system is rigged against them applying for legal support, and cuts to charities mean any support at all is shrinking away.” Mr Tower could take the DWP to court over the disproved claim that he owed £18,000 – but he simply doesn’t have the money to carry out a court case.

“Since PIP was launched in 2013 to reduce the costs of disability support, the increasingly reduced access to financial assistance to help with the additional costs of being disabled has forced more than 75,000 people to give up their specially-adapted Motability vehicles.” And that’s what happened to Pat Higgins.

Here’s the sting:

All of the cases mentioned above (apart from that of Paige Garratt, which is mentioned to demonstrate a point) were reported in the press within the last week.

The DWP has been committing the same injustices to the vulnerable for years.

That‘s why you keep hearing about it.

They say they are improving, but they haven’t changed anything.

And under “Groundhog” May, they never will.


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Terminally-ill woman forced to walk to doctor’s on crutches by Tory cruelty

Tracey Mills.

Stealing vital transport from the terminally-ill – that’s “compassionate Conservatism” for you in this day and age.

Tories once claimed that they would not penalise the terminally-ill. Clearly that has changed and they don’t care who they persecute.

Perhaps they are not saving enough benefit money by forcing the genuinely sick and disabled onto Universal Credit?

Perhaps – and this is more likely – they simply get a kick out of watching those near death struggle to live for just a few more days.

The people facing this persecution may be sick, but the Tory government is sickening.

A woman with terminal cancer says she was forced to walk to an emergency doctor’s appointment on crutches – after she was deemed too healthy for a mobility car.

Tracey Mills, 53, from Mossley, Greater Manchester, was previously granted a vehicle through Disability Living Allowance (DLA) after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour several years ago.

But when a new assessment was carried out after the government’s new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) came into force, Tracey’s disability benefits were reduced.

She was found to be too fit to qualify for a car, so the automatic Ford Focus she relied on to get around was taken away.

Source: Woman with terminal cancer forced to walk to doctor’s on crutches after mobility car was taken away

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PIP policy hitch while Tory boys bitch

Stumble in the (political) jungle: Who wants to see two Tory clowns drawling weak attempts at wit when their party's policies are bringing the country to its knees?

Stumble in the (political) jungle: Who wants to see two Tory clowns drawling weak attempts at wit when their party’s policies are bringing the country to its knees?

Even boxing promoters would have had a hard time talking up the ‘spat’ between the so-called Grey Man and the Quiet Man of politics.

The hyperbolic talents of Don King would be hard-pressed to hide the fact that what Sir John Major and Iain Duncan Smith need, more than anything else, is a sense of proportion. People are suffering, and all they do is squabble.

It was Major who opened hostilities. In a speech on Tuesday, he questioned Smith’s attack on the British social security system, saying: “I truly wish him well. But it is enormously complicated and unless he is very lucky, which he may not be, or a genius, which – the last time I looked – was unproven, he may get some of it wrong.”

We were to see evidence of this very quickly, as the government has been forced to announce that its plan to shift people from Disability Living Allowance to the new Personal Independence Payment has been delayed. Instead of rolling out across the whole of England, Scotland and Wales next week, it will now happen in only certain areas.

If their condition changes, claimants in Wales, the East and West Midlands and East Anglia will transfer to PIP. Otherwise, everybody will remain on DLA.

The announcement echoes one earlier this year, in which Smith’s much-trumpeted Universal Credit rolled it, not so much with a bang as with a moan – in just one pilot area, where only the simplest cases were handled.

For those affected, this can only be a relief. PIP will be payable to fewer people than DLA because it has tougher requirements. For example, people used to qualify for the mobility component if they could not walk 50m; under the new benefit this has been cut to 20m for no good reason.

Sir John’s remarks revived hostilities between himself and the Work and Pensions Secretary that have been dormant since the early 1990s, when Smith was one of a group of Tory rebels who campaigned against the decision to sign the Maastricht Treaty for European Union integration.

In an interview at the time, Sir John described his opponents as “bastards”. He repeated the phrase in Tuesday’s speech, admitting its use was “unacceptable” – but then he added that his “only excuse was that it was true”.

Smith, nicknamed ‘Returned To Unit’ (or ‘RTU’ for short) by this site in recognition of his many failings and unanswered questions about his army career, responded by telling the Evening Standard: “I just say I think we should all look at each other and be a little more pleasant.”

Is that so, Iain?

May we take it that this is a new policy, and you will be telling staff in all your Job Centres and every DWP office, up and down the country, that they should be more pleasant to the people who have to use the excuse for a service that they provide?

Are they now to stop trying to bully people off Jobseekers’ Allowance any way they can, and to actually start treating their fellow citizens with the respect that has been missing from those places since you took over as Work and Pensions Secretary?

Perhaps the private Work Programme providers you pay to take these people off the unemployment statistics will start actually trying to help our unemployed people, instead of putting them on pointless courses in things they know already and pocketing the lion’s share of the cash?

No?

Well, that’s no surprise to anyone. You don’t listen to anything but your own beliefs. It’s long past time you grew up and admitted the failures inherent in Universal Credit, PIP and all your other reforms. In other words, get your priorities right.

And Sir John? That goes for you, too. You have no right to the moral high ground when your government set the scene for many of the problems we have today.