Tag Archives: tribunal

Tories have wasted £120m in two years trying to tell people they’re not disabled

Habitual cruelty: if you thought the Tories stopped persecuting people with long-term illnesses and disabilities during the Covid-19 crisis, think again.

What a waste of time and money.

Over the last two years, Conservative governments have spent more than £120 million in taxpayers’ money fighting disability benefit claims – despite losing three-quarters of tribunal appeals.

That means automatic wastage of £90 million – but it is likely that the quarter of claimants who lost their appeals also had valid grounds to claim Personal Independence Payment and/or Employment and Support Allowance but were outflanked by a prejudiced system.

The increase in expenditure is far greater than the 13 per cent increase in applications would suggest. And it is happening at a time when the country can ill-afford to waste any cash at all. There can only be one reason for it: sick cruelty – the Tories are enjoying torturing sick and disabled people to death.

And why are there so many applications for disability and sickness benefits in the UK? Do conditions here – especially working conditions – cause illness and disability?

The new figures are further proof that the Tories’ convoluted appeal process has nothing to do with saving money from fraudsters and everything to do with starving people with disabilities – to death, if possible.

It is now well-documented that claimants initially have to go through an internal appeal process within the Department for Work and Pensions called mandatory reconsideration.

The courts only recently ruled that a Tory regulation forcing claimants to go without any benefit payments, and therefore without any income, for the period of a mandatory reconsideration – no matter how long that may be – was illegal.

Only after the DWP rules that a claim should be rejected can the sick or disabled person take their case to a tribunal.

And it is at tribunals that 76 per cent of PIP claims, and 75 per cent of ESA claims, are upheld.

This means the Tories have needlessly and cruelly deprived these people of their means of survival for the number of months – years in some cases – that these claims have been disputed.

We all know that there is hardly any fraud in disability benefit claims – the last recorded number This Writer saw was somewhere in the region of one or two per cent of claims.

So the huge proportion that the Tories refuse – and the amount of time and money wasted in the appeal process – can only mean one thing:

The Tories hate disabled people and want them to die.

Why isn’t this a national – if not international – scandal?

Source: Government spends £120m in taxpayer money fighting disability benefit claims in two years, figures show | The Independent | Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Cabinet Office inquiry expected to clear Patel of bullying. But what will the courts do?

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: allies against the civil service?

Read this – it’s not a good thing:

Priti Patel is expected to be cleared this week of bullying senior civil servants in three separate government departments, Whitehall sources have confirmed.

The home secretary had been accused of breaching the ministerial code by mistreating staff at the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for International Trade.

Reports of her impending clearance have prompted condemnation of the Cabinet Office inquiry process, which is conducted in secret and offers no recourse for complainants. Boris Johnson has already been criticised for compromising the process by insisting, before the inquiry had concluded, that he would continue to support Patel.

It is not acceptable that Boris Johnson compromised a major inquiry into the behaviour of his Home Secretary by announcing his continued support for her before it had finished.

But here’s why it could turn out well – and embarrassing for Johnson:

She is still to face claims from her former Home Office permanent secretary, Sir Philip Rutnam, who is using whistleblowing laws to take her to an employment tribunal for constructive dismissal.

The courts won’t accept any interference from Johnson – that’s one reason he has already said he wants to restrict their ability to overrule political decisions that contradict the law.

(And you should be thinking about that very hard.)

If the courts find against Patel, it will throw the whole Cabinet Office inquiry process into question.

Source: Priti Patel expected to be cleared of bullying by Cabinet Office inquiry | Politics | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Benefit tribunals: appellants are warned if their hearing is by video link, their home becomes part of the court

This is a timely warning, as the coronavirus lockdown forces legal procedures out of the courtroom and online:

People taking part in benefit tribunals that are heard on video and audio, so they do not have to leave their own home, must treat their home as a part of the courtroom for the duration of the hearing.

This means they must sit somewhere with a blank or neutral view behind them, and if they need to move away from their screen or phone during the hearing they must ask permission.

If they need someone with them who is not a legal representative (for example, a carer) they must ask the court’s permission.

They may not eat or smoke anything, including e-cigarettes, and may only drink water.

Crucially, it is a criminal offence to publish images or audio from a court hearing without authorisation.

The advice is timely because, between March 19 and April 6, use of audio increased from 100 hearings to 1,850, while use of video went up from 150 hearings to 1,100.

On April 6 itself, around 85 per cent of cases heard in England and Wales used audio and video technology.

You can find guidance on taking part in telephone and video hearings here.

You can read the full figures on video and audio hearings here.

Source: Treat your home as a court room, tribunal appellants warned

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Tory delaying tactics mean people are STILL dying before receiving state benefits they’re owed

I’ve just read this, on the excellent Poor side of life blog:

A woman who we’ve spoken to before… looked me in the eyes saying “Let me tell you what happened to a relative of mine. He was very ill but had been declared fit for work at his ESA medical assessment. He appealed this and it then went to tribunal. Sadly he died on the day the tribunal decided that he should get his ESA”.

I wish that this was unusual but it isn’t. This happens a lot, disabled people are being denied their rightful payments every single day. They’re left to live in abject poverty struggling to survive.

The government and their henchmen might say that they care, that they treat people with respect but they don’t. We know that that they’re lying and we’ve got enough evidence to back up our claims.

Enough is enough how much more of this cruelty are we expected to take?

Charlotte (who writes the blog) is right – it isn’t unusual.

And now it seems the Tories have found a way to stop cases even getting to tribunal.

A friend of mine contacted me yesterday with this disturbing development:

The Tory-run DWP is denying people claiming Universal Credit the right to have their cases heard by a tribunal.

This is being done in a very cute way – if you define that word as meaning “clever or cunning in a self-serving way”.

My friend wrote: “I’ve been supporting a few people on UC. Some of them are ill and under the old system they would be on ESA.

“Two of them have had assessments and were both found to be available for work. Both disagreed and asked for the decisions to be reconsidered and both came back unchanged and both applied to go to a tribunal.

“They both received letters from the tribunal service telling them that their tribunals have been cancelled because Universal Credit has sent them for a new assessment.

“The DWP is denying people on UC the right to have their cases heard by a first tier judge.”

This is extremely disturbing and I am keen to hear from anyone who deals with such matters and has had a similar experience. How do we fight this?

Source: Man died before he got his ESA tribunal decision to reinstate his ESA. – The poor side of life

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Campaigner who embarrassed DWP was forced into 15-month benefit battle – with DWP

The worst aspect of this is that there probably isn’t a connection.

Gail Ward caused serious embarrassment to the Department for Work and Pensions in 2018 when in response to a Freedom of Information request, the government department had to admit 111,000 people had died while claiming Employment and Support Allowance.

Then Ms Ward, 63, was told by the same organisation that she didn’t qualify for Personal Independence Payments.

For clarity, she has Prinzmetal’s angina, a rare form of angina where attacks can occur even when resting. The rare heart condition means she can collapse at any moment.

It can cause arteries in the heart to spasm during times of stress or cold weather, which severely limits a person’s independence and can also be life-threatening.

She also has arthritis and hip dysplasia.

Ms Ward had been claiming Disability Living Allowance but, after she was ordered to attend a mandatory reassessment for PIP, she was told that her benefits would stop because she failed to meet the qualifying criteria.

How many times have we heard that before?

Look at her condition again. Of course she met the qualifying criteria. The DWP just wanted to cause her a bit of additional stress, and see if it aggravates her condition enough to kill her.

And if that happened, the people responsible would probably have had the nerve to say, at least she won’t be added to the death figures she uncovered, because she was claiming PIP, not ESA.

The cancellation of her benefit payments meant Ms Ward was unable to pay her bills and ended up in debt.

She was also stripped of her mobility car – which is common behaviour for the DWP.

It took her 15 months to get an appeal to the tribunal stage.

Now here’s the payoff: despite being unable to attend on the day, having been taken ill that morning, the tribunal still found in Ms Ward’s favour and awarded her the full amount of PIP.

Now she has criticised the assessment process and demanded answers about the way decisions are made.

Of course, we all know why the DWP’s assessors do what they do.

But with her record, Gail Ward might just be able to force them to confess it.

Source: Woman who can collapse at any moment due to a rare heart condition is denied benefits and Northumberland woman with rare heart condition that causes her to collapse denied benefits by DWP

Tory ‘benefit denial’ policy means tribunal service can’t cope with rise in appeals

Discrimination: The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has been asked to investigate discrimination by the Tory government against disabled benefit claimants.

The Conservative government’s policy of denying Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefits to people who qualify for it is causing a meltdown at the tribunal service.

The ‘Senior President of Tribunals’ Annual Report’ has revealed that “the rapid rise in appeal numbers has outstripped our ability to recruit and train sufficient numbers of panel members to keep pace”.

Despite a cynical attempt by the Tories to stop appeals by introducing a “mandatory re-assessment” phase in 2014, numbers have risen steadily – to 238,000 in 2018.

In that year, 46 per cent of PIP claimants transferring from DLA saw their payments either downgraded or cancelled – that’s around 435,620 claimants.

So a significant number of genuine claimants have indeed been discouraged by the draconian system the Tories have imposed – benefit fraud is negligible.

But that number is falling, year-on-year as appeals rise and HM Courts and Tribunals Service struggles to cope.

The Tribunals Service has been recruiting more panel members to try to cope with the increase in demand, with 130 new judges, 225 medically qualified members and 125 disability qualified members appointed in the last year.

And a pilot for a new online resolution system is due to begin soon.

The logical solution would be to reform the system in order to give the benefit to people who need it, rather than attempting to deny it by pretending that people don’t have disabilities when they clearly do.

Consider this case.

And this one.

Pensioners are still being targeted for pointless reassessments, with a view to cancelling their payments.

There are many more examples.

Nearly 8,000 people are known to have died within six months of being denied the benefit.

And that’s the point. The expense and inconvenience to the Tribunals Service is of no interest to the Conservative government.

This is a programme of elimination. The Tories are getting rid of people they consider to be “useless eaters” (as the Nazis in Germany used to describe people with disabilities).

Denying them the financial resources to support themselves means they are more likely to die.

And the more disabled people die, the happier the Tories will be.

Source: Tribunals Service unable to keep up with rise in appeals

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Mother forced to rely on food banks because of DWP rule that denies reality

Have you ever heard of the minimum income floor calculation?

If you aren’t on Universal Credit – and considered to be self-employed by the Department for Work and Pensions – then it’s most likely that you haven’t.

The premise is that, if a person is self-employed, they earn a specific amount of money per week, and Universal Credit is provided to them on that basis.

In the case of Roxy Theobald, of Long Stratton, Norfolk, this meant that she was assumed to be earning £822 per month, working 25 hours per week as a courier, from the time she started claiming UC in October 2018.

In fact, being able to work only the hours she was given, Ms Theobald earned much less.

This was of no interest to anybody at the DWP.

As a result, she had to visit food banks and rely on friends and neighbours giving her leftover food in order to keep herself and her daughter Bella alive.

She appealed against the DWP’s decision that it could use the minimum income floor to dock money from her claim, and a judge has ruled in her favour, saying he was not satisfied that she was in gainful self-employment.

Ms Theobald, now a full-time carer, has said she hopes her case will set a precedent, leading to a change of DWP policy.

That would be welcome, as there are undoubtedly many, many people – not just couriers, who are adversely affected by this rule.

It’s also possible that the arrival in cinemas of Ken Loach’s new film Sorry We Missed You, which explores the plight of couriers, may also focus the minds of the powerful on this matter.

Don’t hold your breath waiting, though.

Source: Norfolk mother left relying on food banks while working as courier wins Universal Credit tribunal | Latest Norfolk and Suffolk News | Eastern Daily Press

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Man dies of fit while stressed over DWP benefit assessment

Another one gone. The Tories call this a “positive benefit outcome”.

A mum has slammed the Department of Work and Pensions after her son died from a fit.

Ruksana Majid says her son Aaron Meharban was stressed about an assessment to discover if he qualified for Personal Independence Payments.

The 21-year-old had epilepsy, anxiety and hearing problems, reports Teesside Live .

He suffered an epileptic fit and died at his house in Middlesbrough on Saturday, June 15.

His mum Ruksana said Aaron was particularly stressed about a benefits assessment he was due to attend the following Monday.

Arron died alone and his body was not found until the following day.

These deaths will continue until we get a Labour government that will stop them. Anyone voting for a Tory government should consider themselves an accessory.

Interestingly the article states: “According to figures, around 1,600 working-age disabled people die each year after having their claim for disability benefits rejected.”

Why is this not a screaming national scandal?

Source: Mum slams DWP after son, 21, stressed with benefits assessment, dies from fit – Mirror Online

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Tories have been breaking the law by rejecting vulnerable benefit claimants

This could have serious repercussions for the Conservative government.

Suddenly, instead of dismissing appeals for mandatory reconsideration from people who were not able to submit them in time, ministers have been told benefit claimants must have a right to a tribunal.

It’s a game-changer, and it could save lives.

What does that tell us about the Tory policy that refused people this legal recourse?

Senior judges from an Upper Tribunal have ruled that Theresa May’s government has been acting illegally. And once again, those affected by the ruling are some of the most vulnerable people in the country. The judgment means that the government has likely been screwing over thousands of disabled people who will now potentially be affected by the ruling.

The case was brought by two people who failed to appeal the decision to stop their Employment and Support Allowance in time. Current Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rules state that the first stage of appealing a decision – a mandatory reconsideration – needs to be lodged within a month.

These claimants didn’t make the deadline because of their “extenuating circumstances”; both have mental health issues along with other problems. But the DWP initially refused to hear their appeals or allow them to present their arguments to a tribunal. So with the help of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), they took the case further.

The problem with strict time limits for people with health conditions should be obvious. They may have issues that do not always allow them to appeal quickly. And this is something the Upper Tribunal judges thought should be “obvious”.

They ruled that: “We have concluded that as a matter of statutory interpretation a claimant in such circumstances has a statutory right of appeal to the first-tier tribunal.”

Source: Senior judges rule that Theresa May broke the law and probably screwed over thousands of people | The Canary


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Woman with MS demands changes to PIP assessment after nine-month ordeal

Smiling for the camera: Gill Willis.

Gill Willis’s experience is commonplace among those who undergo the assessment procedure for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Assessors from private companies Atos and Capita – who are expected to reach targets for pushing people off-benefit, if I recall correctly – have been bitterly criticised for their failure to carry out assessments properly.

In Mrs Willis’s case, the assessor was said to have decided that she could prepare and cook food, simply because she picked up her handbag to get out a list of prescription medicines she must take.

The false assessment was overturned after a nine-month wait for a tribunal hearing, at which only one question was asked – how did Mrs Willis cope with taking her medication?

She said she needed her husband’s help and was put on the full rate of PIP.

Travesties of this sort are now happening all the time.

The MS Society released research last week, showing that people with the incurable condition have lost £6 million a year in benefits after being transferred from DLA to PIP.

The benefit is supposed to help people cope with everyday life if they have an illness, disability or mental health condition – but, according to advice site Benefits and Work, just 45 per cent of new claims for personal independence payment have been successful where the claimant is not terminally ill.  The success rate for DLA to PIP transfers is currently 69 per cent.

The site also states that most health professionals carrying out PIP medicals are physiotherapists with very little knowledge of mental health issues, learning difficulties or more complex physical conditions. They all receive around a week’s training – mostly about how to use the computer software and how the points system for PIP works.

So Mrs Willis is right to say the assessment procedure should be changed – but as a single voice, she won’t get far.

It occurs to This Writer that organisations like the MS Society need to work together to fight the minority Conservative government’s programme of benefit deprivation.

Petitions calling for changes to PIP – or its abandonment – exist online but have not attracted many signatures.

If these organisations launched campaigns for change, and sought the support of their members, then made a joint submission to Parliament, perhaps that would achieve a better result.

Or is that just wishful thinking?

A … woman left feeling ‘let down’ and ‘depressed’ after being forced to fight to keep her disability benefits has called for changes to the Government’s assessment process.

Gill Willis was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1990.

The 61-year-old had been receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) but last year faced a reassessment to move onto PIP – the benefit replacing DLA.

Following the assessment, the retired British Airways employee learnt her payment was being downgraded and she would receive hundreds of pounds less each month.

Source: Mum-of-one calls for changes to disability assessment (From Bicester Advertiser)


Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook