Receiving benefits because of your mental health? You’re up to three times more likely to be punished by the DWP than helped to find work

Data from Mind today reveal the scale of sanctions imposed on people with mental health problems being supported by out-of-work disability benefits. Figures obtained by the mental health charity under the Freedom of Information Act show that there were up to three times more benefit sanctions issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to people with mental health problems last year than there were people supported into work.
There were almost 20,000 benefits sanctions received by people who were out of work because of their mental health last year[1], while only 6340[2] of this group were successfully supported into a job during the same period.

There are approximately 250,000 people receiving the benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who need this support primarily because of their mental health. People can be sanctioned – have their benefits cut – if they fail to participate in work-related activity, including missing appointments or being late for meetings or CV writing workshops. However, many people with mental health problems find it difficult to participate in these activities due to the nature of their health problem and the types of activities they’re asked to do, which are often inappropriate.

Read more here:http://realmedia.press/receiving-benefits-because-of-your-mental-health-youre-up-to-three-times-more-likely-to-be-punished-by-the-dwp-than-helped-to-find-work/

Malnutrition and ‘Victorian’ diseases soar today in England ‘due to food poverty and cuts’

Cases of malnutrition and other “Victorian” diseases are soaring in England, in what campaigners said was a result of cuts to social services and rising food poverty.

NHS statistics show that 7,366 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July this year, compared with 4,883 cases in the same period from 2010 to 2011 – a rise of more than 50 per cent in just four years.

Cases of other diseases rife in the Victorian era including scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough have also increased since 2010, although cases of TB, measles, typhoid and rickets have fallen.

Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust, which runs a nationwide network of foodbanks, said they saw “tens of thousands of people who have been going hungry, missing meals and cutting back on the quality of the food they buy”.

“We meet families from across the UK struggling to put enough food on the table and, at the extreme end, you get people who are malnourished,” he said. “We often see parents who are going without food so that they can feed their children, and these parents often struggle to afford enough nutritious food for their children, too. We don’t think anyone should have to go hungry in the UK, which is why we’re working to engage the public, other charities and politicians across parties to find solutions to the underlying causes of food poverty.”

Dianne Jeffrey, who chairs the Malnutrition Task Force, an independent expert group, and charity Age UK, said the rise in hospital admissions for malnutrition was “deeply distressing”.

“Older people and professionals often incorrectly assume that losing weight and having a reduced appetite are just a normal part of ageing,” she said. “Much malnutrition is preventable, so it is totally unacceptable that estimates suggest there are at least one million older people malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. Cuts to social care mean many older people are being left to cope on their own.”

The figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that in worst-affected areas – Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – 2.4 people out of every 100,000 were admitted to hospital with a primary diagnosis of malnutrition.

read more here: http://streetskitchen.co.uk/?p=3504

Man With Cancer Told To Give Up Treatment and Join Work Programme To Keep Benefits

A Scunthorpe man has received a 40% cut in benefits after he was diagnosed with cancer, leaving him in serious financial distress during his battle with a disease that killed his father and brother.  To add insult the injury, the DWP told him that he could return to his previous level of benefits, provided he gave up treatment and complied with the Jobseeker’s programme.

Read more here: http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2014/05/02/man-with-cancer-told-to-give-up-treatment-and-join-work-programme-to-keep-benefits/

More jobcentre recordings: We can’t help disabled claimants at this jobcentre. You’ll have to go elsewhere

Here’s a very recent example of the extraordinary lack of support that disabled JSA claimants can find at jobcentres when they’re looking work.

In the recording below, an adviser at a north London jobcentre actually tells me that advisers at this jobcentre can’t give extra jobsearch help or support to the disabled claimant who I’m with. The adviser doesn’t try to pretend otherwise. He says that the jobcentre can’t help this disabled man, because there are no Disability Employment Advisers at this jobcentre now (DEAs are advisers who are meant to have additional skills and time for disabled benefit claimants). Nobody else at the jobcentre can give the man extra support. The adviser said that the man’s only choice was to move jobcentres to one that does still have specialist disability advisers. That was the end of that. So much, I thought, for the DWP’s claims to me by recent email that disabled benefit claimants can expect “tailored support specific to their individual needs,” at jobcentres. These DWP claims of “tailored support” for disabled JSA claimants are rot as far as I’m concerned – as great a lie as the DWP’s use of fake benefit claimants and quotes in leaflets. It seems to me that when the DWP talks about “tailored support” for disabled claimants at jobcentres, the DWP pretends to offer a service that it does not.

Read more and hear the recording here: http://www.katebelgrave.com/2015/10/more-jobcentre-recordings-we-cant-help-disabled-claimants-at-this-jobcentre-youll-have-to-go-elsewhere/

Prime minister dismisses UN inquiry into government’s discriminatory treatment of disabled people

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has asked David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions today to publish the details of the Government’s response to the United Nations inquiry into the allegations that Conservative policies are breaching the rights of disabled people in the UK. He also asked if the government intended to co-operate with the inquiry.Such UN investigations are conducted confidentially by the UN and officials will not confirm or deny whether the UK is currently being put under scrutiny.However, the ongoing inquiry been widely reported by disability rights groups and campaigners. The Department for Work and Pensions has previously declined to comment on the possibility of an investigation.

Source: Prime minister dismisses UN inquiry into government’s discriminatory treatment of disabled people