ESA Assessors Forced To Retrain If They Find Too Many People Unfit For Work

An important feature, spotted here.

Mental health sufferers assessed by physiotherapists
Assessors forced to retrain if they pass too many people
“Rude” assessors ignoring government guidelines
Over half of all initial ‘fit-for-work’ decisions appealed against are being overturned

Same Difference

An important feature, spotted here.

  • Mental health sufferers assessed by physiotherapists
  • Assessors forced to retrain if they pass too many people
  • “Rude” assessors ignoring government guidelines
  • Over half of all initial ‘fit-for-work’ decisions appealed against are being overturned

My doctor knows my situation. My bones are crumbling, like arthritis. That only started when I began to lift the heavy things at M&S.”

Barbara Johnson, 52, lives alone on Colehill Road, Fulham. Her medical problems began after a botched operation on her right foot in 2006. She can now barely walk, due to numbness that has spread up her calf.

This has caused her to collapse in the street several times. “They’ve had to take me straight to hospital,” she says.

Incredibly, Barbara was declared “fit-for-work” by an independent assessor in 2011, despite sending doctors’ certificates to the Department for Work and Pensions. Her Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)…

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Glastonbury man stole to pay off ‘bedroom tax’ debts

CAUGHT in a catch 22 situation over spiralling Bedroom Tax debts, a Glastonbury man went thieving to try and raise some cash.

Somerset Magistrates were told that Simon Edward John Norris was living in a two bedroom house with just his partner and was being charged an extra £15 a week for the extra room.

Having built up an ever increasing debt he was told that he couldn’t move to a smaller house until he paid what he owed in full so went shoplifting to try and clear his bills.

However a member of staff at Sports Direct in Clarks Village spotted him making a run for it after taking three items of clothing and chased him through the shopping centre until he was detained.

Government to cut funding for disabled university students

Jo Johnson says higher education institutions will have to pay for non-medical support staff from next September

The government is to cut its funding for disabled students in higher education, shifting responsibility from the public purse to universities, which from next year will be expected to pick up a greater share of the bill.

The announcement by Jo Johnson, minister for universities and science, follows a consultation aimed at “better targeting” disabled students’ allowances (DSAs) – non-repayable grants to cover additional costs that disabled students incur in HE.

Under the current system DSAs fund a range of support, including the purchase of specialist equipment and provision of support workers. From next September, universities will have to pay for non-medical support staff, including note-takers, and readers, and funding for computer equipment and specialist accomodation will be reduced.

The DSAs will continue to cover specialist support such as sighted guides for students who need help getting around campus. However, Johnson made clear it was up to universities to discharge their duty under the 2010 Equality Act, like any other business.

The government wanted to introduce the cuts this year, but delayed to give universities time to prepare. The National Union of Students said, however, that smaller institutions with a higher proportion of disabled students could face heavy additional costs.

In a written statement, Johnson said: “The increasing numbers of disabled students entering HE is to be celebrated, as is the increasing numbers of those declaring their disability. However, it is possible that the continued provision of DSAs may have removed the urgency of some higher education providers to expand provision for all disabled students.”

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Family of severely disabled Blackburn teen twice forced to leave specially adapted homes due to bedroom tax

THE family of a severely disabled 14-year-old forced to twice leave specially adapted homes because of the bedroom tax said they are having to fundraise to convert a third home.

Nicole Derbyshire, from Blackburn, has suffered from epilepsy from the age of one, is frequently in hospital and sometimes has more than 100 fits in a single day.

The teenager, who uses a wheelchair and is unable speak, currently lives with her mum Andrea Buxton, stepfather, Mark Buxton and younger brother Mitchell, 12 in Rothesay Road, Shadsworth.

Despite her difficulties Nicole, who attends Newfield special school, is described by her family as ‘full of joy and happiness’.

Nicole’s family have been forced through bedroom tax issues to downsize their home twice as her older siblings have left home Their current house is not adapted for her needs, but her family said they were having difficulties securing a disability assessment grant from Blackburn with Darwen Council.

 In the meantime Andrea, who has arthritis, is forced to carry Nicole up the stairs.

Older sister Alex Kilshaw, 20, has now started an online appeal to raise £2,000 for a stairlift.

Alex said: “Nicole has severe mobility issues and has the mental age of a two or three-year-old. Despite these problems she is simply the best sister in the world. She is always happy and smiling and never cries. Nicole generates so much love and joy and to see her and my mum struggling breaks my heart.

“We had a six-bedroomed house at one time in Intack as there are seven brothers and sisters but since then we’ve had to move twice as our family got smaller. My mum got fined £1,500 for the bedroom tax and they now live in a three-bedroomed house in Shadsworth. The other homes were adapted to help Nicole, with a safe area, padded floors as she falls down a lot and other assistance.

“We’ve struggled to get a Disability Assistance Grant for this house so my mum has to carry Nicole up and down stairs. Mum’s got arthritis in her legs and is taking steroids for that so it’s heartbreaking to see them struggle but we cannot afford the amount for a stair lift for Nicole.”