The Unwritten Battles of Receiving Disability Benefits Long-Term

…..

“I can control nothing.

I am a long-term sick and disabled single woman. I have four children. I can’t work and will never be able to in a full time sense again. I’m on state benefits. There’s a huge stigma to that fact, despite my best efforts to shake it. I’m a well-educated, smart, sometimes articulate woman who’s fought hard for every last thing, and I’m tired. I’m so tired of fighting for everything, every right I allegedly have. I’m tired of every single thing being a battle. It’s so hard being in my situation; I can’t even explain the constant conflict with the various agencies I deal with, aside from the battles with the general public and their ill informed opinions of people like me.”

Read the full blog post here: https://themighty.com/2017/05/being-on-disability-single-mom/

 

Young couple with no money, no bed and no home forced to sleep in tiny tent in field

Jade Macey, 20, and Lewis Godfrey, 19, have spent the last week bedding down in a field because they don’t have ID documents to show to the council

young couple have been forced to bed down in a tiny tent in a field because they have no home , no bed, and no money.

The pair claim they have received no help after they were unable to present their ID documents to the council because of a rift with their families, which means they can’t go home.

Jade Macey and Lewis Godfrey have been sleeping for the past couple of months in a field in Bishopsworth, south Bristol, near to Lewis’s former family home.

Neighbours are rallying round the couple, providing them with somewhere to store their camping gear during the day, and to use bathroom facilities and hot drinks.

Jade, 20, and Lewis, 19, have both ended up without a home because of family breakdowns – the most common reason why young people end up homeless, reports the Bristol Post.

After months of sofa-surfing, sleeping on friends’ floors and even snatching a few minutes’ sleep in 24-hour McDonald’s restaurants, the couple settled on a tent in the field around a week ago.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/young-couple-no-money-no-10407877#ICID

Since Theresa May thinks giving people a ‘year off work’ to become carers is a good idea, I’d like to offer a reality check

The Tories’ introduction of employment tribunal fees means that if, at the end of your year, your employer decides to replace you with somebody else, there’s nothing you can do unless you’re prepared to spend around £1,200 and a great deal of time in a legal contest with your former employer. Enjoy the urine, faeces, blood and heightened risk of mental health problems

read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/theresa-may-workers-rights-employment-tribunal-carer-caring-year-off-work-reality-check-a7736926.html

Disabled mum took fatal overdose hours after her benefits appeal rejected

Susan Roberts, who survived four heart attacks, took an overdose and placed DWP paperwork, a Do Not Resuscitate note and her unsent letter on her dresser

A woman whose disabled mum took a fatal overdose hours after learning that her benefits appeal had been rejected has accused the Tories of having blood on their hands.

Susan Roberts, 68, was found dead at home, metres from a heartbreaking 11-page letter she had written to benefits chiefs detailing her suffering.

Hitting out at the Government’s cruel cuts, daughter Hayley Storrow, 47, said: “I just want Theresa May to know that her rules and regime are killing the most vulnerable people in society.

“With the election coming up it is so vital that things change. I feel any vote for the Tories is going to lead to more deaths.”

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/if-wasnt-tory-cuts-mum-10430462

If you are having suicidal thoughts please ring the Samaritans on their free phone number 116 123

 

DWP admits staff have a target to reject 80% of appeals – and achieved 87.5%

DWP admits staff have a target to uphold 80% of ‘mandatory reconsiderations’ (ie reject appeals) and achieved 87.5%

>DWP Response to a Freedom of Information request:

The key measures which are used by the Department for Work and Pensions to monitor Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) performance are:
a) 90% to be cleared within target.
b) 80% of the original decisions are to be upheld.
The performance measures for April 2016 – March 2017 are:
% MR Cleared within target = 70.2%
% MR Original Decision Upheld = 87.5% <

See the DWP’s original response here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/402400/response/978248/attach/html/2/FOI%201740%20response.pdf.html

£3.7bn in cuts to disability benefits needed to help cut the deficit, says cabinet minister

Despite cuts Conservative chairman Patrick McLoughlin claimed ‘we do very proudly in this country’ at helping disabled people

A cabinet minister has rebuffed calls to cancel more than £3.7bn worth of cuts to a disability benefit, setting the scene for a showdown in Parliament.

Patrick McLoughlin said ministers had to view the funding, which would go to people with conditions including epilepsy, diabetes and dementia, in the context of a wider need to reduce the UK’s budget deficit.

Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion in the House of Lords, where the Conservatives are in a minority, that would undo the measure to severely restrict the benefit.

Ministers have said the Government will introduce emergency legislation to tighten the criteria of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) after they were ordered at tribunal to cover a broader spectrum of claimants, leading to the £3.7bn in extra spending by 2022.

While charities have warned of the impacts of the cuts, Tory party chairman Mr McLoughlin told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “We are spending as a country over £50bn a year supporting people who have got disabilities in this country.

“I think we give, overall, very generous schemes. There are changes that come about as a result of tribunals and we have to look at that.

“But as far as supporting disabled people, I think overall we do very proudly in this country.”

Asked again about the changes, Mr McLoughlin said: “We will obviously listen to what people say and look at the proposals that come forward, but overall we are still spending as a country over £60bn more each year than we are getting in as a country and we have got to look at trying to balance that budget and reduce that deficit.”

The Department of Work and Pensions was advised to expand the reach of PIP by two separate tribunals to give claimants more points for “psychological stress”.

read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/37bn-pip-cuts-patrick-mcloughlin-lib-dems-lords-a7600151.html

 

DWP declared a ‘leading’ Disability Confident employer, despite UN rights violations

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been declared a gold-standard employer of disabled people under its own much-criticised scheme, despite being found guilty of “grave or systematic violations” of the UN disability convention.

Read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp-declared-a-leading-disability-confident-employer-despite-un-rights-violations/