The growing gulf in life expectancy shows how austerity has deepened inequalities

The prime minister vowed to fight health injustice. These new figures must be a wake-up call

“In Glasgow, in the course of the seven-stop trip south-east from Jordanhill to Bridgeton, the average male life expectancy drops from 75.8 years to 61.9 years. In Newcastle upon Tyne, adults living near the airport can hope to remain free of disease and disability – to enjoy healthy life – until just before they turn 75. But a few miles east in Byker that enviable period typically ends before the official retirement age, at just 63.8 years”

read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/aug/12/growing-gulf-life-expectancy-shows-austerity-deepened-inequalities

 

DWP Is Using Lost Letters To Cut Spending

“The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is using lost appointment letters for face-to-face assessments as an excuse for turning down disabled people’s benefit claims, to help it cut spending on social security, it has been claimed.

Concerns have been raised about both the government’s new personal independence payment (PIP) – which helps meet a person’s disability-related costs – and employment and support allowance (ESA), the out-of-work sickness and disability benefit.”

read more here: https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp-is-using-lost-benefit-assessment-letters-to-cut-spending/

In a sickening insult a woman with dementia praised by David Cameron has had her benefits cut by Tories

Joy has worked hard to show people it is possible to enjoy life with dementia and help others

A woman praised by David Cameron as an ‘ambassador’ for people living with Alzheimer’s has had her benefits stopped.

Joy Watson, from Eccles, has been left struggling to pay bills after an assessment by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decided she was able to look after herself. This means she has £400 less each month.

The 59-year-old, who was diagnosed four years ago, was forced to give up her job as a carer. But showing remarkable fortitude she became a champion for people with dementia giving lectures raising awareness, teaching nursing students and showing local businesses how to help those with the condition. Her efforts earned her a doctorate and praise from the former Prime Minister Mr Cameron.

Her husband Tony says he and his wife can’t understand how anyone could think she could look after herself. Joy is unable to cook meals or even hold a cup of tea properly and mixes up vital medication if left to manage on her own.

read more here: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/sickening-insult-dementia-campaigner-praised-13472389

Marske woman was ‘deeply in debt’ after benefits cut before her death – inquest

Sarah Louise Wood was living on jobseeker’s allowance :: Her death was found to be drug-related

A “bubbly” young woman was found dead in her flat after suffering severe money problems following being taken off benefits.

An inquest into the death of Sarah Louise Wood heard how she had taken loans at a “phenomenal” rate of interest as her money worries piled up.

The body of Ms Wood, 30, a known drug user from Marske, was found on May 28.

In a statement read out at Teesside Coroner’s Court, her mum Janice English said she was aware her daughter had used heroin.

Ms Wood also suffered from epilepsy and bipolar disorder, and had been diagnosed with COPD at a young age.

Her mum told the hearing her daughter was “deeply in debt” and had “stopped opening her letters” because she was “sick of bad news”.

“She had been taken off her benefits and was only on jobseekers’ allowance,” Ms English added.

“She would frequently get loans where the interest rate was phenomenal. She presented as bubbly and full of fun.”

read more here: http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/marske-woman-deeply-debt-after-13455772?ref=BNTMedia&utm_medium=facebook

 

MPs urge government to delay universal credit rollout

MPs’ letter calls for extension of universal credit to be postponed until next year to avoid people suffering Christmas hardship

David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, has been urged by 30 Labour MPs, and the Green party MP Caroline Lucas, to delay the expansion of the new universal credit benefit system to stop their constituents suffering severe hardship over Christmas.

In a letter to the Guardian the group, led by the Labour MP Laura Pidcock, called on the government to put off the latest rollout of universal credit until the new year, because people would not be able to afford delays to their first benefit payments over the festive period.

Ministers are planning to accelerate the introduction of universal credit, which rolls six benefits into a single monthly payment, to about 50 new areas.

But the 31 MPs, whose constituencies will be affected, said it would cause misery for thousands of new claimants who may not get their first payments for up to seven weeks after applying.

“There is a real worry that the introduction of universal credit, at this time, will cause extreme hardship for many people in vulnerable situations, exacerbated by the financial burdens of the festive period.

“We understand that the proposed changes were designed to make the social security system simpler, more reactive to an individual’s issues and more efficient. However, evidence from other parts of the country where UC has been introduced already shows that it is far from the efficient system trailed,” the MPs

read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/06/labour-mps-urge-government-to-delay-universal-credit-rollout

One-month time limit on appealing against a benefits decision is unlawful.

Top judges ruled a one-month time limit on appealing for benefits is unlawful – meaning people have been wrongly blocked from justice for years

Thousands of benefit claimants have won a landmark legal victory over the Tory government’s welfare regime.

Three top judges today ruled a one-month time limit on appealing against a benefits decision is unlawful.

Instead the judges said the time limit should be 13 months after someone’s benefits are rejected.

The Upper Tribunal, which rules in the most serious benefit disputes and includes a High Court judge on its panel, said its decision is likely to affect “many thousands” of cases “at the very least”.

Carla Clarke of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), which brought the legal challenge, said the result was “fantastic”.

She added: “It stands to provide justice for significant numbers of families wrongly denied the financial help to which they are entitled.”

CPAG brought the case on behalf of two women with serious mental and other health issues.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/thousands-benefit-claimants-win-legal-10931703

 

More suffering at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre

I’m not going to bother you with talking about the weather, I’ve said it in today’s blog title. It was raining AGAIN. Will we ever get a break, and have some good weather for once? My heart went out to Richard, a homeless chap who I buy a cuppa for most mornings and chat to. […]

via A hard morning. A man crying, rain pouring. It’s supposed to be August. — The poor side of life