THE grieving family of a former coal miner who took his own life after being investigated by benefit fraud officers believe he would still be here if he had been told him how much money he needed to repay.
James ‘Jimmy’ Ballentine overdosed on prescription drugs on the day of his twin grandsons’ fourth birthday earlier this year – leaving beside him a suicide note to loved ones which read: “Sorry son you will have to bury me…forgive me leaving you with my debt, cannot take it anymore.”
The proud 60-year-old had months earlier learned he had over-claimed benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after receiving a letter from the Fraud Investigation Team.
Son Dale Ballentine, 34, told The Northern Echo that while making a new benefits claim late last year he declared he had savings of £7,000.
The father-of-two, who suffered from depression and other mental health issues including schizophrenia, was told he had been over-claiming for a decade as there was a means-tested £6,000 savings cap.
It is understood Mr Ballentine made efforts to find out how much money he owed but was unable to get an answer.
Dale, 34, said: “This is the whole point of our grievance – is if they told him up front (what he owed) I really believed he would have paid it, that would be the end of it and he would still be here.”
read more here: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/05/24/grandfather-took-his-own-life-because-dwp-said-hed-been-overpaid-but-wouldnt-reveal-the-amount/
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
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/
“Basic flaw rests in the idea that we can “personalise” benefits for millions of people. There are just too many moving parts; and in a system with millions of iterations, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. “ Following the advice of many people on this Blog, I have been looking at what the […]
via Universal Credit Cock-ups: the Computer Industry Speaks. — Ipswich Unemployed Action.
Letters: The DWP‘s cruel benefit sanctions regime is leaving vulnerable people without the means to support themselves. So why isn’t anyone listening?
If you commit a crime, no criminal court in the UK is allowed to make you go hungry as a punishment. But if you’re late for an appointment at the Jobcentre, they can remove all your income and leave you unable to feed yourself or your family for weeks at a time.
The DWP wrote to James Harrison’s doctor behind his back and declared him fit for work 10 months before he died
A seriously ill dad died just 10 months after Department for Work and Pensions bosses advised his GP not to write any more sick notes for him.
James Harrison had been declared “fit for work” and should not get medical certificates, the letter said.
read more here:http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dwp-told-dying-dads-gp-9529945?ICID=FB_mirror_main
Ministers have been accused of “absurdity and obfuscation” after refusing to explain why they do not publish statistics showing the number of assessments carried out on disabled people applying for their new disability benefit.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) publishes extensive data about the work capability assessment, which tests eligibility for the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA).
Read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/absurd-dwp-accused-over-refusal-to-publish-pip-statistics/