Originally posted on Same Difference:
An extract from Welfare Weekly:
In October 2013 I was placed on the long list of people to have the dreaded WORK CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT, whilst at the same time waiting for a decision on my daughters [disability benefit] P.I.P – she had been in receipt of disability benefit from the age of 5.
I finally had my assessment on 23rd December 2014, but had to travel around 14 miles each way. To this day I still haven’t received any official confirmation as to the outcome, so let me explain:
After not hearing for around 14 to 15 weeks I contacted the DWP, only to be told over the phone that I had been placed in the support group for 2 years. Great I hear you cry, well not really as firstly I am terminally ill with emphysema and with only 23% lung function. Secondly I’m in constant pain due to…
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Vulnerable disabled people have taken the government to court over delays to disability benefits, it has been reported today.
Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have launched a judicial review on the grounds that delays to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for disabled people, of over a year are ‘so unreasonable that they are unlawful’.
Red the rest of this story here: http://www.welfareweekly.com/dwp-face-legal-action-over-unreasonable-disability-benefit-delays/
A disabled woman says her life is at risk following a “barrage” of texts and phone calls from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), threatening – unlawfully – to remove her benefits if she failed to attend a work-focused interview.
Stella*, who has type one diabetes, was placed in the support group of people claiming employment and support allowance (ESA), after a tribunal found in her favour and said she should not be assessed again for two years.
The ESA support group is – according to the government’s own rules – for sick or disabled people not expected to carry out any work-related activity in return for out-of-work benefits.
But Stella was forced to lodge a complaint with the police after being “scared witless” by an “unacceptable barrage of communications” about work-focussed interviews and threats to remove her benefits if she failed to attend.
read the rest of this story on the Disabiity News Service here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/disabled-womans-life-at-risk-after-dwp-harassment/
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is facing an investigation into its refusal to publish ‘secret’ reviews into 49 benefit-related deaths, it has reported today.
The information watchdog is to investigate the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over its refusal to publish secret reviews into 49 benefit-related deaths.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched the investigation into DWP’s failure to provide information requested by Disability News Service (DNS).
A series of DNS Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests eventually revealed how DWP has carried out 49 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths since February 2012.
Of the 49 “peer reviews”, it later emerged that 33 contained recommendations for improvements in procedures at either national or local level within DWP, while 40 of the 49 reviews were carried out following the suicide or apparent suicide of a benefit claimant.
But despite FoIA requests from DNS, and others, DWP has refused to publish the reviews, or their summaries, recommendations or conclusions, even with personal details of benefit claimants removed.
It claims that releasing the reviews – even with these details removed – could breach section 44 of the FoIA, because section 123 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 makes it an offence for anyone employed in social security administration to “disclose without lawful authority any information which he acquired in the course of that employment and which relates to a particular person”.
Now the ICO has said that it will investigate a complaint lodged by DNS into the failure to release the information.
Read the rest of this article herehttp://www.thefedonline.org.uk/disability-in-the-news/information-watchdog-to-probe-dwp-s-secret-reviews-on-benefit-deaths
A terminally-ill woman was told by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that she risked being charged with an “offence” and would lose part of her benefits if she used an insurance policy windfall to pay for her own funeral.
DWP bosses told Sue Smith that spending the £3,700 in advance on her funeral would be seen as “deprivation of capital” – deliberately spending her savings in order to maintain entitlement to benefits.
A partially-blind widow, who suffered crippling back pain for over a decade, committed suicide after her incapacity benefit was cut because state assessors claimed she was fit to work.
Following a two-minute assessment, private firm Atos Healthcare concluded Jacqueline Harris was fit to work despite the fact she had trouble walking and suffered constant, excruciating back pain.Her incapacity benefit was subsequently axed by the government, which pays the firm to conduct fitness-for-work assessments.
Harris, a former nurse who had claimed incapacity benefit for a number of years, was awaiting a serious spinal operation when Atos assessed her. According to the deceased’s sister, the Atos employee asked Harris one question during the interview – whether she was capable of catching a bus.
The firm has been the focus of a firestorm of criticism in recent times, with mounting claims that vulnerable and unwell people are being wrongly proposed for work, and are forced to endure exasperating and upsetting medical interviews.
‘Atos should be shot’
Fifty-three-year-old Harris was discovered dead in her home in south Gloucestershire in November 2013, with a hand written note attached to her chest stressing she did not wish to be resuscitated. She took her own life just a few weeks before an appeal hearing had been scheduled with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Harris’ sister told the Daily Mail the family received a letter about the hearing a month after the former nurse died. “I didn’t tell them she had died and went along myself. I said to them ‘I’m disgusted’. Atos should be shot,” she said.
Speaking outside the Bristol court, where Harris’ inquest was held, Christine Norman said her sister’s decline was sparked by the DWP’s decision to replace her incapacity welfare allowance with Jobseeker’s Allowance. “It gave her no hope. She was defeated. What hope did she have?” Norman asked.
Norman added the government has since ruled Atos’ decision to declare her sister fit for work was wrong.
Throughout the inquest, the court was told Harris had suffered an array of different injuries and disabilities since the 1990s. Her trouble began with a fall during work, causing injured discs in her neck and back. She also endured chronic pain in her hands, resulting from a vicious dog bite and partial blindness following a severe bang to the head.
As her back pain worsened over time, Harris sought assistance and advice from doctors, attended pain management classes and engaged in physiotherapy.
Following the DWP’s decision that she was fit to work, Harris pleaded with the body saying she was awaiting an intensive back operation. But her poignant pleas were reportedly ignored.
Read the rest of this story here: http://rt.com/uk/209731-suicide-woman-benefit-axed/