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

 

£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

 

Inquest hears man who set himself on fire in Lowestoft struggled to cope with change in benefits

The niece of a 67-year-old man who died from severe burns after setting himself on fire in Lowestoft has described him as a “loving person” who struggled to cope with a change in his benefits.

read more here. http://www.lowestoftjournal.co.uk/news/inquest-hears-man-who-set-himself-on-fire-in-lowestoft-struggled-to-cope-with-change-in-benefits-1-4994304

If you are having suicidal thoughts  call the Samaritans on their free number 116 123

 

Bed-ridden stroke victim told to use food banks after DWP admin error leaves him without benefits

‘We’re at the lowest of the low. Nobody knows where to turn’

A bed-ridden stroke victim was told to use food banks after an administrative error left him and his wife facing extreme poverty.

Alan Buchanan, 65, has been bed bound after suffering several major seizures since he had his first stroke 15 years ago, and the once successful businessman is now entirely dependent on his wife Heather and the occasional visits of carers.

The couple, from the small Scottish town of Callander, near Loch Lomond, said they now fear homelessness after their benefits were stopped because of an administrative error.

Earlier this year, Ms Buchanan said an inspector from Atos — a company contracted to provide independent assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) — arrived two hours early for an assessment with Mr Buchanan, despite her phoning and specifically telling them not to arrive before 11am.

“A lady came to the house at about nine in the morning. She said she was from Atos. I explained to her that I had asked for an appointment at 11am, because Alan’s carers are here before that,” Ms Buchanan told The Independent. 

“I did ask her if she’d like to come in, basically to show her that he was there, in his bed. She could see his wheelchair and everything else sitting about because we live in a very small flat. She said ‘no it’s alright, we’ll reschedule’. Then she went away.”

But Ms Buchanan said the inspector never called to rearrange the appointment and two weeks later, a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) arrived, cancelling Mr Buchanan’s benefits.

It said they would be getting nothing in their PIP, because they hadn’t provided “a good enough reason” for Mr Buchanan, who cannot get dressed or go to the toilet independently, “not attending” to the assessment.

Three days later, Ms Buchanan received another letter from the DWP saying her husband’s Attendance Allowance, designed to help with personal care for disabled people aged 65 or over, would also be stopping.

read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/stroke-victim-alan-buchanan-food-banks-dwp-bedridden-admin-error-no-benefits-callander-work-pensions-a7706826.html

Sharp rise in rejected claims for disability benefit

Labour raises alarm over number of people being turned down for personal independence payments.

This article titled “Sharp rise in rejected claims for disability benefit” was written by Rowena Mason Deputy political editor, for The Guardian on Sunday 16th April 2017 23.01 UTC

About 200,000 people face seeing their claims for a disability benefit to help with daily living and mobility refused this year, new figures obtained by Labour suggest.

Senior MPs have called on the government to explain an apparent spike in people being turned down for personal independence payment (PIP), which is a top-up benefit with two components related to the extra costs of daily living and limited mobility for disabled people.

Read more here:http://www.welfareweekly.com/sharp-rise-in-rejected-claims-for-disability-benefit/