The Durham man, who is registered blind among other conditions, has had his benefits stopped after failing to respond to a letter
A severely disabled man and his family have been thrown into despair after Whitehall beancounters decided to stop paying vital disability benefits.
County Durham man Alan Moody, 60, was declared unfit to work by his GP some 10 years ago after being diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia – a rare genetic brain condition.
Despite this Mr Moody of Leith Gardens, Stanley was summoned to a Department for Work and Pensions ‘work capability assessment’ so that he could continue to qualify to receive employment and support allowance – which equates to £450 a month.
One of the effects of Mr Moody’s condition is blindness and because of this he did not read the letter sent to him by the DWP.
As a result of his non reply the DWP took the decision on November 2 to stop paying the vital £225 a fortnight to Mr Moody.
Elder brother Terry Moody, 65, who is also Alan’s carer, told how he pleaded and appealed to the DWP to review their decision – something they did and stood by.
He said: “I cannot believe they’ve done this, how could they be so heartless. He has been disabled for 10 years, he cannot work, he needs this money.
“I have tried appealing to them but they say they are standing by it, I am trying to appeal again”
Read more and see the video here: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/how-could-you-heartless-government-12259086#ICID
Originally posted by Anonymous here
The main sickness benefit for disabled people is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Eligibility is assessed via the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). The WCA is a rigid points system, that assesses your ability to carry out very basic tasks. In order to be classified as unfit for work, you need to ‘score’ at least 15 points.
John Hutton laid the groundwork for ESA in 2006 (in the interim he considerably harshened the criteria for Incapacity Benefit). By 2008, ESA had replaced incapacity benefit for new claims. From the outset, the draconian WCA caused severely ill people to be deemed fit for work. Londoner, Vincent Nestor had incurable stomach cancer, and additionally, he was waiting for a triple heart bypass operation, yet he scored zero points and was declared “fit for work”.
Despite such cases as these Yvette Cooper introduced an even more draconian WCA. A few days before the 2010 General Election, coroner Tom Osborne, wrote to Cooper, stating that the WCA had caused 43-year-old Stephen Carre to take his life, and the continued programme would lead to further suicides. The incoming coalition Tory-Lib Dem government ignored his concerns.
The WCA exists to deny benefit to as many people as possible.
In theory, it focuses on what people can do, rather than on what they cannot. This enables the DWP to ignore the reality of disability. The WCA assesses deafness by people’s ability to read, and determines blindness by people’s ability to hear.
It omits any reference to bending and kneeling, as apparently this is no longer part of the workplace. Amputees are assessed by their ability to lift empty cardboard boxes with their stumps and most bizarrely of all, WCA assesses mobility problems with an imaginary wheelchair. Consequently, if you can use a wheelchair to whatever they deem a ‘qualifying’ degree, you score zero points for mobility problems.
There are many accomplished wheelchair users (e.g. 11-times gold medal winner Tanni Grey-Thompson), but the reality is, a wheelchair does not equate to a functioning set of legs. There are many problems with using one; the main one being getting your wheelchair and yourself into a car. Other than having a carer or someone to lift the wheelchair into the boot and then help you into your seat, there does not seem to be any other viable solution. Furthermore, in my experience disabled lifts are generally locked; and finding someone to get the key takes up time and energy (or requires a carer). Using a wheelchair can also cause fatigue and pain.
The WCA does not relate to the world of work as it requires people to carry out a very narrow set of tasks such as lifting a 0.5 litre carton or using a pen to make ‘a meaningful mark with either hand’. It goes without saying that the average two-year-olds would be capable of performing these tasks. I was frequently bullied by school teachers over my illegible handwriting, however as I can make a ‘meaningful mark’ (assuming this means a squiggle or adding my name to a birthday card), I would score no points for this.
Criteria for dexterity is ludicrous: someone with Parkinson’s disease, a condition that causes shaking, could score only nine points for dexterity simply because they could push a button with one finger (once). This could ultimately deem them fit for work simply for having the same level of dexterity as a dog. The threshold for reaching is, ‘Cannot raise either arm as if to put something in the top pocket of a coat or jacket.’ I cannot find any jobs that place emphasis on reaching. Most jobs that involve reaching, tend to involve lifting as well (e.g. shelf-stacking) or co-ordination (e.g. decorating).
It goes without saying none of these ‘skills’ improve a person’s employment prospects. When I did careers advice at school, no-one ever suggested we should list the ability to operate an alarm clock on a CV or job application.
The reality is that in the world of work, people get turned down for jobs if they do not qualify for them. If a person without a medical degree applies to be a doctor, the hospital will not give them the job simply because they can take someone’s pulse.
And I’m pretty sure employers would not overlook the fact I am mostly bed-bound simply because I can pick up a pound coin.
by Paula Peters
So you announce the launch of the consultation regarding the work capability assessment
We know by cutting the ESA WRAG group by £30 a week takes it to JSA levels effectively abolishing the ESA WRAG group
That you are looking at the support group of ESA and taking that to ESA WRAG you think all disabled people can be working even if it’s a couple of hours a week
Remember IDS ass that he is saying workless is not an option, his words
Tell me Damian Green and explain this
You want disabled people working yet you:
*Abolish the post of disability employment advisor
*Your government caps the access to work budget and cap how much disabled people’s access to work packages are
*You close the independent living fund
*We have to book 24 or on some lines 48 hours in advance to book accessibility on a train
*Only 100 companies out of thousands have signed up to the disability confident scheme (employers are unconfident about hiring us as they see disabled people as liability)
*You cut the disabled students allowance
*You are getting rid of motorbility cars after disabled people have a PIP assessment which means disabled people have had to stop working
*You are closing deaf and disabled people’s organisations by starving them of funding
*You are closing libraries a fifth of disabled people have no access to a computer except via the library
*You have got rid of freedom passes for thousands of disabled people
*You cut healthcare funding
*The health and work programme funding is a cut of 80% and doomed to fail
Basically Damian green this rehash of the WCA is a crock of shit
What it means for disabled people
Bullying and coercion
Ramping up of sanctions
More suicides of people in mental distress and disabled people dying
It’s about the entire abolition of the welfare state
Work will set you free
Working for free while charities involved profit
Total horse shit all of it
Bastards this government bastards
The sister of a man driven to suicide by the “fitness for work” system tried to take her own life after being “treated like a criminal” by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over her benefit claims.
Eleanor Donnachie believes her brother Paul (pictured) was a victim of DWP’s failure to ensure the safety of people with mental health conditions in vulnerable situations who apply for employment and support allowance (ESA) through the work capability assessment (WCA) system.
The government have persistently denied any “causal relationship” between their welfare reforms and an increase in premature deaths and suicides, despite an existing correlation. Figures released last year show that between December 2011 to February 2014, 4,010 people died after being told they were fit for work, following a Work Capability Assessment (WCA). 40,680 died within […]
Labour MP Iain Wright said the case was one of the most disgraceful he had heard from constituents on sickness benefits
An MP is demanding an investigation after a stroke victim claimed she was told she must undergo a back-to-work test – while in a hospital stroke unit.
Labour’s Iain Wright said the case was one of the most disgraceful he had heard from constituents on sickness benefits who have been told to undergo a work capability assessment (WCA).
Mr Wright said the woman, who did not wish to be identified, had come to him in great distress, blaming the actions of the private firm Maximus, which carries out the assessments.
He told The Independent: “I found this case both utterly shocking and completely disgusting.
“It demonstrates all too vividly how inhumane and uncivilised the Government’s welfare reform policy is.”
Mr Wright vowed to write to Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green to demand to know whether such practice was allowed – and to get a “full apology to my constituent”.
The case is the latest in a very long line of controversies surrounding the WCA, which is undergone by sick and disabled people attempting to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).