Disability News Service

Care Charges Are Driving Disabled People Into Debt, Says Report

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service. Charging disabled people for their care and support is driving many of them into debt and forcing them to cut their spending on food or heating, according to new research by a network of disabled people’s organisations and their allies. The study by the Independent Living Strategy Group […]

DWP Ignores Concerns From Disabled People Who Shun Activity Over Benefit Fraud Fears

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has refused to offer a solution to disabled people who say they are fearful of taking more exercise in case they have their support cut or are branded benefit cheats. A new report by the disability sports organisation Activity […]

Watchdogs’ Concern Over Government Refusal To Act On UN Rights Reports

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Four equality and human rights watchdogs have heavily criticised the government for its failure to address the serious concerns raised in a “damning” UN report on the rights of disabled people across the UK. A year on from the report by the UN’s committee on the rights […]

Minister Snubs DPOs – And ‘Breaches UN Convention’ – By Refusing Meeting

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By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The minister for disabled people is refusing to meet a coalition of disabled people’s organisations, in an apparent breach of the UN disability convention. The coalition wrote to Sarah Newton yesterday (Wednesday) to express its “deep disappointment and concern” about her refusal to meet them to discuss […]

Disability Charity’s Appointment Of Unum Boss As New Chair ‘Is Truly Disgraceful’

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A disability charity’s decision to choose as its new chair the head of a company closely linked with the government’s hated “fitness for work” test has been branded “a betrayal” of disabled people and “a truly disgraceful appointment”. United Response, which provides a range of support […]

DWP Figures Provide Fresh Evidence To Explain PIP Claim Rejections

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   New figures show that Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants are questioning only a tiny proportion of the benefit assessment reports written by discredited government contractors Atos and Capita. Campaigners have been trying for months to secure evidence that would explain why such a […]

DWP Refuses To Pay £125 To Discover Number Of Disabled People In Full-Time Jobs

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Ministers are refusing to commission work that would cost just £125 and would show how many disabled people are in full-time paid employment, and how that number has changed under successive Tory-led governments. Ministers, including the current work and pensions secretary Esther McVey, have repeatedly boasted of […]

Watchdog’s ‘Issues Of Concern’ Over Regulator’s Treatment Of PIP Complaints

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A regulator has been told there are “issues of concern” about the way it deals with complaints against health and care professionals, including those who write dishonest benefit assessment reports. The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) agreed in January to look at concerns about the way […]

MPs Raise Concerns With McVey Over ‘Stress And Poverty’ Caused By WRAG Cuts

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service. Cross-party MPs have raised a series of concerns with work and pensions secretary Esther McVey about the government’s treatment of disabled people on out-of-work benefits. Members of the Commons work and pensions select committee were questioning McVey (pictured) more than a year after her government introduced cuts of nearly […]

Atos Nurse Continues PIP Assessment While Claimant Has ‘Grand Mal’ Epilepsy Seizures

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A nurse carrying out a disability benefit assessment fired questions at a disabled man’s wife while her husband was in the middle of a severe and prolonged series of epileptic seizures just a few feet away. Daniel Marshall, from Dorset, had only been able to answer […]

Disabled Peer Quits Equality Watchdog Over ‘Shameful Downgrading Of Disability’

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A disabled Tory peer has resigned as a board member of the equality watchdog over a government minister’s “collusion” with the decision not to appoint him as a disability commissioner. Lord [Kevin] Shinkwin made the announcement in a speech in the House of Lords on Tuesday, […]

Advisor Says 30 Local Claimants With Terminal Cancer Had PIP Rejections Overturned

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A welfare rights advisor has described how at least 30 local benefit claimants with terminal cancer have had their claims rejected in the last year, with every one of the decisions later overturned by an appeal tribunal. In every case, the claimant has been terminally-ill […]

PIP Investigation: Welfare Expert Says Two-Thirds Of Appeals Involve Lying Assessors

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Welfare rights experts have produced evidence that backs up the findings of a Disability News Service (DNS) investigation into the lies told by healthcare professionals in their disability benefit assessment reports. Last week, the two-month investigation revealed how assessors working for the outsourcing companies Capita […]

Disgraced PIP Assessor Escapes Being Struck Off

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A disgraced former disability assessor and paramedic has avoided being struck off, despite a tribunal concluding that he made offensive remarks about disabled benefit claimants. Alan Barham was sacked by the government outsourcing giant Capita last year after being exposed by an undercover reporter working for […]

Court Awards Disabled Woman ‘Aggravated’ Damages For Ombudsman Discrimination

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    By John Pring in Disability New Service.   A county court has delivered a devastating judgment against the Local Government Ombudsman, after it discriminated against a disabled woman by failing to provide the reasonable adjustments she needed to lodge a complaint against a local authority. The ombudsman has been ordered to pay £12,500 […]

Disabled People ‘Denied Access To Justice By Failure Of Judges On Reasonable Adjustments’

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Disabled people are being denied access to justice because of judges’ failure to make the reasonable adjustments that would make the court process accessible to them, according to a disabled human rights barrister. John Horan said the legal profession was failing to address the discrimination faced […]

The Violence Of Austerity

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  From Disability News Service.     Disabled people are being subjected to dangerous violations of health and safety laws after being forced to take part in government workfare programmes, according to new research published this week. The analysis of first-hand accounts of benefit claimants forced into unpaid work by the Department for Work and […]

Questions Over DWP’s Further Medical Evidence Pilot Secrecy

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is facing questions over why it failed to release the results of a pilot project that was supposed to correct a fatal flaw in its “fitness for work” test. DWP had promised a judge that the pilot project would […]

New System Allows Wheelchair-Users To Park Their Unoccupied Cars

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A wheelchair-user has successfully tested a system that allows an unoccupied car to be parked after its driver has left the vehicle, using technology that could be publicly available within a year. The organisations developing the system, demonstrated in the last few days at a […]

Chancellor’s Social Care And WRAG Omissions ‘Show Contempt For Disabled People’

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    From The Disability News Service.   The chancellor has shocked disabled activists by ignoring the social care funding crisis in his autumn statement, and refusing to scrap a planned cut to employment and support allowance (ESA). Despite weeks of lobbying from disabled people, politicians – including some Tory MPs – and charities, he […]

MPs’ Pay Rise ‘Is An Insult’ When Ministers Are Freezing PIP And DLA

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   MPs have been asked to defend an annual pay-rise of 1.3 per cent, at a time when disabled people will see their benefits frozen for a year. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has announced that all MPs will receive a pay hike of 1.3 per […]

Bedroom Tax Discriminates Against Disabled Children, Say Appeal Court Judges

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  By John Pring in The Disability News Service.   The government’s “bedroom tax” discriminates unlawfully against disabled children, the court of appeal has ruled. The appeal court, which overturned a high court decision, was hearing the case of two disabled grandparents who care for their disabled grandson in an adapted three-bedroom bungalow in Pembrokeshire, […]

Alarm Over Proposals To Scrap GPs’ ‘Fit Note’ Duties

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As reported in Disability News Service. Proposals by two groups of English GPs that they and their colleagues should no longer be responsible for providing “fitness to work” certificates for their patients have alarmed disabled activists. GPs from Kent’s local medical committee (LMC) have proposed in a conference motion to fellow doctors that they should […]

Scottish Government Could Face Legal Action Over Budget Cuts ‘Discrimination’

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A disabled lawyer could seek a judicial review of the Scottish government’s draft budget, which he claims discriminates against disabled people by cutting hundreds of millions of pounds from local authority funding. Daniel Donaldson (pictured), director of Legal Spark Law Centre in Glasgow, is discussing a […]

Spending Review: Confusion Over Chancellor’s Access To Work Pledge

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  Story by John Pring in the Disability News Service. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has caused confusion after refusing to confirm what appeared to be a huge increase in funding for the programme that supports disabled people in the workplace. The spending review, published last Wednesday, included the announcement of a “real […]

Disability Rights UK Wins Contract To Teach Equality To Maximus

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By John Pring of Disability News Service A national disabled people’s organisation is to provide disability equality training workshops to staff from the controversial US-owned company that won the government contract to assess people’s “fitness for work”. Disability Rights UK (DR UK) will provide training to about 1,600 members of staff employed by the Centre […]

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