Disability Benefits

A Blue Badge And Invisible ME

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Gone from being life and soul Health gone down a huge black hole Rarely getting out too far Too much pain is the bar A blue badge now has rescued me When strength allows, it sets me free It gets me to a needed door Which was out of my aching reach before Many are […]

Top 7 Tips for Claiming Disability Benefits With M.E.

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  By Ann Innes in The ME Association.   I’m Ann Innes, consultant welfare rights adviser to the ME Association and formerly to Stockport ME Group. I run a private service to support people throughout the claims process, from benefit entitlement checks, application, preparing for the face-to-face assessment and attending as an advocate, all the […]

Capita Seeks To Reverse ‘Reputational Damage’ After Death Of Claimant

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    By Michael Buchanan Social affairs correspondent, BBC News.   Benefit-assessment company Capita is going to court to try to reverse the “reputational damage” it says it suffered after a claimant died. Victoria Smith died months after her personal independence payments were stopped following a Capita assessment. The outsourcing company was ordered to pay £10,000 […]

Disabled People Already Fight Battles Every Day. Making Us Prove We Need Benefits Is Almost Inhumane

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  By Samantha Renke in The Metro.   Living with a disability in the UK today means living in a state of perpetual fear, feeling unheard, patronised and at times like a burden – and it can take a huge toll on your mental health. I was born with a genetic condition called Osteogenesis Impefecta […]

My Label And Me: I Am Not A ‘Scrounger’ Because I Claim Benefits

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      By Nina Grant in The Metro.   At 18, after six months in a psychiatric unit, I first claimed disability benefits. A social worker helped me apply for supported housing, as well as for the benefits needed to cover my rent and cost of living. Because I was so young, I didn’t […]

Theresa May’s Disability Announcements ‘Are Just Cynical Leftovers’

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Disabled people’s organisations have reacted with suspicion and some hostility to the outgoing prime minister’s attempt to shore up her “legacy” with a series of disability-related announcements. Although some of the measures announced by Theresa May (pictured) were welcomed, many user-led organisations questioned why she had left […]

PIP: Ombudsman To Start Benefits Investigation

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  From BBC News.   The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman is to investigate how Stormont’s Department for Communities administers Personal Independence Payments (PIP). PIP replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) benefit in June 2016. The ombudsman Marie Anderson can investigate suspected maladministration in public services. The Department for Communities said only 12 out of […]

DWP: 80 Charities File Watchdog Complaint Over ‘Misleading’ Universal Credit Adverts

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By Dan Bloom in The Mirror.   The Disability Benefits Consortium claims the adverts are “deliberately misleading” and contain “obvious exaggerations”. Charities have reported the government to the advertising watchdog over “deliberately misleading” promotions for Universal Credit. The Disability Benefits Consortium, a coalition of more than 80 disability charities, lodged a formal complaint to the Advertising […]

DWP Quietly Hands Private Firms £600m Extra To Test Disabled People For Benefits

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  By Dan Bloom in The Mirror.   EXCLUSIVE: Atos and Maximus had their PIP and ESA contracts extended for the second time despite accusations they’re running a “failing” welfare system. Now the eye-watering cost to taxpayers can be revealed. Tory ministers are quietly handing private firms an extra £630 million to test sick and […]

2019 Blue Badge Scheme: Everything You Need To Know About The Hidden Disability Changes

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    By James Kelly in Leasing.com.   The blue badge disabled parking scheme is supposedly undergoing its biggest shake-up since it was introduced in 1970, but what exactly will change, and when? Last year it was revealed that, from 2019, people with hidden disabilities will be granted access to the scheme too. The idea […]

Coming Soon: The Great Universal Credit Deception

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  By  Aditya Chakrabortty in The Guardian. How to sell the unsellable? How to pretend utter chaos is a plan coming together? How to persuade the public, who just refuse to buy it, to at least keep on paying for it? I believe I have found the answer. It comes in the form of an internal […]

User-Led Advice Centre Set To Close Its Doors After NHS Funding Blow

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A disabled people’s organisation is set to have to close the doors of its advice centre, which has provided vital support with benefit claims to thousands of disabled people, after nearly all its funding was suddenly withdrawn by a local NHS body. Possability People has been running […]

DWP Admits Destroying Report On Safety Failings In Jobcentres

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      By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) destroyed a damaging internal report about its failure to ensure the safety of benefit claimants in jobcentres, preventing it being released under freedom of information laws. The report into safeguarding failures in south London jobcentres was written […]

Newton Forced To Apologise After Misleading MPs In WOW Debate

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The minister for disabled people has been forced to apologise to MPs after Disability News Service (DNS) caught her misleading MPs about support for disabled people for the fourth time in less than a year. The misleading comments by Sarah Newton about disability poverty came in […]

Amber Rudd Links Universal Credit To Rise In Food Bank Use

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  From BBC News.   Amber Rudd says the increased use of food banks is partly down to problems in rolling out universal credit. The work and pensions secretary said she was “absolutely clear there were challenges with the initial roll-out” of the benefit and that the difficulty in accessing money was “one of the […]

DWP Refuses To Reveal Police Forces That Share Information On Disabled Protesters

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By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is refusing to say which police forces have passed it video footage and other information about claimants of disability benefits who have taken part in anti-fracking and anti-austerity protests. DWP’s attempt to hide its links with police forces has caused […]

Universal Credit Claimants Are Being ‘Trapped In A Downward Spiral Of Debt And Hardship’

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By Nicola Slawson in Huffington Post.   Universal Credit claimants are left “swimming against a tide of unmanageable repayments” when they are forced to take loans ahead of their first payments, it has been claimed. The comments come as the government has responded to a damning report by the Work and Pensions select committee, which […]

Universal Credit Is An Unmitigated Catastrophe For Ill And Disabled People

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      Written by Kitty S Jones in Politics and Insights.    I co-run an online advice and support group for people going through Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claims, assessments, mandatory reviews and appeals. Recently there has been a spike in people being reassessed for their awards of both kinds of […]

Rudd Has Not Delayed Roll Out Of Universal Credit, DWP Confirms

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The roll out of the government’s much-criticised universal credit benefit system has not been delayed and will proceed as planned, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed. Reports at the weekend suggested that new work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd had decided on a […]

Officials Fail To Collect Data On People Wanting To Apply Offline For Online-Only Universal Credit

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  By Simon Rushton in iNews.   Officials behind Universal Credit are being criticised for failing to track data on people who want to apply offline. Universal Credit is the government’s first digital-only service, and claimants must apply online for the Department of Work and Pensions benefit. But there worries that the system is excluding […]

UN Day Of Disabled People: Government Could Face Court Over Universal Credit

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The government could be forced into court to defend its failure to make the much-criticised universal credit benefit system accessible to disabled people. A parliamentary meeting held to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on Monday – and to call for universal credit […]

Motability Charity Boss To Go After Extra Bonus Revealed

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    From BBC News.   The boss of Motability Operations is to step down by 2020 following criticism over his pay and a scathing review from the government’s spending watchdog. The report from the National Audit Office revealed Mike Betts was in line for an extra £1.86m bonus on top of already “generous” pay. The […]

DWP Admits Failing To Keep Track Of Disability Discrimination Claims By Its Own Staff

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By John Pring in Disability News Service. The government department responsible for running the Disability Confident employment scheme has admitted failing to keep track of how many complaints of disability discrimination are made by its own staff. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) repeatedly brags about its much-criticised scheme, which aims to help employers recruit […]

Almost Half Of Disabled People Fear Being Stripped Of Benefits For Being ‘Too Active’

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    By Rachel Wearmouth in The Huffington Post . ‘You feel that whatever you say may be taken out of context,’ says former Paralympian. Disabled people avoid exercise as they fear being stripped of much-relied on benefits for appearing “too independent”, campaigners say. New research, published by Activity Alliance, says that almost half (47%) […]

UN Warns Of Damage To “The Fabric Of British Society” As The State Turns On Its People

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  By Jack Peat in The London Economic.   Drastic cuts to social support and welfare risk damaging the very fabric of British society, a UN report has today revealed. Concluding his 12-day visit to the country the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said the UK Government’s policies are […]

9 Tips To Guide You Through A PIP Benefit Application

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By Jo Moss in A Journey Through The Fog.   We all know the anxiety inducing feeling of the dreaded brown envelope falling on your door mat. Being assessed, or reassessed for health and disability benefits, is both exhausting and scary. We are often made to feel we are faking it or exaggerating our symptoms. […]

Woman’s Fight To Stop Disabled People Travelling For Benefit Assessments

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  By Emily Hennings in This Is Local London.   Claudette Lawrence, 49, is an activist and campaigner who also suffers with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), which can cause extreme mental and physical exhaustion. She has set up the petition because she has recently come into contact with a lot of people who are having problems when it […]

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 […]

Trapped In PIPVILLE: Scrap 20m Rule Says MS Society

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by Katie Campbell in UNITE.   People with multiple sclerosis spent yesterday huddled outside Westminster in protest of the cruel PIP 20 metre rule before delivering a petition for the rule to be scrapped for Secretary of State for Work and pensions Esther McVey. The protesters spent the day trapped in PIPville, a fictional representation of the […]

Universal Credit Roll-Out Delayed – Again

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    By Katie Campbell in UNITE.   Leaked documents seen by the BBC have shown that the government will once again delay the rollout of Universal Credit, with Esther McVey saying that a “small amount of people – maybe 10,000” will be moved onto the system in 2019. Despite the government’s plans to have Universal Credit fully up-and-running […]

Esther McVey: Disabled People Will Get “Significantly More” On Universal Credit

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  by Katie Campbell in UNITE.   Esther McVey has told the BBC that one million disabled people will get “significantly more on Universal Credit,” despite previous evidence showing that disabled people face losing out on up to £4,000 every year under the new system. Speaking to the BBC yesterday, McVey admitted that the Tories have made some “tough […]

Almost Impossible To Get A Fair Pip Assessment

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  From The Guardian.   Ann Moore says the ‘health professionals’ often have little or no expertise in the medical condition or disability being assessed. Plus letters from Rev Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty, and from disabled war pensioner Mo Stewart. I fully empathise and sympathise with the article about Andrew McDonald (Top former civil servant lambasts ‘hostile’ disability […]

Tory Conference: Charity’s Silence On Universal Credit Deaths, Hours After Minister Announces £51m Funding

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By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A charity has refused to criticise the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over four deaths linked to universal credit, hours after a minister announced it would receive tens of millions of pounds to support claimants on the new benefit system. Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey […]

Maximus Make “Jaw-Dropping” Profits From DWP Assessments

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  By Katie Campbell in UNITE.   US-based firm Maximus have reportedly made “jaw-dropping” profits from carrying out assessments for disability benefits on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, per an article in the Times. Maximus, who are based in Virginia, reported earnings at the Centre for Health and Disability Assessment doubled in the year from […]

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