Disability Benefits

I Was Reported To DWP And It Broke Me

  By Kate Stanforth in WheelAir. Kate Stanforth shares her story, from being an active young girl, to developing a chronic illness and navigating ESA, DWP and public opinion. I’m going to open this by saying that this is the most honest blog I have ever written. It’s on a subject that I know lots […]

Audio Recording Option Set To Be Introduced For All PIP Assessments, Says DWP

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has finally agreed that all disabled people being assessed for personal independence payment (PIP) will be able to have their face-to-face assessments recorded. The promise has come in a letter to the Right to Record action group, a disabled-led […]

Disabled People Highlight Scores Of Lockdown Concerns

  By John Pring in Disability News Service. Disabled people have highlighted gaps in social security support, flaws in the shielding system and worries about access to vaccines, after they were asked to describe their concerns as England entered its third national coronavirus lockdown*. They raised scores of different issues, ranging from worries about the accessibility […]

DWP Silent As It Stops Answering Questions From Disability News Service

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has stopped answering questions from Disability News Service (DNS), and is refusing to explain why it has taken the “totally unacceptable” step. Since early July, DWP’s press office has failed to provide a meaningful response to questions submitted by […]

Coronavirus: Government’s Failure To Offer Video PIP Appeals ‘Is Discrimination’

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The government’s continuing failure to allow benefit appeals to be heard via video conferencing is discriminating against disabled claimants, say welfare rights experts. Many disabled people are being forced to ask for their tribunals to be postponed, because they are only being offered a telephone hearing, […]

Coronavirus: Disabled Benefit Claimants Tell MPs How Crisis Has Hit Them Hard

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Disabled people have told MPs how they have been hit particularly hard by the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the benefits system. The Commons work and pensions committee carried out a survey of benefit claimants as part of an inquiry into the response of the Department […]

Benefit Assessment Companies ‘Have Made Almost No Progress’ On Safeguarding

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The three companies that carry out disability benefit assessments for the government have made almost no progress in the last year on alerting local authorities to concerns about claimants whose safety is at risk, according to a disabled campaigner. Last year, freedom of information responses from […]

Bus Pass Restrictions Relaxed In North Yorkshire

  By Karen Lie in Yorkshire Coast Radio.   Restrictions on the use of bus passes in North Yorkshire have been relaxed to help pass holders to take advantage of early morning shopping opportunities and medical appointments. North Yorkshire County Council have temporarily enhanced their National Concessionary Travel Scheme to enable pass holders to use […]

Labour Leadership: Starmer Backs Calls For Free Social Care

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The MP leading the race to be Labour’s next leader has become the first candidate to back calls by disabled people’s groups for the introduction of free social care, funded by national progressive taxation. Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, said he supported the motion passed […]

Changes Promised To Cut Stress Of PIP Assessments

  By Lauren Harte in the Belfast Telegraph.   Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has vowed to improve the process for those applying for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) following a call to make the troubled system “fair and accessible for those who genuinely need it”. When PIP was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2016, replacing Disability […]

DWP Officials Accused Of ‘Tampering’ With Thousands Of Benefit Assessments

  From Welare Weekly.   Benefit officials working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have altered or binned thousands of work capability assessment reports submitted by healthcare professionals, it has been claimed. DWP officials reduced qualifying points awarded during face-to-face assessments and in some cases binned the reports entirely, according to media reports. […]

Support For ‘Amazing’ Campaigner Whose Vital Legal Case Could Help Thousands

By John Pring in Disability News.   Disabled campaigners travelled from across the country this week to show support for a fellow activist as she took on justice ministers in the high court over the ruinous costs disabled people can face when they take disability discrimination cases. If she wins, Esther Leighton could give hope to thousands […]

Judge’s PIP Comments Suggest Thousands Have Had Claims Wrongly Stopped

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Thousands of disabled people could have had their benefit claims stopped unlawfully, campaigners believe, after a judge found that letters sent out by government contractors were failing to stress the serious consequences of failing to attend a face-to-face assessment. Upper tribunal judge Nicholas Wikeley said he […]

New Government Provides Details On Five Disability Policy Pledges

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The new Conservative government has described how it plans to fulfil the five major disability policy pledges it included in its general election manifesto. The details were included in a briefing document published alongside last month’s Queen’s speech by prime minister Boris Johnson. They cover social care, a […]

General election 2019: What’s Pledged For Disability And Mental Health ?

      By Damon Rose & Beth Rose in BBC News.   With 13 million disabled people in the country, plus their friends and family, the political parties have a huge community to court. Universal credit is still making headlines, while the main parties are divided on what to do with the social care […]

After I Revealed Whitehall Plans To Deceive The Public On Universal Credit, An Investigation Began. Its Conclusions Are Shocking

By Aditya Chakrabortty in The Guardian.   Early this summer, a national newspaper published a string of curious articles. Under the logo Universal Credit Uncovered, the features promised readers of the Metro the truth about this most notorious of all benefits. The series began with a giant advert wrapped around the cover of the paper, coupled […]

Activists Combine To Offer PIP Assessment Recording Kits

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Disabled activists have responded to the government’s continuing failure to deal with the dishonesty and inaccuracy of the disability benefit assessment process by launching schemes to ensure that claimants can record their own assessments. Grassroots groups of disabled activists launched two separate campaigns this week […]

Ministers Push Ahead With Single Face-To-Face Assessments For Disability Benefits

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Ministers are pushing ahead with controversial plans to merge two disability benefit assessments into one, despite concerns raised by disabled campaigners. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) wants to offer a single face-to-face assessment – with the agreement of the claimant – that would […]

A Blue Badge And Invisible ME

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.

  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

    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

  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

      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 […]

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