MPs have recently accused the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) of creating ‘two classes of Universal Credit (UC) claimants.
The accusations were made as a result of uncovering the fact that claimants who are forced to migrate to UC early will face financial loss, compared to those who make the decision to move over to UC later rather than being forced to migrate.
This financial hit will happen as a result of next April’s annual uprating.
ESA claimants who choose to migrate after the uprating will keep what is estimated to be around a 9% increase in their benefits.
Claimants who are forced to migrate before April will have any uprating payments deducted from their transitional protection. This will leave them in a much worse financial situation than claimants who migrate later.
Upon questioning, Therese Coffey DWP secretary of state was asked if she would accept that this decision would lead to inequality, Coffey dismissed the accusation saying “I am not anticipating we will have lots of managed migration by April.”
To put it bluntly she doesn’t care if a few thousand claimants are going to suffer financially and nor will she rectify it either.
As usual Therese Coffey cares only about herself and not the vulnerable people that she claims to care for. This proves once again that UC very rarely improves a claimants financial situation, but instead causes distress and harm.
Source Benefits And Work
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As reported by Benefits And Work the EHRC (Equality And Human Rights Commission) has broken its promise to investigate the role that the DWP (Department of Work And Pensions)have played in the deaths of vulnerable claimants. This has left the DWP not needing to answer any questions as to the role that they played in their deaths
Instead the EHRC are now asking the DWP to create new policies in relation to claimants with mental health issues and learning difficulties. This will replace the promised investigation.
This is despite promises made by the EHRC in 2019 that they would start an investigation into the deaths of vulnerable claimants.
The EHRC used the pandemic as an excuse to not start the investigation.
The Commission has now declared that it only intends to enter into a Section 23 agreement under the Equality Act 2006. This will oblige the DWP “to commit to an action plan to meet the needs of customers with mental health impairments and learning disabilities.”
Keep in mind that the DWP are a much larger organisation that receive more funding than the EHRC. This will no doubt result in the DWP will dragging their heels in creating so called policies that will be nothing more than good intentions that probably won’t be actioned upon.
Whilst I don’t have any details as to why the EHRC have changed their minds I can say that at best they’re very niave putting far too much trust in the DWP to do the right thing.
The DWP has an appalling track record of discrimination against vulnerable claimants, ignoring their basic human rights and making life extremely hard for them.
Despite my disappointment with the EHRC’s decision I’m not surprised. The DWP will do anything to avoid any actions taken against them making promises that they’ve got no intention of keeping whilst doing the bare minimum to comply.
Once again thanks go to Benefits And Work for their hard work and inspiring this article.
A huge thanks to everyone that likes, shares, reads and supports both my blog and campaign.
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As reported by the amazing team over at Benefits And Work a coroner has issued a Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) report after the DWP forced a severely ill claimant to leave hospital to make a claim, without giving him the option him to do so electronically.
Terence Talbot, who had Bipolar Affective Disorder, was at the time being detained at hospital under the Mental Health Act because he had suffered a rare reaction to the medication he had been prescribed. This reaction had made him very vulnerable to infection and ultimately resulted in his death.
According to Benefits And Work the DWP had refused to let Mr Talbot make a claim for benefits electronically which he was entitled to do and instead insisted that he had to make the claim in person.
As a result of having to leave the hospital to make his claim Mr Talbot died in hospital.
The Coroner said in her report that the health professionals that cared for Mr Talbot had never experienced such an ill patient being forced to make a claim in person.
She went on to say “I heard from all the doctors and a senior nurse in this case who have a considerable experience across a range of specialties and across several different NHS Trusts. They have never experienced nor heard of a case where a severely ill inpatient was required by the Department of Work and Pensions to leave hospital to attend its offices in person to make a claim for welfare benefits.”
The secretary of state for Work and Pensions has until 28 January to tell the Coroner how the DWP will make sure that nothing like this happens again.
Don’t depend on this changing anything though. The DWP has a very long record of making promises that they have no intention of keeping. It isn’t important to them, nor is the welfare of claimants important as well. Sadly I expect that they won’t ‘learn’ from Mr Talbots death, instead they’ll file it away to be forgotten.
For a long time now the government has regarded claimants as stock, ready to be used and neglected at their whim. Once a claimant isn’t able to be of use for the DWP and government they more or less wipe their hands of them, making life extremely hard forcing them to complete impossible tasks.
This then results in deaths such as Mr Talbots and thousands more like him.
Sue Jones over on Twitter explains it perfectly.
I’d like to say that this isn’t true but it is. They regard people with disabilities and illnesses with such disdain and hate that many find it impossible to continue. Many refuse to make a claim for benefits because they’re too scared of doing so. Indeed, many of the people that I help and have helped have been in this position. Judged by society for being disabled or ill and then treated with cruelty by the DWP.
There is a desperate need for change in how the DWP and society views people that claim benefits and also how they treat people with disabilities. This won’t happen whilst the Conservative government is in power, but we can continue to put pressure upon them by sharing campaigns and blogs like mine. It makes a massive difference.
My thoughts and prayers go to Mr Talbot, his family and everyone that has died as a result of cruel decisions made by the DWP and their representatives.
How am I? Struggling this week as usual. Like so many of you I’ve had to make the choice between heating and eating. Truth be told like you I can’t afford to do either but I have to make sure my daughters wellbeing comes first.
If you are interested in getting involved with campaigning or need support I can’t recommend DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) enough. It’s a fantastic network run by real people experiencing the same difficulties as you might be. You can find them on their Facebook page and Twitter.
If you like my work and campaign and can afford to would like to donate to keep both my blog and campaign going there is a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny makes a huge difference for both. I have to pay my internet bill tomorrow and I’m really struggling to do so.
Thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. You have all kept me going through the extremely bad past year. We are all still struggling with my sons death, he leaves a massive hole in our hearts that can’t be filled.