As reported by Benefits And Work there are possibly thousands of missing Long Covid PIP claimants that appear to be missing from both the Office for National Statistics. They are also missing from the DWP latest published statistics.
New figures from the Office for National Statistics estimate that 506,000 people have now had Long Covid for over a year. This number is increasing every day yet they’re missing, nowhere to be found.
247,000 Long Covid sufferers say that their ability to undertake their day-to-day activities has been “limited a lot” as a result of Long Covid.
Yet according to the latest DWP statistics on Stat-Xplore record there are just 480 claims regarding Long Covid where it is the the main condition for claiming PIP. This figure has risen from 143 claims three months earlier.
However the success rate for PIP Long Covid claims has fallen from 76%, but is still high, at almost 60%.
A quarter of those who were successful in claiming PIP received the enhanced rate of both the daily living and the mobility components.
It appears that PIP claims for Long Covid do have a better than average chance of success. Despite this hundreds of thousands of people who could be making a PIP claim appear to not be doing so.
Long Covid is exhausting to live with and is likely to hinder any employment prospects. Living with Long Covid also increases everyday living costs.
The reality of having to make a choice between eating or heating, or not being able to afford either is something that Long Covid sufferers and others have to make daily.
The reason for the missing PIP claimants could be because of a distinct lack of information regarding claiming PIP for Long Covid sufferers. This is abhorrent. Everyone that is suffering from this disabling condition should be informed of their right to claim PIP to help with their everyday living costs.
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A huge thank to Benefits And Work for providing this information. They’re amazing and work so hard.
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A friend of mine that volunteers at a foodbank has just sent me the below images. They asked if their anonymity is kept and of course I’m respecting this.
The photos were taken as they were arriving for their shift at the food bank. It wasn’t open for some time, but the queue was already massive, people arriving early to make sure that they’d get some food.
As you can see the queue consisted of People, all differing in their needs. What can’t be missed is the people using wheelchairs queueing for food parcels.on Christmas Eve.
Also in the queue are elderly people and families with children.
You don’t need me to tell you that this shouldn’t be happening , it’s heartbreaking.
You can always find the measure of a country by seeing how they look after the poor, young, elderly and disabled.
The conservative government is blatantly failing on this front. As a country we can’t be proud of this either.
Being proud of a country is about being proud of what it actually does right, and how it treats those in need. It’s not about waving flags and singing the national anthem.
We can however also look back on history and also be ashamed for the very same reasons. Ignoring the fact that the UK government is causing direct harm to people won’t make it go away.
Whilst the government has been focusing on ridiculous things like blue passports people are dying, thousands are becoming homeless and many are becoming ill from poverty related illnesses.
Meanwhile the public are bombarded with images of the royal family having a lovely Christmas, the people queuing at this foodbank and others won’t be able to celebrate.
Its simply not acceptable.
I messaged the volunteer that took the below images and this is what they said
It felt like a slap in the face for them too. It’s a reminder of their privilege. Because despite having their own difficulties they can sit in a warm house, with food, having just wrapped presents for their family.
They went on to say that it makes them angry and sad that this is happening, that they wished that they could do more to help. There’s more that many could do, so let’s do it.
Helping others doesn’t have to cost a penny. A kind word, saying hello in the street makes the world of difference to someone that lives alone and hasn’t spoken to anyone for a long time.
Being a friend costs nothing also, sharing what you no longer need doesn’t either. Of course I realise that many people have nothing to give to someone else.
Let’s spend the festive period and the coming year to be kind and thoughtful towards each other. We need to do this because the government won’t ever care about you.
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Dear subscribers and guests it’s been a tough year for so many of us, I know it, I feel it.
This year was probably the worst one of my whole life. My son was tragically taken away from me mid pandemic. It hurts more than anything else that I’ve experienced.
Whilst we were abiding to the social distancing rules, the Tory government were busy partying and carrying on as if nothing had happened.
This was a case of we’ll do whatever we want sod the public. They don’t care about us. My son had to have a very reduced socially distanced funeral whilst they were enjoying life.
To be honest this is a perfect example of how they treat us. They never spare a thought for us so don’t expect them to either.
Christmas is a tough time for so many reasons wether it be for financial reasons or bereavement. I’m with you, I feel it.
I haven’t put a Christmas tree up this year. My daughter and I decided that it doesn’t feel right so we put some extra lights on his memorial table.
So much pressure is put on society to have the big tree, the decorations and lots of good food. The truth is that so many of us can’t afford to buy the big tree, pay for the electric to light the Christmas lights and affording a big meal with all the trimmings is near impossible.
Poverty doesn’t end at Christmas, if anything it’s amplified for reasons that I’ve already stated.
You do Christmas how you want to do it. Try and ignore the pressure to comply to what everyone expects. If you want to turn the TV off and read a book instead then do it.
If you want to spend Christmas day doing nothing then do it. Be kind to yourself.
I used to put so much pressure upon myself to get everything right for others to see. Loosing my son has made me realise that none of this really matters.
Like many of you I’m going to find Christmas tough, but I will get through it.
So many families are going to be going without the Christmas that they were used to. The pandemic has caused thousands of people to loose their jobs and it’s also resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.
Thousands of families and individuals are newly dependant upon foodbanks to keep them going. It’s not easy asking for help and the food isn’t the best. Hopefully one day it will get better.
How do you explain to your children that Father Christmas can’t come this year? It’s heartbreaking.
What we can do is be there for each other, talk to friends on social media, text or face to face (socially distanced of course).
We will get through this. Lots of love to you all.
Please read, share and tweet my blog. This makes a massive difference and it raises so much awareness.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports and has supported my blog this year. I really couldn’t do it without you.
I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and to say it’s tough is an understatement.
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Well who’d have guessed that the government would find £2 billion from their magic money pot to inflict even more cruelty to disabled and ill claimants.
Thanks to Benefits And Work who have uncovered the first details of the new assessment contracts for PIP, ESA and UC claimants.
These shiny new contracts will split the UK into five regions which will involve over £2.8 billion being given to the private sector over a period of five years. This is supposedly to allow the DWP to decide how these assessments will take place through telephone or face-to-face assessments.
I add that as usual this will be decided ignoring the actual physical and mental needs a claimant might have.
Under the new claimant Functional Assessment Services (FAS) system as it is titled, the UK will be divided into five regions from 1 August 2023:
Lot 1 – Northern England and Scotland 647,600,000
Lot 2 – Midlands and Wales 473,400,000
Lot 3 – South West England 338,000,000
Lot 4 – London, South East & East Anglia 396,800,000
Lot 5- Northern Ireland 105,100,000
In each region, a single company will be chosen to carry out all the PIP, ESA and UC assessments.
So basically money talks regardless of already vulnerable claimants needs. Whoever puts the best tender in wins the contract.
Call me old fashioned but the wellbeing and needs of individuals should always be put first. Instead they companies with no medical knowledge and experience to assess already vulnerable people.
They will be allowed to decide if a person disabled enough to claim their rightful payments regardless of having no medical knowledge of their needs.
Basically claimants life’s are once again in the hands of these so called assessors.
The total value of the contracts that will be given is £2 billion firstly to rise to £2.8 billion if the DWP chooses to extend the contract for an additional two years.
You can bet that they’ll choose to extend these contracts, afterall it’s beneficial for the government to extend them.
There’s always room for extending cruel systems such as this. What the government won’t tell you is that they want as many people as possible to be declared fit for work. It doesn’t matter of they’re fit or able enough to do so.
The Scottish government will be taking over PIP assessments itself in advance of August 2023.
There will be some claims that are already underway that will still be dealt with by private sector assessors.
The bid winners will be paid first for a ten month ‘implementation phase’. This will ensure they will have fully trained their staff and have acquired suitable premises. It also will give them the chance to implement their IT systems before going live.
As we already know the DWP never make any system uncomplicated though. To prove this the DWP will provide one IT system for PIP claimants and a separate system for ESA and UC claimants.
The DWP have already warned potential providers that changes might take place place throughout the life of the contract.
These changes may include alterations in the ‘channel mix’ as the DWP call it.
An example being “change in proportional requirements relating to virtual assessments and face to face assessments. They could for example change requirements such as 60% face-to-face to 20% assessments.
It is very clear that the DWP and not the assessment providers that will decide which proportion of claimants receive a telephone or face-to-face assessment.
This makes it clear that assessment providers will be working to meet targets for types of assessment. This will completely ignore the fact that some claimants are obliged to have an inappropriate method of assessment.
As you can see none of this will be beneficial for anyone that claims ESA,PIP and UC.
As these systems are target driven the assessors will be more concerned with meeting targets than the wellbeing of anyone being assessed.
I don’t have to tell you how much distress is caused by cruel systems like this especially if they’re target driven. Who remembers Sandra’s Stars?
We must remain vigilant because as we know from past experience the government will try to put in legislation and plans without our knowledge.
You can do this by sharing information online on your preferred social media provider, emailing mine and likewise blogs to people that might need informing
As we quickly approach Christmas and a cold hungry winter once again the DWP are going to bring back the cruel sanction system.
They never miss a chance to make Christmas even more harder do they.
Sanctions relating to the claimant commitment had been suspended due to the pandemic.
It is very clear that the DWP are now back to business including sanctioning sick and disabled claimants.
According to Touch base the DWP are quoted as saying“This week a change was made to bring the obligations in new style JSA and ESA benefits in line with those in Universal Credit”
“This will mean that, as is the case for Universal Credit claimants, if someone in receipt of new style JSA and ESA fails to do what they have agreed to in their Claimant Commitment without good reason – such as having or caring for a child, or a change to a health condition – their payments may be reduced for a set period. This is known as a sanction.”
“All Claimant Commitments are tailored to a person’s personal circumstances and local jobs market, and claimants affected by this change are being informed of the introduction of the new process. Sanctions are only applied as a last resort when a claimant is not engaging with the commitment they have made. If someone disagrees with a decision they can ask for it to be looked at again.”
This is all rather scary as the government have now passed on the onus of sanctioning decisions to the Job Coaches and not a decision maker.
Sanctions aren’t always a last resort decision and I’m speaking from years of experience helping people to appeal sanction decisions. Also since when have the DWP taken children into consideration… They haven’t.
I’m sure that many of you reading this have had so called Job Coaches that take an obvious dislike you you. I’ve also experienced this and I know exactly what it’s like. It’s soul destroying.
I’ve experienced having a Job Coach that clearly hated me. She would find holes in everything that I did and tried to sanction me at every opportunity that came her way.
Luckily I was able to make a complaint about her which involved my local MP.
I changed Job Coaches but she would glare at me every time that I walked past her. I have mentioned this in a previous blog post.
My question is this… How many innocent people are going to be wrongfully sanctioned because of this very reason?
It’s also worrying that there could well be even more sanction targets (offloads). Therefore the need to reach these targets will cause the suffering and distress of thousands of people.
Basically the whole sanctioning process could well be ramped up a whole lot more..
Opinion isn’t fact and there are many valid reasons why a claimant has not been able to to fulfill their claimant commitment.
Illness, lack of money for essentials such as no money to top up mobile phones or to have access to the internet at home.
Access to libraries is fast becoming a rarity these days. The DWP demands that claimants have access to the internet at all times.
Essentialy if an Job Coach decides in their opinion that a claimant hasn’t done enough then they’ll sanction them.
Remember once again opinion isn’t always fact and this is a very dangerous precept to use.
The whole sanction system should be abolished. There’s absolutely no reason why a person should have their very basics for survival to be snatched off them by the click of a button. Which is based upon the opinion of a Job Coach. Remember opinion isn’t always fact.
Whilst we are still in the midst of a pandemic the government and the DWP have now returned to normal. Don’t expect them to care because they obviously don’t.
Keep a good written and digital record (if you can) of everything that you’ve done to fulfill your claimant commitment.
If you’ve been ill or suchlike also try to keep a record of whatever you can to prove that you’ve been ill.
It’s important that you do all this because sanctioning you will be a whole lot harder if you keep a good record of everything.
If you are in the Greater Manchester area please have a look and even join in with Greater Manchester DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) activities. You can find them here at https:\\manchesterdpac.com
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog posts. It helps enormously to get the truth out there.
How am I? I’m ok apart from catching a sickness bug yesterday hence my blog being late. My apologies.
A huge thank you to everyone that has supported my campaign and blog. I really couldn’t have done it without you.
I don’t receive any payment for any of the work that I do. If anyone would like to donate there is a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
Dear readers I write this blog on Christmas Day, a day when people are expected to celebrate and be happy.
Sadly because of the government’s cruel Universal Credit system and the torturous PIP and ESA DWP ‘medical’ assessments thousands of people won’t be able to celebrate, cook a Christmas dinner and exchange gifts.
This year is tougher than normal because we are still in the middle of a pandemic that the government is trying it’s best to ignore.
Today the UK’s official Covid death toll has surpassed 70,000 on as 570 more people died today.
Let that sink in 570 people have died from Covid 19 on Christmas day. Also a total of 70,000 people have died as a result of Covid 19.
Meanwhile the government continues to ignore this, they just don’t want to know and they certainly don’t want to help.
70,000 families will be grieving as will their friends. But hey let’s ignore them and continue to put the public at risk.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the government actually tool some positive action, set an example to the rest of the world and protected people. This won’t happen though.
It appears that the government is in some sick competition with America about how many people will die from Covid 19.
Then we have the thousands of people now unemployed as a result of the pandemic. Now facing the inhumane universal Credit system, many can’t understand how they’re expected to survive on so little money.
Thousands of people won’t be able to give anyone presents this year, heat their home and have a Christmas dinner.
This year the queues for food banks and suchlike places have more than doubled. Families are queuing for hot meals in city centres and children and their parents are hungry because they don’t have the money to survive on.
How sickening it is that I have to use the world surviving… People shouldn’t be surviving they should be able to live, be happy and have enough money to be able to feed themselves and their children.
I want to be positive I really do but it’s extremely hard to find the good in all of this. We shouldn’t be celebrating the fact that food banks are opening and organisations and charities are working extremely hard to find food to give to hungry people.
Theres a reason why the government likes foodbanks. If given the opportunity one of their Tory MPs will see this as a photo opportunity.
Foodbanks save the government thousands of pounds every year. They also take the responsibility of feeding people away from them and moves it to the foodbanks and organisations to do this.
No wonder Tories smile so much at the thought of another foodbank opening.
Basically what I’m saying is yes please support your local foodbank but please remind the government of their duty of care towards the people of this country.
Normally we would see the government’s opposition making a speech or statement about the terrible neglect of the poorest and most vulnerable of this country. This year it’s virtually silent.
Sir Kier Starmer quite rightly made a speech about Brexit, but he failed to address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable of this country.
As a result thousands of people are feeling neglected and unimportant and totally pissed off with the political system in general.
So what do we do now? We support each other in whatever way that we are able to.
A friendly word, a smile can sometimes be enough.
We have to be there for each other because this damned government will never never care.
A huge thank you to everyone that reads and supports my campaign and blog. Your kind words and support have kept me going throughout my own covid 19 nightmare.
Sadly I’ve got pleurisy again, thanks to long covid. Hopefully I’ll be better soon.
For anyone that would like to donate towards my campaign and blog there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you!
Dear readers this week’s blog is going to be rather short and I apologize for this.
The other week my daughter brought a virus home from school. This in itself wouldn’t be problematic but combine this with my long covid and respitory problems because of this it’s been a nightmare.
I was prescribed some meds which have worked to an extent but I still feel terrible. As a result it’s impacted my life dramatically this week and all that I’ve been able to do is nothing. A flat nothing except essential tasks.
I know that I should probably go back to the hospital but I’m putting it off because they’ve got much sicker people than me to deal with.
The reality is that long covid sufferers like myself are left to it with very little or no support. If you haven’t been admitted to hospital then it’s extremely hard to get someone to listen and to help you.
Unluckily I was admitted to hospital so I have been able to access some very basic tests and have been allocated a respiratory specialist that I’m still waiting to see.
I’ve tried all of the alternative remedies out there and none of them work. Some slightly ease the symptoms but the only things that really work are time, antibiotics for any infection lurking and a nebuliser on bad days.
To access any of these you either have to have access to a decent doctor and a local hospital. By decent I mean a doctor that actually recognises that long covid and related problems are an actual thing.
This sadly isn’t as easy as you might think. Often when you get covid 19 you also can get some really strange symptoms that there’s no explanation for.
My strange symptoms have been high temperature but not skyrocketing high, hallucinations in the early stages, really strange aches and pains, fatigue, breathlessness and a crappy immune system that can be set off by the slightest thing.
When the decision to have another so called lockdown not once were people with illnesses, disabilities and long covid taken into account.
The government shuts pubs, restaurants, gyms etc but they refuse to shut the schools, colleges and universities.
It’s a total misconception that children are being adequately socially distanced. The covid 19 and other viruses are running through these establishments at a high rate. This then returns home with the pupils, teachers, teaching staff and school staff and is passed onto any person living with them.
It’s extremely dangerous but so many people are failing to see this. We aren’t even an afterthought we aren’t thought of at all.
It’s also extremely frustrating to see that so many people in my area at least don’t believe that this virus exists or if it does it’s not harmful.
It’s all a conspiracy they say, wearing a mask takes away our freedom! They fail to see that wearing a mask actually does help to give them the freedom that they crave.
Then we have the news of a vaccine that’s on the way. It’s supposedly around 90% effective and it should be welcomed. But it isn’t by many.
Like anything new it’s ok to be suspicious but this vaccination has been tested adequately. I can’t however comment on any side effects but to be honest I’d give anything to feel well again.
Whilst the schools etc are still open the virus will still be spread amongst our communities. Add into this the people that refuse to wear a mask etc and so many more people are going to become ill or much worse die.
This week saw the death total for UK hit 50 thousand. Yes these people died from Covid 19 related illnesses but people still insult the dead and their families by saying that its all a lie.
It isn’t a lie, people are dying and they need to take this seriously.
I’m sorry for repeating myself again but people do need to hear this. It’s extremely important.
As for me, I’ve not been able to go out anywhere except for my local post office which isn’t far.
I struggle walking there and back, breathing isn’t easy when your mobile but it is what it is.
I wear a mask whenever I do go to the post office and I’m very strict about using anti bacterial hand creams etc.
I stay away from any crowds of people because I realize the risk of catching something else.
I’m not contagious anymore but so many people are vulnerable and we all need to look after each other.
What I do want is a proper lockdown with the full support of the government for workers and self employed people.
I want people to realise that long covid is a serious thing as is having a weakened immune system thanks to covid 19.
I want people to realise that we don’t get well overnight. It takes a long time and its a struggle to do so.
For some catching covid 19 is the only way that they’ll start to realise how awful it is.
As for the vaccine. It’s going to take quite a while for it to be rolled out to the general public. It’s being offered to vulnerable groups of people first and quiet rightly so.
Please don’t become complacent because a vaccine is on the way.
Please keep safe. I know that as a single parent it’s doubly hard to do so but it’s so important.
Continue to look out for each other, help and support each other.
I’m going to end this blog here but please know that you’re all in my thoughts.
Please read, share and tweet my blog.
A huge thank you to all of you that do this already.
There’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog. I receive no funding for anything that I do. Every penny helps me to continue with my blog and campaign.
A massive thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. Your support means the world to me.