The DWP has recently backed down on their high pressure pre-tribunal tactics the day before they faced a judicial review initiated by a disabled woman. Her case concerned the way the tactics that the DWP has been using putting extreme pressure upon PIP claimants via telephone into accepting a lower PIP payment offer rather than attending a tribunal to hopefully receive higher PIP payments.
The claimant known as ‘K’ had been approached by the DWP who made a low offer and told the claimant, known as ‘K’ that they had just one hour to make up their mind. During this conversation the DWP also warned K that tribunals ‘are not very nice to go to’ and if K took it to tribunal they could lose her whole award.
The DWP are well known for their bullying tactics, particularly towards disabled and vulnerable people. K explained that they felt extremely pressured to make a quick decision and wasn’t given the time to make a decision or to seek advice upon this from others.
Needless to say the DWP should not be putting pressure upon people like this, using fear as a tactic to manipulate disabled people into accepting a lesser payment that they are entitled to.
Unsurprisingly the DWP refused to accept it was doing anything wrong for a year until the day before the hearing, when it suddenly agreed to make a number of changes.
These changes being;
Advising staff its essential that they inform claimants that even if they accept a revised offer they still have the right to appeal against it.
Telling DWP staff that they must ensure that benefit claimants do not feel ‘pressured’ into making a decision.
Introducing mandatory training to all staff involved in ‘lapsing’ appeals by the end of October to ensure they understand the updated guidance.
The DWP unsurprisingly, refused to agree to end the practice of making pre-tribunal offers to claimants .
We shall see if the DWP continue to use their intimidatory tactics, or if they agree to the actions agreed upon in the court case.
As you all know the DWP like nothing better than to target the most vulnerable and disabled people, knowing that they might find it hard to appeal decisions made towards them by the DWP, and personally I do think that some DWP workers do get a kick out of doing this.
It’s never ok to treat people like this. No one should have to fight for the very means to survive especially in times like these when everyone is struggling even more because of the pandemic.
Can you imagine how awful it is to receive a letter from the DWP that you are no longer entitled to the very monies that have kept you going? Your very means of survival taken away at the push of a button and an uncaring letter sent to you?
This is the reality of life for thousands of people every day, it sends people into mental and physical distress. It’s a never ending circle of abuse metered upon them by the DWP initiated by the government.
No one should ever be forced to go through this cruelty and we must continue to fight to end this. You can do this by sharing my blog posts and other campaign groups posts. Write to your MP to share your disgust, share posts on Twitter and Facebook. Join a campaign group, share your worries and concerns.
Your voice matters so let’s make sure that you are heard!
This week is a very difficult week for me. As you know my son recently died and it is our joint birthday this weekend on the 1st of August.
The pain of loosing a child, even though they were an adult is unlike any other pain that I have ever felt before. A part pf me wants to run away for the day, hide and speak to no one. Another part of me says sensibly that I can’t do that because his sisters will probably want to do something.
To put it bluntly I’m a mess but I’ll be ok, that’s what I keep telling myself. It feels like two minutes ago when Joseph entered this world at 7.40am .
Joseph was autistic, dyslexic and he also had a few other conditions, but he was an extremely brave, high functioning individual. He loved living on his own in his flat, and he was the local odd job man, always helping others.
Joseph did also have to fight the DWP every time his PIP and ESA was up for renewal. He attended tribunals and was helped by local organisations and myself. I know that he found this extremely hard to cope with but he did and I’m so proud of him.
This blog post is written in remembrance of Joseph, and all the good that he did in this world. He would have been very happy about this decision.
Please read, share, tweet, email and talk about this blog post and the issues surrounding it. This makes a lot of difference and it helps lots.
Please support my blog and campaign and blog. I don’t receive and funding for what I do and I am still helping families locally with food etc. I really couldn’t continue without your support.
For anyone that would like to donate towards my campaign and blog theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has previously supported my campaign and blog.
Personally I’m trying to make my front garden into a memorial garden for my son and any advice etc is more than welcome!
Many thanks to Benefits and Work for being the inspiration for this post.
I’ve been campaigning against the cruel system which is Universal Credit since it’s conception. I have with friends held weekly demonstrations against the cruelty of said system and have been told countless accounts of how Universal Credit has affected people, how it has caused many people to end their life’s, split families up and has Rendered people ill, depressed, stressed, hungry and feeling that they can never satisfy the demands of the system which was created in order to ‘help’ people.
The truth is that Universal Credit doesn’t help many, it leaves people in a much worse financially than they were before. It wears people down until they can’t cope any more.
It doesn’t discriminate though, it treats everyone in the same manner, making some people feel like a criminal for asking for help because they need it and deserve to be helped.
if you look through this blog you will read many stories of how this system has treated people, how its worn people down and has for some been a massive contributor into people taking their own life.
We’ve handed out hundreds of food parcels, literally fed people that haven’t eaten for days. Indeed, I wrote in an earlier blog post I documented that I gave a woman and her children some tinned food and goodies, and how they walked across the road and ate the food out of the tins because they were hungry and hadn’t eaten a real meal for a long time.
I’ve spoken to people that had been discriminated against by the DWP because of the way they looked. If you scroll down my blog posts you will read that a man was discriminated against because he wasn’t wearing a suit and tie and proper shoes for his appointment at the Jobcentre.
This was blatant discrimination because they knew how poor he was, how he’d had no money for over a month and only possessed one pair of canvas shoes and a thin summer jacket.
The demands that the DWP make to people can be completely ridiculous like this, if he had’t spoken to us he would never have found out that he didn’t have to do this.
I also helped a woman with a young baby who was told by her advisor that she couldn’t come to the Jobcentre with her baby. This is completely unfair and also untrue. Children are allowed to attend appointments but the DWP like to make the rules up as they please.
I’ve spoken and helped people that were very close to taking their own life because they couldn’t cope with the DWP bullying anymore. I’ve also helped people that became homeless when Universal Credit was first introduced into my town and two other local authorities. I’ll also never forget being told by a police officer that a man that I had helped but was later let down by the system, that he had taken his own life because he couldn’t see any future for himself.
I really could talk forever about this, please scroll through my blogs and my media posts to see more. It’s cruelty certainly ignited a fire inside of me to make me determined to fight these and other injustices throughout the DWP and other systems.
Universal Credit was introduced under the guise of supposedly making it easier to claim and that people would be better off financially. It wasn’t long before it was shown to do anything but this. It can virtually destroy people.
Years ago I made a promise, prompted by my friend Michael to document everything that I see, hear and experience in this blog. I really didn’t expect it to be read by anyone at all but it was because it wasn’t being spoken about back then.
Although I can’t be there today to take part in the day of action because I developed Potts Syndrome which comes and goes, but today it’s here after having Covid and Long Covid I am there in spirit. Covid nearly broke me but it didn’t and I’m very grateful to have survived it.
I stand in solidarity with everyone that’s campaigning against Universal Credit whilst also demanding that the government introduces the £20 uplift to disabled people as well. Disabled people have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, many haven’t been able to leave their homes because of quarantine restrictions and also the lack of carers being able to help at home. It’s absolutely shocking that the government treats them in this way.
The DWP systems aren’t good enough. They don’t help people, instead they punish people because of their own existence. I fear that this will continue to worsen because they hate poor and disabled people, and they don’t care if we suffer either.
I also experienced the death of my son which was totally unexpected and through no fault of his own. He went to bed and didn’t wake up. Joseph was disabled and he had to fight for every penny that he got from the DWP. I’ve lost count of the amount of appeals that he had to make to get his rightful payments.
When I first learnt that my son had died I didn’t know how I would continue, grief can take you to some very dark places. Despite this I think that I’m learning how to cope with it, knowing that it’s ok to have an off day or to feel sad sometimes. My daughters and everyone that reads my blog and supports both the campaign and blog have really helped me. It’s ok to cry and there shouldn’t be any shame surrounding this.
My son shared the same birthday as me which is coming up very soon, so I know that’s going to be a tough day for us all.
I want to do more though. I don’t think that I’m doing enough to raise awareness and to help people. Despite this I do know that I do need to keep this blog going because despite everything I still need to get the truth out there. If anyone would like to donate towards the upkeep of this blog and my campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Let’s get the truth out there!
It appears that the DWP are back to their old tricks again. The pandemic isn’t even over yet they continue with their obvious discrimination against disabled people.
Theres nothing that the government and the DWP appear to enjoy more than target vulnerable people with impossible targets to meet and to basically make their lives ask difficult as possible.
You might remember that a recent court hearing that the DWP had been wrongly using the law in relation to PIP mobility based on mental health grounds. (Personal Independence Payments)
The DWP although not admitting any wrongdoing, they did say that this would result in an increase of approximately 14% of the PIP mobility component. You can bet that they didn’t like that.
Meanwhile the brilliant team over at Benefits And Work have looked at the figures for claimants that claim PIP for anxiety and depression, this being listed as being the most likely to be affected by the court ruling.
They discovered that immediately after the DWP started implementing the new ruling, the award rates for mobility for depression and anxiety rose quite dramatically rising from 14% to up to 25% .
As if by some cruel feat of magic, the PIP award rates started to fall again, resulting in an all time low which is now far greater than before the court ruling.
Once again the DWP had most likely thought that they could ignore the ruling, thinking that no one would notice their deception. After all it’s easy to target the most vulnerable and the people that will find it extremely hard to fight back.
It’s very easy for the DWP to do this though, indeed it’s taken them just over a year to achieve this gross injustice.
They know that they can ignore court rulings because they’re accountable to no one. Knowing that this will result in the suffering of so many people they continue not caring and denying people their rightful payment awards.
Whilst the pandemic had opened up lots more access to online meetings and events, those without the internet cannot access help this way. Can you imagine being awarded such a meagre amount of money that leaves you unable to leave your home? Unable to pay or find internet access?
It’s cruelty beyond belief, and I don’t for one minute doubt that the DWP know exactly what they’re doing.
At a time when society should be helping each other the DWP decided to make disabled peoples lives even harder, which is no surprise and they will continue until they’re physically out of government.
What can we do to help each other? We can give help, advice and solidarity to anyone that we know that needs it. This makes a world of difference. I will continue to campaign against the ugly DWP machine and the government for as long as I am able to.
A huge thank you to Benefits And Work for all the hard work that they do. If you haven’t checked them out yet `I urge you to because they’re amazing!
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog posts. Every share really helps to raise awareness which in turn helps people. We need to get the truth out there.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign. I’m slowly trying to get back to a new normal for me. Loosing my son has devastated me, but as a disabled person himself he would want me to continue to fight for fairness and equality for all.
I don’t receive any funding for either my blog and campaign. Theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports my work and a massive thank you to everyone that has supported me and shown me kindness throughout this awful time.