Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit that can help with extra living costs if you have both a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability if you have difficulty doing everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition.
PIP can be applied for even if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.
A Mandatory Reconsideration is the first step of challenging a PIP decision. This involves asking the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to look at their decision again. A Mandatory Reconsideration has to be applied for within one month of the decision date (the date that is given on the decision letter).
Reports show that the latest PIP statistics give show that Mandatory Reconsiderations success rates have fallen for almost every single month since October of 2021. The statistics go on to show that the success rates have dropped from 45% in October 2021 to just 26% in April of 2022. When questioned the DWP have offered no explanation for this inexorable decline in Mandatory Reconsideration success rates.
In 2019 the DWP implemented a new system of contacting claimants who lodged a mandatory reconsideration in order to collect further evidence. As a result Mandatory Reconsideration success rates rose considerably.
Moving forward to 2022 the DWP are now struggling to cope with an 18% increase in new PIP claims.This has resulted in a 9% increase in requests for mandatory reconsiderations which in turn has caused significant stress on an already overwhelmed system.
There are various reasons as to what the cause is but one notable one is that the DWP appear to no longer take the time to contact claimants if they’ve failed an assessment therefore success rates have fallen back to their previous levels before 2019.
Invariably this has resulted in thousands of claimants becoming disheartened and forgoing applying for a Mandatory Reconsideration. If a claimant makes the decision to challenge the DWPs decision they often have to wait months before going through the ordeal of an appeal tribunal. This results in already vulnerable people in a distressed state unable to continue with their day to day activities that their PIP award enabled them to do.
People living with a disability or illness have long bared the brunt of the governments cruelty being neglected, ignored and often left to cope with relentless cuts to their benefit payments and help that most need to continue with their day to day activities.
The governments relentless targeting of the most vulnerable in society needs to stop but sadly its very likely that this won’t happen whilst the Tory government are still in power. Instead they prefer to have parties and sing on karaokes whilst thousands of people suffer as a result of their actions.
Please read, share and tweet this blog post, every share helps massively to raise awareness which is vitally important.
f you would like to contribute towards keeping my blog and campaign going and can afford to there is a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign. Every penny makes a huge difference and enables me to continue with my work. I don’t receive any payment for any of the work that I do and its a huge struggle for me.
UK doctors suffering from Long Covid have been denied PIP according to a recent report by The Guardian.
Long Covid can be very debilitating leaving sufferers unable to do the most basic tasks without some help and assistance.
The report describes how badly the doctors are being treated by the DWP.
For example a respiratory consultant has described how they were refused PIP (Personal Independent Payments) whilst having urinary incontinence, difficulty standing, preparing food, eating, washing, dressing or engaging with people face to face. They also stated that they can’t stand for more than 10 minutes, find it very difficult to prepare food.
They went on to say “I thought that I had illustrated quite clearly what my disability was.” “When I got the report back, I thought is this about me?’”
The article also reveals that the process of making a PIP claim was so hard and mentally exhausted that it worsened their symptoms leaving them feeling much worse than before making their claim.
Some describing that they’ve been forced to use almost all their savings on private treatments and have considering selling their home as a result of this process.
For example an infectious disease expert that developed Long Covid found that their claim was rejected in part because they can drive a car, the assessor stating in their report that they showed “significant physical function” and “substantial cognitive powers”.
According to the Office for National Statistics from May 1st 2022 an estimated two million people in the UK have reported having Long Covid and it also beggars the question how many people having Long Covid are being refused their PIP payments despite having these symptoms and worse.
For many years now the whole PIP testing system has been heavily criticised and is flawed against the person applying for it. Many give up and try to continue without it because the process is too arduous and painful. It is noted that approximately 70% of PIP claimants win their appeal if they choose to do so.
The whole process urgently needs a huge reform and claims need to be processed correctly and fairly whilst taking into account the true symptoms and difficulties that PIP claimants report. Many PIP claims are refused upon the basis of lies made by the assessors conducting PIP assessments.
Sadly whilst the Conservative government remains in power any changes to the system remain very unlikely.
If you are also finding it hard to claim PIP or/and ESA for Long Covid related illnesses please comment below or tweet your difficulties via this blog on Twitter or Facebook. Let’s get our voices heard!
Please read and share it helps massively to raise awareness .
I receive no payment for any of the work or campaigning that I do and it’s a huge struggle for myself like it is for you. If you can afford and would like to donate to enable me to continue with my work theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does help support my work. Every penny makes a massive difference and enables me to continue.
Being poor in winter has always been a costly time of year but this year we are reminded of how many more people find themselves in this position.
I’ve said it before and will say it again because the choice between heating or eating is one that thousands are having to make this year, many not having the finances to do either. As we are already faced with increased energy prices, the upcoming price rises in April will make it a cost too high for thousands.
Imagine being priced out of being able to have the necessities to keep warm and to cook food and suchlike. I envisage thousands more people living in houses without access to gas and electric, sitting around a burning candle wishing for money to put on the meter.
It’s very reminiscent of life in victorian England, the poor suffering more than ever whilst the government totally ignores the needs of its most vulnerable citizens. Whilst we don’t have physical workhouses we have digital ones that people have to comply with at all times or risk their social security being stopped. I can bet they’ve spoken about bringing back the old workhouses though.
To give some context to this over the past month its cost me £75 to keep my house warm and £70 to keep the electric on and to enable the heating to work. This is far more expensive than this time last year and I can’t afford to do it anymore. As we approach April it really will be a cost too high for me.
I’m not alone though, thousands are in the same position as I am, struggling to get by, having sleepless nights worrying about how on earth they’re going to provide warmth and electricity for their children.
Make no mistake whilst we are struggling to get by the Tory government is virtually laughing at us, placing the blame for our poverty, for our disabilities and for our low wages firmly on our feet saying that it’s all our fault.
The government talk about aspiration yet they give us nothing to aspire to, it’s hard to do so when you’re hungry and cold.
The reality is that we have a government that was born more privileged thank you or I, they attended private schools and had the best education and healthcare than the average person will ever have. They don’t know or care to know about how life is like for the working class. They’ll never care about us or even think about us after all we are just a number to them, a commodity that can be bought and sold at their whim. When we aren’t of any use to them they discard us like yesterdays newspaper making life extremely hard, subjecting the most vulnerable to countless medical assessments and compliance meetings.
Life shouldn’t be like this, We need to continue protesting, reminding the tory government that they have no right to be treating us like this.
I apologise for this weeks blog, I’m ranting I know but it’s how I feel and it needs to be said.
A huge thank you to everyone that likes, shares, reads and tweets my blog. Every share makes a massive difference and it raises awareness.
I receive no funding for my blog and campaign. If you would like to donate and can afford to theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you!]
The DWP are rather unsurprisingly refusing Benefits and Works request to see a copy of a report undertaken that looks at 120 claimants’ experiences of receiving PIP, ESA and Universal Credit. Benefits And Work have now appealed to the Information Commissioner but this process could take many months which gives the DWP chance to find more reasons not to release the contents of the report.
The DWP have also declined to let the work and pensions committee see a copy of the report, even under conditions of complete confidentiality which leaves many to ask why this is happening and what are they trying to hide.
Benefits And Work have however viewed documents which show that either the report interviewees were knowingly misled about the research being published. It could be the case that the Secretary of state was being dishonest when she told MPs “Publication decisions are always taken upon completion of research.”
Rather interestingly Disability News Service have been contacted by a whistleblower that told them that they had been shown the first draft of the report and the DWP had ordered the authors to reduce the number of references to “unmet needs” and to delete some of its analysis.
So even the diluted final version of the report is apparently too scandalous to see the light of day.
The government have also recently published a Green Paper in order to consult on ‘how the welfare system can better meet the needs of disabled people and people with health conditions now and in the future’.
It’s debatable if they will actually take note of the needs of disabled people and to treat them fairly. They haven’t so far and I’m not expecting them to either.
It is also rumoured that the government might propose to reduce financial support to some disabled claimants in their forthcoming white paper. Taking this into account it makes sense for them that they don’t want evidence published that shows that there is already a high level of unmet needs.
Watch this space I will report on any future updates concerning this.
From years of past experience we know that the DWP don’t put the needs of disabled people first or even anywhere. Their target is to force people into work regardless of them actually being able to do so.
In the past I’ve seen disabled people forced onto Universal Credit by deception and then forced onto DWP courses with the aim of getting them ‘ready’ for work.
Remember that claimants are still forced to undertake unpaid ‘voluntary’ work which is unfair to say the least and can cause distress too many.
We can’t let the government and the DWP get away with ignoring report requests and also implementing rules that are at best cruel.
We need to remember that the government and the DWP are masters of deception and we must continue to see past their lies. There’s more of us than there are of them and I alongside others will continue to hold them accountable for their actions.
If you live in the Greater Manchester area and would like to get involved please join Manchester DPAC over at https:\\manchesterdpac.com You will find likeminded people and you will be given opportunities to join in activities.
Unite Community is a trade union organisation specifically created for people that aren’t working. It’s well worth joining however there is a small payment to join. You can find them over at https:\\join.unitetheunion.org
A huge thank you to Benefits And Work for sharing this information and for the hard work that they do.
My sincere apologies for the delay with this weeks blog post. I was unwell due to a migraine and was unable to concentrate on much.
How am I? Not brilliant to be honest. One of my dearest friends recently died and I’m mentally preparing for his funeral.
As you will realise Christmas is quickly approaching and we must be aware that so many of us aren’t going to be able to celebrate Christmas for either financial or other reasons. It’s a distressing time for many and we must keep that in mind.
A huge thank you to everyone that reads, shares and supports my blog and campaign. You have all kept me going when I was at my lowest especially when my son died. I’m amongst the many that won’t be celebrating Christmas this year.
For anyone that would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you!
DWP SET TO INTRODUCE NEW TAILORING UP APPROACH FOR DISABLED PEOPLE.
The DWP aren’t known for their sympathy towards disabled claimants so it comes as no surprise that they’re now experimenting with a “Tailoring Up” approach to sanctions for disabled claimants.
Their new “Tailoring up” approach will now allow job coaches to make activities such as training or work experience either voluntary or mandatory, entirely at the discretion of the coach.
You might think that this is a good thing but sadly I fear it isn’t. The DWP aren’t doing any type of monitoring of this new programme therefore the risk of disabled people being discriminated against is high.
This will put disabled people in a terrible situation, leaving them at the hands of a Job Coach that might be sceptical of a persons disability such as mental health issues and other invisible and visible disabilities,
This will leave them at a very high risk of being sanctioned at the whim of a job Advisor based upon their personal opinion. After all theres no monitoring of this scheme leaving Job Coaches apparently answerable to no one.
Also being introduced as part of this scheme is for disabled claimants to attend meetings with job coaches will be a mandatory activity under the scheme. This is being piloted in sixteen areas but we all know what that means.
From years of experience with the DWP and they’re so called pilot schemes I fear that this will be the start of the rollout of this new scheme.
As soon as I hear more about this I will publish it in future blog posts.
It goes without saying but it is very important that you keep a good record of all communications going to the DWP and from them. Having a good paper trail helps enormously to overturn sanction decisions, as does involving a local MP if of course they aren’t a supporter of the whole sanctioning system.
Also very handy for support if anyone is sanctioned are local law Centres, online groups such as Benefits And Work, DPAC and Citizens Advice if you can access them.
DWP GETS BILLIONS FOR FORCED MOVE TO UC AND ONLINE CLAIMS
It also appears that theres always a big pot of money for the DWP to cause more suffering and distress.
The DWP has been given £2.6 billion between now and 2025 for “digital activity to support the delivery of benefits and transform how customers interact with the welfare system.”
They haven’t released any further details of what this transformation will be and what it will entail either. From past experience it’s likely to be spent upon moving as much as possible online, which in itself will cause many problems for claimants.
In the quest to make disabled people now claiming legacy benefits the DWP are set to recieve over half a billion pounds to “support the transition of legacy claimants onto UC” which as it stands will apparently be completed by March 2025.
However DWP will be focusing trying to make disabled people to move “voluntary” from legacy benefits such as ESA onto UC throughout the rest of this year and 2022. This will probably entail putting a lot of pressure onto disabled people to move their claims over, also possibly lying to disabled claimants to force them to move over to Universal Credit.
Unsurprisingly from 2023 onwards the DWP and government will be focusing on forcing the remainder of legacy benefits claimants onto UC, most likely by any means possible.
I know that this is easy for me to say but if you are told that you have to move your claim over to Universal Credit under the guise of it ‘being better’ for you stand your ground and refuse. In absolutely no way would this be beneficial for you at the moment.
No matter how much glitter Job Coaches and the DWP try to throw on the shite that is Universal Credit it will not make it shine.
The DWP are becoming more brazen with their obvious hatred of disabled and poor people. We must try to hold them accountable at every single opportunity that we are given.
Please read, share and email my blog to help raise as much awareness as possible. Remember there are more of us than there are of them and sharing online helps enormously to raise awareness.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without you.
It’s been a horrible year for me, my son died and both myself and my daughter have been ill quite a lot. I’m recovering from Long Covid and another bout of pneumonia. My daughter recently caught Covid and she’s now ill with tonsillitis.
This has left me struggling more than usual which is a complete nightmare as you can probably understand.
For anyone that would like to donate either to my blog or my campaign there is a donate button at the top and side if this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my work. I don’t receive any payment for my work and I’m really grateful to you xx.
At the recent Tory Party Conference Therese Coffey, the secretary for works and pensions declared that the amount of people that have claimed PIP has ‘grown in a way that was not anticipated’ and instead it needs to be targeted at ‘people who need help’.
This is of course ignoring the fact that the people that are claiming PIP actually do need it.
According to Coffey this is evidence that things were ‘going wrong’ and nothing due to the fact that people living with illness and disability has increased due to many reasons some being Covid 19 and poverty.
Coffey went on to say that according to her findings three out of four young people that claim PIP their primary reason being mental ill health.
According to her figures this totals 189,000 young people that receive benefit focused upon a diagnosis of depression and that these young people may also claim other benefits as well.
Thus implying that young people shouldn’t be claiming PIP at all.
Coffey also complained about the amount of people claiming ESA should have only 25% of claimants should be in the support group rather than ‘about 80%’ of those claiming ESA at the present time.
She also complained about ESA, saying that the original expectation was that only 25% and not the 80% that are in the support group now.
Coffey stated rather predictably that she wanted to change the focus to ‘what people can do rather than the benefit system being currently driven by what you cannot do’
So in essence Coffey is saying that she wants to get people with disabilities, especially those in the support group back to work without declaring any support that might be given to claimants forced to do so.
Coffey says this regardless of their disabilities and their ability to work.
This is despicable and based upon her opinion and not the actual truth which is evidenced in the claim applications given by people claiming ESA.
ESA and PIP are not benefits that are easy to claim. Most claimants are refused upon their first application and they have to appeal and often take it to tribunal to eventually succeed and receive their rightful payments.
Coffey also takes into no consideration about how disabling and serious illness such as depression are. Anyone suffering from depression has to fight hard to try and find some support for their condition. NHS funding has been cut leaving previous lifeline services taken away leaving support hard to find.
Let’s also not forget how serious an illness depression can be. It can’t be cured by forcing an already vulnerable person into work thus triggering them to an even deeper state of depression or worse.
Needless to say, Coffey has a swinging brick instead of a heart and she doesn’t care about anyone living with illness and disability. Her aim is to try and stop vulnerable people from receiving the financial support that they need to live, without a care about how they’ll be able to cope.
To add salt to the wound so to speak, Coffey has also refused to rule out merging PIP with UC, saying that ‘everything is on the table’. Meaning that if they can find a way of persecuting vulnerable people whilst doing this then it’ll happen. How dare disabled and ill people have any quality of life at all.
So, before the DWP has finished transferring DLA claimants to PIP or moving ESA claimants to UC, they’ve already started to plot another major benefits shake-up which is going to harm the well being of thousands of vulnerable people therefore putting them at risk and causing them great distress.
It appears that we will have yet another battle to fight. We cannot allow the government to target and harass even more vulnerable people. The government always takes from the lowest hanging branches whilst forgetting that there are more of us than them and we will put up a fight.
Thanks to Benefits And Work for the inspiration for this weeks blog post.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share makes a massive difference and it raises a lot of awareness.
I don’t receive any funding for anything that I do. If you would like to donate without putting yourself in financial hardship theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
Every penny really does help and it makes a massive difference.
A huge thank you to everyone that shares, tweets, and supports my blog and campaign.
Your help really does make a massive difference,
This week has been another tough week for me and to be honest I wish that the universe would give me a break. Regardless of this I will continue with my blog and campaign. Thank you all for your support.
Well it came as no surprise to see that the government ignored the petitions signed by the public, demonstrations from DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) and pressure from MPs to end the £20 Universal Credit that was introduced during the pandemic.
I and many others expected this to happen because the Tory party is an evil, cruel machine that won’t stop until the poor and disabled are gone and destroyed. They want the working class totally compliant to their needs and not their own, this has been proven in the policies and decisions that they make.
Universal Credit wasn’t constructed to help people, instead it does the opposite. If you’re unemployed the payments given aren’t enough to live on let alone survive. If you’re working you can never satisfy the system and are put under immense pressure to find more working hours.
As well as the reduction of monies given to claimants money for debts is also garnished and taken away before their payments are received. This leaves the claimant with virtually nothing to live on after paying their rents which are constantly increasing.
Some people. say that you can get these payments reduced, when in reality it’s either impossible to or at best extremely difficult to do so. The debt repayment amounts are usually implemented without consulting the claimant and they aren’t taking their income, or lack of it into consideration.
DWP and council tax debts amongst others have been the cause of people taking their own lives and attempting to do so. Having no money to provide for yourself and family members makes you feel worthless and its very understandable that people can’t see the point of being alive anymore.
Feeling like a failure to yourself and your family if you have one is soul destroying, it leaves you questioning what have I done wrong to deserve this? In reality they’ve done nothing wrong at all. The fault lies totally at the governments feet and their cruel and heartless polices.
Once you step back it’s easy to see why the government does this. They do it because they see disabled and poor people as surplus to requirements. If they can’t make a profit out of you then they’ll persecute the hell out of you. They do this until a persons on their deathbed and beyond and no apologies are given for doing this.
Then the pandemic arrived and at first the government tried to ignore it, they tried to downplay it until they could no longer do so. When they did start to address it the measures that they took were far from adequate and damn right dangerous. Basically they didn’t care if the working class died because they are surplus to requirements anyway.
After much pressure being put on them by the opposition, campaigners like myself and even Tory Mp’s they reluctantly introduced the £20 uplift Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit claimants which was virtually their admission that the monies being given weren’t adequate.
For some the £20 uplift might appear to be nothing, some still think that everyone has this amount of money to hand when in reality they don’t.
When you have nothing, no money at all £20 makes a massive difference, it made the difference between eating and not eating, heating and not heating and it greatly improved the quality of life of thousands of people.
The uplift has proven too greatly improve a persons and their families life, it was an extra buffer that they could rely on and it made a big improvement in their lives. It also improved the economy because people had a little bit more money to spend.
As soon as the first date was given we campaigned hard to prevent it from happening and it worked. The government withdrew their plans and moved the date until October and this is where we are now.
I’ve had many phone calls and emails from people asking me what will they do next, is there any more funding that they can access and sadly the answer was no, no there isn’t. It’s gone and theres nothing that can be done about it.
The governments decision to end the uplift has caused and will cause great distress and illness for many. Trying to feed yourself and your family will be back to near impossible forcing them to go back to food banks for help.
Foodbanks rely upon donations of food though, and many of the people that donate food are poor themselves so I expect food donations will decrease making it very hard for the to continue with their work.
The governments answer to this is to find more work and to ask your boss for a pay increase and more working hours. This is extremely hard to get though because There might not be any extra hours available and jobs can be hard to get.
Theresa Coffey also announced that she’s going to target disabled people who think that they can’t work because in her warped world they can. To say this is cruel beyond belief is an understatement. They know that they can’t work, they know that its impossible for them to work and it’s extremely hard to find an employer that is willing to make their business premises disabled friendly and be understanding of a persons disability.
Whilst Coffey was singing about having the time of her life on Karaoke at the Tory party Conference, thousands of people were and still are in distress and falling deeper into poverty because of the decisions that she’s made and is making.
I’ve never had any illusion that the Tory party would care for the working class. I grew up under the shadow of Thatcher and I lived in poverty then, having holes in my shoes was a regular occurrence. I knew that they’re cruel and have swinging bricks where their hearts should be.
This Tory government has taken cruelty to a whole different level though, they’re monsters and we must keep campaigning against their evil plans. There are more of us than them and we will never forget their cruelty.
A big shout out goes to DPAC for their amazing week of action against the withdrawal of the uplift, and also campaigning to get it given to those on legacy benefits also. To say they’re amazing is an understatement.
I have some bad news though. My yearly payment for this website host and my domain name is coming up in November. In total it comes to £115 and I just don’t have the money to renew it.
I hardly have enough money to live on as it is and I’m reliant upon food banks and kindness. £115 may as well be a million pounds to me because I just can’t afford to pay it.
I really don’t want to loose all of my work which totals to about eight years of writing, campaigning and raising awareness. To put it bluntly I will be devastated and heartbroken.
I don’t want to change website hosts though because I don’t like change and this payment gives me the add ons and features that I need to keep it going.
My dream was to pass this blog down to my children and The Working Class Movement Library in Manchester when I’m long gone.
I really don’t want to stop blogging.
If anyone would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A huge thank you to everyone that has and does help to keep my blog and campaign going. I honestly couldn’t do this without you.
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.
This week Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey announced that the government has no plans to continue the £20 Universal Credit uplift, confirming that payments will be ending in late September.
Coffey also announced that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be contacting claimants so they are aware that their payments will change in late September whilst at the same time and they will be directed to budgeting advice.
The £20 a week uplift was increased for six months in March after charities and organisations had warned the government that it and would damage the mental health and physical health of those living in poverty.
The government’s answer to this is to announce that they’ve doubled the amount of work coaches and organisations that they work with, meanwhile totally ignoring the fact that the well being of thousands of people depends upon the £20 uplift.
Their plans obviously don’t include how to feed themselves and their families when their vital £20 is taken away from them. it might not be a lot of money to some, but it has enabled people to buy some food, get some glass and electric and to top up a mobile phone or internet if they have access to these.
Having a good internet connection is requested by the DWP and failure to have this can, and has ended with claimants being sanctioned.
The announcement to end the uplift payments was made after ignoring the advice of six former Conservative work and pension secretaries whom have requested that the Chancellor to make the £20 uplift permanent. They warned that if they failed to extend the uplift it would cause immense damage to living standards, health and the opportunity to improve their lives.
Indeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson whilst talking to the Commons Liaison Committee had requested to reconsider any plans to end the uplift and also said that higher skilled jobs are the best way forward.
Therese Coffey then announced that a collective decision was made to “shift the focus strongly into getting people into work” as the economy opens up. She also announced that this will ‘help’ when the country reaches step four of the Covid 19 road map and ‘more opportunities’ will be created for claimants.
Conservative MP Nigel Mills is quoted as saying “It sounds like this is a ‘dates not data’ decision, that we’ve just chosen to end this at the end of September and not going to review that based on any data at all.“’We’ll just kind of assume it will all be OK’ – that seems to be a pretty fair summary of what you’re saying: ‘We haven’t got any data yet that you don’t need this uplift, but we’re going to take it away regardless because that’s what we planned in the Budget’.”
Needless to say this is a terrible decision made by the government, fronted by Therese Coffey Work and Pensions Secretary. This decision has been made whilst ignoring the evidence given to her by charities, organisations and felt conservative Mp’s.
Not only will the refusal to extend the £20 uplift cause immense suffering and stress, they still fail to recognise that disabled people are struggling to get by and haven’t been included in any £20 uplift plans.
Along with the governments blatant discrimination against disabled people, the government is also still ploughing ahead to end lockdown and mask wearing whilst covid 19 cases and deaths are increasing.
Many disabled people have been housebound unable to go out for fear of infection and in many cases a lack of help. I’m very concerned that demands will be made of them to travel to assessments and DWP appointments when its obviously not safe to do so.
The government have blood on their hands for more than one reason.
Personally I’m going to continue to wear a mask and social distance for many reasons, one being that I’m still battling with Long Covid and other health conditions. Catching covid again, even though I’m fully vaccinated isn’t something that I want to go through again.
I’m also extremely worried about my children and grandchildren catching this new variant of Covid 19 also.
How am I? Today is another migraine day for me, yippee. I hope that it passes asap.
I really hope that you are all ok. Lots of love to you all.
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A huge thanks to everyone that has and does support my blog, it means the world to me.
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It’s been debated by many including myself about the fairness concerning PIP telephone assessments. It’s extremely triggering and stressful to attend these ‘medical assessments’ in the first place but at least you could see the assessors in person which can make appeals easier.
It also is extremely difficult to attend a telephone ‘assessment’ for those that have phone anxiety and limited, if any access to a telephone to conduct a telephone assessment.
The government are still ignoring the fact that not everyone has a telephone and not everyone can use a telephone hence my worry that telephone assessments could be harder than face-to-face assessments.
As reported by Benefits And Work the latest quarterly PIP statistics suggest that almost 2,000 fewer new claimants a month are getting an award since assessments switched from face-to-face assessments to telephone assessments.
These statistics also report that record numbers of people are now applying for PIP, but less applicants in proportion than ever receives their PIP payment.
The figures show that the overall average success rate for new PIP claims since PIP was introduced is 55%.But this has averaged over the last six months that the the success rate for new claims is just 48.5% since telephone assessments have been introduced.
Compare this to the same six months in 2019-20, before telephone assessments started, the success rate was 52%.
This decrease may seem small to many but in reality it means that 5,950 disabled claimants who would have previously been awarded their PIP payments were refused when the telephone assessments were introduced in the last quarter.
Whilst it can’t be be conclusively proved that it is the telephone assessments that has caused this, indeed PIP award rates have been falling for a long while, I can say that having a telephone assessment is going to reduce claims being successful.
I can also say that the government never misses a chance to deny a person their rightful payments to enable them to survive.I can bet that the same Tory MP’s implementing these policies and decisions never miss a chance to claim a so called expense when they get the chance to do so. Whilst they see that it’s ok for them to claim for just about anything that they can do, they see a disabled persons quality of life as an expense too much for them to pay.
The cruelty that the government dishes out to the poorest and most vulnerable appears to be never-ending. My fear is that the same government is going to refuse people with Covid 19 and Long Covid their rightful disability payments. Myself and others will be watching this situation and reporting on it.
For anyone that is or has made a claim for PIP and has been refused, it is essential that you appeal against a refusal. I know that its a horrible, arduous process to undertake but its worth doing.
I still intend to start my podcasts asap. I totally lack confidence in this area though. I will start it asap though.
As for me it’s been a tough week. I received a phone call today telling me that my son’s memorial has been put in place and is now ready to view. Honestly having a child die, no matter what age is a pain unlike any other. He was my only son and he was dedicated to helping his family.
I have to keep reminding myself that it’s ok to grieve even when I feel that I shouldn’t. My son enjoyed the summer weather but not the hay fever that comes with it. His favourite thing to do was to help others and he’s missed by so many in his community.
Even though he’s no longer with us I will still be campaigning on behalf of my son, he was autistic and he also had to fight for his rightful payments.
A huge thank you to everyone that reads and supports my blog, I really couldn’t do this without you.
If anyone would like to donate towards the campaign and my blog a donate button is at the top and side of this blog post.