Tag: pip

DWP BACKS DOWN OVER HIGH-PRESSURE PRE-TRIBUNAL TACTICS


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!

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

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.

Government refuses to extend Universal Credit uplift.

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.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

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.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share etc makes a massive difference in the truth getting out there.

A huge thanks to everyone that has and does support my blog, it means the world to me.

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.

Thank you and keep safe.

2,000 more PIP claimants a month refused PIP awards.

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.

You can find Benefits And Work over at http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

UPDATE find my new podcast over on Spotify 😊 https://open.spotify.com/show/0RgibJjz5KPzEGkyArIrN1

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.

PIP Mobility Awards Appear Manipulated.

Thousands of claimants claiming PIP for mental health conditions are missing out on PIP payments because their reports appear to be manipulated.

Research conducted by Benefits And Work has shown that although the award rates rose for a year they’ve now dropped down to their previous levels which have started to rise again.

This is appalling because award rates should not have been shown to fall, they should have continued to rise and staying at a higher level.

Benefits And Work have also looked at the award rates for all conditions that the DWP consider would be affected by mental health and surprise, surprise they’re the same.

According to the DWP’s own estimates regarding mental health conditions approximately 6% of the entire PIP caseload should have moved from no award of the mobility component to enhanced.

Indeed a further 6% should have been moved from no award to a standard award.

Also 2% of awards should have moved from standard mobility to enhanced mobility.

The increased award rates regarding mental health should have been immediate and also should have been sustained once it was implemented. This would have resulted hundreds of thousands of additional essential mobility awards in place by 2023.

As usual the DWP are reluctant to comment upon this despite Benefits And Work submitting Freedom Of Information requests and the DWP giving them the runaround.

Sadly the DWP will do anything to prevent people from receiving their essential payments. I have absolutely no doubt that they do this because they know that vulnerable people are less likely to fight back.

I fully expect the government and the DWP sleep soundly at night because they believe that they’re doing the right thing by denying vulnerable people with the means to live a decent life even though its cruel and inhumane.

Thousands of people have lost their lives whilst fighting cruel decisions made by the DWP regarding their payments, I reported upon this last week.

Everyone deserves to live a good life and they should be given the support that they need to have a good quality of life. I will continue to fight for this alongside DPAC and other organisations.

PIP is Personal Independence Payments.

DWP is the Department Of Work And Pensions.

Source Benefits And Work, check them out they’re amazing.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

As for myself, its been a tough week for many reasons, one being that I’ve undertaken the task of sorting out old photos of my son when he was little. Its so sad looking at the photos knowing that when I took them I thought that he would outlive me.

I hope that you are all ok and surviving the best that you can do. it’s such a tough time for so many of us for many differing reasons.

Lots of love and hugs to you all, I couldn’t do this without you.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Each share raises awareness and helps others to cope in such hard times.

Once again a huge thank you so much for everyone that supports my blog and campaign, I really couldn’t do this without you.

If you would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. If you’d like to buy me a coffee I’d really appreciate it. Thank you xx.

Disabled people excluded and marginalised during pandemic new report finds.

Research led by Inclusion London reveals that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted thousands of disabled people.

As reported by Disability News Service who have seen a draft version of an interim report based on the research titled Abandoned, Forgotten and Ignored.

The report conducted by Inclusion London is based upon more than 300 online survey responses from across England including a small number of people living in Scotland and Wales.

The report concludes that “Despite the government’s rhetoric about protecting and supporting Disabled people, the reality is that they have been treated less fairly and discriminated against across all areas of their lives.”

The report also warns that many disabled people most affected by the pandemic will not have had access to its online survey resulting in the findings of the report likely to represent only “the tip of the iceberg” due to lack of access to the internet for many disabled people.

Inclusion London have reported that disabled people have been suffering from increasing levels official isolation, mental distress, lack of decent if any care and support during the pandemic, also finding that there has been difficulty for many to access food and also difficulties accessing healthcare such as prescriptions and suchlike.

The report discloses that the actions of central government, local authorities and service-providers have continued to fail exclude and marginalise disabled people which in turn has resulted in discrimination.

It also finds that disabled people in high-risk groups have been unable to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE), and have also had had their vital care packages cut and important social care assessments delayed.

Indeed it reports that a quarter of the people that have responded that receive direct payments for their care were left unaided to cope with staff issues and sourcing their own PPE.

One disabled person responding said of their experience “My care agency are not getting adequate PPE, and they are so short-staffed at present that I’ve been lucky to get a shower once a month (and cannot have a strip wash at all due to them sending male care workers to me eight times out of 10 instead of female), and am not getting one in three of my daily care calls.”

More than three-fifths of people that responded to the survey said they had struggled to access food, medicine, and other necessities.

Respondents described how supermarkets had refused to make reasonable adjustments for them when they tried to shop in-store and how they were unable to order home deliveries.

Many have not received the support they vitally need to prepare meals for themselves also, this resulting in being forced to spend more money on food by having to shop in more expensive stores or having to order their meals online.

More than a third of those surveyed spoke of increasing levels of mental distress during the pandemic.

One respondent saying that they had been inside their home for three-and-a-half weeks without going out resulting in them feeling that they were losing their mind, going on to say that have a pre-existing mental health condition, and it is causing a big relapse.“I feel trapped and controlled and claustrophobic.

This had left them too scared to leave the house because if they get sick that they knew that, as someone with pre-existing conditions the doctors will leave them to die in favour of someone who has a better chance of surviving.

Several people that responded to the survey also said they had been asked to agree to having ‘do not attempt resuscitation’ orders placed in their medical records. Others told they would not be admitted to hospital if they fell ill or would be denied life-saving emergency treatment.

One person responding said: “I can’t access the government scheme for support because apparently I’m not disabled enough.“However I’m disabled enough to get suggested to sign DNR [Do Not Resuscitate], and inferred I’d be left to die if hospitalised.”

Inclusion London concluded the report by warning that there will be a much higher demand for advice and support from disabled people after the lockdown is lifted. This leaves many organisations needing to increase their funding to provide these essential services.

Its a terrible indictment upon the government that disabled people have had to resort to legal action because of the discrimination that they have faced from the government.

This report has reinforced the view that the government and society looks upon disabled people as a burden on the state and are second class citizens.

It is very disturbing however not surprising that disabled people have been treated in this manner throughout the pandemic. The government clearly regards them as unimportant and not deserving of any quality of life, which to be honest is very clear to see. We cannot allow this inhumane treatment of the most vulnerable in society to continue.

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

For sources of information and support during the coronavirus crisis, visit the DNS advice and information page18 June 2020 over at http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Sources http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Inclusion London https://inclusionlondon.org.uk

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share really makes a difference to get the truth out there, which is extremely important at the moment.

I receive no payment for any of the work that I do, I’m trying to improve my content and to increase the amount of blogs that I publish each week.

Along with the death of my son I’m finding things really difficult at the moment.

For anyone that would like to donate to keep both my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign, it really does mean the world to me and it keeps me going.

Face to face assessments to return for PIP and WCA claimants.

Last month the DWP minister Justin Tomlinson informed the Commons Work and Pensions committee in parliament that face to face ‘interviews’ are set to return although he stated that some telephone and video assessments will still continue.

There has been no concern from Tomlinson about the safety of vulnerable claimants and the fact that there is still a pandemic and most people forced to attend these ‘assessments’ are indeed vulnerable and are still having to shield.

Tomlinson however claimed rather confusingly that they had ‘Lost all of their health professionals’ because they apparently have gone to work for the test and trace system instead.

It isn’t clear yet how the system is going to return to normality when, as he said the health professionals that were employed have now left. Maybe Tomlinson will pay them even more money to do this, therefore tempting them away from their current employment. Who knows, I expect we will find out sooner rather than later.

It does however take a particularly cruel mindset to conduct these ‘assessments’ and to declare vulnerable people fit for work when they clearly aren’t.

Tomlinson went on to say that the work capability assessments (WCA) will begin shortly and PIP (Personal Independent Payment) ‘assessments’ will follow a few weeks later although they will keep video and telephone assessments. Tomlinson wasn’t clear in what capacity this will be, clarity isn’t his or the Tory party’s strong point.

As I write this I expect many people will have had their much dreaded letter from the DWP regarding their assessment, thus causing distress and panic for already vulnerable people.

Whilst the Covid 19 vaccination programme is going well there are people that are unable to have the vaccinations for health reasons. The Covid 19 strain from India has now started to take a hold in the UK, putting thousands at risk.

I urge Tomlinson and the government to rethink their assessment strategy and to put the health and well-being of disabled and vulnerable people first.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Once again thanks to Benefits and Work for their hard work in researching this and publishing this information. You can find them over at http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

WCA is the Work Capability Assessment and PIP is Personal Independence Payments.

I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do and for my campaign.

Please help me to continue to do this, there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone that reads, shares and tweets my blog. It makes a massive difference and it helps to raise awareness.

PIP AWARDS FALL TO ALL TIME LOW.

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!

https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/about-us

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.

Let the bodies pile high says Johnson

Yesterday was quite a busy day for Dominic Cummings the former chief aide whilst he gave evidence in a seven hour hearing regarding the governments handling of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Cummings particulally took aim at Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, depicting the chaos and failing of the government’s handling of the Covid 19 crisis, saying that the failure, incompetence at the top of government stating that Covid 19 had killed thousands that didn’t need to die.

Whilst many people had already realised that Prime Minister Johnson anti lockdown, ignored scientists advice and failed to introduce lockdowns in adequate time. This is the same prime minister that openly said that he didn’t care about people dying, saying ‘Let the bodies pile high’.

For myself and others it comes as no shock. Johnson and his ilk have no sympathy or care for working class people, even less sympathy is given to disabled and elderly people, you can see this in their policies and their attitude.

What people need to realise is that Johnson and co come from and live in a totally different world than most people. They come from a place of great privilege and they like to flaunt this whenever possible.

Their handling of the pandemic is a good example of this. for example whilst thousands of people were dying, Carrie Symonds, Johnsons girlfriend was shown to be more concerned about her dog than the pandemic and the death toll. Symonds also saw this as a perfect opportunity to try and find her friends jobs within the government.

Johnson knew exactly what he was doing though, he was warned by officials that a lockdown was needed but failed to act, taking him a further ten days to agree to a lockdown.

There was no plan for the government to use in the event of a pandemic, despite many in government believing that there was. This has undoubtedly has resulted in thousands of deaths. Ironically a plan had been created by the Labour Party which would have undoubtably helped thousands of people and would have prevented thousands of deaths.

Johnson also described Covid 19 as ‘the swine flu’ and stated that he was going to get Chris Whitty to inject him with Covid 19 live on television to prove that its nothing to be scared of.

Mark Sedwill the then Cabinet Secretary suggested that people should have Covid 19 parties like chicken pox parties, believing that herd immunity would then be reached by September. Meanwhile the government were drawing on a whiteboard asking who they can’t save with no regard for their safety nor regard for them at all.

Its very clear that the government doesn’t care and never will care. We only have to look at the way that the government treats disabled and working class people. Their policies have resulted in the deaths thousands before the pandemic and not one care has been given about this either.

It is completely normal for the government to treat people like this, we mean nothing to them. If they can’t make any use of us financially through exploitation such as their Workfare schemes, they punish people by making it extremely hard to claim benefits such as Universal Credit, ESA and PIP.

Such cruelty will continue for as long as they’re able to do so, with no effective opposition at the moment I can see such cruelty continuing for a long time to come.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share helps to get the truth out there.

I would like to thank you all for your patience, especially after my son’s death. I’m trying to get back to normal, whatever my new normal is now.

I’m aiming to get at least one blog post published every week, hopefully improving the quality of them along the way.

I also receive no funding for my blog or my campaign. Every penny counts and it will help a great deal.

A huge thank you to everyone that shares and supports my blog and campaign. It means the world to me and has kept me going during such dark times.

Man threatened with eviction by landlord because his rent is a week late due to ESA payment delay.

Dear readers, its Thursday again and blog day. Today’s demo was very productive and many conversations were had and help given even though there was just two of us there today.

We really would like it if more people could join us but I also realise that many can’t for a wide range of reasons. It’s very hard to get the publics support for campaigns like mine because poverty isn’t pretty, poverty is depressing and harsh. It also reminds people that they could too be in the same position at any given moment. It’s a tough one I know but campaigners countrywide would love more support either face to face or online.

I’m still battling a virus and we still haven’t got a date for my dads funeral and I’m still grieving, so please be patient with me I am doing my best in limited circumstances.

Anyway enough about me onto todays demo and conversations. Please note that we gave help, advice and signposting to everyone that needed it, survival guides were handed out and lots of people were helped.

We do this all on a purely voluntary level and we aren’t funded by anyone. We just can’t abide injustice and the causes of poverty and discrimination, too many people are suffering, too many people are dying.

How many more deaths will it take before the public rise up against the causes? My guess is never, the it’s alright Jack attitude runs through our society preventing many from rising up against anything. This was highlighted today by a conversation that I had with a lovely chap this morning. His attitude towards universal credit was that it’s awful but it’s ok and we should just put up with it because everyone is in the same boat so to speak. We need to change this way of thinking and asap.

This morning there was a large queue for food parcels, indeed I had already had phone calls requesting one. As soon as we arrived with the food parcels they left with the people needing them. I’ve found that a lot of people in my area survive on food parcels being given at different places and free or reduced price meals given at various places.

Life shouldn’t be like this should it, surviving on food parcels and scraps of food. But it is, and the fault lies solely at the feet of the Tory Party. I will never, ever forgive them for this, I’ve never forgiven Thatcher either but that’s another story.

After the food parcels were handed out we had conversations with everyone that received one and checked to see if there’s any progress in their situation or if they need any more help and advice. We never let anyone leave without this.

I spoke to an older man that had been promised that he would receive his first universal credit payment in April, he had waited until this week to see if he actually got his payment and surprise surprise he didn’t.

He phoned up the relevant department and asked them where his payment was. The DWPs reply was cold and uncaring. No apology was made and he was told that he shouldn’t have been told this and he’ll just have to wait like everyone else.

His comment to me was “What am I supposed to do now? How am I supposed to survive now? They just don’t care do they”. Damn right they don’t.

I spoke to a man that was struggling trying to find access to the internet and was forced to just use the Jobcentres computers. I advised him to use the library’s free internet and computers, and also the free WiFi as Ikea etc. He was happy to know this and thanked me.

I briefly spoke to a woman that has very limited eyesight due to cataracts. she told me that she’s struggling with the new building because of the lack of signage etc. Lets hope that this is rectified soon.

We then spoke to a man whom I shall call Bob. This is his story, it might sound familiar to you.

Bob was due his ESA payment on the 16th of April but due to a doctors mistake Bob didn’t receive his payment. Bob enquired as to why he didn’t receive his payment and he was told to hand in another sick note, which he did.

Because of the above Bob was a week late paying his rent, his landlord is already threatening to ‘throw him out’ of his home even though legally he can’t do this. This obviously upset Bob because he had been street homeless for many years and he doesn’t want to have to go through that again. We advised him to the best of our abilities and signposted him.

Bob went on to tell us that his brother had previously won his ESA appeal, even though he had lung cancer and shouldn’t have been made to undergo one of these fake medical assessments. I call them fake because they more or less fail everyone and most people have to appeal this decision.

Bob went on to tell us that his brother recently died in February. He wasn’t even allowed to spend his last days peacefully because he had the DWP asking him to go for medical assessments.

Shame on each and every one of these highly paid so called medical professionals that fail obviously ill and disabled people. One day justice will come knocking at your doors and we’ll be waiting.

I then spoke to a man that said that because everyone’s being treated badly it’s ok because we’re all in the same boat so to speak. My answer was that it’s not ok, it’ll never be ok and it should never be accepted.

We spoke to a man that was given a 166 day sanction because he had attended a work trial organised by the DWP at the same time as his signing on appointment. He had informed his advisor etc, claimed bus fares etc to attend this work trial but he was still sanctioned for apparently not telling his advisor when he did.

You really couldn’t make up this could you. It’s downright persecution of the poorest because many feel that they cant fight back.

We signposted him to our local MPs office who will be able to help him with this.

We spoke to a man that told us that he had just signed off because he’d found himself a full time job, a rarity these days. We congratulated him and his smile said it all.

As he was leaving he said that he’d never sign up for that (universal credit) again. Can you blame him, I don’t. Many people choose to take themselves off the system because they can’t cope with it. Many of these people are street homeless struggling to survive.

There is a direct connection to street homelessness and universal credit and this needs to be reported more widely.

I briefly spoke to an older woman whom I shall name Joan as she was walking into the Jobcentre. She told me that she hates it in the Jobcentre because they always make her feel like shes done something wrong.

Joan has been sanctioned because she was in hospital and missed her signing on appointment. She has never been told the length of her sanction and wasn’t told that she can appeal this also.

We advised her, and signposted her to our local MPs office who will treat her with dignity and respect and hopefully overturn the sanction for her.

My heart goes out to each and every person that has been sanctioned, failed ridiculous so called medical assessment, has an awful landlord, cant manage on universal credit, can’t feed themselves or their children. It’s a long list isn’t it and I could go on for forever but you get the idea.

This state sanctioned abuse of the poor and disabled needs to stop and soon. Far too many people are dying, too many people are suffering.

I just wish that more people would realise that this could happen to them at any given time. Society needs to be more compassionate towards each other. It’s not a crime to be poor, but it is a crime to abuse those that are poor.

This all happened in less than two hours, and it was a quiet morning. Can you imagine how awful it is across the country? It’s much worse than the public and some politicians realise.

Please read, share, email and tweet my blog. It’s so important to get the word out there.

Many thanks to Roy for helping me this morning. I really appreciate this, I just wish that more people would join us.

I’m struggling at the moment, financially and physically. I know that this will pass, but each and every share of this blog helps thank you. I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to raise awareness and to correct the wrongs of the DWP.

64 year old woman with multiple health condition fails universal credit medical assessment. Living in substandard accommodation. How are people supposed to survive this?

Dear readers, its Thursday yet again. The sun was shining for us today, what a welcome surprise. It was lovely to see. No joy was found from the DWP though, there’s a surprise.

I’ll be listing everything that happened today as usual. No real names will be divulged either. Today we handed out six food parcels and helped lots of people who would have otherwise been left, stranded without help by a system that doesn’t care about them.

Those of you that have been through the system or know people that have will already know that the DWPs flagship universal credit system is cruel, heartless and punishing. It discriminates against everyone but particularly women, children, single parents and people with disabilities.

Universal credit is obscenely complicated and hard to navigate, often DWP advisors don’t know the rules either. Not one department communicates with another even though universal credit is computer driven by default. You’d honestly think that the designers of it would have thought about people that are unable to use computers or don’t have any access to the internet at home. They also didn’t take into account the fact that libraries are shutting their doors or reducing the hours that they’re open because they can’t afford to stay open.

Universal credit is a system that rarely works well for anyone, but it was designed to do this, to reduce the unemployment levels by any means possible. If that means that a person takes themselves off the system because they can’t cope then so be it. No one will try and stop them either. Above the door of every Jobcentre a sign saying ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here’ because that’s exactly what people do.

 

The first thing that I noticed today was the queue of women waiting for food parcels. It goes without saying that there shouldn’t be a need for us to hand food parcels out but there is, and will be for as long as this rotten government is in power.

As I was handing the food parcels out a young man stormed out of the Jobcentre. I asked him what was wrong and he shouted ‘It’s a pile of shit in there, they don’t give a shit do they’ I agreed with him and handed him a leaflet.

 

Meet Tom. Tom had successfully made an application for universal credit a couple of months ago, thats good you might think. Well, no because it appears that whoever processed his application didn’t quite do everything correctly.

Upon applying for universal credit a claimant is expected to provide ID and proof of tenancy etc at their first meeting, because as you know rent etc is all rolled into one payment every month. Here’s where Tom encountered his first problem. I say first because he’s bound to have more problems as time progresses.

Tom looked confused as he handed me a form that he had just been given by his advisor. As I looked at it he told me that he had already provided them with the ID and proof that they needed. Here’s the letter in all it’s glory.

 

In this letter he’s asked about every single detail of his tenancy, including gas and electricity check certificates and energy performance certificates. Tom has no idea what those are, his landlord didn’t issue him with these. The DWP need to remember that not all landlords actually do this.

Other questions included are ‘Are you up to date with your rent payments? If yes, provide evidence of this.’

‘Would your landlord accept less rent at times if you could not afford to pay the full rent?’

‘Will your landlord accept a lower rent if universal credit does not meet your full rent liability?’

‘Would your landlord take you to court to evict you if you failed to pay the rent?’

‘Would your landlord take legal action to recover rent arrears?’

These questions are totally ridiculous. Landlords rarely if ever lower a persons rent payment to suit the DWP, and of course a landlord will take action to evict a tenant for non payment of rent. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise, and very arrogant of the DWP to suggest that a landlord should back down to the demands of the DWP.

Honestly, the above form looks like something thats been typed out at home in a hurry. There’s absolutely nothing official on this form, no DWP logo either. It’s all very strange.

Tom quite rightly noted that they should have asked for this information when he first made his claim, he’s already received his first payment. He’d already paid his rent with this. Honestly you couldn’t make this up.

To make matters worse he had to make a new appointment just to hand in this form, if he doesn’t attend he’ll get sanctioned.

I asked him if he had moved house and he told me that he hadn’t, his was living at the same address when he made his claim for universal credit.

Luckily I was able to walk him through the questions and signposted him if he needs further help. Poor fella, he was so confused. He thanked me and he walked away hopefully less confused.

 

Tom looks after his sister who is computer illiterate, his sister struggles to get out and depends on Tom to do most tasks for him. Tom attended the Jobcentre a few weeks ago to hand his sisters fit note in. He was told quite bluntly at the reception desk that he couldn’t do this and he had to post it. So Tom posted it using an envelope that they gave him.

Today Tom attended the Jobcentre once more to hand his sisters fit note in. This time they accepted it but asked him where the previous fit note was. He told them that he’d posted it because he’d been told to. Unbelievable isn’t it.

Tom was understandably a bit fed up, saying this system is bloody ridiculous isn’t it.

 

I spoke to a woman struggling to pay the bedroom tax, a man that was sent away fro being ten minutes early and a woman who told me that she claims universal credit and PIP and its bloody awful.

I also spoke to an older woman that cares for her son who’s autistic. He had failed his latest ESA medical because apparently he ‘looked ok’. Obviously the DWP don’t recognised hidden disabilities, they’ve got quite a bad track record of this.

I spoke to a young man that has taken himself off the system because he couldn’t cope with it. I asked him how he managed from day to day, he told me that he tries his best but is dependent upon relatives. He hopes to get a job in the near future.

 

We spoke to a self employed plasterer, he quite loudly told us that universal credit has ruined many of his friends and colleagues. Universal credit made it impossible for them to continue with their trade. He was understandably angry, but angry at the government for doing this to them.

 

I spoke to Bill, bill has been sanctioned because his daughter had been taken into hospital and he missed his signing on appointment. He did telephone the Jobcentre and communicated this through his online journal, he’s even provided evidence of the hospital stay. But the gods of the DWP have decided that he’d be sanctioned so he was.

I told him that he could appeal the sanction decision and he told me that his advisor hadn’t told him that he could appeal. Thankfully hes now going to appeal this and hopefully he’ll win his appeal. He wouldn’t have known to do this if we weren’t there to inform him.

 

Meet Pat. Pat is 64 years of age and has numerous medical conditions, some quite serious. Pat hasn’t been able to work for years because of this. Pat also claims universal credit.

Pat recently attended a universal credit medical assessment, she failed this and was told that she’s now fit for work.

So the DWP gods have performed another miracle haven’t they.

Pat is determined to appeal this decision, so she informed her advisor of this. Her advisor then told her that she now needs to provide medical proof if she wants to appeal.

Pat has now had to pay £15 for a letter from her doctor. This is completely ridiculous, she’s already shown evidence of her medical conditions.

To make matters much worse Pat lives in a home riddled with damp and her landlord is reluctant to deal with it. She told me that she doesn’t know how much more she can continue like this, its becoming all too much for her.

Remember pat is 64 years of age, she shouldn’t be treated like this and she honestly didn’t expect this.

I did everything that I could to help her and signpost her. It’s absolutely heartbreaking when you speak to someone thats suffering as much as this. For gods sake we’re supposed to respect our elders. The DWP respects no one not even their staff.

 

I spoke to a middle aged man who’s in the process of being evicted. He told me that the move over to universal credit has caused this.n

We spoke to a young man that was prevented from attending an appointment with a friend, ten minutes later another man was prevented from entering the Jobcentre with his partner. He wanted to help her but he was turned away. The law states that a claimant is allowed support when attending an appointment but hey, the DWP employees at the front desk of Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre appear to totally disregard this.

 

Today’s conversations all happened within two hours on a Thursday afternoon. Universal credit doesn’t work, its very design dictates this.

We need to stop and scrap universal credit and replace it with a much fairer system that actually cares for people.

 

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.

Thank you to everyone that turned up to help today, I really appreciate this.

 

Massive thanks to everyone that supports my blog. Without you I honestly don’t know what I’d do. Your support means everything especially when times are hard. As a skint single parent I can relate to everyone that I speak to.

Keep safe, we’ll be back next week as usual.