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22 May Newsletter

Half a Million DLA Cuts ‘Positive’ For Health Says DWP Plus Save Money Now On Your Subscription

Losing your disability living allowance (DLA) may make you healthier, the DWP has argued, as they show how they plan to slash claimant numbers by half a million when personal independence payment ( PIP) is introduced. The cuts will also mean that only half as many people will get  a combined award of both the care component (daily living component under PIP) and mobility component.

Meanwhile,  Iain Duncan Smith has complained that two thirds of DLA claimants ‘fester’ on unchecked lifetime awards, so something had to be done about it.

Elsewhere, the DWP show they are soft on fraud – but only if you’re a multimillion business – and soft on crime – provided you work for the DWP.

Plus yet another charity discovers there’s no real work for them on the Work Programme, they were just being used and discarded by cynical private sector companies.

OUR FRIENDS & OUR ENEMIES KNOW WE CHANGE LIVES  - JOIN NOW AND GET £3.50 OFF
We don’t go out of our way to make enemies, but then we don’t really have to.

Last week saw an attack on the site by a national newspaper.  We’re giving no details yet as we’ve complained to the editor and will, as in the past, refer the matter to the press complaints commission if necessary. 

On Sunday the site slowed down considerably because all the publically accessible pages were being downloaded by a crawler company which specialises in finding and analysing comments about its multinational clients. Their clients can then take action to protect their reputations.  We have now blocked the crawler company’s access.

It’s clear that the growing popularity of Benefits and Work makes some people very unhappy – and we’re proud of that, because it means our enemies believe we genuinely make a difference to people’s lives.

And if you read the regular good news from our forum you’ll know we also have lots of friends who say we have made a difference to their lives.

So, if you’re not already a member and you want to make the best possible case for yourself in connection with a DLA or ESA claim or appeal, join Benefits and Work today and save money on membership. 

You’ll be part of a community of members that includes thousands of individuals and hundreds of advice agencies, law centres, solicitors, disability charities and other professional organisations.  (Follow this link for a list of over 100 professional members of Benefits and Work).

Join before midnight on Thursday and you can get £3.50 off the cost of your annual subscription.  Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay via PayPal:

96458

to get an annual subscription for £15.95, down from £19.45

Find out how to subscribe right now. (Open access)

POVERTY MAKES YOU WELL
The DWP have published an impact statement in relation to the introduction of PIP, which is set to replace DLA for working age claimants starting from next year. 

 According to the statement, the total number of people expected to get  any award of the care component (called the daily living component under PIP) will fall from 2 million to 1,250,000 by 2016. 

The total number of people expected to get  any award of the mobility component will fall from 1,940,00 to 1,310,000.

But it is the number of combined awards that will drop most dramatically.  The number of people expected to get both a care and a mobility award will fall by almost half, from 1,760,000 to 890,000.

In total, the number of awards is expected to fall from 2.2 million to 1.7 million.

The DWP do not believe, however, that anyone will suffer as a result of the significant cut in income which many sick and disabled people will suffer, arguing on page 10 of the document that they may even become healthier: 

“. . .  evidence is limited as to whether a change in income has an effect on health . . . It is possible that the policy could have positive impacts on health if it leads to more disabled people moving into work.”

You can download the impact statement from the DWP website and you can read more and comment in the Benefits and Work members only area.


Meanwhile, Iain Duncan Smith told the Telegraph that DLA has grown by 30 per cent in the past few years because it is ‘​very loosely defined’​ and ‘​lots of people weren’t actually seen’​.  As a result, he argued:

“Something like 70 per cent had lifetime awards, (which) meant that once they got it you never looked at them again. They were just allowed to fester.”


The combination of implying that a large proportion of DLA claims are fraudulent, plus accusing people with permanent impairments of festering, brings us to a new low in the state’s attacks on the sick and disabled.  Following on from Duncan Smith’s recent  attack on Remploy workers, you could almost begin to believe that he has developed an irrational hatred for the majority of disability benefits claimants for which he should probably seek help.

You can read the full article in the Telegraph and Benefits and Work members can comment here.

CRIMINALS
Bringing criminals before a court and ensuring maximum publicity for their crimes is something that only applies to claimants as far as the DWP is concerned, not to their own staff or to the companies they do business with.

This was amply demonstrated by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, which showed private detectives illegally using insiders to get hold of individuals’ personal data, including social security records.

Channel 4 discovered that almost 1,000 DWP staff were disciplined in just one 10 month period for unlawfully or inappropriately accessing claimants records. Yet there is no evidence that any of the culprits were handed over to the police by the DWP, in spite of the fact that accessing data is a criminal offence in such circumstances. 

You can watch the Dispatches programme here and Benefits and Work members can read more and comment here.

This reluctance to prosecute their own also applies to the DWP’s business partners.  Last week the DWP sacked  A4E from just one small mandatory work contract, but the National Audit Office (NAO) has now accused the department of failing to properly investigate the company or many others who have possibly been guilty of defrauding the taxpayer.

In fact, of £​773,000 worth of fraud by private companies involved in back-to-work schemes actually uncovered by the DWP, only £410,000 has so far been repaid.

You can read the full story in the Guardian and Benefits and Work members can comment on it here.

CON ARTISTS
The number of charities discovering that they were conned when it comes to back-to-work programmes continues to increase. 

St Mungo’​s charity, which works with homeless people particularly in central London, has not received a single referral from the three private sector contractors who are supposed to be sending clients to them.

Private sector agencies were under strong pressure to show that they would be using the skills of the voluntary sector when they were making bids for the lucrative work programme contracts. However, now that the contracts are safely awarded the charities appear to have been unceremoniously ditched.

Full story on the Third Sector website and Benefits and Work members can comment here.

OTHER NEWS

There’s much more news in the members area (members only) than we can fit into this newsletter.

Many thanks to everyone who has sent in news stories over the last fortnight, including: Beverley Hymers, John Pring, Jim Allison, papasmurf, Crazydiamond.

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM – OPEN ACCESS LINKS
Finally, as always,  a selection of good news from the forum:

Migrated from IB to ESA Support Group
“Thanks to the wonderful guides and also the information provided by the Members and Mods/staff on the forum.”

ESA appeal success, 0 to 18 points
“Thanks for all the tips and help on here.”

DLA renewal, high rate mobility and low rate care awarded for indefinite period
“Once again thanks to everyone on this brilliant site.”

ESA support group after 2 years
“Thank you to everyone on this site for all your help, support and your advice.”

Placed in ESA Support Group in 11 working days

“I would have been lost without your great guides.”

Moved from WRAG to support group until 2015 after lodging appeal on IB to ESA transfer.
“May I take this oppertunity of thanking Steve,bro 58, and Gordon for their help.”

IB to ESA Support Group without medical assessment
“Thank you, thank you”

Successful ESA appeal, 0 to 18 points
“I would like to thank this site for the assistance the manuals and other comments provided”

Placed in ESA Support Group after 10 minutes at appeal
“sooooo tired but sooooooo happy”

Success at ESA appeal
“Thanks to the excellent advice on this board, I have just won my appeal for ESA”

You are welcome to reproduce this newsletter on your blog, website, forum or newsletter provide it is properly attributed to www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

You can also read this newsletter online. (Open access).

Please note:  the next newsletter will be in three weeks’ time because of the additional bank holiday on Tuesday 5 June.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No.  5962666

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