The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is threatening the Department of Work and Pensions with court action for suspending the benefits of a blind man after he missed appointments which he was only informed about through letters he was not able to read.
The RNIB has prepared five legal cases against the DWP and said it was looking into a further 50, which relate to the department's failure to send out benefits letters in braille or large print format.
In a number of cases, the DWP suspended recipient's benefits leaving them in desperate circumstances, the RNIB said.
In the year to 30 September 2013, there were also 22,840 sanctions imposed on claimants of ESA – the chief benefit for the sick and disabled – in the work-related activity group. This is the highest for any 12-month period since sanctions were introduced for claimants in October 2008.
The success rate of those sanctioned claimants who take their cases to an independent tribunal ran at 20% or less under the previous Labour government. Under the coalition, it has risen dramatically to 87% in the 3 months to 30 September 2013.
Steve Winyard, RNIB's head of campaigns and policy, said that thousands of disabled people were losing payments as a result of sanctions, and that included many blind and partially sighted people.
Read the full story in The Guardian