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04 October 2010

 

Very distressingly, we’re hearing from members with conditions as severe as cancer who are facing the loss of their homes as a result of  the reduction in mortgage interest support which began this month.

Many more cuts are on the way. As we type, the Conservative’s are announcing a cap on benefits of £26,000 a year per household from 2013 – something that will probably affect very few of our members.  They have also announced that where one parent earns over £44,000 a year, their family will not be eligible for child benefit from 2013. 

Meanwhile, we have a set of  FAQs about the Universal Credit
(Members only) that is intended to replace a number of current working age benefits – though not before 2014. 

On a more positive note, DWP resistance may be crumbling when it comes to recording medicals. 

Normally a claimant who wishes to record their benefits medical has to agree to pay for a sound engineer and professional tape equipment . . . and then gets refused permission anyway.  But in a major breakthrough a Benefits and Work member has forced agreement right from the very top of Jobcentre Plus that the DWP will provide a dual recorder and someone to operate it, so that he can have a recording of his ESA medical.  Find out how he did it and use our sample letter to try the same.
(Members only)

Still on the subject of medicals, we can reveal that the Atos group of companies, which makes money out of doing your compulsory benefits medicals, may soon also be making more profits by carrying out the Pathways to work interviews you’re forced to attend afterwards.  Atos have teamed up with a major charity
(Members only) to bid for all the employment related services contracts soon to be on offer. 

There’s news of another distressing partnership too. In order to save cash-starved  claimants from loan sharks, the DWP have teamed up with the Royal Bank of Scotland and various housing associations to offer loans to the poor at an interest rate of . . . 30% a year. 

Elsewhere, we have the news of the probable closure of two law centres, the complete chaos that has engulfed the legal aid system, the reopening of the Youreable forums (though it still doesn’t seem to have happened)  and the closure of a number of disability related quangos.

And, finally, as usual, we have a pile of good news posts from the forums to send you on your way.
 
 
ESA, from 6 points to 15 points on appeal

Higher mobility, middle care for a friend – no medical, no tribunal

If you’re not already a member of Benefits and Work, find out how to become part of our ever-growing community of individuals and support agencies, where it’s still not a crime to be a claimant.

Good luck,
 
Steve Donnison
 

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