Disability benefit decisions continue to use unlawful criteria

It is almost unbelievable, but it seems to be true. The people running the government department responsible for disability welfare benefits appear to have confirmed that they are either stupid, irresponsible, incapable, or all three. As if all the mess with disability benefit claims, notably Personal Independence Payment (PIP), has not been enough – it … Continue reading Disability benefit decisions continue to use unlawful criteria

Disabled people can be worse off if they return to work

People with disabilities, whom the government urges to return to work, find that doing so often means they end up being financially worse off. It’s all because for many sick and disabled people, including those of us with multiple sclerosis, self-employment is the only realistic option. Regrettably, this is because they face heavy discrimination in … Continue reading Disabled people can be worse off if they return to work

Have benefits assessors intimidated claimants? Tell your story

Questions are being asked about the behaviour of private sector assessors, following an allegation of intimidation. The suggestion is that a claimant was scared into giving positive feedback after a face-to-face assessment. And, if there was one, how likely is it that there are more? This casts doubt on the honesty of statistics presented to … Continue reading Have benefits assessors intimidated claimants? Tell your story

Conservative peer calls out McVey for lying to MPs about Motability

Current work and pensions secretary Esther McVey stands accused of lying to fellow MPs about the Motability disability car scheme. In parliamentary-speak, this is called 'misleading the house'. And the accusation comes from within her own party! Lord Sterling, who was a founder of Motability in 1977, told McVey in a letter that the “litany … Continue reading Conservative peer calls out McVey for lying to MPs about Motability

Officials must report their success or failure to prevent tribunal awards

Government officials who attend benefit appeal tribunals seem to be judged by how well they do. Success is when they prevent high-level awards to disabled people. This affects appeals for both personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA). These are benefits claimed by many with disabilities such as those caused, as in … Continue reading Officials must report their success or failure to prevent tribunal awards

Amazing! People with disabilities do not trust benefit claims assessments

Who’d have thought it? People with disabilities have a pervasive lack of trust in the method of assessing welfare benefit claims, say MPs. Assessments produced by companies were ‘riddled with errors and omissions’, says the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee. Those companies are contractors Atos, Capita, and Maximus. That’s just what campaigners … Continue reading Amazing! People with disabilities do not trust benefit claims assessments

Disabilities: Official papers reveal failings of assessment contractors

Devastating papers, reluctantly released by the government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), reveal frightful failures of a key disability benefit. In particular, the papers show the shortcomings of outsourcing contractors hired to carry out assessments of applications. That means that critics of personal independence payment (PIP), and the way it has been introduced, … Continue reading Disabilities: Official papers reveal failings of assessment contractors

Universal credit benefit reform does not make anticipated savings

Universal credit (UC) is not going to give the UK government its much-desired savings in benefit costs, according to an official report. An Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) report says that UC will save the government less than 2% of what it would have spent on benefits if UC had not been introduced. OBR expects … Continue reading Universal credit benefit reform does not make anticipated savings

Fury at BPS ‘influence’ and being assessed as ‘fit to work’

News that the government’s disability employment strategy seems heavily influenced by the discredited BPS disability model has prompted a furious reaction. A quite justifiable one, in my view. In this column, on Wednesday, I wrote about and commented upon what senior civil servant Tabitha Jay revealed. She had been speaking to MPs in the all-party … Continue reading Fury at BPS ‘influence’ and being assessed as ‘fit to work’

Told you are well enough to work and don’t need disability benefits

Campaigners and activists are concerned that the government’s disability employment strategy seems heavily influenced by the discredited “biopsychosocial” (BPS) model. Tabitha Jay let out the cat out of the bag. She is the civil servant who heads the UK government’s work and health unit, responsible for the disability employment strategy. According to the Disability News … Continue reading Told you are well enough to work and don’t need disability benefits