Government surrender in benefits battle

A government U-turn, in the face of court judgment, means almost 165,000 people will benefit from higher disability benefits. Conservative politicians had tried to prevent people with psychological distress from receiving higher rates of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). But the judges said ‘no’. The UK government had been thought likely to challenge the court ruling, … Continue reading Government surrender in benefits battle

Benefit assessment contractors hiding in plain sight

Assessments of people’s applications for disability benefits in the UK, are carried out by contractors for the government. That is, of course, well known. It is equally common knowledge that those contractors are Atos, Capita, and Maximus. Between them, they have made hundreds of millions of pounds from their contracts with the government’s Department for … Continue reading Benefit assessment contractors hiding in plain sight

Government contractor must pay £5,000 over dishonest assessment, court decides

A court has ruled that a woman with a disability be paid £5,000 compensation by a government contractor. The was because one of its assessors made a dishonest report that led to her being given insufficient benefits. The contractor, Atos, is one of the companies that conduct assessments for the UK’s department for work and … Continue reading Government contractor must pay £5,000 over dishonest assessment, court decides

Cut price defences – so government department doesn’t fear appeals

Many people believe it would cost the government less to pay disability benefits from the beginning, rather than face appeals. The benefits, Employment and Support Allowance, and Personal Independence Payment, are claimed by people with disabilities. These include those of us with disabilities resulting from diseases such as MS, or other causes. I was one … Continue reading Cut price defences – so government department doesn’t fear appeals

Assessment disgrace: ‘Fit for work’ man dies before ESA appeal can be heard

Disability benefit assessors have been widely criticised for deciding wrongly that people are ‘fit to work’. The situation is a disgrace, the criticism is well deserved. There have been a number of examples, but none more tragic than the case of Phillip Balderson. He had terminal cancer, but received a Department for Work Pensions (DWP) … Continue reading Assessment disgrace: ‘Fit for work’ man dies before ESA appeal can be heard

Treasury minister blames disabled people who work for fall in productivity

Government policies relating to people with disabilities appear to be in even more disarray than usual. Once again, those with disabilities resulting from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, or any other cause, are under attack. The department for work and pensions’ assessment system for disability benefits is 'encouraging' disabled people to find work. But chancellor … Continue reading Treasury minister blames disabled people who work for fall in productivity

Assessments for disability benefits cause ‘terrifying insecurity’

A pressure group has warned that the government’s disability benefit assessments are the cause of “terrifying insecurity”. What’s more, it says assessments are driving disabled women to destitution, and even “hastening their deaths”. The warning was given by WinVisible, a group for women with disabilities, of all backgrounds, ages, and situations. It came when the … Continue reading Assessments for disability benefits cause ‘terrifying insecurity’

Sickness and disability benefit errors to cost £500m to correct underpayments

Errors in working out benefit payments mean 75,000 claimants are owed money that will cost £500m to repay. That’s an average of more than £6,000 per person. The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) actually found the mistakes itself. And they involve the country’s main sickness and disability benefit, the Employment and Support Allowance … Continue reading Sickness and disability benefit errors to cost £500m to correct underpayments

Disability benefit: Government finally succumbs to judges’ decision

A government benefits agency, faced with a legal defeat seven months ago, has at last backtracked. It has finally decided to abide by the judges' ruling. It is now to change how it makes decisions about a key disability benefit. The UK`s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)has backed down over the way it looks … Continue reading Disability benefit: Government finally succumbs to judges’ decision

Assessment complaints for disability benefit up nearly 900% in a year

Complaints about assessments for a key government disability benefit have rocketed by 880% in 12 months, according to official figures. It is a benefit paid to people with diseases like multiple sclerosis and those with other disabilities. Yes, claimants’ complaints about assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), that totalled 142 in 2015-16, rose to 1,391 … Continue reading Assessment complaints for disability benefit up nearly 900% in a year