New Assessment System Could Lose You TWO Benefits At Once
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Last week, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd announced that her department was looking into combining the health assessments for certain benefits into one. However, rather than remedy anything,this would then risk sick and disabled claimants losing two benefits at once.
Currently, benefit claimants who have a health condition or disability face separate assessments when applying for welfare benefits like Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
These are carried out by private companies such as Atos and Maxima on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
As I previously wrote, 72% of claimants who appeal their assessment decision, have it overturned in their favour. This is why many people believe they need to be taken out of the hands of private companies and back into public hands.
As you can see from the Channel 4 report above, brought to my attention by the amazing Welfare Campaigner; I was a JSA Claimant, Amber Rudd made some announcements regarding benefit health assessments.
While to some they may seem welcome, I will outline why I don’t think that’s the case. I speak from experience on this matter, having been through numerous assessments since 2010.
Needs vs Ability
The first thing people need to understand, is the difference between what the assessments are meant to be looking for with each benefit.
In the case of employment related benefits such as Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), it is meant to be so the DWP can assess what your limits are. ie; How your abilities will affect what type or if you can even work at all.
Many like myself will attest that’s not how these things go and rather they are looking for loopholes to say you are OK to work. Apparently eye contact means your mental state is OK.
When it comes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) ,the assessment should be about your needs. Things like your mobility or whether you require help to cook or wash are what is looked at. The DWP claim you don’t even need to be getting the help you need, for them to take it into account, although I have always found this doubtful.
PIP is meant to be a payment to help disabled people with the additional costs brought on by their disability. Whether you work or not is irrelevant, or should be anyway.
So, Amber Rudd’s plan to bring these two distinct assessments together will serve only to make the process more complicated as it will require a bigger set of criteria to look at. Furthermore, can we rely on them to assess you distinctly for both your ability and your needs? Past form would point towards no.
More Wasted Tax Money
Another glaring point raised by Channel 4 was that the DWP are looking to again to outsource this to private contractors. This contract however would be the biggest private contract by the DWP since 2012. The single contract would be worth a staggering £3 billion and that’s before VAT.
That amount of money could be used to bring an end to the crippling benefits freeze. It could be used to tackle the rise in homelessness and so much more. Instead, in true Tory fashion it will go in the coffers of company directors and their shareholders.
At a time when inequality has never been so high in modern times, when people are dying waiting for benefit decisions, this is an incredibly ridiculous thing to do.
Lets also consider this. If you’re a disabled benefit claimant, it’s likely that you’ll be in receipt of both of the above benefits. Facing one assessment could see claimants having both wiped out in one foul swoop. Given the quality of assessments by private companies, probably in error too.
Some of the most vulnerable people in our society could see their support cut off at the tick of a box by a medically untrained civil servant at the DWP.
Amber Rudd is being hailed as some sort of messiah for benefit claimants. She’s not. Like those before her all that matters is the bottom line, not the sick, not families or single people. Nobody.
Be under no illusion, anything they try to hail as progress is likely another way for them to cut the amount they pay out to those who need it.
All they’ve dome here is find a way of cutting two benefits in one go.
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It’s nice that someone noticed the inherent flaw in the new plans. Then again, it probably wasn’t a flaw but a very deliberate attempt to kill off a few more sick and disabled people.
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I am just back from my PIP assessment today and even though I had been awarded originally a home assessment as in past ones my right to a home assessment was taken away from me and I was made to attend a center based one all because I asked to have it taped and 2 people present, one a human right monitor, I was never given an answer to why but probably because I dared to speak out. What ever the decision I will continue to fight to have this unjust procedure we are made to go through stoped, here in Northern Ireland only 2% of mandatory reconsiderations overturned yet most people win on appeal. This shows someone somewhere has to take blame for this and what is the real cost per person having to go to the appeal stage compared to the old DLA system
Having just attended a Pip tribunal to support someone, (who has already had a year of battle to end up in the UC ESA support group equivalent) this is already a disaster. The pip tribunal was a farce, where their ability to drive was equated with having no care needs for double incontinence, fibro, (suicidal) depression, COPD and CFS, because the DWP sent a legal rep who kept on saying “transferrable skills” ie was not judged on actual pip criteria. It has been a devastating experience for that person, (and I’m actually very worried this might be the last straw).
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Discussting what the government is doing ,Yes there are alot of people claiming, while nothing wrong,but the real people that need it get a knock back ,these people thats all they are ,that come to see you and decided your fit to work ,see you once for 15minutes, yet you the claimant had it for years, some since birth ,,miricals do happen, 😄😄
My thought too. Sad that we’ve all had to become so vigilant.
The hypocrisy and dishonesty of Westminster is staggering, but it is never called out.
We exist in an extremely secretive culture where people aren’t allowed to know what they’re part of, nor how they are processed.
The Government have more control over children than their natural parents, but refuse to accept any responsibility when their policies fail, and cause even more problems for the children they are meant to protect.
In 1990, Margaret Thatcher protected facilitated and rewarded child abusers on three separate occasions.
Quite how or why any one individual is allowed to single-handedly destroy the fabric of so many people’s lives, and be above the law, is unbelievable. It is the equivalent of a dark, sinister horror story.
George Thomas was known to the police and to Parliament to be a serial child sex-offender, yet on 17th January of 1990, not only was he head of the NCH, Mrs Thatcher gave a speech in his honour, making him an honorary Viscount or as Mrs Thatcher referred to him ‘the children’s Viscount’.
She also knighted her friend and regular Chequer’s Christmas guest Jimmy Savile that year, in spite of several warnings from the civil service about his ‘private life’.
Just to cement her position as the go-to friend and fierce protector of high profile paedophiles, in July, 1990, she appointed Sir Peter Morrison as her PPS.
At the time, Morrison was MP for Chester, and Minister of State for Energy.
It was known that Morrison was abusing children in Care in North Wales, Cheshire and elsewhere. Mrs Thatcher was directly told about this but appointed him anyway.
So there’s plenty of cash reserves within the Treasury to allow paedophiles to live a lavishly luxurious lifestyle, but if you’re a broken child who has suffered child abuse, you are most likely abandoned and forced into a life of relentless struggle.
The State has a duty of care and responsibility to look after everyone and keep them safe from harm, but for many centuries we have been controlled by a secretive ‘invisible’ elite who are never seen in public, and who refuse to tell the general public what they’re doing to them.
You can only challenge this ‘closed shop’ elitism if you have the right ammunition, and even that might not be enough.