Benefits and Work: November and December 09 updates

Benefits and Work: November and December 09 updates

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p5foE-2tg

From Benefits and Work’s Steve Donninson:

27 November 2009

New DLA form con trick

In this newsletter we warn about the possible dangers of a seductively short new DLA renewal claim form which has the potential to wipe out your entire award in a couple of ticks. Is it just a DWP con trick?

On a cheerier note, we look at how some people manage to get many thousands of pounds from the DWP as compensation for poor and insulting treatment. Persistence, it seems, does sometimes pay.

We also have the bizarre news that within days of us ending our 100 day campaign to save DLA and AA it was taken up by…the Conservative party. It’s true, of course that it was the Tories who introduced DLA in the first place, but somehow we never expected to find ourselves becoming the unofficial Conservative party think tank.

Not entirely unconnected with this news is the fact that the Daily Mail has suddenly begun writing in defence of DLA and AA claimants – so long as they’re over 65, that is.

Elsewhere, Holiday Whitehead, our resident barrister, has been answering some of your queries about employing carers following our article last month about a disabled employer’s shock £35,000 tax bill.

Finally, we have another shot of good news from happy members, including people who have successfully appealed their ESA refusals. We particularly liked the tale of one of our members who was refused help from a CAB with her DLA challenge on the grounds that – thanks to Benefits and Work – she knew more than they did!

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

Tories launch save DLA and AA campaign
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/latest-news/1138-tories-launch-save-dla-and-aa-campaign

 The Conservatives have launched a save DLA and AA campaign within days of the Benefits and Work campaign ending, leading to labour accusations of ‘scaremongering’ and ‘gutter politics’.

I got full mobility and personal care!
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/latest-news/1137-i-got-full-mobility-and-personal-care

More feedback from happy members, including successful ESA claims and appeals and DLA claims.

Tabloid support for DLA and AA campaign
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/latest-news/1135-tabloid-support-for-dla-and-aa-campaign

The Daily Mail has today published an article highlighting a ‘rebellion’ by Labour MPs ‘over plans to end benefits for needy pensioners’.

Benefits advice stopped
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/latest-news/1136-benefits-advice-stopped

The Law Gazette is reporting that claimants needing benefits advice under the legal aid scheme are being turned away because legal aid funding has run out.

MEMBERS ONLY

Not yet a member?
Find out how to join Benefits and Work and get instant access to all our downloadable claims and appeals guides, DWP materials, members news items and more.
www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/join-us

How some claimants get thousands of £££ in DWP compensation
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/members-only-news/1141-how-some-claimants-get-thousands-of-ppp-in-dwp-compensation

Many people are treated with outrageous unfairness by the DWP. Most just endure it, some complain and get nowhere, a tiny number get compensation of up to £10,000. How do they do it?.

Your queries about employing carers answered
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/members-only-news/1140-your-queries-about-employing-carers-answered

Holiday Whitehead, our resident barrister, answers some of your queries about employing carers.

Is new DLA form a con trick?
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/members-only-news/1139-is-new-dla-form-a-con-trick

A new short DLA renewal form appears to be being used to con claimants into not giving evidence about their condition and then refusing them an award, as a Benefits and Work member recently discovered to their cost. Astonishingly, a letter accompanying the form also advises people to fraudulently allow their current DLA claim to continue, even if they know that they are no longer entitled to any money.

If you have problems accessing the site or logging in, visit the Help with the site page, where you can find possible solutions and contact details for our technical support.

http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-with-the-site

(c) 2009 Steve Donnison. All rights reserved

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04 December 2009

Are claimants at risk from assessment rip-off?

We hadn’t intended to bring out another newsletter until next week. But then a confidential letter detailing the new, increased, pay rates for Atos doctors and nurses came sliding from our fax machine and we decided we’d better publish it immediately.

So, in a brief newsletter, we reveal just how much those doctors and nurses are making from the taxpayer for creating ESA, DLA and IB medical reports. From what we’ve learnt, it seems safe to assume that Atos assessors won’t be shopping at Iceland this Christmas.

Harrods, on the other hand, may need to get in a few extra hampers.

In a not unrelated story we look at the problems caused by the DWP carrying out assessments much later than they should be. Are taxpayers being ripped-off and claimants being put at risk?

(The answer is ‘Yes!’ , in case you’re in any doubt).

We also have news of the early day motion in support of DLA and AA put forward by a liberal democrat MP. Do check to see if your MP has signed it and, if they haven’t, please do pursue them with infuriating persistence.

Finally, we have the tale of the claimant whose ESA has been stopped largely, it seems, because of his sad inability to travel back and forth through time at will.

Who’d have thought you’d need a tardis to be a successful ESA claimant?

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

91 MPs sign motion against DLA and AA cuts – has yours?
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/latest-news/1142-91-mps-sign-motion-against-dla-and-aa-cuts-has-yours

91 MPs have so far signed an early day motion urging the government to drop proposals to cut disability living allowance and attendance allowance to fund the new National Care Service. Benefits and Work is urging members to put pressure on your own MP to sign, if they have not done so already.

ESA for Time Lords
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/latest-news/1147-esa-for-time-lords

A Benefits and Work member has had their employment and support allowance suspended, seemingly on the grounds that they are unable to travel through time.

MEMBERS ONLY
Not yet a member?

Find out how to join Benefits and Work and get instant access to all our downloadable claims and appeals guides, DWP materials, members news items and more.
www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/join-us

Are claimants at risk from ESA assessment rip-off?
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/members-only-news/1145-are-claimants-at-risk-from-esa-assessment-rip-off
Taxpayers are unfairly paying out many thousands of pounds, and claimants health may be being put at risk, due to employment and support allowance assessments being carried out scandalously late

Can Atos doctors earn more than Gordon Brown?
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/members-only-news/1144-atos-doctors-can-earn-more-than-gordon-brown

Benefits and Work has obtained a copy of a confidential letter which reveals exactly how much Atos medical assessors receive in taxpayers’ cash for carrying out different types of benefits medicals. Astonishingly, some may at times be on a higher rate of pay than the prime minister.

If you have problems accessing the site or logging in, visit the Help with the site page, where you can find possible solutions and contact details for our technical support.
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-with-the-site

(c) 2009 Steve Donnison. You are welcome to reproduce this newsletter (but not the articles it links to) on your website, forum or blog.

——————-

04 December 2009

Apology and BBC Scotland

Just to say sorry, the members only links weren’t working when we sent out the newsletter this morning. We hope we have now fixed them. But if you still have problems, there’s a link to the latest articles in the Members Only news box at the bottom of the home page.

Also, we forgot to mention that BBC Scotland are very keen to talk to ESA claimants about the difficulties of claiming. More details in the forum at:

http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/forum?func=view&catid=10&id=13374

Alternatively, just in case we’re still having a bad link day, here’s what they’re asking:

Just how difficult is it to get ESA? BBC Scotland wants to know!

BBC Scotland are making a half hour radio documentary about the difficulties people face when trying to claim ESA – in particular with the health assessments carried out as part of the process. The programme aims to highlight problems with the new system and to investigate why people with genuine illnesses and disabilities are being declared fit to work.

If you’ve had a problem claiming ESA and are willing to talk about your experience, then please contact Kathy Long on 0141 422 7277 or Fiona Walker on 0141 422 7863. Or email: kathy.long@bbc.co.uk  / fiona.walker@bbc.co.uk

All information will be treated in confidence and contributions to the programme may be made anonymously if preferred.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

If you have problems accessing the site or logging in, visit the Help with the site page, where you can find possible solutions and contact details for our technical support.
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-with-the-site

(c) 2009 Steve Donnison. You are welcome to reproduce this newsletter (but not the articles it links to) on your website, forum or blog.

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