Friday, September 20, 2019
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Disabled benefit claimants forced to pay for GP letters they don’t need

Disabled people are being forced to travel several miles to attend benefit assessments and pay for GP letters they don’t actually need, it has been revealed.

The Department for Work and Pensions are allowing private companies like Capita, who are in charge of carrying out benefit assessments, to make it more difficult for people to get the financial support they desperately need.

More than 160,000 people have signed a petition calling on the UK Government to end the injustice.

photo credit: Alex E. Proimos via photopin cc

Carl from Wales suffers with arthritis and was told to pay for a medical letter to prove he couldn’t travel to his benefit assessment, which they then refused to accept.

When Carl arrived at his assessment he couldn’t walk and Capita made him use an office chair instead of a wheelchair.

This latest scandal facing the DWP follows news that disabled people are taking the Work and Pensions Secretary to court over Universal Credit.

The falgship Tory welfare reform is being challenged in the High Court by two women who claim they were forced to claim Universal Credit about benefit blunders left them with nothing to survive on.

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), who are representing the two women in court, will argue they face “irrational and unlawful discrimination”, because they are denied the same transitional protections given to other people who move to Universal Credit from legacy benefits.

One of the women says her disabilities mean she receives £2,200-a-year less on Universal Credit than the benefits she used to receive, while the other women missed out on £180 a month for 18 months.

Protest against benefit assessments. Photo credit: Knox O (Wasi Daniju) via photopin cc

Carla Clarke, from CPAG, said: “The government has consistently said no-one will be worse off if they move to Universal Credit without a change of circumstances. But our clients suffered significant income drops.

“Neither had any change of circumstances other than the DWP making decision in relation to their previous benefits which it ultimately recognised were incorrect and overturned.

“Yet DWP’s policy has left them stranded on Universal Credit, unable to return to their legacy benefits and yet without the protection against cash losses that people will have when they are moved from legacy benefits to Universal Credit.”

Anyone wishing to sign the petition sent to the DWP can do so here.



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