The cost of PIP? £35 less per week, Thanks #DWP! – This is A CALL OUT for Info

Well I’ve received my PIP award and hooray I’ve ‘scored’ more points than on my DLA and yet, despite this I’ve  been awarded ‘Standard’ rates for both Daily Living & Mobility Elements, to explain how this makes a real difference to me read on.

To get PIP at all, you must score between 8 – 11 points in both daily living / Mobility and to get the Enhanced rate it’s 12 points; the 2 elements are valued differently with

the Daily Living standard rate being £54,45 and the enhanced rate £81.30 per week,

for  Mobility, the standard rate is £21.55 and the enhanced rate is £56.75 per week.

This differs greatly from the old DLA which had three levels of award, the rates which are/were worth  for care

lowest rate – £21.55

middle rate – £54.45

highest rate – £81.30

and for the mobility component

lower rate – £21.55
higher rate – £56.75

I believe these changes clearly demonstrate how the government have reduced PIP spending by a total o£2.2bn?

Personally under DLA I received Mid Care & High Mobility, however under PIP I scraped in at a bare 8 in daily living and 10 for mobility costing me almost £140 per month!! I have reported my intention to ask for a Mandatory Consideration and will keep you posted; in the meanwhile…

…I’m trying to collect evidence of PIP being no more than another Government attempt to cut even more money from disabled people, further driving us into poverty; therefore I ask all of you to please share with me Your examples of PIP, have you received an award, was it worth more/less than before etc.

If you would prefer to share this info anonymously that’s fine and if you want to do so privately, please contact me at ratea62@gmail.com

THANK YOU in advance for your input Jxx

 

Footnote* From truthmeister – ”

As for saving money, the bungling incompetence of IDS has meant that a proposed saving of £1.2bn pa has actually turned into an increase in spending of £1.6bn pa to date, as per the IFS: http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/7447” Thanks

IDS Lies in Parliament – Hansard records it!

Still Believe #IDS ought Not to be Investigated for Lying ??

READ the section below from SPeye Joe

Then SIGN – IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES  – You KNOW He Deserves It:

Why the bedroom tax has cost more than it has saved – IDS go figure!

Iain Duncan Smith has knowingly and deliberately lied to parliament.  He is a liar as can so easily be proven.  I make no bones either about calling him a liar and a deliberate and knowing one and I refuse to use euphemisms such as being economical with the truth and the like – he is a liar as the figures below highlight and in just a simple 10 minute blog using official figures that he produces!!

He lied over the bedroom tax as Hansard recalls from yesterday in the following question and answer:

Under-occupancy Penalty

Mr John Leech (Manchester, Withington) (LD): What estimate he made of the potential savings to the public purse that would arise from implementation of the under-occupancy penalty; and what estimate he has made of the amount saved to date by that implementation. [906482]

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr Iain Duncan Smith): Before our reforms, the taxpayer had been paying for 820,000 spare rooms. To date, the policy has saved about £830 million from the housing benefit bill, and the estimated savings remain the same: approximately £500 million a year in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Those figures have been ratified by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The bedroom tax (alleged) saving.

The bedroom tax has official figures published by the Secretary of State Work & Pensions – yes that’s IDS himself who publishes the official figures every quarter.  The most recent figures were published in November 2014 and cover the period up to August 2014 and this official data says:

BEDROOM TAX LATEST FIGS TABLE 3

  1. (a) How many households are affected (471,887), and
  2. (b) What the average weekly bedroom tax figure is (£14.92), and
  3. (c) There are 52.18 weeks in every year (365.25 days divided by 7)

So when we multiiply (a) 471,887 households at (b) £14.92 per week and then by (c) 52.18 we get the ABSOLUTE THEORETICAL MAXIMUM SAVING and that figure is (a) x (b) x (c) =

£368.114 million in a full year or £7.079 million per week.

IDS claims A saving of £830m so far as at yesterday. The absolute maximum (see below) is £615.87 million so IDS has stated a figure AT LEAST 35% MORE THAN IS THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE

IDS claims the full first two years saving to be £1 billion.  Yet the absolute maximum saving is £736.228 million and again 35% MORE THAN IS THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE

Comment

Take away the DHP costs which for the first two years for bedroom tax are £115 million and we see the maximum possible saving is £621m over two full years (£736m – £115m)

So IDS has told parliament that the ‘saving’ is 61 PER CENT HIGHER THAN IT CAN POSSIBLY BE

Yes he is lying and knowingly lying through his teeth.

Note for absolute clarity if many social housing tenants have left and their place taken by private tenants it could be possible to save housing benefit in this way.  Yet so few have been able to downsize and even if they are all private tenants moving into social housing and thus saving on the HB bill then just the legal costs IDS has paid out to take the recent Upper Tribunal case more than outweigh any savings alone.

Then we have so many other expenditure costs associated with the bedroom tax such as increased homelessness and increased number of bedroom tax appeals each one will cost about £1500 to the MoJ bill that government pays out and so many other expenditure costs.  But let’s forget all that complexity as to whether the additional costs are borne by local government and instead keep this so simple that even a lying buffoon like IDS can understand them.

For a simple way to look at it…. Read More

So He’s done it again, Lied publicly and on the record, surely it is now Time IDS was Forced to Answer for his behaviour?

 

IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES #IDSTimeForTruth

How DEAEP helped Former soldier with ESA Claim

One of the long term cases we are dealing with at  DEAEP  is Burt, he initially came to us for help in January 2014, a deterioration of his health had left him unable to work and in October 2013 he’d claimed ESA. He received an award in January and he’d been placed into WRAG, his range of physical and mental health difficulties were such it was clear he was in the wrong group, therefore  he we supported him submit a mandatory reconsideration (MR) claim to be moved into the Support Group.

In October 2014, Burt received the letter informing him his 365 limit for NI contribution based ESA was ending, so we reapplied for Income based ESA including up to date health information from his specialists demonstrating his further health deterioration.  He was immediately re-awarded and the decision maker had again placed him in WRAG, ergo we resubmitted a MR for inclusion into the Support group.

A fortnight ago Burt received a mandatory Work-focussed interview for today, which we arranged to attend at, and everything was running smoothly until Friday when he received another two letters; one for him to attend a conditionality interview on the following day (Saturday) and the second was the start date for him to begin The Work Programme with A4 on Thursday this week!

Burt immediately phoned the DWP and said he could not possibly get to the JobCentre the next day, but he would be attending today; the call centre operator said this was fine and she believed the letters to be duplicates and to ignore them!

We attended Burt’s interview with him this morning, and after the interviewer explained the reasons for the meeting today, (the changes under Welfare Reform) we entered into a debate as to why Burt was not fit for work. We explained how Burt’s Army induced PTSD and Depression, along with his crushed Spine, Osteoarthritis, Chronic Sciatica and Emphysema; meant he is in constant pain and is fatigued from perpetual Nightmares. Fortunately the personal advisor (PA) we met with was not only willing to listen, she was also suffering from disillusionment with Welfare Reform; she shared with us that before the changes, she as his PA, had the authority to decide which group Burt ought to be in, and in her opinion he should be in the support group. When we asked if there were any approximate  time scales for  MR she said No but the decision makers were still considering our request submitted in January!

She then cancelled  the Conditionality interview and completed the Work Programme Action plan, which was due to be filled at Thursdays appointment, with the statement “customer will respond to or attend all appointments booked by work coach or external advisors“; this allowing either Burt or ourselves the option to advise A4 of non-attendance, until such time the decision makers determine the mandatory reconsideration request.

For me there are Three key points arising from this experience:

The Personal Advisor is the one who communicates directly with the customer, therefore they are best paced to determine which group ESA claimants should be in?

There are far too many  ‘sections’ (14 according to the PA today) in the JobCentre, all dealing with small parts of the ‘customers journey’, and as with Burt, claimants can be called in for each separate part; this causes major difficulties for sick,  disabled and financially vulnerable claimants and obvious confusion for call centre staff. Claimants should have One PA who manages their claims for beginning to end?

Some staff at JobCentre are as sick of the ludicrous outcomes of Welfare Reform as we are, and are trying doing their job; but they’re not medically trained and therefore are not be best paced to make such vital decisions.

If anyone finds themselves in similar situations and would like support please contact us at DEAEP, we’re here to help.

 

 

Dear John Bercow – YOU can have #IDS Indicted

Who Will Watch the Watchmen?

An Open Letter to John Bercow

Dear John Bercow,

I was incredibly naive when I started campaigning for the rights of people with long term health conditions and disabilities.
I believed passionately in democracy and that here in the UK, we had one of the best political systems in the world.
I had always believed there were strict rules governing MPs and that they were held to account by customs and conventions that had served us for centuries. Sadly, that naivety is long gone.
Over the last 4 years, I’ve learnt that democracy is merely an illusion. I’ve learnt that a politician can do or say virtually anything he or she likes and no-one will do anything about it at all.
In the case of Iain Duncan-Smith, we have seen the results of a failure to govern the governors as never before. He has lied – not “misled” or “misdirected” – to parliament repeatedly. He has lied about who is affected by his “reforms”. He has lied about who is protected from them. He has lied about how much they have saved the treasury and he has lied about their efficacy. He has lied about the level of support for his changes and lied about the timescales of their delivery.
The results of his lies are clear for all to see. Vulnerable people he promised to support go hungry or are left without care or security. Nearly a million people have been driven to foodbanks. Homelessness has risen, the benefits bill has risen and the housing bill has risen. Sanctions have soared – over 500% in the case of those too unwell to work – and a fiscal black hole of billions is becoming apparent at the treasury as every one of his major schemes grinds to a halt. Universal credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence payments, all have failed, leaving millions stuck in limbo.
Yet still Mr Duncan-Smith lies and still his lies go unchallenged.
This petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/investigate-ids-for-lies calls on parliament to investigate those lies and hold a full and transparent enquiry into his conduct. He has even repeatedly bullied the media not to hold him to account, can he bully you too? Is there no-one prepared to challenge this man and stop his inhumanity?
Campaigners will never rest until the scale of this man’s failures are clearly exposed to the public. Until his dishonesty is fully revealed. He will not be reshuffled or sent quietly away to “spend more time with his family”. No matter how long it takes, Iain Duncan-Smith will be shown as the cruel bully he is.
You could choose to make sure that happens sooner rather than later, before more thousands of lives are ruined by his incompetence and lies. You have the power to restore at least some of the democracy we have lost. But make no mistake, now or in the future, it will happen. I and many like me will make sure of it.
This letter is from the indomitable Sue Marsh , in support of the #TRUTH Campaign; Thanks Sue 🙂 xx

Reasons for Supporting the TRUTH Campaign – IDS Time to Stop the Lies

Earlier this week Debbie and I started the latest stage in the TRUTH campaign, and launched a petition demanding Kathryn Hudson Parliamentary Commissioner For Standards investigate #IDS for persistently misleading both Parliament and the Public.

There are two primary reasons for our campaign; the ongoing misuse of statistics is not only a breach of the code of conduct #IDS is obliged as a Member of Parliament to abide by, but they result in the dangerous and inappropriate Policies disabled people are suffering from. The raft of Policies forming the Welfare Reform Act have been built on these distorted truths and the consequences are as numerous as the Polices:

The above examples are not the whole picture, particularly when we consider the negative outcomes on our health:

I could go on but I think you get the picture, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation got it right when they said     “our current welfare system doesn’t work“.

If any of the above offends, upsets or concerns you, might I remind you these real life issues are ALL the responsibility of one man Iain Duncan Smith, as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has overall responsibility for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP); I’m not suggesting he personally designed the policies but he DID sign then off, he DOES regularly defend them with Lies, and it is this behaviour we are challenging.

Please SIGN our Petition, SHARE, BLOG, and  TWEET #IDSTimeForTruth about this Campaign

We may have started it but…it belongs to YOU.

 Disabled DYING

We’re DEAEP – Can WE Help YOU??

Disability Enabling & Empowerment Project, DEAEP, is a relatively new company run by disabled people and carers; we enable other disabled people to develop the confidence to regain control of their lives, supporting them through benefit claims and also training others to do the same.

Our Courses are aimed at disabled and chronically ill people, affording them the opportunities to expand their skill base and potentially improve their quality of life through enabling them to make positive steps towards Further Education and, or possible employment.

DEAEP has the capacity to offer not only, training and links to employment but we also aim to employ our successful trainees to act as peer supporters to others and potentially as other trainers.

DEAEP are currently running a Level 3 Peer Support in Action course which consists of 5 core modules aimed at anyone who wishes to train to help others. We also develop bespoke courses for other professionals engaged in working with disabled people and other disadvantaged groups

All the above is available in further detail on our website

DEAEP also run a professional representation service supporting people to complete benefit application forms, PIP/ESA, appeals etc; we will also attend assessments/ formal appointments with disabled or other disadvantaged people who find themselves needing support. DEAEP can support individuals from the start to completions of benefit claims.

If you or your company require any help whether it training or representation please contact us via our website.

DEAEP has the advantage of being the only company that aims solely to empower the disabled community and employs people with personal experience of the difficulties that disabled people face every day.

Here We Go Again – DWP to Repeat the ATOS Disaster ?

I’m sure I’m not alone in being totally unsurprised, albeit sick to my stomach at the latest revelation to be leaked from Tory proposals for Benefits, the drastic cutting of  ESA; it appears that new claimants placed in  WRAG will only receive 50 pence a week more than JSA. This has led me to wonder if this extreme reduction has anything to do with the increase in the number of people claiming out of work sickness or disability benefits?

The fact the cut was ‘leaked’ on the same day, and to the same source as the claim, Maximus will be the company taking over the contract from ATOS, also leaves me unsurprised. I can imagine the key players from DWP and Maximus sitting around the table and plotting this decimation of ESA as a part of the contract. The key aim of Welfare Reform has always been to slash Benefits, irrespective of need, and now seemingly wants to privatise all out of work benefits; therefore given Maximus’ existing  involvement in running the Work Programme, and the new Health and Work programme  this pairing seems a perfect match.

However when John Pring initially suggested, Maximus was the preferred bidder to replace ATOS, he also revealed the company’s “chilling” record of incompetence, discrimination and alleged fraud“. Thinking back to when ATOS was initially awarded the contract for WCAs, there were similar concerns around the unsuitability of ATOS, and we all know the outcome of that appointment.

It appears the DWP have completely failed to learn from the ATOS debacle and is planning to enter into another disastrous contract with a seemingly corrupt company, all for Corporate Greed.  Further the DWP seems to be continuing the rhetoric of  blaming us being ill; refusing to acknowledge their attacks on poorest and most vulnerable people through both the continuing  scapegoating and their discriminatory Policies, are in any way responsible.

The ‘leaking’ of these two announcements today suggest the DWP are maintaining their insidious behaviour, softly ensuring their plans emerge into the public psyche in an attempt to build public support:

‘the poorest people are choosing the higher paying benefit to avoid looking for work, because  they are lazy, the DWP are doing the majority a favour by stopping these idlers take the easy option, and are bringing in a company who will stamp this out’

What can we can fight back against this? Johnny Void suggests we gather the information necessary to take Maximus out of the picture and I agree; but I also believe we need to demonstrate WHY sick and disable people need the extra money to survive, lets collect your stories that demonstrates precisely what we do with the difference between JSA and ESA, because if we don’t – We Will Lose it!

 

What are the Parties real plans for benefit claimants post 2015?

The people responsible for the excellent Benefits and Work site ask “What do the parties really have planned for claimants after the next election?” for their November newsletter; as inspiration they offer their findings – the Ministry of Justice  are refusing to release how much they have raised  charging benefits claimants to appeal to tribunal as apparently it would cost too much to collect and collate the data. They also ponder how long before ESA and JSA claimants are also forced to use prepayment cards, to prevent them spending their benefits on anything other than “essential” items?

This got me thinking and I can’t help feel that short of a miracle, all benefit claimants will lose the right to full Housing benefits for anything other than a room/s in shared accommodation; this will be an extension on the existing rule for single people under 35?

Disabled people will continue to lose benefits until we are all forced to become house/room bound and with free limited internet only to DWP/official websites?

Hospital beds will be rented out by the hour, with benefit claimants being treated separately?

Benefits claimants who work less than full time will lose the right to vote?

I know these ideas are extreme but – we’re witnessing our rights to freedom being removed when we protest, we already pay to put our cases when we’re wrongly treated by civil servants, and our hospital are being privatised day by day, what is to stop Politicians furthering the aim of social control?

As you’ve no doubt guessed my mood is currently dark, so over to you readers, let me have your ideas or even better post them to benefitsandwork.co.uk, tweet them to @benefitsandwork  or leave them at: https://www.facebook.com/BenefitsandWorkPublishing?fref=ts.

Please copy me in – I’m intrigued 🙂 either leave as comments below,

Tweet @JayneLinney  / on Facebook

 

 

 

Disabled and becoming Self Employed – A Case Study

This is my  first official post for Deaeper, the blog site for DEAEP  (Disability Enabling And Empowerment Project), and wearing my professional hat, I wanted to share my experience of  working with 3 other disabled people, collectively utilising our skills and experience to become financially viably self employed.  The following has been adapted from a letter I sent to Kate Green MP in response to Labour’s plan to turn around £8 billion overspend on disability benefits, and the suggestions at the end are specifically aimed at Government.

DEAEP is a charitable social enterprise that offers training and support to sick and disabled people, unemployed, and other vulnerable individuals. Our training experience enables participants to, knowledgeably and confidently, actively support others during times of extreme stress; this could be attending ATOS assessments and, or to participate in social and community engagement.

Our training programme has been specifically designed by sick & disabled people to enable others develop necessary the skills, ability and confidence, to actively empower others to self advocate when needed. We can also offer the opportunity for participants to train as a skill sharer, thus enabling them to impart this learning to others. Alternatively participants might utilise this programme to go onto other further education or into employment. There is a the supervised practice element of the programme wherein participants will provide supervised advocacy for others.

This year we have supported over a dozen users through their varying claims, and issues with the DWP, we have helped people write successfully ESA & PIP applications, supported others with mandatory reconsiderations and represented people at tribunal, we have also enabled people manage their issues with job related training programmes. We have piloted out training programme and from this gained five volunteers skilled to offer this type of support to their peers.  All of the which has been at personal cost to ourselves both financially and in terms of health.

Our overall aim is to enable chronically sick and disabled people participate in society through the provision of an appropriate range of training opportunities, which allows participants to either enrol on Further & Higher Education, gain the necessary skills to confidently enter Community Engagement enter employment or, fully re-engage in Society; and to enable those too ill to work access the social security the are rightly entitled to.

We are experiencing several primary issues :

Our target group have no access to finances to pay for this essential  service

There is no money to help us ‘sell’ our corporate training to the people who want/need it; despite having hard evidence of demand from Unite the Union and several solicitors offices.

We have no way of paying for the administration costs of running the course.

The fact we are all disabled creates problems for us personally with the DWP

An acknowledgement by DWP that disabled people often require more time to complete tasks and their energy levels are low due to fatigue.

We believe the following would make a huge difference

A loosening of the earning on benefits regulations would allow people to continue receiving ESA/JSA until such time they become financially independent

Access for small companies to government grants/contracts which offer direct provision to disabled people

A government funded grant programme  enabling disabled people develop the confidence and self awareness to allow them access further opportunities

Changes to access to FE opportunities specifically aimed at disabled adults thus removing the current barriers

This is a précis of our experience to date and I would welcome positive feedback and comments from others on this post.

Thanks for reading – Jayne x

Tories indicate Benefit Claimants to be their REAL Enemies in WAR

Here we go – the lead up to the last Tory Conference in this round of Government and the ‘big guns’ are blazing across the Tory press, making their pre-election ‘promises’/threats. Cameron in the Times states,  he will cut a further 3,000 from the benefit cap reducing this to £23,000 & stopping all out of work benefits for anyone under 21, Grayling in the Telegraph is vowing to strip away the remainder of our Rights, with the shredding of the Human Rights Act; and then we come to IDS, who according to his latest delusions he is responsible for breaking up TV programmes!

IDS, relegated to the tabloids says his” DRASTIC curbs on welfare benefits are starting to break up Britain’s “Shameless” housing estates”; he justifies this by stating ” the proportion of people in social housing who do not work had fallen from just under 50 per cent in 2010 to 41 per cent”. Where IDS gets this data from is as usual a mystery, it may be based upon the the fact “The proportion of people in social housing has dropped from almost a third (31.4 per cent) in 1980 to one in seven today (16.8 per cent)“, which is in due to the scarcity of social housing rather than anything to do with benefits. Alternatively, it might be the reality a growing number of people are paying towards their Council Tax, albeit this was a response from Local Authorities to DWP Cuts,  that aided him form his belief.

Continuing his chosen way of utilising personal creed rather than reality,  IDS proudly quoting the fictional  ‘Shameless’ & the much derided Benefits St TV programmes as his examples of ‘evidence’, continued to praise the Work Programme; claiming this has added to the ‘success’ of people leaving benefits. This is of course despite countless sources demonstrating the failure of this project, including the DWP themselves.

These messages all combine to indicate the speeches and associated media coverage over the next week will continue Lie about demonising the poorest and most vulnerable in society. To me this seems to be an enormous use of hype against 5.3 million working age benefit claimants, (excluding HB DWP Feb 2014), compared with the total number of people in this age bracket is 39.4 million. Further when we add the 4.9 million of Housing benefit claimants, this group also form a part of the ‘Hard Working People’ Cameron pledges to cut taxes for?

Is it any wonder we as dependants upon Social Security are angry? Every day across social media, people are talking about the injustice of  this small minority of the UK being wrongly blamed for the ills of the nation because we are ill, disabled, unemployed etc, we’ve dealt with persistent Lies, and have even been called “Extremists” in Parliament!  For me, it raises the question of exactly WHO DO the Tories, consider to be the greatest enemy of the Country?

Time for TRUTH #Nowpetition #ImpeachDWP