The Cost of PIP – Decision Makers – A Law unto themselves

In November last year I reported I’d received my PIP award and disagreeing with it I’d contacted the DWP;  due to the closeness to Christmas, the Call Centre staff member had put in my request for the assessment report and noted  it was “my intention to ask for a Mandatory Consideration” (MR), this was so as I would not run out of time if post was caught up in the Mail.  I duly waited for my copy of the assessment report, which arrived on December 23rd and  submitted my formal request for a MR along with the evidence on January 10th.  Five days later I received a letter dated January 11th, it had clearly crossed with my own submission in the post, it informed me the DMs had already carried out a MR and had, of course, upheld the original decision!

I duly phoned, well actually my daughter phoned for me as I was screaming mad, the next working day;  Nicki clearly informed them, that when I had contacted them back in November, it was to request the assessment report, and on advice from the call centre staff member I was advising them I would be asking for a MR, to keep within the DWP time scale. She went on to quote a DWP response to a FOI that states:

“While a request can be made for a Mandatory Reconsideration by telephone or in
writing, under no circumstance should an approach for advice be treated as a
Mandatory Reconsideration request. However should this occur, any erroneous
request can be withdrawn once the error has been identified and any subsequent
requests would be dealt with on their own merit.” 

The DWP call centre operator took down the details and said she would sent an email to the decision makers (DM), this is apparently the only way call centre staff can communicate with the DMs, the email requested they call me back and asked they review my initial phone call asking for my assessment report.

I waited to no avail until yesterday, when I received another letter stating, the DWP decision makers had determined my submission of evidence was a request to Appeal to Tribunal; this is despite the information in my reconsideration letter, the information taken during the phone call and their failure to phone me back!!

I immediately called them and spoke with a lovely woman at the call centre, she read the notes made, during the call with my daughter, and stated there were no further actions noted against it; she then whilst still on the phone with me, emailed the DMs explaining the situation and requesting another call back. More importantly she advised me. I now must initiate the Tribunal process within the next 4 weeks or lose my option to do in future!!

So I had to find the energy to complete a Notice of Appeal, and explain why a) it is out of time – it should have been completed within one calendar month of their MR (Jan 11) and b) I am actually asking FOR a MR?! I’ve also discovered I’m not alone in losing almost HALF my benefit inthe transfer from DLA to PIP

I was SICK of the whole Carbuncle of Welfare Reform before May 7 – now we await with trepidation the announcements of the next round of proposed £12Million of Cuts; we’ve already read of the possible taxation of disabled benefits and making it harder for sick people to claim state aid by introducing “stricter” fit-for-work tests and/or tighter limits on eligibility, what’s next remains as yet unknown.

What I am convinced of is it is time now for ALL of us affected by the discriminatory actions of the Tories, to come together and Fight Back in Unity; we must ensure that whatever campaigns, petitions, demos etc work collectively to complement each other in the Battle for Survival under a Tory Government

Statistics don’t LIE Politicians Twist them and the Media swallow the Spin

Today I came across two articles, once again calling into question the behaviour of Politicians and Government Departments when using statistics; it is clear from these that  “Once again, DWP has shown itself to be a master in statistics manipulation and in the use of selective figures” this was on sanctions; and on pay and living costs “an act of statistical trickery to change the landscape of pay bargaining in the UK for the worse.”

This persistent misuse of data and the ensuing Spin’ fed to the media by the likes of IDS, is precisely what we have been saying this for the past 2 years; and it is the reason for our petition TO: KATHRYN HUDSON PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONER FOR STANDARDS to :

“Use the full Powers of the Commission and investigate Iain Duncan Smith Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for his regular use of untruths and the persistent deception misleading of The House of Commons, Select Committees and the Media”

If this isn’t enough to convince you it is time for the people to respond, the Guardian’s editorial today produced their view on Welfare Reform – their verdict  “In Dire Straits” ; this is summarised with the opinion “Mr Duncan Smith’s department is in clear breach of commitments it has given, and the sanction is upheld“.

If you agree it is past time for IDS to answer for the total chaos in the DWP – Support us by signing https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/investigate-ids-for-lies. Do it Today before its too late – Because Does anyone really think IDS will be here after May??

#IDSTimeForTruth  #IndictIDS

A Cry for HELP

With only 80 days left to the Election, Time is Running Out‘; Debbie & I  have be slogging at our Truth Campaign for almost two years!! And our latest stage is a petition to Kathryn Hudson, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards demanding Iain (Duncan) Smith be investigated for his Lies.

I say Time is running out because who knows if IDS will actually Be a Politician come May 7 and, even if he is re-elected, will he be Minister for Work & Pensions after this date?

This is why it is imperative we get as many signatures as possible, currently 5,346 people have signed but we need many more than this, to even get mentioned in the press.

So, this is a plea to everyone that reads this, if you haven’t yet signed, please do…but I guess more importantly, please make it your mission to get at least one other person to sign as well.

This is possibly our LAST Chance to hold IDS to account – so if you agree with us that, He MUST ANSWER for the plethora of policies and reforms that have damaged our lives and been responsible for the Deaths of others; and If you believe He, is behind the raft of LIES spouted in the media…

 JOIN US and make sure the TRUTH petition gains enough signatories to get noticed

THANK YOU 

 #ImpeachIDS   #IndictDWP #   #IDSTIMEFORTRUTH

IDS plan to kill social housing in 4 years

Before anyone dismisses this as just another of #IDS ‘fag-packet’ ideas, read Joe Halewood’s take below: and to quote his closing point “ please stop calling this the ‘daftest policy’ you have ever heard. Stop saying you are speechless at this etc, and grow a set of balls and tell IDS and this government (and the next government and the one after that) to go f**k themselves and to start dealing on your terms.”

The Times and Daily Telegraph have a story today – the latest hare-brained idea of the tyrannical despot called Iain Duncan Smith.

If you have worked for a year you get your council or housing association property given to you for nothing!!

Yes seriously!

The plan is outlined here in an article in 24Dash:

Iain Duncan Smith is keen for the party to include a pledge in its election manifesto to give people who have managed to stay in work for a year a free council or housing association home. As part of the deal, the recipient would no longer be allowed to claim housing benefit, and would have to pay out 35% of the proceeds if the house was sold within three years of the handover.

The rationale it then says is this:

According to Tory thinkers, money generated by the policy would be used to build new homes, while the cash saved on housing benefit would outweigh any other concerns.

Ok, leaving aside ‘according to Tory Thinkers’ – if ever an oxymoron in itself – what would this mean?

Take the Smiths, Wayne and Waynetta Smith who live with their 4 children in a council house in London.  They pay rent of £130 per week and the property is worth £500,000. They get £500 per week in benefits and housing benefit because of the cap and that is shortly to reduce to £440 per week should the Tories not be voted out in May

Wayne and Waynetta approach a bank to say advance us £25,000 and in year one they sign off completely and receive not a penny in benefits.  They then ask for £7k per year for each of the next 3 years to cover the HB they have lost but they sign back on to receive welfare benefits.  They put up the property as collateral.

The bank says ok we will give you £50k – £4k more than they asked for on day 1 and charge you 25% interest per year.  After 4 years the bank are owed £122k by Wayne and Waynetta and the house is now worth £600k.  So the bank force the sale of the house and get their money and Wayne and Waynetta are still left with nearly £400k in their pocket

OK I now that is a bit far-fetched as the bank would charge more than 25% being totally greedy bastards!

Note too the same principle works in depressed low rent areas ‘oop North.’

Result is NO SOCIAL HOUSING IN THE UK AT ALL WITHIN FOUR YEARS – IDS HAS KILLED IT OFF

But where are the old the sick the disabled and the supported going to live?  Well it just so happens the banks and their friends have bought a lot of ex social housing properties which they lease back to councils en masse at 5 times the rent they were charging four years before and the Housing Benefit bill goes from today’s £24 billion per year to about £100 billion per year

AND of course the private sector gets their hands on and now owns a further 4 million plus properties and can charge what they like for them and can do whatever the hell they like to their tenants as they have no security and there is no regulation of the Private Sector landlord at all.

READ the rest at : IDS plan to kill social housing in 4 years.

#DWP Decision Makers Crying for Help or playing the #Tory Blame-Game?

Out of respect for you, I APOLOGISE in advance for my language because I’m LIVID

The ever excellent Benefits and Work website reveal welfare rights workers are experiencing DWP Decision-Makers calling up benefit claimants “‘in tears’ or ‘sobbing’“, pleading with them Not to appeal following a Mandatory Reconsideration !! HOW THE FUCK DARE THEY??

These unqualified low grade civil servants may well be genuinely feeling sorry for themselves, worried at how their bosses will react at their figures.. but, borrowing the much quoted line Frankly..I DON’T GIVE A DAMN.

If the Decision Maker truly feels sympathy for the vulnerable person who’s life they’re ruining, then they should do the decent thing and RESIGN and join the ever growing list of ‘Whistleblowers’, otherwise they have no right to attempt to push their agenda onto you or I. This behaviour is is keeping with the actions of their Bosses – we’ve witnessed plenty of pseudo-psychology tactics from the #DWP already and I can’t help feel this is yet another attempt to persuade us how to think?

IF anyone experiences this type of behaviour from a DWP employee I hope you’ll do one thing in return, Laugh and take tell them exactly how high to jump – and then APPEAL.

Yet another reason to STOP THE SPIN from #IDS & Co #ImpeachDWP

#Sanctions – #DWP Recruit over 1500 Decision Makers!

We’ve now suffered through the Lies from Esther McVey  Wednesday  04 February 2015 9:30 AM on “benefit sanctions policy” , with  her ‘assurances’ there are “categorically no targets set on how many claimants should be sanctioned”‘

Refuted yesterday offered more evidence that contradicts McVey with the DWP recruiting an extra 1600 Benefit Sanctions Decision Makers  since taking office!; They support these statistics with the comment “Whilst the DWP continually says it has no Benefit Sanctions Targets, despite irrefutable evidence, this view now seems even more implausible since today it published statistics that it show they nearly trebled the number of sanction decision makers?”

sanctiondecisionmakers

Lets not forget All these #Sanctions are made by unqualified people  there are no specific external qualifications required for the decision making role. All Decision Makers go through a training programme that supports the individual in their role. The Decision Maker consolidates this learning with mentor support” DWP February 3 2015.

#SanctionsCauseDEATH

SICK OF THIS SITUATION??? DEMAND #IDS ANSWERS FOR IT https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/investigate-ids-for-lies

#Sanctions – #DWP Recruit

We’ve now suffered through the Lies from Esther McVey  Wednesday  04 February 2015 9:30 AM on “benefit sanctions policy” , with  her ‘assurances’ there are “categorically no targets set on how many claimants should be sanctioned”‘

Refuted yesterday offered more evidence that contradicts McVey with the DWP recruiting an extra 1600 Benefit Sanctions Decision Makers  since taking office!; They support these statistics with the comment “Whilst the DWP continually says it has no Benefit Sanctions Targets, despite irrefutable evidence, this view now seems even more implausible since today it published statistics that it show they nearly trebled the number of sanction decision makers?”

sanctiondecisionmakers

Lets not forget All these #Sanctions are made by unqualified people  there are no specific external qualifications required for the decision making role. All Decision Makers go through a training programme that supports the individual in their role. The Decision Maker consolidates this learning with mentor support” DWP February 3 2015.

#SanctionsCauseDEATH

SICK OF THIS SITUATION??? DEMAND #IDS ANSWERS FOR IT https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/investigate-ids-for-lies

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

Claiming PIP – watch out for 20 metre discrepancy!

Are you in the process of claiming PIP or asking for a mandatory reconsideration? I had an email just before Christmas from Tired Git who has experienced precisely this, he offers the following advice:

“I wondered if you were aware of the discrepancy I have found in how the DWP interpret distances when they determine how far we are capable of walking to set the level of PIP awarded. In the application form for PIP the tick-box options for distances applicable to deciding the awarding of high or standard mobility are:

  • Less than 20 metres
  • 20 metres to 50 metres

However, Schedule 1 part 3 (2) of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (as it appeared 16/12/2014 on the legislation.gov.uk website) contains the following definitions:

  • d. Can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. 10 points
  • e. Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided. 12 points

‘Less than 20 metres’ is completely different to ‘no more than 20 metres’. One definition includes 20 metres, the other doesn’t. DWP have introduced confusion over whether a distance of 20 metres qualifies claimants to extended or standard mobility by introducing an application form that does not mirror the regulations. So which definition are DWP using to determine eligibility? Doh!

The difficulty is that I have been given standard mobility award because during the assessment  I used the term “up to 20 metres” According to the case manager, if an applicant mentions 20 metres, e.g. says ‘up to 20 metres’ like I did, the assessor will automatically put him/her into the longer category. Another bit of benefit saved!”

He closes with a suggestion that we ought not to say “up to 20 metres” but clearly state No More Than.

I’m going to try exactly this with my MR request as I’m 2 points off the higher rate and this has cost me £120 a month!!

Good Luck if you try this and please let me know how it goes

 

 

 

Hope, whilst IDS Lies continue to Persecute the Poor

In this my last post before the festivities kick in I want to take a look at a quick overview of the Truth Campaign and our reasons for pursuing it.

It all began on April 14 2013, when Debbie Sayers and I wrote an open letter, to Esther McVey regarding her persistent misuse of facts and statistics, we sent this with over 800 signatures, including 4 MPs, a month later. On the back of this, we started our first petition (27/5/13) to the Work & Pensions Committee demanding they :Hold IDS to account for his use of statistics.

We eventually received a response from the DWP correspondence team to our letter, which failed to even acknowledge the questions we had asked, but she did reply to Michael Meacher  and Tim Loughton MPs, who had supported our letter with the same reply.

By June 12 our first petition had hit the magic 100,000 signatures, and between then and November, we played tag with IDS as he kept hiding from the Select Committee, missing him when we submitted our petition in November to Liz Kendall & Kate Green MPs; but eventually on December 11 2013 he ran out of excuses to attend.

After a long break,  it was in May this year Debbie & I decided to start stage 2 of our campaign, particularly in response to the Governments response to the recommendations of 3rd report from Work & Pensions select committee – use of DWP statistics; and this determined our next steps.

As today sees the nights slowly begin to shorten again, and the festive season is here, with its expectations of happiness and hope; it seems an optimum time to revisit our journey so far. It is especially pertinent as these feelings are irreconcilable with the ever growing tales of horror, resulting from the DWP’s and indeed Governments false Austerity Agenda, and the ongoing persecution of the poorest, most vulnerable people in our society.

Debbie and I are both committed to what we see as a marathon and not a sprint, we have cruised past the first check point and now feel we have ‘hit the wall’ as athletes call it, that time when you wonder if you can continue. But we will, because we as JRF said “our current Welfare system doesn’t work; we refuse to become ‘victims’ of  the Lies IDS tell to Parliament , as do the supporters of our Thunderclap and the signatures so far on our petition.

If you share our outrage at the injustices forced upon disabled, unemployed, vulnerable people, please sign, support  and SHARE the story of the TRUTH Campaign and together in 2015 the people will Demand IDS is Investigated for his Lies and for the Damage done by them.

This is OUR Wish for Christmas, Yuletide and most importantly for Justice & TRUTH.

#ImpeachDWP #TRUTHCampaign #IDSTimeForTRUTH #NOWPetition