Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 1, 2013 20:44:10 GMT
The last thing he needs...
Is a manilla envelope from the DWP telling him his benefits are changing....
That's why Lynn fights on for her son
It's been a relentless battle....
Lynn has fought tirelessly & selflessly on Twitter and in many other ways to raise the plight of those with severe mental health problems; she does so for very good reasons. Out of confidentiality we won't go in to the details suffice to say that Lynn is fighting her case out of genuine concern for those who stand to be most affected. I've had a few conversations with Lynn over the reasons why she's pushing for changes which will help exclude people with the severest forms of mental illness from having to go through Disability Living Allowance assessments prior to the implementation of its replacement - the Personal Independence Payment. She raises some very valid points.
Lynn's local MP is helping her but changing laws and government timetables is a mammoth task. Lynn's petition expires on the 20th March so time is running out. She realises that she won't be getting enough signatures to be able to ask for a debate to be tabled in Parliament but if she reaches 10,000 she will at least get an acknowledgement from the government, She's currently at 9,482 so this is very achievable!
Changes in benefit payments and structures can well and truly tip those with severe mental illness completely over the edge. The dreaded manilla envelope isn't something any of us like to see these days but to people with severe mental illness it can literally turn their lives upside down; it's can be potentially dangerous to ask people with certain mental problems to comment on how they are - it becomes even more disastrous if it leads to an impersonal computer based assessment telling them they're not sufficiently affected to qualify for benefits. Invariably these kind of decisions get put right at appeal but only after months of waiting; there's a case for excluding them from any assessment and either leaving their existing benefits as they are until they get better or finding a better way of assessing them without the need for an impersonal assessment.
Exclude Vulnerable Severe & Enduring Mental Health
Sufferers from DLA Assessments in 2013
Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions
"Exclude ALL Severe and Enduring Mental Health Sufferers from the DLA Assessments in 2013 for the following Mental Health conditions. This vulnerable group will be hugely disadvantaged and won't have a voice to represent themselves at the assessment, yet they can come across as well to a person who does not know them, many believe they are not ill, which disadvantages them further! Being forced to work when they can't cope will increase homelessness and suicides amongst our most vulnerable mentally ill due to loss of housing benefits and other benefits, it will push many over the edge!
Please exclude Complex Mental Health Conditions,(many suffer from a combination of all of these conditions below), including my own son!
Please protect this extremely vulnerable client group who suffer from a lifelong unpredictable condition that will not get better as there is no cure, and even with ongoing treatment do relapse.
There are lots of reasons really but in the main it is about holding our politicians to account when it comes to the current reform of the welfare state. What thousands are calling out for is a debate on the following, it's simple, straightforward and not too much to ask:
"We call for a Cumulative Impact Assessment of Welfare Reform, and a New Deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions"
Sounds fair enough to me.
Government's assessment of the true impact of its far reaching & radical welfare reform programme has shown little, if any, sign of being properly tested; the assessments to date have been mainly rubber stamping exercises or studies by think tanks which are too politically biased to be reliable. Extensive consultation has been carried out with little sign that government is really listening to the concerns of those who stand to be most affected - and remember the way our economy is going you could find yourself having to rely on the welfare state sooner than you dare think.
I therefore think the call for a cumulative impact assessment is a good one, it is important that any such assessment is properly evidence based and carried out impartially.
Isn't welfare reform necessary?
No one is saying it isn't, there have been many welfare reforms before the current coalition government came to power, however the current welfare reforms are very ambitious, untried and untested - it's dangerous territory that we just can't afford to get wrong. The cuts to welfare will hit the most vulnerable in society and therefore we need to be very cautious about how changes will impact upon the individuals affected, this includes children, those of working age, those forced in to unemployment, the most severely disabled in society and pensioner groups. With over 30 million people in the UK claiming at least one state benefit very few people are immune from the effects of welfare reform, the chances are that if you are not personally affected you will know someone that is.
But everyone I know is on the fiddle, why should I help them?
Don't believe all you read in the papers, there's any number of articles right here on Mylegal which gives you the real statistical breakdown, before making a judgement over those on welfare why not have a read and check out some of the information aimed at getting to the true facts. In real terms welfare expenditure increases in any country and needs to be properly evaluated against rises in population, increases in the mortality rate and better medical treatments. The actual fraud figures are a very low percentage of the overall claimant count and whilst you may see lots of newspaper headlines portraying the benefit claimant as a cheat you won't get to see the apologies government ministers have to make for pushing the media in to printing misleading information.
Do you seriously think this petition will make any difference?
Yes I do, but don't take my word for it.
Why not ask English stand-up comedienne, 2012 Olympic Ambassador and actress Francesca Martinez who has toured internationally, including sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival?
Francesca has cerebral palsy and has put her name to the petition along with rapidly approaching 20,000 other people who have signed up since the petition went 'live' on the 18th December; it's a really impressive start but to get government to agree to debate the issues mentioned we need another 80,000 signatures before it closes in December 2013. We don't want to wait that long and believe we will reach our target well before then. However you can lessen the time by signing the petition today, it takes around two minutes and you don't need to answer lots of difficult questions, it really is very easy and most importantly it's very worthwhile.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Mar 25, 2013 23:10:53 GMT
Created by: Andy Lyder
Closing: 29/04/2013 11:34
Stop the bedroom tax NOW
Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions
Stop the totally unfair BEDROOM TAX it will cause hardship for many thousands of hard working people in this country. This under occupancy rule will tear families apart, making people move out of their homes or making children share a room when one is 15 and one is 4 will only create resentment, this is no way to treat your citizens. Stop this UNFAIR tax NOW before its too late.
Stop the Abolition of Disability Living Allowance for Personal Independence Payments
Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions
The government intends to abolish Disability Living Allowance and replace it with Personal Independence Payments. We feel the government is doing this because it is clear by awarding the contract to assess Personal Independence Payments to ATOS, it is a means to make savage cuts welfare to the most vulnerable in society. We believe peoples lives will be lost as a result of the scrapping of DLA for Personal Independence Payments assessed by ATOS.
This e-petition has received the following response:
As this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:
This is a long overdue and principled reform which will ensure that disability benefits are brought into the 21st century. We have been absolutely clear that our welfare reform plans are designed to protect those who are most in need and will prioritise support on individuals who have the greatest needs.
We are designing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to reflect a modern understanding of disability, to treat all conditions fairly and to ensure proper support is in place. This is a real step forward. Reforming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) also provides an opportunity to better target support for disabled people and to enable them to lead full, active and independent lives. Under Personal Independence Payment a greater proportion will get the higher rates compared to Disability Living Allowance.
The PIP assessment criteria will reflect a more complete consideration of the impact of an individual’s health condition or impairment – whether physical, sensory, mental or cognitive – than the current DLA assessment, ensuring that fair account is taken of all impairment types.
We recently announced the successful bidders for the Personal Independence Payment assessment contracts. After a fair and open competition Atos Healthcare was awarded the contract covering London and Southern England, as well as that covering Scotland, North East and North West England, while Capita Business Services was awarded the contract covering Wales and Central England as well as Northern Ireland.
By contracting with two providers we are adopting a new approach to delivering health and disability assessments working with regional providers. This will help ensure the quality of service is delivered in a way that best meets local needs, drives best practice and allows for more robust performance management with greater scope to take action against a poorly performing provider.
The PIP contracts do not include any targets or financial incentives in relation to the outcome of assessments or decisions on benefit entitlement. Providers will be paid for production of fair and impartial assessments and their assessment reports will be sent to Departmental decision makers, who will then make the decision on benefit entitlement.
Health professionals conducting the PIP assessments, from either provider, will be required to have a broad training in disability analysis as well as training on specific impairments. Both providers will have to conform to a rigorous set of quality standards regarding staff recruitment and training, as well as the quality and consistency of the assessments themselves, which this Department will be closely monitoring.
The PIP assessment process will be empathetic and will give claimants the opportunity to put across their view of the impact their health conditions or impairments have on their lives.
We intend to make greater use of appropriate evidence to support claims. This will include evidence from claimants and from supporting professionals. Assessment providers will be responsible for gathering evidence, although claimants will be encouraged to send in any evidence they have to hand. Claimants will also be given the opportunity to identify the most appropriate additional sources of information, particularly professionals who support them on a regular basis.
A face-to-face consultation will be a key part of the process for most individuals. This will allow an in-depth look at their circumstances and will give individuals the opportunity to put across their own views of the impact of their impairment on their everyday lives. This approach will ensure that decisions reflect the best evidence. However, face-to-face consultations will not be appropriate in every case. Where we already have enough evidence on which to make an assessment it would be inappropriate, and a waste of public money, to require individuals to attend a consultation. These decisions need to be taken on a case-by-case basis, as impairments can affect people in very different ways. Furthermore, we have made it very clear that individuals who are asked to attend a face-to-face consultation will be able to bring with them a relation, friend or possibly a professional who supports them.
This e-petition will remain open to signatures until the published closing date and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.
This petition calls for Iain Duncan Smith, the current Work and Pensions Secretary, to prove his claim of being able to live on £7.57 a day, or £53 a week.
On this morning's Today Programme David Bennett, a market trader, said that after his housing benefit had been cut, he lives on £53 per week. The next interviewee was Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who was defending the changes. The interviewer then asked him if he could could live on this amount. He replied: "If I had to, I would."
This petition calls on Iain Duncan Smith to live on this budget for at least one year. This would help realise the conservative party`s current mantra that "We are all in this together".
This would mean a 97% reduction in his current income, which is £1,581.02 a week or £225 a day after tax*.