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25 March 2015 newsletter

Tories plan £19 per week benefits cut for working age claimants

DLA to PIP success!!
“I have just had my dreaded brown envelope in the mail. I have been awarded standard rate care and enhanced rate mobility! It's the same as I was getting on DLA more or less, but with the horrendous new forms and all the new rules, I wouldn't have known where to begin without the Benefit and Work guides. Thank you so, so much!
All my thanks to you all for your brilliant work on our behalf.”

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Dear Reader,

In this week’s newsletter we reveal that working age claimants are likely to face an average cut of over £19 a week in their benefits if the Conservatives form the next government.

£10 billion in two years
The chancellor confirmed in his budget last week that the Tories plan to make £12 billion in welfare savings in the next parliament, with the cuts coming in the years 2016-2018.

£2 billion will be cut by freezing most working age benefits.

But that still leaves £10 billion to account for.obr cuts chart

The Tories are refusing to say where the cuts will fall until after the election is over. But pensioner income is guaranteed and proposed cuts to child benefit will raise just 300 million.

Which means that working age claimants will almost certainly bear the vast brunt of the cuts.

With around 5 million working age claimants having to soak up £10 billion in cuts over two years, the average cut is likely to be around £19 a week.

ESA, DLA, PIP, HB at risk
We have no way of knowing how these cuts will be made.

But it could be a combination of measures such as abolishing the work-related activity component of ESA; removing the lower rate of DLA care and/or mobility for working age claimants; making the points system for PIP much harsher; reducing the percentage of rent that housing benefit covers . . . and much more.

But whilst we can’t be sure how the cuts will be achieved, we can be absolutely certain of the additional misery and desperation they will heap on already struggling claimants.

Sanctions and deaths survey results
Just how desperately claimants are already struggling was brought home by our ‘Benefits sanctions and deaths survey’.

The survey revealed an overwhelming distrust of the DWP, with the majority of over 1,000 respondents considering that the department:

  • has negatively affected the respondents health;
  • treats claimants inhumanly;
  • causes claimants' deaths; and then
  • covers up the poverty, suffering and deaths it causes.

Hardest to read of all, though, are the 100 plus comments we’ve included at the end of the survey results. Please note that these include repeated references to suicide.

‘Police Complaints’ type body for claimant deaths
Concern about benefits-related deaths isn’t limited to claimants themselves. Yesterday even a committee of MPs called for the setting up of “a body modelled on the Independent Police Complaints Commission,” to look into the deaths of working age benefits claimants.

The work and pensions committee proposes that relatives of claimants who die should be able to ask for an enquiry.

The committee has also called for an urgent, independent review of the whole sanctions regime.

(As we were writing this, news came in that labour have agreed to implement all of the recommendations in the work and pensions committee report if they win power).

All of which makes the spectacle of a Tory minister sharing a joke with IDS about how rich claimants are, seem even more revolting.

One in three lose Motability car
Elsewhere, we have news that, as 10 new PIP areas are announced, Motability cars are being taken away from one in three DLA to PIP transfer claimants.

We also disclose what the chances are of a PIP award for a fresh claim and for a transfer from DLA.

And there’s more on those missing forms and missing medicals, to which we can now add missing professional qualifications.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

 

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BENEFITS NEWS
£19 per week benefits cut for working age claimants under Tories
Working age claimants are likely to face an average cut in income of over £19 a week if the Conservatives form the next government .

Missing forms, missing medicals, missing qualifications
Benefits and Work is receiving disturbing reports that assessments for both PIP and ESA are not being carried out in the way that the DWP claims they should be.

Tory minister mocks claimants
Tory minister Hugo Swire mocked claimants at last month’s £1,500 per place ‘black and white ball’ to raise funds for the Conservatives.

‘Police Complaints’ type body should investigate benefits deaths, says commons committee
The influential Commons Work and Pensions committee has today called for “a body modelled on the Independent Police Complaints Commission,” to look into the deaths of working age benefits claimants.

Massive survey majority believes 'inhuman' DWP causes and then covers-up claimant deaths
Please note: there are repeated references to suicide in the final section of this article, headed: "Is there anything else you would like to tell us about issues covered in this survey?"

Benefits cuts in the media
Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the media have paid little attention to the plan in this week’s budget to impose £12 billion of unspecified cuts on the benefits bill.

“Big cuts to disability benefits” if conservatives win, warns IFS
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) is warning that cutting the benefits bill by £12 billion will lead to “radical changes” to housing benefits and “big cuts to disability benefits”, amongst others.

“People are dying because they are being hounded” warns coma death claimant’s father
Sheila Holt, a claimant with severe bipolar disorder, died last week after many months in a coma.

Latest on your chances of a PIP award
The latest personal independence payment (PIP) statistics reveal that just over half of all new claimants get an award and just over three quarters of all disability living allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessments result in an award.

What horrors for claimants is Osborne hiding in his budget statement?
George Osborne has confirmed that there will be further massive cuts in the benefits budget, but refuses to say where they will fall.

10 new PIP areas from 30 March
The DWP have announced that 10 new postcode areas will be subject to personal independence payment (PIP) for renewals as well as new claims from 30 March 2015.

Motability cars taken away from one in three DLA to PIP claimants
Research carried out by ITV News has shown that over one in three disabled people with a Motability car has had it taken away from them when they transferred from DLA to PIP.

Support group entry now harder for women, Freud confirms
In a written parliamentary answer, Lord Freud has confirmed last week’s revelation by Benefits and Work that it has now been deliberately made harder for women claimants to qualify for the support group of ESA.

 

FEEDBACK FROM THE FORUM
Please keep your feedback coming, we know that it’s a source of encouragement and hope to an awful lot of our visitors.

ESA Support Group success
“I am typing this with shaking fingers and holding my breath. After all the worry and upset, I still cant' believe I am actually typing this message….Today, I received my DWP notification letter. I HAVE BEEN PLACED IN THE 'SUPPORT GROUP'. I also rang to find out when I would be re-assessed - I was told March 2017. I have a long struggle ahead with my health issues, but being placed in the Support Group has lifted a heavy load. I am very relieved and extremely thankful to the B&W website, which has literally been a life saver for me. THANKS AGAIN BENEFITS AND WORK!”

ESA Support Group success
“…I just want to thank you and let you know, that I have been placed in the support group without a medical, It has only been seven weeks since I sent my esa50 back, I am so relieved, the help and encouraging posts from other members, has kept me hopeful, filling in the esa50 was a nightmare for me, as I have depression and chronic anxiety, but I found the help you provide on this site, invaluable, Thank you so much I am so very grateful”

PIP success
“Thanks using info on this site got enhanced care and mobility over the moon please subscribe money well spent”

DLA to PIP success
“got forms for dla 17 days ago, used this site and followed guidance and put as much information in as possible …was expecting a medical, but got letter today and been awarded the same rate pip as dla , thanks very much for the help from this site, and to everyone who contributes”

DLA indefinite
“…my current claim of the care component for DLA was up for renewal as of March 31st 2015. I was presuming I would have been sent the new PIP form?! however it was the usual DLA Claim pack which I filled in using your very useful guides. Today I received the letter stating I was awarded both the care and the mobility at the highest rates indefinitely, this is great news”

ESA renewal
“I would like to thank you for all the hard work and help that you provide to people like me, on a daily basis, to help us to overcome our fears, worries and setbacks that we encounter, you are doing a great job, well done!!.”

DLA renewed
“A MASSIVE THANKS TO THIS SITE, WITH YOUR HELP AND A VERY UNDERSTANDING DOCTOR I HAVE BEEN AWARDED MY SAME RATE FOR A FURTHER 2 YEARS , AND HEARD WITHIN TWO WEEKS...SUCH A RELIEF.....NO MEDICAL OR APPEAL THIS TIME”Cover of guide to claiming ESA on mental health grounds

DLA renewal success!
“They received my renewal on the 2nd, I have received my award...exactly as it was and indefinitely just 8 days later! I'm so relieved! Thank you everyone for this fantastic and most informative site. I couldn't have done it without you, You're invaluable!”

 

BOOST YOUR ESA, PIP OR DLA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY
Give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right ESA, PIP or DLA decision, whether you’re making a claim, renewing an existing award or asking for a reconsideration or appeal. Subscribe now and get instant access to all our guides.

If you’re not already a member, join the Benefits and Work community before midnight on Friday and you can get 20% off the cost of your annual subscription.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 3758

Claimants and carers get an annual subscription for £15.96, down from £19.95. Professionals get an annual subscription for £77.60, down from £97.00.
Offer ends midnight Friday

Good luck,

The Office Team
Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
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