Tag Archives: welfare benefits

Full spirit of Care Act not being met, says DHSC ahead of return of local authority performance assessment – Community Care

This government, what more needs to be said!!

They issue these edicts but they have no clue, or do not wish to have a clue.

The Care Act 2014 was a start, but only a start and as we see Local Authorities are just ignoring it as they know, they will hardly ever be brought to account.

Yes, you can complain and maybe the complaint will be upheld, but will there be any alterations to improve, I fear not. There are Judicial Reviews but try to get a Solicitor to take one on is virtually impossible, especially on a no win, no fee basis, as to get Legal Aid is an impossibility, again down to the Government making it harder.

Local Authorities also have problems, especially with finance again down to this Government and previous Tory Governments with their austerity cuts, so much of the problems emanate from the Government, yes, the same Government who are making all the noises about non-compliance with the Care Act. Surely they should be complaining to themselves, especially to the Department of Health and Social Care, which is only connected to social care in the title for they do little else for Social Care.

They do provide some funding for the NHS, but perhaps not enough, but funding for Social Care is virtually non-existent, it is so little to have no real value.

This Government as no ‘Duty of Care’ for Social Care, which is also borne out by this disgrace of a welfare system, where benefits such as PIP. ESA and UC are so difficult to obtain, especially from the assessment process which is so much against claimants.

This Government needs to change for if it does not there will be no credible Social Care to speak of.


Source: Full spirit of Care Act not being met, says DHSC ahead of return of local authority performance assessment – Community Care

People with learning disabilities in England ‘have eight times Covid death rate’ | Learning disability | The Guardian

Yes, it is true that persons with disabilities due have a greater degree of dying than someone without a disability and that this is generally 20 times more as been proved by research from Bristol University on the LeDeR Programme, which has been in force since 2016.

Then COVID is showing there is also a 8 times greater degree, but although the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) new about the 20 times, through the research of the LeDeR programme which reports to DHSC, they did not immediately include adults with disabilities as a priority on the Vaccine programme and when they did it was only for persons with Downs Syndrome.

Is this proof that this Government does not view persons with disabilities as of any importance, but to just ignore them, as though by ignoring them they will go away. One would hope not, but the vaccine programme is only one instance others being, include the Benefits System, the inaction on Social Care and many others.

But, the media has also some blame on this for they usually only depict disabled people with negativity and the general view of the UK population is also similar, with many viewing disabled people as ‘scroungers’, of which they are not. They just need a little more to be treated equally and then they only live a ‘reasonable’, whatever, that may be.


Source: People with learning disabilities in England ‘have eight times Covid death rate’ | Learning disability | The Guardian

Unpaid caregivers need more support|LinkedIn

From this linkedin post it would appear that this situation is not restricted to any given country, for here in the UK family carers, our way of expressing caregivers, are also not supported to any degree.

However, those family carers who are below retirement age could be eligible for Carers Allowance, provided they meet the eligibility conditions.

Many family carers are unable to maintain other forms of employment, so the £67.25 could be their only weekly earned income and it is a taxable benefit, but you may be eligible for other welfare benefits.

With Carers Allowance you would be receiving the equivalent to £1.92 based on the minimum qualifying hours of 35 hours.

When this is compared to our minimum wage, the National Living Wage, (NLW).

£1.92 per week is no real comparison to the NLW of £8.72 per week the minimum a person is expected to live on in the UK.

The UKs, Job Seekers Allowance, £74.35 for persons 25 and over, slightly more than Carers Allowance, but need to be seeking work, which a family carer may not be able to do.

Currently, family carers save £132 billion per year to the costs of Social Care within the UK

Well done family carers, you deserve it, but you should be recognised more. There is the Care Act 2014, but it should have provided much more and at the start of COVID-19 the UK Government created the Coronavirus Act 2020, which provided temporary easements for adults under the Care Act 2014, which are still available to English Local Authorities to apply to use, However, similar easements for children were withdrawn in September 2020, why are adults being treated differently to children, is this not disability discrimination?


Source: Unpaid caregivers need more support|LinkedIn

Fear Of Dogs Can Be Relevant To PIP Mobility

This shows what is wrong with the benefit system for it is dependent on a group of people’s judgement, which can be influenced by a number of factors completely non-relevant to the process and the facts before them.

The assessor should be and have to be open to all facts and not use their own judgemental beliefs to influence their decisions.

To some extent it could be said the limited guidance is at fault, being the important factor is the word ‘guidance’ for guidance is what it states, it is not the be all and end all. For it will be impossible to list all factors and therefore the guidance needs to be interpreted openly.

But this practice of rigidly sticking to guidance as though it is Law can and is and has been used in many other areas, especially in Local Authorities when they are considering claims for assistance.

The benefit system has to be there to help and assist claimants and not to punish them for having their conditions.

In many instances it is looked upon claimants that they are committing a crime for having dared to make a claim, which means some possible claimants will not make a claim when they should and more should use the appeals processes to the complete end.

Unfortunately many find the appeal process stressful and hard to manage, but that is a fault of the process and not the claimants, therefore the appeals process also needs to be looked at as well as the benefit process so that it is more user friendly.

Same Difference

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

An upper tribunal judge has held that fear of dogs, if linked to a disability or health condition, may be relevant to a personal independence payment (PIP) mobility award.

The claimant listed her conditions as: autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and depression.

In her PIP questionnaire the claimant wrote:

“I am able to plan routes and travel in familiar routes. However, I have a very severe Phobia of Dogs which is a result of sensory issues from my ASD which prevents me from undertaking journeys which are unfamiliar without someone to go with me or by travelling via car. This is due to my very severe anxiety that a dog may be present in the unfamiliar route”.

The claimant was awarded zero points for the daily living and for the mobility component of PIP.

The claimant appealed and was awarded 5 points for daily living…

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PIP Extension Letters Closely Followed By Review Forms

The problems with PIP are never ending, is it someone’s job to create problems, for if it is, this is the one area which someone is good at. Creating problems, that is and then bringing more grief to PIP claimants.

Pip, since its creation, has been bane for claimants and when one is sorted another problem appears.

problems with PIP is bad enough, but when this occurs in other benefits, this is a further major cause of great distress for claimants, as though having the conditions which create a need to claim ben efits is not enough.

benefits should be there to help people not hinder and cause more distress.

In the situation to which the article refers it is as though one section of the DWP does not know what other sections are doing. For every section should be aware of their own processes and how these process impact on other associated processes within the DWP.

As usual it is the system which is at fault as it takes no account of how it impacts on claimants.

When people query why this and that has been done the usual excuse is, it is the system, whereas the claimants should be central to the process not the system.

However, the system was put together at the outset by Government Ministers and Civil Servants so the pitfalls of the system should have been evident from the start, perhaps the system was created to ensure pitfalls occur, now that is a thought and most likely the correct one.

For is was said that the welfare system was being changed to save money and ensure benefits were only granted to those persons who really need them, when, in fact many who really need them were unable to attain the benefits.

The sanctions where totally unacceptable from the start and punished claimants even further, as in most, if not all instances the system made the imposition of sanctions to be inflexible.

The attitude that came across was that the DWP were unsympathetic to the plight of claimants and were there to cause distress rather than be helpful.

Same Difference

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

The flood of PIP award extension letters we highlighted a fortnight ago is being followed, sometimes within days or weeks, by review forms for some claimants. Others have received extension letters which wrongly reduce the length of the award and one member has warned of issues with Motability vehicles.

Last month we revealed that around 850,000 PIP award extension letters were being sent out by the DWP, with awards typically being extended for 9 months.

It seems though, that in some cases the extension letter is being closely followed by a PIP review form which may be due to be returned before the original award has even ended, leaving claimants feeling that the extension wasn’t so much of a boon after all.

One commenter told us:

Many including me rec’d an extension letter mine came last sept extending my pip award from mar…

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Major DWP benefits change today prompts warning for 500,000 disabled people – Mirror Online

Yet another problem for disabled people to cope with. Are not benefits complicated enough, before they are complicated more.

Currently most people are trying to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Government through the DWP are adding to the difficulties.

I am getting more and convinced that this Government wants all disabled people to disappear and by doing so, the need to pay welfare benefits will be reduced, as disabled people will not be around for them to claim the benefits.

Would this Government be so callous to do this, yes, I could not be more certain.


Source: Major DWP benefits change today prompts warning for 500,000 disabled people – Mirror Online

Merry Christmas one and all.

A good Christmas to you and yes, the benefits system is not good for anyone, which is a deliberate act by this Government and many before them. Is it that these Governments want the benefit system to fail, so that more problems have to be taken on by persons who need benefits to exist.

Perhaps these Government do not want people to exist, but to go past existing and be deceased, for then they would not need benefits.

But you may say no Government would do this, put it is occurring before our eyes.

This is further compounded by the state of Social Care, which is in a very serious crisis, due to many years of serious underfunding. In the last decade due to austerity cuts imposed on Local Authorities, by many previous Tory Governments and now by the considerable costs due to COVID-19.

This and many other Governments have promised to solve the crisis in Social Care, but while this and the other Governments dither, the social care crisis goes deeper and deeper into crisis, causing people in need of social care to receive no care or insufficient.

This coupled with the insufficient welfare benefits causes persons in need to decline even further, but still no reactions from this Government.

Yes, they are dealing, or are they dealing with COVID-19, as some of the actions, or more inactions relate to the latter, so many will say they have no time to solve the crisis in Social Care.

Well people will be right on one thing that the Government do not have the time, but not because of COVID-19, for if it was not COVID-19 there would be another excuse for this Government does not care.

The UK population has to do all they can to bring a caring attitude in to this Government and to help, I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care.

More supportive information can be seen at, https://1drv.ms/w/s!Aq2MsYduiazgoEy6ROxeV0abd2mT?e=7xypqe.

If you believe in miracles, then by supporting this petition it could ‘kickstart’ the Government into action, perhaps, not only to solve the crisis in social care, but also to improve the welfare benefits.

The poor side of life

Dear readers I write this blog on Christmas Day, a day when people are expected to celebrate and be happy.

Sadly because of the government’s cruel Universal Credit system and the torturous PIP and ESA DWP ‘medical’ assessments thousands of people won’t be able to celebrate, cook a Christmas dinner and exchange gifts.

This year is tougher than normal because we are still in the middle of a pandemic that the government is trying it’s best to ignore.

Today the UK’s official Covid death toll has surpassed 70,000 on as 570 more people died today.

Let that sink in 570 people have died from Covid 19 on Christmas day. Also a total of 70,000 people have died as a result of Covid 19.

Meanwhile the government continues to ignore this, they just don’t want to know and they certainly don’t want to help.

70,000 families will be grieving as will…

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Rough sleeping crisis ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ of poverty and destitution, warn Labour

This is indeed a very serious crisis, yet another that this Governments policies and many previous Governments policies, be they be Labour or Conservative, have created and done little or nothing to solve.

Instead of playing Party politics all in Government and Parliament should be working together to manage and reduce this situation, so that both short and long-term solutions can be formed.

Improving Social Housing, in quality, quantity, costs and more would be one solution, but there are many more.

A more substantial and creative welfare benefits system would be another, one that is there to help and not punish.

Another would be to improve the legal entity, where all authorities are there to help, rather than see the problem as a reason to arrest or move persons on, so that it is a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

Another would be for the authorities to talk to the ‘homeless’ and find out from them, ‘first hand’ what could be done to solve the homelessness for each individual, as there will be many reasons for them to be homeless and be seen to be both reactive and more importantly proactive by providing what homeless people are looking for, rather than just create what authorities believe would be solutions, for the solutions will be many and there could well be a mixture of solutions.

Perhaps a more difficult one to solve would be to improve the public opinion to the homeless situation, but first the Government opinion needs to be improved considerably.

These are just some of the possible solutions, but there will be many more and the solutions will need to be ‘fluid’ so that changes, which will occur from time to time, can be accommodated quickly and responsibly.


Source: Rough sleeping crisis ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ of poverty and destitution, warn Labour

PIP Assessments Now Being Audio Recorded – 61chrissterry

This appears to be good news for claimants with regards to ATOS, but not so with regards to Capita.

The recommendation for people to make their own covet recording is also sound advice for it will also be evidence if the recording do not match.

Referring to Capita, surely the DWP should make this part of the contract and if, Capita do not comply then they should be removed as authorised agents.

The more that can be done to make the process more transparent the better.

What would be even better is to cancel all the contracts with Atos and Capita and any other outside agencies as soon as possible, then we would only have to contend with the DWP, which alone is more than enough.

The whole benefit processes need to be more user friendly and based on a person-centred approach, rather than a system approach.


Source: PIP Assessments Now Being Audio Recorded – 61chrissterry

DWP urged to increase ‘legacy benefits’ to avoid gap in support : Welfare Weekly

The UK government has been urged to extend the £20 per week uplift to the standard allowance of Universal Credit and basic element of Working Tax Credit to avoid an ‘unfair’ gap in support during the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The SNP claim that new figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) have revealed that the decision to provide the uplift to those on so called ‘legacy benefits’ would affect almost 300,000 people in Scotland.

Leading anti-poverty charity, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has joined the SNP and others in calling for the £20 increase to be made permanent and extended to legacy benefits to strengthen the social security net and provide a lifeline to families struggling because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They say that throwing the equivalent lifeline to those on legacy benefits could see 1.5 million more people across the UK, including 300,000 children, benefiting from this crucial support in 2021/22.


Source: DWP urged to increase ‘legacy benefits’ to avoid gap in support : Welfare Weekly