Wednesday, 23 May 2012

DWP Rules Severely Disabled People Fit to Work

Written by Nicky Clarke. A longer version of this article on Nicky's blog here

First Published at Liberal Conspiracy
A blind, deaf, tube-fed, non verbal, disabled man from Scotland has been deemed fit for work by the DWP. As a result of not completing the form correctly, his benefits will be stopped on 7th June and he will have to access the appeal process to have this decision over-turned.

This man has to have 24 hour care and the person who had completed his form for him as his disability prevents him had not included something in the 30 page form which meant that due to that error his money will stop.

These forms are very lengthy, complicated and ask many intimate and intrusive questions very much like the Disability benefit forms I complete on behalf of my children.

The problem isn’t the fact that you have to ask for help; it isn’t the time it takes to complete them; it isn’t the caring that you have to do at the same time; it isn’t the humiliation that you feel as you complete them; it isn’t the shame culture which has grown up in recent years around those legitimately asking for help.

It isn’t the fear of hate crime which vulnerable people face; it isn’t the lack of disability access which greet many disabled people called to an assessment with untrained staff; it isn’t the tabloid press who brand genuinely disabled people as “scroungers” and “scum”.
It isn’t any one of those things. It’s all of them.

The mistake regarding his forms will take weeks to rectify. And if you still feel this is a justifiable process in order to weed out the liars and fakes living in mansions and driving luxury cars, I ask you to think again. More money is lost in DWP error than is lost through benefits granted to liars and fakes.

The fact that you feel this is a justification at all simply means that you have been desensitised by effective propaganda because disabled people are the new scapegoats de jour.

My thoughts are with those without a support network, those who are killing themselves because they have lost, or fear losing their benefits.

The battle against disabled people shames us all.

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