May 222013

Three judges today confirmed what DPAC and other campaigners have been saying since 2010– the benefits test used to decide whether people are fit for work, actively discriminates against disabled people and those with mental health issues

 Mental health Resistance network (MHRN) have won the judicial review case against the DWP on the clear inadequacy of the Work Capability Assessments. They supported two users who took a case against the DWP for the harm these tests do to those with mental health issues. The WCA has been severely criticised since the Condems took over the reins from the New Labour WCA inception, making the tests more and more difficult and more and more humiliating for all concerned.

 Last week Dr Greg Wood resigned claiming the tests were biased, there have been a number of high profile resignations from nurses resigning and claiming that not only were the tests unfair they were degrading. This is a subject disabled people know all too well, from the millions lavished on Atos for tests and the millions for appeals.

 The  judicial review focussed on specific issues for those with mental health issues – that of gathering supporting evidence. Under the current system, individuals are responsible for gathering their own medical evidence and sending it to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). If anyone fails to do this, it simply won’t be looked at, and in many cases if you do do this your papers will be brushed aside (see DPACs survey responses on the WCA HERE).

Reporting the victory DPAC’s sister group,  Black Triangle Campaign wrote:

“The judgment that the DWP is in breach of the Equality Act is a huge victory for everyone affected by severe mental illness, but it’s sad that it took a court case to force the DWP to take action”.

DPAC wants to congratulate the two people that took the case, MHRN and all others that supported this. We hope this is another step towards outlawing these tests and stopping them for the damage they are causing all disabled people as called for by the BMA and the RCN.

We note that the big Disability charities have , as usual, chosen to take the credit for this success and we say again that this success is due to MHRN a small group that chose to do something. It is due to the two people that took the case and the solicitors involved. This case was not initiated by any of the big disability charities-despite them joining in later to save face.

 The charities sat back and did nothing, but they are fast to take the credit for something that they didn’t even contribute too. We hope that the success of the MHRN actions leads to an end to this inhuman process for all and we congratulate them for their tenacity and their actions in getting someone done- to the charities we say: we know the difference between the real heroes and those that try to bask in reflected glory-if you had made the move that MHRN had or acted more vigorously we might applaud you, as it is we are, once more unimpressed by your actions.

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  11 Responses to “Mental Health Resistance Network: victory on case against WCA!”

  1. Having waited 14 incredibly long & stressful months for my appeal to be heard, I thought that to win would bring some form of closure…how wrong could I be? I’m left, instead, with a feeling of bitterness. That I’ve only regained what was stolen in the first place. To go through 70+ weeks of worry and stress, to now discover that the whole WCA system may be unlawful, is another slap in the face.

    Who are the so called ‘health care professionals’ and why can’t they introduce themselves as the people they really are?

    It appears that the shame of their behaviour has created a desire to hide behind a phantom role, created with the backing of this government.

    They seem to forget that it was the public which voted to allow them the chance to prove themselves worthy of leading this country forward, and that it before the public at large they must kneel, begging to be allowed “just one more go, sir, please…”

    The answer must be a resounding “NO, YOU HAD YOUR CHANCE, BUT YOU BLEW IT.”

  2. I have to fill in the form every year, well its done for me, and its not right.

    Ive suffered from mental illness since at least aged 12,(18 years ago) was taken out of school and home schooled due to it, but they still come and interrogate me.

    MIND is a waste of time. They didnt even bother ringing my apointee back who was desperate for help as I was suffering from psychotic episodes which came on due to my worry during the 4 months it took Atos to finally come and home visit me.

    The doctor that came to visit me, who wasnt a doctor, must have told some truth as I got put in the support group, however the DWP feels the need to do this every year.

    They cant just send letters out indicating whether or not were fucked so will be forced to go out into the “working world” or not. they make us wait, which only makes my head hurt with worry and my behaviour becomes worse to the point of physical and verbal abuse, both against myself and my closest…which is destroying me as an individual.

    They prefer I become paranoid and think Im about to be punished, and hate myself, than send a simple letter stating that I wont be forced into society – my number one fear.

    They make me feel worse than shit. and if I did anything to show this, it may backfire and they would penalise me for it, which would only make me worse mentally.

    Mind can get fucked for they not only agreed to the conditions set out by the DWP, but they ignore people who genuinely do need help.

    Theyre nothing more than a thieving charity that bandwaggons victories for the mentally ill, whilst being complict in the destruction of our lives via their original silence on what Atos/DWP set out to do.

    • Hi Rob. although I have multiple illnesses myself, I am a carer for my sister, Maria, who has had mental health issues for 44 years (since she was 11), I read out what you wrote to her, and Maria can relate to you in practically every way. Maria’s health has been ‘stable’ for 30 years, but these catastrophic benefit changes have threatened that ‘stability’. Maria has never dealt with MIND, but does have a very supportive local mental health team (Consultant, CPN, Support Worker). I am, however, her main carer – Maria is still able to live in her 2 bedroom bungalow (after successfully appealing the original decision to charge her the bedroom tax). You may not know it, Rob, but what you wrote above was very inspirational – thanks……….and never give in to the Bascaratoes!!!!

  3. These charities that have been quick to get on the bus, will they be prepared to put their hands in their pockets to fight this GO PPP (Government of Prejudice, Propaganda, Panic) when they appeal this decision, as they have indicated they intend to!?

  4. Without question the DWP and ATOS Healthcare,s WCA programme causes and increases existing mental health problems. The stress and worry of illness is multiplied hundreds of times by these low lifes whose only aim is to save or make money. A persons mental health and wellbeing does not come into it.

  5. well done to those brave one’s who took them on and won….A VICTORY THERE CAN ONLY BE MORE OF THE SAME…kudos to them….regards…sandra.

  6. Please tell me how i join the mental health resistance group. I need to do something to help me and others like me. I live will suicidal thoughts every day because of my past experiences of the WCA, at least the thought that there are others out there fighting for a common goal and actually believing what I say would help no end in giving me back some power in a hopeless situation and who knows something I do might just stop someone else taking the step I am considering.

    • Hi Juliette I too have suicidal thoughts folowing my WCA and severe mental health problems following my dealings with Atos and DWP


      • Juliette and phill

        Please get rid of these suicidal thoughts. Do you want the Authoritarian Goverment to really end your life like this??. Please find a way to get through this. Your life is a special gift to you, it does not belong to this Nasty Regime. We who are disabled or ill ,are all experiencing this nightmare, you are not alone.

        I need joint replacement surgery in my ankle. I have end stage oesteo arthritis after a bad accident in which all my leg and ankle got shattered. Atos deemed me ‘fit for work’. I am in terrible pain, very isolated as can not get out much, walking is virtually impossible. My money has been pillphered away to nothing. Can barely eat. I am frightened, But I am hanging in there!!! I have A level psychology and am training to be a counsellor, doing one day a week at college. I am very interested and quite knowledgeable in the mental health field. Do you need any support? Look after yourselves, Please xx

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