Jan 122015
 

Are you more or less likely to fight Maximus since it hired Sue Marsh?

This is a question that all disability activists need to ask themselves and need to answer.

But before that, let’s review the situation:

The WCA:

The WCA is in a state of virtual collapse and the last WCA review undertaken by Dr Lichfield raises more questions than it answers. Having access to all DWP statistics, Dr Lichfield is at loss to explain the huge increase in the number of claimants placed in the Support Group, which has now reached 70%. When the WCA was introduced in 2008 under Labour, this figure was 8% and nothing has been done in the meantime which could explain such an increase. Most recommendations from Dr Harrington and Lichfield dealt with the claimants’ journey, the quality of communications, the training of assessors, but they never addressed or attempted to modify the descriptors which have been failing so many claimants, especially those with mental health or fluctuating conditions. Moreover, some of the first recommendations made and accepted by DWP are still waiting to be implemented.

So what is happening? One clue can be found in the minutes of a meeting of Manchester Welfare Advisers in Manchester in July 2014 (salford-gmwrag-minutes-2014.docx), highlighting how the Decision Makers were overturning decisions at the stage of Mandatory Reconsiderations to ‘avoid appeals at all cost’. This does not mean claimants are not entitled to ESA or to be in the Support Group, but that the outcomes of MR are fed into the data system much earlier. Remember that there has always been an 8 month timelag in the publication of ESA statistics, but this timelag is 14 months for appeal outcomes, so the picture we are now getting is a more accurate one as confirmed by a recent DWP press release  boasting of a huge reduction in benefit dispute waiting times, from 6 months to under a fortnight on average (to be taken with a pinch of salt as coming from the DWP).  In the same meeting minutes, it is highlighted that DWP holds on to the appeal outcomes for 14 months, if found in favour of DWP. This confirms the suspicion that DWP has always been able to manipulate the ESA statistics by selectively releasing or withholding data. Faced today with a UN inquiry and a General Election, DWP wants to give the impression that the WCA is working well, that the number of appeals has drastically dropped (around 90% from the previous year), while not giving any information on the number of MR which have led to an overturned decision, and maintaining a backlog of around ½ million claimants in the assessment phase (a rough estimate as no figures have been published), which is also one way of keeping the number of JSA claimants artificially low.

Coming back to Dr Lichfield, he is challenging the notion that the WCA is the right instrument for determining benefit entitlement, but recommends sticking to it in the absence of any off-the-shelf alternative.

 

Maximus

Much has been said about Maximus, and even its new Head of Customer Experience said when the choice of Maximus for disability assessments was announced: It’s as though the DWP actively searched out the worst provider they could find. Many have commented that perhaps Maximus were the only company willing to take on such a poisoned chalice. Ultimately, changing work capability assessment provider will do nothing to address the very significant flaws of the employment and support allowance system itself – 700,000 people are now stuck in limbo waiting for an assessment. If this was another issue the public would be up in arms.”

This is a company which defrauded the US government in 2007 by creating documents for non existant state debt or medical expenses (for good examples of this, follow this link to open the pdf documents ), which got the contract in 2013 for the Independent Medical Review programme in California, leading to four out of every five cases reviewed by Maximus being denied treatment, which in British Columbia, Canada, under the name of Themis, is running the  Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, which manages the collection and enforcement of child support obligations under court orders. These enforcement actions range from  monetary penalties, credit reporting, passport revocation, drivers license suspensions, bank account seizures, wage garnishment and the threat of jail time and have caused hardship, emotional injury, instability and in some cases suicides.

Maximus is also contracted by the Australian government to provide independent observers for unaccompanied minors in the immigration detention centre where Serco guards used force on minors  while providing care and support services to unaccompanied minors in other immigration detention centres, but it is one of the major players in the Welfare for work programmes in Australia.

 

Which leads us to its membership of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) until at least 1995.  After this date, the name of the corporate funders of ALEC are not known,  but ALEC has been instrumental and a major force in the privatisation of the most profitable aspects of government, in particular areas in which Maximus has direct interests.

But there is at least one story with an happy ending, in Illinois,: where Maximus’ contract was terminated in 2013 and returned to state employees because it was found that in assessing benefit eligibility, Maximus recommendations were rejected in 25 percent of cases where they found recipients ineligible; in cases where they recommended changes in benefit levels, fully 50 percent were found to be in error.”

This is the company hired by DWP to assess benefit eligibility of claimants in the UK.

 

Which brings us back to the initial question: Are you more or less likely to fight Maximus since it hired Sue Marsh?

If the response is less likely, it is fair to ask whether that was Maximus’ intention all along. Another question which needs to be asked is how long Sue Marsh will be given a chance to succeed where 5 independent WCA reviews and endless Parliamentary debates and public pressure have failed. What will be the success criteria and at which point will suffering and deaths of claimants become too much and too many for a conscience to bear?

I can already hear the argument of the monkey and the organ grinder about Maximus, which is a valid argument. But it is the withdrawal of Atos under the pressure of activists and direct action which led to the collapse of the WCA. Maximus identifies as one of its main corporate risks:

“Negative media coverage could adversely affect our reputation and our ability to bid for government contracts.”

So let’s go for Maximus and make its brand as toxic as that of Atos. Support the 2nd of March mobilisation of DPAC.

 

 

For more information about Maximus, see DPAC previous post: ’The private provider which not only denies benefits but also treatment

 

 

 

 

.

 

.

 Posted by at 10:47
Jan 112015
 

http://www.luton-dunstable.co.uk/pictures/GALLERY-8203-100-march-Luton-justice-protest/pictures-25838488-detail/pictures.html

OVER 100 people marched through Luton today (Sunday) in protest against Bedfordshire Police.

Representatives from Justice 4 Leon, Justice 4 Faruk Ali and Justice 4 Mayah, who have united as the group Luton 4 Justice, were joined by campaigners for Slough man Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah, who died in police custody in 2008.

The group marched from Nadeem Plaza to Luton Police Station at 1pm, which was closed during the protest, where speeches were given by campaigners.

The group had dispersed by 3pm.

Dhobir Ali, brother of Faruk Ali, said: “Today is a start of a long journey, with a lot of struggles ahead.

“We have a lot of questions left unanswered, such as the progress of the misconduct hearing and whether they will release the footage.

“We want to work with the police, but we also want there to be transparency.”

When asked what the next step for Luton 4 Justice was, Livery Louise of the Justice 4 Leon campaign said: “The next step after this is the Ferguson USA to UK tour where a Reverend central to the protests of the Michael Brown case is coming down to speak on a panel, which we hope will raise awareness even further and increase community cohesion.”

Read more: http://www.luton-dunstable.co.uk/pictures/GALLERY-8203-100-march-Luton-justice-protest/pictures-25838488-detail/pictures.html#ixzz3OXakZK61

Report back from Mandy a DPAC supporter who attended the event together with Andy Greene who spoke on behalf of DPAC

Strange that I should be in respite care, when the march was due to take place. My life is full of these anomalies. I consider being part of the protest as party of my therapy. It is import for people to feel valued and involved in important things. It doesn’t get much more important than the right to justice and that means justice for all.

I wasn’t aware that the march would be taking place until last Wednesday. However, there was enough time to liaise with Linda and Andy and to have some clue of where the march was to start.

After a few minor blips, I met Andy and Jim at Luton train station and we took a slow pootle to Nazeem Plaza

It was nice to have people to go along with especially all I really knew was that some people had died, either in police custody or due to negligence of other people (and a system that seems to serve itself…make that does serve itself).

When we got to the rendezvous point, I became aware that 2 adults and a child had died and  Faruk Ali a man with autism had been assaulted twice by police outside his home. The families had got no justice for their loved one. I am sure many people are aware of the ‘corruption’ that makes for our justice system but I was horrified, particularly, by the plight of Mayah. A young girl and the abuse her family members received, not just when Mayah was in hospital but since they have been trying to get those accountable to be made accountable. Having said that, all life is precious and the lives of the 3 people, taken too soon, unnecessarily, and the way public servants have lied, covered up the truth and put the families through hell upset and angered me. Gave me more resolve, when I was marching because it felt the only right thing for me to do.
During the march, I became detached from Andy and Jim. These things happen when I get caught up in what is going on. I felt a strong sense of solidarity and pride in being part of the march and having a booming voice came in really handy as we (as a collective) chanted the names of those who had died and yelled “Our Streets” in response to the question “Whose Streets?”.

The names of those we were marching for: Leon Briggs, Papa Mullah, Farouk Ali and Baby Mayah. It is important to remember these people and also to remember that if this is what has happened in Luton, similar miscarriages of justice (deaths in police custody and assaults of disabled people) must be happening all over this country.

The march ended at Luton Police Station, where family members (of the victims), community leaders and DPAC’s Andy gave speeches. Was well impressed by Andy. Blimey, he can give it some and fair play to him. He did DPAC and all disabled people proud.

I was very much touched by Mayah’s uncle. I nearly cried, hearing how Mayah died and how brutally her family members, including Mayah’s mother, were treated by the police. I know this sounds a bit biased but as a mother I can only imagine (and how awful that imagery is) what it would be like if that had been my daughter and I was being manhandled by policemen.

Before some of us, who had marched, went off for free soup at Ruby’s. {The owner, very kindly, made soup for all who took part} somebody (from some news channel or other) thrust a microphone at me, asking me why I attended the march. Bottom line, because the justice system should serve everyone and serve everyone properly.

 

 Posted by at 19:06
Jan 112015
 

as you may have seen Mark Harper may have deliberately misled parliament and said that disabled people’s organisations have told him his government are right to close the independent Living Fund and devolve non-ring fenced funding to Local Authorities. Following DWPs response to an FOI we have now written to those disability charities it seems Mark Harper claims have supported this decision to ask them if they did agree with the government.

The charities concerned are DRUK,  Mencap, MIND, RNIB, Action on Hearing Loss, Leonard Cheshire Disability and SCOPE.

Many thanks to John Pring and his Disability News Service for also working on this issue.

http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2015/01/independent-living-fund-ministers-unbelievable-failure-prove-commons-boast/

Dear CEO,

A published statement in parliament made in December last year has left Mark Harper the minister for disabled people facing accusations that he misled parliament over the level of support for the government’s decision to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF).
Mark Harper told MPs that he had “talked to disability organisations about this matter, and they agree with the
government” that the ILF should be closed and non-ring-fenced funding passed instead to local authorities.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141208/debtext/141208-0001.htm#1412082000005
Having now received a response to a Freedom of Information request about this matter the Minister for Disabled People’s Private Office has confirmed that the Minister does meet regularly with a large number of disability organisations including a regular monthly meeting with the Disability Charities Consortium – an informal coalition of seven disability charities; Action on Hearing Loss, Disability Rights UK, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mencap, Mind, RNIB and Scope – and attendance at the Fulfilling Potential Forum.

We know that those attending the Fulfilling Potential Forum have not agreed with the government’s plans to close the ILF and refusal to ring-fence the money.

We also feel it is unlikely, but not impossible, that you as one of the CEOs of the Disability Charities Consortium have agreed with this stance but before we pursue this matter further we would like you to confirm to us whether you have in meetings with Mark Harper agreed with the government’s position that the ILF should be closed and non ring-fenced funding devolved to local authorities.

We have posted this on our website and will add your responses to us as and when we receive them.

Linda Burnip

Disabled People Against Cuts

Responses

Linda
Disability Rights UK has never  agreed with government to ILF closure.
We have not agreed with government on closure or transfer.

On ring-fencing we campaigned in 2014 on the lack of ring-fencing by many local authorities, after we did a Freedom of Information request to find out what local authorities were doing – this was on national media.

See our statement and these FoI  findings at: http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2014/august/most-councils-will-not-ringfence-ilf-resources

We will be doing a further Freedom of Information request shortly to sustain pressure

Best wishes

Liz

Dear Linda

I am currently chair of Disabilities Charities Consortium.

Disabilities Charities Consortium CEOs have met once with Mark Harper, on 14 October 2014. It was an introductory meeting at which we discussed the DCC’s priorities in the run-up to the general election and shared our joint policy platform (see attached document) and invited the Minister to outline his priorities up until May 2015.

There was a brief discussion about independent living at the meeting, which focused on social care funding and legislative reforms. The meeting did not include any discussion of the Independent Living Fund.

The Disabilities Charities Consortium does not have an agreed joint position on the ILF. Our positioning document (attached) calls for Government to reaffirm its commitment to independent living and put in place the mechanisms to deliver this. By the end of the next Parliament, all recipients of state-funded care must have the option to live independently, including being supported in their own home or in a supported living setting.

With regard to Action on Hearing Loss, we have not had any conversation with the Minister for Disabled People about the Independent Living Fund.

With best wishes

Paul

Paul Breckell
Chief Executive
Action on Hearing Loss

Dear Linda,

Thank you for your recent messages to Clare Pelham with regard the Independent Living Fund.

In addition to the clarification that I know has been sent on behalf of the DCC group, I can confirm that we have had two recent meetings with Mark Harper MP, the introductory meeting between the Minister and the CEOs of the Disability Charities Consortium on 14 October, and an individual meeting on 27 November. We did not discuss the ILF at either of these meetings. In addition, over the last year we have specifically called for the ILF to be retained.

Yours,

Andy Cole 

Director of Corporate Affairs
Leonard Cheshire Disability

Dear Linda,

Thank you for your email regarding the comment that the Minister for Disabled People made in Parliament in December 2014 about the Independent Living Fund.

Scope has held two meetings with Mark Harper as the Minister for Disabled People – the first in September 2014 and the second in January 2015.  The agenda of neither of these meetings included a specific item on the Independent Living Fund.

We have always been clear that our position on ILF is as set out below.

As you know, in our response to the Government’s 2012 consultation entitled ‘The Future of the Independent Living Fund’ (available here:https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-of-the-independent-living-fund-ilf), Scope stated that ‘Whilst it may be reasonable to consider bringing the Independent Living Fund (ILF) into the mainstream care and support system at some point in the future, Scope is strongly opposed to closing the fund to existing users at this present time’ and that “the core issue of funding for all care and support services needs to be addressed before any potential consideration of closure of the ILF to existing users”.

Since then, Scope has been consistent and clear that we are very concerned about the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) because it is likely to lead to fewer disabled people being able to live independently and because those basic conditions for any movement of the fund into the mainstream care system have not been met. Our most recent position statement on the closure of the Fund can be found here: http://www.scope.org.uk/Scope-responds-lawfulness-closure-Independent-Living-Fund.

The Disabilities Charities Consortium has met once with Mark Harper, on 14 October 2014. It was an introductory meeting at which we discussed the DCC’s priorities in the run-up to the general election and shared our joint policy platform and invited the Minister to outline his priorities up until May 2015.   There was a brief discussion about independent living at the meeting, which focused on social care funding and legislative reforms. The meeting did not include any discussion of the Independent Living Fund.

The Disabilities Charities Consortium does not have an agreed joint position on the ILF. Our positioning document calls for Government to reaffirm its commitment to independent living and put in place the mechanisms to deliver this. By the end of the next Parliament, all recipients of state-funded care must have the option to live independently, including being supported in their own home or in a supported living setting.

I hope this answers your query in full, and please do not hesitate to contact me again if you have any other questions.

Best wishes,

Richard Hawkes

SCOPE

Thank you for your email and giving us an opportunity to respond to what the government has said.

As you’ll see from the attached response to the original ILF consultation, which we submitted in October 2012, we called, amongst other things,  for a ring-fenced budget allocation, if the ILF were to be closed. We then set out the different developments we wanted to see across Wales and Northern Ireland, were the ILF to close, to ensure a proper funding settlement for the devolved administrations. We believe that the lack of ringfencing is a very serious issue, which the government has not recognised.

In particular, I would draw your attention to the following from our response:

“Mencap urges the Government to transfer the funding from the ILF to local authorities in the form of a ring fenced specific grant. Otherwise it would be highly likely that local authorities will use the ILF funding to meet other gaps in spending. Furthermore Mencap calls upon the Government to take urgent action to address the funding crisis within adult social care. ”

You may also know that we are a member of the Care and Support Alliance, along with over 70 other organisations, campaigning together for a significant increase in funding for social care.

As a member of the Disabilities Charities Consortium, we have met once with Mark Harper, on 14 October last year- our first meeting with him after he took up the new role. It was an introductory meeting at which we discussed the DCC’s priorities in the run-up to the general election and the Minister’s priorities up until May. There was a brief discussion about independent living at the meeting, which focussed on social care funding and the Care Act. The meeting did not include any discussion of the Independent Living Fund.

The Disabilities Charities Consortium, of which Mencap is a member, does not have an agreed joint position on the ILF. Our joint policy document, which we use to guide our work together, calls for Government to reaffirm its commitment to independent living and put in place the mechanisms to deliver this so that by the end of the next Parliament, all users of state-funded care services have the option to live independently, including being supported in their own home or in a supported living setting.

I hope this is helpful, and welcome you placing responses on your website, so disabled people and their families can see the position that we and other charities have taken.

Jan Tegelles

Mencap

 

 

 

 Posted by at 18:05
Jan 112015
 

Although this case will take place in Scotland we believe that if won it would be carried over into legislation in other parts of the UK and is therefore vitally important so that the situation where people need care and support but are unable to pay for it can be ended once and for all. If you do live in any of the areas where volunteers are being sort please get in touch with us at mail@dpac.uk.net or driectly with Ian at office@ldascotland.org

 

Care charges and the legal case

Scotland Against the Care Tax

8 Jan 2015 — Dear All

As you know, over 20 councils in Scotland discriminate against people under the age of 60 by allowing them to keep less money before charging them for social care. This can mean that young people are up to £50 a week worse off.

We believe that this is illegal and we have secured the help of one of Scotland’s top Human Rights lawyers, Tony Kelly to help take this forward. Tony will seek to prepare cases under the Equality Act 2010 for discrimination on the grounds of age.

With the help of one of Scotland’s foremost advocates, Niall McCluskey who is preparing a legal opinion, we should have a really strong case.

I am looking for some volunteers to come forward to be part of the first stage of a legal aid case to take on this challenge.

The volunteers need to be under 60/65 and pay care charges in one of the listed local authorities. They can be on Employment Support Allowance or have a restricted income in some other way up to a limit of £26,000 per year perhaps through a pension. Volunteers should have less than £13,000 in savings. Volunteers may be subject to some publicity but we would like to have at least half a dozen people so the demands on any one person should not be too onerous. Guardians can do this on behalf of the person they care for.

The local authorities we could pursue this in are below. Ideally we would like to group volunteers for the test case from 1 or 2 of these local authorities but will work with whoever comes forward.

Aberdeen City Angus Clackmannanshire East Ayrshire
East Lothian East Renfrewshire Falkirk Inverclyde
Midlothian Moray Renfrewshire Scottish Borders
Shetland Islands South Ayrshire South Lanarkshire Stirling
West Dunbartonshire Argyll & Bute Dumfries & Galloway

A legal case like this not only will bring justice to thousands of people who are illegally paying more than they have to but will help to undermine the whole system of care charging which relies on these illegal payments to justify itself and will force politicians to act or risk being seen to endorse illegal acts against disabled people.

Please get in touch with me directly to talk about volunteering or encouraging anyone you know to volunteer. Please forward this message on to others who might be able to help.

All the best
Ian
office@ldascotland.org

 Posted by at 15:09
Jan 092015
 

Join The Day Of Action Against Maximus

Maximus Day of Action 2nd March A5 leaflet front and back 06

You can download this A5 leaflet to print, share, tweet and put on facebook here or just the front page here  and you can find more information on the Facebook Event Page


 

A national day of action has been called on March 2nd 2015 against Maximus, the company set to take over from Atos running the despised Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) for sickness and disability benefits.

These crude and callous assessments have been used to strip benefits from hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people after a quick computer based test ruled them ‘fit for work’.  A growing number of suicides have been directly linked to this stressful regime, whilst charities, medical staff and claimants themselves have warned of the desperate consequences for those left with no money at all by the system.

In a huge embarrassment for the DWP, the previous contractor Atos were chased out of the Work Capability Assessments after a sustained and militant campaign carried out by disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters.  In a panicky effort to save these vicious assessments Iain Duncan Smith hired US private healthcare company Maximus to take over from Atos this coming April.

This is not the only lucrative contract the Tories have awarded this company.  Maximus are also involved in helping to privatise the NHS, running the Fit for Work occupational health service designed to bully and harass people on sick leave into going back to work.  Maximus also run the notorious Work Programme in some parts of the UK, meaning that disabled people found fit for work by Maximus may then find themselves sent on workfare by Maximus.  There is no greater enemy to the lives of sick and disabled people in the UK today than this multi-national poverty profiteer who even are prepared to run welfare-to-work style schemes for the brutal Saudi Arabian government.

Maximus have boasted they will not face protests due to their involvement in the Work Capability Asessments and have even stooped as low as hiring one prominent former disability campaigner on a huge salary in an effort to quell protests against their activities.  We urgently need to show them how wrong they are and call for all disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters to organise against this vicious bunch of profiteering thugs.

Please organise in your local area and spread the word.

Maximus are likely to use the same assessment centres as Atos whilst a list of their premises which provide (privatised) healthcare services can be found below, and a list of Maximus offices where they provide welfare-to-work services can be found below that.

In Central London protesters will gather outside Maximus HQ on  at 1pm or 1.30pm. Level 1 Quuen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9BU, just round the corner from the DWP.

Look out for online action to be called on the same day.


 

List of Maximus Health programme Locations

Manchester

12 Edward Court, Altrincham Business Park | Altrincham, WA14 5GL
Tel: 0845 894 1664

Birmingham

2 Home Farm Courtyard, Meriden Road | Berkswell, CV7 7BG
Tel: 0845 504 0230

London (City)

Boston House, 63-64 New Broad Street | London, EC2M 1JJ
Tel: 0845 504 0200

London Bridge

3rd Floor, 115 Southwark Bridge Road | London, SE1 0AX
Tel: 0845 504 0202

HML Transport (Derby)

41 Brunel Parkway, Pride Park | Derby, DE24 8HR
Tel: 0845 504 0280

 

Employment and Works programmes

London Branches

Ilford

1st Floor, Newbury House, 890-900 Eastern Ave | Newbury Park, Illford, Essex, IG2 7HY
Phone: 0203 551 7595 | Fax: 0208 599 5218 | ilford@maximusuk.co.uk

Camden

2nd Floor, Bedford House, 125-133 Camden High St | London, NW1 7JR
Phone: 0203 551 7477 | Fax: 0203 551 7480 | camden@maximusuk.co.uk

Ealing

2nd Floor, 84 Uxbridge Rd | Ealing, London, W13 8RA
Phone: 0203 551 7488 | Fax: 0203 551 7495 | ealing@maximusuk.co.uk

Hammersmith and Kensington

Brook House, 235 -239 Shepherds Bush Rd | Hammersmith, London, W6 7AN
Phone: 0203 551 7499 | Fax: 0203 551 7500| hammersmith@maximusuk.co.uk

Hillingdon (Hayes)

914-918 Uxbridge Rd | Hayes, Middlesex, London, UB4 0RW
Phone: 0203 551 7525 | Fax: 0203 551 7526 | hillingdon@maximusuk.co.uk

Islington

2nd Floor, Unit 7, Blenheim Court, 62 Brewery Rd | Islington, London, N7 9NY
Phone: 0203 551 7535 | Fax: 0203 551 7540 | islington@maximusuk.co.uk

Peckham

Ground Floor, 218-222 Rye Lane | Peckham, London, SE15 4NL
Phone: 0203 5517565 | Fax: 0207 6351794 | peckham@maximusuk.co.uk

Romford

3rd Floor, Lambourne House, 7 Western Rd | Romford, Essex, RM1 3LD
Phone: 01708 629208 | Fax: 01708 629212 | romford@maximusuk.co.uk

Walthamstow

Landmark House, Uplands Business Park, Blackhorse Lane | London, E17 5QJ
Phone: 02035 517575 | Fax: 02085 275301 | walthamstow@maximusuk.co.uk


List of Maximus Work Programme Locations

London Branches

Ilford

1st Floor, Newbury House, 890-900 Eastern Ave | Newbury Park, Illford, Essex, IG2 7HY
Phone: 0203 551 7595 | Fax: 0208 599 5218 | ilford@maximusuk.co.uk

Camden

2nd Floor, Bedford House, 125-133 Camden High St | London, NW1 7JR
Phone: 0203 551 7477 | Fax: 0203 551 7480 | camden@maximusuk.co.uk

Ealing

2nd Floor, 84 Uxbridge Rd | Ealing, London, W13 8RA
Phone: 0203 551 7488 | Fax: 0203 551 7495 | ealing@maximusuk.co.uk

Hammersmith and Kensington

Brook House, 235 -239 Shepherds Bush Rd | Hammersmith, London, W6 7AN
Phone: 0203 551 7499 | Fax: 0203 551 7500| hammersmith@maximusuk.co.uk

Hillingdon (Hayes)

914-918 Uxbridge Rd | Hayes, Middlesex, London, UB4 0RW
Phone: 0203 551 7525 | Fax: 0203 551 7526 | hillingdon@maximusuk.co.uk

Islington

2nd Floor, Unit 7, Blenheim Court, 62 Brewery Rd | Islington, London, N7 9NY
Phone: 0203 551 7535 | Fax: 0203 551 7540 | islington@maximusuk.co.uk

Peckham

Ground Floor, 218-222 Rye Lane | Peckham, London, SE15 4NL
Phone: 0203 5517565 | Fax: 0207 6351794 | peckham@maximusuk.co.uk

Romford

3rd Floor, Lambourne House, 7 Western Rd | Romford, Essex, RM1 3LD
Phone: 01708 629208 | Fax: 01708 629212 | romford@maximusuk.co.uk

Walthamstow

Landmark House, Uplands Business Park, Blackhorse Lane | London, E17 5QJ
Phone: 02035 517575 | Fax: 02085 275301 | walthamstow@maximusuk.co.uk

South East Branches

Aldershot

Suite 1, 3rd Floor, Victoria House, Victoria Road | Aldershot, GU11 1DB
Phone: 01252 352354 | aldershot@maximusuk.co.uk

Aylesbury

Ground Floor, Walker House, George St | Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 2HU
Phone: 01296 699870 | Fax: 01296 699871 | aylesbury@maximusuk.co.uk

Banbury

Suite A, Castle Link, 39 North Bar St | Banbury, OX16 0TH
Phone: 01295 675135 | Fax: 01295 675136 | banbury@maximusuk.co.uk

Bracknell

1st Floor, Unit 7, Bracknell Beeches, Old Bracknell Lane West | Bracknell, RG12 7BW
Phone: 01344 859150 | Fax: 01344 304632 | bracknell@maximusuk.co.uk

Burgess Hill

2nd Floor, Greenacre Court, Market Place | Bracknell, RH15 9DS
Phone: 01444 810280 | burgesshill@maximusuk.co.uk

Chichester

1st Floor, Friar’s House, 52A East St | Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1JG
Phone: 01243 850905 | Fax: 01243 785491 | chichester@maximusuk.co.uk

Dartford

Third Floor, West Hill House, West Hill | Dartford, Kent, DA1 2EU
Phone: 01322 352565 | Fax: 01322 293690 | dartford@maximusuk.co.uk

Eastleigh

Suite B, 2nd Floor, Smith Bradbeer House, High St | Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 5LG
Phone: 02380 658600 | Fax: 02380 650259 | eastleigh@maximusuk.co.uk

Guildford

4th Floor Dominion House, Woodbridge Rd | Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4PU
Phone: 01483 550 990 | Fax: 01483 457 151 | guildford@maximusuk.co.uk

High Wycombe

2nd Floor, Suite C, The Apollo Centre, Desborough Rd | High Wycombe, HP11 2QW
Phone: 01494 958414 | Fax: 01494 958415 | highwycombe@maximusuk.co.uk

Horsham

2nd Floor, South Suite, Sanford House, Medwin Walk | Sussex, RH12 1AG
Phone: 01403 800160 | Fax: 01403 230408 | horsham@maximusuk.co.uk

Milton Keynes

2nd Floor East, Elder House, 502 Elder Gate | Milton Keynes, MK9 1LR
Phone: 01908 711800 | Fax: 01908 711801 | miltonkeynes@maximusuk.co.uk

Oxford

1st Floor, Suite 3, Threeways House, George St | Oxford, OX1 2BJ
Phone: 01865 364364 | Fax: 01865 364365 | oxford@maximusuk.co.uk

Reading

Ground and 1st Floor, Summit House, 49-51 Greyfriars Rd | Reading, RG1 1PA
Phone: 01189 099189 | Fax: 01189 099191 | reading@maximusuk.co.uk

Slough

1st Floor, South Suite, Wellington House, 20 Queensmere, High Street | Slough, Berkshire, SL1 1DB
Phone: 01753 569500 | Fax: 01392 330195 | slough@maximusuk.co.uk

Southampton

2nd Floor, Podium Unit, Dukes Keep, Marsh Lane | Southampton, SO14 3EX
Phone: 02380 658585 | Fax: 02380 336480 | southampton@maximusuk.co.uk

 Posted by at 14:12
Jan 082015
 

This is a message of support and solidarity to 5 protesters who were violently arrested in Toronto during a peaceful occupation of city administration offices in Toronto, Canada on 25th November, as they appear in court to face charges today. You can read more about it below – and to see more visit the OCAP Website

As regular readers of this blog will know, we have close links with Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and we applaud the work they do in standing up for the rights of disadvantaged people against a Toronto government that is as brutal and uncaring as our own.

We invite you to send your own messages of support to OCAP and the 5 protestors in court today via twitter @OCAPtoronto or facebook OCAP Toronto


On November 25, 2014, the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against
Women, five women were violently arrested after they peacefully refused to
leave the City of Toronto’s Shelter Administration offices at 21 Park Rd.
The sit-in was part of a protest to demand that the City of Toronto open
up more shelter beds and a 24-hour drop in for women and trans people –
commitments that were approved by City Council in 2014 but have not yet
been acted upon. Daily shelter stats show chronic overcrowding in the
system, many people are left with nowhere to go and the City of Toronto
has no 24 hour services for women and trans folks. The lack of immediate
action by the City is putting lives at risk. For more info on the crisis
in the shelter system, visit http://www.ocap.ca/node/1202

The women arrested on November 25th sustained bruises and back injuries,
were called misogynistic names, and are now charged with multiple
offences. Other women present in the crowd that day were pushed violently
to the ground by police. Ironically, the women will be in court at the
same time as Jian Ghomeshi. That case brought the issue of violence
against women into the media, but the conversations have mostly left out
poor and homeless women. It was important to see all the articles, posts
and tweets about violence against women in response to Ghomeshi, but when
activists dared to take action to secure services that actually protect
women, they faced violence at the hands of the city and the police. As
Ghomeshi returns to the spotlight, we are holding a rally to support
feminist activists who were violently arrested and to draw attention to
the city’s failure to provide safe spaces and adequate shelter to women
and trans people in Toronto.
 Posted by at 11:54
Jan 072015
 

Hannah a research student at LSE is carrying out research which doesn’t seem to be done by anyone else on how people are managing being left without money if they have asked for a Mandatory Reconsideration of an ESA decision. We think having more information about this process is vital but of course the government aren’t bothering to monitor the impact.

If you or anyone you know can help with this research, or if you have avoided asking for a Mandatory reconsideration because you wouldn’t have managed to be left without any form of income please contact Hannah directly.

************************************

Have you applied for ESA? Are you going through the Mandatory Reconsideration process? I am conducting a piece of research about individual’s experiences whilst they wait for their MR decision.

If you are interested in helping please contact Hannah: h.j.chetwynd@lse.ac.uk

 

 Posted by at 16:03
Jan 072015
 

Disabled People Will not be pushed back into the Margins of Society #SaveILF

Video: Channel 4 News Report on the Protest :

Note: Channel 4 News conclude this video clip by saying “this is the last chance for the SaveILF Campaigners. They got that bit wrong, there is more we can do and we will do to Save the Independent Living Fund.

Video of the blockade of Whitehall by #SaveILF protesters:

Video of the Lobby of MPs in Parliament:


Pictures collected from images posted to twitter – credit goes to the person/account that tweeted the picture at the start of the caption. The remainder of the caption is the text that they tweeted

Gathering at the start of the protest:

@FuelPovAction - Outside Parliament with @Dis_PPL_Protest to #SaveILF join in with online Tweeting to show your support!

@FuelPovAction – Outside Parliament with @Dis_PPL_Protest to #SaveILF join in with online Tweeting to show your support!

@JamieKelseyFry People gathering for #saveilf at Parliament including @CarolineLucas stop attack on disabled people

@JamieKelseyFry People gathering for #saveilf at Parliament including @CarolineLucas stop attack on disabled people

@UKuncut @Dis_PPL_Protest Gathering for the #SaveILF Protest

@UKuncut @Dis_PPL_Protest Gathering for the #SaveILF Protest

@UniteCommExeter #wheresEd Outside Downing street now @Dis_PPL_Protest to #SaveILF  Not!

@UniteCommExeter #wheresEd Outside Downing street now @Dis_PPL_Protest to #SaveILF Not!

@Redjolly1 Outside #saveilf loads of people

@Redjolly1 Outside #saveilf loads of people

@cheryleehouston #saveilf

@cheryleehouston #saveilf

@alibali50 #Corrie actress @cheryleehouston takes part in Whitehall protest with other disabled to save #ilf

@alibali50 #Corrie actress @cheryleehouston takes part in Whitehall protest with other disabled to save #ilf

@cheryleehouston #saveILF

@cheryleehouston #saveILF

@redjolly1 Channel 4 filming with Caroline Lucas and #saveilf

@redjolly1 Channel 4 filming with Caroline Lucas and #saveilf

The blockade of Whitehall:

@TheGo4M disabled ppl block Whitehall. #NoILFNoLIFE #SaveILF. Sign EDM 655

Anon. disabled ppl block Whitehall. #NoILFNoLIFE #SaveILF. Sign EDM 655

@lokwauk #WheresEd Copper telling disabled people to get off Whitehall. They won't. #saveilf

@lokwauk #WheresEd Copper telling disabled people to get off Whitehall. They won’t. #saveilf

@letmelooktv Rather go to jail than die in a nursing home #SaveILF

@letmelooktv Rather go to jail than die in a nursing home #SaveILF

@Transportforall Roadblock! We are protesting with @Dis_PPL_Protest in front of the parliament to #SaveILF!

@Transportforall Roadblock! We are protesting with @Dis_PPL_Protest in front of the parliament to #SaveILF!

@Andree_Frieze @Dis_PPL_Protest blocking all traffic in Whitehall to #SaveILF

@Andree_Frieze @Dis_PPL_Protest blocking all traffic in Whitehall to #SaveILF

@FuelPovAction Brilliant moving-dancing blockade with @Dis_PPL_Protest to #saveilf

@FuelPovAction Brilliant moving-dancing blockade with @Dis_PPL_Protest to #saveilf

@FuelPovAction @Dis_PPL_Protest blocking all traffic in Whitehall to #SaveILF

@FuelPovAction @Dis_PPL_Protest blocking all traffic in Whitehall to #SaveILF

From inside the Lobby of MPs in Parliament:

@OccupyLondon #SaveILF at House of Commons. Jubilee Room with @dis_ppl_protest & @carolinelucas

@OccupyLondon #SaveILF at House of Commons. Jubilee Room with @dis_ppl_protest & @carolinelucas

@Hangbitch Many disabled people at parliament hoping to hear a little more than platitudes from MPs on saving the ILF #SaveILF

@Hangbitch Many disabled people at parliament hoping to hear a little more than platitudes from MPs on saving the ILF #SaveILF

@johnmcdonnellMP Meeting DPAC campaigners lobbying MPs to bring back the ILF.

@johnmcdonnellMP Meeting DPAC campaigners lobbying MPs to bring back the ILF.

@hangbitch #disabled people say they'll need a firm commitment on independent living when deciding who to vote for #saveilf

@hangbitch #disabled people say they’ll need a firm commitment on independent living when deciding who to vote for #saveilf

@JohnMcDonnellMP Fantastic atmosphere at @Dis_PPL_Protest lobby of MPs to bring back the ILF.

@JohnMcDonnellMP Fantastic atmosphere at @Dis_PPL_Protest lobby of MPs to bring back the ILF.

@PeoplesSELondon "It's a simple message isn't it" "bring back the ILF" @johnmcdonnellMP #SaveILF lobby

@PeoplesSELondon “It’s a simple message isn’t it” “bring back the ILF” @johnmcdonnellMP #SaveILF lobby

@JeremyCorbyMP At excellent Independent Living Fund lobby. It must be brought back to give real respect and dignity!

@JeremyCorbyMP At excellent Independent Living Fund lobby. It must be brought back to give real respect and dignity!

@Debbie_abrahams Packed room to listen to disabled & their carers protest about #independentlivingfund closure.

@Debbie_abrahams Packed room to listen to disabled & their carers protest about #independentlivingfund closure.

Trending on Twitter

@rockinpaddy Screenshot showing #SaveILF trending.

@rockinpaddy Screenshot showing #SaveILF trending.

And afterwards……..

@cheryleehouston After protesting for #SaveILF we all travelled home separately - only one wheelchair per bus

@cheryleehouston After protesting for #SaveILF we all travelled home separately – only one wheelchair per bus


Here is the list of MPs who attended the Lobby of Parliament

Caroline Lucas         (Green, Brighton)
Clive Efford         (Labour, Eltham)
Iian McKenzie         (Labour, Inverclyde)
John Mcdonnell         (Labour, Hayes and Harlington)
Elidh Whiteford     (SNP, Banff and Buchan)
Michael Connarty     (Labour, Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
Barbara Keely         (Labour, Worsley and Eccles South)
Sheila Gilmore         (Labour, Edinburgh East)
Liz McKennis         (Labour, Heywood and Middleton)
Grahame Morris MP     (Labour, Easington)
Debbie Abrahams     (Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth)
Mark Durkan         ( Social Democratic and Labour, Foyle)
Jeremy Corbyn         (Labour, Islington)
Kelvin Hopkins         (Labour, Luton North)
Russel Brown         (Labour, Dumfries and Galloway)
Bob Russell         (Lib Dem, Colchester)
Steve Pound         (Labour, Ealing North)
Emma Lewell-buck     (Labour, South Shields)
Hywel Williams        (Plaid Cymru, Arfon)

We want to thank them for the support they have shown us today. If you live in the constituency of any these MPs – you know who we recommend you vote for….

 Posted by at 00:17
Jan 042015
 

Join the DPAC Lobby of Parliament 6th Jan 1.30pm

Join us for a Mass Action to save the ILF, Tuesday, January 6th 1.30pm for 2pm start. House of Commons, SWIA 0AA

OR

Join us Online. We have prepared a webpage with tweets on that you can use, or you can tweet your own messages to:

  • Tories:  @Mark_J_Harper, @David_Cameron, @EstherMcVeyMP, @JoJohnsonMP who closed the ILF (IDS is too much a coward to have a twitter account)
  • Labour: @Ed_Miliband, @KateGreenSU, @RachelReevesMP @EdBallsMP @HilaryBennMP
    who have (so far) chosen not to save the Independent Living Fund

Let’s make our presence felt, at the House of Commons and on Twitter

‘Cos we’re not taking no for an answer

You should see the tweetlist webpage below, if it doesn’t show, you can visit it on this link

 Posted by at 21:24
Jan 032015
 

Different forms of Government Propaganda began and ended the year. We saw delays, backlogs, more cuts, more campaigns and direct actions. We reproduce some of the DPAC actions, research and call outs from 2014. Highlights included the Westminster Abbey Occupation against the closure of ILF as part of the #saveilf campaign, lowlights included the court case that arrived at the decision that Penning had taken appropriate process into account by saying that ILF users could be entitled to less under local authorities. Chaos with the DWP, PIP, ESA was compounded by misinformation, dodgy stats , backlogs and increasing sanctions. The brilliant Hammersmith and Fulham Coalition against Cuts achieved the abolition of ‘care’ charges by their local authority-proving it can be done. Esther McVey was awarded Scrooge of the year. DPAC was threatened with legal action for our support of the Anthony Kletzander campaign -in response we increased the campaign, and the relationship in the propaganda against disabled people between the DWP and the Mail was finally exposed

News that the UNCRPD Committee had initiated its first ever inquiry into grave and systematic violations of the UN Convention against the UK identified how far our disability rights and independent living had been eroded by the Coalition-although the Mail didnt seem to like it much

Our constant court cases against the DWP continued, and we have more lined up for this year too- yes, we could be talking to you Motability!

We look forward to 2015 and a change in the regime that has seen the poor grow poorer, while the richest grew richer. A year in which we launch Who2vote4? and the DPAC revenge tour. We will continue to fight for #saveilf with an event on 6th Jan at the House of Commons and an online twitter event.

For an excellent review of the fight against cuts from 2010-2014 please download From Cuts to Resistance and if you want a count down to the election , then the DPAC downloadable calender can help

Here’s to a better year in 2015 with thanks to all our members and supporters. Keep up with news in 2015 by subscribing to posts through our website www.dpac.uk.net or follow us on twitter @Dis_ppl_protest

Some selected actions of DPAC in 2014

January saw the posting of a call for those who were waiting for PIP due to backlogs. This post has received over 40,000 views,shares and many comments. The situation has now been described as a backlog that , at the current rate , could take 42 years to clear. For those claiming ‘reforms’ are working have a look to see that they are not: https://dpac.uk.net/2014/01/have-you-waited-months-for-a-pip-assessment/ and let’s not forget the backlog in ESA either-in short complete chaos for disabled people.

In ‘Austerity Street: the real impacts’ we reproduced some of the stories we had received from those left without cash and homes via sanctions, delays and backlogs. This was in response to Love Production’s poverty porn , Benefits Street, part of the media’s continued demonization regime -the campaign incorporated a twitter fest against the format of biased programming. We supported our partners in Canada Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (SCAP) and Ontario Coalition Aginst Poverty (OCAP). In an international campaign against increasing homelessness. Austerity is global. We supported Boycott workfare against CAPITA cashing in on poverty.

Through the excellent work of Nick Dilworth we exposed more BBC media double dealing and the fact that they weren’t publicizing the 88% success rates of those claiming ESA and asked ‘Are the DWP failing apart at every level? When a freedom of information response incorrectly claimed that PIP was subjected to sanctions. In another they claimed that the cap would be cut for those without children, both were incorrect. With Inclusion London we campaigned against the Care Act’s exclusion of ‘independent living’ and DPAC also  joined Hands off London Transport against ticket office closures, as well as regional Rail protests

February We joined  the many direct actions against the removal of legal aid. Raquel Rolnik ‘s report on the bedroom tax is published and recommends immediate suspension of the bedroom tax. The Government’s response is to accuse her of giving sacrifices to Marx and telling her to ‘sort out her own country’. We republish the excellent ‘Why the rise of UKIP is dangerous for disabled people’ and receive the usual abuse from Kippers proving the point. DPAC, Black Triangle and Wow publish a joint statement on Atos exit strategy , calling again for an end to the WCA. We expose how 9 out of 10 sanctions are dismissed when challenged

March More direct actions against proposed cuts in legal aid for judicial review.We publish ‘Punching Holes in Austerity’ an insightful analysis of DPAC and direct actions. DPAC supports #stopchanges2A2W against punitive changes in Access to Work. We publish an update on Anthony Kletzander and questions for HSE in Ireland with ENIL , a story of human rights abuse in Dublin, Ireland, a stand that we would later find invoked a threat of legal action against one of our co-founders.

DPAC joins protests against DWP and ATOS country wide. Protests that were reminiscent of the very first DPAC protests against Atos carried out by DPAC from 2011 onwards, culminating in the 2012 DPAC Atos games that saw Atos tarnished forever. DPAC leads direct actions and online protests against the despised disability Con-fident, leading to the highest number of tweets and retweets ever, exposing the scheme as no more than a Government gloss while they were cutting access to work and removing the means for disabled people to work. We produce a critical analysis of Pennings impact assessment regarding ILF. We reproduce the piece by John Pring asking ‘Where was your MP during the Wow Debate’

April The brilliant Ellen Clifford travels to Canada to embark on a successful speaking tour with raise the rates. We hold a well attended DPAC Grassroots Fightback conference. DPAC, Inclusion London, Equal Lives and the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People promote the #saveilf postcard campaignTop Corrie stars support the postcard campaign to #saveilf.  DPAC supports Lifeworks and protests against cuts to mental health support. DPAC gives its response to Labour on reform of WCA

 May DPAC releases its research documents for download. DPAC and ILF users block the DWP in protest. We learn that disabled students allowances are now under threat of cuts. DPAC publishes a powerful piece by one of our readers that sums up many peoples’ feelings: ‘I’ll never forgive or forget what this Government has done to me and thousands of others‘. We pay homage to the strength of Quiet Riot, celebrate the #dpactour and the success of the Freedom Riders.

June The Independent Living Fund’s Birthday protest happens in June with lots of action outside the DWP. We see JSA benefit sanctions sky rocket under the coalition Government. More actions happen to fight the bedroom tax.

We publish a piece by Angela 28 on how ‘care’ support has been threatened and why that threatens independent living and rights– legal representation was found for many people, but we were aware that this was happening to many more people through emails to dpac mail. Unlike some organisations we attempt to challenge these instances and reject the rhetoric that there is more ‘choice and control’ for disabled people.

At the end of June DPAC with UKUNCUT, and Occupy carry out a daring occupation of Westminster Abbey , after months of planning to highlight the #saveilf campaign. There were 3 police to every protester , and while we had no support from the dear old church , messages of support and publicity poured in

 July We publish a joint statement in response to the Work and Pensions Committee on the WCA from DPAC, Black Triangle, the Mental Health Resistance Network, Pats petition, Wow and New Approach in which we again say the WCA should be scrapped.

An ILF user makes a plea to Disability Rights UK (DRUK) on ILF after he was denied the right to speak at their independent living conference. DRUK did not feel the need to offer any response.  In Disability Rights UK : independent Living or new visions in Neo-Liberalism we ask why the DRUK ‘independent living ‘ conference was sponsored by an organisation running institutions, segregated schooling and ‘hospitals for those with mental health issues. We also launched a highly successful twitter campaign asking the same questions, again DRUK did not feel they owed disabled people any response to this outrage.

DPAC highlights more chaos at the DWP on appeals and sanctions. John McDonnell launches an Early Day Motion to #saveilf. Positive updates and actions on the WCA court case regarding mental health claimants by the Mental Health Resistance Network. We ask that people write to IDS to raise issues happening regarding mental health.

August Rethink calls people with mental health issues a ‘disease burden’ Mental Health Resistance Network respond to the outrage. We call for a stop to discrimination for those transferring from DLA to PIP who do not get backdated paymentsDPAC continues to support anti-fracking protests with Reclaim the power.

We republish the excellent Nick Dilworth’s piece on how the media are ignoring what’s happening to disabled people https://dpac.uk.net/2014/08/a-national-scandal-4-million-people-face-chaos-in-this-country-and-are-ignored-by-the-media/

ILF user John Kelly speaks to BBC on the impacts of the potential loss of ILF. We ask what happens when ILF funds are not ring fenced to local authorities

September sees a national day of Protest against sanctions, bedroom tax and benefit caps.

The fantastic Brian Hilton produces a set of pics for party conference season on #saveilf. DPAC crash the Tory Party Conference via a successful tweet attack and in person. We do the same to Labour.

We publish The Great Farago: UKIP sleight of hand and receive more abuse from Kippers, Richard Howitt Labour MEP quotes the piece and receives even more abuse.

New short film launched with the Daily Mirror on ILF.

The first inkling that the DWP are wrongly asking those in the ESA support group to attend work focused interviews comes to our notice.

DPAC is threatened with legal action for supporting Anthony Kletzander and publicising the abuse of his human rights in Ireland, our response is to publish an interview with Anthony’s parents  on the injustice Anthony and his family have endured.

October We reblog the excellent Johnny Void piece on the boss of Maximus https://dpac.uk.net/2014/10/meet-richard-a-montoni-the-five-million-dollar-maximus-boss-here-to-fleece-the-uks-benefits-system/.

We publish an open letter to Freud who declared that disabled people can work for less than minimum wage. DPAC and Occupy pay another visit to the DWP Caxton House building for ‘Freud must go!’ protest

In Secrets and Lies :maximus the new leader of the inhumans we ask why Disability Rights UK have agreed to a) be part of the Maximus testing process on the WCA and b) why they’ve teamed up with Unum and other insurance companies to develop a TV program showing how much better off disabled people will be if they take out private insurance- with user-led disability organisations like these we dont need enemies.

ILF users return to court to challenge the DWP on ILF. A successful #saveilf vigil happens with road blocks, many messages of support and some great pics.

Welfare assistance fund is next under threat of closure. Campaign to save it is launched.

November The Final Litchfield Review shows that the WCA should be scrapped.

One of our favourite reports of the year : IDS is chased around a building to drown out shouts of murderer at Ipswich- congratulations to the local dpac group for that one!

We ask people to come forward to launch a legal challenge on cuts to the disabled student allowance

£86 million goes missing from Pudsley’s children in need account BBC to blame for mislaying -complainants are actually advised to write to Pudsley via his BBC email

DWP increase attacks on disabled benefit recipients with claims they can harress them off benefits. We put out an urgent call-out https://dpac.uk.net/2014/11/urgent-people-awaiting-wca-assessments-particularly-in-birmingham-please-read/

Work Providers A4E are exposed again in relation to ESA and workfare. The Rev Paul Nicolson wins in court against council tax. Class War’s continuing protests against ‘poor doors’ get to the authorities who make arrests- and Boris is burnt. Meanwhile DPAC discovers Motability’s sneaky backdoor changes to individuals needing to be in work to qualify for support https://dpac.uk.net/2014/11/motability-and-the-deserving-and-undeserving-charity-not-rights/

December ILF users lose court case on ILF but its not over.

DPAC launches an Open letter to Ed, Kate and Rachel on ILF– we’re still waiting for a response

Hammersmith and Fulham abolish home ‘care’ charges, showing it can be done. Congratulations for a great campaign to the excellent Kevin Caulfield and Debbie Domb and all at Hammersmith and Fulham Coalition against Cuts

Esther McVey is named scrooge of the year, which we though was a little too kind to the creature

Unsurprisingly the Work and Pensions report slammed the Government ‘mismanagament of Access to Work – the stop the changes to Access to Work campaign continues.

Questions are asked on the Government costs in fighting against disabled peoples’equality

The link between the DWP and the Mail propaganda is finally nailed and exposed as the DWP is caught out https://dpac.uk.net/2014/12/dwp-caught-giving-disability-propaganda-to-daily-mail/

Jan 012015
 

who2vote4
Below will be the basis of our demands from political parties for inclusion in their manifestos. We welcome feedback from members and supporters to add to this.
Our Who 2 Vote 4 campaign will be running in conjunction with Operation Disabled Vote and we have to make sure all politicians know that they will not automatically get the votes of the UK’s 12.2  million disabled people, their families and friends without meeting these demands.

After all as politicians are keen to keep telling us this is no longer a something for nothing country and our votes must also be won by those who are willing to uphold our rights and equality. For those politicians who are not prepared to promise this we say you will not get our votes.

We will be updating everyone as and when we get responses from candidates and please send the final version of these demands to your PPCs and let us know their responses so they can be published.

Further news of our exciting countrywide Revenge Tour coming soon

Demands

The UNCRDP and our human and civil rights must be fully implemented, promoted and enforced.

Disabled people are affected by the cuts 9 times more than everybody else. People with the most severe disabilities are affected by the cuts 19 times more than everybody else. This discrimination against disabled people must end.

Manifesto Pledges we are seeking from Parties

A Legal Right to Independent Living and Self-Determination:

The creation of a specific independent living law: a legal right that fully enacts and enforces, as domestic law, the UNCRPD incorporating the 12 pillars of independent living as its key goals and ensures provision of independent living support is free at the point of need and paid from general taxation.

There should be a single nationally transportable social care system and an end to localism and the current postcode lottery that exists. Funding for care should return to a 4 tier rather then a 2 tier system with low and moderate needs being met for all as well as substantial and critical.

Stop the closure of the cost effective Independent Living Fund (ILF) and set up an Independent living task force, co-produced with ILF users, to review independent living and specifically the Independent Living Fund in order to identify how best to improve, develop and extend independent living support building on the successful model of ILF provision.

Legislation to end 15 minute home care visits and any move to replace face-to-face visits with telecare options.

An end to zero hour contracts for home care staff.

Serious changes should be made to how family carers are better supported both financially and practically.

Access to Health and Support Services: NHS funding must be protected and all forms of privatisation of our NHS should end with immediate effect.

Funding for mental health services including crisis teams should be protected and where necessary increased to former and safer levels. There should be an end of rationing of primary MH care services and treatment tailored to needs.

More funding investment is needed for children’s adolescent mental health services.

GP and nurse training should include compulsory training on mental health conditions and treatment.

There must be changes made to the Mental Capacity Act which is failing people it is supposed to protect. The Best Interests concept means that substitute decision making has become the default position rather than supporting people who are disabled or have Learning Difficulties to make their own decisions.

Welfare Support : There must be a publicly run welfare system and an end to paying private firms massive amounts of public money to carry out disability assessments badly. Instead that money should be invested into providing decent, liveable benefit levels.

An end to the Work Capability Assessment which is too flawed to amend.

An immediate end to benefit sanctions which have led to deaths and increasing poverty. Ensure that there is no conditionality of JSA or ESA WRAG on seeking treatments and no linkage with treatment and receipt of benefits.

Engagement with any back to work services must be optional for all claimants.

An end to replacing Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payments which even now is in complete chaos.

A total rethink on any move to Universal Credit and instead serious consideration to be given working with disabled people and DPOs to a move to a single system of welfare support based on the concept of a disabled person’s citizens income.

Policy recognition that there will always be disabled people who are unable or too ill to work. These individuals must be supported by a publically funded system.

Housing: A strategic and sustained programme of building social housing to the standards of universal design and accessibility is carried out.

An end to bedroom tax and the Benefit Cap.

Until there are adequate levels of social housing available an increase in LHA rates to fully reflect the real costs of housing to meet the needs of disabled people and disabled children.

Access, Inclusion and taking part in society: The creation of legal status for British Sign Language, and disabled people’s access on an equal basis with others to the physical environment, to transportation, justice, family life, the arts, to accessible information and all forms of information technology.

Enact and maintain a fully accessible public transport system with free transport available for disabled people.

Fully Inclusive Education: Education is the key to creating an inclusive society. This can only be achieved by having one fully inclusive mainstream education system, funded by the state. Without inclusive education you will not get an inclusive society

Planned cuts to Disabled Students’ Allowance should be reversed

All Disabled People have a right to Work and get a Job:

A comprehensive plan of action is developed with disabled people and our organisations to tackle the discrimination and exclusion disabled people face in work and employment.

Access to Work (AtW) must be extended to include unpaid voluntary positions and recent changes that limit and reduce the support provided through AtW should be reversed.

The recently introduced (August 2013) fees for taking an employer to Employment Tribunal must be repealed.

Ensure that all government contracts, at a national, regional and local level, are only awarded to companies that are fulfilling measurable targets for the employment of disabled people.

Access to Justice: All legal aid changes must be repealed and disabled people’s rights to access justice must be restored.

Disability Hate Crime laws and sentencing must be strengthened.

Reversal of the watering down of disabled people’s rights with the move from DDA to the Equality Act.

Restoration of funding for advice advocacy services such as CABs.

Legislation to prevent assisted dying.

Local Authority Statutory Services: There must be no redefining of Local Authority Statutory Services to reduce their obligations even further.

Real and Effective Co-Production with user-led Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations across the UK: Ensure meaningful, well-resourced and accessible co-production with disabled people and their organisations at local, regional and national levels on all issues affecting us.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)

www.dpac.uk.net

mail@dpac.uk.net

@dis_ppl_protest

Please also see The UK Disabled Peoples’ Manifesto