Jul 192018



Four opposition parties demand DWP answers over WCA deaths ‘cover-up’

Two opposition parties are writing urgent letters to work and pensions secretary Esther McVey – while a third is demanding an investigation – about a possible cover-up over documents linking the “fitness for work” test with the deaths of benefit claimants.

Senior figures from both Labour and the Liberal Democrats said this week that they were writing urgently to McVey to ask whether the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had shown the documents to the independent expert the government commissioned to review the work capability assessment (WCA) in 2013 and 2014.

The Green party’s co-leader, Jonathan Bartley, said the failure to be clear about what happened with the documents had “all the hallmarks of a deliberate cover-up”. He has called for an independent investigation.

The SNP also said it would be seeking answers from DWP.

Dr Paul Litchfield was commissioned by DWP to carry out the fourth and fifth reviews of the WCA but has so far refused to say if he was shown letters written by two coroners and a number of secret DWP internal “peer reviews” into deaths linked to the WCA regime.

Litchfield, who was recognised by the prime minister with a CBE in last month’s birthday honours, published the two reviews in December 2013 and November 2014, but neither of them mentioned the documents, all of which link the WCA with the deaths of claimants.

A spokesman for Marsha de Cordova, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said she would be writing to McVey “as a matter of urgency”.

Stephen Lloyd, the Liberal Democrat shadow work and pensions spokesman, said: “I will be writing directly to the secretary of state, Esther McVey, to seek clarification whether or not her department, the DWP, ever showed [Litchfield] the documents linking the WCA to the deaths of benefit claimants.

“The public has a right to know, particularly now he’s been awarded a gong.”

Neil Gray, the SNP’s social justice spokesman at Westminster, added: “This issue has thrown up a number of questions for the DWP and we need a clear and definitive statement on what people knew and when. We will be seeking those answers.”

Even though DWP possessed all the coroner’s letters and peer reviews, it has claimed in a freedom of information response that it holds no information in its records on whether they were shown to Litchfield while he was reviewing the WCA.

Since Disability News Service (DNS) revealed the existence of the documents in the years after Litchfield’s final report was published, concerns have grown that DWP and its ministers deliberately covered-up evidence of the fatal impact of the assessment on sick and disabled people.

The coroner’s letters followed the deaths of two men with mental health conditions in 2010 and 2013 and each warned of further such deaths if changes were not made to the WCA.

The call for evidence for Litchfield’s second review was issued on 10 June 2014, five months after coroner Mary Hassell had written to DWP following an inquest into the death of Michael O’Sullivan, who had had significant, long-term mental health problems.

Hassell had told DWP that the trigger for O’Sullivan’s suicide had been the conclusion by civil servants that he was fit for work, but she said that neither DWP nor the Atos doctor who had assessed him through the WCA process had asked his GP, psychologist or psychiatrist for information about his mental health.

Hassell told DWP that it needed to take action “to prevent further deaths” like Michael O’Sullivan’s.

But despite that urgent call, Litchfield’s second review failed to mention Hassell’s letter or a similar letter sent to DWP by another coroner in 2010 following the suicide of Stephen Carré.

Litchfield’s two reviews also failed to mention the peer reviews.

Peer reviews – now known as internal process reviews – must be carried out by civil servants into every death “where suicide is associated with DWP activity”.

One of the aims of these reviews is to “determine whether local and national standards have been followed or need to be revised/improved”, so DWP would find it hard to explain why they would not have been shown to Litchfield, whose job it was to review how the WCA was working.

DWP has admitted that at least seven peer reviews written in 2012 mentioned the WCA, and there are almost certainly more that were written by the time Litchfield wrote his final report in late 2014.

Litchfield has so far refused to comment about the documents.

But Professor Malcolm Harrington, the independent expert who carried out the first three reviews of the WCA in 2010, 2011 and 2012, has already told DNS that he believes he was shown neither the first coroner’s letter (the second letter had not yet been written by the time he completed his third review) nor any WCA-related peer reviews.

Bartley said this week: “If the Department for Work and Pensions failed to show Dr Litchfield vital documents linking the work capability assessment with the deaths of benefit claimants, DWP are clearly implicated in a cover-up.

“If he was shown them but didn’t mention them in his reports, then so was he.

“This has all the hallmarks of a deliberate cover-up over the fatal impact of the assessment on sick and disabled people.

“There is no justification for secrecy, it is clearly in the public interest for the truth to be told and there should be an independent investigation of what happened.”

A DWP spokeswoman said: “As we’ve previously said, this was an independent review, and DWP provided information alongside other stakeholders – on request.

“Any evidence used was referenced in the review.”

19 July 2018 story by John Pring Disability News Service


 Posted by at 21:10
Jul 192018

Next week DfID will be jointly hosting a Disability Summit with the Kenyan government. While we fully support all and any initiaitives to improve the lives and circumstances of disabled people in other countries we can only say that the UK government’s choice of partner for this summit seems shameful and inapprpriate. Of course there is nothing new in that and no-one who has endured the never ending attacks against disabled people’s human rights in the UK will be surprised.

You can see more about the summit

https://www.gov.uk/government/ news/uk-government-to-host-its -first-ever-global-disability- summit [NB this announcement came out the same day as they snuck out the much criticised and long awaited command paper “Improving Lives” through which conditionality was extended to all groups of disabled people]

And here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/ topical-events/global-disabili ty-summit-2018

So what of their partner country Kenya?

The Government of Kenya criminalises and persecutes LGBTQI+ Disabled people

It is hard to imagine a less suitable partner to co-host a Global Disability Summit than the Government of Kenya — apart from its neighbor, Uganda. It is illegal to be gay in both countries, and as a result many LGBTQI+ people develop lifelong impairments.

LGBTQI+ people in Kenya are routinely banished from their families, denied work and accommodation, imprisoned and persecuted. They face severe barriers to forming and maintaining relationships and to living as a couple, the ‘Right to Family Life’ that every human is promised. This results in widespread damage to their mental and physical health, creating impairments where none previously existed.

This is reflected in the high level of asylum applications to the UK from LGBTQI+ asylum seekers from African countries. Despite their experiences, the majority are then refused asylum in the UK and forcibly returned home, where many disappear or are murdered.

Just this April, President Kenyatta said that LGBT rights are “not acceptable” and not “an issue of human rights”. The Kenyan Government has also claimed this is a non-issue for Kenyans, and no doubt would argue that it has nothing to do with the Summit.

However, if you are Kenyan or Ugandan and are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex, it is an issue that completely dominates and dictates your life. For many Disabled people from Kenya, it is the reason they developed an impairment in the first place.

Regard, the UK’s LGBTQI+ Disabled People’s Organisation, says: “The involvement of the Government of Kenya discredits any debate that takes place at the Summit. Whatever the political reasons for involving Kenya in co-hosting the Summit, the rights and welfare of Disabled people seem to have had very little to do with it.”


 Posted by at 18:54
Jul 172018

Edge Fund is recruiting for the post of Regional Organiser and Administrator. If you are committed to activism, systemic change and creating a world free of injustice and inequality, we want you to apply. If you’re unsure, feel free to contact us on jobs@edgefund.org.uk

The Edge Fund is a grant-making body with a difference. We support efforts to achieve social, economic and environmental justice and to end imbalances in wealth and power – and give those we aim to support a say in how money is distributed. For more information visit www.edgefund.org.uk

We are a membership based organisation, run through a non-hierarchical structure, with a Facilitating Group overseeing the strategic running of the organisation. The day to day runnings are overseen by the two Regional Organisers who work closely together. We already have someone in post for the Regional Organiser and Communications post, who is based in London. We are looking to recruit a Regional Organiser and Administrator who will preferably be based in North England or Scotland and we welcome applications from people based in Ireland or Northern Ireland.

Key information:

  • Flexible location
  • 3 days per week (21 hours)
  • Salary £25,750 pro rata

We would like to encourage applications by people from minoritised and racialised communities, people underrepresented in similar roles and people without university degrees. Deadline for applications has been extended to 5pm, Friday 20th July.


 Posted by at 13:17
Jun 232018

Info here about regional actions for the stop trump day of action

Three asks for Stop Trump

Last year we – as Stop Trump Coalition members – committed to making the resistance against Trump and everything he stands for one of the biggest and most visible demonstrations in British history. With Trump’s visit just three weeks away we need you to help make that happen by using your power and influence to mobilise on and offline.

Do these three things:

ONE: Populate and share the carnival of resistance map which is now LIVE.
Actions happening regionally and coaches to the London march and rally are being plotted on the carnival of resistance map. Add yours and encourage your followers to do the same. Share the map as widely as you can.


TWO: Let people know why you’re joining the carnival
Record a one-minute clip like these:
Send them to us (mail to: info@stoptrump.org.uk ) or post them on your own social media using #CarnivalofResistance #Resist #StopTrumpism

THREE: Follow and engage with us on social media
Follow and share the Stop Trump Coalition on social media – we’re posting daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so stay up to date on the latest and help get more people involved. Use #carnivalofresistance #resist #stoptrumpism as often as you can!

More soon.

Stop Trump Coalition

#carnivalofresistance #resist #stoptrumpism

Image may contain: sky, cloud, night, text and outdoor
 Posted by at 21:13
Jun 182018

DfID and DPAC Global Summits

In response to the UN disability committee findings and criticism of their record on disability rights, the Tories have been using international comparisons. The previous Minister for Disabled People used her time up in a debate on the UN CRPD that the SNP had tabled talking about how when she was in the navy she had liberated all these poor starving neglected disabled orphans from “the socialist republic of Romania.”

The implication is always that disabled people in the UK are over-privileged and should be grateful for what we get here. This shows a misunderstanding of the UN Convention as a progressive tool for rights implementation.

The same day as a much criticised government strategy on disability, health and work was published, the previous Minister for Disabled People, Penny Morduant, made an announcement in her new role as Minister for International Development that the UK would be holding a global summit on disability at the end of July 2018. This has proved a very popular initiative with international organisations falling over themselves to be involved and the Tories are using it to its maximum to validate their self-proclaimed status as “world leaders in disability”.


It is also linked to a 27m international disability development support programme and you can see from the announcement about the focus on technology companies (and opening up new markets).

We obviously support better rights for all disabled people regardless of where they live but cannot let the Tories continue to pass themselves off as world leaders in disability rights when they have been found guilty of the grave and systematic violation of those rights and their policies have been called a ‘human catastrophe’ by the UN Disability Committee.

Therefore we will be holding our own summit on Sunday, July 22nd with input from disabled activists from the global South. This will be near the Olympic Park although the venue is still to be confirmed.

On July 24th the actual day of the summit please join us for some on-line activism.

Further details to follow shortly.





 Posted by at 18:49
Jun 182018

ShareAction are running a training on shareholder activism aimed specifically at disabled people. There are SO many companies which could do with a sharp reminder of their access responsibilities – not least some of the big high street names which still lock out disabled people from their premises.


Details are below – but please do (a) sign up online if you can make it and (b) forward this email to any other disabled campaigners you know who may be interested.


P.S. This training is focused around disability rights, but lots of opportunities to campaign at AGMs around Living Wage, climate change and other issues.



10 July




Christian Aid

35-41 Lower Marsh





The venue has stepfree access and accessible toilets and is a short walk from Waterloo station which has stepfree access.

Register attendance here >> https://bit.ly/2sWTE9h


AGM activism is a unique campaigning strategy that gets you in a room with the CEO’s of the biggest companies. You ask a question to the board and they take action.


It’s a winning tactic. Intertek – a huge global company that tests and certifies products accredited to the Living Wage Foundation in June and said it was the direct result of our AGM questions. Since we started campaigning on the Living Wage at AGMs in 2011, the number of FTSE100 companies paying a fair wage has jumped from 2 to 36! And 3 years ago, bus company National Express changed its unfair wheelchair policy as a result of an AGM question.

Any campaign issue that is geared towards company action can use AGM activism as a tool. Come along to this training for disability rights campaigners to:


  • Learn about what AGMs are
  • Learn about what AGM activism is and why it’s so powerful
  • Get trained to be an effective AGM activist
  • To plan using AGM activism at upcoming AGMs for disability rights and access campaigning

Please contact Michael from ShareAction on Michael.kind@shareaction.org to let him know about any access requirements.

In the meantime, check out this short video introducing AGM activism >> https://bit.ly/2JznniS


 Posted by at 18:00
Jun 122018

Call for Submissions

Are you an artist, sculptor, film maker working around disability issues? 

Would you like your work to play a part in building a Global Resistance Movement of disabled people?  

Then here’s how

In July 2018, DPAC will be holding a public event around building a Global Resistance Movement of disabled people.

We need your creativity and energy to help make this happen.

We want to create an event which celebrates our shared experiences and aspirations; and which connects our struggles and campaigns. As a backdrop to this, we would like those attending on the day and taking part from afar to do so in a space filled with creative expressions of our lives and our politics.

We are calling for contributions, large and small to exhibit at the event. Artists can come and be part of our activities or can simply give us access to their material. We will store and exhibit your material and return it to you after the event.

We are asking for:

  • Imagery such as
  • Pictures
  • Prints
  • Collages
  • Photographs
  • Paintings etc


  • Ceramics
  • Carvings
  • Glass work
  • Metal work


  • Digital Art
  • Film
  • Animation
  • Video Art


If your work has supporting materials such as mounts, plinths, frames, description or requires these materials for exhibition, please let us know.


If you would like to find out more or contribute please email. mail@dpac.uk.net

 Posted by at 20:44
Jun 082018


There has been some significant changes announced by the government concerning Universal Credit.  In a parliamentary statement yesterday Esther McVile says that the government intends to make the following changes-

The timetable for managed migration has been extended by 1 year.  It is now due to run from July 2019 – March 2023. Yet another delay on top of the years and many, many millions of pounds it has already taken

And transitional protection and the severe disability premium- some good news ahead of the court verdict which is expected shortly.

The Government has already made a commitment that anyone who is moved to Universal Credit without a change of circumstance will not lose out in cash terms. Transitional protection will be provided to eligible claimants to safeguard their existing benefit entitlement until their circumstances change.

Today I am announcing four additions to these rules to ensure that Universal Credit supports people into work, protects vulnerable claimants and is targeted at those who need it.

“In order to support the transition for those individuals who live alone with substantial care needs and receive the Severe Disability Premium, we are changing the system so that these claimants will not be moved to Universal Credit until they qualify for transitional protection. In addition, we will provide both an on-going payment to claimants who have already lost this Premium as a consequence of moving to Universal Credit and an additional payment to cover the period since they moved.

Second, we will increase the incentives for parents to take short-term or temporary work and increase their earnings by ensuring that the award of, or increase in, support for childcare costs will not erode transitional protection.

Third, we propose to re-award claimants’ transitional protection that has ceased owing to short-term increases in earnings within an assessment period, if they make a new claim to UC within three months of when they received the additional payment.

Finally, individuals with capital in excess of £16,000 are not eligible for Universal Credit. However, for Tax Credit claimants in this situation, we will now disregard any capital in excess of £16,000 for 12 months from the point at which they are moved to Universal Credit. Normal benefit rules apply after this time in order to strike the right balance between keeping incentives for saving and asking people to support themselves.”

The above changes will be brought in by new regulations in the Autumn (Universal Credit Managed Migration and Transitional Protection Regulations).

 Posted by at 21:29
Jun 062018

On June 29th help us honour the memories of Kamil Ahmad and others who have been failed by the system. We are holding an event as part of Bristol Refugee Festival to:

  • bring together the disability and the asylum/immigration sectors
  • get the voices of disabled asylum seekers / refugees better heard
  • build awareness of policies and practices that currently divide us
  • challenge divisions and develop solutions

Our event is in honour of Kamil Ahmad a disabled Kurdish man who came to Britain seeking sanctuary, after having been imprisoned and tortured in Iraq. He was murdered in his supported accommodation in Bristol on 7th July 2016.

Kamil never gave up his loving nature and sense of justice, despite the horrific experiences he had been trough. It seems fitting that one of the ways of honouring his memory, together with others who have been failed by the system, is to create a stronger movement for positive change.

All welcome. Help us honour Kamil and build a stronger movement for justice. 

To book go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/honouring-kamil-exploring-disability-and-migration-tickets-45856613365

Programme for Fri June 29th

14.30 – City Hall – (College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR)
We will install a copy of the mural which Kamil helped to create in the foyer of City Hall, as a memorial to him and other disabled asylum seekers and refugees who have been failed.
15.30 – Procession from City Hall to We the Curious – please bring banners, musical instruments.
16.00 – We the Curious (Anchor Rd, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5DB)
Talks, discussion, workshops, film, learning from disabled asylum seekers.
What is the Problem? What needs to change?
Followed by food and music from LARA and others – (musicians include asylum seekers, refugees, disabled and non-disabled)

Please contact mail@dpac.uk.net with any access requirements when booking.

The event is supported by: Bristol City Council, City of Sanctuary, Disabled People Against Cuts, SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality), Bristol Defend Asylum Seekers, Bristol Disability Equality Forum, Bristol Hospitality Network, Bristol Refugee Rights, SW Region of the FBU, TUC SW, SW Doctoral Training Partnership, University of Bath, Unison, Bristol West Constituency Labour Party, Bristol National Education Union: NUT section, Aslef.

For more information please contact r.a.yeo@bath.ac.uk

Tickets are free but donations to help cover the costs of the event are welcome. To donate go to:https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/disabilitymigration

Please visit our Facebook page for the latest updates.

 Posted by at 20:45
Jun 032018


National Information Gathering Survey 

INTRODUCTION – Who we are and why we are doing a survey

“Being the Boss” is a national network of disabled people who employ their own personal assistants (P.A.s)/support workers or carers. Our central role has been to support disabled people who employ their own Personal Assistants by providing peer support and a coherent voice for them in the wider community. The website and Facebook page are for disabled people who employ PAs no matter how they are funded – it is NOT just for disabled people who are receiving Direct Payments or Personal Budgets from the local authority. See: http://beingtheboss.co.uk/

Since 2010 when the Coalition government introduced Austerity measures we have seen many changes in assessment procedures, funding regimes, criteria, the closure of the Independent Living Fund and an overall undermining of Independent Living.

Given the current climate Being the Boss believe it is essential to establish ourselves as the advocate for disabled people who employ their own personal assistants because all forms of living independent lives is under threat. Alongside maintaining Being the Boss’s existing service/role, we want to build on our experience by making our advocacy role more visible and proactive and extend it to other disabled people facing difficulties with benefits and other areas which impact upon their ability to live independent lives.

To be able to play this advocate role we need to fully understand the national picture on the ground and to establish what are the key issues for those who employ their own personal assistants (P.A.s)/support workers or carers and are currently finding it difficult to live independent lives. To this end we have decided to launch a National Information Gathering Survey and are asking you to participate in it.

We can provide the Survey as a download from our website/Facebook page. Please feel free to be as detailed as you believe to be necessary or simply answer as much or as little as you feel able. Thank you for your time and support.


 Posted by at 20:09
Jun 032018

sadly neither Welsh Labour not the national DPO – Disability Wales whose funding of course comes via Welsh Labour are supporting this vital campaign.


Please find below an important Thunderclap that we should all get involved in to help save the Welsh Independent Living Grant, #SaveWILG. 

This grant allows disabled people with high care and support need to live independently and was introduced by the Welsh Government following the closure of the ILF. 

Unfortunately, the Welsh Government have decided to follow England’s lead and pass all responsibility for social care to Local Authorities. This cannot be allowed to happen as we all know the problem this has caused to our friends in England. This fight is important to disable people across the UK as if we manage to win the battle in Wales, it will add strength to the arguments for three tier support in England.

This is a vital and easy way for  people to get involved with the campaign. Please encourage everyone you know, to take part and spread the message that we all want to save WILG, and deserve to have our voices heard.

The more pressure we can put on the Welsh Government, the better. On June 5th, when the thunderclap is activated, I will  be in Cardiff  at the Senedd, meeting with the Petitions Committee, Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies, Mark Drakeford AM and Julie Morgan AM.

We want to flood social media, and hope you will be able to spare one minute to help us achieve this aim. If this action succeeds, there will be future thunderclaps held.

Unfortunately, Thunderclap no longer allows targeted messages to prevent individual accounts being bombarded unfairly.

The message that will be shared across Twitter and Facebook reads as follows:

Welsh Labour need  to listen to their members and Save WILG for those with high care and support needs across Wales.

Anyone wishing to add memes or postcard photos to their social media accounts, can find plenty via my website or by simply contacting me via the contact page or on social media. I can’t make it much easier for you 

Many thanks for your support, and please do not hesitate to click on the following link:



According to Wikipedia, Thunderclap is a platform that lets individuals and companies rally people together to spread a message. The site uses a model similar to crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, in that if the campaign does not meet its desired number of supporters in the given time frame, the organizer receives none of the donations. This is referred to as “crowdspeaking”, as Thunderclap and its rival site Daycause use the same terminology. [2][3] Backers are required to copy the original message in tweets or social media posts.[4]

 Posted by at 20:05
May 112018

Annie has high support needs and was diagnosed with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis in  December 2009 and has become increasingly impaired.

After suffering excruciatingly painful spasticity in 2011 she spent 2 ½ months in Rehabilitation and on discharge in February 2012 was assessed by her Local Authority for care and was awarded 23 hours a week.

At the end of 2016 she collapsed and spent months last year in hospital.  They have said she will never walk again, and pain in her right arm since April has left her using a hoist since then.

But when she was reviewed on leaving hospital in May last year, her care package remained at a completely inadequate 23 hours a week and she was told she was lucky.  This despite the fact that in her current condition it scarcely gets her up in the morning.

She is now completely reliant on human support to live independently, unable to move, clean, toilet, dress, feed herself – or do anything.  She uses a hospital bed and wheelchair, and needs to be moved with a hoist by two people.

She is in constant pain, has spasms and severe spasticity yet she has been unable to access the extra hours of help she now needs.

She has no money and has had to borrow heavily from friends and family to survive and get some of the extra care she needs. This won’t continue to be possible.

Social services continue to fail to assess her needs, and have not provided her with a proper care plan since 2012. Like many others Annie has been stripped of her entitlement to legal aid due to the changes made by the Tories.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  Any amount you can spare to help us pay for a legal opinion for Annie would help her and possibly others enormously. Any money donated and not used will go to Disabled People Against Cuts. (DPAC).

Please donate via GoFundMe or by paypal on the website. Mark any website donations for Annie.




 Posted by at 20:53
May 112018

Disability News Service (DNS) has been investigating claims of dishonesty in the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment process for the last 18 months.

Now a leading discrimination lawyer has said he may be able to take legal cases on behalf of PIP claimants who believe that the healthcare professionals who carried out their face-to-face assessments did not honestly report the results of those assessments.

The cases would be taken under the Equality Act, but crucially the assessment must have happened in the last six months, for legal reasons.

If there are any PIP claimants who have had an assessment in the last few months and want to consider legal action, please contact DNS – with some brief details of the dishonesty and when it took place – either by phone or email.

If you’re interested in potentially taking a legal case, contact DNS editor John Pring by phone (weekdays only, please: 01635 228907) or email: john@disabilitynewsservice.com

Read the background here https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/comment-seeking-claimants-to-take-legal-cases-over-pip-dishonesty/


 Posted by at 18:15
Apr 042018

As we’re being asked more and more often to endorse candidates standing for various political positions we feel that it is important to re-iterate that DPAC remains completely independent from supporting any particular political party.

Nor can we guarantee to endorse someone just because they are a disabled person – after all some disabled people vote Tory or even UKIP and we could not under any circumstances endorse anyone who supported such policies. However we will consider endorsing people seeking office in any other reputable political parties.

We will only be able to support candidates who contribute to DPAC’s aims and are prepared to support #StopandScrap Universal Credit and our manifesto demands from politicians.

Overall this means that while we might endorse someone to stand for a political party that does not in any way negate our independence or our right to criticise that party and its policies when ever we deem it necessary.


 Posted by at 18:00
Apr 032018

The Public Law Project (PLP) is an independent, national legal charity which aims to improve access to justice for those whose access is restricted by poverty, discrimination or other similar barriers. It represented RF in the recent High Court case where the DWP’s changes to the PIP regulations were found to unlawfully discriminate against people with mental health conditions. PLP is representing another individual client, who is bringing a case concerning the DWP’s “workaround” communications system for people with disabilities who receive DLA/ESA/IB/PIP.


The DWP has a policy that it communicates with (non-UC) benefits recipients by post. However, its policy allows them to agree to email as a reasonable adjustment (the “workaround”), for example where a recipient has a disability.


The case is that the workaround is not satisfactory because it puts people using it at a disadvantage, including because there is a risk of letters being lost and there is no provision for two-way communication.


PLP needs to gather evidence of examples of problems caused by the workaround to support its client’s case. If you have had difficulties with the DWP’s communications system because of your disability, in particular if you have had difficulties getting the DWP to agree to email you as a reasonable adjustment, or have had information lost,  and are willing to discuss this further then please email Ollie Persey (o.persey@publiclawproject.org.uk).




 Posted by at 21:13
Mar 252018

All over Britain we’re holding locally based protests against universal credit to support the DPAC demonstration in London. Obviously everyone can’t get to London so this is going to open up the event and make it easier for more people to access and take part.


Anyone is welcome to come and speak at the demo, just inbox the DPAC Sheffield page or email DPACsheffield@gmail.com
So far we have: Labour sheffield, Women’s lives matter campaign Yorkshire, Sheffield Green party, Momentum Sheffield disability officer, and DPAC.


Meet New Street, Time to be confirmed


Information table 10.30am Meet at the Clock Tower


We will be outside Cardigan job centre on the 18th at 11.00


Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty
High Riggs jobcentre 12.30
Wednesday 18th April, 12- 2 pm at the Clocktower, Unite Community and friends supporting DPAC.


St.Peters Square, 13.00-15.00 joining together with Greater Manchester Law Centre and Acorn Tenants Union to say no to evictions



Meet City Hall steps from 12.15 pm


11am – 13.00 pm April 18th Lemon Quay 



The York Unite Community Branch  is supporting the Disabled People Against Cuts national day of action against Universal Credit by holding a gathering on and adjacent to the footpath outside The Jobcentre Plus (one of our local Department of Work and Pensions buildings), 11-17 Monkgate, York YO31 7JZ  between 10 and 12 on Wednesday April 18th 2018.

 Posted by at 15:29
Mar 202018

A report coming out tomorrow shows that since 2011, the Department for Work & Pensions has underpaid an estimated 70,000 people who transferred to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from other benefits.

The ‘error’ related to people who may have been entitled to income-related ESA but were instead only awarded contribution-based ESA, and therefore may have missed out on premium payments.

The average underpayment is likely to be around £5,000 but some people will be owed significantly more. A review of a sample of 1,000 cases suggests that 45,000 claimants  entitled to the enhanced disability premium only may be owed around £2,500 and that around 20,000 claimants who are entitled to the severe disability premium may be owed around £11,500 each. A small number could be owed around £20,000.


If you think you might be affected by this complete botch up by DWP then BBC  and ITN news would like to speak to you. Please contact Camilla Horrox – Camilla.horrox@bbc.co.uk

Telephone – 02036143166 or Amie Stone amie.stone@itn.co.uk telephone – 020 74304551


 Posted by at 15:56
Mar 192018
NHS facing court action over unlawful policies

Published: 19 Mar 2018

NHS organisations are facing legal action over discriminatory Continuing Healthcare policies, the Equality and Human Rights Commission warned today.

The Commission has taken its first steps in judicial review proceeding by issuing legal letters to 13 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).This follows an initial warning issued by the Commission, which highlighted concerns about NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) policies being unlawful and breaching the human rights of patients.

If the CCGs fail to provide evidence to demonstrate that their policies are lawful, or do not take steps to review them, they will be taken to court.

The Commission has raised significant concerns about blanket NHS CHC policies having arbitrary caps on funding and failing to consider the specific needs of individual patients, such as living location and family life.

This is a serious breach of the Human Rights Act, the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Department of Health and Social Care’s own NHS CHC framework.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

‘It is utterly unacceptable that anyone should be forced into residential care when they are healthy enough to live independently and with their families. And it doesn’t make sense for individuals or communities.

‘A “one-size fits all” approach will never properly address every single individual’s healthcare needs, and NHS CHC policies are no different. This is another example of individuals being disabled by society, and prevented from living as full and independent lives as possible, as is their right. We will use our powers to ensure that the NHS thinks about this again.’

The Commission first aired concerns over discriminatory NHS CHC policies in October 2017, when it wrote to 43 CCGs demanding more information on their approach.

Following this warning, almost a quarter of those contacted are now reviewing their policies and the Commission will be writing to the others whose policies are of less concern.

It will use its formal legal powers to initiate judicial review proceedings against 13, who it determines have not considered their human rights and equality responsibilities in the way they operate their policies.

NHS CHC provide funding for care outside of hospital, either in a care home, nursing home, hospice or a person’s own home, funded by the NHS to meet physical, mental health and associated social care needs.

The letters have been sent today (19 March 2018) and the CCGs have 14 working days to respond, after which decisions about starting court proceedings will be made.

Notes to editors

The Commission will be writing to the following 13 CCGs across England:

  • Brent
  • Coventry and Rugby
  • Dudley
  • East and North Hertfordshire
  • Eastern Cheshire
  • Harrow
  • Hillingdon
  • South Cheshire
  • Vale Royal
  • West Cheshire
  • Warwickshire North
  • Lincolnshire West
  • Redditch and Bromsgrove
 Posted by at 18:38
Mar 192018


March 15th

Stroud, Rising Up! organised an action in solidarity with Disabled People Against Cuts this week. Read the Stroud News and Journal report: “Protesters spray ‘human rights abuse’ on Stroud Job Centre” http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/16090675.

“Campaigners said that this afternoon’s action was intended to show the disgust at what the group sees as the latest attack on the social security of people living in the UK.”

“Simon Bramwell who took part in this afternoon’s protest said “We spoke to people on the streets and there was much support for our action, including from claimants who are deeply affected by Universal Credit.

“One woman told us she was about to get evicted as a result of the policy and another man said delays in his payments and left him struggling to make ends meet.

Watch a live-streamed video of the Jobcentre protest on via Rising Up!’s facebook page.




17 March  Ceridigion/Cardigan

A group of members and supporters of Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) Ceredigion were on the streets again today, talking to passers by, leafleting, collecting petition signatures and bearing witness to the cruel injustices being imposed on the vulnerable people in our communities by the cruel Westminster Tory Government in the name of ‘austerity’.

The slogan was STOP The Rollout of Universal Credit. The Rollout of Universal Credit is due in Ceredigion later this year.

Organised by DPAC Ceredigion with the support of the Ceredigion Peoples’ Assembly.
More actions are planned.

for pictures and videos see facebook





 Posted by at 18:02
Mar 172018

Dear Independent Living Campaign supporter,

You can watch footage and download the papers and briefings disseminated at the national conference on independent living organised by Disabled People Against Cuts in November 2017 here:  https://dpac.uk.net/2018/03/conference-notes-films-dpac-independent-living-campaign-conference-nov-2017/

We are also finalising a postion paper “Independent Living Support for the Future”, outlining our ideas for developing an independent living support system capable of upholding disabled people’s rights, based on the views and issues raised at the conference. Once we have a finalised version we will circulate for sign up and put in place communications and lobbying strategies to build support for our shared vision.

Updates since conference:

Disability Related Expenditure. Jenny Hurst has put together a template which you are all invited to contribute to in order to build a full picture of all the different things that can be included in DRE. Click the link below to add to it:


The Independent Living Strategy Group has also brought out a list of existing lists that can help when you are thinking what to include as DRE.

REAL’s guidance on DRE: http://www.real.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Reals-guidance-on-disability-related-expenditure-12-April-2017-PDF.pdf

Mencap: https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/social-care/paying-support

DPAC: https://dpac.uk.net/2015/05/disability-related-expenses-what-could-you-claim-for/

DRUK: https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/charging-community-care

And the government guidance on disability-related expenditure is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-act-statutory-guidance/care-and-support-statutory-guidance#charging-and-financial-assessment  (it’s towards the bottom of the webpage).

Simon Legg from the Spinal Injuries Association has also helpfully pointed out the 2003 practice guidance (attached) has a detailed discussion of disability-related expenditure and is arguably still valid.  He also sent a copy of a judgement which relates to disability related expenditure, also attached.


Campaigning against charging. Inclusion London will be organising a meeting for campaigners concerned about or involved in campaigns against charging – date to be confirmed –  to share experiences, find out about relevant legislation and explore how disabled people in different areas can more effectively co-ordinate to challenge the introduction of harsher policies, monitor their impact and campaign for the abolition of charging. If you are interested to find out more please email ellen.clifford@inclusionlondon.org.uk.


Lobbying government.

We believe it is important that Disabled people’s own voices are listened to within the government’s work-stream on social care for disabled adults. We have been collecting signatories a letter.

There is a Parliamentary inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care. Inclusion London submitted evidence calling for an independent living support system funded from general taxation and free at the point of need: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/long-term-funding-of-adult-social-care-17-19/

 United Nations complaint. We have now heard that the complaint made under the UNCRPD Optional Protocol against the closure of the Independent Living Fund to new applicants has been accepted. The UN have written to the government who have until the middle of May 2018 to respond.

Media. In order to highlight the impact of the continuing social care crisis on disabled people, we are working with Cherylee Houston on features for Tonight and with the film-maker who produced “Dispossession: the great social housing swindle”.

 NICE guidelines on improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services: These are broadly positive but realistically are unlikely to change anything on their own in the terms of the cost-driven bad practice we are seeing within adult social care. Inclusion London fed back on the first draft and pleased a number of our recommendations were accepted, in particular that they now explicitly refer to the Human Rights Act which in our experience social care practitioners often do not give consideration to, but the Guidelines Committee refused to explicitly refer to the social model of disability, saying that the guidelines have been written from a social perspective so this is not necessary.  We are also disappointed that they did not make more explicit that cost concerns should not outweigh the needs and wishes of disabled people in care and support planning and assessments. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng86





 Posted by at 20:30
Mar 082018

Decades after Iceland’s ‘day off’, our women’s strike is stronger than ever

The Global Women’s Strike has evolved into a worldwide protest with myriad demands

Selma James

‘As a result of Poland and Argentina coming together, the International Women’s Strike was formed.’ Women march in New York, 8 March 2017. Photograph: E McGregor/Pacific / Barcroft


On the first day of the UN Decade for Women in 1975, the women of Iceland took the day off to demonstrate the importance of all their work, waged and unwaged, in the countryside and the city. Almost all women who were physically able came out of their homes, offices and factories, and even female television presenters were replaced on the screen by men holding children. Some 90% of women took part. They called it a day off but we at the International Wages for Housework Campaign called it a strike, and took as our slogan their placard which said: “When women stop, everything stops.”


Iceland was not international but it was of international significance. What moved them to strike had to be moving in the souls of women everywhere: the question was: when would it manifest itself?


In 1985, at the final conference of the UN decade in Nairobi, we had won the UN decision that unremunerated work at home, on the land and in the community should be measured and valued. We called Time Off for Women for 24 October and a number of countries joined us. But we could not sustain international action.


International Women’s Day: how can you support the global strike?


It was not until 1999 that Margaretta D’Arcy, a writer, anti-war and Irish Republican activist, called for a national strike of women in Ireland to mark the new millennium on 8 March 2000 and asked the Wages for Housework Campaign to support her call. I wrote to the National Women’s Council of Ireland, telling them that if they called the Irish women out on strike, we would make it global. They didn’t, but we did. We launched the Global Women’s Strike with Margaretta and women from a number of other countries at the UN in New York in 1999. In most of the 60 countries where women went on strike it was a celebration, not a mobilisation. But we were making a variety of demands. The first was: “Payment for all caring work – in wages, pensions, land and other resources.” What was more valuable than raising children and caring for others, we asked. “Invest in life and welfare, not military budgets and prisons.”


The more women went out to work, the harder it was to also be a carer, and what was most galling was the lower pay for doing a double day. Caring and pay equity have risen on the political agenda, as well as other injustices that women face, beginning with rape and domestic violence often going unpunished.


Two years ago, two important movements manifested themselves. In Poland women went on strike to stop anti-abortion legislation. They succeeded in getting the government to back down. In Argentina, following police inaction after the rape and murder of a number of women, hundreds of thousands took to the streets with the slogan Ni una menos (not one less). Their call for an end to femicide swept across Latin America and beyond. This spoke to a pervasive injustice – in the UK, for example, two women a week are killed by partners or ex-partners. As a result of Poland and Argentina coming together, the International Women’s Strike was formed last year and co-ordinated by Polish women. It was agreed that each group would determine their own demands. There were regular four-hour Skype calls (with English and Spanish translation) with women from more than 30 countries exchanging information about what they would be doing. In some countries, hundreds of thousands downed tools for some part of the day, had rallies and banged pots; in others, the events were smaller.


Selma James and male journalists at the launch of the Wages for Housework campaign in 1975. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images


Today, the idea of women massively withdrawing labour, waged and unwaged, is not a reality yet. The actions now are often overtly anti-racist and anti-every discrimination, anti-poverty, anti-war, anti-deportation and anti-imperialist, including in Trump’s US. They are always anti-violence. In Peru, the strike slogan is: “If our lives have no value, produce and reproduce without us!” Every sector brings its own concerns. Peruvian domestic workers are launching their petition: “A living wage for caring work – in your own home and other people’s.”


But how can you strike if you can’t risk being sacked or endangering those you care for? This has always been the dilemma, especially of the carer on whom vulnerable people depend. In countries such as Spain, where there is general recognition of the strike validity and even union backing, it’s easier for women to walk out for at least part of the day – hundreds of thousands are expected to do just that.


In the UK, where such support is not yet forthcoming, women can still publicise our situation and what we want changed in call-ins and letters to the press, returning from lunch even 10 minutes late, banging pots in the streets or at the window, as women in Spain did against the 2003 Iraq war.


The Global Women’s Strike is putting the family courts on trial for unjustly taking children from their mothers in a speak-out in the shadow of parliament; cleaners are demonstrating for a living wage; there is a sex work strike for decriminalisation in Soho; and a picket of Unilever in support of the Sisters of Rohingya’s call for disinvestment from Myanmar to end the rape and genocide there.


In Germany, another possibility to improve women’s lives has opened up, which we are bringing to the strike. Some 3.4 million members of the IGMetall union are winning the right to a 28- (instead of 35-) hour week for at least two years in order to care for children and elderly parents. This is what we can win when striking and care come together.


• Selma James is founder of the International Wages for Housework Campaign


Global Women’s Strike



25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX

020 7482 2496


 Posted by at 12:12
Mar 062018

8 March 2018 International Women’s Day


12-2pm, Old Palace Yard, Westminster, SW1P 3JY

(across from Parliament) All Welcome


Disabled mums will be joining with other mums to speak out and press for Support Not Separation from our children.

Plain text under the image


Facebook event here. Follow us on Twitter @WomenStrike.





·        Abusing the law to snatch children from their mothers

·        Traumatising children through separation

·        Depriving children of breastfeeding

·        Denying mothers and children their legal right to support

·        Impoverishing mothers and children with austerity

·        Discriminating against single mothers & vulnerable families

·        Punishing victims of rape and domestic violence by taking the children we’ve tried to protect

·        Handing children to violent fathers

·        Valuing ‘experts’ over mothers

·        Holding secret hearings without public scrutiny

·        Gagging us so we can’t get community support

·        Deporting mothers, keeping their children

·        Taking children for profit


gws@globalwomenstrike.net Part of International Women’s Strike events

 Posted by at 19:24
Mar 012018

We’re sorry to announce that although we applied for an award for our efforts to facilitate greater political engagement by disabled people in our democratic process -even pointing out how we regularly bring groups of disabled people to the House of Commons – we failed to get an award this year. We have signed up however to get alerts about future events although surprsingly there was no category listing disability which is very disappointing. Maybe this indicates that politicians and civil servants don’t care about disability issues as we’ve always thought.

Still we’ll be making sure they do take more notice in the near future.

The rejecton letter -:


Many thanks for your entry to the pilot year of the Your UK Parliament Awards 2018.

The calibre of application was very high this year, with us receiving over 170 applications. The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, was joined in judging the entries by Valerie Vaz MP; Victoria Prentice MP; Ronnie Cowan MP; Liz Moorse, the Chief Executive of the Association for Citizenship Teaching; and myself. The entire panel was extremely impressed with all of the applications for the awards and I would like to thank you on their and my behalf for all the hard work that you continue to do to engage people with their UK Parliament.

Unfortunately on this occasion your entry was not chosen as the winner. I would like to thank you for taking part in the competition, and for taking the time to tell us about the hard work that has gone in to making your contact great.

I wish you every success with your future projects and we look forward to hearing about them in next year’s competition!

Yours sincerely,

David Clark

Head of Education and Engagement

Houses of Parliament



Don’t miss out on updates about how to get your voice heard in Parliament on the issues you care about. Sign up for a monthly newsletter to discover ways you can get involved and have your say.



 Posted by at 20:11
Feb 282018



Iain Duncan Smith the architect of Universal Credit

Wanted everyone working, yes he said it

Designed with punitive punishment at its heart

Universal Credit is about ripping the welfare state apart


Work more hours!  Go get a job!

Denying you support, DWP cheats and robs

Ramping up sanctions, they simply don’t care

They want you to work for nothing on workfare


Universal Credit is failing, many people say

But the Government are continuing the roll out, come what may

It is now the co production of the DWP and NHS

Universal Credit has had many delays, it’s a bloody mess!


It’s ramping up homelessness and poverty too

This government do not care what it will put claimants through

Abolishing severe disability premiums

We must mount the campaign to stop it and show the government defiance


Data sharing your information, checking if the claimant is cheating

Left with little money, making stark choices between heating and eating

Online forms that are completely inaccessible

Universal Credit is totally incomprehensible


DWP have the nudge unit and behaviour compliance

We now see National Charity Mind and DWP formed an alliance

Psycho Compulsion and forced treatment, to target those with Depression

Go to the job centre for 6 CBT sessions


Making disabled people attend the health and work conversation

If you do not attend it; your money will be rationed

Work coaches with 3 weeks of training

The questions they will ask will be intensive and draining


Do you see friends, do you see family?

What can you do to keep your sanity?

Have you any hobbies, what are you strengths?

Claimants lives turned inside out, the DWP go to any lengths


Can only claim for 2 children, you can’t claim for more

The nasty rape clause in Universal Credit can see your jaw hit the floor

A woman to prove she has been raped, pushed to the edge can’t take anymore

You ask what the government are doing it for


The answer a simple one, to shrink the state

It is ideological, claimants they hate

They want everyone working, not claiming a thing

Causing destitution in the process and the chaos it brings



If claimants give up not claiming, so much the better

Keep harassing the claimants with those brown envelope letters

Stress the claimant and make them cry

Deny support to disabled people and hope many die


Universal Credit is a nasty system, yes it is true

It is harmful and hateful and will put people through

Punitive punishment and sanctions ramped up

Searching for work for 35 hours, so here is a heads up!


We need to stop and scrap Universal Credit

Yes you heard right and now have said it

Universal Credit is unfixable, it now needs to go

Let us campaign together united, and make it so!




© Paula Peters 2018.



 Posted by at 21:34