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
May 222018

reblogged from an email. For disabled people receiving social security payments this is an important victory. Hopefully the first of many

ACORN is four years old this month and this summer marks ten years since greedy bankers destroyed the global financial system, plunging millions of us into poverty and providing the justification for the destruction of our public services. Of course, the bankers are ok as they got £billions of our money in the bailout.

While researching bank policies that hurt tenants, ACORN member Pete discovered that TSB have a clause in their buy to let mortgage contracts banning landlords from renting to housing benefit claimants, students or asylum seekers. We have members in all those groups and ACORN branches around the country decided to hold a national day of action to demand that TSB drop the clause.

On Saturday we mobilised in Bristol, Brighton, Newcastle and Sheffield and delivered demands to TSB branches that they drop the policy. ACORN members danced, sang, played party games and occupied branches of the bank that back when they were Lloyds TSB were happy to accept the biggest welfare hand-out in history – a cool £21 billion.

We’ve always said that direct action gets the goods and we’ve proved it once again because TSB have confirmed that they’re scrapping the clause banning landlords from renting to benefit claimants.

We’re still negotiating on when the change will be put in place and will be pushing for clarity on the implications for students and asylum seekers but TSB have folded to our main demand.

Last year we forced Santander to drop their infamous ‘rent rise’ mortgage clause. And now we’ve proven once again that there’s power in a union.

 Posted by at 20:04
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 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 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


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
Feb 252018

For anyone who would like to email more than their own MPs all MPs email addresses are here. If as many people as possible email as many MPs as possible fromThursday March 1st then our message has more chance of being heard.

Template letter has also been posted

diane.abbott.office@parliament.uk, abrahamsd@parliament.uk, nigel.adams.mp@parliament.uk, bim.afolami.mp@parliament.uk, adam.afriyie.mp@parliament.uk, peter.aldous.mp@parliament.uk, heidi.alexander.mp@parliament.uk, rushanara.ali.mp@parliament.uk, lucy.allan.mp@parliament.uk, heidi.allen.mp@parliament.uk, rosena.allinkhan.mp@parliament.uk, mike.amesbury.mp@parliament.uk, amessd@parliament.uk, jenny.chapman.mp@parliament.uk, bambos.charalambous.mp@parliament.uk, joanna.cherry.mp@parliament.uk, rehman.chishti.mp@parliament.uk, chopec@parliament.uk, jo.churchill.mp@parliament.uk, colin.clark.mp@parliament.uk, greg.clark.mp@parliament.uk, clarkek@parliament.uk, simon.clarke.mp@parliament.uk, james.cleverly.mp@parliament.uk, cliftonbrowng@parliament.uk, ann.clwyd.mp@parliament.uk, vernon.coaker.mp@parliament.uk, ann.coffey.mp@parliament.uk, therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk, damian.collins.mp@parliament.uk, julie.cooper.mp@parliament.uk, rosie.cooper.mp@parliament.uk, coopery@parliament.uk, jeremy.corbyn.mp@parliament.uk, barronra@parliament.uk, robert.courts.mp@parliament.uk, ronnie.cowan.mp@parliament.uk, coxg@parliament.uk, neil.coyle.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.crabb.mp@parliament.uk, crausbyd@parliament.uk, angela.crawley.mp@parliament.uk, creaghm@parliament.uk, , tracey.crouch.mp@parliament.uk, cruddasj@parliament.uk, john.cryer.mp@parliament.uk, judith.cummins.mp@parliament.uk, alex.cunningham.mp@parliament.uk, eleanorm.connolly@parliament.uk, nic.dakin.mp@parliament.uk, edward.davey.mp@parliament.uk, wayne.david.mp@parliament.uk, chris.davies.mp@parliament.uk, david.davies.mp@parliament.uk, geraint.davies.mp@parliament.uk, glyn.davies.mp@parliament.uk, mims.davies.mp@parliament.uk, daviesp@parliament.uk, david.davis.mp@parliament.uk, martyn.day.mp@parliament.uk, thangam.debbonaire.mp@parliament.uk, marsha.decordova.mp@parliament.uk, emma.dentcoad.mp@parliament.uk, gloria.depiero.mp@parliament.uk, tan.dhesi.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.dinenage.mp@parliament.uk, jonathan.djanogly.mp@parliament.uk, leo.docherty.mp@parliament.uk, martin.docherty.mp@parliament.uk, annaliese.dodds.mp@parliament.uk, nigel.dodds.mp@parliament.uk, jeffrey.donaldson.mp@parliament.uk, michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk, dorriesn@parliament.uk, steve.double.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.doughty.mp@parliament.uk, peter.dowd.mp@parliament.uk, oliver.dowden.mp@parliament.uk, jackie.doyleprice.mp@parliament.uk, richard.drax.mp@parliament.uk, david.drew.mp@parliament.uk, jack.dromey.mp@parliament.uk, , rosie.duffield.mp@parliament.uk, david.duguid.mp@parliament.uk, alan.duncan.mp@parliament.uk, olivia.kybett@parliament.uk, philip.dunne.mp@parliament.uk, eaglea@parliament.uk, eaglem@parliament.uk, jonathan.edwards.mp@parliament.uk, effordc@parliament.uk, julie.elliott.mp@parliament.uk, michael.ellis.mp@parliament.uk, louise.ellman.mp@parliament.uk, philip.hammond.mp@parliament.uk, hammonds@parliament.uk, matt.hancock.mp@parliament.uk, handsg@parliament.uk, david.hanson.mp@parliament.uk, emma.hardy.mp@parliament.uk, harriet.harman.mp@parliament.uk, mark.harper.mp@parliament.uk, richard.harrington.mp@parliament.uk, carolyn.harris.mp@parliament.uk, rebecca.harris.mp@parliament.uk, trudy.harrison.mp@parliament.uk, simon.hart.mp@parliament.uk, helen.hayes.mp@parliament.uk, hayesj@parliament.uk, sue.hayman.mp@parliament.uk, chris.hazzard.mp@parliament.uk, oliver.heald.mp@parliament.uk, john.healey.mp@parliament.uk, james.heappey.mp@parliament.uk, chris.heatonharris.mp@parliament.uk, peter.heatonjones.mp@parliament.uk, gordon.henderson.mp@parliament.uk, mark.hendrick.mp@parliament.uk, drew.hendry.mp@parliament.uk, hepburns@parliament.uk, , sylvia.hermon.mp@parliament.uk, mike.hill.mp@parliament.uk, meghilliermp@parliament.uk, damian.hinds.mp@parliament.uk, simon.hoare.mp@parliament.uk, wera.hobhouse.mp@parliament.uk, hodgem@parliament.uk, sharon.hodgson.mp@parliament.uk, hoeyk@parliament.uk, kate.hollern.mp@parliament.uk, george.hollingbery.mp@parliament.uk, kevin.hollinrake.mp@parliament.uk, philip.hollobone.mp@parliament.uk, hollowaya@parliament.uk, hopkinsk@parliament.uk, hosies@parliament.uk, george.howarth.mp@parliament.uk, howelljm@parliament.uk, gaskillm@parliament.uk, nigel.huddleston.mp@parliament.uk, eddie.hughes.mp@parliament.uk, huntj@parliament.uk, rupa.huq.mp@parliament.uk, nick.hurd.mp@parliament.uk, imran.hussain.mp@parliament.uk, alister.jack.mp@parliament.uk, margot.james.mp@parliament.uk, christine.jardine.mp@parliament.uk, dan.jarvis.mp@parliament.uk, sajid.javid.mp@parliament.uk, , bernard.jenkin.mp@parliament.uk, andrea.jenkyns.mp@parliament.uk, robert.jenrick.mp@parliament.uk, boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.johnson.mp@parliament.uk, johnsond@parliament.uk, gareth.johnson.mp@parliament.uk, jo.johnson.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.jones.mp@parliament.uk, darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk, david.jones.mp@parliament.uk, gerald.jones.mp@parliament.uk, graham.jones.mp@parliament.uk, jonesh@parliament.uk, kevanjonesmp@parliament.uk, marcus.jones.mp@parliament.uk, sarah.jones.mp@parliament.uk, susan.jones.mp@parliament.uk, mike.kane.mp@parliament.uk, kawczynskid@parliament.uk, gillian.keegan.mp@parliament.uk, barbara.keeley.mp@parliament.uk, liz.kendall.mp@parliament.uk, seema.kennedy.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.metcalfe.mp@parliament.uk, ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk, maria.miller.mp@parliament.uk, amanda.milling.mp@parliament.uk, nigel.mills.mp@parliament.uk, anne.milton.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.mitchell.mp@parliament.uk, , carol.monaghan.mp@parliament.uk, moonm@parliament.uk, damien.moore.mp@parliament.uk, layla.moran.mp@parliament.uk, penny.mordaunt.mp@parliament.uk, jessica.morden.mp@parliament.uk, nicky.morgan.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.morgan.mp@parliament.uk, annemarie.morris.mp@parliament.uk, david.morris.mp@parliament.uk, grahame.morris.mp@parliament.uk, james.morris.mp@parliament.uk, wendy.morton.mp@parliament.uk, david.mundell.mp@parliament.uk, ian.murray.mp@parliament.uk, sheryll.murray.mp@parliament.uk, murrisona@parliament.uk, lisa.nandy.mp@parliament.uk, bob.neill.mp@parliament.uk, gavin.newlands.mp@parliament.uk, sarah.newton.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.nokes.mp@parliament.uk, jesse.norman.mp@parliament.uk, alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk, neil.obrien.mp@parliament.uk, matthew.offord.mp@parliament.uk, brendan.ohara.mp@parliament.uk, jared.omara.mp@parliament.uk, fiona.onasanya.mp@parliament.uk, melanie.onn.mp@parliament.uk, chi.onwurah.mp@parliament.uk, guy.opperman.mp@parliament.uk, kate.osamor.mp@parliament.uk, albert.owen.mp@parliament.uk, ian.paisley.mp@parliament.uk, neil.parish.mp@parliament.uk, withammp@parliament.uk, patersono@parliament.uk, mark.pawsey.mp@parliament.uk, stephanie.peacock.mp@parliament.uk, teresa.pearce.mp@parliament.uk, penningm@parliament.uk, matthew.pennycook.mp@parliament.uk, penrosej@parliament.uk, andrew.percy.mp@parliament.uk, toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk, claire.perry.mp@parliament.uk, jess.phillips.mp@parliament.uk, bridget.phillipson.mp@parliament.uk, chris.philp.mp@parliament.uk, laura.pidcock.mp@parliament.uk, christopher.pincher.mp@parliament.uk, joanne.platt.mp@parliament.uk, luke.pollard.mp@parliament.uk, daniel.poulter.mp@parliament.uk, steve.pound.mp@parliament.uk, rebecca.pow.mp@parliament.uk, lucy.powell.mp@parliament.uk, victoria.prentis.mp@parliament.uk, natalie.bithell@parliament.uk, pritchardm@parliament.uk, tom.pursglove.mp@parliament.uk, jeremy.quin.mp@parliament.uk, will.quince.mp@parliament.uk, yasmin.qureshi.mp@parliament.uk, dominic.raab.mp@parliament.uk, faisal.rashid.mp@parliament.uk, angela.rayner.mp@parliament.uk, john.redwood.mp@parliament.uk, steve.reed.mp@parliament.uk, christina.rees.mp@parliament.uk, jacob.reesmogg.mp@parliament.uk, ellie.reeves.mp@parliament.uk, rachel.reeves.mp@parliament.uk, emma.reynolds.mp@parliament.uk, jonathan.reynolds.mp@parliament.uk, marie.rimmer.mp@parliament.uk, michael.tomlinson.mp@parliament.uk, craig.tracey.mp@parliament.uk, tredinnickd@parliament.uk, annemarie.trevelyan.mp@parliament.uk, jon.trickett.mp@parliament.uk, elizabeth.truss.mp@parliament.uk, tom.tugendhat.mp@parliament.uk, anna.turley.mp@parliament.uk, karl.turner.mp@parliament.uk, derek.twigg.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.twigg.mp@parliament.uk, liz.twist.mp@parliament.uk, chuka.umunna.mp@parliament.uk, ed.vaizey.mp@parliament.uk, shailesh.vara.mp@parliament.uk, vazk@parliament.uk, valerie.vaz.mp@parliament.uk, martin.vickers.mp@parliament.uk, , charles.walker.mp@parliament.uk, robin.walker.mp@parliament.uk, thelma.walker.mp@parliament.uk, wallaceb@parliament.uk, david.warburton.mp@parliament.uk, matt.warman.mp@parliament.uk, giles.watling.mp@parliament.uk, tom.watson.mp@parliament.uk, catherine.west.mp@parliament.uk, matt.western.mp@parliament.uk, helen.whately.mp@parliament.uk, heather.wheeler.mp@parliament.uk, whiteheada@parliament.uk, martin.whitfield.mp@parliament.uk, philippa.whitford.mp@parliament.uk, craig.whittaker.mp@parliament.uk, john.whittingdale.mp@parliament.uk, bill.wiggin.mp@parliament.uk, hywel.williams.mp@parliament.uk, paul.williams.mp@parliament.uk, chris.williamson.mp@parliament.uk, gavin.williamson.mp@parliament.uk, phil.wilson.mp@parliament.uk, barronj@parliament.uk, rosie.winterton.mp@parliament.uk, pete.wishart.mp@parliament.uk, sarah.wollaston.mp@parliament.uk, mikej.wood.mp@parliament.uk, john.woodcock.mp@parliament.uk, , jeremy.wright.mp@parliament.uk, mohammad.yasin.mp@parliament.uk, nadhim.zahawi.mp@parliament.uk, daniel.zeichner.mp@parliament.uk, stuart.andrew.mp@parliament.uk, tonia.antoniazzi.mp@parliament.uk, edward.argar.mp@parliament.uk, jon.ashworth.mp@parliament.uk, , austini@parliament.uk, richardbaconmp@parliament.uk, kemi.badenoch.mp@parliament.uk, baileya@parliament.uk, steve.baker.mp@parliament.uk, harriett.baldwin.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.barclay.mp@parliament.uk, hannah.bardell.mp@parliament.uk, baronj@parliament.uk, barronk@parliament.uk, guto.bebb.mp@parliament.uk, margaret.beckett.mp@parliament.uk, bellinghamh@parliament.uk, hilary.benn.mp@parliament.uk, richard.benyon.mp@parliament.uk, bercowj@parliament.uk, annie.winsbury@parliament.uk, luciana.berger.mp@parliament.uk, jake.berry.mp@parliament.uk, officeofclivebettsmp@parliament.uk, mhairi.black.mp@parliament.uk, ian.blackford.mp@parliament.uk, bob.blackman.mp@parliament.uk, kirsty.blackman.mp@parliament.uk, woodsr@parliament.uk, paul.blomfield.mp@parliament.uk, crispinbluntmp@parliament.uk, nick.boles.mp@parliament.uk, bonep@parliament.uk, bottomleyp@parliament.uk, andrew.bowie.mp@parliament.uk, tracy.brabin.mp@parliament.uk, ben.bradley.mp@parliament.uk, karen.bradley.mp@parliament.uk, ben.bradshaw.mp@parliament.uk, altsale@parliament.uk, mickey.brady.mp@parliament.uk, , brennank@parliament.uk, jack.brereton.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.bridgen.mp@parliament.uk, steve.brine.mp@parliament.uk, deidre.brock.mp@parliament.uk, james.brokenshire.mp@parliament.uk, alan.brown.mp@parliament.uk, brownl@parliament.uk, nickbrownmp@parliament.uk, fiona.bruce.mp@parliament.uk, bryantc@parliament.uk, buckk@parliament.uk, robert.buckland.mp@parliament.uk, richard.burden.mp@parliament.uk, alex.burghart.mp@parliament.uk, richard.burgon.mp@parliament.uk, conor.burns.mp@parliament.uk, alistair.burt.mp@parliament.uk, dawn.butler.mp@parliament.uk, byrnel@parliament.uk, vince.cable.mp@parliament.uk, ruthcadburymp@parliament.uk, alun.cairns.mp@parliament.uk, lisa.cameron.mp@parliament.uk, alan.campbell.mp@parliament.uk, fieldingm@parliament.uk, ronnie.campbell.mp@parliament.uk, dan.carden.mp@parliament.uk, carmichaela@parliament.uk, james.cartlidge.mp@parliament.uk, mcconaloguej@parliament.uk, maria.caulfield.mp@parliament.uk, alex.chalk.mp@parliament.uk, sarah.champion.mp@parliament.uk, douglas.chapman.mp@parliament.uk, tobias.ellwood.mp@parliament.uk, chris.elmore.mp@parliament.uk, charlie.elphicke.mp@parliament.uk, bill.esterson.mp@parliament.uk, george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk, chris.evans.mp@parliament.uk, evansn@parliament.uk, david.evennett.mp@parliament.uk, michael.fabricant.mp@parliament.uk, michael.fallon.mp@parliament.uk, paul.farrelly.mp@parliament.uk, farront@parliament.uk, marion.fellows.mp@parliament.uk, suella.fernandes.mp@parliament.uk, fieldf@parliament.uk, fieldm@parliament.uk, jim.fitzpatrick.mp@parliament.uk, colleen.fletcher.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.flint.mp@parliament.uk, , vicky.ford.mp@parliament.uk, kevin.foster.mp@parliament.uk, yvonne.fovargue.mp@parliament.uk, ione.douglas@parliament.uk, vicky.foxcroft.mp@parliament.uk, mark.francois.mp@parliament.uk, lucy.frazer.mp@parliament.uk, george.freeman.mp@parliament.uk, mike.freer.mp@parliament.uk, james.frith.mp@parliament.uk, gill.furniss.mp@parliament.uk, marcus.fysh.mp@parliament.uk, hugh.gaffney.mp@parliament.uk, galerj@parliament.uk, mike.gapes.mp@parliament.uk, barry.gardiner.mp@parliament.uk, mark.garnier.mp@parliament.uk, gauked@parliament.uk, ruth.george.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.gethins.mp@parliament.uk, nusrat.ghani.mp@parliament.uk, gibbn@parliament.uk, patricia.gibson.mp@parliament.uk, michelle.gildernew.mp@parliament.uk, preet.gill.mp@parliament.uk, cheryl.gillan.mp@parliament.uk, paul.girvan.mp@parliament.uk, john.glen.mp@parliament.uk, mary.glindon.mp@parliament.uk, roger.godsiff.mp@parliament.uk, , goodmanh@parliament.uk, robert.goodwill.mp@parliament.uk, michael.gove.mp@parliament.uk, patrick.grady.mp@parliament.uk, luke.graham.mp@parliament.uk, richard.graham.mp@parliament.uk, bill.grant.mp@parliament.uk, helen.grant.mp@parliament.uk, peter.grant.mp@parliament.uk, jamesgraymp@parliament.uk, neil.gray.mp@parliament.uk, chris.grayling.mp@parliament.uk, chris.green.mp@parliament.uk, damian.green.mp@parliament.uk, kate.green.mp@parliament.uk, greeningj@parliament.uk, lilian.greenwood.mp@parliament.uk, margaret.greenwood.mp@parliament.uk, dominic.grieve.mp@parliament.uk, nia.griffith.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.griffiths.mp@parliament.uk, john.grogan.mp@parliament.uk, gwynnea@parliament.uk, , louise.haigh.mp@parliament.uk, kirstene.hair.mp@parliament.uk, , luke.hall.mp@parliament.uk, fabian.hamilton.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.kerr.mp@parliament.uk, afzal.khan.mp@parliament.uk, gerard.killen.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.kinnock.mp@parliament.uk, sothcottt@parliament.uk, julian.knight.mp@parliament.uk, kwasi.kwarteng.mp@parliament.uk, peter.kyle.mp@parliament.uk, eleanor.laing.mp@parliament.uk, lesley.laird.mp@parliament.uk, ben.lake.mp@parliament.uk, norman.lamb.mp@parliament.uk, lammyd@parliament.uk, john.lamont.mp@parliament.uk, officeofmarklancaster@parliament.uk, pauline.latham.mp@parliament.uk, ian.lavery.mp@parliament.uk, chris.law.mp@parliament.uk, andrea.leadsom.mp@parliament.uk, karen.lee.mp@parliament.uk, phillip.lee.mp@parliament.uk, jeremy.lefroy.mp@parliament.uk, edward.leigh.mp@parliament.uk, chris.leslie@parliament.uk, letwino@parliament.uk, emma.lewell-buck.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.lewer.mp@parliament.uk, toby.willmer@parliament.uk, clive.lewis.mp@parliament.uk, lewisi@parliament.uk, , ianlg@parliament.uk, david.lidington.mp@parliament.uk, david.linden.mp@parliament.uk, emma.littlepengelly.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.lloyd.mp@parliament.uk, tony.lloyd.mp@parliament.uk, rebecca.longbailey.mp@parliament.uk, julia.lopez.mp@parliament.uk, jack.lopresti.mp@parliament.uk, jonathan.lord.mp@parliament.uk, loughtont@parliament.uk, caroline.lucas.mp@parliament.uk, lucasi@parliament.uk, holly.lynch.mp@parliament.uk, mccabes@parliament.uk, elisha.mccallion.mp@parliament.uk, kerry.mccarthy.mp@parliament.uk, mcdonaghs@parliament.uk, andy.mcdonald.mp@parliament.uk, stewart.mcdonald.mp@parliament.uk, stuart.mcdonald.mp@parliament.uk, mcdonnellj@parliament.uk, barry.mcelduff.mp@parliament.uk, mcfaddenp@parliament.uk, conor.mcginn.mp@parliament.uk, alison.mcgovern.mp@parliament.uk, liz.mcinnes.mp@parliament.uk, craig.mackinlay.mp@parliament.uk, catherine.mckinnell.mp@parliament.uk, rachel.maclean.mp@parliament.uk, patrick.mcloughlin.mp@parliament.uk, jim.mcmahon.mp@parliament.uk, anna.mcmorrin.mp@parliament.uk, john.mcnally.mp@parliament.uk, macneila@parliament.uk, stephen.mcpartland.mp@parliament.uk, esther.mcvey.mp@parliament.uk, justin.madders.mp@parliament.uk, mahmoodk@parliament.uk, shabana.mahmood.mp@parliament.uk, maina@parliament.uk, alan.mak.mp@parliament.uk, seema.malhotra.mp@parliament.uk, kit.malthouse.mp@parliament.uk, mannj@parliament.uk, scott.mann.mp@parliament.uk, gordonmarsdenmp@parliament.uk, sandy.martin.mp@parliament.uk, rachael.maskell.mp@parliament.uk, paul.maskey.mp@parliament.uk, paul.masterton.mp@parliament.uk, chris.matheson.mp@parliament.uk, mayt@parliament.uk, paul.maynard.mp@parliament.uk, ian.mearns.mp@parliament.uk, mark.menzies.mp@parliament.uk, johnny.mercer.mp@parliament.uk, huw.merriman.mp@parliament.uk, robertsonl@parliament.uk, gavin.robinson.mp@parliament.uk, robinsong@parliament.uk, mary.robinson.mp@parliament.uk, matt.rodda.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.rosindell.mp@parliament.uk, douglas.ross.mp@parliament.uk, danielle.rowley.mp@parliament.uk, lee.rowley.mp@parliament.uk, chris.ruane.mp@parliament.uk, amber.rudd.mp@parliament.uk, lloyd.russellmoyle.mp@parliament.uk, david.rutley.mp@parliament.uk, joan.ryan.mp@parliament.uk, antoinette.sandbach.mp@parliament.uk, liz.savilleroberts.mp@parliament.uk, paul.scully.mp@parliament.uk, bob.seely.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.selous.mp@parliament.uk, naz.shah.mp@parliament.uk, jim.shannon.mp@parliament.uk, shappsg@parliament.uk, alok.sharma.mp@parliament.uk, sharmav@parliament.uk, sheermanb@parliament.uk, alec.shelbrooke.mp@parliament.uk, tommy.sheppard.mp@parliament.uk, paula.sherriff.mp@parliament.uk, gavin.shuker.mp@parliament.uk, tulip.siddiq.mp@parliament.uk, simpsond@parliament.uk, keithsimpsonmp@parliament.uk, chris.skidmore.mp@parliament.uk, skinnerd@parliament.uk, andy.slaughter.mp@parliament.uk, ruth.smeeth.mp@parliament.uk, officeofangelasmithmp@parliament.uk, cat.smith.mp@parliament.uk, , eleanor.smith.mp@parliament.uk, henry.smith.mp@parliament.uk, jeff.smith.mp@parliament.uk, julian.smith.mp@parliament.uk, laura.smith.mp@parliament.uk, nick.smith.mp@parliament.uk, owen.smith.mp@parliament.uk, royston.smith.mp@parliament.uk, karin.smyth.mp@parliament.uk, gareth.snell.mp@parliament.uk, nicholas.soames.mp@parliament.uk, alex.sobel.mp@parliament.uk, anna.soubry.mp@parliament.uk, john.spellar.mp@parliament.uk, , mark.spencer.mp@parliament.uk, keir.starmer.mp@parliament.uk, chris.stephens.mp@parliament.uk, andrew.stephenson.mp@parliament.uk, jo.stevens.mp@parliament.uk, john.stevenson.mp@parliament.uk, bob.stewart.mp@parliament.uk, iain.stewart.mp@parliament.uk, rory.stewart.mp@parliament.uk, jamie.stone.mp@parliament.uk, deans@parliament.uk, wes.streeting.mp@parliament.uk, mel.stride.mp@parliament.uk, graham.stringer.mp@parliament.uk, graham.stuart.mp@parliament.uk, julian.sturdy.mp@parliament.uk, rishi.sunak.mp@parliament.uk, swayned@parliament.uk, paul.sweeney.mp@parliament.uk, jo.swinson.mp@parliament.uk, hugo.swire.mp@parliament.uk, symsr@parliament.uk, tamim@parliament.uk, alison.thewliss.mp@parliament.uk, derek.thomas.mp@parliament.uk, gareth.thomas.mp@parliament.uk, nick.thomassymonds.mp@parliament.uk, ross.thomson.mp@parliament.uk, emily.thornberry.mp@parliament.uk, maggie.throup.mp@parliament.uk, timmss@parliament.uk, kelly.tolhurst.mp@parliament.uk, justin.tomlinson.mp@parliament.uk, michael.tomlinson.mp@parliament.uk, craig.tracey.mp@parliament.uk, tredinnickd@parliament.uk, annemarie.trevelyan.mp@parliament.uk, trickettj@parliament.uk, elizabeth.truss.mp@parliament.uk, tom.tuggendhat.mp@parliament.uk, anna.turley.mp@parliament.uk,

karl.turner.mp@parliament.uk, derek.twigg.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.twigg.mp@parliament.uk, liz.twist.mp@parliament.uk, chukka.umunna.mp@parliament.uk, vaizeye@parliament.uk,

vazk@parliament.uk, shailesh.vara.mp@parliament.uk, valerie.vaz.mp@parliament.uk, martin.vickers.mp@parliament.uk, theresa@theresavilliers.co.uk, broxbourne@tory.org, robin.walker.mp@parliament.uk, thelma.walker.mp@parliament.uk, wallaceb@parliament.uk, david.warburton.mp@parliament.uk, matt.warman.mp@parliament.uk, giles.watling.mp@parliament.uk, tom.watson.mp@parliament.uk, catherine.west.mp@parliament.uk, matt.western.mp@parliament.uk, helen.whately.mp@parliament.uk, heather.wheeler.mp@parliament.uk, whiteheada@parliament.uk, martin.whitfield.mp@parliament.uk, philippa.whitford.mp@parliament.uk, craig.whittaker.mp@parliament.uk, john.whittingdale.mp@parliament.uk, bill.wiggin.mp@parliament.uk, hywel.williams.mp@parliament.uk, paul.williams.mp@parliament.uk, chris.williamson.mp@parliament.uk, gavin.williamson.mp@parliament.uk, phil.wilson.mp@parliament.uk, barronj@parliament.uk, rosie.winterton.mp@parliament.uk, wishartp@parliament.uk, sarah.wollaston.mp@parliament.uk, mikej.wood.mp@parliament.uk, john.woodcock.mp@parliament.uk, william@williamwragg.org.uk, jeremy@jeremywright.org.uk, mohammad.yasin.mp@parliament.uk, nadhim.zahawi.mp@parliament.uk, daniel@danielzeichner.co.uk,




 Posted by at 20:50
Feb 252018

for anyone who can’t get to a protest please email your MP fromThursday March 1st onwards. A template letter is below. Even if you can get to a protest you may also want to email your MP.


Dear MP name,

Universal Credit is the punishing regime due to be more widely imposed on people with low incomes both those in and out of work.

UC has too many flaws to be simply paused and fixed – it must be stopped and scrapped.

Universal Credit is an economic and political disaster bringing further distress and impoverishment to those forced to endure it.  To date at least £15.8 billion has been wasted on its implementation although only £1 billion is likely to be saved by 2020.

Seven million households will be affected, including over one million low paid part-time workers. For the first time ever people in work could face being sanctioned (having their benefits stopped) if they don’t prove to the job centre that they’re searching for better paid work or more hours. Pensioner couples will also be affected if one of them is under pension age.

No civilized Government should impose this on its citizens and no opposition party should want to simply pause and fix it.

Areas already subjected to UC have reported serious hardship with visits to food banks soaring along with rates of people sanctioned and left without any income for 3 months or more.

Just some of the many problems with UC are listed below.

General Problems

  • UC is based entirely on conditionality for those both in and out of work. Failure to meet these conditions can lead to the imposition of cumulative sanctions which could last 3 years.
  • Everyone will have to accept the Claimant Commitment and log in daily to Universal Job match account and complete your to do list and journal. There is harsh conditionality within Universal Credit such as 35 hour per week job searches.
  • Even with the changes brought in at the end of last year claimants face a 5 week wait which in many cases seems to be 3 months or longer for their first payment.
  • Loss of Mortgage interest payments which will now mean people have to take out a second loan if they are buying a home.
  • Hardship Loans are repayable meaning the full amount of money someone is entitled to isn’t paid for months as 40% of their entitlement can be taken away to repay a loan.
  • With UC, housing benefit isn’t paid straight to the landlord but to the claimant who may be in need of money to use in an emergency. In pilot areas this has resulted in up to 60% of claimants going into rent arrears.
  • Letting agents are already refusing to rent to anyone claiming UC.


For Disabled People

  • UC is claimed and managed entirely digitally which is difficult or impossible for many disabled people. Any mistakes on the form will likely lead to loss of benefit or a claim being disallowed.
  • Health and Work conversations are mandatory and any failure to attend will lead to your claim being closed.
  • People in part time work could be forced to give up work that suits their Disability or family life in order to take up worse paid full time work or risk sanctions,.
  • UC brings in the loss of Severe and Enhanced Disability Premiums which mean single disabled people lose around £2,000 per annum and a disabled couple over £4,000 per annum.

Coercion of Mental Health claimants.

  • As part of the Health and Work Programme we are seeing the use of the DWP nudge unit and psycho compulsion. This effectively means the introduction of forced treatment through the use of IAPT therapists based in job centres. If claimants don’t take the treatment prescribed they face being sanctioned.

Loss of Womens’ Rights

  • Changes to benefit payments will make women financially dependent on men trapping many in endless domestic violence.
  • The appalling Tax Credit ‘rape clause’ means that women can only get Child Tax Credit payments for their first two children unless they can prove they were raped. This involves filling out a detailed 45 page form about being raped..

For those in work, self-employed or on zero hours contracts

  • Even those in work will be expected to look for more hours up to 48 hours a week so you are not reliant on state support or face Sanctions for failing to comply. Warning- if your earnings exceed qualifying levels in a month they can close your claim and your online history will be erased when they close your claim down without warning. Make copies of all your actions to copy into your Journal or To Do List so you have evidenced back up files. To get this reinstated can take 8 months without money.
  • Going on Holiday? Think Again- If you fail to do your job match account even over Christmas and other bank holidays you will have your money stopped and you must always be available for interviews.
  • For every £1 earned Universal Credit takes away 63p meaning people are working for 37p for every pound earned per hour.
  • Self employed people will have to submit their monthly, instead of annual, income before any UC payment, including for housing costs, will be made for that month causing untold chaos and hardship. If they earn too much in any month their claim will be closed and they’ll have to start all over again.

As your constituent I am asking you to support scrapping Universal Credit.


Yours sincerely,



 Posted by at 20:44
Feb 212018

Our very committed steering group member Ellen Clifford stayed up until 1am to speak to canadian radio about our concerns on UBI. Also speaking about concerns about UBI was John Clarke from Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. You can hear the discussion here

Democracy North: Are Basic Income Programs Too Good to be True?

A much more detailed and authoratitive study will be published shortly but as others support the concept we wanted to flag up just some of the reasons we’d suggest great caution is needed in relation to a Universal Basic Income.

Concerns with UBI

  • The UK has in place a complex and targeted social security system. UBI trials in countries without the same levels of support infrastructure produce positive results, for example the pilots in Madhya Pradesh showed significant benefits for disabled people such as being able to afford food and medical assistance, as well as providing independent income for disabled people so they are not entirely reliant on families and enabling autonomy. Introducing a UBI in the UK would require that all or some of our present benefits and support systems are replaced which would be a far more complex undertaking. The distribution of gains and losses would depend upon the detail of the UBI scheme.
  • The cost of UBI in the UK at Guaranteed Minimum Income levels would significantly exceed current spending on cash benefits and tax-free allowances. A budget-neutral UBI would therefore require either a UBI below GMI levels, or additional tax increases.
  • Full UBI schemes that are in any way financially feasible result in big losses for disabled people. As a result, supporters of UBI such as the Citizen’s Income Trust now recommend a partial UBI where disability benefits (and housing) are retained as a separate parallel system. In Annie Miller’s 297 page Basic Income Handbook she includes just one page on “The needs of disabled people” (of which half a page is about carers) where she says “Disability benefits are based on need and are therefore a different system from BIs… Both housing and disability benefits are very much in need of revision but are beyond the scope of this book. The interaction between BI and support for these costs (and between them) would need to be considered in developing policy in each area.”
  • Supporters of a partial scheme where disability benefits are retained assure us that no disabled person will be worse off under UBI. We were told the same thing about Universal Credit and that has proved not to be true. The social security system is extremely complex and without detailed modelling setting out exactly how UBI would sit alongside a system of disability benefits sufficient to meet need it is difficult to be confident that it could work in this way without losses. A briefing to Nicola Sturgeon states: “Significant modelling effort would be required to establish levels which did not impact negatively on vulnerable groups.” One key benefit that UBI would most likely replace is ESA yet the rate of ESA for those in the support group is significantly higher than what is considered a feasible UBI level. This brings the prospect of “rough justice” for those who face the most disadvantages. The University of Bath paper presents an idea for a UBI with additional disability and severe disability premiums which when micro-simulated produces strong reductions in inequality and poverty but would be very expensive and require significant increases in income tax. The report authors conclude: “The unavoidable reality is that such schemes either have unacceptable distributional consequences or they simply cost too much.” DPAC members have concerns that the process for proving eligibility for disability premiums could be as problematic as the current system for applying for existing benefits.
  • Not only would running a UBI in parallel to disability benefit systems be complex, there is also the potential danger of increased stigma against those for whom the UBI is insufficient to meet their needs and less public will to fund them.
  • The disability benefits system is not fit for purpose. While proponents of partial UBI schemes propose retaining current disability benefits, disabled people are calling for an urgent overhaul. We are concerned about how the long and complex task of introducing a UBI would impact on the considerable task of reforming social security for disabled people. Attempting to manage both at the same time risks mistakes and as we have seen under welfare reform, where admittedly the many ‘mistakes’ are the result of deliberate ideological policy, mistakes cost lives.
  • Alongside an adequate standard of income, disabled people require other support services in order to enjoy full and equal participation in society. The current crisis in social care is one example of the urgency of the question of how to fund these. If independent living support remains under the administration of local authorities, then in order to end the situation whereby disabled people’s rights are being breached on a daily basis by lack of provision, one obvious solution would be to remove the cap and increase council tax. Increasing council tax alongside an increase in income tax to afford UBI could by very unpopular. Disabled people are calling for independent living support (i.e., social care) to be removed from local authorities and instead administered by a national independent living support system to be paid for out of general taxation. We are concerned that the introduction of UBI funded by increases in income tax will reduce the amount available to fund an independent living support system capable of meeting disabled people’s needs. While many disabled people would be in favour of tax rises to fund welfare provision – particularly corporation tax and a progressive rise in the higher rate of income tax – the use of this for a UBI rather than more traditional forms of disability and unemployment support would mean much of the benefit flowing back to employers rather than those in most need. In functioning as a wage subsidy UBI would act to significantly reduce employers NI contributions. It would be hard to make a case that this is a more progressive solution than simply reversing much of the damage that the Tories have done to current systems.
  • There is also a more general concern about pressures on public spending and negative impacts on social programmes as a result of introducing a UBI. In Hirsch’s paper for the JRF he warns about the need to take account of the fact that income tax is used for public expenditure other than income transfers and the dangers of underestimating the rate of income tax increase required without making cuts in public services.
  • The distributional impacts of a UBI mean that there are winners and there are losers– whereas under the current system the biggest losers tend to be those who face the biggest barriers, eg disabled people and the poorest members of society, some UBI models will benefit low income deciles while increasing inequality for the poorest. This is at odds with what the public generally understand as the aims of a social security system. It also has the potential to divide against each other groups of people who are currently united in our opposition to the rich elite who we see as responsible for growing inequality and poverty.
  • UBI provides a useful contribution to the debate on the future of social security where it adds support and evidence for the need to end conditionality and the impacts of inadequate income and punitive approaches in moving people further from the labour market. However DPAC’s view is that this is the extent of its usefulness.
  • UBI in the wrong hands could be extremely dangerous. Libertarians want to use it to sweep away the welfare state including the NHS while neoliberal governments see it as a way of forcing unemployed workers into insecure low paid jobs. The version of UBI being trialled by Finland’s right-wing government has been described as a “UBI-as-workhouse nightmare”[1]. Ontario Coalition Against Poverty issued a statement supported by Canada’s largest public services trade union saying “The emerging model of basic income reflected in pilot projects and initiatives in a number of countries and jurisdictions is one that would intensify the neoliberal agenda”[2]. John Clarke from OCAP has written ““The neoliberal attack is taking up Basic Income as a weapon. We need to fight it instead of laying down a welcome mat.”
  • UBI compensates for while leaving unchallenged the structures that cause inequality. This is no doubt why Silicon Valley is so much in favour of UBI as a way to tackle the problem of job losses through automation, because it ignores the question of the ownership of the technology. Instead, UBI accepts the status quo. By subsidising low wages there is a danger that UBI could encourage employers to further drive down wages and job security. This is a concern to disabled people who are statistically much more likely to be in low paid work than non-disabled people. A large proportion of politicised disabled people know that capitalism has no reason to accommodate us, in fact the very opposite, and that full disability equality cannot be achieved under the current system. Instead we need a socialist society operating on the principle of from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs.
  • The emancipatory impacts of UBI can only be realised by a level of payment sufficiently high to free us from wage labour. If the conditions were such that we could introduce that, it can be argued that we would then be in a situation where we had arrived at socialism and didn’t need UBI. Introducing a below poverty-line UBI will do little to improve the material circumstances of those who are most in need but would require a big upheaval – bearing in mind that millions are already suffering following the enormous shake up of the social security system introduced since 2010 – while creating a new pattern of winners and losers.
  • Britain is home to the biggest socialist movement in Europe where demands for a living wage, for health and social care support services free at the point of need and a social security system that provides an adequate standard of living free from conditionality are all popular. These are what we need to fight for.




[1] https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/01/ubi-finland-centre-party-unemployment-jobs

[2] https://ocaptoronto.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/the-neoliberal-danger-of-basic-income/

 Posted by at 20:18
Feb 132018

If you’re planning a local action around March 1st please let us know.

UC Day of Action local protests

Brighton– March 1st Clock Tower, Brighton, 10.30 am – 1pm information handout.

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/327263861014031/


Bristol – March 1st at Broadmead Shopping Centre 12 – 2 pm all meeting up in the middle. Please wear black if possible.

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1575085919265099/


Ceredigion – March 3rd 11am – 1pm Guildhall, Cardigan, SA43 1JL


Chester- March 1st 12-2pm Job Centre Plus, City Road, Chester, CH1 3AQ

Facebook event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/177236042877566/

Derbyshire –  Online Event: 1-2pm

Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1570832732972130/


Dundee-  March 1st 12-2 pm Job Centre Plus, Wellgate, DD1 2DB


Thurs 1st March  1pm (till approx 2.30pm)
Leith Jobcentre, 199 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6JF

Edinburgh action called by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty – grass-roots anti-austerity and disability rights groups invited to participate with their banners and stalls.



Falmouth – March 1st 8-11am at Penryn Jobcentre, Penmarin House, Commercial Rd, Penryn TR10 8SB


Leamington Spa Job Centre 58 Brandon Parade, CV32 meet noon

London (central action) –  11 am until 2pm.  House of Parliament, Westminster. Meet for 11 am outside visitor’s entrance to House of Commons

Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/323792051472634/

London, Kentish Town – 1-2pm outside Kentish Town Job Centre



Manchester- March 1st at 13:00–15:00

Norwich – Norwich City Hall 12.30 – 2pm

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/217086858848908/


Sheffield–  12 noon until 1 pm.  Sheffield City Hall, Bakers Pool, Sheffield, S1 2JA.

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1756747394635182/


York – March 1st 10am -12pm Monkgate, York


More info

 Posted by at 16:26
Feb 122018


Work and Pensions Committee

14 Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NB

Tel 020 7219 5831 Email


Website www.parliament.uk/workpencom


From the Chair


9 February 2018


Rt Hon Esther McVey

Secretary of State

Department for Work and Pensions


PIP appeal data

During our inquiry on PIP and ESA assessments, your Department kindly provided to us

estimated unit costs of MRs and Appeals. This indicated that different costs are attached to

PIP appeals depending on whether they relate to new or reassessed claims.

Seeking to understand the financial implications of appeals for the Department, Committee

staff inquired on 30 January:

Of the 170,000 PIP appeals since 2013, how many were for new claims and how

many were reassessments?

We were duly informed:

The information on the number of PIP appeals is from HMCTS published statistics

and this information is not available from HMCTS for new claims and reassessments

We were therefore unable to estimate the full cost of appeals to your Department, although

the Ministry of Justice informed us that in 2016/17 its appeals expenditure was £103 million.

(Cost of Social Security and Child Support appeals, of which the majority relate to PIP/ESA.)


It was with some surprise, therefore, that we today received data released in response to an

FOI request. This provided estimated costs per month spent on PIP appeals broken down

by new and reassessed claims.


You will be aware that we are shortly due to publish our report. That this data was provided

in response to an FOI request, but not for our Report, is doubly regrettable since the key

theme of our report is the need to introduce much greater trust and transparency into the PIP

and ESA systems.


Might you please explain how this occurred?


Best wishes,

Rt Hon Frank Field MP



 Posted by at 20:24
Feb 052018


No one will lose what they’ve already been awarded.

No one will have to have a face to face assessment – the 1.6 million claims being reviewed.

Your money if you’re entitled to more following the court case and new rules will be backdated if you would qualify under the new rules.

full details in Hansard link



 Posted by at 21:34
Feb 012018
Mike works for the Chronicle, Newcastle, and is looking for someone who has suffered through PIP assessments. he needs a case study from the North East – Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, County Durham – who is prepared to be photographed and named in the story.

If you are willing to help with this please email him mike.kelly@ncjmedia.co.uk or his direct line is 0191 201 6406

 Posted by at 13:15
Jan 232018
 Posted by at 14:15
Jan 192018

At quarter to four this afternoon the Government sent PLP a letter confirming that they will not be appealing RF’s win at the High Court. This means that as of tomorrow – Regulation 2(4) from the 2017 Regulations is quashed and the original 2012 Regulation on planning and following a journey stands. The MH judgement also still stands (see further below), so those with psychological distress can be considered for all descriptors in planning and following journeys (Activity 11).

The Government have announced that they will now go through all affected cases and work out where backpayments/increases are due (see link from Hansard and excerpt below) http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-01-19/HCWS414/

The key difficulty May be that they have said during litigation that they don’t have records of who is affected, so how they will begin that process is unknown. Mind estimate around 160,000 people will be affected.

If you might have been affected by this illegal change sneaked in last March then please get in touch with DWP and/or your MP to ask for your money to be reinstated and backdated.

The decision not to appeal was apparently made by lovely Esther who said “I hope that by making this statement it is clear that the Government is committed to improving the lives of people with a Mental Health condition.”

I am sure all of you who have a MH condition will be very pleased to know this although you might also be rolling around laughing at her empty words.

 Posted by at 17:07
Jan 132018

Whatever happened to free speech and freedom of opinion? It seems that this is something Tory MPs don’t believe in especially when it is a disabled person exercising those rights.

Mick Hardy, a veteran disability rights campaigner from Norfolk, is being taken to court for shouting at Chloe Smith MP at the Norwich Pride Parade 2017 where she gave a speech. What exactly could Mick have said that would lead him to be charged with allegedly inciting public disorder and threatening behaviour ? What could he possibly have shouted at the Tory scumbag that would lead her to take him to court?

You might have guessed but if not Mick shouted “Chloe Smith you’re a fucking little Nazi.” Surely for any MP being heckled like this is just part of the job- and for a Tory MP being called a Nazi must be par for the course. And of course Chloe Smith is little about the same height as me so it can’t be that word she took offence at.

Mick is not online. Mick has both physical and mental health conditions. Chloe Smith knows who Mick is because he stood against her as the Disabled And Not Dead Yet Party candidate at the 2015 general election.

Mick says ‘this is a very stressful time and he wants to thank everyone from the bottom of his heart for all their support. He refuses to be intimidated because he is only highlighting what is happening to those most vulnerable to Tory cuts in society! Solidarity.’

120,000 people have died because of ‘economic murder’ inflicted by Chloe Smith and her party as reported in The British Medical Journal. If we leave the system unchanged until 2020 then 200,000 people will have died because of Tory policies. Mick says “When are we allowed to mention the Nazis? How do we make them stop if we don’t protest?”

The treatment of disabled people under this government has been described as a ‘Human Catastrophe’ by the United Nations.

If people living nearby want to come to court to support Mick come at 9am on the 9th February to Norwich courts. BBC will be there.
It gave Mick a great lift to know people are talking about his case and offering support.

Depending on the outcome of this totally vacuous case we may need to help crowdfund for Mick’s court costs all because he exercised his right to free speech.

Mind and DPAC protest at the Transforming Mental Health Contract

Solidarity Mick from all at DPAC.



 Posted by at 13:49
Dec 192017

The outcome of the PIP legal challenge against the changes to who qualifies for Mobility component which will affect people with a MH condition is due to be handed down this week – either tomorrow or Thursday and there are a number of press people interested in reporting on it. However they want to speak to someone who will also be affected therefore I wondered whether any of you feel able to speak to them if needed about your own situation.


If you would be willing to please could you email us at mail@dpac.uk.net with your contact phone number.

 Posted by at 16:37
Dec 112017

This guide has been produced by Winvisible with support from others. If your GP or support worker etc don’t know what to do this information should be passed onto them.

Benefit assessments – exemption to protect ‘vulnerable’ patients
There is a great deal of evidence about the profound distress which face-to-face assessments for disability benefits can cause, especially for women and men with mental health conditions. The prospect of interview can induce overwhelming anxiety, panic and dissociative states, levels of stress and distress that can precipitate serious relapses, leading to psychiatric admissions and even suicides. Consultant psychiatrist Dr Jed Boardman said: “You see people relapsing as a consequence of getting distressed about being assessed.” (Fit-for-work tests linked to relapses in those with mental health problems Guardian 24 November 2015.)
Therefore it is vital that professionals know about the benefit system regulations on exemption from the face-to-face interview and for assessment on paper evidence.
They can quote these to protect vulnerable patients from harmful distress and deterioration, and/or enable them to stay out of hospital. Professionals who can state their opinion include: GP, care co-ordinator, psychologist, psychiatrist, key worker, support worker, therapist, counsellor, Independent Domestic Violence Advocate… Opinions from non-medical staff are relevant to describe people’s problems functioning.
It is important to recommend exemption from the face-to-face interview very clearly. Don’t recommend a home visit: this can be worse than an assessment centre interview, as for women rape survivors or others, their home is their safe space which would be violated by an official visit. You may be rung by the assessor as a follow-up, so make sure you are up-to-date with your patient’s situation.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) are different benefits with different reasons for exemption:
 ESA is an out-of-work benefit based on limited capability for work where complete exemption from back-to-work conditions is possible. In places where ESA is replaced by Universal Credit (UC), this exemption is in UC regulations 2013 Schedule 8 and also applies to the compulsory “Health and Work Conversation”. Widespread opposition to the brutal UC regime has delayed national rollout.
 PIP is widely claimed by both unwaged and waged people for daily living/care and mobility needs, and is not part of UC.
Companies hold DWP contracts to open mail, scan and distribute it and to carry out assessments, but confidentiality is used to exclude evidence. If a support letter marked “Confidential” goes to the assessor company, the DWP says under confidentiality, it won’t then be disclosed to a DWP Case Manager (PIP Assessment Guide Part One, 1.4.13). As proper consideration often depends on DWP review, don’t mark your report confidential.
Under “Exceptional Circumstances”, you can say that there would be substantial risk to the patient’s health if they were put under work conditions for benefit, so they should be exempted from these and the exam. This regulation means the person is already accepted as satisfying the test for ESA (limited capability for work) so doesn’t have to be seen. Substantial risk to health can be mental health, or physical health e.g. risk of heart
attack from stress. Risk to mental health covers not only suicide risk, but also sudden deterioration in mental state: PTSD flashbacks, panic attacks, hearing voices, or similar.
Substantial risk regulations: https://wcainfo.net/issues/substantial-risk-lcw 1. A claimant who does not have limited capability for work as determined in accordance with the limited capability for work assessment is to be treated as having limited capability for work if paragraph (2) applies to the claimant. 2. Subject to paragraph (3) this paragraph applies if … (b) the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and, by reasons of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work. 3. Paragraph (2)(b) does not apply where the risk could be reduced by a significant amount by – (a) reasonable adjustments being made in the claimant’s workplace; or (b) the claimant taking medication to manage the claimant’s condition where such medication has been prescribed for the claimant by a registered medical practitioner treating the claimant.
Regulation 25 (2013) (4)
(4) In this regulation ―medical evidence‖ means—
(a) evidence from a health care professional approved by the Secretary of State; and
(b) evidence (if any) from any health care professional or a hospital or similar institution, or such part of such evidence as constitutes the most reliable evidence available in the circumstances.
PIP DWP guidance states that assessors should determine if they can assess the claim from the paper evidence they already have, or if they should get further evidence from professionals, before proceeding to arrange a face-to-face exam — they call it consultation. (PIP Assessment Guide, Part One – The Assessment Process, 1.2.2/1.3.6, 2 November 2017) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/655611/pip-assessment-guide-part-1-assessment-process.pdf The assessor can make a decision from paper evidence where “there is strong evidence on which to advise on the case and a face-to-face consultation is likely to be stressful for the claimant…” (1.5.4) Assessors “should also consider the needs of vulnerable claimants”, that is “someone who has difficulty dealing with procedural demands” including “a previous suicide attempt, domestic violence, abuse or bereavement.” (1.3.11)
1.5.4 “Cases that should not require a face-to-face consultation” ―Although each case should be determined individually, the following types of case should not normally require a face-to-face consultation: […] • There is strong evidence on which to advise on the case and a face-to-face consultation is likely to be stressful for the claimant (for example, claimants with autism, cognitive impairment or learning disability) • The claimant questionnaire indicates a high level of disability, the information is consistent, medically reasonable and there is nothing to suggest over-reporting – (examples may include claimants with severe neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, severely disabling stroke) • There is sufficient detailed, consistent and medically reasonable information on function.
The medical evidence sent on paper has to be “robust” to enable the test for benefit to be met, and should include comments about how functioning is affected. WinVisible won exemption from the PIP exam for a rape survivor who felt suicidal and was at risk of flashbacks, based on “consultation may be stressful to the claimant”. The assessor rang the woman’s GP for his opinion after his letter was sent in. She was granted full rates for both daily living and mobility.
Where should support letters be directed?
Assessments are carried out by multinational company Maximus (under the name Health Assessment Advisory Service) on behalf of the DWP.
• If your patient is filling in the ESA50 form, attach your support letter to the form and make sure it is listed on the form.
• If your patient can’t cope with the form, or if an interview date has already been sent out, fax it headed FME (Further Medical Evidence) to HAAS London central fax: 0208 795 8647. This is the procedure recommended by HAAS call centre staff. It should have the claimant’s name and NI No. at the top of each numbered page.
• If your patient has an appointment date and HAAS are refusing to postpone this, or are still requiring her to attend despite your request for exemption, email the same correspondence with a cover note raising your complaint to the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (Maximus head office). Ask them to put the appointment on hold pending the decision on exemption: email: customer-relations@chdauk.co.uk They usually reply within two days. Always cc the MP and ask them to follow it up on behalf of the claimant.
Assessments are carried out by Atos (or in some geographical areas by Capita). To send in your medical evidence requesting exemption, you can:
 Email Atos pip-customerservice@atos.net
 Write to the DWP’s Disability and Carers Service, address is on the patient’s PIP letter. And/or email them at blackpoolbc.customercomplaints@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
 If you are not sure where to send it, call the PIP helpline on 03458 503 322.
Getting support from MPs’ caseworkers
Ask if your patient is ready to contact their MP and ask for support for their exemption and paper-based assessment. Google “Find my MP” or search the Parliament website, choosing the constituency contacts. MPs’ caseworkers have direct lines to benefit officials and can often quickly resolve distressing situations. Involving the MP gets your concerns taken more seriously. Assessor companies have staff specifically for MPs’ enquiries. Ms A wrote to us: “I just wanted to let you know, it is with a happy heart I read the opened letter from the DWP this afternoon with my PIP results. I am most grateful for the advice that it is OK to ask my psychiatrist specifically for a paper based assessment. I know not everyone is like this and that particularly with the disabled people’s movement, a lot of work and effort goes into asserting good self-image. In mental health, addictions, abuse/domestic violence situations, I think there is something very unseen and unaddressed going on that makes women like me and others, more likely to be unable to meet the demands of the benefits system. More likely to fall between the cracks.”
Compiled by WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities)
with warm thanks to: Diane Frazer, psychotherapist; Dr Jay Watts, clinical psychologist;
Marcin Brajta, Hackney Community Law Centre
Contact WinVisible:
Crossroads Women’s Centre
25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX
Email win@winvisible.org
Web www.winvisible.org
Tel: 020 7482 2496

 Posted by at 18:50
Nov 172017





Support the Budget Day Sack the Tories protests arranged by the People’s Assembly. Meet Downing Street, November 21st from 6pm- 7.30 pm.


Stop the Universal Credit Crisis – Stop Tax Avoidance – Fund Our NHS
Day of action the night before the Budget

November 21st 6pm – 7:30pm, Opposite Downing Street, Whitehall, London

**Universal Credit
The Government’s plans to overhaul the welfare system by forcing people onto Universal Credit have been widely criticised by MPs, charities, and campaigners all warning that this is likely to cause a rise in homelessness, poverty, and unnecessary debt. It will leave thousands without an income for weeks as they wait to be transferred, many will be left thousands of pounds worse off, and there is reduced support for claimants. The Trussell Trust have said that they expect a 30% increase in foodbank use this winter in areas where Universal Credit is rolled out. Child Poverty Action Group have found that Government welfare reform will push 1 million children below the poverty line.

Disabled People face losing £40.10 per week with the scrapping of Disability Premiums from Universal Credit.

Vicious Conditionality which could force people to seek extra work for up to 48 hours per week will affect everyone regardless of whether they are in or out of work, disabled or non-disabled.

The cost of moving to Universal Credit was originally estimated at £2.2bn, however it is now at a staggering £15.8bn and still rising.

**Paradise Papers
Revelations in the Paradise Papers show how companies, politicians and individuals are avoiding paying billions of pounds in tax using offshore tax havens rather than paying their fair share here. Theresa May said she would clamp down on tax avoidance but loopholes are still in operation.

More people than ever are having to rely on foodbanks to feed their families, our NHS is in a funding crisis, public sector workers are still facing a pay cap below inflation, millions can’t access affordable housing while the richest individuals and biggest companies take money that should be spent on dealing with these problems and squirrel it away for themselves. The Government is doing nothing to stop it.

Last winter our NHS was driven into the worst crisis in it’s history. We witnessed patients dying in hospital corridors, staff stretched to breaking point and the Red Cross declaring a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in our NHS. This winter looks set to be worse. Head of NHS England Simon Stephens warned the Government last week that unless billions of pounds is found in the budget for the NHS it won’t be able to cope.

The People’s Assembly is calling a nationwide day of action the night before the Chancellors Budget is announced. We’re organising ‘Stop the Universal Credit Crisis – Stop Tax Avoidance’ protests in towns and cities across the country. As part of the protests we’re collecting food which will be donated to local foodbanks so their shelves are stocked to deal with the fallout from Universal Credit and the continuation of austerity policies in the budget.

We want to urge the Government to use the Budget to scrap their plans for Universal Credit, to close tax loopholes and force the tax avoiders to pay their fair share, to end the public sector pay cap with an increase above inflation, and to make sure our public services are properly funded.

We will also be using the thousands of pounds that was raised through sales of Captain Ska’s track ‘Liar Liar’ to buy tonnes of food and deliver it to foodbanks across the country. But before it’s delivered, we’ll be displaying all of it right on the doorstep of Downing Street to show Theresa May and Phillip Hammond the effect their damaging policies are having on ordinary people – this will take place as part of the London wide protest on Tuesday 21 November. Join us at Downing Street or at one of the many protests that will be taking place across the country and don’t forget to bring along food for the foodbank collection.

Local Events

Local Events

JOIN AN EVENT NEAR YOU (more to be confirmed):



6:00pm – 7:30pm, Tuesday 21 November, Downing Street, London




6:30pm, Tuesday 21 November, GMEX Steps, Windmill Street M2 3GX




12pm – 2pm, Tuesday 21 November, ASDA – Southampton Central, Western Esplanade, SO14 7EG


4:30 PM – 6 PM, Tuesday 21 November, Outside Hull Paragon Station, Kingston Upon Hull



Public Meeting and Collection:

7pm, Tuesday 21 November,Crown and Anchor, 15-16 Marine Parade, BN21 3DX




4:00pm – 8:00pm, Tuesday 21 November, Wharf Green Swindon Town Centre SN15 3




6:30pm, Tuesday 21 November, St George’s Square, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8




5:30pm, Tuesday 21 November, Outside Lloyd’s Bank, Wellington Place, Hastings, TN34 1NX



4:00pm, Tuesday 21 November, Queens Square, Liverpool


Milton Keynes

5:00pm, outside Civic offices, Central Milton Keynes




Fenland Peoples Assembly



12:00pm, Saturday 2 December, Old Market Square, Nottingham, MK18 3




Wednesday 22nd November 5.15pm outside… 6pm inside

Demonstration & Lobby re NHS cuts & STP

Derby City Council House, Corporation Street, Derby, DE1 2FS.




North East

4:45pm – 5:45pm, Tuesday 21 November, Haymarket Metro Station, Haymarket, NE1 7PF




5:30pm, Tuesday 21 November, Sheffield Cathedral




5:00pm, Wednesday 22 November, Waterstones Birmingham




6:00pm, Tuesday 21 November, Water Fountains, Bristol City Centre






 Posted by at 17:47
Nov 142017

one of our members has written to Christian and if anyone else woudl liek to his email address is christian@horleyconservatives.com

 Posted by at 16:58
Oct 062017

David Gauke the latest in a long line of ministers of state for DWP this week refused to halt the roll out of Universal Credit despite warnings from many credible sources including his own backbenchers that it was a disaster in waiting.

As the roll out of Universal Credit proceeds more and more disabled people are likely to find that they miss out on any transitional protections and in the worst case scenario that their claim is treated as a new one they face the loss of £78.35 a week from their social security payments.

This is because in Universal credit there are no Severe Disability Premiums or Enhanced Disability Premium paid. They simply vanish into thin air.

Research has shown that the additional cost of being disabled is £550 per month extra but the nasty party are stripping claimants of most of the money they need to meet those additional costs.

We’re planning something for International Day of Disabled People with more details about this to follow but in the meantime we’re asking people to contact their MPs and ask them to justify taking £78.35 pw away from those who have the highest support needs/ are most severely disabled.

Maybe they’ll say how they manage to sleep at nights.

Please then send us a copy of your letter and their response to you. mail@dpac.uk.net

You can find your MP’s contact details at https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

This recent case might be helpful to  people to challenge any cuts







 Posted by at 18:41
Oct 032017

The Mirror are calling for people to share their experiences of Universal Credit. The government intends to increase the amount of job centres administering the benefit despite the numerous problems; an inbuilt delay of 42 days for the first payment, rising rent arrears and soaring food bank usage. No fewer than 15 conservative MPs have called for the benefit to be paused, but their pleas were ignored.

If you (or anyone you know) has been affected by this benefit, please consider sharing your experiences (you can request anonymity) For more information click here: (you need to scroll to the bottom of the screen).