Dec 302012
 

Earlier this year DPAC highlighted Worcester Council’s ‘maximum expenditure’ policy which would see new applicants for social ‘care’ be part of potential institutionalisation in order to cut costs. Other council’s have announced similiar measures.  The Redditch Standard reports on the case, which shows that disabled people do not need to put up with these measures in silence but have the right and need to fight back at local and national levels. This month the closure of the Independent Living Fund was announced for 2015. This will also be challenged legally by six ILF users early next year. Both measures break aticle 19 on independent living as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. There will also be legal challenges on the recording of Atos assessments and the Judicial Review on the Work Capability Assessment by the Mental Health Resistance network in 2013.

Details of the Worcester case by Irwin Mitchell can be found here

DPAC will not be resting in any tents in 2013 but fighting with disabled people in the courts, on the streets, online and everywhere we can

Dec 232011
 

This is an important and urgent message from the Mental Health Resistance Network.

As you all know, members of the Mental Health Resistance Network have been working with a solicitor towards making a claim for a Judicial Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) which is the assessment used to determine whether we will be granted Employment Support Allowance or sent back to work (if there is any work to be found!). We are just focussing on people who claim on mental health grounds.    

We are now at a critical stage in this process as we are very close to being able to make the claim for Judicial Review. However, before we can do this, it would help if we could find stories that will show the court what sort of problems the WCA causes. So we are looking for people who have been through the process and would be able to tell us about their experience. If people wish, we can present their cases anonymously when we use their evidence. Although it would be very good if people were prepared for us to give their names to the DWP so that the DWP could check their stories, it is not essential.

There are two types of experience that we are particularly interested in (in the solicitor’s words):

 (i)  Cases where a person claims ESA without producing any medical evidence and is refused benefit, but then wins on appeal when medical evidence is obtained.

(ii)  Cases where a person claims ESA without producing any medical evidence, is refused benefit, does not appeal (perhaps because they can’t face it), and then bad things happen (for example they go into work and become ill, or have a problem, or can’t get work, or whatever). Ideally, the case is recognised down the line as a problem because a CAB or law centre makes a new application with medical evidence and benefit is awarded.

In other words: 

1) you have you claimed and been turned down for ESA but were successful on appeal when you produced additional medical evidence 

 or 

2) were you turned down for ESA and did not appeal but reapplied with medical evidence, and were successful. 

 You can send your stories to: mentalhealthresistancenetwork@gmail.com

 Or you can write to the solicitor whose address is below. 

 This affects us all so please pass on everyone you know who may be able to help. One last point, we need these stories urgently so if you can help, please contact us as quickly as possible.

Ravi Low-Beer

Solicitor

Public Law Project

150 Caledonian Road

London N1 9RD

 Tel: 0845 543 5944

Fax: 0845 345 9254