Apr 222012
 

It’s vital funding which we need to help thousands of people with their benefit appeals

DPAC wants to thank Nick @Mylegalforum once more for letting us post this to DPAC

What we need people to do is contact their local or representative peer in the House of Lords by Monday April 23rd when the legal aid (LASPO) bill goes back to the House of Lords. It’s also worth contacting your MP as they can speak with Peers.

The best links we can find are here..

http://www.writetothem.com/lords

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-a-lord/lord/

It’s really easy via the ‘write to them’ link, just enter in your area (Town or County) and it will locate you a ‘peer’ in the House of Lords.

We need as many Peers as possible to be contacted by Monday. Don’t worry too much about the legal aid bill not being their specialist area or which political party they represent (some ‘cross bench’ peers belong to no particular party).

The aim is to contact them to show how much it matters to you.

The site helps you draft your email (you could use my template in next post) or you can write your own. When its ready just copy (by pressing ‘CTRL’ and ‘C’ on your keyboard) then paste into the dialogue box on the ‘write to them’ site’ (by pressing ‘CTRL’ and ‘V’).

You can find out the full list of peers who voted ‘yes’ or ‘no’ via the links here (it was then listed as amendment 11)

http://mylegal.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=frontline&action=display&thread=601

If you need convincing that welfare benefit specialists don’t just fill in forms read this..

http://mylegal.proboards.com/index.cgi?a….read=649&page=1

Here’s how people end up winning their benefit appeals with legal aid

http://mylegal.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=frontline&action=display&thread=558

It’s very easy!
& very important, here’s why…

For the last 12 years many CAB and law centres have been funded by legal aid and some are very reliant on it because they specialise in areas of law like welfare benefits. The Government has voted to axe this funding which means around 135,000 people per year will no longer be able to get specialist help from paid professionals who win around 75% of their cases. For each case their organisation gets paid a fixed fee of just 150 regardless of how long it takes to complete.

The Tribunals judiciary has predicted that the welfare reforms will result in over 2.5 million people appealing for their benefits between 2010 and 2015; the current figures are seeing a huge increase in appeals – the highest ever. Many people do not realise how vital this funding is to people, especially the disabled. Government has chosen to make savings of 16 million at a time when the need of this help could not be greater, they expect people to fight their cases on their own without help. The Lords have already voted heavily to keep this funding but government says no, they have asked the Lords’ to agree with them – you could make all the difference by persuading them to say ‘NO’.
Read more: http://mylegal.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=frontline&thread=654&page=1#1530#ixzz1smPFP5sQ

 

Jan 122012
 

Baroness Meacher, an independent crossbencher, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The British public do not accept the idea that the banks screw up and very disabled people pay the bill.”
The Lords vote see the Government defeated by 234 to 186, a majority of 48, over a plan to limit to one year the time people can claim Employment Support Allowance.
Peers agreed a move to replace the one-year cap with the ability for the Government to specify a limit of no less than two years.
Lord Patel, an independent crossbench peer, said: “I am sympathetic to cutting the deficit, but I am highly sympathetic to sick and vulnerable people not being subjected to something that will make their lives even more miserable.”
The Government was also defeated when peers voted by 222 to 166, majority 56, to accept another amendment by Lord Patel removing the time limit on contributory ESA payments from people receiving treatment for cancer.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said the welfare state should be focused on supporting those with the most need quotes the BBC –DPAC agrees that it should too but we think Grayling is a bit confused over whose those might be – fortunately the Lords are not.

Labour said the coalition was defeated for trying to “cross the basic line of British decency”.

DPAC networks should congratulate themselves for the long months of protests and lobbying on Atos, WCA and on ESA since 2010- but the battle is not over yet. As responsible groups we know that the lobbying must continue when the amendments go to the House of Commons.

Pictures of Tuesday’s protest can be found here

http://www.demotix.com/news/999151/welfare-rights-vigil-opposite-houses-parliament-london

and

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2012/jan/11/welfare-protest-lords-video