This is an email I felt had to be wriiten, it was sent to Paul O’ Grady in response to his article on Child Poverty in yesterday’s Mirror – sent to him via his website email
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This is an email I felt had to be wriiten, it was sent to Paul O’ Grady in response to his article on Child Poverty in yesterday’s Mirror – sent to him via his website email
View original post 76 more words
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It appears the judiciary is clamping down on the way this government and DWP abuses the laws put in place to protect its disabled citizens as is evident in the case of MM and DM, however we are still against it when we have a Government that is intent in casting the the law aside to ram though there unjust and draconian policies this is evident in the case below on the Independent Living Fund.
We must all carry on bringing cases to court were needs must as that is the only realistic way to fight back.
The Court of Appeal, in Bracking and others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions found that the Department of Work and Pensions’ (“DWP”) decision to close the Independent Living Fund was not lawful, overturning the High Court’s decision of April 2013.
This successful judicial review is a useful and interesting demonstration of how strictly the courts will consider whether or not a public body has complied with its Public Sector Equality Duties (“PSED”) imposed by the Equality Act 2010 (“EA 2010”). There must be hard evidence that the decision maker has fully complied with the requirements contained in the legislation, specifically the duties under Section 149 in relation to advancing equality of opportunity for those who share a relevant protected characteristic.
Read the details of this court decision here: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=fb37d01b-56cf-4a04-8d8c-f9098b2666dd
Having served Queen & Country for 18 years, after leaving school at age 16, joining the ‘Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Artillery’ in Nuneaton, I served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Afghanistan & Iraq…..also used as a firemen during the firemen strikes and covered Chelmsford in ’94 pootling around in the good ole’ Green Goddess putting water on the flames.
However, having been used and abused for 18 years doing what I thought was right, and lets face it, what 16 year old isn’t going to be conditioned and brainwashed into doing the governments dirty work? I set out on my worthy career in the knowledge that in my country’s time of need, I would more than gladly pay the ultimate sacrifice in providing the freedom and security this country, and the population, quite rightly enjoys.
In return I was assured that as a servicemen, should that ultimate sacrifice ever bear true…
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Many of you are well aware of the issues surrounding my claim to ESA, for those that don’t you can follow here:
Now there final reply is here which is discrimination in itself as it is nothing more than a pack of lies and delaying tactics which fits in nicely with there stance shown at the appeal courts just this week
So I have taken steps for them to take notice, realise the gravity of there errors and maladministration and put an end to my suffering which is a constant onslaught.
I have applied for legal aid via the Legal Aid Service website and if it is allowed which I expect it will be as legal aid is still available for cases of discrimination I will instruct a solicitor to bring a case in the courts for loss of benefit entitlements and compensation for harm and suffering caused as well as administration.
Complaints resolution email where they deny discrimination has been caused to me despite the case of MM and DM saying it has:
Dear Mr Carter
Further to my email to you of 24 March I am now able to reply fully to your complaint on behalf of the District Manager for Greater Wessex, Tim Taylor-Blake.
As I understand it you requested an Anytime Revision of your case on the ground of disability discrimination. You cited the judgement of the Court of Appeal 04/12/13 as your reasons. The judgement relates to on-going legal action about the Work Capability Assessment and whether it discriminates against people with mental health conditions.
In the interim decision the Court did not direct the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to make any changes to our processes; the Court of appeal has not done so either. The DWP is still considering its response to the decision. Until or unless we are directed otherwise, we must continue to follow the processes already agreed in law. As we have made no error in law and the law has not been changed, it is not appropriate to carry out an Anytime Revision of your case.
The decision on your benefit entitlement was made on 17 September 2012, and as you are aware you are outside the absolute time limit of thirteen months to make an appeal. However, in accordance with Regulation 32 of the Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 1999, we have forwarded your case to the first tier Tribunal of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) for a decision on whether it can be accepted us such. We are waiting for a decision on this.
If you have any further queries regarding this matter Yvonne Moore will be pleased to help. You can contact her on 023 9230 8043 or you can write to her at Cosham Benefit Centre, Mail Handling Site B, Wolverhampton, WV99 1PB.
If you are dissatisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with you can ask for the matter to be investigated on behalf of the Director General, Operations. If you would like to do this, please write to the DWP Director General, Operations, Noel Shanahan at PO Box 50101, London, SW1P 2WU within six months of the date at the top of this letter. He will then arrange a response from an appropriate officer within the Department.
Complaint Resolution Manager | Department for Work and Pensions | Greater Wessex District | Wynnstay House | 121 High Street | Cosham | PO6 3DR | www.dwp.gov.uk
My Letter before Action
Director General Operations
Department for Works & Pensions
24th May 2014
Dear Noel Shanaham,
I apologise for this late referral, however as you read this shocking account of events it should become aware to you my lateness in writing to you as this I have struggled with for many years but I hope you can make allowances as that is what the equality act dictates should happen.
The Greater Wessex Complaints Resolution Team said they would forward my complaint to you if I was not happy with their decision, however by this time I had lost all trust with that department and did not feel they would forward the full facts as they happened so I said I would email you myself to which they said was fine this is confirmed in there attached emails.
I am a 50 year old male living in Havant Hampshire I worked tirelessly since leaving school in the Portsmouth Dockyard and later for GEC-Marconi Ltd at Farlington however at the age of just 27 years old I had a tragic event that would change my life for ever.
I passed out at work and was rushed to the QA Hospital Cosham via ambulance were it was discovered I had an SAH that caused a Stroke which entailed a bleed to my left middle cerebral artery I was transferred to the Wessex Neurological Centre Southampton for a deep invasive craniotomy operation to clip the bleed, this was in April 1990 indeed me still being alive is testament to the great NHS we once had.
I was in induced Coma for 2 months to limit brain activity and help to reduce brain swelling and after a further 6 weeks was ambulanced back to the QA Hospital for recovery and physiotherapy for a further 3 months; this was continued at home for another 18 mths before I returned back to fulltime employment.
Although I found employment difficult due to the physical and mental disabilities I has plus the stigma and discrimination I could not hold down a job and found myself shifting from one employer to another however I had the determination not to give up and besides in those years employment was plentiful and easy to get but how times have changed for the worse now!
During my working years and indeed during the time I was off work I never claimed a penny for sickness or disability some have said in my family that was silly of me but the fact is I had morals and felt I should not as I was earning and finding my way well but how ironic that now I find myself being vilified, some may say including you that the words of Government and press articles are not directed at me, but as I get into the finer details of this complaint you will see that is too hard for me to believe.
Do you remember David Cameron saying no one should claim benefits unless they had a real need? That struck an accord and gave a nasty taste as that is exactly what I had been doing for 17 years previously when I had a need, indeed I had saved your department thousands in lost benefit and this is how you treat me now and I still continue to save the Government loads of money by paying my mortgage in full with no support for mortgage interest the contempt of your department is astounding.
In September 2007 at the height of the global financial crash I was one of the unlucky ones who got made redundant due to my employer being unable to get the loans to upgrade his aging fleet of trucks so he had to wind up I tried to gain further work in order to be not a burden on the state but let’s get real here who is going to want me with my disabilities in this volatile jobs market that has been created by this and earlier governments one employer even discriminated against me and said sorry I have too many able-bodied younger generation in the queue you will be better claiming the support you are entitled too, if only he knew how hard that was to claim.
A point I find so tragic is that more money has been lost in your department and others than what would have been spent on supporting the long term ill and disabled indeed it is an Omni-shambles and Universal Credit is a prime example among many others.
I was on Incapacity Benefit for a few years and also middle rate of Disability Living Allowance after it was raised from low rate on reconsideration this was by no means a lot of money but enough for me to live and pay our mortgage and bills with my wife’s earnings so was happy until the brutal welfare reform act was pushed through and from that point my life sunk ever deeper into a living hell of which I found the stress, anxiety and room pacing out of frustration unbearable.
The point came were I got the migration letter to convert to Employment and Support Allowance and was to discover just how brutal your department is as you all appear to not have a care in the world of the masse destruction of people’s lives, you appear to not care about law, human rights act, Equality act or the rights of people with disabilities.
Due to executive dysfunction I missed the draconian 30 day time limit which in itself is discrimination to someone like me so had to seek reconsideration again to get my Incapacity Benefit reinstated and allow me more time to get the forms back to you
Mr Cameron made another bold statement and leap of faith by saying everyone who had a need has nothing to worry about as they will be protected, I am not seeing it, what I am seeing is quite the opposite.
I got the forms back to you a few weeks later, but rather than get an assessment from a doctor which is what should have happened for someone who has had an SAH/Stroke I was put straight into the WRAG GROUP of ESA time limited for 365 days clearly this was wrong and yes I should have appealed indeed even the advisors at my work focused interviews could not believe it and told me to appeal as they could see my level of disability warranted it and is why they never set me any tasks.
There was the problem you see because of executive dysfunction, poor memory and a lack of motivation and the issues raised by the panel of judges in the case of MM and DM I could not appeal and thus it lapsed and was out of absolute time to appeal.
In October 2013 my ESA stopped with warning and although it said on the original award letter my claim was time limited due to my poor memory I forgot and thus a letter to warn me should have been sent after all I have heard of such letters being sent with options of what steps can be taken, your departments communication with me is and always has been very lax and that continues today.
On the 4th December the final Judgment I had heard about and was waiting on was finally handed down it was a breath of fresh air and enabled me to seek an anytime revision of my claim which I submitted on the 15th December 2013, given the upper tier court judgment and knowing what your department was instructed to do by the panel of judges this anytime revision really should have been acted on indeed it would have shown the Judges that you was taking steps to resolve but no your department hatched on a plan to deny me not only the anytime revision but also my legal right to appeal.
Your decision maker knew the actions she was taking could not be taken as there was no real prospect indeed I stand by what she done was wilful and planned
Your decision maker submitted my anytime revision to HMCTS in Cardiff knowing and hoping it would fail as she knew she had no place to take that action as no judge could grant an appeal as it was out of absolute time why did she do this? I suspect to get round not having to send out a notice of failure of anytime revision which I still have not received as by doing so I could appeal it if I was not happy with the failure.
That is not a De Minimis issue but a clear breach of not only your own guidelines but also law breaking and maladministration of the highest order.
Your department failed to take actions on the back of an upper tier court judgment that sets a precedent and if you could not have dealt with it at the time which I expect is the case as you still have failed to do what the judges asked and even tried to hoodwink the judges and gain more time just this week when you have had more than enough time, you should have but my revision on hold and pay me the benefits I had lost.
I get the vibes the Judges are not impressed at all with your stances in the way you have handled this case and not done as instructed just how do you think those with mental health problems have copied while you carry on this charade?
I made a complaint to the Greater Wessex complaints resolution team they was just as bad by sending me false contact details which resulted in a £25 special payment being made it is also my believe that rather than dealing with my complaint independently they colluded with the decision maker and told me a pack of lies and even said no discrimination had taken place and used that as the basis to deny my anytime revision, perhaps many of you need to look up what discrimination means as that has already been proved in court as a “substantial disadvantage” is discrimination.
This claim from day one since migration has been a total farce and has caused financial hardship to the point of threats and court orders for payment of debts which I was managing well until you stopped my ESA.
Due to not being able to work I had a CCJ and other debts which I had made payment arrangements but had to stop these as my mortgage, utility bills and food shopping were priority and we could afford no more I wrote to these creditors and most were understanding and were willing to wait until my situation got better but one was not and applied to the court for an attachment of earnings on my wife’s wages this I was not happy with especially as it was out of my control and all your departments doing because had you not stopped my ESA my payments would still be up to date as agreed.
I was ordered to appear in the Portsmouth County Court on the 2nd June 2014 (2 days before my birthday) thus causing more deep distress, I wrote to them again explaining the situation your department has caused pleading clemency and to stop the action as it was not my doing thankfully they have done that today as it was not fair but that does not take away the suffering you have caused for which I can never forget.
I know expect my anytime revision to be complied with and a full and frank investigation to be carried out with a matter of urgency given the time already wasted.
I also expect the lost benefit to date paid to me within 14 days and a meaningful payment for the harm, suffering and maladministration that has been caused after the investigation has been completed.
I am not prepared to take anymore baloney from your department or it’s ministers in government I and my family have suffered enough and it is ending now before I become another statistic who lost his life early and have thus made my enquires about legal aid to the legal aid service should I need it as this is the end of the line for me and I will instruct solicitors to take action via the courts on the 9th June 2014
Please do not see this as an empty letter of threats as that is not my style and I and my family as a direct result have suffered very badly, there is indeed more than enough evidence to bring such a case to the courts were I will seek an award for lost benefits and compensation for harm and suffering caused and discrimination on the grounds of my disabilities.
I hope that you of all people can see the errors of your ways and take immediate steps to end it although I have seen enough already not to have a leap of faith, the ball is in your court and I await a timely response-
Finally I do not ask for much in the grand scheme, only to live out my life without fear and retribution from your department or anyone else as my disabilities dictate that my life will end early and not into retirement many expect including yourself, is this how you would expect to be treated? As it is my belief you department is well overdue a massive dose of humanity aswell as compassion, understanding and empathy perhaps you should ponder on that for a while.
I await there reply in earnest and will keep you informed via this blog.
From the Disability News Service
Disabled activists have accused the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of “deplorable” behaviour, after it tried – and failed – to delay legal attempts to reduce the discriminatory impact of its controversial “fitness for work” test.
A tribunal decided this week that the long-running case taken by two people with mental health conditions – DM and MM – should conclude with a three-day hearing on 7, 8 and 9 July.
The hearing should finally settle the question of how DWP must address the discrimination experienced by people with mental health conditions, learning difficulties and autism, because of flaws in the work capability assessment (WCA) process.
The assessment tests eligibility for employment and support allowance (ESA), but thousands of people with mental distress have been found unfairly fit for work, and have had relapses, episodes of self-harm or suicide attempts as they pass through the WCA system.
Dear Mr Miliband,
I do not profess to know an awful lot about politics. In fact I did not even really care about it much, as I always felt secure. I always knew that as a severely disabled person I would be protected and looked after.
However, since 2010 however this has changed.
I remember well the pledge made by David Cameron that, “those who need help the most would get it.” That was a lie.
The present government have attacked those who “need help the most” constantly and ferociously.
They have given us the Bedroom tax, cut back on the amount of support given (by depriving local councils of funds).
They have changed the qualifying criteria for Personal Independence Payment, stopped the Independent living fund, closed down Remploy factories, as well as changing the way people go for fitness assessments.
They have made severely disabled people wait, (in some…
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From the President of Mental Wealth (Student Minds) Cambridge University
I think we should talk about mental health.
I was directed to your interview in the Tab by a friend who warned me that it would ‘hit a nerve’. I was intrigued; your highly publicised views on children’s names and people who have ginger hair have only ever indirectly struck me as faintly ridiculous. However, when the nonsense becomes vitriol, and is injected into the subject of mental health, my friend was right to know that I would be enraged.
As President of Student Minds Cambridge, and one of the founding trustees of teenage mental health charity ‘The Invictus Trust’, I deplore your views, and felt it necessary to set you right on a few things; not just on the behalf of everybody who has suffered from mental health issues in Cambridge, but also on behalf of all those who are working to raise awareness and change attitudes towards mental health across the country.
Firstly, the lowlight of your comments for me was that depression is a “default position” for “people who have not been able to get a grip on their lives”. This statement is not only cruelly-worded, but also a wildly misinformed generalisation. Suggesting that depression is a “default position” implies that most people suffering with mental health issues use it as an excuse or justification to moan, when in fact the majority of mental health sufferers don’t admit to their issues, let alone seek help. Here in Cambridge, whilst 92% of students have experienced mental distress, only 17% have sought any kind of help. That shows neither strength nor weakness; mental health issues are mired with shame, suffocated in stigma, and are often struggled with in private, and it is careless comments like these that damage any effort for change.