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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 November 2017

Disability cuts outrage: my story

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

A Derby Socialist Party member

I am a 49-year-old woman who has been managing the progressive disease multiple sclerosis for 19 years. I am unable to work and receive disability benefits.

In the year 2000, following an appeal process with the support of a welfare rights officer, I was granted Disability Living Allowance, high-rate care, high-rate mobility, indefinitely.

It was a relief knowing that I had this benefit, enabling me to enjoy a better quality of life.

In 2016 I received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions informing me of the government's change from Disability Living Allowance to 'Personal Independence Payment' benefits. The letter outlined that I would have to reapply and be assessed - again.

Filling out the assessment booklet was tiring and very stressful and took three sittings with the help of a friend to complete. I also felt great anger and frustration at having to go through all of this again.

Capita, the outsourcing giant running the assessments, informed me one would be carried out at my home a few months later at 6.30 in the evening. My care worker came to support me for this assessment.

I was feeling anxious about the visit, so you can imagine my dismay when the assessor did not turn up. On calling to enquire why the assessor's appointment had not been kept, I was informed it was because there was not enough travel time available for the assessor!

I made a formal complaint and 50 was reimbursed into my account, along with an apology.

The following week I was given a new appointment, this time for 9am. My care worker was present again.

I was questioned for 70 minutes, with the humiliating question "can you stand on one leg" thrown into the mix. The assessment left me exhausted.

Five weeks later I received my award letter. I was informed that I will continue to receive the high-rate mobility allowance - but that the 'daily living needs' rate would only be 'standard', thus cutting my benefits by 144 a month!

Shortly I will be going through the appeals process again, with the assistance of a welfare rights officer. Shame on Capita! Shame on the Tory government!

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In The Socialist 22 November 2017:


What we think

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International socialist news and analysis

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

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Usdaw general secretary coronation

Leeds college workers protest poor pay rises

Virgin train workers vote for strike action over pay

Sheffield Eastern Ave Job Centre strike ends


Housing crisis

Posh estate agent's housing crisis solution: make your own sandwiches

Them & us

Councils' 1bn on commercial property


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS cuts kill!

Gentrification on the terraces: fans say twenty's plenty

Carbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution


Socialist Students

Lively student demonstration for free education could have been much bigger

Socialism 2017 Socialist Students meet-up


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Nottingham 'Reclaim the Night' march highlights cuts

Southampton: Corbynista success but cuts continue


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Disability cuts outrage: my story

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Disability:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Disability rights and socialism

triangleTories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleStop Nottingham Labour's cuts to disabled travel!

Cuts:

triangleReverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer

triangleLabour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

triangleIgnore the hype - austerity goes on: organise to resist

triangleWe need socialists in London's City Hall

Benefits:

triangleGeneral election 2019 round-up

triangleMinimum wage: What should we be demanding?

triangleChina after the 1949 revolution: the benefits of the planned economy stifled by bureaucracy

Care worker:

triangleNo to home seizures for care bills

triangle"I don't always feel that I'm a carer anymore" - a day in the life

Government:

triangleFrench workers demonstrating in Paris on Thursday 16 January; Now over 40 days of strike action have taken place against the government's attacks on pensions. Photo James Ivens

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