benefits

Disability Rights Handbook

The Disability Rights Handbook has been reduced:  It now costs £15.00 for individuals in receipt of benefits or £19.50 for organisations.

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Payment Cards

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Payment cards must support not restrict choice and control for users of direct payments: A new report from the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG), based on FOI returns from all English councils with statutory social services responsibilities reveals significant concerns about payment card practice and makes recommendations on how councils can properly comply with Care Act guidance.

Commenting on the report, Sue Bott, DR UK Deputy CEO said; “On the face of it pre-payment cards may seem a convenient way to pay for support but I have always had my concerns particularly because Councils can see when and where you have support which is an infringement of people’s privacy.  Interesting that this report finds that whilst councils insist on people with direct payments reporting on how the money has been used to the last penny; when it comes to knowing how much a pre-payment card service costs some of them are unable to say.”

 

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HMRC suspends PA sleep in minimum wage enforcement for further month

HMRC suspends PA sleep in minimum wage enforcement for further month: HM Revenue and Customs is demanding the minimum wage and up to 6 years back pay for carers sleeping overnight.

Enforcement was initially suspended until 2 October 2017 but they have now suspended enforcement activity for a further month.

Disability Rights UK wants government to help individual PA employers so that they do not have to face cuts to their support to meet sleepover costs and arrears.  Disability Rights UK would like to hear from anyone who has received demands from HMRC for back pay for sleepovers.

Scotland bans private firms from doing disability benefit assessments

DR UK welcomes Scotland’s decision to ban private firms from doing disability benefit assessments: Ken Butler, DR UK’s Welfare Rights Adviser said “Both ESA and PIP are failing those disabled people who are wrongly being refused entitlement to it. There are several reasons for this…..But the origin of all these problems lies with the adequacy and accuracy of the Atos, Capita and Maximus assessments.” Read more

New WCA reassessment guidance

 

DR UK’s statement on the new WCA reassessment guidance:On 29 September 2017, the DWP announced that ESA claimants in the support group and universal credit claimants with limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA) will no longer need to be reassessed if they:

  • have a severe, lifelong disability, illness or health condition
  • are unlikely to ever be able to move into work

Guidance on the reassessment criteria has now been published. DR UK were one of several disability charities that took part in discussions on changing the reassessment criteria. See their statement and reservations about these changes

Universal Credit

12 Tory MPs write to Work and Pensions Secretary demanding a pause in the roll-out of Universal Credit: A letter backed by 12 Tory MPs, including the prominent backbencher Heidi Allen, called for the rollout to be paused over fears about the impact on claimants already receiving universal credit in trial areas.

DWP and ESA

DWP spends almost £40 million contesting disabled people’s right to ESA: An investigation by The Independent has revealed that the DWP has spent £39 million in an “appalling” attempt to stop disabled people receiving benefits they are entitled to.  Ken Butler, Disability Rights UK’s Welfare Rights Officer said “Inaccurate assessments too often denied disabled people justice until their independent tribunals. The problem is that things go wrong at the very start and then they’re hard to put right.” Read more