A Variety of Disadvantages, but One Voice is Needed

I am seeing an issue, not an intentional problem, however a real situation that may well be hindering a proper outcome.

A Disadvantaged Person is struggling with many varied problems. 13.9 Million People are eligible to claim Personal Independence Payments (PIP). That is a lot of people, and an even larger amount of money to be paid out as a benefit.

This benefit is seen as VITAL by claimants, it is often the difference between

  • Being mobile or not
  • Putting food on the table or not
  • paying for adaptions to help make just living a little bit easier

The list goes on and make no mistake the Care side of PIP does not cover the true costs of trying to survive, the Mobility payments help, but do not come close to the real expense of car conversions, extra wheelchairs and all the extra paraphernalia needed, THAT ARE needed, just to survive.

So here is the situation as I see things –

There are lots of different “charities” and support groups for every possible disadvantage. Often one illness or problem has multi organisations, all there to help sufferers, all fighting with its members to overcome the issues caused by the dreaded PIP assessments to move all the claimants from the DLA they get already.

But how good are these charities?

Since PIP was introduced, and the change started, a very clear reality has been seen. The claimants live in total fear and continual worry about what will really happen. A fear that is fed by the media hysteria continually highlighting the unfairness of the system.

In 2015 the Government stated that “Almost 600 “additional” suicides could be related to the Government’s Work Capability Assessments.”

The DWP naturally tried very hard to discredit the survey, the authors, led by Dr Benjamin Barr, from the University of Liverpool, feel otherwise, it should also be noted that this was for mental health sufferers only, it never touched on other disabilities.

The heart-breaking website Calums List shows the suicides caused by the changes and cuts the DWP are fighting to bring to bear. It states “The UK figure is nearer 4,000 but could be as high as 81,140 welfare reform deaths”

It is a fact that being in a disadvantaged position is not a good place to be, you are looked down upon, virtually unemployable into meaningful employment, and often ignored as the general population holds a fear of what they don’t understand, so they pretend we do not exist.

The DWP have some questions to answer, some “Freedom of Information” requests may suggest otherwise.

The Independent Newspaper discovered, the department’s response to a Freedom of Information request revealed staff conducting mandatory reconsideration reviews were held to a “key performance indicator” that said “80% of the original decisions are to be upheld”.

And as the assessors managed to hit 87% of the Mandatory Reconsiderations they are trying hard.

Now, here is a suggestion, all the charities are individually making objections to the DWP and Government, all the noise, but from lots of different sources, so when asked the Government says, “it has no real proof of a problem, a few thousand people don’t constitute a debate.”

How are they justifying this? Easily, they are not lying, they have a few thousand complaints, but these, although the same, are individual and do not count as one huge complaint that they must debate.

5 baby steps become 1 full step, and 5 full steps become a giant step. We have all made the baby steps, and these have become a full step. Surely, we have now made enough steps, to all join up, and make the GIANT STEP??

So I ask for help, here and now, before more reach a point of such desperation and anxiety that they call time, can all of the Charities, big and small, join forces, make the Giant Step, and force people to realise that it not a few disadvantaged people looking for extra benefits, but a real plea for help before the situation becomes to dire to recover from.