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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:


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Budget: lying Hammond says no unemployed


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International socialist news and analysis

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

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Usdaw general secretary coronation

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Them & us

Councils' 1bn on commercial property


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS cuts kill!

Gentrification on the terraces: fans say twenty's plenty

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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:

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleUN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin

triangleWhat we saw

Cuts:

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triangleLewisham & Southwark Socialist Party: What would a socialist council look like?

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: How can councils protect public services?

triangleWorkers' victory over anti-union Scottish council

Benefits:

triangleProfits up Wages down

triangleMajority of kids poor in some areas

triangleUniversal credit: set up to fail

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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:

triangleMay elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care

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