‘Disability benefit’ shake-up ‘grinding to a halt’

Government assessments to determine Disability Living Allowance for people in Cornwall are flawed, local independent benefits advisers claim.

Jim McKenzie of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) said some people had seen their DLA withdrawn or reduced by a shake-up in the benefits system.

“The system has ground to a halt, it’s struggling because of the number of appeals,” he said.

The government said about 39% of rejections were overturned in England.

‘Ground to a halt’

Mr McKenzie said of DLA applications said: “It’s done on a points basis. It’s raised the barriers higher as to what is being defined as someone not being able to work.”

Sharron Ryan, 41, from Pendeen, was diagnosed with MS in 2010 and said it took her five months to overturn the DLA rejection.

“It was almost like the person who assessed my claim had not even read my claim form,” she said.

“I’d burned myself in the kitchen because my balance was so bad and they said ‘you’ve stated you don’t need help in the kitchen’.

“I can’t go out by myself because of my balance and they’ve stated ‘you don’t need help outside the house’ and it was just the exact opposite of everything I’d put on the claim form.”

She said after appealing against the decision with a presentation of medical evidence she was approved for DLA in December.

In a statement, the Department for Work and Pensions said: “As a person’s condition changes this can affect their eligibility to DLA, but if someone disagrees with a decision they can appeal and their case will be looked at again.”

It added that it was also reforming DLA to “target support at those who need it most” which would see medical evidence presented at an earlier stage.


3 thoughts on “‘Disability benefit’ shake-up ‘grinding to a halt’

  1. Mo Stewart says:

    Here we go again. The standard DWP script: “target support to those who need it most” but the DWP have no comprehension of need, and don’t identify what their definition of those “who need it most” actually means… We are judged on costs alone, the need to reduce the budget yet the gvt, whilst still claiming to be broke and hence justify these cuts, still offer £hundreds of millions to overseas problems whilst claiming they can’t support our own chronically sick & disabled people. It’s rough justice for us and is a bad joke to the rest of the UK, who still cannot comprehend that a chronic illness or disability can indeed be permanent…

    On another subject, I have received yet another defensive letter from Harrington, claiming he hasn’t ‘endorsed’ my research when no one has claimed that he had. Why is he so threatened?

    My own MP is running scared and has REFUSED to get involved in any way… It seems I am not his favourite person…..

    Happy Christmas to everyone at BT.

  2. Labour Friends of Socialism on Facebook says:

    Their keeping money for their Capitalist Globalised Paymasters investing abroad. No surprise is it?

    Shame places like The Fabian Society are debating ‘Good Capitalism’ instead of an abolishment wholesale of it and end to Neoliberalism and abuse of deomcracy.

  3. Bridget Denise Price on Facebook says:

    the government prefer to spend our taxes buying weapons, sending more young people into war zones (deliberately creating more disabled?) and propping up banks who gambled away their own money, and paying themselves and their buddies. So not enough money left? As for targeting the most needy, since the DWP have an understanding of disability which is more shallow than many a primary school child they may as well ‘fess up to it being a lottery. If your surname has an R in it we’ll pay you, otherwise you are clearly not ill.

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