CALLOUT RE: ‘Thousands to lose disability benefit after Government makes eleventh hour changes to fitness test boundaries’

Spartacus’s Ben Furner writes:

We’re gearing up for the latest stage in our campaign to challenge the Government’s plans on PIP– there’s a number of moves afoot in the Lords next week which we’re hoping to plug in to.

One current focus is looking at the impact of the change to the qualifying distance for the higher rate mobility component – this change means that if you can walk more than 20 metres you won’t qualify for the higher rate, which gives access to the Motability scheme.

We’re looking for real life case studies of disabled people concerned about the change; this includes people who may be able to walk short distances who will be directly affected, as well as people who might not be directly affected (such as full time permanent wheelchair users) but who are nonetheless concerned about the new criteria.

If this is something you’re willing to be involved in, and in particular if you’d be willing to talk about it publicly (for example, by talking to journalists) then we’d really like to hear from you.

I am coordinating this bit of work, so if you’re up for it please do get in touch directly

Daily Record Lion



THE Government sneaked through a last minute change and toughened up walking criteria.

Peter Leckie: “I am sure this latest change is the first step to abandoning disabled benefits altogether.”
Peter Leckie: “I am sure this latest change is the first step to abandoning disabled benefits altogether”


THOUSANDS of disabled people will lose benefits after the Government sneaked through a last-minute change to the rules, campaigners warned yesterday.

Tougher criteria to assess how far people can walk unaided mean that many claimants will no longer qualify for help with transport.

Paralympics medallist and disabled campaigner Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson warned that the change will lead to disabled people being “ghettoised and excluded from society”.

From April, Disability Living Allowance is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

To qualify for the higher rate of PIP, claimants have to be unable to walk for 20m unaided. Previously, the distance was 50m.

Those who don’t qualify for the higher rate will not be eligible to lease cars under the Motability scheme.

Campaign group We Are Spartacus discovered the changes buried in the Welfare Reform Bill.

A spokesman said: “We were stunned to see that to be awarded the enhanced mobility component for physical difficulty getting around, and therefore to qualify for Motability, a claimant needs to be unable to walk more than 20m – a far shorter distance than the 50m given in the consultation draft.”

Disability rights campaigners estimate that 428,000 fewer working-age disabled people would qualifying for the higher PIP rate by 2018.

Jane Young, who helped write a Spartacus report analysing the changes, said: “This not only condemns thousands more disabled people to the worry of losing out under the new benefit and the isolation this will bring – it also highlights the lie that the Government’s reforms are targeted to support those in need.”

Grey-Thompson added: “We need some kind of measurement but all the way through the Welfare Reform Bill, it was being talked about as 50m.

“This raises fears for lots of disabled people. If they lose this quite small level of support that helps them get about, it will ghettoise them.”

Labour shadow disability minister Anne McGuire said: “The criteria of 20m appeared to come out of the blue.”

The Department for Work and Pensions claim that after the change, the number of people receiving the enhanced rate of the mobility component will be broadly the same.

An offical said: “The intention of the criteria remains the same – to make sure support is targeted at those who need it most.”

PETER Leckie believes the new walking rule to assess disability is “totally unfair”.

He said: “Twenty metres is a random figure for most people. I could probably walk 20m today – but what about tomorrow or in a month?

“So many people with conditions which affect their mobility have good days and not so good days.”

Peter, 59, who served with the Royal Artillery from 1971 to 1977, was left with nerve damage following a neck operation.

He said: “I worked for 41 years after leaving school at 15 in 1968, right up until 2009.

“I had never been on benefits in my life.

“But I have a spinal injury which causes me severe pain.”

Peter, of Sandyhills, Glasgow, added: “The politicians say they do not want another generation on benefits and that is obviously a good idea.

“But people who are medically unfit and have real problems are being targeted.

“I am sure this latest change is the first step to abandoning disabled benefits altogether.”


23 thoughts on “CALLOUT RE: ‘Thousands to lose disability benefit after Government makes eleventh hour changes to fitness test boundaries’

    1. Lady Kayla (@LadyKorenwolf) says:

      The UK Civil/Public Service has never had a Duty of Care to clients/taxpayers/claimants requirement for their employees. If they did then someone missing a question on a form would get a phone call to answer it; someone filling in the wrong form would have the correct form sent to them while their claim for the correct benefit started being processed immediately with the info available; Duty of Care means doing what is right for the taxpayer/client especially when they are already disadvantaged and may be prone to making mistakes.

      I have dual nationality & worked for the Civil Service in another country for 11 years… we had Duty of Care – Civil Servants had a training course in what our responsibilities were when we joined. I worked for the equivalent of DWP and I really don’t recognise the department here as fit for purpose. It makes my blood boil when I KNOW how easy it is to do the right thing.

    2. mattygall says:

      I really do not think this government care 1 iota whether disabled people can get from 1 point to another, they would be very happy if they were locked away behind closed doors. Out of sight out of mind! Where exactly can you go in 20 meters?
      After working without a break for 42 years I had to take early retirement to look after my wife who is paralyzed down her LH side, we need benefits to make ends meet without them I do not know what we would do.
      I dread to think what people would do if their only source of income or mobility was taken away, it would certainly leave a lot of vunerable people in a bad place.

  1. Bev says:

    The Tories planned to do this all along they have not considered opinions of others and most definitely not taken into consideration what disabled people have to say. They are cunning, slimy, conniving, heartless individuals.

  2. paul whiteley says:

    My wife has got M.S primary progressive and her walking most days is very very bad.She has also got bladder and bowel troubles with the condition. Having the DLA is the only way i can get her the things she needs so desparatly.I have had a stroke making me not eligible for work any more and am now my wifes carer,but this is very hard for me as i also have spinal problems and waiting for an operation. This government just don’t care about us ,after 45 years in construction and paying my dues i was expecting help via the DLA but get nothing but abuse by the public and DWP.

  3. jeffery davies says:

    they want us gone quietly but we wont go quietly we screaming about their abuse of the system but how many listen to us daily they take away our benefits so that we pass away from site yes we now some take theirs and some just starve give up the fight as this lot doesnt care that we go without they say we drinking it away or gambling or such how could they do this because they greedy and that is the cruks of the matter all things tory we want it all ,look to usa were unum was thrown out its a outlaw company by many over there but have now entwined themselves into hoverment office and giving advice on our benefits so that wqe go quietly yep go quietly jeff3

  4. humanonearth says:

    I am trying to get the word out to my neighbours who know nothing of these changes. This kind of change, (20m. walking distance) is draconian and inherently unfair. These ‘reforms’ deserve to be challenged by the EU court of Human Rights. Our M.P.s need to stand up and speak out for the most disadvantaged and at risk. Are Dame Tanni and Micheal Meacher the only ones with a conscience?Is Al jazeera the only broadcaster willing to report on these abuses? Please write to your MPs . Even if you think they don’t care. The public will turn against them eventually and vote for what is right if we get the word out to the mainstream media, some how. Mind have a form for contacting your MP about the WCA just now. We need to galvanise. Good luck. 🙂

  5. Mr Albert Harris says:

    Once again this government gets things wrong.I am a pensioner and disabled and because I am disalbled I need a bed on my own but now the govenment says as I live in a 3 bedroom house I am underoccupancy and will have to pay £7 per week just to stay here
    I think this is unfair I do not live on my own , I have a wife and a daughter.

  6. cheryl says:

    I have been fighting for a year to have my dla reinstated, and still havent had a disision every one says youll get it back but look, these people who are doing these medicals are not telling the truth, i had medical a week ago, all the specialists iv seen have said this is rediculas but yet Atos keeps saying im fit for work and the woman that i saw has written that iaccording to her prognossis im capable of doing every thing normaly. I have two discs which are no longer there two prolapsed discs lower back, bone degenarate disease, my main nerve is being crushed carpel tunnel syndrom which leaves me with no feeling in both hands athritus agriphobia, dervaticula disease reactive depression and more i cannot walk attall with out pain i am in pain 24/7 the more stress more pain yet Atos says theres nothing stopping me from working, i starved for a year to keep car on road, car gone now so i cant even get to doctors for my medication. cant reliey on anyone as they either work or cant get here so im well and truly up shit street.

  7. Paul Davidson says:

    Hi All. And a big Hello to B.F.

    I need to point out it’s not just about how far you can walk aided or not.

    I only get low rate mobility and could not get a bus pass unless Social Services measured how far I could walk. their only criteria as seemingly now with this vile Government.

    What of those with M.H. Issues how far can I walk Tani before I’m deemed in need of support when I start screaming in the street’s, to get across a road without numerous traffic killing me first before people take advantage of me due to vulnerability to mock and ridicule me before I’m drawn to a high place to end it all.

    It’s only 2 weeks since I was being loudly mocked outside a pub waiting to gather strength to walk to waiting Taxi as my leg’s were giving up on me due too heavy use of painkillers that cause serious side effect’s. with massive jerking movements and collapsing to the ground.

    I had made a rare shopping trip for clothing much needed to keep warm.

    I had to visit the pub before I started home in taxi as I’m incontinent I stayed for a few hours but was in agony and my leg’s were giving up on me people had to help me out the doors where I waited a while to go to Taxi where I was mocked the first Taxi Driver had been watching all this unfold as had a bouncer who saved me from more abuse.

    I struggled to the Taxi the driver put my light bag’s in the back I could not.

    As soon as he drove away he said (Gaberpentin). His mother was using it he knew by the way my leg’s bent at the knee numerous times I must be using Gaberpentin.

    It was as if he was a Doctor doing overtime in a Taxi.

    He carried my bag’s to my door as all drivers do for me. we had an incredible informative chat. but as soon as he left me my leg’s gave up as I collapsed to the ground on opening the door.

    I spend 15 minutes slowly pushing in my bag’s then dragging myself inside only using my forearms.

    I’m actually doubly incontinent any trip out no matter how short is hugely risky and needs to be on the day as and when I dare risk it The use of a rapid Taxi home is vital.

    I’m unable to communicate with public I get very distressed and confused I’m in severe Neuropathic pain have Ostio Arthrhitis can have major panic attack any time I’m never safe crossing any road due to Obsessive thought process so I’m a danger to myself and others. As I wrote of I have cheated death Hundred’s of time’s.

    I tell Taxi Drivers they will soon be out of Business. as we all get our Miracle cure one by one.

    I’m now in the WRAG And living in terror. There is no future for me just an ending to years of pain and suffering.


  8. jed goodright says:

    As has been revealed this week, albeit in a minor way, the only duty of care in this country is to the queen and the royal family. the royals have the right of veto in all laws in this country that ‘impinge on their wellbeing – financial or otherwise’ – the only duty of government is to protect the royal family.

    what this means is that we do not have a constution in any meaningful sense. that we are subjects of the queen and not citizens of the nation. that our votes are meaningless because the same party gets in all the time. we are slaves of our government, there for them to do what they will to us – even kill us if it means they become richer

    1. Bluesky says:

      Jed, I think you missed one important point the Queen is only a figure head of this country, the real ‘POWER’ lies with parliament. If you cast your mind back several hundred years parliament took the power for themslves (1st English civil war), king got reinstated by parliament, parliament takes power back again (2nd English civil war) and so it’s been eversince.. The queen has ‘no Real Power, it is all in the hands of parliament no matter ‘WHO IS IN POWER AT THE TIME’ they get ‘RICHER’ we get ‘POORER’ If Oliver Cromwell and his ‘Parlimentry forces were around today, there would be ‘NO CHRISTMAS’ (it was banned under Oliver Cromwell), but under Oliver Cromwell MPs got the ‘BOOT’ and he ran the country, as soon as he died, guess what ‘PARLIAMENT’ took power again and have been linning their pockets eversince…(thats my rant over for now).

      1. Bluesky says:

        PS why do you think the ‘GOVERNMENT’ protect the ‘ROYAL FAMILY’ ?? cos if they got ride of her Majesty (God Bless Her) they would have to face the FULL ANGER of the British Public and the commonwealth and they know it…. WE THE PUBLIC hold the real ‘POWER’ not parliament although they like to think they do thats why they act like they do cos WE THE PUBLIC LET THEM..Untill our backs are against the wall ‘THEN WE COME OUT FIGHTING’ Remember the armed forces are made up of our Brothers, Fathers, Sisters etc…they are sent off to fight by ‘PARLIAMENT’…………What would happen if PARLIAMENT was taken over by the common soldier, sailor, airman etc WHO do you think the reins of power would be given to?? I think i know, DO you???????

  9. Bernadette says:

    I am absolutely furious to hear about these changes once again. I am registered disabled myself and in receipt of Higher Rate Mobility and Low Care. I have a multitude of medical conditions including DEGENERATIVE slipped disc, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, M.E, under active thyroids, barretts eosophagus, hiatus hernia, previous P.E, history of kidney stones and more. I have a slipped disc as i was knocked down by a car many years ago, literally flung under the wheels of the car and have been told i am lucky to be alive. I was also told by a doctor at MK pain clinic i should be in a wheelchair but i refuse. I have also been in John Radcliffe in Oxford. I am in constant pain (cannot remember what it feels like to be pain free) and the more i walk the more severe the pain gets. So because i refuse to go in a wheelchair then i will be affected. This is outrageous.
    Everyone i know who has a degenerative slipped disc is in a wheelchair but becuase i point blank refuse to be i will be affected. Where is the sense in that?

    Also even with all my medical conditions i still work and drive a long way to work. If i lost my vehicle i dont know what i would do. I am sick to death of this Government always attacking the most vulnerable of society. I have been speaking to people on the phone in the job i do and have heard some horror stories. People are getting their benefits stopped because apparently the Jobcentre states there is nothing wrong with them when people’s health issues are being looked into to find out what the problem is. Since when did the Jobcentre become medically sound? Also people with children needing to go the the so called food banks as they have nothing to live on. It is outrageous!

    This Government states they have no money which is why they need to do cutbacks so why is it they are continuously lining their own pockets and have the ultimate gall to ask for a huge pay increase not to mention if another country needs money they always have money to give them.

    We have been putting up with far too much for far too long and whilst this Government “get away with” everything they throw at us things just get worse and worse. Its about time this country stood up and said enough is enough!

    Makes me ashamed to be British. How disgusting it is when they continuously pick on the MOST vulnerable of society. They have failed to look at so many different avenues. Genuine people who are registered disabled did not ask to be born that way and in fact would rather have NO medical conditions!

    Something needs to be done about all this and fast. Everything got way out of hand a long time ago. Enough is Enough!

  10. Paul Davidson says:

    Hi J.J. Solidarity Mutually assured.

    This vile Government and it’s rich Beneficiaries Mutually assured Destruction by the people for the People.

    I’m ashamed to be Brittish Bernadette and I once swore my allegence to the Queen and Country. But I’m proud to be here with you and others.

    You are one incredibly brave person Bernadette.


  11. K Peake says:

    73 of us dying each week of Atos (DWP)

    No record of the 43% of us found fit for work who aren’t working or receiving benefits the following year which will mean nothing to the gangster squad but be of terrible concern to anyone with a beating heart

    494 of us dying each week of cold

    1 in 500 of us currently being kept alive by responsible taxpayers at foodbanks leaping impressively to 1 in 250 of us by April

    The blame for these deaths lies squarely with the terrorists who launched this vicious and cowardly attack.

    Sign this petition to show the gangster squad what happens when they defame, illegitimise and abandon disabled people:

  12. Paul Davidson says:

    Hi all Last night I got a link to a Government Document all about the Ideology that is the E.S.A And Universal Credit process. how we who have an illness will apparently work together with our G.P. A Government Health Care enforcer and any specialist they can think such as Physio – therapist’s, Mental Health Expert’s The fit and well note on – line for the Government to check on progress of that gentle push in to oblivion. a sanction’s top heavy enforcement of making me take responsibility for my life long illnesses and other. to manage them myself even though half the N.H.S. Is meant to be involved in making a miracle cure happen. Well if I can cure myself just call me God Duncan and prepare for my 11th Commandment.

  13. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    GEOFFREY REYNOLDS left an annotation (22 January 2013)

    Another great day in British politics.Yesterday saw the live debate on the uprating of the Welfare Bill.Shadow cabinet MPs along with members of the coalition, made passionate pleas to the house, to try and stop the forthcoming onslaught of Dickensian moves that will place thousands of families and their children into abject poverty.
    Once again,hardly any mention of the debate by the BBC.
    Why not change your name to BIASED BLUE CONMEN.

  14. PAUL JACTION says:

    DWP means goverment wrong to appoint ATOS is given 42% given wrong decision can anybody take to goverment into EU court because goverment playing politics with Disable people anyway goverment lost future election votes by disabled people millions of vote by disabled people goverment knows what they are doing? Judge gave decision 42% wrong for disable people by ATOSgoverment breaching human rigts for disable people insted of goverment must look where growth will come at present and future instead of they constrated on disable people i mean target it is not diable people fault recession what about bank lost billions of pound what about rich people they have to pay more taxes they are making millions no tory is a rich people favour not poor disable people

Leave a Reply