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Same Difference

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

Following a court victory by claimants just last month, the government is rushing in an urgent change to the law to prevent many people with mental health conditions being awarded the mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP).

The change reverses the recent ruling by a panel of three judges and means that people with mental health conditions such as severe anxiety who can go outdoors, even if they need to have someone with them, are much less likely to get an award of even the standard rate of the PIP mobility component.

Panel of upper tribunal judges
As we explained just a few weeks ago, for years we’ve been advising members that DWP guidance about ‘Planning and following a journey’ was wrong and was leading to incorrect assessments by health professionals and errors of law by decision makers.

The disagreement over interpretation…

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A must read.

Politics and Insights

brendan_mason_montage2

Brendan Mason, who was brutally murdered by two young men he thought were his friends.
Picture courtesy of the Leicester Mercury

Warning: this article was  contains very distressing content.

Two men who filmed themselves savagely beating a young man with learning difficulties and taunting him, telling him to “smile for the camera”, have been sentenced by Leicester crown court to life imprisonment for his murder. 

In the early hours of 5 July last year, Joshua Hack, aged 21, and Keith Lowe, 22, lured Brendan Mason, a 23 year old man with learning difficulties, to a park, where they said they wanted to spend time with him. Mason believed the two men to be his friends.

When the three of them arrived at the park, Hack and Lowe hung Mason from a tree. They took turns hitting him while the other held him down for several hours, cruelly laughing and taunting…

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Spartacus Network

Spartacus Network this week has produced a response, aptly named Smokescreen, to the Government Green Paper on health and work.  Smokescreen attempts to dig below the soundbites and policy based evidence, and analyse the proposals.

What we found was truly shocking. In a Green Paper, touted as being mitigation for the cuts to the sickness benefit ESA, there was very little evidence that the cuts would be mitigated at all. Instead the Green Paper outlines yet another series of Work Programmes, using many of the familiar Prime Work Programme providers, supported by many of the same community and charity organisations as sub-primes.

What is truly startling though are the numerous hypotheses put forward as facts, supported in part by evidence based on reports written by the DWP or for the DWP, or extremely weak evidence – one survey used only 5 people.  There is a deliberate conflation of sickness…

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