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Government Says Assessments For Severely Disabled People Must Go On

November 21, 2015

SOCIAL Justice Secretary Alex Neil has hit out at the “callous” response from the UK government after he called for the severely disabled to be exempt from distressing work capability assessments.

He wrote to Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson citing the case highlighted in The National over the past few months of severely disabled Stuart Chester and urged him to stop these assessments for people like him whose health condition will never improve.

However, in a letter of reply Neil was told that people like Stuart “cannot be exempted from attending periodic work capability assessments” and it was stated there was support in place to “ease the whole process”.

Neil said: “I think it is wrong and cruel to put people with life-long conditions like Stuart’s and his family through the stress and anxiety of these assessments when it is quite clear his condition will never improve and he will never be fit for work.

“These Tory ministers haven’t a clue about how normal people live. I think it is outrageous that they are not even willing to consider exempting severely disabled people from these totally unnecessary assessments.”

Neil met with 25-year-old Stuart, who has Down’s syndrome and autism, cannot speak, read, wash or clothe himself, and his mum Deborah and sister Amanda in September for the first time to discuss ways of working together to save other vulnerable people suffering under the new welfare system.

Stuart, from Glasgow, is just one of hundreds of severely disabled people ordered to prove he is unfit for work even though he needs round-the-clock care from his mum.

He was sent a 20-page work capability assessment form to fill in that will investigate his fitness for work and whether he deserves his Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) benefits.

Deborah, 51, has filled in the form for him and heard word back from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that his benefits won’t change but Stuart will still have to face regular assessments to see if he is fit for work, which she insists is “ludicrous”.

She said: “All we can do is continue to fight against the injustice and shout about it from the rooftops until someone eventually listens. But the Tories don’t care if people die as a result of their benefit cuts. They just want to save money.

“We have all got to stand together and say enough is enough, right now before more disabled people die because of it. I cannot understand how they are getting away with killing people. It is genocide.”

Her daughter Amanda, 29, set up a Facebook page in Stuart’s name and has received amazing support from thousands of people all over the world.

Independent research released this week showed “hard evidence” of the link between work assessments and mental ill-health.

The SNP’s Fair Work and Employment spokesman, Neil Gray, said the Tories “can no longer hide” from the link between work capability assessments and mental ill-health as more and more evidence comes to light.

It follows comments made this week by the family of Angela Smith, who took her own life in September, about their anger at the Tory government and their belief that Angela’s fears of being reassessed led to her death.

Angela’s father Donald Smith said she was “a victim of this government’s repressive measures against disabled people”.

The findings of the investigation are the latest in a series of revelations about the devastating impact these assessments.

Gray, who is the MP for Airdrie and Shotts, said: “Sadly, we have heard of many cases similar to that of Angela and of concerns being raised by doctors and those working for front-line organisations but these just seem to fall on the deaf ears of the Tories.

“This week a study from Oxford and Liverpool universities linked 590 suicides to Work Capability Assessments which proves just how devastating these interviews and the threat of vital benefits being sanctioned are for individuals.

“The Tories can no longer hide behind excuses and pretend that there is no evidence of a link between these cruel and degrading tests and mental ill-health, increased use of anti-depressants and suicide.”

16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 21, 2015 11:47 am

    Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions.

  2. November 21, 2015 11:59 am

    The dictatorial robots have nothing better to do than pick on the Disabled because deep down they blame us for the state of the country! Those who made the new Dr Who got it right with those aliens that disguise themselves as humans. Sorry but that is my opinion & I am sticking to it.

  3. Jeffery Davies permalink
    November 21, 2015 12:45 pm

    The show must go on aktion t4 the master plan culling the stock by any means it doesn’t matter you suffer has has they dont humanity is dead killed off by the greed and lies they sprout out works makes you better sieg hiel jeff3

  4. November 21, 2015 1:04 pm

    I can’t see what all the fuss is about – just fill in the forms & send them back. This is what we do – it only takes a few minutes.

    • Spoonydoc permalink
      November 21, 2015 1:58 pm

      A few minutes for a 40 page form? You are amazing.

      • November 21, 2015 2:31 pm

        I already have to answers to the questions, so it’s just a matter of copying these onto the form – simples.

    • November 21, 2015 1:58 pm

      Quite a callous answer I feel.

  5. November 21, 2015 1:58 pm

    Reblogged this on disabledsingleparent.

  6. November 21, 2015 1:58 pm

    Tweeted @melissacade68

  7. November 21, 2015 2:00 pm

    If George is looking for some savings in Welfare why doesn’t he acknowledge there are people who’ll never be able to work and stop spending money terrorising them with useless tests and reassessing them continually like Stuart mentioned above??

  8. November 21, 2015 3:35 pm

    Reblogged this on campertess and commented:
    I think the 590 suicides that are linked to the WCA are only the tip of the iceberg & I fear we will never know the exact numbers. The DWP strike fear in the minds of all the people that are forced to deal with them. All it takes is seeing that brown envelope getting pushed through the letterbox to give you the jitters, even thinking about it is scary.

  9. Bookworm permalink
    November 21, 2015 4:30 pm

    It’s not a matter of copying what you put last time. The forms are changing constantly and you have to ensure you answer accurately and reflect any changes in your condition. If you can’t explain so they understand your condition and your benefits are stopped you’ll face possibly months without any income, debt and probably homelessness before your benefits are reinstated. Even if repaid from when they were stopped you will still be out of pocket i.e if you get a loan to keep eating etc you won’t get the interest on that loan repaid by DWP! Not to mention the trauma when you are financially broke and the effect on your illness, disability.

    • November 21, 2015 7:43 pm

      Bookworm: Oh, come on! I’ve been filling in these forms for years – & have never had any problems. I even took the lady I care for to an ATOS assessment, & because we were well prepared, she sailed through it. This is a game – although serious – so you have to be well prepared to fight the enemy.

      • November 22, 2015 1:35 pm

        Well slap7. I wake up 6 days a week dreading the postman & as for ATOS. How much money were the government wasting paying those disgraced people, because from I’ve heard ATOS were made up of struck off Dr’s, Judges & other people like that. They got paid for every person they took off sickness benefit. & with an ‘invisible’ disability apart from a scar on the side of my head as well as my balance problems & other things I am NOT looking forward to my Assessment, when that ‘Dreaded’ brown envelope tells me I have to go for mine.

  10. November 25, 2015 8:18 pm

    quote from the text above: “But the Tories don’t care if people die as a result of their benefit cuts. They just want to save money.”…you forgot to add….”to put in their own pockets because the deficit hasn’t gone down much /if at all. so where are these “savings” going to that are made from stopping benefits, cutting benefits, and lowering all sorts of things, like N
    HS costs, social services cuts, etc etc because by rights, with all the cuts that have been made and carried out,there should be no deficit by now. so where else does this extra money that they are collecting/clawing back go to but their pockets>?


  1. Government Says Assessments For Severely Disabled People Must Go On | Same Difference | sdbast

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