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Christopher Robin
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Re: DLA (23rd Feb 12 at 8:48pm UTC)
And we wonder why the genuine folk seem to get targetted? {Shocked}

 
Have to ask myself if this helps the people who need DLA {Confused}

Mansion retreat of the £10m lottery winners STILL claiming £500 a month in BENEFITS

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2098504/Michael-Jean-OShea-Mansion-retreat-lottery-winners-claiming-benefits.html#ixzz1lsWK7UiP


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Re: DLA (27th Apr 12 at 11:32pm UTC)
Benefit cuts: Atos in the frame to deliver new disability tests
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2012/apr/23/benfit-cuts-atos-in-frame-to-deliver-disability-tests

Ten of the UK's biggest private outsourcing companies have been shortlisted to deliver controversial Personal Independence Payment health assessments - with one notable exception
Who will deliver a 20% cut to the disability living allowance benefits bill? We now know the contracts will be shared among 10 private companies, including the controversial French firm Atos Origin, which has come under fire over its handling of incapacity benefit tests, known as the Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

The shortlisted companies are effectively in the frame to compete for at least four regional contracts to assess people's eligibility for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) - a new benefit which will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in April 2013.

The PIP work is the first of a number of government health assessment contracts with a total net value of between £300m and £1bn let over the next four years.

Other providers on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) list include the multinational security company G4S, outsourcing giants Serco and Capita, and Ingeus Deloitte, which holds the lions' share of the work programme prime contracts.

Interestingly, A4e, the welfare to work company majority-owned by Emma Harrison currently being investigated by the DWP over allegations of fraud, bid for the framework but failed to make the cut.

The DWP confirmed that an unnamed voluntary sector provider was also unsuccessful in its bid to get on the shortlist - although charities are expected to be involved in subcontracting work.

But it is the presence of Atos - which delivers the "flawed" WCA tests under a £100m contract and has been regularly targeted by protestors (see this Guardian video for example) - which will cause most consternation among people affected by the PIP changes.

The shortlist - known as a framework - is subject to a 10 day cooling-off period and will be formally confirmed on 30 April. The DWP says it has "no date" yet for when the successful PIP contract bidders will be announced.

The framework is divided into four regional lots and one national lot. Each company will be able to bid for the PIP contract (or contracts) in each of the four regions for which it has been listed. Here's the full line up:

• Scotland, North East England, North West England and Isle of Man: Avanta Enterprises Ltd; Ingeus Deloitte Limited; APM UK Ltd; G4S Integrated Services (UK) Ltd; Atos Origin; Vertex Ltd
• Wales, Central England: Avanta Enterprises; Ingeus Deloitte Limited; APM UK Ltd; Capita Group Plc; G4S Integrated Services (UK) Ltd; Atos Origin; Vertex Ltd; MAXIMUS Employment UK
• London, South England: Avanta Enterprises Ltd; Ingeus Deloitte Limited; APM UK Ltd; Capita Group Plc; Reed In Partnership; G4S Integrated Services (UK) Ltd; Atos Origin; Vertex Ltd
• Northern Ireland: Ingeus Deloitte Limited; APM UK Ltd; Capita Group Plc; G4S Integrated Service UK Ltd; Atos Origin; MAXIMUS Employment UK; Serco Limited
• National UK: Avanta Enterprises Ltd; Ingeus Deloitte Limited; Capita Group Plc; G4S Integrated Services (UK) Ltd; Atos Origin; Vertex Ltd; MAXIMUS Employment UK; Serco Limited

The PIP contracts are likely to prove deeply unpopular, not least because ministers have said they want to see the total DLA bill reduced by 20%, and the government's own figures suggest up to 500,000 people could see their payments axed over the next three years. This will potentially push many individuals who lose eligibility into hardship and poverty.

Around 3.2m people, including children, are in receipt of the non-means tested DLA payments of up to £70 a week (depending on severity of condition). Recipients have a wide range of illnesses and disabilities including cancer, spinal injury, mental health problems and learning disability. The benefit is typically used to pay for equipment and mobility aids, travel costs, and expenses related to specific medical conditions such as special diets. Levels of fraud - less than 0.5% - are negligible.

Campaigners say the payments are vital to enable disabled people to work, and if the criteria are tightened it could lead to tens of thousands of employees being forced to give up their jobs. Critics - including, famously, the mayor of London Boris Johnson - have argued that disability benefit cuts will lead to poverty and social isolation for tens of thousands of disabled and chronically ill people.

The draft assessment criteria for PIP have led many disabled people to fear that they will lose their benefits from next year. Campaigners fear that the PIP changes will simply repeat of the costly chaos caused by the hugely unpopular WCA, which has led to tens of thousands of successful appeals by disabled people wrongly judged to be capable of work, and has brought the system to "the brink of collapse."

As the Responsible Reform report, compiled by the Spartacus Report' network of disability activists earlier this year, put it:

"PIP is perceived as impersonal, mechanistic and clearly in the mould of the condemned Employment and Support Allowance which is a cause of fear and misery for sick and disabled people."

Ministers have argued that DLA is outdated, and that spending is too high, and that PIP will enable more precise targeting of the benefit to people "who need it most". They successfully overcame attempts to water down the PIP changes in the House of Lords during the passage of the Welfare Reform Bill earlier this year, and say they have learned the lessons of the WCA contract.

The Coalition is yet to feel a public backlash against benefit cuts - which polls suggest remain stubbornly popular among voters. This may continue. As the reforms start to bite it is the companies making profits out of PIP assessments that may, like Atos, feel the lash of public opprobrium.
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Re: DLA (3rd May 12 at 11:06pm UTC)
Double amputee's anger at benefit query over how far he could walk The Independent Dave Higgens
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/double-amputees-anger-at-benefit-query-over-how-far-he-could-walk-7707265.html

The family of an engineer who has had both his legs amputated said today
they could not believe he was asked how far he could walk as part of
his application for disability living allowance (DLA).

John Bower, 45, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, applied for the benefit in February following a nightmare five months for him and his wife, Jayne, 48.

The couple told the Huddersfield Examiner that Mr Bower became ill in October last year and was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with meningitis.

Medics at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary saved his life but gangrene developed in his legs.

In December the decision was taken to amputate both of his legs below the knee.

Mrs Bower described how, after her husband applied for DLA, they had to answer questions over the phone about his claim including how far he could walk and when he would be able to walk.

She said: "It was as if they were trying to catch us out with their questions. We told them to come and see John here if they didn't believe us but they said they don't do home visits."

The couple said they are currently living on £81.61 a week sickness benefit, plus £10 a fortnight housing benefit.

They are also living in a temporary bedsit while they wait for a house to be adapted by the council.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "We sometimes contact people over the phone to speed up the claims process and verify information.

"People can tell us if they prefer to be contacted through the post

"We know that DLA is an outdated benefit and the existing application process is over-complicated. That is why we are introducing the new personal independence payment with a face-to-face assessment.

"This will give people the opportunity to discuss the effects of their condition with a health care professional in person."

It is understood Mr Bower will receive a decision about his disability living allowance in the next few days.

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Re: DLA (5th May 12 at 9:06pm UTC)
Beggars belief doesn't it?
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Re: DLA (2nd Jul 12 at 12:42pm UTC)
We are Spartacus http://wearespartacus.org.uk/

Reversing From Recovery http://wearespartacus.org.uk/reversing-from-recovery-report/
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Re: DLA (9th Jul 12 at 9:17am UTC)
Having your WCA recorded
http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/07/having-your-wca-recorded/
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Re: DLA (10th Jul 12 at 6:07pm UTC)
Personal Independence Payment and eligibility for a Blue Badge

http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-30



Full written statement from Norman Baker MP

"The Coalition Government is taking forward important reforms to the welfare system. One of these reforms will involve changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and will affect eligibility for a disabled person’s parking permit or Blue Badge. About a third of all badges are currently issued to people who receive the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA. My Department is therefore consulting on the options we have for dealing with the impact of the changes. The consultation covers arrangements for England only.

"I am committed to ensuring that the Blue Badge scheme continues to be focused on those people who will benefit most from the parking concessions that it offers, and that it is sustainable in the future. The Government has identified three main options for responding to the implementation of PIP. The three main options are:

•Option 1 – no legislative link between eligibility for a Blue Badge and eligibility to Personal Independence Payment,

•Option 2 – establishing a legislative link between Blue Badge eligibility and the enhanced mobility component of Personal Independence Payment,

•Option 3 – establishing a legislative link between Blue Badge eligibility and those who score 8 points or more within the ‘Moving Around’ activity within Personal Independence Payment. This assesses a person’s physical ability to get around.

"The Government’s preferred option is Option 3 as it would mean that eligibility for a Blue Badge would be most similar to the current scheme and the potential impacts of this option are minimal. We will, however, consider this in light of views and comments sent in as part of the consultation. The Government is also asking for other suggestions for other practical and sustainable solutions.

"PIP will be introduced for new claimants aged between 16 and 64 from April 2013 onwards. It will begin to replace DLA for existing recipients aged between 16 and 64 from October 2013 onwards. Any consequential changes to the Blue Badge scheme will also be phased in and will affect existing badge holders when an existing badge expires and they need to apply for a new one."
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Re: DLA (14th Dec 12 at 5:00pm UTC)
Benefits reform for disabled people

Hundreds of thousands of disabled people will see their benefits axed or cut in the next three years, the Government has said.
Ministers are reforming disability payments because, they say, some claimants have not been recently assessed and may now be suitable for some work.
They believe that by cutting benefits for some recipients they can divert money to those in more need, scrapping the 20-year-old disability living allowance (DLA) and replacing it with personal independent payments (PIPs).

Disabled people's minister Esther McVey told the House of Commons: "By reforming the system, ensuring it is fit for the 21st century, we can use the money we spend on disabled people more efficiently and effectively to help those most in need."
She added: "By October 2015 we will have reassessed 560,000 claimants. Of those, 160,000 will get a reduced award and 170,000 will get no award. However, 230,000 will get the same or more support."
Ms McVey said claimants receiving lifetime or indefinite DLA would not be reassessed until October 2015 at the earliest - after the next general election.
Labour backed reform but shadow minister Anne McGuire insisted: "The assessment needs to be the right one."

By removing half a million from DLA will those who get PIP be getting more support or will the savings go into the treasury, patience is a virtue possessed by few and I am one of the unbelievers of politicians of all persuasions and guess it is the treasury that will benefit.
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Re: DLA (15th Dec 12 at 9:30pm UTC)
Meat on the benefits bone http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ouch/2012/12/news_round-up_meat_on_the_bene.html
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