Here's a copy of the mail I received today. From time to time we might ask clients if they'd be interested in knowing about of sources of information and support: this is one that empowers the individual in properly meaningful ways.
"Just wanted to thank benefits and work for all the advice on the site. I won my appeal for DLA and went from being awarded nothing to getting lower rate care and higher rate mobility (for severe ME)!
"The DWP wanted to start my claim from December, but somehow the tribunal put the date as August. I've just spoken to someone who has confirmed back-dated payment of over £4000 - a good day!"
More good news from members at the end of this email
The welfare reform white paper published today is not just about the new universal credit. It is also about imposing a harsh new regime of sanctions on existing employment and support allowance claimants before the new benefit is even introduced.
Disabled claimants to be starved into obedience
Under the new regime, claimants in the work-related activity group of employment and support allowance (ESA), and the hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled claimants being forced onto JSA by increasingly harsh medical tests, face potentially indefinite 100% cuts in their benefit for minor ‘offences’.
Members can find out more about the coalition’s plans for a ‘fairer’ system of starving claimants into submission (Members only) now and we’ll be doing a full write up of the universal credit in the near future.
Meanwhile, if you’re feeling angry about the cuts then do bear in mind that according to the minister for disabled people the plan to kick one in five claimants off DLA is in order to stop the media attacking claimants and branding them as workshy scroungers. Oh and she also says that it’s ‘not particularly helpful’ to blame the government for anti-claimant propoganda when it’s really all the fault of the media.
Elsewhere, we have the news that the Youreable benefits forum has reopened after almost a year. But we’re wondering if their threats of huge financial penalties and criminal prosecution for people who repeatedly misuse the site will put off more genuine claimants than troublemakers?
We also have news of a brand new website which allows private tenants to find out how much benefit they may lose under the coalition’s plans to cut housing benefit.
And it’s not just the DWP and local authorities who are after your money. We’ve heard from the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group that incapacity benefit claimants may soon be receiving demands for underpaid tax from HMRC. Find out what to do if the taxman comes after you.
One bit of good news, however, is the announcement by the DWP that they are abandoning plans to introduce lie detectors for benefits claimants after discovering that they don’t work.
And finally, as always, we’re sharing some good news from our forums.
Higher rate mobility and middle rate care DLA indefinitely
Higher rate mobility and middle rate care DLA in just 4 weeks
ESA up from 6 to 15 points
ESA medical success before incapacity benefit appeal
ESA appeal success on review
Thank you – even though I’ve no idea of the result!