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UK: Article the Guardian:Benefits assessment suspension does not go far enough, says charity

Discussion in 'Epidemics (including Covid-19)' started by Sly Saint, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://www.theguardian.com/society...uspension-does-not-go-far-enough-says-charity

    hopefully they will be putting their 'health professionals' to better use.
    better still , scrap the assessments;can't believe that they still seriously believe they will be getting sick and disabled people back to work now.
     
  2. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    A lot of people who have no previous experience of the welfare system are going to be getting experience of it.
     
  3. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think they should suspend assessments and case reviews for existing claimants.-

    - They need to bear in mind that lots of people need help, support and guidance filling in the forms. That's a lot of extra going and and contact for many vulnerable people.

    - They can then focus on speeding up and improving the process for new claimants as they'll need help quickly. Bearing in mind DWP staff and their agents may be affected by the virus too.

    - The people like Citizen's Advice Bureau's wouldn't be overwhelmed with demand for help. Especially when they have too few staff at the best of times.

    - I keep hearing about the effects of stress on the immune system, so lets ease that burden by taking the stress of dealing with a review in top of everything else off of claimants.
     
  4. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It would be interesting to see the final results (i.e. Tribunal decisions) on how those phone/paper based assessments compare to face to face assessments.
    Are they any worse or better?
    The DWP will be worried not to undermine the face to face assessments.
     
  5. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It will be interesting to see how paper based assessments will differ from the actual initial application? Surely a paper based assessment would be totally redundant. Also I f we are in self isolation how do we get support to complete a new form.

    I was due to be visited by an assessor this Thursday to reassess me for PIP, have not heard anything yet direct from the DWP or their contractors. Don’t know if my last payment will be the last as the period of my initial award has now ended, or if they will extend payments while they resolve these issues.
     
  6. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My grandson (with autism and type 1 diabetes) has his PIP run out at the end of September. On Saturday the 14th March he received a renewal form which must be received by them by 5th April or his money will be stopped. So it too 9 days to reach him and we will have to allow a week for it to get back so it has to be done by next Thursday.

    One of the reasons he gets PIP is because he cannot fill out forms. His Mum is front line NHS and has just gone to 12 hour shifts so I will have to fill it up. No way to get any evidence as everyplace is going into lockdown. :banghead:

    I have been involved in so many of these forms and have all the answers from last time so i should get it done and over with; I'll just say that he can't get any evidence at this time for obvious reasons, but I could really do without it. It feels like a serious lack of common sense never mind compassion.
     
  7. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This kind of uncertainty is brutally cruel at the best of times. I hear a lot about loans and the possibility of propping up businesses, but nothing about this level of uncertainty for vulnerable people.

    Time the government and DWP made a statement - preferably one that says that no claims will be reduced for the duration.
     
  8. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Good luck with it @Mithriel. It is cruel.and unfair.
     
  9. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    They also notified me with very short notice, got the forms just before Christmas, so I could not get any help with them till January. The Citizen’s Advice worker that supported me fortunately checked her emails while on leave, was fantastic and came her first day back at work, but this meant like you no new evidence could be included. We got it off in time, but they did also send me a letter the next day extending my deadline for two weeks. So it might be worth ringing them to ask for the deadline to be extended.

    My last PIP payment was a week ago and my re-assessment was due this Thursday, so I now have no idea what will happen. Not yet had any update directly from the DWP. Have a carer here this afternoon so will attempt to ring up.

    Note - I got no acknowledgement of my reapplication before Capita sent me the notice of the assessment visit, though I did after eight weeks phone the DWP to ensure it had arrived.
     
  10. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    They've suspended face-to-face assessments for the time being, so your payments should just continue until you're notified of new arrangements.
     
    MEMarge, alktipping, Mithriel and 4 others like this.
  11. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    From the article it looks like they might do phone assessments :(
     
  12. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have phoned them and asked for an extension before now. They've been okay about it. I pointed out it had taken several days to get to me and I would have to allow so many days to send it back.

    I need help to write in the form (otherwise there's not a hope they'll be able to read it & my hands can't cope with that much writing), plus help remembering symptoms and key points to include etc. I have to wait until that help is available to me.

    If you do this - make a note of date, time and name of person you spoke to if possible and include this as an additional sheet on the form along with the reasons you needed extra time.

    Always send it via a signature required service, so you can prove they received it and when it got there and if they don't receive it for any reason or lose it, you can at least prove you posted it.
     
  13. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    ugh what a horrible worry for you, hope it turns out ok for you Peter

    Forgive me if this seems patronising - you probably aware of it, but I always send my forms back Royal Mail Guaranteed & Signed For, Next day. So you can ensure it gets there the next day. It costs a bit of course - I think I paid £5.40 last time - which is a lot I know. And I usually do it 2 days before the deadline so if the service should fail, it will still have an extra day. But it helps my anxiety being able to track it online & see the signature of the person who received it.
    Good luck with it, it's so shitty that you have to deal with all this right now
     
  14. alktipping

    alktipping Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have sent forms by registered post and they still claimed to have lost them even though I told them who signed for it lol
     

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