bigleyma is thinking…

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Two relevant articles contained in this pdf from Brent Association of Disabled People.

“Cameron’s constituent appeals for help after ‘inhuman’ Atos treatment”

Relates one disabled person’s story of enduring multiple WCAs (three within three years, having the ‘fit’ decision overturned by tribunal twice so far) though he is so incapacitated by ankylosing spondylitis that he has to take morphine three times a day.

“Every time I think, ‘why have they put me through all this pain and agony just to sit there?’ Every time I feel degraded.”

Susie Drohan, manager of Oxfordshire Welfare Rights (OWR), said the WCA was clearly “not fit for purpose” and was producing a “revolving door” of disabled people moving from assessments to appeals and back to assessments.

The DWP mantra when challenged on the success rate of appeals is

“A successful appeal “does not necessarily mean that the original decision was inaccurate”, because claimants often “produce new evidence” for their appeal.”

But DWP ‘decision makers’ are not privy to this evidence when they make their decision. It is made solely on ATOS ‘findings’, and nothing more. They’re really saying that an appeal is essential if claimants wish to have medical evidence considered, because… not only will ATOS not consider it at the WCA, but they actively contest it.

Government ‘used Motability claims to stir up hostility’

refers to the Sunday Times supposed ‘exposé’ of abuse of the Motability scheme. The newspaper claimed that government was concerned that disabled people’s family and friends were exploiting the process, with the Daily Mail upgrading it to the level of a ‘scam’.

Anne Novis, a leading disability hate crime campaigner, said the story

“Smacks of government preparing to withdraw DLA and Motability schemes or tighten them exclusively to those they deem ‘severely disabled’”.

She added:

“Any scheme can be abused but the fact that this and other statements about disabled people’s benefits, allowances and support being misused are coming out from Whitehall almost every week indicates a deliberate smearing campaign against us as disabled people.

“We are cursed, reviled, demeaned at every turn because people now think they have ‘permission’ from government to treat us this way.”

And really the last statement is the nub of it isn’t it?  The most favourable interpretation is that the government are irresponsible and ‘reckless’ in cultivating a culture of blame which can only demonise and incite contempt towards the sick and disabled. The least favourable is much more sinister and suggestive of  contempt and callousness towards the weak and vulnerable.


Written by bigleyma

July 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm

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