DWP dramatically admit to damaging my health.

In a strange but welcome turn of events, the Department for Work and Pensions – DWP have cancelled my tribunal and recognised my health affects my ability to work.

picture of Department for Work and Pension plaque at thier london headquarters in LondonThis morning, 29th August, I received an email for Universal Credit stating that I had a message in my online account to read. I was slightly worried as I barely ever get these notifications and each time I have it has not been good news.

After logging in and going to my journal it saw that I had a letter to download so after downloading that and installing an app to read it on my phone I opened to and was well shocked.

Dramatic Change of Stance

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As I previously wrote and coincidentally re-posted today, I suffer from several complex health conditions. Despite this the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) and Atos had classed me as fit to work. I had therefore appealed to the Tribunal after a failed Mandatory Reconsideration.

The letter as you can see is dated today, 29th August 2018 and it explains that they had received notification of my appeal to the Tribunal and after looking at the evidence they have changed their decision.

I was shocked because reading the letter they are not only admitting that their original decision was wrong but;

“The healthcare professional has advised that you should be treated as having Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (LCWRA) as you are suffering from a specific illness, disease or disablement where there would  be a substantial risk of damage to anyone’s physical or mental health if you were found not to have LCWRA”

Lets just highlight the substantial risk of damage to anyone’s physical or mental health part.

They are now telling me that despite countless messages, calls, pleas for help, tears, mental health breakdowns risk damage to my health but they got it wrong twice months ago? That in my mind is simply unacceptable.

I’m actually shocked they’ve used that specific wording as it means since the original decision six-months ago they are admitting that they have damaged my health.

Assessments Unfit for Purpose

Atos logo - Independent Assessment Services Delievered by Atos

This also highlights the sheer lack of knowledge that the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), Atos and Capita have when assessing someone with health issues.

My assessment was carried out by Atos. It will vary by where you live in the UK on whether it is them or the other contracted company Capita.

In my opinion, no amount of training can qualify a paramedic of occupational therapist to assess someone with complex mental health or neurological conditions. I mean no offence but these are areas doctors take years to learn about.

Both private companies have come under pressure to improve after numerous reports have found them unfit. Despite this the Tories renewed their contracts this year.

Atos are always keen to state that they; “do not carry out health assessments but are assessing how somebody’s disability affects them in their daily life.”

Do they actually listen to themselves when they think of this? It’s right of the DWP’s playbook of “reword it and it’s fine.”

Let’s remember that the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) “do not make referrals to foodbanks but signpost people who show an interest in them.” Atos and Capita’s statements are identical in their intent: push the blame onto the claimants.

No longer can this go on. Hundreds of millions of pounds has been spent by the government defending their decisions in courts and tribunals only for them to lose 71% of the cases they defend.

This is not a cost effective way for taxpayer money to be spent. Instead they could invest in fixing the system that’s causing them so much bad press but instead Theresa May decides to pop off to South Africa and dance away like an idiot whilst she grovels for an imaginary trade deal.

Get you heads out of the sand

Picture of three business people in denial with heads in sand picture by Shutterstock
Shutterstock Image

Now I do not hold Tory voters responsible for this. For whatever reason they voted Conservative at the last election. Right or wrong that’s their right and we should learn to give each other a little more respect whether we agree or not.

I just hope that stories like mine and thousands of others suffering in the UK have made them at least stop and think what is best for our country.

The “I’m alright jack approach” might be ok just now but it’s not sustainable. We all get old, many people suffer accidents and don’t realize how tough it is until it happens as they thought “that’ll never happen to me.”

Well News Flash I was once like that and look at me now. Anything can happen to anyone and once your in the situation it’s far harder to change it.

Regardless of who you vote for please just give each other a little more respect. Don’t drag yourselves down to the level of trolls.

Alex Tiffin

@RespectIsVital on Twitter

Universal Credit Sufferer on Facebook

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