15 Spennyriver Dispatch – Disability benefits Sanctions

disabled signFollowing a Freedom of Information request from local disability activist group, ‘Rolling Thunder’, the reasons behind sanctions to disabled people’s benefits have been made public.  Several cases stand out:

* Man, 56, Couldn’t get his wheelchair into the Job Centre as a result of the three large steps at the entrance – sanctioned 4 weeks benefits for missing his appointment.

* Woman, 40, Visual impairment.  Lined up in a queue thinking it was for her employment advisor.  It turned out to be the queue for Greggs The Bakers.  Sanctioned 4 weeks.

*Man, 59, Had a heart attack during his fitness-for-work assessment.  Sanctioned for not completing the assessment.

* Woman, 32, Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder).  The wrong personality attended the assessment.  Sanctioned 4 weeks.

*Man, 44, Single leg amputee.  Followed a rival football team that was not the Thickets.  Sanctioned 4 weeks.

*Woman, 48, hearing impairment.  Did not hear her name when called for assessment.  Sanctioned 8 weeks for missing the assessment.

We presented these reason to Councillor Chappers, who had this to say:

“Our Job Centre advisors and our medical assessors have a very difficult job to do.  It is the responsibility of disabled people to present themselves for assessment or interview at the appointed time.  I have heard ‘but I can’t get my wheelchair up the steps’, or ‘I’ve had a heart attack’, but I say that if you believed you had a case to make, you wouldn’t let anything stand in your way.  Even if you can’t stand.”

I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.



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