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News Archives 4981-5000
Number Title Post Date
4981 Feral overclass insurance MP Jonathan Djanogly to profit from Legal Aid cuts 20/09/2011 15:24:43
4982 Bent Britain: The Guardian, Metropolitan Police & Official Secrets Act 20/09/2011 15:26:48
4983 Profits: Why Drug Legalization Just Won’t Happen 20/09/2011 15:28:44
4984 New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure Of 'War On Drugs' 20/09/2011 15:29:39
4985 Legal aid reforms minister has £250,000 invested in firms with insurance interests 21/09/2011 14:18:47
4986 Norman Lamb MP, ATOS Healthcare & UNUM Insurance 21/09/2011 14:20:36
4987 Detested Paediatrician David Southall Calls More GMC Witnesses 21/09/2011 14:27:58
4988 Causes of Gulf War Illness are complex and vary by deployment area 21/09/2011 14:29:22
4989 Drug deaths now outnumber car crash kills 21/09/2011 14:30:39
4990 Art Caplan Challenged With Evidence of HPV Vaccine Harm 21/09/2011 14:31:24
4991 Warning: More Children Struck Down By GlaxoSmithKline Flu Vaccine 21/09/2011 14:38:04
4992 Feral overclass UK ConDem government cuts off support for terminally ill 22/09/2011 14:46:48
4993 Try different tactic in useless drug war 22/09/2011 14:54:52
4994 Local scientist aims to unlock medical potential of marijuana 22/09/2011 14:57:38
4995 Law Firm Faces Legal Action Over Handling Of MMR Vaccine Case 22/09/2011 15:01:20
4996 Pharmaceutical Industry Bisexual Effluent Damages Ecosystem 22/09/2011 15:04:02
4997 Julian Assange Press Statement on the Unauthorised 'Autobiography' 22/09/2011 15:10:53
4998 Disabled people to protest across the UK – what’s happening near you? 01/10/2011 10:31:09
4999 No benefit from British welfare reform 01/10/2011 10:32:46
5000 Police still baffled by festival drug use: generation gap 01/10/2011 10:33:35

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Feral overclass UK ConDem government cuts off support for terminally ill
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Terminally ill told benefit may be stopped in April

The Government is writing to some terminally ill people to tell them their benefit will be ended in six months.

20 September 2011

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) began writing to people affected this week [1] to say that, under Welfare Reform Bill plans, ‘contributory-Employment and Support Allowance’ (c-ESA [2]) will be time-limited to one year from April 2012. Terminally ill people who have accessed c-ESA since April 2011 may lose all out of work help in just six months as a result [3].

Neil Coyle, Disability Alliance Director of Policy, says:

‘The impact of cutting support will be devastating for people already told they only have a limited time left to live. Many will have worked for years and will feel they deserve a little support in return till they pass away. The Government has time to change plans before terminally ill people and their families have this avoidable and quite nasty cut imposed.’

DWP believe 700,000 people will be affected by 2015/16 from ending support after one year [4]. Some terminally ill people may qualify for alternative help but over 400,000 people must lose all support if the Government’s targeted cut of £2 billion is to be met [5].

Cancer charities estimate 7,000 cancer patients could lose help [6] and when people with other conditions are included the total number of people with terminal conditions affected will be higher.

Despite terminally ill people beginning to receive the worrying letter from DWP, the House of Lords has not even scrutinised Government plans yet. The Welfare Reform Bill enters Lords committee sessions in two weeks [7] and the time-limiting could be amended or removed. The national Liberal Democrat conference voted against time-limiting support just three days ago [8]. But the letters are being sent now at a cost of £2.7 million – including letters to people unaffected by the change [9] but who will experience considerable anxiety.

Neil Coyle adds:

‘The Government approach will mean some terminally ill people face costly, avoidable reassessments and massive anxiety. Others will lose financial help at a very tough time. It is not uncommon to be diagnosed with a fatal illness but have more than a year to live. But the Government will end benefits support for people well before they pass away, even for people who have worked all their lives. This is unacceptable, unfair and offensive to ordinary sensitivities.’

Disability Alliance believes that anyone with a terminal illness should be entitled to Support Group protection and should not face time-limited support/benefits. The Government could amend the Bill to this effect and avoid people close to death experiencing additional financial hardship and isolation. 

Notes

[1] DirectGov has the following information online: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_199210

[2] Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) has two groups: the Support Group for people not obliged to undertake work; and the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG), for people who must undertake some work-related activity. People receiving ESA WRAG who have made National Insurance contributions previously are the people targeted to lose help from April 2012 (contributions-based ESA WRAG).

[3] Terminally ill people with a prognosis of less than six months to live will be protected as they can qualify for ESA Support Group. People with a prognosis of longer than six month may be in the ESA WRAG and are likely to receive the DWP letter.

[4] See: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/esa-time-limit-wr2011-ia.pdf (p7).

[5] £2 billion representing roughly £90 per person, per week for 52 weeks a year for 400,000 people.

[6] See: www.macmillan.org.uk/Aboutus/News/Latest_News/Cancerpatientstoloseupto94aweek.aspx

[7] On 4th October; see: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/welfarereform.html

[8] On 17th September; see: http://opinion.publicfinance.co.uk/2011/09/lib-dems-conference-taking-a-stand-on-welfare/

[9] The DWP IT system is sending letters to people apparently receiving contributions-based ESA and income-based ESA. Only contributions-based ESA WRAG is being time-limited.

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Related Links:
* Norman Lamb MP, ATOS Healthcare & UNUM Insurance
Black Triangle Campaign
* Bent ATOS Britain and UNUM Insurance, A Country of Second Chances
Information Release, Black Triangle Campaign
* Al Jazeera Exposes ATOS Healthcare
Al Jazeera, The Stream
* New wave of protests launched to target detested ATOS
Chill4UsCarers
* ATOS Worker - Sick and disabled are 'Parasitical Wankers'
IndyMedia UK
* Documentary Film Maker requires help on project about Atos & Benefit reform
Paul Smith, Atos Register of Shame
 * ATOS Healthcare bludgeons its UK critics
Will Stone, Morning Star
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