I’m not an orchid, I’m a weed

One of the DWP's major concerns is that people assessed as unfit for work then wrongly believe that they are unfit for work, because that is what they have been told. If only the assessments told us we were fit for work, we'd go out to work and get better. Presumably it's the same with … Continue reading I’m not an orchid, I’m a weed

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Back in the benefits cycle

I got a brown envelope today, except it was white. The 'Personal Independence Payment' just showing in the address window gave the game away. I've been expecting a brown envelope since 24th October, when I was told my PIP was being reassessed (51 weeks after being given a two year award). I got two brown … Continue reading Back in the benefits cycle

Governments have no right to be ignorant

The government still doesn’t know what its talking about. But this time it’s almost seven years on from when it gained power, and its politicians no longer have the right to plead ignorance. They do not have the right to remain ignorant on matters of great importance over which they hold the power. A spokesperson … Continue reading Governments have no right to be ignorant

The government’s rationale for PIP shows it doesn’t understand disability

On Thursday the government released its response to the consultation on Personal Independence Payments (PIP), the successor to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) that is to be brought in from April 2013.  Amongst the surprises were the government’s limitation of higher rate (‘enhanced’) mobility to people who cannot move more than 20m – a shock to … Continue reading The government’s rationale for PIP shows it doesn’t understand disability

The importance of medical evidence for disability assessments

When it’s their word against yours, medical evidence is what proves you’re not the one lying. Medical evidence is what says that you are in pain, or you are blind, or you are mentally ill. It’s what confirms that you aren’t making things up or exaggerating. It’s what tells the decision maker to believe your … Continue reading The importance of medical evidence for disability assessments

Conservatives have ignored their history on disability benefit reform

A new disability benefit should reflect the policy intent that the important factor is not the medical condition but the effect that it has on people's care and mobility needs. The best that an examining medical practitioner can do is to take a snapshot of the person's condition on the day on which he sees … Continue reading Conservatives have ignored their history on disability benefit reform

The government doesn’t understand disability

On Monday the government started the roll-out of its new disability benefit, Personal Independence Payments. According to the government, PIP “better reflects today’s understanding of disability.” As a disabled person and researcher, my first response was to think that ‘DWP’ would have been a better fit than the word ‘today’ in that sentence. PIP is … Continue reading The government doesn’t understand disability