Disabled woman felt “dehumanised” after being forced to crawl up stairs for benefits appointment

Benefit tales

Maria Quinn, 32, has blasted the centre for its shocking disabled access after she was told staff would not be able to attach a wheelchair ramp over the stairs for her to use

A disabled woman has told how she felt “dehumanised” at being made to crawl on her hands and knees into her local benefit assessment centre.

Maria Quinn, 32, has blasted the centre for its shocking disabled access after she was told staff would not be able to attach a wheelchair ramp over the stairs for her to use.

Humiliated but having no choice but to attend her appointment, Maria crawled up two flights of stairs on her hands and knees.

While she does not use a wheelchair, Maria, from Glasgow, walks with a wheeled walking frame and needs portable breathing apparatus.

Despite her mobility issues, she claims staff at the Department of Work and Pensions building in…

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Coxhoe man left almost blind in road accident ruled fit to work just weeks after coming out of coma

Benefit tales

BENEFIT assessors have ruled a man left almost blind by a road accident as fit to work – just weeks after he came out of a coma.

Alex Howe, from Coxhoe, County Durham, is blind in one eye and has severely reduced visibility in the other, struggles to walk and has lost hearing in one ear. He was left reeling when he was told he is not eligible for disability benefits.

The father-of-one said: “It feels like I’m being called a liar. It’s a big weight on me. I can’t believe it.”

Mr Howe was seriously injured in a crash on February 2, when he was thrown into a metal post after his motorbike collided with a car near the Poachers Pub in Metal Bridge, between Coxhoe and Spennymoor.

After being airlifted to hospital, the 35-year-old was in a coma for ten days and had to spend almost two…

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Disabled war veteran rode mobility scooter on 60mph road for 20-mile trip to attend benefits test : Daily Record.


Geoffrey Berry drove along the hard shoulder to the assessment centre after he was told he could not get a home consultation.

Former soldier Geoffrey Berry, 60, was denied a home visit (Photo: SWNS/Jon Lewis)

A disabled war veteran risked his life by taking his 8mph mobility scooter on a 60mph road to travel to a benefits assessment after being denied a home visit.

Former soldier Geoffrey Berry, 60, discovered he was unable to squeeze his scooter onto a bus and his car needed crucial repairs.

He decided he had no choice but to make the 20-mile trip on the slow-moving motorised scooter.

He drove along the hard shoulder of the A34 between his home at Bicester, Oxon, and East Oxford for his Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment.

Mr Berry, who served in the Falklands War and in the Royal Pioneer Corps from 1971 to 1986, relies on a zimmer…

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Biggest ever study of food banks warns use likely to increase : Guardian.


Oxford University research finds that poverty and hunger are all too real for a growing number of British people

Glasgow food bank
A food bank in Glasgow, one of almost 2,500 operating in the UK. Photograph: Murdo Macleod/for the Guardian

The biggest study yet undertaken into food bank use in the UK has been published, painting a bleak picture of modern life for over a million people. The research, carried out at Oxford University, found many food bank users experiencing profound poverty and destitution, and struggling to buy food and pay bills.

The study warns that benefit freezes and the continued rollout of welfare changes such as universal credit and cuts to disability payments are likely to drive up food bank use in future years. It calls for a review of the current freeze, pointing out that as the cost of living rises, welfare payments are likely to provide inadequate protection from severe…

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PIP assessments are dehumanising, degrading, very distressing and potentially harmful

Politics and Insights

Related imageI co-run a support group for people going through Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independent Payment assessments and appeals. I have heard many people’s harrowing experiences of these assessments, I have written about them, and I’ve written critically about the assessment process itself. However, it isn’t until you experience one of these assessments for yourself that you may fully appreciate just how utterly distressing, surreal, degrading and dehumanising the process actually is. Or how potentially harmful.

I had my first ever Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment today. I have systemic lupus and pulmonary fibrosis, among other problems, all of which affect my mobility and capacity to live independently, day-to-day. My consultant is a rheumatologist and more recently, I have been seeing a pulmonary consultant. Other specialists I sometimes need to see are a neurologists, opthalmologists, physiotherapists and haemotologists.

After a bout of pneumonia and sepsis earlier this year…

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Universal Credit Faces New Criticisms as Northern Ireland to Suffer Roll-Out.

Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Image result for universal creditFlagship Benefit Reform Limps from Crisis to Crisis.

This was reported a week ago: Universal credit rollout in North Kensington halted after tower fire.

The Guardian.

New benefit system will not be introduced in full in July so jobcentre staff can focus on claimants affected by Grenfell blaze.

Officials have halted the planned rollout of universal credit into North Kensington, west London, next month, saying they want jobcentre staff to focus on supporting claimants affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Universal credit, which pulls together six separate benefits into one monthly payment, has been dogged by criticism that design flaws and payment delays were causing low-income claimants to run up rent arrears and rely on food banks.

We have still to find out the details of how those affected by mass evacuations of Tower Blocks will be treated by Universal Credit.

The prospect is not looking good.

This appears…

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Theresa May Big Mistake on Cladding!….by @parliamentview

@ParliamentView The Blog

In Prime Minister’s Questions on 28th June 2017, and in response to the disastrous fire at Grenfell Tower in London, Theresa May stated…..

“The cladding of tower blocks did not start under this Government. It did not start under the previous coalition Government. The cladding of tower blocks began under the Blair Government”

It didn’t.

13 years before Blair…..

A BBC documentary in 1984 entitled ‘The Great British Housing Disaster’ drew attention to cladding as a method of rejuvenating social housing…..

So the PM was VERY wrong. Worse still did she really think she wouldn’t be found out? Did she just accept the word of some junior researcher?

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#Grenfell: where is the CCTV footage?


During the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower – considered likely to have been at the core of the rapid spread of the fire because of the cladding fitted – the building’s management organisation and the refurbishment contractor published a series of newsletters to update residents on the progress of the work. One of these newsletters reveals information that highlights a serious gap in the information so far disclosed by the authorities about the disastrous events of two weeks ago.

Page two of the December newsletter (now archived here) mentions access and exit arrangements, the final inspections to take place in flats after the works are completed – and CCTV cameras:

cctv grenfell.jpgFour cameras in the lobby, cameras in both lifts – and those are just the new cameras added. It’s likely that the stairs and corridors also had at least some cameras.

So far, while there are links on YouTube…

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