Labour attacks universal credit as ‘not fit for purpose’

Opposition calls for major changes, including cuts to the six-week period that claimants have to wait for payments
The shadow pensions secretary, Debbie Abrahams, is also seeking an option of fortnightly rather than monthly payments.
 The shadow pensions secretary, Debbie Abrahams, is also seeking an option of fortnightly rather than monthly payments. 

Labour has unveiled a list of demands to improve the rollout of universal credit, seeking to keep up the pressure on Philip Hammond over the issue before Wednesday’s budget.

The shadow pensions secretary, Debbie Abrahams, has written to the chancellor demanding changes to UC, which Labour and other critics say is putting people in debt as it is rolled out into new parts of the country.

The main request is to reduce the initial six-week wait for a payment under the system, which is designed to replace a range of other benefits such as tax credits and housing benefit.

Chancellor, keep a million children out of poverty. Fix universal credit

Charities working with claimants have said the six-week wait tends to put people into arrears, especially with their rent, and means they have to seek support from food banks. There has been speculation the government is planning to reduce this period.

Abrahams is also seeking an option of fortnightly rather than monthly payments, a change to the assessment period and modifications to ensure that the benefit always rewards people for finding more work.

In a separate article for the Guardian, Abrahams said there was increasing evidence that UC “is not fit for purpose – and Labour believes the budget is a chance to fix it”.

The original aims of the system – to simplify social security support, ensure people were always better off in work than on benefits and reduce child poverty – were laudable, and had been supported by Labour, Abrahams wrote.

“But UC is failing to deliver on its objectives, as we have heard from respected charities including Child Poverty Action Group, Trussell Trust, Citizens Advice and Gingerbread. Even former government advisers, civil servants and UC’s own architects are now critical of the scheme,” she added.

The system’s inherent problems were made worse by benefit cuts imposed in 2015, she added.

“As it is being rolled out, universal credit is pushing people into debt and rent arrears, with many people in social and private rented housing being served eviction notices.”

As well as the six-week initial wait, and obligatory monthly payment, Abrahams highlighted UC’s lack of responsiveness to the changes in income of self-employed people.

“The problem is that this is assessed on a monthly basis, with no discretion for the natural peaks and troughs of self-employed work, or indeed for the niceties of the occasional holiday,” she wrote.

“Should they take a Christmas break, many self-employed people may suddenly find they have not met the [Department for Work and Pensions] work requirements, and be sanctioned as a result.

“If you’re thinking this doesn’t affect you, I’m sorry to say that might change, with the government planning to roll out ‘in-work conditionality’. This would require people who are working to report to the jobcentre and demonstrate they are seeking more hours, or face their UC support being cut.”

Most serious, Abrahams warned, were cuts to benefit levels, citing a forecast from the Child Poverty Action Group that reductions to UC would put a million more children into poverty by 2022.

Hammond could begin to fix the situation in the budget, Abrahams said, by reducing the six-week wait, allowing rent to be paid directly to landlords, allowing payments to be split between partners, improving flexibility for self-employed claimants and restoring the cuts to work allowances.

“Anything less won’t make UC fit for today’s labour market,” she wrote. “Anything less will sentence a million more children to be brought up in poverty. Anything less will mean that this prime minister’s promise to tackle ‘burning injustices’ is no more than empty rhetoric.”

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Revealed….How Private Insurance Moves to Replace the Welfare State

Although I’m not a prophet: I have said for many years that by the time I’m retired or gone the NHS & welfare state will be gone, people scoffed and yet look what’s happened to them both in the past 10 yrs!
Never in all my 60 years have I seen such poverty, the yardstick for poverty has certainly declined to Victorian levels. My father was a blue-collar worker and the only earner in my family back in the 1960s and yet he was able to buy a two-up and two-down terraced house in Birmingham.
We never had much, but we never knew want! We had clothes shoes, food and gifts at Christmas.
Sustenance and covering are a basic human need and enshrined in the Human rights act, but the Govt have seen fir to blatantly ignore Article 25. – Govt Newspeak

blueannoyed

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Image Courtesy of Legal & General

I have in many of my blogs mentioned the fact that Insurance was to replace the welfare state, many still don’t think it will happen well listen up, it is around the corner and thanks to deregulation via brexit it going to happen, and would have happened sooner if EU law had not protected you. There will many who will live to regret the vote for Brexit.

The government has finally introduced it ugly game plan and they wont stop there as the same insurance company is linked to social care which is undergoing a review also.

Looks like insurance for care through legal and General. Names of independent experts invited by government to provide advice and support engagement in advance of the green paper:

Caroline Abrahams – Charity Director of Age UK
Dame Kate Barker – former Chair of the King’s Fund Commission…

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A cheap stunt by the government over Universal Credit will lead to thousands of children a year being worse off

The government has made a significant change to the controversial roll out of Universal Credit. It’s launched a consultation on proposed changes to a policy affecting over one million children. It says more children will be helped by the plans.

But dig a little deeper into the details and it actually seems like a cheap stunt. Because the proposals could eventually lead to around 16,000 of the most deprived children being worse off every year.

Universal Credit: more changes?

On 16 November, the Department for Education (DfE) released details of how the free school meals programme will work under Universal Credit. There has been uncertainty over this since at least 2012.

But now, after mounting pressure from teachers’ groups, the Public Accounts Committee and thinktanks, the government has provided the details.

Currently, children generally receive free school meals if their parents or guardians are on certain benefits, while working less than 10 hours a week and with a total income of less than around £16,000 a year. But the government will change this under Universal Credit, so a child whose household income is £7,400 or less will be entitled to free school meals. The government says this will mean:

  • 50,000 more children will get free school meals once Universal Credit is rolled out.
  • Children who would lose out because their parents earn more than £7,400 will be protected until they leave the education stage (primary or secondary) they are at, or until Universal Credit is fully rolled out.

But the policy is not all it seems. Because a dig into the government’s consultation document [pdf] reveals:

  •  Around 10% of children currently entitled to free school meals will no longer be entitled to them [pdf, p11].

This is at least 113,000 children [xls, table 3a, row 34, column S] based on current numbers. These children’s entitlement will be protected for a while (as detailed above). But based on the number of children leaving primary [xls, table 3a, row 18, column S] and secondary [xls, row 25] education at present, around 16,000 children a year will lose their entitlement after protections end.

So effectively more children will eventually lose their free school meals entitlement than will actually gain it under the changes. And all this is without people who have a new claim for Universal Credit, as their children, who previously would have qualified for free school meals, may no longer do so.

  • The £7,400 limit will effectively create a ‘cliff edge’ Universal Credit was meant to avoid.

£7,400 is the equivalent of 19 hours on the National Living Wage. By putting this limit in, the government is making a ‘cliff edge’, where it’s not worth a person working more hours to earn more money, as they will lose benefits. And this is exactly what Universal Credit was not supposed to do.

  • The government’s proposal will still mean children who are entitled to free school meals will still miss out on them.

As the National Association of Head Teachers’ General Secretary Paul Whiteman told The Guardian, the government could have put automatic enrolment in place for free school meals. This would ensure every child who is entitled to them, gets them. But it hasn’t done this, so some children may miss out.

  • The government’s proposals will affect data gathering on disadvantaged pupils. Specifically, it will disrupt some analysis of how well poor children are doing compared to richer children, and make other comparisons hard.

In other words, some argue analysis of how well deprived children are performing will be rendered “useless“. As Schools Week reported, Andy Ratcliffe, a former education adviser to Gordon Brown, described the proposals and the affect on data as a:

‘dog’s breakfast’. He predicted that the January census data on free school meals would be ‘completely useless’ for the next seven years as the government will no longer be able to compare the performance of poorer pupils with previous year groups.

If the system is not sorted out in time for the census, the government will have ‘poisoned the well for the most critical measure’ for tracking poor pupils, he said.

The DfE says…

The Canary contacted the DfE for comment on the issues raised in this article. A spokesperson directed The Canary to the announcement on the government website, including the statement from the Minister for Children and Families Robert Goodwill:

We want every child to reach their potential, regardless of their background. As Universal Credit is rolled out, it is right that we continue to make sure this support reaches children from the most disadvantaged families. Our proposals should not only protect those children already receiving free school meals and additional school funding but will see thousands more benefitting from this support in future. This is an important issue and we need to get this right to make sure we continue to help those children most in need. That’s why it is vital that we hear from teachers, early years professionals and families throughout this consultation.

A cheap stunt

Regardless of the finer details of the government’s proposals, the consultation seems more like the Tories running scared over the Universal Credit backlash. Given the timing, when issues surrounding the new benefit and free school meals had been flagged up as early as 2012, it looks like a cynical move to placate public anger. But in reality, the government appears to be doing nothing more than pulling a cheap stunt at the expense of some of the most-deprived children.

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THIS WEEKS UNIVERSAL CREDIT NEWS

Moron Tory Chancellor claims ‘there are NO unemployed people’

Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond claims ‘there are NO unemployed people’ in car-crash live TV gaffe

Millionaire Philip Hammond was forced to deny “forgetting” the 1.425million people who are out of work in the middle of his biggest Budget interview

Philip Hammond made the car-crash comment, despite official figures showing 1.425million out of work, in the middle of his biggest interview ahead of this week’s Budget – which could make or break his career.

His last Budget in the Spring was a shambles after he had to abandon tax hikes for a self-employed. Now he is battling for his job after clashing with pro-Brexit Cabinet colleagues.

The blundering Cabinet minister was trying to make a point about how Britain should embrace the rise of the robots, and later backtracked.

But he was branded “completely out of touch” by his Labour rival John McDonnell. Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams added: “Seriously??”

“Where are all these unemployed people? There are no unemployed people” 
Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond tried to airbrush out the 1.4million unemployed Brits 

Mr Hammond spoke to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show as he denied putting driverless cars on the road by 2021 would leave taxi and truck drivers destitute.

“There’s a simple choice here,” he said.

“Either we embrace change and we put ourselves at the forefront of it or we try to hide from change and we allow ourselves to slip behind.”

He added: “I remember 20 years ago we were worrying about what was going to happen to the million shorthand typists in Britain as the personal computer took over.

“Well, nobody has a shorthand typist these days.

“Where are all these unemployed people? There are no unemployed people.”

He was branded “completely out of touch” by his Labour rival John McDonnell (Image: BBC)
The pair were both appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show (Image: PA)

A surprised Mr Marr said there were lots of unemployed people.

But the Chancellor pressed on: “We’ve created 3.5million new jobs since 2010. This economy has become a jobs factory, constantly reinventing itself, constantly creating new jobs and careers.”

He later backtracked on his gaffe insisting the 1.4million unemployed people “haven’t been forgotten by this government” but unemployment “is at record lows”.

He added: “It was the last Labour government that abandoned the unemployed, ignored them, dumped them on welfare.”

Speaking an hour later to ITV, he desperately tried to repair the damage.

“There’s 1.4 million unemployed people in this country, that’s 1.4 million too many. But we have record low levels of unemployment,” he said.

“The point I was making … is that previous waves of technological change have not resulted in millions of people being long-term unemployed.”

But Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said: “The Chancellor is living on another planet.

“The Tories have become even more out of touch and are now so inwards looking that they have no clue of the experiences of ordinary people suffering from 7 years of Tory austerity.”

Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “Quick reminder for the Chancellor – there are 1.5m unemployed people in the country (2,910 in Tottenham) plus millions more who are underemployed, earning less than the living wage, on zero hours contracts, in insecure work, and on the end of 7 years of falling real wages.”

He was making a point about how driverless cars, in which he’ll soon be a passenger 

Mr Hammond also drew attacks for dismissing NHS chiefs’ warning of what he called “Armageddon” if they don’t get an extra £6billion in the Budget.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth told Sky News: “This is happening now today in the NHS and if he doesn’t realise that he’s completely out of touch. We are calling on the Chancellor to put aside an extra £6 billion in this Budget coming up.”

Mr Hammond was already fighting for his job; Theresa May only kept him in the Treasury because she failed to win a general election landslide.

He used a separate interview to deny he is an “Eeyore”, the nickname given to him by Brexit -backing Tories because of his gloomy statements around the looming EU exit.

Mr Hammond said he expected Britain’s national debt to start falling thanks to the Government’s deficit reduction plan.

“We are now at the point, or almost at the point, where that debt stops growing and starts to slowly decline,” he told Marr.

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Template letter for claimants who may be affected and entitled to arrears of ESA

I don’t know if anyone following me is effected by the arrears of ESA? but Nick Dilworth has written a template letter to claim what is due to you


Template letter for claimants who may be affected and entitled to arrears of ESA

Thanks to Nick Dilworth who wrote this template letter

You can follow him @Mylegalforum http://ilegal.org.uk/


TEMPLATE LETTER

[Your Address]

 

The Customer Complaints Manager

[Address of your Employment & Support Allowance Office]

*shown on your most recent correspondence from them

 

Date

 

Dear Sir / Madam,

National Insurance No:

Arrears of Employment & Support Allowance which may be owed to me through your official error

My attention has been drawn to some recent media coverage by the BBC entitled ‘Mistakes in benefits claims could cost up to £500m’ (dated the 17th November 2017).  As a result of this I am making an official complaint, I believe I may be affected and entitled to arrears of Employment & Support Allowance.The media coverage states:

“The errors identified by the Department for Work and Pensions affect the main sickness benefit, the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).  The BBC understands that assessors wrongly calculated the income of around 75,000 claimants.  Ministers say that they are aware of the problem and that repayments have begun to be made.  The department, which says it discovered the mistakes last December, is understood to have contacted about 1,000 people so far.  It says it is still trying to understand the scale of the problems with ESA, which is paid to about 2.5 million people, and will contact anyone affected.”

 

Having made some enquiries, I understand that I may be an affected individual because I underwent a ‘conversion’ assessment from older Incapacity Benefits / Income Support paid on the grounds of incapacity for work / Severe Disablement Allowance.  My recollection is that this was subject to a decision made by you on or about the [insert date].

The conversion process should have been carried out in accordance with the Employment and Support Allowance (Transitional Provisions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit) (Existing Awards) (No.2) Regulations 2010 and it is my understanding that in confirming your decision you should:

(a) have ensured I was entitled to the correct amount of ‘transitionally protected’ benefit at a rate whereby my converted Employment & Support Allowance award was equal to what I received before conversion and should have continued to be protected on a ‘mark time’ basis until the level of Employment & Support Allowance either caught up with my transitionally protected amount or until the 5th April 2020.

(b) As part of the conversion decision making and notification process you should also have checked any existing contributory award to see if I may qualify for an income based amount on the converted Employment & Support Allowance award as confirmed by the Upper Tribunal in [2015] UKUT 342 (AAC) where it was held [In considering Regulation 8 of Employment and Support Allowance (Transitional Provisions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit) (Existing Awards) (No.2) Regulations 2010]:

“Given the unified nature of ESA as described in paragraph 25 above, the determination by the Secretary of State of the amount of ESA to which a person would be entitled on conversion under regulation 8(1) in my judgment must encompass consideration of both the contributory amount and the income-related amount.”

I am therefore asking you to confirm that neither of the above omissions (a) or (b) occurred as a result of any official error on my claim.  If official error has occurred and I have been underpaid in consequence of that error, please ensure that you pay me any amounts owing to as a matter of urgency and without unacceptable delay.

Please note that this request is an official one which you must treat by way of an anytime review or supersession request.

I must further point out that this request applies to a retrospective decision and therefore applies in cases where there may have been a subsequent successful appeal against any initial decision to refuse or otherwise restrict the Employment & Support Allowance award made.  Likewise, the fact that I have since stopped claiming Employment & Support Allowance or taken up another claim to other benefits does not prevent me from making this request.

So that I can check the accuracy of your records please treat this letter as a Subject Access Request and supply me with copies of my pre – conversion awards and all claim details pertaining to my Employment & Support Allowance claim from the point of conversion of my claim.

Please also consider this as a complaint of potential maladministration on my claim and consider issuing me with an appropriate compensatory or special payment.

On a final point, please make me aware of the effect which this may have upon any other benefits such as Housing and or Council Tax Benefit paid at the point of conversion.

I look forward to hearing from you and trust that you will look in to and act on this request as a matter of urgency.

Yours faithfully

Council housing numbers hit lowest point since records began

New figures come days before Autumn Budget in which Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to announce raft of new housing policies

The number of council homes in Britain has fallen to a new record low, with fewer properties to rent from local authorities than at any point in almost 50 years, analysis of official data by The Independent has revealed.

Stock of council houses across England, Scotland and Wales has dropped to just two million and has now more than halved in the last 20 years, according to new government statistics. The figures do not include Northern Ireland because it stopped collecting the data in 2014.

More than 170,000 council homes have been lost since 2010 alone. The majority are likely to be properties for social rent, which are offered to local people at around half the cost of private market rents.

Fewer social homes being built than at any time since Second World War

The loss is the result of a range of factors, but commentators have especially highlighted the Right to Buy policy that sees council house tenants given a state subsidy of up to £100,000 to help them buy their home.

Despite repeated promises from ministers, only one new home is being built to replace every five sold under Right to Buy.

The number of council houses in Britain has now fallen by 69 per cent since the policy was introduced in 1980 – down from 6.5 million. It had risen continuously up to that point.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warned earlier this week that enough homes to house the population of Oxford have been sold off under Right to Buy since 2012. – 54,581 homes have been sold but just 12,472 built to replace them.

As the number of council homes has fallen, more and more people have been forced to rent from private landlords and pay rents that are, on average, up to 50 per cent more expensive.

The number of private renters has doubled in the last 20 years and now stands at 5.4 million. It has increased by a million – or 23 per cent – since 2010.

Poorest and most vulnerable hardest hit by Tory reforms

The latest figures paint a picture of a failing housing market and comes ahead of next weeks’ Autumn Budget, in which the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is expected to announce a raft of new measures designed to tackle the housing crisis.

Ministers have come under mounting pressure to reverse policies that have seen the number of new social homes being built plummet by 97 per cent since 2010. The total number of homes built by councils across Britain totalled just 1,840 last year, although this was the second highest since 2012.

Many more council homes are forecast to be privatised as a result of measures in the 2016 Housing and Planning Act, which forces councils to sell off their most valuable properties and extends the Right to Buy to housing association properties.

Since 2011, government ministers have also mandated the building of “affordable” homes, which are around 30 per cent more expensive, instead of social homes.

At the same time, state funding for new social housing has plummeted and grants to help councils build homes have dried up.

Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, last month promised a “complete rethink of our approach to social housing” after the Grenfell Tower tragedy that killed 71 people.

Now it’s official: the less you have, the more austerity will take from you

Theresa May has vowed to make house-building her “personal mission” and on Thursday promised that the Government “will be going further to ensure that we build more homes, more quickly”.

“For decades we simply have not been building enough homes, nor have we been building them quickly enough, and we have seen prices rise,” she said.

Commenting on the latest housing figures, Councillor Martin Tett, the LGA’s housing spokesman, said: “There is no way to solve our chronic housing shortage without a renaissance in council house building. For that to happen, councils must have new freedoms to invest in new housing that would quickly generate huge returns for public services and local economies. If councils were free to borrow against their housing assets, they could build the homes that our communities desperately need.

“The Chancellor has an opportunity to go down in the history books as the Chancellor who allowed an entire generation of affordable homes to be created, by allowing councils the freedom to borrow to build. We encourage him to take this opportunity in the Autumn Budget next Wednesday.”

John Healey, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, said ministers must act to ensure homes sold under Right to Buy are fully replaced.

“After seven years of failure on housing, Conservative Ministers have no plan to fix the housing crisis,” he said.

“The government is forcing councils to sell off homes without any prospect of replacing them. Despite promising ‘one-for-one’ replacement, the reality is only one council home has been replaced for every five sold off under the right-to-buy.

“Labour would build 100,000 genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy a year, and undertake the biggest council housebuilding programme in at least 30 years to build the homes the country needs.”

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman insisted that since 2010, more council housing has been built than in the previous 13 years.

He said: “Affordable housing remains the Government’s priority. Just a few weeks ago we increased the affordable housing budget to over £9bn to deliver a wide range of affordable housing, including social rent homes, by March 2021.

“The new funding will support councils and housing associations to build more genuinely affordable homes, in areas of acute affordability pressure, where families are struggling with the costs of rent, and some are at risk of homelessness.”

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ANOTHER DWP ATROCITY: Disabled gran attempted suicide because of DWP cuts

Desperate disabled gran attempted suicide after brutal DWP cuts left her fearing she would lose her home

The woman’s son has accused the company which carries out fitness-to-work assessment of lying

The disabled gran attempted to take her own life after being ruled fit for work

A disabled grandmother attempted suicide because she feared losing her home because she was ruled fit to work.

The 60-year-old’s family say she only survived because her daughter discovered her close to death.

Despite having a string of health problems, including cerebral palsy and a twisted spine, the woman was told she would lose her employment support allowance.

Now her furious son has accused Maximus – which carries out fit-to-work tests for the DWP – of driving her to it by lying, the Daily Record reports.

She took powerful pills after receiving a letter informing her of the decision.

The woman’s furious family have accused the company which carries out assessments of lying

She has been in hospital since last Wednesday.

Relatives revealed the mum of two, whom the Record has chosen not to name for privacy reasons, was born with cerebral palsy and a twisted spine.

She has arthritis in her spine, hands, legs, feet and neck as well as suffering from fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain all over the body.

But the family insist she has never suffered from mental health problems.

Her son claims assessors lied about his mother’s capabilities during the meeting last month, which was witnessed by her daughter.

He said that despite her complex medical history and mobility issues, they gave her zero points in the work capability assessment, leaving her ineligible for her employment support allowance and in fear that her housing support would be removed.

Her son has hit out a Maximus, which carries out assessments for the DWP

The son said: “She thought she was going to lose her house and she tried to take her life. She was in the intensive care unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

“The doctors couldn’t tell me if she was going to make it at first. They don’t know if there has been any permanent damage to her kidney and her liver.”

The gran is also in receipt of disability living allowance, a benefit which the DWP maintain is handled separately from ESA and will not be affected by the latest assessment.

Her son described how his sister found their mum barely clinging to life.

He said: “She was freezing cold and wasn’t breathing properly and had to be resuscitated. She had taken strong painkillers and various different pills.”

He added the report from assessors at the Maximus centre on Cadogan Street, Glasgow, had a number of errors.

He said: “My mum is severely disabled. The report said that during the medical, she bent down and picked something off the floor and raised her hands fully above her head. They say she had full movement in her spine.

“My sister attended the medical with my mum because she’s not able to go on her own and because she wears splints to walk and needs a stick. She said none of this happened.

“They also said my mum was smartly dressed but she turned up in a pair of jogging bottoms and a T-shirt because that’s the easiest thing for my sister to get her dressed in.

“I just don’t know how they can tell these lies. This is a real disabled person. Every doctor and consultant she has seen all say she’s not fit for work.

“Real medical professionals can see that but these people in Cadogan Street are lying to get people taken off benefits who are genuinely ill.

“These medical interviews should be video-recorded to make sure they cannot tell lies.

“There is no wonder people like mum are turning to drastic measures.

“She has never even been as much as depressed before. She’s always been a wee strong woman who, despite her illnesses, has tried to push through.”

The woman’s MP, Alison Thewliss, is set to raise her case at Westminster after being contacted by the family. She said: “This is a really harrowing case which shows the serious and damaging effects work capability assessments can have on people – particularly those who are vulnerable.

“I am devastated that my constituent felt they had no option but to attempt to take their own life in the aftermath of a medical assessment.

“The letter received by my constituent was apparently strewn with inaccuracies and misinformation regarding their medical conditions.

“It is unacceptable that these inhumane assessments can be allowed to continue in their current form. There is no excuse for a system which is as cruel as it is incompetent. The lives of vulnerable people are at stake.”

SNP MP Thewliss urged anyone in a similar position to seek help from welfare rights advisers and MPs.

Nearly two-thirds of disabled Scots who appeal a UK Government decision that they are “fit to work” have their challenges upheld, figures revealed last month.

Labour renewed calls to scrap the system after the figures were revealed.

But the DWP said only a small proportion of all decisions are overturned at appeal. The vast majority of successful appeals are on the grounds of new evidence from the claimant.

In the case of the gran who attempted suicide, the decision will be the subject of a mandatory review.

But in many cases the appeal process can take up to several months to complete, with benefits being cut with immediate effect.

Commenting on this particular case, a DWP spokesman said:
“Decisions are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical professional.

“These decisions carry a right to appeal and additional information can be provided to support a claim.”

The Record contacted Maximus for comment but they did not respond.

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