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A senior opposition MP is to write to the minister for disabled people to ask how she plans to penalise government contractors Atos and Capita, following “devastating” revelations about their “shocking” failings in delivering disability benefit assessments.
Ministers have quietly dumped their promise to test a gentler approach to dealing with claimants who breach strict benefit conditions for the first time.
Disabled campaigners have welcomed a report by MPs on disability benefit assessments, which they say highlights “serious multiple failures”, but many believe it should have done more to highlight the serious “preventable harm” caused by the system.
The disability benefit assessment system is being undermined by a “pervasive culture of mistrust”, fuelled by widespread claims that assessors are deliberately trying to prevent disabled people receiving the support they are entitled to, according to a committee of MPs.
The UK civil servant who leads the government’s work and health unit has sparked fresh concerns that the new disability employment strategy could be heavily influenced by the discredited “biopsychosocial” (BPS) model of disability.
A government climbdown over new disability benefit rules that were found by the high court to be unlawful and “blatantly discriminatory” demonstrates its failure to base its policies on sound research and evidence, say disabled campaigners.
An award-winning disabled poet, performer and stand-up is hoping that her new show – based on more than 80 interviews with disabled and working-class people and benefit claimants – will provide an antidote to reality TV “rubbish” like Benefits Street.
The Department for Work and Pensions has refused to name the organisations being paid millions of pounds to help deliver its new disability employment programme across England and Wales.