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Revealed: DWP planned to charge claimants to appeal

This news post is over 6 years old
 

Documents reveal sinister plans to charge disabled people to appeal benefit claims

Government minsters initially planned to charge disabled people if they appealed fit-for-work assessments, official documents have revealed.

Records released under Freedom of Information legislation to a national newspaper show officials at the Department for Work And Pensions wanted to charge claimants for appeals and considered stopping benefits altogether during the appeal process.

Officials also wanted to change the way appeals were conducted to reduce their success rate - despite the fact DWP figures showed half of all disabled people appealing fit-for-work tests succeeded.

If introduced they would block disabled people’s ability to seek justice - Dan Scorer

Dan Scorer, head of policy at the learning disability charity Mencap, said: “It’s deeply concerning that anyone in the DWP thought these policies were acceptable,” he said.

“If introduced they would block disabled people’s ability to seek justice and challenge benefit decisions made against them, taking away the support they desperately rely on to find work and to maintain their independence and health.

“The assessments system for people with a learning disability is already broken, with over half of fit-for-work decisions being overturned by tribunal.”

A DWP spokesperson said the policies were not taken forward and had not been shown to ministers.

“These ideas were drafted by staff before the last election. They do not represent government policy and have never been sent to Ministers,” she said.

 

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