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  • benefit sanctions – Dr. Frances Ryan
    beginning and will continue to be so as Duncan Smith the work and pensions secretary put it recently I wonder how well the government thinks that s going Take emergency hardship payments for the people having their benefits sanctioned a system that as was reported last week is now removing the benefits of one in six jobseekers each year and is under scrutiny from the UK statistics watchdog I warned in March about the irony of the Department for Work and Pensions DWP protection strategy how the people who most need help after being sanctioned are locked out of the hardship fund because the application process is too difficult for them to understand Anyone classed as vulnerable is generally eligible to claim hardship support immediately but others in reality the vast majority of people lumped into jobseeker s allowance are not allowed until the 15th day of being sanctioned This distinction is quite an insight into DWP thinking the belief that there is any living person who can be left without money for food for two weeks and not be vulnerable to starving But it becomes particularly scary when as uncovered by Natalie Leal at Welfare Weekly we now know what it takes to make the grade for emergency help in the DWP s vulnerability classification Namely sanctioned jobseekers with mental health problems are deemed eligible for immediate hardship payments only if they have an accompanying physical health problem In practice that means people with depression or schizophrenia can have their benefits stopped out of nowhere and according to the DWP s classification system do not deserve the emergency support saved for the vulnerable Put this together with recent measures against lone parents with young children and people too ill to work and it begs the question if these are not the vulnerable citizens the government wants to protect who exactly is And is there something else going on here For this weeks Guardian column I questioned the vulnerability agenda People on benefits are dying It s time for some transparency June 23 2015 June 23 2015 francesryan18 Leave a comment If the government would care for an insight into what its safety net has become it could do worse than looking at the case of Nick Gaskin Gaskin who has primary progressive multiple sclerosis MS cannot walk feed himself or talk but last month received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions DWP informing him he should attend an interview about the possibility of getting a job People who have such severe disabilities they are unable to work are by definition of being put in the support group of employment and support allowance ESA not required to attend mandatory meetings As Gaskin can only communicate through blinking it was his wife Tracy who called the jobcentre in Loughborough to explain this The DWP now says it will apologise over the misunderstanding But not before Tracy was told that if her husband did not attend the interview his

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/benefit-sanctions-2/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Department of Work and Pensions – Dr. Frances Ryan
    people s conditions worse and that time after time has been linked to the suicides of people who were declared fit for work and had their sickness benefits removed It has now been more than 18 months since the mainstream media including this paper reported the death of Mark Wood Despite struggling with multiple mental health problems the 44 year old was found fit for work in 2013 Wood s doctor described him as extremely unwell and absolutely unfit for any work whatsoever Four months later he was found dead in his home weighing 5st 8lb Any social security system requires a process that can accurately and humanely determine who needs out of work sickness benefits and who is physically and mentally fit to be on jobseeker s allowance looking for work This can t be a test based on suspicion but one that values the opinion of the disabled person and their own doctor rather than a stranger hired by an outsourced private company Instead of a crude box ticking judgment of impairment any assessment needs to appreciate how someone s health actually affects their ability to get and keep a job What exactly is the DWP waiting for In a week where more criticism came out in relation to their impact on mental health my Guardian column looked at the scandal of fit for work tests Death has become a part of Britain s benefits system August 28 2015 August 28 2015 francesryan18 Leave a comment Go to your local benefits office and desperation can be boiled down to a six point plan mounted on pink laminated card The Department for Work and Pensions DWP has assembled written guidance on suicide for its frontline staff a euphemism for workers hired to call people and break it to them that they ve been rejected for benefits One section of the guidance that is to be reported to managers to alert them of a suicidal intention instructs jobcentre staff to find out what the person plans when it is planned for and whether the customer has the means to hand I don t know at what point social security and a risk of suicide became inevitable partners Or when government supporting people as the DWP described the guidance this week began to mean not helping people build their lives but checking that they do not want to die Death has become a part of Britain s benefits system That is not hyperbole but the reality that the stress caused by austerity has led us to Shredding the safety net a mix of sanctions defective fit for work tests and outright cuts to multiple services has meant that benefit claimants are dying through suicide starvation and even being crushed by a refuse lorry when a 17 week benefit sanction forced a man to scavenge in a bin for food For The Guardian I wrote about the newly released benefit mortality statistics Read the full column here The five most dangerous myths

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/department-of-work-and-pensions/ (2016-02-16)
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  • austerity – Dr. Frances Ryan
    twice as hard as men by Osborne s chosen measures According to House of Commons research commissioned by Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper direct taxes and social security cuts will take 9 6bn net a year from families 7bn of which is from women The media largely had more important things to focus on The Sun for one was busy superimposing George Osborne s head onto a six pack From the coalition to their first majority Budget the Conservatives have orchestrated policies that have wildly disproportionately hit women from cuts to tax credits to caps on and cuts to benefits and pay cuts in real terms Scan most coverage either given to feminist campaigns or economic analysis of the cuts and we would hardly know it But to discuss austerity with gender blindness is to ignore what is actually happening Mothers skipping meals to feed their kids Women queuing at food banks for sanitary towels Carers 72 per cent of whom receiving Carer s Allowance are women struggling to look after disabled family in poverty We are witnessing an economic and cultural assault on women For New Statesman I argued the latest cuts confirm austerity is a feminist issue About Frances Frances Ryan is a freelance journalist She writes The Guardian s austerity column Hardworking Britain She appears on television and radio shows from BBC s Sunday Politics to Radio 4 s Woman s Hour and speaks at political events around the country She has a doctorate in politics covering inequality in opportunity in education She detests speaking in the third person Follow me on Twitter My Tweets Subscribe Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts Recent Posts Now Britain needs clothes banks too What sort of society are we living in How the battle to

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/austerity/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Guardian – Dr. Frances Ryan
    and would like to be featured in the column anonymously if needed please get in touch see contact page The L word Paralympics one year on August 20 2013 August 25 2013 francesryan18 Leave a comment This month sees the first anniversary of London s Paralympics and an inevitable need to ask one year on from a burst of optimism around disability rights where are we now In my column for The Guardian I argued that in light of the benefit changes that have disproportionately hit disabled people this year the legacy of the Games is in fact cuts cuts cuts For New Statesman I spoke to Tanni Grey Thompson Sophie Christiansen triple Gold medalist at 2012 Dame Anne Begg MP Anne McGuire MP Shadow Minister for Disabled People campaigners and benefit recipients The aim was to build a picture of disability in Britain in 2013 One year on from the Paralympics for many it appears things are getting worse About Frances Frances Ryan is a freelance journalist She writes The Guardian s austerity column Hardworking Britain She appears on television and radio shows from BBC s Sunday Politics to Radio 4 s Woman s Hour and speaks at political events around the country She has a doctorate in politics covering inequality in opportunity in education She detests speaking in the third person Follow me on Twitter My Tweets Subscribe Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts Recent Posts Now Britain needs clothes banks too What sort of society are we living in How the battle to save Lincolnshire s libraries became a full time job Luke Loy had a life until his benefits started falling away News Hardworking Britain Disabled workers can t afford justice to deal with workplace harassment Categories Categories Select Category Abortion

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/the-guardian/ (2016-02-16)
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  • News: ‘Hardworking Britain’ – Dr. Frances Ryan
    cuts and would like to be featured in the column anonymously if needed please get in touch see contact page Share this Twitter Facebook Like this Like Loading Related austerity Hardworking Britain The Guardian Post navigation Previous Post Disabled workers can t afford justice to deal with workplace harassment Next Post Luke Loy had a life until his benefits started falling away One thought on News Hardworking Britain 61chrissterry says January 16 2016 at 4 29 pm Reblogged this on 61chrissterry Reply Leave a Reply to 61chrissterry Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in Email required Address never made public Name required Website You are commenting using your WordPress com account Log Out Change You are commenting using your Twitter account Log Out Change You are commenting using your Facebook account Log Out Change You are commenting using your Google account Log Out Change Cancel Connecting to s Notify me of new comments via email About Frances Frances Ryan is a freelance journalist She writes The Guardian s austerity column Hardworking Britain She appears on television and radio shows from BBC s Sunday Politics to Radio 4 s Woman s Hour and speaks at political events around the country She has a doctorate in politics covering inequality in opportunity in education She detests speaking in the third person Follow me on Twitter My Tweets Subscribe Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts Recent Posts Now Britain needs clothes banks too What sort of society are we living in How the battle to save Lincolnshire s libraries became a full time job Luke Loy had a life until his benefits started falling away News Hardworking Britain Disabled workers can t afford justice to deal with workplace

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/2016/01/16/news-hardworking-britain/?replytocom=7580 (2016-02-16)
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  • Disability – Dr. Frances Ryan
    Pensions to determine who is eligible for out of work sickness benefits and who should be classed as fit for work remains in place This is a benefit assessment that has been proven to make people s conditions worse and that time after time has been linked to the suicides of people who were declared fit for work and had their sickness benefits removed It has now been more than 18 months since the mainstream media including this paper reported the death of Mark Wood Despite struggling with multiple mental health problems the 44 year old was found fit for work in 2013 Wood s doctor described him as extremely unwell and absolutely unfit for any work whatsoever Four months later he was found dead in his home weighing 5st 8lb Any social security system requires a process that can accurately and humanely determine who needs out of work sickness benefits and who is physically and mentally fit to be on jobseeker s allowance looking for work This can t be a test based on suspicion but one that values the opinion of the disabled person and their own doctor rather than a stranger hired by an outsourced private company Instead of a crude box ticking judgment of impairment any assessment needs to appreciate how someone s health actually affects their ability to get and keep a job What exactly is the DWP waiting for In a week where more criticism came out in relation to their impact on mental health my Guardian column looked at the scandal of fit for work tests Celebrating the hidden history of disabled people s fight for civil rights November 5 2015 November 5 2015 francesryan18 Leave a comment If you compare it to other groups like the suffragettes or trade unionists how disabled people gained their civil rights has really been a hidden history says Chris Burgess curator of exhibitions and collections at the People s History Museum in Manchester But that s all about to change The disability charity Scope has collaborated with the museum to collect and preserve archives that chart the fight by disabled people for their rights as citizens from iconic images of activism posters banners campaign badges t shirts to personal memoirs The People s History Museum is showcasing the archives alongside original artwork stories and poems by disabled artists and activists from across the country in a special exhibition Burgess says it aims to tell the story of a campaign movement that s been largely ignored up to now If it is covered it s often not about people demanding change it s about welfare or rights being given out he says The exhibition also celebrates the Disability Discrimination Act which this week marks its 20th anniversary and the activists who made the law a reality With the passing of the landmark DDA for the first time in Britain the law provided disabled citizens with access to the workplace employers were required to make reasonable adjustments to

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/category/disability-2/ (2016-02-16)
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  • disability – Dr. Frances Ryan
    History Museum in Manchester But that s all about to change The disability charity Scope has collaborated with the museum to collect and preserve archives that chart the fight by disabled people for their rights as citizens from iconic images of activism posters banners campaign badges t shirts to personal memoirs The People s History Museum is showcasing the archives alongside original artwork stories and poems by disabled artists and activists from across the country in a special exhibition Burgess says it aims to tell the story of a campaign movement that s been largely ignored up to now If it is covered it s often not about people demanding change it s about welfare or rights being given out he says The exhibition also celebrates the Disability Discrimination Act which this week marks its 20th anniversary and the activists who made the law a reality With the passing of the landmark DDA for the first time in Britain the law provided disabled citizens with access to the workplace employers were required to make reasonable adjustments to work and premises and through later amendments to education and transport For disabled people who culturally are routinely perceived as helpless or passive it feels particularly important to recognise that anything we gained we fought for As the bright red tapestry hanging at the exhibition reads Nothing about us without us Looking through the artwork and the collected archives the sense of disabled people actively battling for our rights is unavoidable from campaign T shirts with the slogan Piss on Pity scrawled in pink writing to images of crowds of disabled people marching through the streets of Manchester or outside Whitehall Perhaps nothing is more striking than the photographs of the direct action DDA activists undertook black and white images of disabled people handcuffed to buses hanging their bodies proudly visibly affected by various disabilities in the road This was a matter of not only political but personal empowerment Read the full coverage in The Guardian here Taxing disability benefits is not a welfare saving it s a deeply unfair cut June 9 2015 June 9 2015 francesryan18 Leave a comment On inequality the government is increasingly wearing the Emperor s New Clothes it s not about reality but how that reality is perceived We see it with the idea of taxing universal disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance and its replacement Personal Independence Payments one of the leaked Conservative proposals to help slice 12bn from the social security budget Last month the Institute for Fiscal Studies IFS stated that a tax on non means tested disability benefits providing an estimated saving of between 0 9 and 1 5bn per year would be one natural option There appears to be an alarming ease in accepting what would be a fundamental redefinition of the right to disability support Universal disability benefits by definition are a provision to pay for the extra costs of disability a personal assistant in order to be able to

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/disability/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Disabled People Against Cuts – Dr. Frances Ryan
    the next few months the harassment spread throughout the office People started pressing all of the lift buttons when they saw me coming then they would close the doors so the lift would go all over the place while I waited there she says All the while I could hear people on the floor above and below me shouting Lazy cow The stress led Adams to go on sick leave and start twice weekly counselling A few months later her manager told her she needed to learn to ignore the abuse Instead she went for legal advice What Adams didn t know was that in July 2013 just as her workplace abuse began the coalition government had brought in fees to have a claim heard at an employment tribunal the first time fees have been charged since the tribunal system was established in 1964 The solicitor told me I had a clear case but because of the new fees I d need to pay for it myself I couldn t afford that and my therapy Adams says I knew I had no comeback In Wednesday s Guardian I reported on the new research highlighting what happens when a government starts charging for justice Read the full piece here About Frances Frances Ryan is a freelance journalist She writes The Guardian s austerity column Hardworking Britain She appears on television and radio shows from BBC s Sunday Politics to Radio 4 s Woman s Hour and speaks at political events around the country She has a doctorate in politics covering inequality in opportunity in education She detests speaking in the third person Follow me on Twitter My Tweets Subscribe Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts Recent Posts Now Britain needs clothes banks too What sort of

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/disabled-people-against-cuts/ (2016-02-16)
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