Attacking people with disabilities is the lowest display of power I can think of
Please make a note in your diaries to join The Day Of Action Against Maximus
Maximus is the new Work Capability Assessment (WCA) contractor taking the place of ATOS to conduct the deeply unfair WCA for sick and disabled people.
These crude and callous assessments have been used to strip benefits from hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people after a quick computer based test ruled them ‘fit for work’. A growing number of suicides have been directly linked to this stressful regime, whilst charities, medical staff and claimants themselves have warned of the desperate consequences for those left with no money at all by the system.
In a huge embarrassment for the DWP, the previous contractor Atos were chased out of the Work Capability Assessments after a sustained and militant campaign carried out by disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters. In a panicky effort to save these vicious assessments Iain Duncan Smith hired US private healthcare company Maximus to take over from Atos this coming April.
This is not the only lucrative contract the Tories have awarded this company. Maximus are also involved in helping to privatise the NHS, running the Fit for Work occupational health service designed to bully and harass people on sick leave into going back to work. Maximus also run the notorious Work Programme in some parts of the UK, meaning that disabled people found fit for work by Maximus may then find themselves sent on workfare by Maximus. There is no greater enemy to the lives of sick and disabled people in the UK today than this multi-national poverty profiteer who even are prepared to run welfare-to-work style schemes for the brutal Saudi Arabian government.
Read More including details of the day of action:
Details of local Events
Planning for the Day of Action to Welcome Maximarse to their new role as assessors for the cruel and hateful WCA is taking shape, and we now have local actions planned forBalham, Brighton, Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Ipswich, Lincoln, Manchester, Reading, Sheffield, and of course Maximus HQ in central London.
Keep an eye on the above page – “we will keep it updated with locations all over the UK where actions are planned, and details of new actions are coming in to DPAC central thick and fast so keep an eye out for updates.” Includes details of how to set up an event in your locality it there is not one where you live. Also online action planned. So do check this page out every so often.
Twitter hash tag #ScrapWCA
Download the above leaflet and others:
DPAC on Twitter:
More information about the detrimental effects of the WCA and also the misery and suffering as a result of sanctions for non compliance, which many mean being sanctioned and loosing at least one month’s benefit for, in some cases, being as little as one minute late for an interview with your Jobcentre adviser!
Don’t consider for one minute that Maximus may not be like ATOS , it is a foregone conclusion that they are indeed as bad if not worse than ATOS. The following helps to confirm this:
The senior civil servant previously responsible for government policy on the notorious “fitness for work” test could start offering advice on the same issue to his new private sector bosses within weeks.
The is no doubt concerning the misery and suffering inflicted upon vulnerable people as a result of the WCA, thousands have died as a consequence, many as a result of suicide.
The WCA is not suitable for its purpose and needs to be scrapped
List off those who have died as result of government reforms including the WCA
Terry McGarvey, 48. Dangerously ill from polycytheamia, Terry asked for an ambulance to be called during his Work Capability Assessment. He knew that he wasn’t well enough to attend his WCA but feared that his benefits would be stopped if he did not. He died the following day.
Elaine Lowe, 53. Suffering from COPD and fearful of losing her benefits. In desperation, Elaine chose to commit suicide.
Mark Wood, 44. Found fit for work by Atos, against his Doctors advice and assertions that he had complex mental health problems. Starved to death after benefits stopped, weighing only 5st 8lb when he died.
Read More Stories
UK Welfare Reform Deaths ~ Updated List ~ October 21st 2014:
Here is another tragedy, another suicide of a man with mental illness:
Sanction and suicide:
Obtained under the freedom of information act it has been revealed that the DWP has investigated 60 deaths linked to cuts in benefits and the refusal of ESA as a result of the WCA declaring them fit for work
It has emerged that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has carried out 60 reviews into deaths linked to benefit cuts in the past three years. Shocking cases reveal a spike in suicides and health deterioration resulting from cuts.
In some cases, deaths appear to be caused by a refusal of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Other deaths of predominantly disabled claimants resulted from claimants being found “fit to work” by a Work Capability Assessment (WCA).
This is just the tip of the iceberg as untold thousands more have suffered serious detriment to their lives because of these vile reforms. There are no doubt many many more cases that go unreported.
It is sickening that the lives of chronically ill and disabled people should be made even more wretched by this morally bankrupt government’s vicious and grossly unjust welfare reforms and that few people speak out. Certainly not the media who have done much to support the government in what I believe is the slow and systematic dismantling of our welfare system. Where is Labour in all this? With the exception of the bedroom tax mainly silent. Though there is evidence that Labour will continue with this deeply unfair assessment:
Even if you manage to fulfill the criteria to claim ESA that is not the end of the matter, you can be stripped of your benefit as a result of unfair sanctions particularly if you are mentally ill. It has been shown that people with mental health conditions are sanctioned disproportionately.
According to welfare weekly 100 mentally ill people are sanctioned everyday:
100 Sickness Benefit Claimants With Mental Health Problems Sanctioned Every Day
Benefits claimant judged as unfit to work due to mental health problems are more likely to have their benefits stopped by sanctions than those suffering from other conditions,
Homeless charity Crisis warned in 2014 of a “shocking increase” in the number of ESA sanctions. In the first three months of 2014 alone, 15,995 disabled people had their benefits docked, compared with 3,574 during the same period the previous year.
Whilst it isn’t possible to say how many of these ESA claimants also suffered from mental health problems, disability is often accompanied by mental health issues – such as anxiety and depression.
According to the DWP data, the most common reason for being sanctioned is that a person has been late or not turned up for a Work Programme appointment
Read Mikes Story:
Mike found himself in court for stealing just £ 7.45 worth of food:
Mike had lost his job a few months earlier and had been stuck on a bus unexpectedly delayed by road works.
He was ten minutes late for his appointment at the Jobcentre and as a punishment he was sanctioned for four weeks – that means he lost all his income for a month.
Three weeks into the sanction he had nothing, he was ill, he missed the local foodbank’s weekly opening day and eventually he stole some food because he hadn’t eaten in four days.
If you think that such an extreme sanction is a mistake then think again.
In the same article:
Harsh punishment for minor mistakes
When people hear stories like Mike’s they are tempted to believe that this must be a mistake and that it’s not how the system is intended to function.
However, looking closely we see that punishing minor mistakes extremely harshly is core to the sanctions system.
Please read the full article if you haven’t done so already:
It is likely that mentally ill people are more often sanctioned as they as a result of their illness are less likely to fight back, raise an objection or cope with finding help and advice. Mentally health conditions are far more incapacitating than many people realise, take the most common condition of depression, a disorder that can render a person unable to get out of bed feed or care for themselves let alone challenge such unfair decisions. Another common mental health problem is anxiety which may be so severe that the suffer may be prevented from leaving the house let alone arrive on time or at all for an appointment, such as an agoraphobic for example.
Here is an example of what happens to mentally ill people
“It’s hard enough dealing with a mental health issue – but it’s made much worse if you’re not able to work.
David (not his real name) suffers from schizophrenia and receives two types of income support to help him live while he deals with his illness. He was sanctioned twice in 2013 for not attending work focussed interviews and appointments due to his deteriorating health.
He was even sanctioned while he was very ill in hospital, and forced to rely on his family for food.
Caught in a bureaucratic nightmare without any guidance, David was too ill to speak to advisors.”
Though the issue of sanctions may seen like a separate matter, this particular grave injustice stems from the accumulating impact of Tory welfare reforms which are effecting the most vulnerable and which need to be scrapped. Getting the WCA scrapped would be a good start.
Labour have already stated that they’re going to be tougher on benefit recipients than the Tories so it is unlikely that there will be any changes from them.
The Tories will not scrap the WCA because it’s doing exactly what it was designed to do and that is to deprive people of their sickness benefits and eventually to do away with the welfare system.
I very much doubt that unless we robustly demand change that change to this inhumane system will ever come about.
Anyone who can attend or support the day of action please do so, you do not have to be sick or disabled, a carer or in any way personally affected. We are all in it together, a now infamous term used by a truly deplorable human being (Cameron) that in this instance is nonetheless true. Think about it all those of you who imagine that by denying sick and disabled people a decent standard of living you will somehow be better off – pay less taxes or social security. On the contrary you will be disappointed. If this is what you expect you are delusional, naive at best, stupid at worst. Consider one day it could be you or a loved one. With the exception of those born with disabilities I very much doubt that those who are sick or disabled today ever thought that this would happen to them. Old or young one never knows if or when one may be rendered disabled or chronically sick. Do you really want to destroy the only means of living provided by the welfare system for the thousands of us who are unfortunate to be sick or disabled. What kind of person condones such an inhumane notion, what kind of person promotes such a state of affairs where disabled people will be left to fend for themselves relying on handouts from relatives or charities. What kind of person stands by and allows this to happen?
It is sickening that in a modern society that a tiny minority have the power to being about such appalling devastation, misery and suffering into the lives of the most vulnerable in our community. Even more shocking is the number of people who have swallowed hook line and sinker the Nazi Style Tory propaganda labeling benefits claimants as scroungers. As a consequence few stand up in defence of this grave social injustice which has come to the attention of the UN, though it has to be said the UN appear to be doing very little about it other than to cite it for the human rights violation that it is.
Other Related Information
A very interesting document. Please read… And please share…..
“Today I received a very interesting document. It consists of the governments latest plans regarding sanctions. It makes very interesting reading. That is if you don’t get too angry and stop reading. For this reason I have taken out the “worst” bits. I shall put a little explanation alongside each one. Sources of this document etc shall remain nameless but you need to read this and share it.
LIE!!….Sanctions make people too scared to live, too scared to do anything but what the Job Centre tell them to do. SANCTIONS KILL.”
Britain’s benefits sanctions: ‘My brother’s gone. We can’t bring him back, but we can’t let this go on’
Maximus: The Company That Dare Not Show Its Face #ScrapWCA:
Also from the Void – (A Good source of information concerning benefit reforms and other related issues)
Benefit Sanctions Will Cause A Deterioration In Health And That’s OK Says DWP Rule Book
Cuts to employment and support allowance ‘considered’:
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