Mentally Ill Lose Disability Benefits and Face Life on Sanctioned-ruled JSA.
‘Punishments’ for benefits claimants with mental health issues rocket, figures show (January 2005).
Today: Urgent inquiry needed into impact of 100k mentally ill people losing disability benefits, says ex-health minister
Thanks to Enigma for flagging this up.
Note: I see people with mental health issues every single day in Ipswich Central Library.
Many of them are doing “job Search” – swearing and behaving oddly.
I have been on so-called ‘courses’ with people with these problems.
On one occasion a person with such severe difficulties (not just for himself but creataing trouble for others, particularity women) that he is subjected to multiple restraining orders.
Now we learn the situation is getting dramatically worse.
As this article points out people with these conditions do not always conform to the rule of ‘Coaches.’
Yet the same Coachy-Coachys have effectively judicial powers over whether they should eat, and whether they should have a safe place to live – food and shelter (for more on this see: Benefit sanctions: Britain’s secret penal system:Benefits claimants are subjected to an ‘amateurish, secret penal system which is more severe than the mainstream judicial system’, writes Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow.)
It is an absolute scandal.
A former health minister today slammed the Government for refusing to investigate why people with mental health problems are the largest group to lose incapacity benefits.
Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services from 2011 to 2012, launched a stinging attack on the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), saying it has “absolutely no idea” of the impact of benefit cuts on mentally ill people.
The Lib Dem MP claims more than 100,000 people with mental health problems who lost their benefits have been “forgotten about” by the Government.
Mental health charity Mind today accused the DWP of not taking the issues seriously, and said the department is delaying in releasing the precise numbers of those with such illnesses affected by sanctions.
Speaking exclusively to Mirror Online, Mr Burstow said: “We know almost half of people taken off incapacity benefit, assessed, and found apparently ‘fit to work’ have mental health problems, and the Department responsible have absolutely no idea what’s happened to them.
“We have heard time and again that assessors had no real grasp of mental illness and its impact.
“We know that people with mental health problems need support and encouragement to get back into work and there is overwhelming evidence that people with mental health problems face discrimination in the job market.
“But over 100,000 people with mental health problems have been summarily put on Job Seekers Allowance and forgotten about.
“We don’t know if they have got jobs, we don’t know if they have been sanctioned, and we don’t know the impact of sanctions on their mental health.
“All we do know is that the Department don’t know and don’t seem to care.”
Research published by the Methodist Church last month showed people who receive the sickness and disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) because of a long-term mental health problem are being sanctioned at a rate of more than 100 per day.
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.
Paul Morrison, Public Issues Policy Adviser for the Methodist Church, said in January: “Sanctioning someone with a mental health problem for being late for a meeting is like sanctioning someone with a broken leg for limping.
“The fact that this system punishes people for the symptoms of their illness is a clear and worrying sign that it is fundamentally flawed.”
“Churches have increasingly seen people in desperate need because they have been sanctioned.
“The suffering and injustice we have seen caused by the sanctions system deserves serious scrutiny.”
Last week, the Minster for Disabilities Mark Harper refused to investigate why the largest category of people transferred from incapacity benefit to the fit-to-work group have been people with mental health issues.
Tom Pollard, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind said: “It’s really worrying that you are more likely to receive a benefits sanction if you have a mental health problem than another health condition but we don’t have access to all the information about how often and why this is happening.