Simple actions you could do to help disabled people this Christmas


11:30 am - December 21st 2011

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contribution by Lisa Egan

There are so many things that could be doen this festive season in the fight against the Welfare Reform Bill, I thought I’d collate all the actions in one place.

The most important thing to do is to sign Pat’s Petition to get the Welfare Reform Bill paused for reflection. Please sign and share this, at the very least.

Other e-petitions

Lobbying the Lords
The Welfare Reform Bill is currently at the report stage in the Lords. Votes on amendments like DLA and contributory ESA will be held in January. So far the votes have been really close with the amendment on the frequency of Universal Credit payments being defeated by only 3 votes and the amendment to not halve disabled children’s benefits losing by only 2 votes.

This all shows that we can make a difference at this stage if we put pressure on the peers. We mainly need to target the Lib Dem and crossbench peers.

There’s also a list of the peers that use Twitter. Tweet at them with your concerns, send them links to articles and blog posts that you feel express your worries best.

Other campaign groups
There are many campaign groups out there that have had tremendous success this year but have done little (if anything) to engage with these welfare issues. We need to get their support.

38 Degrees have had so many successes this year like getting the forestry sell-off cancelled and getting the NHS bill paused. We really need their help but they’re reluctant. Blogger Chrissy sent them this excellent Email and I’d suggest you do the same.

If you are, or you know people who are, in the UK Uncut inner circle then please beg them to do something. Occupations ditto. OccupyLSX were asked by WtB to support Hardest Hit rally in London in October. They didn’t.

Ask anyone who can get the list of actions shared on to a greater audience. But most importantly: Do the actions too!

We’ve only got until January to stop this list from exploding exponentially in 2 years when the proposed WRB would come into effect. Don’t let this happen.


A longer version of this post is at Where’s the Benefit

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Reader comments


Adding to the note on 38 Degrees, we’ve just gotten them to admit their campaigning model may disenfranchise those who need it most – they decide everything by net votes, but several million disabled adults and several million people in social housing have _never_ been online. These are the two groups targetted by the Welfare Reform Bill and who desperately need the help of 38 Degrees. If you can email them or add to the debate at the guest blog they allowed me at http://is.gd/Mp1jwp then maybe we can sway them from admitting the problem to doing something about it.

Done.

Someone has started a petition to make it a criminal offence to maliciously report someone for benefit fraud. 96% of calls to the benefit fraud hotline are malicious in nature

Of course, as benefit fraud is a crime, and making knowingly malicious accusations of criminal activity is also a crime, it could be that there are laws in place for this.

But the problem here is that catching benefit frauds depends a lot on anonymous tips, so a specific crime as suggested would immediately make it a lot less likely that anyone would report benefit frauds. Not sure about you, but to me that seems a strange way to help disabled people.

@3 Most suspected fraud is reported through the hotline, most fraud that actually leads to an investigation is reported through the Jobcentre. Only a tiny number of benefit frauds prosecuted come from that hotline but that is where most of the (almost entirely incorrect) reports come from. It should either be scrapped for being a waste of money or callers should accept they are making allegations under penalty of perjury and defamation.

The link to the actual petition in bullet point number 3 seems to have gotten lost in reposting (the 2 links remaining are to background info).

The link to the e-action is here: http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=6&ea.campaign.id=13027

I kind of agree with @3 as there are already too many redundant laws. Making a malicious report is undoubtedly an offence under s.2 Fraud Act 2006 and should be prosecuted as such.

I’m disabled at least I think you’d call me disabled, unless Miliband knocked on my door, he’d know at once whether I could work.

Anyway I’m classed as being disabled I’ve had tow sections of my spine removed after it was shattered in an accident, I then had to have the jelly in two disc removed as they were leaking, I’ve lost the function of bowel and bladder, I can now walk a bit, and I mean a bit with crutches.

I’ve been reported twice, the annoying thing is being told somebody has made a report, they knocked on my door said your being interviewed under caution on top of being disabled and ill your then a criminal, both times i was told no further action would be taken.

Then one day out talking my neighbour said you know who reported you, I said nope she said your next door neighbour, and I said but she is disabled her self, yes but she cannot get a disability car.

says it all does it not

@6, in which case the DWP and now Crimestoppers should be liable for perverting the course of justice by keeping those that make malicious reports anonymous.


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