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Dubbed the ‘mandatory reconsideration’ stage, not only will the claimant not receive ESA income during this period, there will be no time limit on how long it will take.

People with disabilities and illness are being left with no income for an indefinite period of time. It’s particularly alarming for a system where 40 per cent of appeals overturn the original decision.

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There’s also concern that the disabled and long-term sick having to enter a system not designed to cope with claimants with poor health will leave them vulnerable to sanctions.

As Sharon Brennan points out on her blog ‘Diary of a NHS buff’, statistics of sanctions against JSA claimants show that every month 12% of job seekers are referred for sanction. Long-term sick people are having their benefits sanctioned ...

50,000 disabled people are being cut out of work The cocktail of cuts being made to benefits mean the DWP are managing to simultaneously penalize disabled people for not working and stopping them from having a job.

50,000 disabled people could lose their jobs due to the Government removing Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), an organisation of over fifty leading charities, has found.

It used to be that when politicians wanted to bury bad news they’d orchestrate its release to time with a distracting event. These words were used to describe Universal Credit but could easily have been levelled at a number of largely unreported changes to the benefit system. The sheer volume of inefficient and unethical changes to social security this Government has enacted means some of it doesn’t even get noticed.

Seeing Iain Duncan Smith publicly criticized for wasting at least £140 million of public money over Universal Credit at the start of this month, it struck me how we’ve slowly reached another level. Which, for a set of politicians hacking at vulnerable people’s support systems, is worryingly convenient.

Put this together with an increase in sanctions, and the system’s failings are now seeing sick and disabled people losing parts of their benefits.

Sarah Davidson*, 43, was threatened with a sanction for being physically unable to do her assigned work activity.

(If a tenth of this number of people were due to lose their jobs at a company, this would be headline news.

Tens of thousands of disabled people scattered around the country trapped in their house and unable to get to work receives a strange silence.) Reflective of the general incompetence of new social security policies, the switch from DLA to PIP doesn’t even make sense financially.

My support worker called and explained I could not do this programme because of my disability,” she tells me.

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