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Protest disability benefit changes


National day of action against PIP, 13 July 2016Join the country-wide Day of Action on 13 July 2016.

The disabled campaigners responsible for previous high-profile protests against cuts are holding a national day of action on 13 July 2016 to protest against disability benefit changes.

Protests will be held up and down the country outside assessment centres used by Atos and Capita, the private companies which hold contracts with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to test disabled people’s eligibility for benefits.

The day of action has been called jointly by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Mental Health Resistance Network and WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities).

There will be protests in at least 16 towns and cities from Brighton to Glasgow, and in central London, alongside an online protest involving a mass complaint to MPs, and a Twitterstorm directed at Atos and Capita and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The protests are in London, Birmingham, Brighton, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ipswich, Leicester, Manchester, Merseyside, Northampton, Norwich, Sheffield, Southampton, Vauxhall and Wokingham – but if you can’t get to one of these places you can also join the protest online.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the replacement benefit for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults.

Disabled people face on average an extra £550 per month unavoidable expenditure as a result of being Disabled.

The Disability Living Allowance was a non-means tested benefit intended to cover these extra costs in order to enable disabled people to live life on more even terms with non-disabled people – including being able to work.

The replacement benefit PIP aims to drastically cut entitlement: in June 2010 George Osborne announced a target to cut the DLA budget by 20 per cent through the introduction of PIP.

Despite a public U-turn in March over changes to PIP entitlement concerning aids and appliances following the resignation of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, hundreds of thousands of disabled people will still be affected, and between 400 and 500 adapted cars, powered wheelchairs, and scooters are being taken away from disabled people every week.

As a result disabled people are being reduced to and left in desperate situations, isolated and frightened for their futures.

On top of this, the private firms running the PIP assessments have both been hit by scandals, and are failing to meet basic performance targets.

Capita faced calls to be stripped of its contract for PIP following a Channel Four ‘Dispatches’ expose earlier this year.

Have you had a PIP assessment, and thought about complaining, but then thought “what’s the point, what difference will my complaint make?”

One complaint, all by itself will only make a little difference its true. But what about hundreds of complaints – all on the same day.

Join the mass complaint about PIP on 13 July as part of the national day of action.

Join the Thunderclap.

Or, if you have a complaint about PIP, join with others to overload email inboxes.

And even if you don’t claim PIP you could email them and say what you think about PIP, and about private companies profiting from the misery of others.

To complain to Atos email their PIP customer service address; go to the ‘contact’ form on their website – click here; or to say something via Twitter click here.

You can complain to Capita via their ‘complaints’ email address  or via Twitter.

Please do not phone them to complain, as blocking the phone lines may prevent genuine claimants from calling in for information about their assessments.

To take part in the government’s open consultation on the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment, click here.

For, as a spokesperson from Winvisible said: “Atos and Capita are making a killing from killing us, hitting jobseekers with sanctions, making families homeless, and forcing mums and kids to rely on food banks.”

And a spokesperson from DPAC said: “We are constantly being contacted by people who used to receive DLA and now found ineligible for PIP and are in desperate situations, many of them suicidal, or from parents beside themselves with anxiety about the future for their disabled children.

“That disabled people should be left unable to meet their basic needs in the fifth richest country in the world is truly disgraceful.”

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