Category Archives: benefits

Housing benefit reforms 'could waste millions' in disability costs

Wales & West Housing (WWH) said many disabled tenants may be forced to move because of the so-called “bedroom tax”

Changes in housing benefit payments affecting disabled people could cost the public purse millions of pounds in Wales, a housing association has said.

Wales & West Housing (WWH) said many disabled tenants may be forced to move because of the so-called “bedroom tax”.

It said it could result in millions more being spent adapting properties.

The UK government said it had given Wales £7.9m for a discretionary fund tenants could apply for but WWH said that may not be enough to cover costs.

Meanwhile, Welsh government said it was providing a further £1.3m so local authorities could provide more help to those affected by the reforms.

WWH, which manages 9,500 properties, said it wanted disabled people to be exempt from the housing reforms.

“Start Quote

The cost of new adaptations wipes out the potential savings in housing benefit for many years”

Shayne Hembrow Wales & West Housing

It said Wales was on track to “waste” millions of pounds of public money otherwise.

Million sickness benefit applicants 'fit for work'


Nearly a million people who applied for sickness benefit have been found fit for work, according to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The DWP claims 980,400 people – 32%, of new applicants for Employment and Support Allowance – were judged capable of work between 2008 and March 2013.

More than a million others withdrew their claims after interviews, it adds.

But disability campaigners said the work tests were “ridiculously harsh and extremely unfair”.

A spokesman for Disability Rights UK said many of those passed fit will not, in fact, be capable of entering the workplace in any meaningful sense due to physical or mental health problems.

“They are finding people fit for work when they aren’t and they are not even giving them the support they need to get a job. It is a disgrace,” he told BBC News.

Woman told to find work is in a COMA

Atos: Sheila Holt

A mentally ill woman forced on to the Coalition’s Work Programme is in a coma – but is still being sent letters by benefits assessors.

Bipolar patient Sheila Holt, 47, was sectioned in December after being taken off Income Support. Days later she had a heart attack and fell into the coma.

This weekend, Miss Holt, of Rochdale, Gtr Manchester, was sent a letter by Atos to ask why she was not working.

Local Labour MP Simon Danczuk said: “I am in favour of welfare reform but trying to bulldoze through changes in a reckless and insensitive way is not the right way to go about it.

“This Government is causing a huge amount of damage and I have no doubt that Sheila’s story is being repeated in towns and cities up and down the country.