Events and Campaigns

Photo of Hardest Hit campaigners protesting in Norwich, October 2011

There are a number of campaigns on welfare-related issues being run by various groups across the country. Here we provide some information and links on a selection of these, with a focus on those related to disability and chronic illness.

DSA
On 7th April 2014 the government announced cuts to what it will provide for disabled students. This risks many disabled people being excluded from higher education as they will no longer receive the support they need. You can read more here. To support disabled students in getting this changed, please write to your MP or sign the e-petition. You can also tweet using the hashtag #ProtectDSA

CAB Fit For Work campaign
“To help us illustrate the impact that ESA is having we are asking you to share your stories about the experience of claiming ESA. If you would like to contribute we have set up a new webpage http://blogs.citizensadvice.org.uk/blog/topics/fit-for-work/ to collect your stories.”

Mandatory Reconsideration
Since October 2013,anyone who wishes to challenge the decision on their ESA claim has to request that the DWP reconsider (by getting another Decision Maker to go through the evidence) before asking for an appeal. This process occured anyway; the change is that claimants now have to ask for this separately from and before asking for an appeal – adding a layer of unnecessary bureaucracy – and claimants no longer receive ESA whilst waiting for the new decision.
The result is that people who have been wrongly refused ESA (42% of appeals win) now are left without income for an unspecified period of time whilst the DWP reconsiders. This should not continue. Please sign the petition or write to your MP – you can use our template letter.

Time Limit
In April 2013 the government changed the rules for people in the Work-Related Activity Group of ESA. Previously, contributions-based ESA was paid for an unlimited time. Now, people in WRAG can receive contributions-based ESA for one year only.
When social security was set up, Sir Beveridge explicitly said it should be without timelimit and without means-test, particularly for those unable to work for health reasons. It is time we went back to those principles.
Please write to your MP – you can use our template letter.

Bedroom Tax
The Bedroom Tax (officially known as the under-occupancy penalty) means that the poorest people in society – those who qualify for social housing – are being penalised for repeated governments’ failures to build sufficient affordable housing.
Please sign this petition and write to your MP.

Other petitions
You might also be interested in these other petitions:
Stop changes to Access to Work for deaf people.
Independent enquiry into benefit sanctions (with broader remit than the current enquiry).
Exempt from the Bedroom Tax anyone in occupancy before 1st April 2013 (this brings the change in line with the Local Housing Allowance, which when introduced did not affect current tenancies).