Nov 24th, 2016
Changes to disability appeals: Petition hand in
Today, we handed in a 60,000-strong petition to the Ministry of Justice, asking them to keep disability appeals fair.
The government want to change the way disabled people can appeal rejections and claim their benefits. The main change is holding the appeals over the telephone, on a webcam or even by reading submitted paperwork. The other worrying change is replacing a judge with a clerk or solicitor with no experience in disability law.
Moving the process out of the courts to a decision made by a clerk or retired lawyer is dangerous as they don’t have experience making fair decisions in this area. The clerk would also be given performance indicators likely to contain targets for how many people should be rejected. This makes the process more biased against the disabled person.
If the changes go through, disabled people would only have their case heard through a virtual court or by submitting evidence on paper. This makes it much harder for disabled people to give detailed and persuasive evidence and for the clerk, to see how their disability affects their ability to work.
The government have been consulting on the changes so it’s important that we made our voices heard.
Thank you to all petition signers. Read more about the campaign here: http://bit.ly/2fFuPrE