Web links for 11th January 2012
The Children’s Commissioner for England says something we’ve been arguing for years: “The failure of parents or carers to comply with conditions on benefits or take up the incentives offered in the Bill does not affect the Government’s children’s rights obligations, including the requirements to provide social security and an adequate standard of living for all children.”
We’ve also been arguing that: “Benefit levels have for some years been consistently below the poverty line (60% of median income) and the Minimum Income Standards. This has a serious impact on the rights of children.”
The Benefit Cap will cause “an increase in child poverty, with associated poor health, educational and other outcomes”.
This report by Citizens’ Advice on Employment and Support Allowance work capability assessment reports finds that far too many are inaccurate.People who could not reasonably be expected to seek work, are found fit for work. People who might be able to work but would need a lot of help are denied benefit – which means they don’t get that help. Many of these people are too ill to get JSA and are left with no money.
The report points out that, if the system was working well, appeals would mainly be about marginal cases where the claimant was just short of the points needed to qualify. In fact, 39% of appeals are decided in favour of the claimant and, of these, 60 per cent were originally awarded no points at all. Citizens’ Advice carried out a detailed analysis of 37 WCA reports. 16 had a serious level of inaccuracy & 10 a medium level of inaccuracy – enough to have a detrimental effect on an award.