Thursday, June 16, 2011

Do NOT participate: the DWP has passed the names of DLA claimants to a company for a study

By Rosie Cox:

"Reposting with Permission: I thought that those of you who are on DLA should have opportunity to see this message, which has gone out on-line to 25% ME Group members: The message below is sent out for information purposes only and not to cause any members any undue alarm or distress but we would urge you to take account of the content. It has come to our attention that the DWP has passed the names of a number of DLA claimants to a company so that this company can contact them and ask for their participation in a study. We think that you would be best not to accept if you are approached about this. Here is some more information, which explains why. If you are contacted about this you will probably be told something to the effect that this is to help iron out potential problems in moving from the present system (DLA) to the new system (PIP), possibly implying that it will be helpful to claimants. However, we understand that the purpose of this exercise is to fine tune the points system for the new PIP benefit so that the DWP can be certain that the introduction of PIP will mean that savings can be made. Participants in this research will also be offered a £30 'Love to Spend' voucher Œas a token of appreciation¹. This is another reason to be cautious. Accepting would not affect your DLA as this is not a means tested benefit. However, it may affect other benefits that you are claiming. We have been advised by the ŒBenefits & Work¹ Organisation that : ³Claimants should also be aware that from a benefits legislation perspective, payment in vouchers is exactly the same as payment in cash. Any payment should be declared and is likely to be treated as income for benefits purposes. Claimants who are receiving benefits as incapable of work should be particularly cautious about taking part in such trials.² The company concerned is ŒG4S Forensic and Medical Services Ltd¹, which is a subsidiary of the G4S security company. Taking part involves having a single, one hour, face-to-face appointment with a healthcare professional from G4S Medical Services, working on behalf of the DWP. Appointments are likely to take place from Monday 27th June until around the end of August/beginning of September. If you are contacted, we would counsel against participation in this initiative. Taking part is entirely voluntary, according to a statement provided by the Deputy Chief Medical Adviser at the Health Work & Wellbeing Directorate, James Bolton. So there will be no consequences for people who decline to participate - benefits will not be affected. With best wishes Simon Lawrence 25% ME Group 21 Church Street Troon Ayrshire KA10 6HT Web:

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