The most severely injured survivor of the 7/7 bombings has slammed the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) after they interrogated him for ‘proof’ that he is disabled. This is the latest example of prejudice against the disabled, a problem that’s already familiar to the DWP.
Daniel Biddle, who lost both legs, an eye and his spleen in the 2005 attacks, suffers from post-traumatic stress and is now being asked to answer intrusive questions about the extent of disability. He may even be forced to undergo a face-to-face test if he wants to keep receiving his Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) of £416 per month.
This damning news appears to provide more proof that discrimination against the disabled is rife within the DWP, an organisation that dictates the freedoms of disabled people every day. Here is a roll call of some of the DWP’s most widely publicised recent controversies:
- Earlier this month, the DWP came under fire after a survey revealed that workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying is rife against disabled members of its own staff.
- As The Canary reported on 4th February, nearly 14,000 disabled people had had their mobility cars confiscated after a change to benefit assessments.
- In January, the bedroom tax (imposed by the DWP) was twice declared unlawful and discriminatory due to its impact on extremely vulnerable individuals (dealing a damaging blow to work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, the policy’s author).
- In January, a High Court ruled that the benefits cap discriminates unfairly against the carers of disabled people.
Under the Tories, the UK has become the first country in the world to be investigated by the UN for violating the rights of disabled people. It’s time that the DWP was subjected to drastic reform or shut down and replaced altogether by a more ethical organisation.
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