Fresh evidence has emerged that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has refused to allow benefit claimants to communicate via email, despite its claims that it allows disabled people with “valid reasons” to do so.Last week, one disabled PIP claimant, Mark Lucas, told how he was taking legal action against DWP for refusing to allow him to communicate with its civil servants via email as a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act.DWP insisted in its response that “claimants are entitled to request to receive all communications from the department by email on the grounds of disability under the Equality Act 2010”.But after Lucas’s story was published, other disabled people have come forward to cast doubt on that response, and have described how DWP has refused to let them deal with their benefit claims by email.One claimant, disabled campaigner Graham Kirwan, who represents Dudley Centre for Inclusive Living on accessible information issues, told Disability News Service (DNS) that DWP paid him £1,700 damages to settle his claim against the department for refusing to communicate with him by email over his personal independence payment (PIP) claim.In settling the case, which Kirwan took himself as a “litigant in person”, DWP admitted that it had failed to make reasonable adjustments for him, stating: “The Department accepts that it has not sent you communications in your required format and that it has taken an unreasonably long time to agree and make the reasonable adjustments you have requested.”Kirwan had previously been a long-term claimant of disability living allowance (DLA), but had his payments suspended when he failed to respond to letters asking him to apply for PIP, its working-age replacement, letters that he says he never received and that would not have been accessible to him anyway.Kirwan, who is partially-sighted, has computer software that can magnify text, but it does not usually work with scanned or PDF documents.He was told by DWP to use the charity Citizens Advice to help with his PIP application, but he wanted to fill it in himself so he could be sure the answers were accurate.Now, thanks to his legal victory, Kirwan – who was also responsible in 2015 for persuading NHS England to publish its first accessible information standard, thanks to another legal action – has secured a promise that DWP will communicate with him only via email.Another disabled benefit claimant, David*, told DNS this week how DWP has repeatedly refused to allow him to communicate via email, even though he can become easily confused on the telephone.He said: “It significantly discriminates against me as I am unable to either reliably answer the phone, or when I do so answer questions reliably and sensibly, causing both immediate stress and worsening of my conditions, and the real likelihood of bad decisions.”Dr Sarah Campbell, principal co-author of the Spartacus report, which led to the We Are Spartacus online movement, has been told “many times” by DWP that it will not allow her to contact the department by email – rather than by telephone and post – when she is eventually transferred from DLA to PIP.She first raised concerns in 2013 that DWP was not allowing claimants to apply for PIP online.At the time, DWP said it was “working with disability groups and claimants as PIP is rolled out to see which parts of the process should be made online, and this is likely to be put in place after the independent review in 2014”.But Campbell said: “It seems nothing has changed since the issues were raised. I know I will struggle with the initial phone call (concentrating for that long is difficult and I am concerned I will provide wrong info) and then there is the form itself.“I have contacted the DWP many times about this from the moment PIP was introduced.“I have categorically been told every time that I cannot contact them electronically, nor can I send an electronic version of the form.”A fourth claimant, Susan*, has told DNS how DWP has repeatedly refused to allow her to communicate via email, even though she cannot use the telephone.The way she gets around this is by emailing the DWP complaints department, and asking it to forward her email to the relevant benefit team.DNS has seen one email to Susan from the DWP complaints department in 2013 in which the civil servant says: “I can assure you that I have requested an urgent response from Newcastle Benefit Centre but I am unable to confirm that it will be today and unfortunately customers are only able to contact the Benefit Centres either by post or phone.”Another, from 2015, confirms that her local benefit centre does “not have a central email address for claimant contact”.Lucas advised other disabled claimants who face a DWP refusal to allow them to communicate via email to take similar legal action to his.He said that some claimants in England and Wales who face discrimination might be able to use legal aid to secure free and confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice.DWP has declined to comment on the fresh evidence provided by DNS, despite having more than two days to do so.A DWP spokesman had asked if the deadline could be extended to the end of today (Thursday) – about six hours after DNS’s weekly stories are sent to subscribers – because DNS had already submitted requests for DWP comments on two other detailed stories this week.When it was pointed out that this would not be possible, he directed DNS to the DWP comment on last week’s story.DWP said in its statement last week: “Claimants are entitled to request to receive all communications from the department by email on the grounds of disability under the Equality Act 2010.“When such a request is received, it must be for a valid reason which relates to the individual’s disability, that is, the customer finds it more difficult or they are unable to communicate and use our services through usual communication and contact routes because of their disability.“We would also seek to explore whether alternative adjustments (eg large print/Braille) may suffice, but if this is not possible then email communications may be agreed.“We don’t email claimants as a matter of course due to the potential risks these pose to citizens and DWP.“In addition DWP must operate within its legislative framework and follow our business processes including records management. Therefore email correspondence must be carefully managed.”*Not their real names
Month: July 2019
SAINTS will once again be represented in this weekend’s international rugby league action.James Roby will play for England whilst Regan Grace has been selected Wales’ crunch European Cup tie.They travel to Ireland who like France could take home the crown.England go into their second match of the test series with New Zealand (Saturday 2.30pm) one up following their 26-12 win last weekend.Steve McNamara has named an unchanged side which will likely see Roby coming off the bench once more.England:John Bateman, Joe Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Mike Cooper, Leroy Cudjoe, Liam Farrell, Brett Ferres, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Zak Hardaker, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Sean O’Loughlin, James Roby, Kallum Watkins, Ben Westwood, Elliott Whitehead, Gareth Widdop, George Williams.Wales, who remain unbeaten after their 14-6 win over France last week, will take the title with a win in Ireland (Saturday 5pm).Grace came off the bench in the match.Wales:Michael Channing, Morgan Evans, James Geurtjens. Dalton Grant, Courtney Davies, Steve Parry, Jamie Murphy, Lewis Reece, Craig Kopczak, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Joe Burke, Rob Massam, Christiaan Roets, Connor Farrer, Ollie Olds, Regan Grace, Anthony Walker, Phil Joseph, Rhodri Lloyd.
SIT back, grab a brew and some leftovers and enjoy our review of an action packed year.Today we begin our 2015 review with what happened in January through to March.Please note that some of the links below may contain advertising that is no longer relevant. JANUARYAfter a long pre-season, Keiron Cunningham’s Saints faced Widnes and Wigan in pre-season friendlies.They went down 20-16 to the Vikings who were a couple of games ahead in their preparations but then hammered Wigan 28-12 with stand-off Travis Burns the real eye-catcher.FEBRUARYSaints began the defence of their Super League crown with a home tie against Catalan Dragons on a cold February evening. It was to be Keiron Cunningham’s first real game in charge and with Atelea Vea and Travis Burns on debut, the Champions dug deep to win 18-7 – thanks to tries from Vea, Jordan Turner, Andre Savelio and Tommy Makinson.Six days later, they were off to ‘hell’ to face Salford Red Devils and after running in ten tries on the night, your Champions were top of the table and confidence was high.NRL Champions South Sydney Rabbitohs then rolled into town for a sold out World Club Challenge clash. On the night Saints came up against a side that looked unbeatable and put on a scintillating display of rugby league.The loss was heavy but there was no denying the Bunnies’ class.It was always going to be a tough turnaround when – just five days later – Castleford Tigers came to Langtree Park. But Saints showed their resilience and a late Jon Wilkin drop goal sealed a 21-14 win.MARCHSaints paid the price for their hard-fought 20-14 away win at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, losing Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival and Luke Thompson to injury during the game. Wellens, Greenwood and Turner all scored on the night with Saints running with only one substitute for most of the match.Down 14-6, Saints came back to win 30-20 away at Widnes Vikings and then recorded their first home win over Warrington since 2011.32-24 was a scoreline that flattered the Wolves, with tries from Greenwood, Wilkin, Swift, McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Makinson.But that joy was short-lived as Saints lost 24-22 at Hull KR the following week – extending a run of poor League results there which stretched back to 2007.April, May and June follow tomorrow.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Conversations about GenX continued this morning with water activist Erin Brockovich and other local officials.The meeting Brockovich participated in this morning was not supposed to be closed, but a production crew filming it refused to let the media inside.- Advertisement – Brockovich has been involved in the GenX issues from afar, but now she is in Wilmington to see the problem at hand, first hand.“We as people have gotten very comfortable and compliant that we just turn on the tap and you’re going to have good water,” Brockovich said.New Hanover County Commissioner and CFPUA board member Skip Watkins said no great revelation was made during the closed door meeting, but he is happy to have outside help.Related Article: Wilmington-based Untappd ranks top 150 on Inc. 5000 listMeanwhile, Brockovich said this is a time everyone must come together.“This is where I said we have to stop this division going on here ok everybody is on the same page and ya need clean water,” Brockovich said.She believes transparency is key in fighting this battle against Chemours, the company responsible for dumping chemicals into the water.“We all want clean water, everybody does, the commissioner, your senators, municipality didn’t want this. They’re not the polluters the company is and everyone is circling together now to figure out the most feasible, productive, quick, open, honest transparent way,”Brockovich said.Watkins said Robert Bowcock, Brockovich’s water quality expert complimented the efforts the city has taken so far.Brockovich has a busy schedule while in town helping fight GenX. There will be a rally this Saturday and she is supposed to be attending.
The university also received other key recognitions in US News’ “Best Colleges 2018” edition including a #9 ranking on the list of best colleges for veterans in regional universities in the south.UNCW continues to execute on goals set within the Strategic Plan introduced in 2015. Over the last year:The freshman-to-sophomore retention rate has risen to 87%, the highest in university historyAnnual giving has increased 14%Grant awards are up 21%Graduate school enrollment is up 9% WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The University of North Carolina Wilmington has been ranked #14 on the U.S. News and World Report list of Best Regional Universities (South), up from #16 last year.UNCW also ranked 6th among public universities and for the first time has nearly 16,500 students enrolled, the university announced Tuesday. This is nearly 2,000 more students than were enrolled in fall of 2014.- Advertisement –
Kicking off the day was the arrival of Santa Claus by water sleigh at Riverfront Park.That’s where kids were given special stockings filled by the Wilmington Police Department.One officer, Lt. Kelly Sipe, says he loves getting to see the joy on children’s faces this time of year.Related Article: Swastikas, symbols spray painted on Cape Fear Rugby Club’s playing field“I think that the biggest thing is just the joy of Christmas and getting out to see, basically the citizens of Wilmington and the young citizens of Wilmington at that,” said Sipe.This was the third year of the Holly Jolly Stroll.It’s all about showing off downtown Wilmington and making it a premier destination during the holidays. The 3rd annual Holly Jolly Stroll was held in downtown Wilmington (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Christmas fun in downtown Wilmington continued Saturday with the second day of the Holly Jolly Stroll.The gloomy weather forced some of the outdoor activities inside, but the event still had a decent turnout.- Advertisement –
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s a story of legends, love and loss.Charlie and Rose Lucas — two famous blues musicians — who have played with the cream of the crop.- Advertisement – Rose tells their journey from high school sweethearts to the grandparents of blues in Wilmington.Check out the video above.Then visit WWAYTV3.com/history-mysteries every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month for another installment of “Cape Fear History & Mysteries.”
The camp will be located at the Independence Mall in Wilmington at the vacant Sears parking Lot, 3500 Oleander Drive on Friday from 9 a.m – 6 p.m.The Department of Insurance will conduct a Victims Assistance Center open to the public on Thursday at the Historic Train Depot, 115 S. Dickerson Street in Burgaw. Doors will open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.The insurance camp will be located at the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center, 106 Wilkes Lane E, Hampstead, on Thursday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.Related Article: Minor flooding, roof damage from Michael in downtown WilmingtonThis will give residents a chance to have direct contact with their insurance companies and others who can help them get their lives back on track as soon as possible. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Insurance will host an insurance camp in New Hanover and Pender counties Friday to help storm victims recover from Hurricane Florence.At the camp, residents can get information, file claims, and ask questions of insurance carriers.- Advertisement –
“On that day… she was just going for her regular hour counseling appointment,” said Linda Green, Nicolette’s mother.It was a Tuesday. That day ended any way but “regular” for the Green and Newton families. The two families have bonded since the incident.A Facebook group, “Justice for Nikki & Wendy“, has been created to try and change policies and laws regarding transporting mental health patients.Related Article: Parents want Brunswick Co. Schools to reconsider field trip cutsRead more here. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings HORRY COUNTY, SC (WPDE/WWAY) — Imagine waking up in the middle of the night because you hear your daughter screaming “help” and you can’t do anything about it. That’s what the father of Nicolette Green says he has done over and over since his daughter died.A Horry County Sheriff’s Office transport van drove through flooded waters on Highway 76, near the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County, according to officials. Green and Wendy Newton were killed. Newton is from Shallotte.- Advertisement –
The event was supposed to happen in September, but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Florence.The hunting begins on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Battleship in Wilmington.Get a ticket. Battleship North Carolina (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you’re a fan of shows like “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Asylum and Haunted Towns”, listen up! There’s a fun event taking place this weekend.On Saturday, you can meet, greet, fist bump and ghost hunt with Steve Gonsalves, from Syfy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” along with Chris Smith and Mike Goncalves from Destination America’s show “Ghost Asylum and Haunted Towns” on the Battleship North Carolina.- Advertisement –