Mary-Rachel McCabe Profile picture
Dec 12, 2017 14 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Today in the county court I represented a real-life #DanielBlake. He is 51 and has depression and PTSD. He cannot use a computer. 1/13
According to his doctor he is not fit for work. The DWP thinks otherwise though, and since moving him from ESA to #universalcredit 2/13
He has been repeatedly sanctioned for failing his ‘Claimant commitment’ of job-searching for 35 hours per week. 3/13
With @CitizensAdvice’s help, he
is challenging these sanctions, but the process is slow &, in the meantime, his money is stopped. 4/13
He also wants to challenge the assessment that found him fit for work but he can’t until a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ has been issued. 5/13
He has chased this many times, to deafening silence from the #universalcredit department.
The result of this Kafkaesque nightmare? 6/13
My client has been living off £114.33 a month (that’s £26 a week) and has been relying on food banks. His rent arrears are now £10,000. 7/13
So he is being evicted from his Council home. But until the #universalcredit sanctions are lifted, he cannot afford his full rent. 8/13
Today I explained all of this to the judge and asked for more time for him to sort out his #universalcredit, before evicting him. 9/13
Thankfully, the judge granted him more time. She was visibly shocked by what I told her & said the benefits system is ‘appalling’ 10/13
And that she hadn’t been aware of all the problems with #universalcredit. She thanked me for drawing them to her attention. 11/13
I am glad my client has a roof over his head this Christmas. But I am sad that he, and many others like him, 12/13
Has been a victim of such a cruel and inhumane benefits system, and I wish I could reassure him that things will get better. 13/13

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