The Department for Work and Pensions DWP has tol

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has told a disabled woman whose benefit claims repeatedly went missing that thousands of other claimants have lost their applications in the same departmental black hole.Vicky Pearson, from Lincolnshire, had to survive for nearly two weeks without food over Christmas and the new year, a distressing experience that she believes caused significant long-term damage to her health.When she asked a DWP civil servant what she should do over Christmas, she was told to “rest a lot and drink a lot of water”.Despite being alerted to the concerns on Monday afternoon, DWP had not been able to comment by 1pm today (Thursday).Pearson (pictured) first tried to claim income-related employment and support allowance (ESA) last October, after learning that her partner had been made redundant.The former marketing manager was originally told to apply for the mainstream jobseeker’s allowance instead, and it was only when she arrived at the jobcentre for her first back-to-work session in early November that she was told she was too ill to claim JSA.She delivered an ESA50 health questionnaire – which had to be filled in with assistance, as she is not strong enough to fill in lengthy forms herself – to the jobcentre later that day.But there was no written response to her claim, and when she asked DWP what had happened to it, she was told it must have been lost in the post, even though it had been hand-delivered.The form was eventually tracked down and she was told it had been mistakenly registered to someone else’s account.She was told to try again and submitted a second ESA50 form. Again it went missing, despite it again being hand-delivered to the jobcentre.A third form also went missing, and Pearson had still not received a single letter from DWP acknowledging her claim by mid-December, even though she was receiving letters to the same home address about a separate claim for personal independence payment.By the time she called DWP two days before Christmas she was beginning to panic because she and her partner had no money to buy food.She was told by an adviser that DWP’s offices were about to close for Christmas and new year and she would have to call back in January, and that there was no emergency financial support available because her ESA claim had still not been officially registered.When she told the adviser that she could not use the local foodbanks because they only offered processed foods – which she cannot eat for health reasons – she was advised to take plenty of rest and drink lots of water.As Pearson’s local authority, Lincolnshire County Council, does not offer emergency financial support, she had to send out a plea for help on social media, and begged for help from friends and family.After the new year break, she was told again that DWP had not received her form.Yet again – for the fourth time – she had to fill out the ESA50 health questionnaire and provide another sick note from her GP.This time, she was able to secure an emergency loan of £70 from DWP as her claim had finally been accepted.But it took another two weeks until she received a backdated payment for £600.She had also lodged a complaint about her treatment, and weeks later DWP finally told her what had happened.A DWP adviser told her there was an online “document drive” that contained thousands of ESA50 forms submitted by other claimants.She was told that all these claimants had also been told their forms had not been received, because of a flaw in the IT system.But she was also told that there were too many of these cases to deal with individually, so DWP had just left them there.Despite receiving a compensation payment of just £70 and DWP admitting that it was responsible for the problems she had faced, Pearson has still not received a single letter about her ESA claim. For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support its work and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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A note from the editor For nine years Disability

first_imgA note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… At least two disabled people have died while others have been admitted to hospital following the short-notice closure of a residential home by a disability charity.Leonard Cheshire faced allegations of “insensitive and abusive” behaviour in May over the way its executives told disabled residents that they were about to close their care home because they could not afford to keep it open.About 20 residents and other service-users were given less than three months’ notice of the charity’s plans to close Greathouse (pictured), near Chippenham, Wiltshire.Leonard Cheshire blamed staffing problems, a drop in the demand for places and the cost of repairs for its decision to close the home on 27 July.But the charity confirmed this week that two former residents of Greathouse have died soon after being forced to leave the home.One had been a resident for 15 years and died soon after moving out, while the other had moved to Greathouse more recently and was said to have had a stroke after having trouble settling at his new home.A third former service-user, a disabled woman who used the home’s respite service and was said to have been deeply upset at not being able to visit Greathouse, is also believed to have died, and other former residents have had to be admitted for hospital treatment.Anne Keat, whose son Richard was a resident at Greathouse and has now been moved to another home nearby, said she and other relatives were convinced that the deaths and other health problems were connected to the closure.In addition to the deaths, she said, as many as five or six former Greathouse residents had been hospitalised, including Richard.He lost more than 20 kilogrammes – more than a quarter of his bodyweight – after learning of the closure and had to be admitted to hospital for three days.She said: “He literally disappeared before our eyes. It was a pure grieving process, it was horrible to see.”She said the Greathouse chef had commented several times on how much less food he was cooking in the weeks leading up to the closure, because residents had lost their appetites.She said: “Leonard Cheshire have a lot to answer for. I just think they have behaved appallingly.”Earlier this month, Leonard Cheshire was also criticised over its decision to sell 17 residential homes to other care providers and was accused of making “a complete mockery” of its supposed commitment to service-user involvement.Disability News Service has heard from three separate sources that three former Greathouse residents have now moved to Leonard Cheshire homes that are among the 17 listed for sale next year and so are likely to go through a further period of uncertainty and upheaval.One source, who has friends among ex-staff and relatives of former residents, said the deaths were “so distressing”, and added: “This is a scandal, but no-one cares.”Doug Paulley, who lives in a Leonard Cheshire home in Wetherby and has publicly criticised the way the charity is run, said the deaths were “very sad” but predictable.He said: “Leonard Cheshire knows that people die if they are forced to move from their care homes, but they did it anyway.“These actions that devastate disabled people who live in their homes – it is disgusting.“It is difficult to prove but I have no doubt that people being moved forcibly against their will when they have severe impairments has caused deaths.”He said the charity had given the residents of Greathouse the minimum possible notice – three months – of its intention to close the home.Although it is impossible to prove that the deaths and health problems were caused by the sudden closure of Greathouse and residents being forced to move to new homes, some research has suggested a link between involuntary relocation from residential homes and a negative impact on residents’ health.A Leonard Cheshire spokeswoman said: “We are aware that two former residents of Greathouse have sadly passed away.“Our heartfelt thoughts are with the families at this difficult time. “It would be inappropriate to comment further at this point until the facts are established.“Care was taken in supporting all residents of Greathouse with their individual moves, including health checks and the transfer of records around complex conditions so that continuity of care was properly managed.“Continuity and quality of support, and the welfare of all residents is our top priority during the coming months as we look to secure a new provider for the services that we have taken the difficult decision to sell.“Any sale is unlikely to occur before the end of March 2019 and could take longer. We will support residents and their families throughout this process.”She said the charity was not aware of the death of the woman who used the respite service.She added: “With regard to the other residents you refer to we will not comment on the health of individual residents beyond our statement.“If residents have transferred to other providers, any queries about the care and wellbeing of residents who transferred to other providers need to be addressed to them.”She declined to comment further.Picture: Google last_img read more

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Illegal Gambling Den in SF Mission Shuttered

first_imgEn Español.Capp Street Crap reports that the illegal gambling den and brothel located at the former site of the Fizzary was shut down after its tenants were evicted by the sheriff’s department. Eviction notices were posted today, and Capp Street Crap reports that a neighbor saw two men leaving with a cardboard box full of items shortly before the notices went up.The space served as an after-hours gambling club and brothel that saw one shooting incident last October and multiple calls to the police in recent months. Nearby business owners said the late-night noise was a nuisance and considered it a blight on the block, but despite frequent police raids the den remained active for months.Taylor Peck, a residential tenant of the building where he also ran the Fizzary, first sub-leased the space to a couple claiming they would open up a vitamin shop. He was duped, and shortly after leasing the space Peck found himself with a full-scale gambling operation on his premises that law enforcement, despite significant presence, seemed unable to shut down.He eventually graffitied his own facade in a bout of frustration, and was evicted by his landlord last month in an attempt by the property owner to shut down the den. Peck’s ouster allowed for a sheriff’s lock-out on the building, a move that apparently succeeded in physically barring the gambling den’s operators from the premises. 0% Peck said he was tired of the whole affair, adding he would be glad to “read about it from a distance.”“I’m evicted and I’m done, and I was out before them,” Peck said of the den’s closure. He declined to comment on his current living situation, but said he was already imagining the next space the den’s operators would occupy.“I pretty much feel horrible for whatever property owner or tenant gets them next, which they inevitably will, because law enforcement has no solution to this,” Peck said.The police did not immediately return requests for comment on any criminal charges against the den’s operators. Illegal gambling dens are a citywide problem that so plagued the Excelsior in the fall that Supervisor John Avalos held a hearing on the issue at the time. center_img Tags: crimes Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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What percentage of San Franciscos firefighters actually live in San Francisco

first_img‘Contingency plan’ in place to ferry firefighters into S.F. when disaster strikes Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter “New hires have difficulty finding housing in such a difficult market,” said Shon Buford, president of International Association of Firefighters Local 798. He says the overwhelming majority of new hires live outside the city since they come in making significantly less than San Francisco’s median wage of $96,000.Fire Department spokesman Jon Baxter says that department personnel want to live in San Francisco, but high prices can put the city out of reach for public employees. “It took me personally 20 years to save up enough money to buy a house in the city,” he said.In the case of a large-scale disaster — such as an earthquake that disables the bridges into San Francisco — the city says it has contingency plans in place to deal with situations that might arise.“Bringing first responders is one of the considerations that we plan around,” said Francis Zamora, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Emergency Management. He said the city has emergency measures to transport rescue workers to the city via ferries and smaller vessels, potentially in conjunction with the Coast Guard. Depending on how widespread the disaster, the city could also draw on mutual aid from less-affected areas.Baxter added that the fire department runs drills quarterly that simulate recalling workers to their stations from wherever they may be living. “Recall is going to be very speculative, either inside the city or outside the city,” he said. Firefighters inside the city may take longer to be recalled than those outside the city in some cases, depending on how affected they and their families are by a disaster.A majority of Fire Department employees would be affected by closures on the city’s bridges, having to find alternate routes or arrive by water. In the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, an upper section of the Bay Bridge collapsed and the San Mateo Bridge was closed as a precaution, although the Golden Gate Bridge remained open. However, the epicenter of that 6.9 earthquake was about 75 miles south of the city, near Santa Cruz. A more severe and/or closer earthquake could obviously do more damage.In the great earthquake of 1906, a magnitude 7.9 temblor with an epicenter only a couple of miles from San Francisco, fires burned for days afterward, destroying tens of thousands of buildings.Presumably, in ’06 — before any of the bridges were built — the vast majority of firefighters lived within city limits.  Email Addresscenter_img In 2010, 66 percent of city firefighters lived outside of the city.Firefighters have been pushed from the city and the Peninsula toward far outlying areas. San Francisco and San Mateo counties have both seen declines in fire department employees over the last decade. As workers move to more affordable areas, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties have seen increases in the number of San Francisco firefighters living there. But the biggest increase has been in the number who live outside the Bay Area entirely. Now, at least one of every eight San Francisco Fire Department employees lives beyond the nine-county Bay Area, many of them in the direction of Sacramento. That’s an increase of 50 percent in the past decade.Nearly 60 of the department’s workers live in far-flung Placer and El Dorado Counties, at least a 100-mile drive from the city. For 54 more workers, the department only lists their county of residence as “Other.” San Francisco’s crushingly expensive rental and housing markets have been pushing people out of the city for years. Few workaday employees can lay out, say, $3,500 for a typical one-bedroom apartment in the city.And in San Francisco, that includes many of its most important workers: firefighters. According to public records requested by Mission Local, 71 percent of San Francisco firefighters live outside of San Francisco. Only about 500 of the department’s 1,756 safety workers reside within city limits. last_img read more

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ADE Gardner has agreed to join Hull KR on loan for

first_imgADE Gardner has agreed to join Hull KR on loan for the next month. The 30-year-old winger, who has made 286 appearances for the Saints, has found first team opportunities limited this season. Saints CEO Mike Rush said: “At this stage of his career it’s clear Ade needs to be playing week in week out and going out on loan to Hull KR will enable him to do that. “Ade has worked hard in training, has proved to be an utmost professional and needs to be playing regularly. He has been on dual registration but this will enable him to continue ply his trade at the highest level.”last_img read more

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BIG prop Alex Walmsley will take confidence from h

first_imgBIG prop Alex Walmsley will take confidence from his side’s impressive start to the season into their Tetley’s Challenge Cup fourth round tie away to the Huddersfield Giants on Sunday (2.15pm).He believes that whilst the Giants will pose a difficult challenge on their own ground, Saints can head into their first Cup match of the season ready for the challenge, on the back of their impressive league form.“It couldn’t have been a much tougher draw,” said Walmsley. “Huddersfield were consistently the best team last year. In terms of the play-offs they probably didn’t do themselves justice but it’s going to be tough, it is a challenge we are relishing as a team and it’s going to be a great game, I am sure.“You are not going to win the Challenge Cup final without beating some very good teams along the way. It’s a very tough first hurdle and it’s something that we are looking forward to testing ourselves with.“We have played some very good teams this year already and every game has been tough on its own. Every team we have played has posed a massive test for us and fortunately we have managed to overcome those tests.”Walmsley, who signed a contract extension with the Saints in the off-season, believes that while the younger players in the squad are beginning to make their mark in the first team, the presence of the more experienced players is just as important.“Last year a lot of young lads were blooded into the team because of injuries and as a team we are better for that,” he added. “But it is pivotal for our success having the likes of Paul Wellens, Jon Wilkin and James Roby around the squad every week. They have been in the Saints team for a lot of years and have success behind them.“They have the experience and the pedigree to win and succeed, and to have them in the squad is massive for us. They lead by example and are squad members who everybody looks up to.”Tickets for the Huddersfield Giants v St Helens Tetley’s Challenge Cup tie at Huddersfield on Sunday Aril 6 (2.15pm) can be purchased from as little as £10 for adults and £5 for children – up until 5pm today.You can buy from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, here or by calling 01744 455 052.last_img read more

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An offload is when a player holding the ball is ta

first_imgAn offload is when a player holding the ball is tackled but passes the ball to a team mate before the tackle is completed. Offloading is not an easy skill to master, but time it right and you can achieve sensational results and your team will score some fantastic tries.Offloading in life is not an easy skill to master, but when under pressure, if you time it right you can achieve great results and prevent a problem building or getting worse.By offloading and telling others about your problem or concern, you can relieve the pressures and start solving the problem and build a winning mindset.The Offload Programme is currently run in partnership between State of Mind, Rugby League Cares and the club foundations at three Super League clubs.Over the course of the 10-week ‘season of fixtures’, men build their own mental fitness, whilst having fun, in a relaxed atmosphere and develop coping strategies to challenge difficult situations and learn how to recognise when people close to them may need their support.Mike Cooper, the Warrington and England prop forward, said: “You have to be able to talk about your feelings with someone. When I moved to Australia to play for St George-Illawarra a couple of years ago, it was a tough time and I couldn’t have got through it without my wife.“There was a little bit of homesickness and anxiety about the challenge ahead but we got through it together using tactics like setting ourselves goals.”You can find out more about the Offload programme by clicking here.last_img read more

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Castle Hayne Fire Department donates fire truck for CFCC training

first_imgWilmington, NC(WWAY) — Cape Fear Community College students and others will get more hands on fire training, thanks to a donation from the Castle Hayne Volunteer Fire Department.The department gave CFCC a fully equipped 1989 Suburban Pumper fire truck.- Advertisement – This truck will be used for CFCC’s fire training, including the bi-annual First Responder Academy and weekend Fire/Rescue Colleges.Previous fire truck donations to CFCC were from the Wrightsboro Volunteer Fire Department and the Wilmington Fire Department.The newly donated fire pumper will be used for hands-on training that involves proper procedures for riding and working around fire apparatus, to include advancing hose lines, ground ladder work, driver training, pump operator training, and service testing of fire apparatus.Related Article: Trump says Special Olmypics will be funded after fallout with DeVos“This truck is fully equipped,” said Public Safety Training Director Becky Porter, “so it will allow students to train with equipment that will be similar to what they will utilize at their own fire department.”“This apparatus has been very well maintained and we are extremely fortunate to have it as an addition to our facility. We are very grateful for this donation,” said Fire Rescue Training Coordinator Chris Nelson. “This is a great example of how important community partnerships are in providing excellent service and quality programs for the citizens of New Hanover and Pender counties.”or more information fire training at Cape Fear Community College, click here.last_img read more

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Bald Eagle fully recovers and will be released

first_img He was in surgery for about six hours and went through rehabilitation for months, starting from three days a week and working up to five.‘Once they progress through that and they’ve got full range of motion back in their wing again, then we’ll begin to take them out and do physical therapy, flying with them on a tethered line,” Scott said.The staff watched Rocky vigorously, in hopes that his rehabilitation would pay off, and thankfully it did.Related Article: Man winds up in jail after scuffle with bail bondsman“When we flew him for the first time, we need to make sure that they get lift up in the air. Lots of birds can fly forward, but they can’t necessarily get lift and he got lift right away so then we knew he’s going to be able to be released, it’s just a matter of time,” Joni Shimp, the medical director, said.Now, Rocky will get to take off back into the wild, into his natural habitat.“Although he may not actually be able to think that it’s our facility and our organization that’s saved them, the minute he sees the wild open air, he is ready to fly and that’s enough said for me,” Joni said.Rocky will be the fifth eagle released since May. But according to the staff, he sustained the worst injuries they saw this year among eagles. He will be released on Saturday at 8 a.m. at 131 Via Dolorosa Road, Rocky Point. The public is invited to attend.If you want to learn more about the center, click here. ROCKY POINT, NC (WWAY) — It’s almost time for Rocky, the bald eagle, to fly high. Rocky came to the Cape Fear Raptor Center in January with severe injuries, like broken bones, after being shot.“He was found on the ground. Broken radius and ulna. Fractured as a result of a gun shot wound from a shotgun,” Scott Shimp, rehabilitation director, said.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Emergency bill proposed for students teachers in wake of hurricane Florence

first_img They have drafted a bill that would forgive time students and teachers at public schools lost in any district affected by Hurricane Florence.  The district does not have to be declared a disaster area to be protected.The bill will also make sure teachers do not have to lose pay or use any vacation time to make up for lost days.Superintendent Johnson says he knows “things in Raleigh don’t move quickly,” but he says representatives know they have to move fast on this.Related Article: UNC Board of Governors member: UNC plan for Silent Sam ‘cowardice’“We heard from local districts,” Johnson said. “We heard that they needed the flexibility. We heard the concerns that teachers were not going to get paid, and this is immediate action we can take as a first step in order to make sure we do what is right for our students and teachers”The draft does not address charter schools, but Johnson says they will be addressed soon.The General Assembly is slated to convene a Special Session about Hurricane Florence in Raleigh on October 9. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A bill to be introduced in the General Assembly could ease the strain on schools, students and teachers affected by Hurricane Florence for going on two weeks now.Sen. Michael Lee (R-New Hanover) joined Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union), the co-chair of the NC House Education K-12 Committee, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson today to announce the state is moving quickly to get schools back on track and to make sure students and teachers are not penalized for time missed.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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