CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The unexpected knock at the door is the DWP rule, not the exception

Worries about how to deal with such a visit were posted on various blogs and forums and we received numerous requests from members for guidance on how to deal with these visits.

So Benefits and Work made a Freedom of Information request.

As a result of that request we can now reveal that, in reality, the vast majority of people who get a visit do not get a letter in advance – surprise visits are the rule, not the exception.

Newsletter 30 July 2014

Sunday, 20 July 2014

What We Learned This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

New ESA And PIP Dirty Tricks Campaigns

In this edition we reveal that the DWP have resorted to new dirty tricks to cut ESA and PIP numbers. These include alleged mass reporting of ESA claimants for fraud and attempting to change the law by the back door to reduce PIP mobility awards.

Newsletter 16 July 2014

How to Talk About Pain

IN 1926, Virginia Woolf published an essay on pain, “On Being Ill.” Isn’t it extraordinary, she observed, that pain does not rank with “love, battle and jealousy” among the most important themes in literature. She lamented the “poverty of the language of pain.” Every schoolgirl who falls in love “has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.”

How to Talk About Pain

Sunday, 13 July 2014

In the gut, immunity is a two-way street: Complex role of gut bacteria

In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that many diseases are triggered or maintained by changes in bacterial communities in the gut. However, the general view up to now has been rather simple: bacteria stimulate the immune system, leading to inflammation or autoimmune disorders in a single direction. Now scientists have painted a more complex picture: the gut immune system does not simply prevent the influx of pathogens, but is actively involved in the maintenance of a rich and healthy community of gut bacteria.

 In the gut, immunity is a two-way street: Complex role of gut bacteria

What We Learned This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Discovery of new means to erase pain

A study published in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience by Yves De Koninck and Robert Bonin, two researchers at Université Laval, reveals that it is possible to relieve pain hypersensitivity using a new method that involves rekindling pain so that it can subsequently be erased. This discovery could lead to novel means to alleviate chronic pain.

Discovery of new means to erase pain -- ScienceDaily

Monday, 7 July 2014

‘Strained’ – Are Neuromuscular Problems Causing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Now Dr. Peter Rowe – one of the first researchers to study orthostatic intolerance in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) – is breaking new ground again with a different kind of nervous system issue. He believes something has gone wrong with the nerves that govern a very basic function – movement.

The breakthrough for him came when he realized that he was able to produce symptoms of pain, fatigue, brain-fog, light-headedness, nausea, sweating and flushing, vision changes, headache, etc. simply by putting pressure on certain parts of the spinal cord or nerves in the body, arms or legs. Conversely, removing the tension in those areas could ease his patient’s fatigue, cognitive problems, light-headedness, nausea, reflux, sweating, and flushing, many types of vision changes, headache, and other symptoms.

'Strained' - Are Neuromuscular Problems Causing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Welfare Reforms In Breach Of ‘Legal Obligations’ To Protect Disabled People, Finds Landmark Report

A report published today by Just Fair finds that the UK government is in breach of its legal obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of disabled people.

The report is the first comprehensive analysis of the extent to which the UK government is meeting its international obligations to realise the rights of disabled people in the austerity era. It examines the rights to independent living, work, social security, social protection and an adequate standard of living.

Welfare Reforms In Breach Of 'Legal Obligations' To Protect Disabled People, Finds Landmark Report

Sunday, 6 July 2014

What We Learned This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

DVLA Website Lets Visitors Check On Neighbours Benefits

A new vehicle check service on the DVLA website allows visitors to find out whether their neighbours are receiving the higher rate of the mobility component of disability living allowance (DLA) or either rate of the mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP). The system is likely to be in breach of data protection laws and will be of enormous concern to many disabled claimants.

DVLA Website Lets Visitors Check On Neighbours Benefits

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Altered immune response to exercise in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a systematic literature review

Compared to the normal response of the immune system to exercise as seen in healthy subjects, patients with CFS have a more pronounced response in the complement system (i.e. C4a split product levels), oxidative stress system (i.e. enhanced oxidative stress combined with a delayed and reduced anti-oxidant response), and an alteration in the immune cells' gene expression profile (increases in post-exercise interleukin-10 and toll-like receptor 4 gene expression), but not in circulating pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines. Many of these immune changes relate to post-exertional malaise in CFS, a major characteristic of the illness. The literature review provides level B evidence for an altered immune response to exercise in patients with CFS.

Altered immune response to exercise in pat... [Exerc Immunol Rev. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI

Huge Increase In ESA Sanctions

... in an effort to cut benefits costs, employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants are being subjected to a massively increased sanctions regime that deliberately targets the most vulnerable.

Sanctions, primarily aimed at claimants in the work-related activity group (WRAG) who are on the work programme, have quadrupled in the course of a year. They have increased from 1,102 a month in December 2012 to 4,789 a month in December 2013, the most recent date figures are available for.

 

Yet over the same period the number of ESA claimants being moved onto the work programme dropped by 43% a month and the number of claimants in the WRAG rose by just 21% in total.

 

62% of those sanctioned have mental health conditions or learning difficulties, although only 50% of claimants in the WRAG have these conditions.

 

It is hard to imagine a more cynical and discriminatory project, which appears to be intended to cut ESA costs whatever the human suffering involved might be.

 

You can read more about the DWP’s latest attack on claimants on the Benefits and Work website.

From the Benefits and Work newsletter, which you can read here online.

 

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