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Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been forced to launch its seventh costly trawl through the records of disabled people unfairly deprived of benefits following years of serious errors by senior civil servants.The minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, announced on the last day before parliament’s Christmas recess that her department would begin another new review this month.It follows six other reviews launched by her department during 2018 to find disabled people who had been wrongly deprived of their disability benefits.The latest review is necessary because of an upper tribunal ruling in the case of a claimant moving from disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence payment (PIP) who had his DLA stopped because he had failed to attend an Atos face-to-face assessment.The upper tribunal found that the claimant, OM – who had long-standing psychosis, and became agitated and aggressive around people he did not know – had “good reason” for not attending the PIP assessment that the government contractor Atos had told his wife he would have to attend in one of its London centres.The upper tribunal found that OM should have his DLA reinstated until a final decision was made on his PIP claim, while he should also receive backdated payments from the date DWP stopped his DLA.This same approach will now be applied to other cases where DLA claimants have had their benefits stopped for not having “good reason” for failing to attend or participate in their PIP consultations, or to provide the necessary information or evidence for their PIP claim, but were later found by DWP or a tribunal that they did have “good reason” for not doing so.Newton (pictured) said DWP expected about 4,600 claimants to benefit from a review of such cases.It has taken DWP more than a year to implement the tribunal’s ruling, which was handed down on 23 November 2017.The review follows six others that DWP was forced to begin during 2018, all as a result of errors by senior civil servants in the department.In June, Newton announced a review following a tribunal ruling delivered in March 2017 – concerning a PIP claimant referred to as RJ – on how DWP assesses whether disabled people can carry out activities safely and need supervision to do so.This was likely to affect people with conditions such as epilepsy, with an estimated 10,000 PIP claimants set to benefit by £70 to £90 per week by 2022-23.In the same week in June, Newton announced a review of an estimated 1.6 million PIP claims to find claimants who experience mental distress when making or planning a journey.This followed a court ruling in December 2017 – in the case of a claimant referred to as MH – which found that new rules introduced that year by DWP were unlawful, “blatantly discriminatory” and breached the UN disability convention.A third review announced in June 2018 related to the way DWP had been assessing an estimated 420 PIP claimants with haemophilia who have the associated condition haemarthropathy (a severe type of arthritis caused by bleeding into the joints).A fourth review was launched so that DWP could trawl through the files of thousands of other PIP claimants who need support to take medication and monitor their health conditions, following two tribunal findings – in the cases of AN and JM – that found that DWP should have been scoring such claimants in the same way as people needing support to manage treatment therapies such as dialysis.The fifth review followed a high court ruling in June 2018 that DWP had unlawfully discriminated against two disabled men who each lost disability premiums worth £178 per month when they moved to a new local authority area and were forced to transfer onto the new universal credit.The sixth review followed the botched migration of an estimated 70,000 former claimants of incapacity benefit and other benefits to employment and support allowance (ESA).DWP failed to realise that many of these claimants were entitled to income-related ESA – and therefore to associated disability premiums – rather than just the contributory form of ESA.A DWP spokesperson said in a statement on the latest – seventh – review: “We accepted the judgment and we are committed to implementing it correctly.“Making the necessary changes to guidance is complex and it is right we proceed carefully to ensure claimants receive the payments to which they are entitled.“We have recruited hundreds of extra staff to complete these exercises as quickly as possible.“We take matters relating to benefit underpayments seriously and will learn the lessons from the issues raised.”By noon today (Thursday), she had declined to confirm that this was the seventh review to be launched by DWP in the last 12 months.
ENGLAND Knights player Tom Burgess is relishing the chance to make his first representative appearance when the Knights take on Ireland in an Alitalia European Cup clash in Belfast on Saturday (6.00pm).Burgess will join brothers Sam, Luke and George at South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL next season and the powerhouse prop believes the Knights experience will stand him in good stead.“My brothers have told me a lot about the standard of training at club level in Australia and I think what we’ve been doing with the Knights certainly isn’t far off that standard,” said Burgess.“For me it’s been great to be involved in the England environment. It’s a higher level than what we’re all used to during the season at club level and it’s been good to experience coming into camp and blending with new players.“We’ve got some good games coming up against Ireland and Scotland as well which will be a good test for us and give us an opportunity to put our training into practice and stake a claim on the full international stage.”Burgess has been joined in the Knights squad by twin brother George, the first time the duo have appeared in the same squad since George left Bradford Bulls for the Rabbitohs in 2010, and the chance to represent their country together is something that excites Tom.“It’s been great to have George back here in England,” he said. “Being in camp and training together has been really enjoyable and hopefully we’ll both get the chance to play for the Knights in the coming weeks.“That experience of playing for the Knights is going to set us up well for going into training with South Sydney together and I’m looking forward to it.“I’ve had a great time at Bradford but I’m looking forward to a new challenge in my career and the pastures ahead and that starts with the Knights.”England begin their Alitalia European Cup campaign against Ireland in Belfast’s Deramore Park on Saturday October 20 (6.00pm) before taking on Scotland in Edinburgh’s Meggetland Stadium on Sunday October 28 (2.00pm).
THE games come thick and fast this Easter Weekend as your Saints take on Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers in the space of four days.Good Friday (March 29) sees Nathan Brown’s side travel ‘over the lump’ to the DW Stadium to face the auld enemy before returning to Langtree Park on Easter Monday (April 1) for the visit of Castleford Tigers.Tickets for Monday’s match are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.If you’re travelling over to Wigan on Friday then you can get all the latest ticket details from here.
SAINTS ran in four tries as they beat Batley Bulldogs 20-0 at Langtree Park.Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, Mark Flanagan and Josh Jones crossed the whitewash in a patchy but encouraging first hit out of the season.The quartet were strong and aided by strong performances from Kyle Amor and the pack.Nathan Brown’s side led 8-0 at half time thanks to tries from Makinson and Percival.The duo scored finished off great moves from around 20 yards out as the home side pushed the ball wide.Batley also had their chances but found their hosts mean in defence.In the second, Flanagan and Jones ensured a comfortable opening hit out as the defence did more than enough to keep a feisty Bulldogs at bay.All credit to Batley though, they never gave up and will be a team to watch in the Championship.Both coaches played strong teams in the friendly with Kyle Amor and Matty Dawson being given their bows for Saints.On the bench for the home team were Alex Clare and Connor Dwyer – both called up into the first team squad this season – as well as Under 19s Jack Ashworth and Lewis Galbraith.After Saints went close early doors through Tommy Makinson, the Bulldogs won a penalty and put pressure on their host’s line.The ball went to ground though and that was unfortunately the theme for the opening stages as both sides struggled to make significant headway in poor conditions.On 10 minutes, Batley won another penalty in Saints half but Scott Leatherbarrow couldn’t wrong foot Jonny Lomax with a clever chip.Three minutes later Saints got a penalty of their own but good defence stopped the chance of a score.It was a warning Batley didn’t heed however as after another penalty, the ball was pushed wide and Makinson made no mistake.Percival wide with the extras in appalling conditions.The Bulldogs continued to push but Saints were pretty hot on defence and denied them the chance to level up matters.But the visitors did have chances though – almost prospering with five minutes to go as Dawson mishandled a tricky kick; it taking all Lomax’ skill to bundle the ball out of touch.But as the hooter sounded for half time, Saints worked a great move from a scrum to send Mark Percival in.Saints brought on Gardner, Wheeler, Manu, Walker and Hohaia for the second half and it was the latter that made a nice try for Flanagan on 48 minutes.Percival converting to make it 14-0.Ade Gardner scooted down the right hand side on 58 minutes to put Saints in great position, but a chip went dead on the last.Lewis Charnock and Jack Ashworth were entered into the fray on 64 minutes with Connor Dwyer, James Tilley and Lewis Galbraith joining them three minutes later.Willie Manu went close on around 70 minutes but a few minutes later Josh Jones sliced through the defence to make the game safe.A try made and converted by Mark Percival to seal a comfortable night for Saints.Match Summary:Saints: Tries: Makinson, Percival, Flanagan, JonesGoals: Percival (2 from 3), Turner (0 from 1)Bulldogs: Tries:Goals:Penalties: Saints: 8Bulldogs: 4HT: 8-0FT: 20-0REF: D SharpeATT: TBCTeams:Saints:1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 22. Mark Percival, 4. Josh Jones, 26. Matty Dawson; 3. Jordan Turner, 12. Jon Wilkin; 16. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 18. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 23. Joe Greenwood, 29. Jordan Hand,Subs: 6. Lance Hohaia, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 17. Paul Wellens, 19. Paul Clough, 21. Ade Gardner, 24. Gary Wheeler, 25. Anthony Walker, 27. Greg Richards, 30. Carl Forster, 31. James Tilley, 32. Lewis Charnock, 34. Connor Dwyer, 35. Alex Clare, **. Jack Ashworth, **. Lewis Galbraith.Batley:1. Miles Greenwood; 5. Jonny Campbell, 3. Alex Bretherton, 17. Lee Paterson, 2. Vinny Finigan; 6. Ben Black, 7. Scott Leatherbarrow; 8. Byron Smith, 14. Alistar Leak, 16. Brad Brennan, 12. Sam Scott, 19. Joe Chandler, 13. Mark Applegarth.Subs: 4. Aayden Faal, 10. Alex Rowe, 11. John Davies, 15. Jay Leary, 18. Luke Blake, 28. Aaron Blake.
The game was abandoned midway through the second half due to a second serious injury.Faye Gaskin scored Saints Women’s first ever try on around five minutes and her side didn’t look back in front of a healthy crowd at Ruskin Sports Village.Leah Burke quickly followed up with her first before Naomi Williams did the same at the quarter game mark.Burke then notched her first second – Gaskin landing a double to complete her hat-trick.Saints 30-0 to the good at half time.The second half saw the game stopped for a significant period after Pip Birchall went down injured.She was taken to hospital by ambulance but all indications suggest it isn’t as bad as was first feared.It took the best part of an hour for the game to recommence and when it did Williams went in for her second before Leah Burke completed her hat-trick.Gaskin converting her fourth of the afternoon for 40-0.Sadly, the game was then sensibly abandoned by the official after another serious injury, this time to a York City Knights player.Saints head coach Mark Brennan said: “We’re happy with our performance today for a first hit out. We played some nice stuff in parts and finished some nice tries but we know we have things to work on going forward.“We need to be a little more ruthless in defence at times but on the whole we are happy where we are at.”He continued: “There were some good performances across the park. Faye had a good game and controlled things well for us scoring three tries.“Our winger Leah Burke also had a fine game scoring three tries and running the ball in well.“Our middles worked hard to lay the platform for us to play and it meant that our attack was able to show some nice glimpses.“We know this is game one but we are happy with where we are at going forward. To keep any team pointless is great and we are looking forward to facing Bradford next Sunday.“I would like to wish both injured players a speedy recovery. It’s not nice to see but I am sure they will both be back on the field soon.“Pip was having a great game and causing problems for York until she was injured. Fingers crossed for them both.”More to follow… Match Summary:Saints: Tries: Gaskin (3), Burke (3), Williams N (2) Goals: Gaskin (4)York: Tries: Goals:HT: 30-0 FT: 40-0Teams:Saints: 1. Becca Rotheram; 2. Rachel Yeates, 3. Naomi Williams, 4. Katie-May Williams, 5. Leah Burke; 6. Carys Marsh, 7. Faye Gaskin; 8. Sarah Lovejoy, 9. Tara Jones, 10. Dawn Taylor, 11. Isabelle Rudge, 12. Roxy Mura, 13. Channy Crowl. Subs: 14. Zoe Harris, 15. Charlotte Hill, 16. Lizzie Gladman, 17. Pip Birchall.York: 1. Chloe James; 2. Ellie Henry, 3. Natalie Carr, 4. Ashleigh Fylde, 5. Bethany Lambert; 6. Cairo Nerby, 7. Mary Tiplady; 8. Lauren Powell, 9. Sam Boyes, 10. Abbi Carter, 11. Alisha Clayton, 12. Daisy Sanderson, 13. Paige Stevens. Subs: 14. Dee Limbert, 15. Carly Hilton, 16. Emily Farrow, TBC.