Disabled people who need to receive letters from t

first_imgDisabled people who need to receive letters from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in alternative formats have been facing lengthy delays with their benefit claims, apparently because of a dispute between DWP and private sector contractors.It has been claimed that a dispute between DWP and the US print services giant Xerox, and potentially other contractors as well, has led to disabled people experiencing delays receiving vital letters about their benefit claims in formats such as large print and – for people with dyslexia – on yellow paper.Claimants across the country are believed to have been experiencing delays for at least 18 months.Xerox may now have become the latest in a string of outsourcing giants – such as Atos, Capita and Maximus – to face allegations of incompetence over DWP benefit-related contracts.Xerox originally claimed this week that it was not involved in the alternative formats contract.But after being shown a link to a press release from 2007 announcing how it led a consortium that won a contract to provide DWP with “print and associated services”, a Xerox spokeswoman changed her position to say that Xerox “no longer is involved in that contract”.She repeatedly refused to say when Xerox stopped providing these services to DWP.A DWP spokeswoman said she believed that Xerox did still have a contract with Xerox. She had not been able to clarify the position by 1pm today (Thursday).One disabled claimant, Michael Owen, from South Yorkshire, has had repeated problems obtaining DWP letters on yellow paper relating to his claims for employment and support allowance (ESA) and personal independence payment, and the repayment of loans under the old Social Fund.He has experienced delays of up to 13 weeks in receiving DWP letters from the alternative format team (AFT).As a result of the delays, the former youth and community worker has missed appointments for face-to-face work capability assessments, which have led to his ESA being suspended.He told a senior DWP manager in an email in July: “The constant stress and strain I am having to endure, not only has further impacted on my mental health, it has also rendered me feeling physically sick even when dialling the PIP and ESA numbers and no one should feel like that.”In an email he received from a senior DWP manager in July, in response to his complaint, Owen was told: “These delays clearly fall below an acceptable level of customer service and I am sincerely sorry that you have been experiencing difficulties in receiving mail within an acceptable timescale.“The AFT have provided an assurance that they will endeavour to process your future correspondence within 48 hours.”Although DWP is now aware of the delays with his paperwork, he is concerned that his ESA will again be suspended – he is currently in the work-related activity group – if he fails to receive the ESA 50 form he needs on yellow paper by the deadline next month.Owen told Disability News Service: “I can’t keep to any of their timescales because I don’t see any of their paperwork in the correct timeframe.”He has previously been told that the problems were the fault of Royal Mail for losing the relevant letters, but he says he has now been told by a DWP manager that the delays were caused by a dispute with Xerox over its performance on the contract.His complaint is being investigated by the independent case examiner (ICE).A DWP spokeswoman said: “DWP has its own staff who provide letters in alternative formats, to ensure these are handled as swiftly as possible.“Once we are aware that someone needs this service, all their letters are managed by DWP directly.  “We have apologised to [Mr Owen] for the delays he experienced, and our staff now manage his post in alternative format.”Asked when DWP began to provide this work itself, rather than contracting it out, and why it apparently decided to bring the work in-house, and when and why Xerox seems to have ended its involvement in providing these services, she failed to respond by 1pm today, and also failed to explain what had been causing the delays. A note from the editor: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 note 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

OFFICIAL Partner of Super League BRUT for Men is o

first_imgOFFICIAL Partner of Super League BRUT for Men is on the hunt for the St Helens Fan of Pride – someone who is a huge Saints supporter and is committed to the sport in their local community.Fans have until midnight on June 25 to make their nominations at www.brutformen.co.uk/superleagueSt Helens BRUT Fan of Pride player ambassador Alex Walmsley – who will be part of the shortlisting judging panel – is calling on all fans to nominate their friends and family for this prestigious award before it’s too late.There are some fantastic prizes on offer for Fan of Pride winners, including the chance to go behind the scenes at a Super League club of their choice, season tickets, Grand Final tickets, an invitation to the end of season Man of Steel Awards and, of course, BRUT product.Nominate now at www.brutformen.co.uk/superleague or via hard copy forms, which can be collected from the Langtree Park.last_img read more

Saints will take on Catalans Dragons on Sunday Aug

first_imgSaints will take on Catalans Dragons on Sunday August 5 at the Macron Stadium in Bolton.The game kicks off at 12:30pm and a massive Saints contingent will make the short journey to back the boys.You can buy CAT 3 tickets online, via the Ticket Office and from 01744 455 052 – they are priced at £25 for adults, £17.50 for concessions and £12.50 for juniors.If you’re a 2018 Member who didn’t take advantage of the exclusivity period then you can still claim your discounted tickets from the Ticket Office and via 01744 455 052.All tickets are Reserved Seating and on purchase you will receive the best available.Prices: Cat 3 (Non-member) Cat 3 (Member’s Discount)Adults£25£21Concessions£17.50£13.50Juniors (16 & under)£12.50£8.50Please note Concessions are Senior Citizens 65 and over, Students upon production of a valid student card and Serving Military with valid ID.Fans can travel with us too – prices are £9 members and £11 for non-members. The coach leaves the Totally Wicked Stadium at 10am. Fans have to pre-book either at the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052 and non-members can buy at www.saintssuperstore.com.last_img read more

Air Malta set to carry 146m passengers this year

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Air Malta estimates it will be carrying over 1.46 million passengers over the next seven months with a fleet of ten aircraft.This is part of the airline’s ambitious summer schedule which launches on Sunday and intends to offer 188 weekly flights to 42 destinations.Air Malta is also looking to increase the frequency of its flights to key destinations like Paris Charles De Gaulle and Tunis, as well as the return of services to Cairo Egypt and for the first time to Warsaw, Poland.Preparing for the launch of the Summer services, Air Malta’s Chief Executive Capt. Clifford Chetcuti said, ‘The planned increase in customers, routes and increased frequencies, highlight our efforts to better connect the Islands. This schedule signifies a strong commitment by Air Malta towards the local tourism industry and shows the support the Airline gives to the Islands’ economic growth. In line with our stated objective to improve customer experience, this summer we will welcome two more brand new Airbus A320NEOs to our fleet which will offer added comfort to our customers.’In alphabetical order, these are all the locations that Air Malta will be flying to from March 31st; Amsterdam, Birmingham, Berlin, Bristol, Brussels, Bucharest, Cagliari, Catania, Casablanca, Cairo, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hamburg, Ibiza, Lisbon, Leipzig, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Southend, Lourdes / Tarbes, Lyon, Kiev, Malaga, Manchester, Marseille, Munich, Milan, Moscow, Palermo, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Paris Orly, Prague, Rome, St Petersburg, Tel Aviv, Tbilisi, Tunis, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more