Disability Rights UK Newsletter

Two-thirds of workers with long covid treated unfairly by employers
New research by the Trade Union Congress has found that one in seven workers reported losing their job because of reasons connected to Long Covid. Learn more about the TUC’s latest research into Long Covid on the DR UK website.

Culture of othering found at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing
The Housing Ombudsman’s investigation into the death of the toddler Awaab Ishak has found that staff at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) had a culture of “othering” which saw staff hold prejudices and “lazy assumptions” about asylum seekers and refugees. Read more about the Housing Ombudsman’s report into Rochdale Boroughwide Housing on the DR UK website.

Research finds huge dissatisfaction with social care services
A new British Social Attitudes survey found two-thirds of people who have used or had contact with social care – for themselves or someone else – were dissatisfied. Learn more about this in-depth research into people’s relationship to social care on our website

Customers not paying by direct debit pay vastly more for energy
Following the recent news that Ofgem has “indefinitely” paused the forced installation of prepayment meters, the spotlight is now on another group of energy consumers that are paying over the odds. People who pay by cash, cheque or bank transfer have much higher charges than those who pay by direct debit. Read the full story on energy price differences on our website.

Data reveals extent of the prepayment meter scandal
New data given to energy minister Grant Shapps showed that in 2022 94,000 prepayment meters were forcibly installed in homes without customer consent, with around 70% of them by the biggest energy suppliers such as Scottish Power, OVO Energy, and British Gas. Scottish Power was “the worst offender” in relation to its customer base as it apparently forced more than 24,300 prepayment meters into its customers’ homes. Read more on the prepayment meter story on our website.

DVLA criticised for delays in vehicle licence applications
MPs have been investigating the backlog of driving-licence applications that have been accumulating at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Up to three million people who applied for licences since April 2020 experienced delays, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said, with 60 million phone calls going unanswered. Read more on the vehicle licence story on our website.

Deadline to apply for voter ID
The law has changed, meaning you must now bring a valid form of ID with you to vote. More information on what a valid form of ID is can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website. If you don’t have a valid form of ID, you can register for a free voter ID. The deadline to register to vote for the upcoming local elections is 11:59pm on Monday 17 April. The deadline to apply for free voter ID is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April. Read more about changes in voter ID law on our website.

Changes to the definition of “terminally ill” for the purposes of PIP, DLA and AA
New regulations have been issued that provide, from 3 April 2023, for changes to the definition of “terminally ill” for the purposes of personal independence payment (PIP), disability living allowance (DLA), and attendance allowance (AA) in Great Britain. Read more about the Changes to the definition of “terminally ill” story on our website.

DWP announces first £301 2023/24 Cost of Living Payment date
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that a £301 cost of living payment for people claiming qualifying means tested benefits or tax credits will be made from 25 April 2023. Read more about the next cost of living payments on our website.

Emergency Alerts system launched
The Government has launched a new Emergency Alerts service which is now live across the UK. This new service will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone if their lives are at risk in an emergency. Read more about the new Emergency Alerts system on the DR UK website.

Women and Equalities Committee evidence session on the Government’s approach to disability
Disability News Service (DNS) has written about DR UK’s evidence to the Commons women and equalities committee inquiry into the government’s National Disability Strategy. You can learn more about our response to the Commons women and equalities committee inquiry on the DNS website.

Dispatches reveals appalling treatment of autistic people by mental health services

TW: This article discusses sexual assault. A new documentary by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme has revealed the poor and inappropriate treatment and abuse experienced by autistic people in mental health units. You can read more about the failures of the mental health hospital system on the DNS website.