Illegal benefits stoppage results in £5,500 pay out from DWP

Before I set up Kester Disability Rights I picked up Tina's case whilst volunteering for an advice centre in Salford.  Tina had all her income removed because she was unable to respond to letters from the DWP.  Mitchell Woolf, a solicitor from Scott Moncrief and Associates, who also did a landmark DLA case, kindly agreed to take the case pro bono and was assisted by Fiona Scolding QC from counsel who also kindly volunteered to help Tina. 

The DWP agreed to make the payment without a hearing.  It flags up a problem with the Equality Act, that compensation levels are on the low side relative to the levels of distress than can be involved.  Even though it was obvious Tina would struggle with post, the DWP sent her letters and then stopped her money when she couldn't respond.  She had no other income and was threatened with homelessness as a result.  That was extreme disability discrimination.  But at least the going rates of disability discrimination compensation means these type of cases are always small claims and so the most informal and low risk of the County Court "tracks".