Obviously, this article is as worthy of referral to the PCC as last week's attempt on the subject of ESA. So we've put together another complaint which you can paste into the PCC online complaint form:
The headline of this article airs a gross inaccuracy repeated by its first sentence: 'Half the 3.2million people on disability benefit have never been asked for evidence to back their claims, it emerged last night.'
This claim is not only grossly inaccurate and misleading, but is also a distortion and misrepresentation of the truth. There are no Disability Living Allowance claimants who have never been asked to provide evidence - filling in the long application form is a prerequisite of a successful claim. There are Special Rules for claimants who need their claim processed quickly - in cases of terminal illness, for example - but these rules only apply to 1.2% of the DLA caseload http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=adhoc_analysis 0r 37,800 people.
The written answers in this http://services.parliament.uk/hansard/Commons/bydate/20110121/writtenanswers/part013.html Hansard document do show that a majority of DLA claimants are given 'Indefinite' Awards. The prevalence of this type of award reflects that a great many impairments are lifelong and cannot be cured, and that reassessment of these cases wouuld be a waste of time and public money. The Daily Mail article distorts these facts to support their claim that disabled people have never been asked for evidence when making a claim for DLA.
The article also says that: 'The Department for Work and Pensions says the number of people on DLA has risen inexplicably from 2.5million in 2003 to nearly 3.2million.' In fact, the DWP have said nothing of the sort and that there are many possible explanations - including population growth, demographic shift, and increased awareness of the benefit. By reporting that the increase in benefit claims is inexplicable, the Daily Mail fails to distinguish between fact and comment.
The article report that: 'Of those [claimants], 31 per cent – almost a million – have been claiming for 14 years or more, while 46 per cent have been on the benefit for more for ten years.' Whilst this claim is http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=adhoc_analysis accurate, and related to the statistics for indefinite awards, it is distorted in the context of the article.
You are complaining under the following sections of the Code of Practice:
1 i), ii) inaccuracy and gross inaccuracy. and iii) failing to distinguish between comment, conjecture and fact
12i) prejudicial reference to disability
Since we complained last week, you would be forgiven for thinking that this is getting rather boring. And it is. However, The Broken of Britain want to show the Daily Mail that their tirades against disabled people will not be put up with anymore - if they print the smallest falsity, distortion or lie about disabled people, we will make a noise about it, But we need you to help us by using the above template to make your own complaint!