FWIW, appeal. As other commentators have mentioned already, here in the UK disabled people were put through a new ‘Work Capability Assessment’, outsourced to a company called AtoS (you’re in software, you’ll know who they are :) with the express intention of getting everyone who was fit to work, into work. Specifically the 0.7% of benefits claimants who the government’s own figures deemed to be fraudulently claiming welfare benefits.
As someone who at the time was also a trustee at the Citizens Advice Bureau, a U.K. advice charity, I was on the board of a bureau as that change came in, with the associated panic and fear that it brought through our doors. Our team, as with many others in the network, set about understanding the legislation and associated process, which we of course had to do in a comtext of massive budget cuts as 80% of the funding available dried up.
We noted success rates at appeal was very very high. For us, some 95% some weeks, with a 70% success rate before the assessments were eventually deemed a violation of the European Convention on Human Right, especially to those who suffer from ‘invisible’ disabilities. Even after the government’s correction, the general success rate, supported or not, sat at around 40% at appeal, a number which appears to hold even to this day. It became such a big issue that the United Nations started investigating such violations as of August 2015, under violations of its own convention.
Here’s the kicker. The programme which was designed to save 0.7% of the welfare bill by assessing the viability of the whole 100%, a wholly pointless exercise in the first place, has cost more than it saved. Now there’s a surprise! The welfare bill at the time was £54 billion. 0.7% of that is £378 million, but the contract to carry out the assessments was £500 million plus the cost of appeals, 40% of which at best, resulted in a round trip for no immediate benefit, yet has allegedly been linked to more than 2,000 suicides, with around 540 of those explicitly stating their fears over the removal of their welfare payments before then taking their own lives.
I mean what new level of stupid…
So in short, appeal anyway, as long as that process doesn’t affect your normal income stream by more than it’s worth. There probably is more than a small chance you can get it overturned.