On Tuesday 25 April, we’re joining Fuel Poverty Action, Disabled People Against Cuts and others in support of Helen Timson, a disabled woman who successfully challenged benefit deductions by the DWP done without her knowledge or consent — the DWP is now appealing against this.
Time: 9.15-10.15am and 12-2pm — WinVisible joining at 12 on Tuesday
Where: Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A 2LL
Watch court hearing live Court 75 on YouTube 10am – 4pm:
Click on Watch on YouTube:
Continues Wednesday 26 April.
“My name is Helen Timson. I’m a disabled woman who last year beat the DWP at the High Court. I had been caused absolute misery by a DWP scheme that allows Utility Companies to help themselves to 25% of about 250,000 people’s benefits a year. When I objected I was told to write to my MP!
I found it outrageous that the DWP did not check if we could afford to pay the amount taken, if other debt options were better for us or if the debt was even owed. We certainly weren’t asked if we consented. With a keyboard click a random DWP employee was allowed to decide what was in our ‘best interests’ without even contacting us. And it was always decided that it was in our best interests to pay the utility companies the amount they wanted.
I did not want other people to suffer as I had, so I found a crack team of lawyers willing to take the case. If you Google my name you will see that after 4 years of hard slog, we won last year at the High Court and due to the case the DWP has already improved it’s policy.
But it seems the DWP legal reps are sore losers and have appealed our win – so we are at the Court of Appeal on 25th and 26th this month. I had even written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions suggesting that the legislation be changed to “with consent only” so it was a win- win and DWP could forgo throwing more good public money after bad by going to the Court of Appeal – but I it seems my letter was not even passed on by the DWP legal team.
I would welcome any support we can get, either by turning up outside the court for a vigil or by sharing our story on social media. Please look me up on Twitter @HelsTimson – where you will also find details forth coming of a court case I’m fighting alone (without a legal team – yikes) against the vet Giant IVC and a campaign I’m working on to change the law so 4/10 pet owners can again afford vet care for their pets.
These fights cause me massive stress and misery but when I can see how to make things better – I have to do it.
And a big thanks to DPAC and Fuel Poverty Action for all of your support.”