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Protest at Eccles Jobcentre in disabled benefits sanctions row

Protests were underway on Tuesday at Eccles Jobcentre on Albert Street over the continuing practice of benefits sanctions for disabled people.

Workers at Salford’s Unemployed and Community Resource Centre (UCRC) say they are fighting a number of claims made against vulnerable people by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The resource centre last year recovered over £507,000 for claimants.

Campaign organiser Alec McFadden says the DWP are setting “unachievable requirements” which breach the Equality Act, especially for those with learning disabilities, mental health problems or physical impairments who have had their benefits stopped for being unable to get to totally unsuitable appointments.

Salford UCRC launched a £30,000 donations drive last week to expand the help they’re able to offer to vulnerable unemployed people in Salford.

Fighting back: Outrage over disabled man who lost leg in illegal benefit sanctions leads to £30k Salford campaign

Campaign organiser Alec McFadden said: “We’re here to stop all illegal benefit sanctions and use the law against these dangerous and illegal actions that is bringing stress and threat of suicide to so many genuine citizens of the UK.

“In fact, we currently are defending a client who had his left leg amputated because he was sanctioned and did not take his insulin required for his diabetes because he could not afford to buy food.”

The client Alec speaks of is David, who had his benefits repeatedly sanctioned by Jobcentre Plus officials.

This resulted in him being unable to control his diabetes because he had no money for food.

Subsequently this caused diabetic ulcers which became infected and he had to have a leg amputated.

Read more: ‘Devastating’ benefit sanctions force crisis, hunger and despair, says Salford report

Salford UCRC won a case against the DWP this year after it emerged that the government body stung a Salford man with an ‘illegal’ ruling.

Simon Milne had his Jobseekers Allowance stopped for four weeks, without notice, and was subsequently refunded £300 by the DWP.

To help the Salford Unemployed & Community Resource Centre raise funds to continue to help victims of illegal benefit sanctions, they’ve launched a crowdfunding page here.

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