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Blog
Marc Francis

Staying true to the mission of our founder Reverend Paul Nicolson

Last Saturday, I was privileged to attend a memorial service for Z2K’s founder – the Reverend Paul Nicolson. It was a deeply moving occasion, with wonderful stories of Paul’s life from his children and tributes from colleagues in the many campaigns he was involved in. My kids will testify I’m not much of a singer, but even I got swept up in the rousing rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic – aka “Mine eyes have seen the glory”. Thankfully, the congregation of Tottenham’s St Paul the Apostle church was on hand to sing it the way it’s meant to be sung!

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Blog
Ella Abraham

The Government has the evidence, they are choosing not to listen.

For years, the Government has had reams of evidence handed to them showing not only why the disability benefits assessments processes are simply not working – but also how they’re actively harming people. For too many who apply for health and disability benefits, they are met with barriers, hostility, and stigma, and are denied the income they’re entitled to.

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Blog
Samantha Evans

National Pro Bono Week: “pro bono support can help people effectively to put forward their case when dealing with a system that is slow, bureaucratic, and often unforgiving.”

£23.70 a week is the amount awarded at the Standard Rate of the mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment (“PIP”), the benefit that helps people living with long term health conditions or disabilities.  For Sarah*, a client referred by Z2K, that £23.70 a week was life changing.

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Blog
Samantha Evans

National Pro Bono Week: “a small amount of our time can make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

I first got involved through a new partnership that was launched between Charles Russell Speechlys, Atkins and Z2K. I was particularly drawn to this pro bono project after finding out that Z2K had a 93% success rate and that 70% of all disability benefit appeals are successful. I found these statistics to be staggering and what is clear is that a small amount of our time can make a huge difference to people’s lives.

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Blog
Samantha Evans

National Pro Bono Week: “navigating and understanding the various kinds of benefits can be difficult”

Z2K is an amazing charity that provides specialist welfare benefit support to individuals and working with them has been an incredible privilege for me. I cannot speak more highly of Z2K and the importance of the work they do supporting individuals who are often the most vulnerable in society. Many of us here at Kingsley Napley might say that one of the reasons that they decided to pursue a career in the law was to fight injustices in the system. Well, here is your chance!

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Blog
Rose Bernstein

Reflecting on two years of Z2K’s Tenants Voice project

Over the last two years I have run the Tenants Voice project for Z2K, working with renters at the ‘sharp end’ of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) – those reliant on benefits or on very low incomes, living in tiny, cramped spaces, and often in unfit conditions, subject to exploitation, aggression, and discrimination by landlords, and with very little way of fighting back.

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Blog
Samantha Evans

The London Legal Walk – a week on

The team at Z2K, as well as hundreds of law firms, chambers, and other supporters of access to justice took part in the 10k #LegalWalk on Monday 18th October. Our team consisted of staff and trustees, who took to the streets of London to raise vital funds for access to justice charities, including Z2K.

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Blog
Becca Stacey

The stigma surrounding Social Security, and how we can challenge it

Our clients face a diversity of challenges when engaging with the social security system, but one issue that almost all have experienced, is that of stigma. In this blog, a number of our clients share the conversations that we’ve been having about stigma in our client workshops – in particular, what forms stigma can take and why it must be challenged.

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Blog
Andy McCarthy

UC overpayments – Disincentivising fair decision-making

In the wake of the pandemic, more money than ever is being overpaid under the Universal Credit (UC) system. Blunt rule changes to the recoverability of overpayments mean that people are being saddled with debt as a result of structural deficiencies and delays in the decision-making process. As Z2K’s casework highlights, this leaves people in vulnerable circumstances in an impossible situation.

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Blog
Natasha Cross

Error 404: Digital Access not Found

Being of a younger generation and with English as my first language, I am aware of my privilege in being able to navigate a life dictated and shaped by the internet, and computer literacy. Since Covid-19, the necessity to be digitally adept has only increased. However, without the adequate education and provision of resources to ensure digital access for everyone, the benefits system and local authority services remain unfit for purpose.

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Blog
Kayla Trigiani

A Hidden Army of Women: Fibromyalgia & Living with Chronic Pain

When applying for Social Security benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP), people with fibromyalgia and chronic pain join the “hidden army” of those whose health conditions are consistently misunderstood and easily overlooked by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and its private health-care assessors.

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Blog
Rose Bernstein

Renters need change now

Housing law allows landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason – meaning people like Okwuchi often face prejudice or are punished for asking for repairs. It’s this insecurity faced by tenants that the Government promised to address with a new Renters Reform Bill, and we’ve joined the Renters Reform Coalition to hold them to that.

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Blog
Lucy Isaac

Retrospective on Remote Social Security Hearings

Prior to the national lockdown, Z2K’s Tribunal representation project largely revolved around client contact. From our initial meeting with clients at outreach sessions and appointments at our offices to scan their paperwork, to clients meeting their representative and ultimately attending the Tribunal with them on the day of their hearing.

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Latest News
Marc Francis

Legacy Benefits – a year of denial

A year ago, I was one of millions watching the Chancellor’s press conference outlining an emergency package for businesses and individuals affected by the lockdown. When he announced that the Standard Allowance for Universal Credit (UC) would go up by £20 a week, I remember being shocked.

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Blog
Anna Ellis

“I have given you an explanation on your Universal Credit payment, unfortunately it is not for me to comment or discuss your question on how you are to survive”

This was the response my client Sarah* received when she asked her Universal Credit case manager how she, her partner and 2 children were supposed to live on £73 for the entire month. Sarah had been hit by the benefit cap, a policy which has been in place since April 2013 and according to Child Poverty Action Group is now having a devastating impact on up to 250 000 households.

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