Readers of our blog will know that on 26 April, and in our summer newsletter, we asked you to write to your MPs about the plans to close Phoenix House. This is the DWP’s specialist centre that deals with asbestos and other occupational disease benefits. It is threatened with closure next year.
The skills and experience of the team in Barrow are unique
Although the building is old a new office could easily be found for the 40 specialist staff who work there. Their skills and experience have been developed over a long time and are unique to that team.
Phoenix House is in Barrow, which has the highest incidence of asbestos related diseases in the UK. This makes the staff there particularly understanding about asbestos claims. They often know someone who has been affected.
Why this matters to you
We believe that the closure of Phoenix House would mean claimants experience greater difficulty in getting the benefits to which they are entitled. It will probably mean more people have to appeal against a wrong decision. Any delay in settling claims will come at time when claimants are facing life-changing issues.
We need to bring this to people’s attention
The closure of Phoenix House is unlikely to make the headlines unless you – the people most likely to be affected – bring it to the world’s attention! Please sign the petition below and encourage your family and friends to do the same.