The current state of play on ESA

Sorry – the current state of play is not good. The trials in Burnley and Aberdeen are completed. ESA is being rolled out nation wide. Two thirds of existing IB claimants are going to be thrown off disability benefits either immediately or within a year. This is a scandal. If it was any other group there would be an outcry but no one is speaking up for us. This is persecution.  This is what the government thinks – here Questions Asked by Lord German To ask Her Majesty’s Government what conclusions they have drawn from the incapacity benefits transition trials in Burnley and Aberdeen.[HL8227] Lord Freud: On the 11 February the department published interim findings from the trial. These showed that 1,347 decisions had been made at that time. Of these: 399 individuals were disallowed employment and support allowance (30 per cent); 422 individuals were allowed employment and support allowance and placed in the support group (31 per cent); and, 526 individuals were allowed employment and support allowance and placed in the Work Related Activity Group (39 per cent). These findings were broadly in line with the department’s estimates. However, at that time not all 1,700 trial customers had been through the reassessment process. There will be a formal research publication available in due course. The trial has shown that the reassessment process is working well. It has also provided very valuable feedback and will enable us to enhance a number of areas of the reassessment process. So the government thinks the trials show ESA is working well. Less than a third of people are getting in to the Support group...

ESA is rolled out

From the Broken of Britain Tuesday, 5 April 2011 Migration from Incapacity Benefit to Employment and Support Allowance Yesterday was a big day for The Broken of Britain as the formal rollout of ESA had finally alerted the media to these benefits changes. Around 10am, Kaliya started to tweet on the topic under the hashtag #fitforwork with enormous success. Below is a summary of the changes that we prepared for the press: Major Points 1. ESA is not fit for purpose. The system is badly designed, in terms of eligibility testing and the process of claiming the benefit 2. WCA is not fit for purpose. Test for eligibility does not work correctly, with many wrongly found fit for work and a high percentage of appeals 3. the appeals procedure is not fit for purpose. People are automatically assigned to the lower rate of ESA while appealing. This loss of income makes it harder to appeal 4. WRAG is not fit for purpose. Unfair conditions imposed so that many claimants must work for their benefits when unfit to do so 5. The Government is planning to time-limit ESA to one year, meaning that claimants will be means-tested after a year. If the claimant’s partner or spouse works more the 24 hours a week, they will lose the benefit. This punishes working families. Supplementary notes claimants must undergo this work capability assessment (WCA) to determine whether they are eligible for a replacement benefit, employment support allowance (ESA) over the next three years 1.5 million people currently claiming Incapacity Benefit will undergo the work capability assessment, carried out by a medical and...