One Simple Change – Employment Support Allowance

One and a half million Incapacity Benefit claimants are currenly being migrated to a new benefit – Employment and Support Allowance. The design of this new benefit is not fit for purpose and is causing great distress. Atos are tasked to divide people with disability in to two overlapping and confused ESA groups – one to face a regime of time limits, sanctions and mandatory work activity. The other group to be written off and left alone. The first group is too harsh and the second is too dismissive. People with serious long term disability do not fall in to these two categories. All people, no matter how severe their disability, should be offered help back to work if they want it and no long term disabled person should be harassed and threatened in this way. All deserve respect and a safe and secure regime where they can try to find work and ESA doesn’t offer this. ESA is not fit for purpose. The two groups are meaningless and however many times Professor Harrington reviews the infamous WCA test it will never be able to divide people in to groups that are unclear and over lapping. CarerWatch have never criticised Atos for having problems in trying to carry out this impossible task. CarerWatch understand that the British welfare system has been changed to be in line with the more limited US welfare system. A new regime of time limits, sanctions, threats and mandatory activity has been introduced across the entire system. It is not appropriate to extend this harsh regime to people with serious long-term illness or disability. And...

Leonard Cheshire Disability

Received from Guy Parckar Acting Director Policy, Campaigns and Communications Leonard Cheshire Disability Leonard Cheshire Disability has serious concerns around Government proposals to replace Disability Living Allowance with the new Personal Independence Payment. In particular we are strongly opposed to plans to remove the mobility component of, what by then will be, Personal Independence Payment from people living in residential care. Taking this benefit away would leave many people without the means to go out, denying people living in residential care the opportunity to engage in their local community, meet family and friends or visit the shops. It would create a two tier system where disabled people living in residential care were left without the support offered to others. Leonard Cheshire Disability has campaigned hard to retain these payments that are so vital in ensuring thousands of disabled people’s independence. We were pleased that the Minister announced that she was reviewing proposals to remove this benefit, but were worried that this was an internal review closed to public engagement. Together with Mencap we therefore asked Lord Low to conduct a public, independent review into the personal mobility needs of people living in residential care and how these are met and funded. The Low Review has published a call for evidence which will run until 10th October and which anyone can respond to. Any review of how the personal mobility needs of people living in residential care are met needs to be public and transparent. We hope that the Low Review can provide that transparency and give people the opportunity to voice their fears over the impact the removal of mobility...

JUST SAY NO

CarerWatch call upon the disability charities to refuse to take part in the ESA back to work programme until it is made fit for purpose. CarerWatch demand that ESA is changed to show respect to people with disability. CarerWatch ask the government to let people with disability access help back to work through a positive program without threats, sanctions and time limits. Two million people are currently being forcibly migrated week by week from IB (Incapacity Benefit) to ESA (Employment Support Allowance). ESA is not fit for purpose and this is an emergency. ESA is one enormous experiment in social engineering. The ideas were taken uncritically from the US and imposed with ideological fervour by the Labour government supported by the Conservative Opposition. During the debates in Parliament many politicians  complained that they were being asked to sign a blank cheque. No testing was done before flawed WCA tests followed by a regime of threats and sanctions were visited on millions of people with disability. It’s hardly surprising that Professor Paul Gregg with hindsight is now demanding monitoring of the process to record the damage. But an untried experiment is not the way to introduce massive changes to the welfare system. The time for trials and testing was before the programme started. The migration is causing widespread alarm and suffering. The government have actually issued instructions to staff about assessing potential suicide risks. ESA is flawed because it is based on a regime of tests, threats, sanctions and conditionality designed to catch cheats. None of this should be visited on people with serious, long term disability. The Select Committee is calling on government and press...