Evidence to Harrington Review of WCA 2nd year

This is the CarerWatch evidence to the second Professor Harrington review. The point we are trying to make is that while CarerWatch welcome the challenges to the detail of WCA being made by the disability charities and others – we think these challenges miss the point. The Work Related Activity group of ESA is coercive. The work program is run on sanctions and time limits. This should be challenged. Otherwise while the WRAG remains coercive – you are saying – it’s OK to bully some disabled people as long as you get the tests right and bully the right ones. CarerWatch say NO. Why won’t the government – why won’t the disability charities – discuss the time limits and the sanctions in the WRAG. Because they would have to look us in the eye and say – we think sticks and bullying are good for people with long term severe illness or disability. This is what ESA says but so far they can’t bring themselves to actually say it to us. So it is a wall of silence about the sanctions and time limits. Join the CarerWatch discussion group here     Dear Professor Harrington CarerWatch is a group of unpaid family carers. We also have very many members with severe long term illness or disability. We are an e-mail based group which allows people who are often isolated in their homes to communicate freely. All our policy is decided by the members. We e-mail an alert when ever we are coming to a position or view and all members are invited to come and join the discussion. We decide...

People do not fit in to the ESA groups

Letter from CarerWatch and The Broken of Britain to MS Society, ForwardME, Parkinsons UK, Arthritis Care, National Aids Trust and Crohns and Colitis UK Congratulations on your excellent report –  ESA WCA Review – Making it Work for Fluctuating Conditions – 2011 here In particular we would like to endorse your statement – Capability for work is not a clear cut issue. Although some people with long term conditions or disabilities can be completely fit for work or completely incapable of work many do not fit neatly in to either category. Those whose conditions fluctuate may move between the two extremes but more often will fall somewhere in the middle. All severe long term conditions fluctuate to some degree. This statement applies to most people with severe long term conditions. Most people with disability will never be fully fit for work – neither are they completely unfit for work.  This is the first time to our knowledge that this fundamental reality behind ESA has been so clearly identified. We believe that this could provide a break through in solving the problems marring ESA. If it can be addressed then ESA can be transformed in to the supportive benefit it was designed to be. Once it is accepted that most people with long term conditions do fall squarely in the middle and will never be fully fit for work the solution is to design a group which meets their needs. Unfortunately the WRAG in its current form with time limits, sanctions and mandatory work activity is not a safe place for people who will never be fully fit for work....