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...