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...

Coalition Cuts – 20th October 2010

On 20th October 2010 the Coalition will announce the most severe Cuts in recent times.  For people already coping on very little money the situation is extremely serious. All disability and carer benefits are under threat. Please help fight to protect disability and carer benefits from these Cuts Please e-mail any one who you feel could speak up for us in this debate. Ministers – MPs from the Coalition or the Opposition – disability or carer charities – any one who you think will speak up for us. And please forward this link and ask other people to do the same. Contact details here Here is a draft e-mail that you may want to use in full or in part Welfare reform is being discussed and implemented.  Unfortunately 24/7 caring and severe disability have not been abolished by the welfare reforms. Carer’s finances have once again been ignored in the discussions and disabled people are feeling unfairly attacked and demonised. They are terrified of the ‘conditionality’ and withdrawal of benefits that they think is being threatened under ESA.   Long term we hope you will stand up for them and try to – 1. Address the issues surrounding carer poverty and help keep carer’s benefits separate from the main benefit system. Carers are not ‘unemployed’ and do not belong on an ‘out of work’ benefit. 2. Change ESA to give disabled people a safe place where they can have back to work help, without the anxiety of threats and ‘conditionality’ But more urgently the Cuts are being announced on 20th October and we desperately need you to defend disability benefits and carer benefits from the Cuts in the debate. Many of our...