The government has been accused of an outrageous broken promise after declaring that thousands of life-long sick and disabled people will no longer face cruel re-tests for their benefits and people with a severe, lifelong disability, illness or health condition who it is doubtful will ever work again will be spared from reassessments for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
The move came into power for all assessments, nearly a year to the day after it was agreed by then-Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green. However, Labour announced the move fell short of what the government had agreed and was too questionable.
Only people thought unfit for the work-related activity in ESA, or its equivalent in Universal Credit can claim the exclusion. Those thought to be fit for the work-related activity will still have to undergo retests and this is an extremely fractured promise.
Sick and disabled people have been anticipating the Government to announce specific conditions that would be exempt from punitory reassessments, ultimately presenting the certainty many have been anticipating.
Instead, they have been given vague statements with no particular guarantees at all, but the Government must publish a complete inventory of the requirements that will automatically be excused from reassessment immediately.
This should have included all disabled people on ESA, including people with learning disabilities in the work-related activity group.
And as normal, the DWP is attempting to claim prestige for doing less than agreed, later than agreed.
These new rules are an important move in the right path, but it is still not apparent on how many people with Parkinson’s disease this will now help.
A dilemma still rests with the assessors’ really jumbled understanding of Parkinson’s disease. About a quarter of people with Parkinson’s disease have been put in the back to workgroup for ESA despite the fact that their situation will not change, which is simply ridiculous.
Until this situation dramatically changes, it is feared that multiple people with Parkinson’s disease still won’t be shielded from the ordeal and insult of unnecessary ESA assessments.
But for countless people, they do not address the heart of the dilemma.
The Work Capability Assessment remains basically flawed and in need of radical overhaul and two-thirds of ESA, settlements are currently overthrown at appeal and this is a long-awaited move towards making the welfare system make sense and people with Multiple Sclerosis should be able to rely on the support without the perpetual anxiety of having it taken away.
This decisive move ensures that the right protections are in position. People with severe health infirmities or disabilities that are not going to change will no longer be required to attend regular assessments.
For anyone who ends up losing their home because of DWP penalties that eliminate their JSA and ESA. We must ensure that anyone we know and who has been sanctioned knows that there is help. If your money is withdrawn you can go to the council and fill in a Nil Income form.
That will reinstate rent and council tax and give access to additional relief like meter credits, foodbank vouchers and emergency cash payments. This information is not readily accessible sadly and it should be.
The authorities will only deal with you if you ask specifically which is a disgrace, therefore if your benefits have been sanctioned then bear in mind assistance is still accessible.
Decision makers are challenging GP’s experience when they should be co-operating with one another in the affairs of that person instead of exercising their authority and control because the decision on that one person could be catastrophic.
People that have health conditions that can’t be reversed, yet have been stuck on the Work Related Activity Group and still, they can’t walk the obligatory 20 yards required for the Support Group without pain and have to stop, yet were regarded by the Decision maker to not be qualified to continue getting Mobility Allowance.
The reason, a Work-related activity could be something such as walking to the garden gate or strolling to the shops, resting on walls to relax.
If the genius at the DWP states you’re okay to go into WRAG then there you shall stay, and those broken government promises will never be of any use to those of us who would benefit from it. The problem is no matter what evidence you have it’s overlooked, if not by ATOS, then the DWP Decision maker.
What is required is a settlement method like that employed by MP’s, when determining whether an MP’s request for his/her £100 pen holder is needed, or their 100-yard travelling expense is deserving of the £40 a day they have claimed.
What are we going to do without ATOS’s wonder cures that doctors and consultants never knew about when examining their patient and here is the ATOS health professional with a couple of months experience in medicine repudiating doctors, and professionals are going to become a thing of the past, are they?
And then are those with Rheumatoid Arthritis and other Autoimmune diseases, are people with these ailments still going to be overlooked by the government?
It seems they’re not doing a damn thing to support people with disabilities.
The difficulty with the WRAG group in ESA is that you are classified as sick or disabled by the DWP but they state you are not ill or disabled enough to go into the support group.
The additional point’s to take into account concerning the applicant being put into this group is it has been done solely on the say-so of a person with medical knowledge, not by someone who has experience of that claimant’s problems.
The last point is you are put in the WRAG group for one year and then all your payment’s end in that year, you have to frequent training at the jobcentre plus and also if asked have to go and get work experience unpaid with a company without no extra benefit’s.
The claimant’s who do not comply with the process defined above stand a good possibility to be sanctioned and have all their benefit’s discontinued entirely.
The DWP do not tell claimant’s about such thing’s as having barely 30 Day’s to lodge a compulsory reconsideration against the award or your appeal cannot begin, also you are allowed to see and cross-reference what you said and what was recorded at the assessment, could this be a tactic to prevent a failed claimant’s appeal and if you appeal you get no benefit’s, deceitful or what?
It definitely doesn’t benefit somebody who is brain damaged and has to go through the pressure of examinations, it’s simply a misuse of time and money.
When Remploy was about, there were countless disabled people that worked, although some could not work there as it was not a safe environment for them particularly if they suffered from seizures.
It’s a bitter pill but not everyone can contribute to society, and to force them to only ever makes them worse.
This dilemma will endure until the government see that subcontracting out ESA/PIP assessments to a third party firm is just not working.
This dilemma is glaringly evident to anyone and to get a really detailed assessment of how a person’s sickness or disability affect’s them on an everyday basis you must have a medical expert with a full understanding of that illness or disability and to carry that out you need to get the actual picture.
The government must by now recognise that there is a dilemma with the number of appeals going to tribunal and the judiciary overthrowing the DWP’s judgment not to grant the benefit to the claimant this is now for both ESA/PIP and over 50 percent for both benefit’s.
The cost’s of these successful appeals is paid for by the taxpayer so you can see that the promise made by the government that these benefit reforms will release money is extremely controversial and the cost to the taxpayer is about 10K for each tribunal, how is this saving money?
Indefinite DLA should have continued as Indefinite DLA and should not have changed over to PIP at all, and should not require an assessment at all. Indefinite DLA should tell the government about the nature of their health, and the reality that it doesn’t should leave us speechless.
Those that are having their money taken from them are presently being left isolated and overlooked, suffering from anxiety while the government appear to be raking it in, brushing any liability under the carpet.
People who have been awarded a lifetime award of DLA, then the Tories got into power and those that have been awarded a lifetime award are now having to have more assessments, so clearly this was not a lifetime award.
Some of these people are suffering from degenerative conditions and unquestionably won’t improve, so why the retesting? Furthermore, some people that are being evaluated, are being evaluated by ex-dentists, therefore when you have a muscular syndrome, it’s upsetting, if it wasn’t so hilarious.
People who specialise in bending the facts and everything you say makes you feel insignificant and this is how the Tories handle people and people are unfairly being put into the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) on the basis of an evaluation that they’ve never been informed of and never been seen by anybody at a testing centre.
Fortunately, some people are great at retaining accounts of everything, but if you communicate with the DWP they attempt to displace the culpability, essentially stating that you’re lying.
If some of these people were not so clued up and mentally competent they would be in a situation where they would seemingly be sanctioned every other month as their health wouldn’t allow them to do anything that is expected of someone in the WRAG to do and consequently be in a hell of a situation.
But how many people does this happen to who don’t have the strength to dispute it?
All I can answer is, thank goodness able-bodied people have no concept how terrifying the evaluations are, and then to be evaluated by someone who hasn’t a clue about long-term conditions, who essentially accuse you of putting it all on.
Many disabled people have a difficult enough time as it is without the added strain of regular examination, attempting to catch you out and assuming that you are a deceiver.
Of course, there are thousands that try it on and that further is a disgrace when the money could be going to were it truly is required, but if a consultant at a hospital states you are suffering a disability they should welcome that diagnosis.
While thousands may try it on, the figures show that much more don’t claim at all or are unjustly eliminated from a government support system than those who claim fraudulently.
It’s horrifying that people have to be evaluated by someone who doesn’t know their ailment or how it affects them, then manufactures lies about what they have said. The fact that proof has to be sent in from doctors, consultants and specialists and then they entirely dismiss it because they don’t understand that person’s symptoms and how it destroys their life.
Another thing they dismiss is the GP’s evaluation and how they disregard the doctor’s knowledge of health issues that impair a person’s life.