Archives for posts with tag: employment and support allowance

MPs have announced they will launch a major new inquiry into “deeply troubling” problems with the benefit sanctions system.

The Commons Work and Pensions Committee will probe the system that has stopped people’s benefits more than 7 million times since 2000.

Sanctions can be imposed for breaching benefit conditions like attending a work placement, or for being minutes late for a Jobcentre appointment.

There have been reports of poor practice in the system, such as people in hospital being sanctioned for missing a benefits appointment.

While most sanctions go to jobseekers, thousands also go to sick and disabled people on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

In June 2017 just over 1,400 people on ESA were sanctioned, the highest monthly figure for more than two years.

Sanctions are also on the rise under Universal Credit because the new six-in-one benefit is being rolled out to more people.

In March 2017 15,000 UC claimants were sanctioned – 1,300 of them for more than 14 weeks at a time.

 

Source: MPs have launched a major new inquiry into ‘deeply troubling’ benefit sanctions | DisabledGo News and Blog

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The government must do more to offer incentives to businesses to take on disabled people as employees, and to tackle the barriers that prevent them finding jobs, according to cross-party MPs.

MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and the Conservative party all pushed the government to improve its policies.

Disability Rights UK, which helped secure the debate, said afterwards that it was the first time MPs had debated disabled people and economic growth in the main Commons chamber.

Disabled MP Marsha de Cordova, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, told fellow MPs that the government had done far too little to remove the barriers faced by disabled people in the employment market.

She said: “It is a matter of serious concern that we have a government who barely speak about removing barriers, while actually creating new ones through their austerity cuts and their punitive social security system.”

She said the disability employment gap – the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people – currently stood at more than 31 percentage points, and was even higher for some impairment groups.

De Cordova was among MPs who criticised the government’s Disability Confident scheme, which is supposed to encourage employers to take on disabled employees.

She said it had been “a dismal failure” and “has yet to produce any concrete evidence of results”.

She asked the minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, how many disabled people had found jobs as a direct result of the scheme, but Newton later failed to provide an answer.

De Cordova told fellow MPs how one deaf man had been offered a job by an employer signed up to the Disability Confident scheme.

But when the employer realised that the man’s Access to Work support would be capped – because of government policy – and they would have to meet the rest of his disability-related workplace costs, the job offer was withdrawn.

 

Source: Government ‘must do more on disability employment’, MPs hear | DisabledGo News and Blog


Govt Newspeak

Dealing with the disability benefit system can be highly stressful. 

In a major undertaking, the government announced in late January that it will review all 1.6m claims for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) – one of the benefits that supports people with a disability.

There are serious issues with the benefits applications process, and many disabled people who claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or PIP find the process very stressful. In just over two years, the British government has spent more than £100m managing reviews and appeals against their disability benefits decisions.

My new research found that people who receive disability benefits find changes to the system powerfully dehumanising. Changes since 2010 have included cuts to the financial support that people receive and the introduction of new types of benefits – the ESA and PIP – which have tighter eligibility criteria than the previous benefits. With the move to…

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Govt Newspeak

sickening beyond belief

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Hated Government welfare tests have unleashed a “pervasive lack of trust” in the system, MPs warn today. Contracting out assessments for Personal Independence Payments and Employment and Support Allowance fuelled victims’ agony, the Commons Work and Pensions Committee reveals.

In a 71-page report, it calls on ministers to scrap the current arrangements and take tests back in house. Chairman Frank Field said: “For the majority of claimants the assessments work adequately, but a pervasive lack of trust is undermining its entire operation. “In turn, this is translating into untenable human costs to claimants and financial costs to the public purse. No one should have any doubt the process needs urgent change.”

Since 2013, 290,000 rejected claims for Personal Independence Payments or Employment and Support Allowance have been granted on appeal – 6% of all those assessed.

 

Source: PIP/ESA tests ‘trigger lack of trust in system’ [You Think]


I believe this to be Government speech in that they are trying to confuse the issue and thereby not provide the total correct benefits that claimants are entitled to.

They are saying that from 2011 to 2014 some claimants were put on the wrong ESA benefit and this was not corrected until the October 2014 tribunal review.

Surely it was the intention of this tribunal review to correct all the mistakes in that context and not just for a stated few. For if it was not then another tribunal review is required to not only correct the mistakes of the DWP, but to correct the mistakes of the tribunal review.

When mistakes take place, surely the onus is on the authority concerned to correct all of its mistakes for that would be equitable.

Lets all stop playing and put matters right. Mistakes do occur in many organisations but in many of these it does not take a legal ruling to correct the errors, as the organisation just do the right thing and proceed with the correction. To play the onus on another party is completely wrong. I was going to say stand by your principles, but we are involved with the Government and Government departments and therefore they may not have principles or if they have, not of any standing.

Just to the right by all the claimants and correct all your errors and if possible do not make errors in the first place, as there is a cost with the rectification. If done correctly first time then these costs would not have to occur. and that, surely, is in all our interests.

Govt Newspeak

Ministers will pay arrears to thousands of ESA claimants back to October 2014, despite mistakes taking place from 2011.

Thousands could miss out on backdated benefits payments due to DWP error

  • Thousands of people claiming disability benefits could miss out on up to three years of backdated payments, despite the Department for Work and Pensions taking responsibility for the error.

    Ministers have confirmed they will pay arrears to thousands of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants back to October 2014, despite mistakes taking place from 2011.

    The DWP said a landmark tribunal ruling that month fundamentally changed the benefit, and that legally they cannot pay arrears beyond that point.

    Labour MP Frank Field joined campaigners in demanding the Government stops playing Scrooge and backdates claims to when any error first took place.

    Work and Pensions select committee chairman Frank Field
    Work and Pensions select committee chairman Frank Field (Anthony Devlin/PA)

    But the Tories hit back at Mr Field, saying the relevant legislation was brought in when he was a welfare…

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Who is responsible for checking quality, it appears no one is, only criteria is push through the assessments be they right or wrong. Somewhere there has to be accountability and why do these companies not only continue to be allowed to undertake assessments, but they are continually awarded new contracts.

Govt Newspeak

editorial image

Sick and disabled people are being turned down for benefits because “inappropriate” people are carrying out health assessments. YOU THINK

That’s according to Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, who told the House of Commons of dozens of letters she has received from worried claimants.

 https://twitter.com/MaryCreaghMP/status/942786325475938304

Speaking in parliament yesterday, Ms Creagh said the assessment process was failing people trying to get Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

Private companies Atos and Capita carry out assessment under contracts with the government.

Ms Creagh said: “Forty people in Wakefield have written to me with their concerns that, at their employment and support allowance or PIP assessment, they were not seen by an appropriate person.

“That includes one person with mental health problems, who was assessed by a paramedic.”

The Work and Pensions Select Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into PIP and ESA assessments.

Cruel benefit tests mean some vulnerable…

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In response to pressure from the Work and Pensions Select Committee the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that its target for upholding original PIP and ESA decisions at the first stage of appeal, known as Mandatory Reconsideration (MR), will be dropped.

On 28 November the Committee wrote to DWP with concerns about MRs, which had come up in the Committee’s current inquiry into the medical assessments carried out by ATOS, Maximus and Capita to inform DWP’s decisions on awards of disability benefits PIP and ESA.

The Committee had heard of “pressure to turn out numbers” in relation to both the original decision and at MR stage, and that MRs simply “rubber stamp” the original decision. The DWP revealed in an FOI request in May 2017 that one of the performance indicators for MRCs was that 80% of the original decisions are to be upheld.

The Committee queried how a target for upholding original decisions could be compatible with ensuring that questionable reports are thoroughly investigated, and erroneous decisions identified and corrected.

 

Source: DWP agrees to reform benefit appeals process following pressure from MPs


The 4 witnesses from Citizens Advice, Scope, National Mencap and Sense are certainly tell the Work and Pension Select Committee about their findings regarding PIP and ESA assessments, but to what effect.

Hopefully the Select Committee will use this and other evidence to make major changes to the PIP and ESA progresses to improve them for the betterment of all claimants.

Disability Benefits Consortium

12th December 2017

The DBC has contributed to the Work and Pensions Select Committee which is conducting a welcome inquiry into the effectiveness of ESA and PIP assessments.

You can read our written evidence here

The Parliamentary Co-Chairs of the DBC (Rob Holland from Mencap and Victoria Holloway from Sense) also gave oral evidence.

You can watch the evidence session here

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Govt Newspeak

Disabled people protest against cuts
 ‘The Tories have repeatedly promised and failed to drive down unemployment figures while tightening eligibility and making cuts to out of work sickness benefits.’ 

Look closely enough and recent announcements reveal the two faces of Conservative disability policy. At the end of last month, Penny Mordaunt, the former disability minister and new international development secretary, announced the UK’s first global disability summit. To fanfare, Mordaunt positioned Britain as a global leader in disability rights, pledging to help other nations “tackle the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fulfilling their potential.” Then the same night, buried at 10pm, the…

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