Archives for posts with tag: ESA

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government policy – and they would have to meet the rest of his disability-related workplace costs, the job offer was withdrawn.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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Disabled campaigners have welcomed a report by MPs on disability benefit assessments, which they say highlights “serious multiple failures”, but many believe it should have done more to highlight the serious “preventable harm” caused by the system.

The report by the Commons work and pensions committee concludes that there is a “pervasive culture of mistrust” around the personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) assessment processes.

It calls for “urgent change” in the system, including the introduction of routine recording of face-to-face assessments, and says that the government’s contractors, Atos, Capita and Maximus, “have consistently failed to meet basic performance standards”.

It also says the government should send every claimant a copy of the assessment report prepared by the healthcare professional who assessed them, which it says would “introduce essential transparency into decision-making”.

And it calls for improved accessibility of the system “at every stage” and pays tribute to the thousands of claimants who shared evidence with the committee, a response which it says was “unprecedented” for a select committee inquiry.


Source: Benefit assessment report welcomed, but concern over ‘preventable harm’ failings | DisabledGo News and Blog


Govt Newspeak

sickening beyond belief

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The Work and Pensions Select Committee received nearly 4,000 submissions – the most by a select committee inquiry – after calling for evidence on the assessments for personal independence payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The MPs said: “We were so impressed and moved by the response we are today publishing a collection of just a few of the thousands of stories claimants shared with us.”

The report highlighted people with Down’s syndrome asked when they “caught” it, a woman reporting frequent suicidal thoughts asked why she had not yet killed herself.

Stories from claimants – released by the committee ahead of the publication of their final report on PIP and ESA assessments next week – showed relevant information was often omitted from, and fundamental errors included in, the medical assessment reports.

In September the committee asked benefit claimants to submit evidence of their experiences with the medical assessments for disability benefits PIP and ESA carried out for DWP by private contractors Capita, Atos and Maximus.

Nearly 4,000 people replied – the most ever received by a select committee inquiry, by an order of magnitude.

The committee described the accounts as “honest and often distressing” and said that they showed clear patterns.

Since 2013 there have been 170,000 PIP appeals taken to the Tribunal: Claimants won in 108,000 cases – 63%. In the same time, there have been 53,000 ESA appeals. Claimants won in 32,000 – or 60% – of those cases.

Chair of the work and pensions committee Frank Field said: “We’ve never had so many submissions from people that haven’t been organised so we’ve had over three thousand people

“I don’t think any select committee has had more voters, ordinary people writing in wanting to be part of the inquiry.

“We’re massively grateful because what they can’t see but we can see is there are common patterns of how they are all treated.”


Source: 9 shocking errors made in assessments for PIP and ESA by Capita, Atos and Maximus | DisabledGo News and Blog


A “pervasive lack of trust” in the private firms contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to carry out disability benefit assessments risks undermining the whole system, an influential group of MPs has warned.

An investigation into face-to-face assessments for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee received an “unprecedented” amount of responses from sick and disabled benefit claimants, with many effectively accusing assessors of lying in reports sent to the DWP.

The Committee heard from claimants who said they do not believe assessors can be trusted to record what took place during their assessments accurately, with the Committee warning of “a pervasive culture of mistrust around PIP and ESA processes, with concern about the face-to-face assessment by a health professional at its core”.

Claimants spoke about the extreme anxiety and a detrimental impact on their health caused by the assessment process, that is commonly regarded as “opaque and unfriendly” throughout.

Source: Disability benefit assessments must be recorded, says Work and Pensions Committee : Welfare Weekly


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]


A run of bad luck leaves one man struggling to make sense of the UK benefits system. Very soon he is left with no income and at risk of losing the roof over his head. Can he find his way through a bafflingly complex maze of rules? Put yourself in his shoes.

Your name is Tony Rice. You’re the sort of bloke who gets along with everyone. Always making people laugh. Ever since you left school you’ve been in and out of all sorts of jobs. Manual labour, mostly – builder, dustman, crane driver, painter and decorator. Hawker Siddeley, the aerospace company – you like it there, until the factory shuts.

You split up with your girlfriend so you ask your mum to put you up until you can sort out a flat. Save a few quid. You’re very close to your mum and dad. They’re your best friends, really. Your dad has lung cancer and needs a bit of looking after. You take him for a drive most days because he doesn’t like staying in all the time. He’s like you, not a man to sit about. At one time he worked three jobs, all at once. Still does half an hour each morning in the garden.

So you’re back in the council house in Chingford, north-east London, that you’ve


Source: You’re losing everything – but you don’t understand why : BBC News


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.

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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