Archives for posts with tag: ESA

Sensible logic from Poppy, but do Governments do logic let alone sensible.

Poppy's Place

I am so happy.

Saturday was a good news day for me.

After several weeks of waiting, I finally received the two brown envelopes through the letterbox which told me how I’d done with my enforced PIP (Personal Independence Payment) application and my ESA (Employment Support Allowance) reassessment and I was successful for both Benefits.

And, further to that, a very good family friend also received her brown envelope for PIP on Sarurday as well and she’s been successful as too. Virtual High Fives all over our social media pages let me tell you – we were delerious. We both got to sleep properly for the first time in quite a while that night and we can now both breathe freely once more because we know that our finances are guaranteed for at least the next few years at any rate.

Brilliant!

But, there is something we both want to…

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This current Tory Government and probably the previous Tory Governments and New Labour are promoting Government euthanasia. By this I mean they are and were creating policies that remove benefits from persons with disabilities so that they cannot survive. Therefore they are creating situations where their death is almost inevitable. In doing so they are reducing those on benefits because on death the benefits cease, if not before due the benefits for their existence being wrongly withdrawn.

Euthanasia by Government policies.

Same Difference

Scope, the charity for disabled people, tweeted an interesting number when the general election was announced. There are, it said, 13 million disabled people in Britain. Some 89 per cent have said they will vote. 

The reason that number is worth paying attention to is that if the 89 per cent are true to their word, and if they use their franchise to hold the Government to account for its brutal treatment of disabled people, it might just spell trouble for Theresa May’s dreams of a three-figure majority. 

Now, let me make one thing clear at the outset. I’m not about to say who you should vote for. Journalists too often do that. I would simply invite you to consider the Government’s record when it comes to disability.

If I were to take on the role of prosecuting ministers over that, I would struggle to find somewhere to start. So long would…

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Alice Kirby tells Ruth Hunt how DWP benefit assessment practices contribute to the deterioration of claimants’ mental health, causing an increase in suicidal feelings

Of late, there have been great strides made regarding the understanding of mental illness and suicide, attempted suicide and suicidal feelings. Unfortunately, this hasn’t reached the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), despite its “disability-confident” slogans.

You would think it would want to avoid any more bad press but this dysfunctional and dangerous department can’t seem to help it, especially with regard to the now-notorious Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment.

Recent research conducted by Jemina Napier from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University has found that the ESA assessment process “caused a deterioration in people’s mental health, which individuals did not recover from. In the worst case, the WCA experience led to thoughts of suicide.”

Debbie Abrahams, shadow secretary for Work and Pensions, said this proved the system is “not only unfit for purpose but is causing harm to some disabled people.”

The despair and suicidal feelings some people experience are hardly surprising as they live for months with the threat of financial insecurity hanging over them. Once on such benefit, they still face arbitrary and bewildering decisions to sanction them by removing their benefit for a period of time.

A freedom of information request in 2013 showed that six out of 10 sanctions were given to those with a mental health condition and/or a learning disability — so when Tories talk about the “safety net’ for the vulnerable, those affected know it’s so threadbare many fall through.

Suicide and suicidal feelings are complex — often there is more than a single reason why someone takes their own life. Research has pointed to various indicators that would alert a nurse or doctor. Financial insecurity or the threat of financial insecurity — the brown envelope on the doormat — and previous suicide attempts should be an automatic red flag.

Thankfully, most organisations and mental health professionals have moved on from the days where suicidal feelings or attempted suicide were seen as just “attention seeking.”

However, the DWP is one of those organisations still stuck in the past. Its WCA and PIP assessments are based on an outdated medical model of disability, with little interest being shown in what actually disables someone.

It takes a lot of courage for someone to reply to questions about suicidal feelings and/or suicide attempts especially in the high-pressured environment of a benefits assessment, but we have to ask why these questions are asked at all.

Source: Pushed to the Brink – Black Triangle Campaign


Labour’s new shadow minister for disabled people has spoken about her new role, and the access problems she faces as a disabled MP during prime minister’s questions. Marie Rimmer, one of parliament’s few disabled MPs, was appointed to the role on 1 February, less than two years after she was elected for the first time as MP for St Helens South and Whiston. Born in St Helens, she is a former trade union shop steward and became a Labour councillor in 1978. She led St Helens Council for a total of nearly 20 years over three spells. She told Disability News Service that she does not under-estimate the importance of her new position as shadow minister, or “the magnitude of the role”. “We have got a government that since 2010 has systematically burdened , taken away from finances, affected their housing, their independence… “They seem to have very little understanding of disabled people, and the fact that they are human beings,” she says. Although she did not speak out frequently in the

Source: New Labour shadow reveals PMQs access nightmare… and ‘social model’ ignorance | DisabledGo News and Blog


Ministers have been accused of ignoring a public consultation and ploughing ahead with plans that will make their “fitness for work” testing regime even more stressful and unfair for sick and disabled people.

A presentation delivered by two senior Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants earlier this month suggests that ministers have decided – as many disabled activists feared after the publication of last year’s green paper – to introduce new benefit sanctions for sick and disabled people with the highest support needs.

The presentation at a DWP “Operational Stakeholder Engagement Forum” appears to confirm that the government had decided how it would reform the system of out-of-work disability benefits before its “consultation” process had finished on 17 February.

The government had claimed that it wanted to make the work capability assessment (WCA) less of an ordeal for claimants, with work and pensions secretary Damian Green telling last October’s Conservative party conference he wanted to support those disabled people who cannot work, and “sweep away unnecessary stress and bureaucracy which weighs them down”.

But slides from the presentation appear to show that his new regime will be even harsher, and that many employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants with the highest support needs and barriers to work will for the first time face having their benefits sanctioned if they do not co-operate with the regime.

The slides show DWP has already begun introducing a compulsory, face-to-face “health and work conversation” (HWC) with a jobcentre work coach that will apply to nearly all new claimants of ESA, weeks or even months before they go through the WCA process to decide whether they are not fit for work and eligible for the benefit.

Source: DWP presentation on ESA plans ‘confirms worst fears’ about green paper – Black Triangle Campaign


We have been here before. The Commons Work and Pensions Committee has heard about flaws in the benefit assessment process many times – whether it be for ESA or PIP. Has it made a blind bit of…

Source: MPs have been told disability benefits assessments are flawed – time and time again. Where’s the action? | Vox Political


Ms Abrahams, responding to the Conservative Government’s Green Paper,

Source: The Tories are lying when they say disabled people would get better if they had jobs | Vox Political


The mother of a disabled man who starved to death after he was found “fit for work” and lost his out-of-work disability benefits has called for ministers to face criminal charges. Jill Gant says work and pensions ministers should be tried for misconduct in public office for failing to take action that could have saved the life of her son, Mark Wood. She spoke out after signing a letter, drawn up by the Green Party and backed by Disabled People Against Cuts, that calls on work and pensions secretary Damian Green to order an independent inquiry into the links between his department’s procedures and the deaths of benefit claimants. The party has produced a dossier of 50 cases in which the deaths of benefit claimants have been linked to decisions taken by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Mark Wood starved to death in 2013 after being found ineligible for employment and support allowance (ESA), even though he had never been able to cope with the demands of a job and his GP had

Source: Mother of ‘fit for work’ victim calls for ministers to face criminal charges | DisabledGo News and Blog


Stop MP lies & corruption

Episode 1:
Ken Loach explains in order to gather facts for his film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ they went across the country and it was always the same story.

Episode 2:
A Maximus Nurse talks about how DWP wants to trip claimants up

Episode 3:
Disturbing findings about the dodgy work capability assessments

Episode 4
Coronation Street Actress Cherylee Houston talks about the dodgy work capability assessments

 

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About 100 activists and their allies have taken part in a protest and vigil to mark the death of a disabled man who died minutes after leaving a jobcentre… six months after a government contractor found him “fit for work”.   Lawrence Bond is said to have collapsed on the pavement shortly after leaving Kentish Town jobcentre, following a back-to-work appointment.   He was reportedly awaiting the result of an appeal against being found fit for work and therefore ineligible for employment and support allowance (ESA), the out-of-work disability benefit.   Disability News Service (DNS) has confirmed with the London Inner North coroner’s office that there will be an inquest into his death later this year.   The inquest could be heard by the same coroner, Mary Hassell, who found in January 2014 that a disabled man, Mr A*, had taken his own life as a direct result of being found fit for work and ineligible for ESA, following a work capability assessment (WCA).

Source: Coroner orders inquest into ‘fit for work’ man who collapsed after leaving jobcentre | DisabledGo News and Blog

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