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TOPIC: ESA proposed changes

ESA proposed changes 9 years 4 months ago #32205

It looks likely the existing claimants of Incapacity Benefit who when migrated to ESA will face a 12 month time limiting before a means test that takes into account partners income and savings with cut of of £16.000 (savings, not income) Information I have seen suggests this is intended to come into force in 2012, providing the legislation gets through Parliament. This is likely to affect hundreds of thousands of individuals and couples.

This is not yet the law, Therefore if someone at this stage before that proposal (if it ever does) become law, spends their savings to below the level of the cut off, one wonders if they could escape the intentional deprivation of capital rule. Presumably you cannot be sanctioned for trying to obtain a benefit (ir in this case its contrinuation) before that is means test actually a rule At this stage it is just a statement of intent to the house of commons and not either primary or delegated legislation

Sorry if I didn't put that very well but it does strike me as a question worthy of legal exploration . I don't know if anyone on this forum has abn opinion, or knowledge, I will try and check the law and commissioners decisions if I can find them online.

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Re:ESA proposed changes 9 years 4 months ago #32245

That is an interesting point Dragon2009. It's hard to see how somebody can be considered to be intentionally depriving themselves of capital in order to get Social Security when the law as not yet been passed. However, I think the Government will be aware that affected claimants may intend to spend their savings, when drafting the new regulations.

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Re:ESA proposed changes 9 years 4 months ago #32260

As far as I can estimate it would be hard for a case of intentional deprivation to be applied to a non means tested recipient of benefit, in relation to 'deprivation' conducted before laws were made that would have applied a limit to savings in relation to the benefit. It seems simple to me, and especially it might be argued all the more reasonable because the convention of transitional protection is breached, as is the national insurance 'contract' too, which is why I beleive they (Govt) are looking for new statute to
authorise this. Taking what in effect is a potentially lifelong 'disability pension' which in the incarnation of Invalidity Benefit and Incapacity Benefit that succeeded it and saying it lasts for 12 months is an affront to national insurance payments and to my mind it shows anything is now possible
.
I beleive it has probably never been tested in the past , but 'instinct' inclines me to think it is a reasonable argument. It might seem a mischevious argument, but is that unsound. ? I suspect there wont be droves of people trying to do this because it would be a pretty small minority with capital on that scale.

More people will find the fact they have a working partner is a real problem (if the change is enacted)

I beleive with ESA at the moment many people who could appeal to get into the support group are so relieved to get the WRAG, but the possible chabnge will mean
many claimants will strive to get into the support group. For that reason I beleive it may well end up being made harder (not easier) to get into the Support Group Professor Harringtons report into the testing should not be too long now. Who knows what he will find. My guess is that some extra latitude may become built into the test as regards mental health and fluctuating conditions, but it is also the case that Government like to point frequently to research that suggests in most mental health cases work is actually therapuetic as well as preventative of problems. Anyway, I'm rambling on now

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Re:ESA proposed changes 9 years 4 months ago #32264

  • RachelPotter
Hi Dragon 2008, are there any reports that you know of from which the government get this research;

"Government like to point frequently to research that suggests in most mental health cases work is actually therapuetic as well as preventative of problems"

I would be very interested in reading it.

My depression was greatly increased last time I worked and my ME/CFS also reappeared.

Many thanks.

Best wishes,
Rachel

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Re:ESA proposed changes 9 years 4 months ago #32270

I have some recollection of reports to that affect, and indeed it has been 'spun' in the sense of used by the last Government when some new articles about welfare reform were published. I understand your point though, I am sure that aspects of work can be positive for mental health, so much depends on the individual, their predispositions, the nature of the work, support and much more, GP's know well that many people are made ill by their work and the record levels of absence sometimes reported in some public services show at the veryh least that (whilst of course some of it is casual skiving, thats human nature, throwing a sicky to watch the football or whatever ) many people are unhappy and cannot cope either with their workload / the people they work with/ etc etc

I cannot find the specific research rigvht now but this is some on the subject from a report I found online called 'Mental Health and Employment' by the Saisnbury Centre for Mental Health

Work is good for health
“Work is good for health … There is strong
evidence that work:
v Promotes recovery
v Leads to better health
v Minimises the harmful effects of long-term
sickness absence
v Improves quality of life and wellbeing
v Reduces social exclusion and poverty.”
From: Is Work Good for Your Health &
Wellbeing? (Waddell & Burton, 2006)


My view is that it is not the case that work is a gauranteed fix or preventer. It is often very helpful to well being, depending on so so many things, beginning even with the 'commute' to and from work. If tyou have a sadistic boss or colleagues where does that leave you. I represented someone at an Industrial Tribunal who suffered months of sexual harrassment and ended up mentally unwell I just think everyone is different and every job different so generalizing is impossible . Some people fall apart when they lose their job as it is like losing members of a family. One could write for hours on this.

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Re:ESA proposed changes 9 years 4 months ago #32279

  • RachelPotter
Hi Dragon2009, thankyou for all that information.

I am in total agreement with you; that it depends on the person and the job and every other cotributing factor.

I just wish there was more of a safety net when you have problems.

I have experienced family and friends loving/hating their jobs; losing their jobs; retiring etc and like you say, everyone is different.

I just know that for me, work is scary and although I have loved some aspects of work in the past, I just couldn't say it's ever improved my health and well being etc.

Thankyou once again.

Best wishes
Rachel

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