IB to ESA Success Rates, DLA To PIP - Will You Be 1st In Line, plus Last Chance To Save On Membership

Successful migration from IB to ESA Support Group without medical
“I just wanted to thank everyone here for the wonderful guides”

More good news from the forum at the end of this newsletter.

As the DWP announces who will be first to face the move from disability living allowance to personal independence payment next spring and figures for the percentage of incapacity benefit transferees  being found fit for work are released, it’s never been more important for claimants to be well informed.

So, we’re running our cut-price subscription offer for the third, and final, time before taking a break from the newsletter over the Easter period - though we will continue to publish news articles on the site.

If you’re not already a member, join the Benefits and Work community (Open access) before midnight on Sunday and you can get £3.50 off the cost of your annual subscription.  Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay via PayPal:


Find out how to subscribe now.

Severe ME - moved from WRAG to Support Group after reconsideration
“Big thanks to B&W and the B&W community which put me in an excellent position to obtain the correct outcome”


The first figures detailing how many incapacity benefit claimants are being found capable of work when assessed for employment and support allowance (ESA)  (Members only) have now been published. The statistics show that that 37% of claimants were found fit for work and not entitled to ESA.  However, these figures do not take into account the number who have appealed against the decision, many of whom will go on to win.

Successful migration from IS to ESA Support Group without medical
“I would have been lost without the b&w guides and support from the site.”

Details of who will be the first claimants to be forced to transfer from disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence payment (PIP) (Open access) have also now been announced.  It has been decided that Bootle benefit centre will administer the first new claims from spring 2013.  This means that DLA claimants from areas including Merseyside, north-west England, Cumbria, Cheshire and north-east England will be the first to face the new test.  However, claimants from the rest of the country are destined to follow from summer 2013.

After 10 years on DLA lower rate mobility finally awarded higher rate
“I joined benefits & work about 6 months ago it was the best money I have ever spent.”

81% of advice agencies say that they will be able to help fewer people in the future as a result of massive budget cuts.  The Justice for All campaign (External link) warns that the advice sector is facing £50 million pounds in cuts from this April as a result of local authority cuts.  This will be followed by a further £51 million in cuts in 2013 if proposed government  changes to legal aid currently going through parliament are brought in.  

An amendment in the lords to the legal aid bill aimed at keeping  free help for welfare benefits will now go before the commons, where the government is likely to try to reverse  it.  Meanwhile the coalition has set up a fund providing just £20million a year for the next two years to help the advice sector cope.

From ESA WRAG to Support Group on reconsideration on exceptional circumstance grounds
“Special thanks to B & W and help given, especially to Bro58 who pointed out some useful wording for me when my medical notes came”

Also in the news  is the strange tale of the nine minute video showing how an ESA tribunal works (Open access), created with the aim of making the process less mysterious and alarming for claimants.  The video was uploaded to YouTube by Ministry of Justice staff last week.  But, within days, it was removed again at the demand of  ‘senior policy officials’ at the same ministry . . .  almost as if they preferred people to be too worried to turn up for their hearing.

Due to a lack of recording equipment, claimants who ask for their work capability assessment (WCA)to be recorded (Members only) can face postponements and weeks of additional waiting before their medical takes place, Benefits and Work can reveal.

The option to ask for your WCA to be recorded for free on CD remains one of the best kept secrets of the whole process, as the DWP aims to end the scheme on the grounds of lack of take-up.

Unum, the giant US insurance company, performed its own U-turn last week.  The company has pulled out of selling income protection to UK workers (Open access), in spite of having only recently launched a new sales drive partly based on the difficulty of qualifying for ESA.  Given that Unum staff were heavily involved in creating the medical test that makes it so hard to get ESA in the first place, it was a sales campaign that was always likely to cause controversy. 

Disabled activists have reacted with astonishment after the government claimed in a new action plan that its sweeping welfare reforms and cuts to disability benefits would help in the fight against disability hate crime.  The new cross-government action plan contains more than 50 measures aimed at tackling hate crime over the next three years.

Disabled people reacted with anger and astonishment (Members only) after learning that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was claiming that measures in its new Welfare Reform Act would “​reduce the negative media portrayal of disability issues”​.

A Benefits and Work member  who was refused entry to the support group of ESA has succeeded in getting the decision overturned, even though they were out of time to appeal,  thanks to our January newsletter.

In that newsletter we revealed secret guidance issued by the DWP in relation to the Understanding Communication activity in the work capability assessment.  The guidance, issued last November but not made public until a few weeks ago, changed previous advice as to whether claimants who had either visual or hearing impairments,  but not both, could be eligible for the support group.  Our member successfully persuaded a decision maker to reconsider their decision (Members only) by sending them a copy of their own guidance.

Find out how to become a member now.

There’s more news in the members area (members only) than we can fit into this newsletter.

Many thanks to everyone who has sent in news stories over the last fortnight, including: Beverley Hymers, John Pring, Jim Allison, papasmurf, Crazydiamond, pete17971.

Finally, as always,  a selection of good news from the forum over the last fortnight:

Placed in ESA Support Group, no medical assessment

“I don’t think I could have done it without the help from this site.”

From IB to ESA WRAG, then Support Group on reconsideration without medical
“Thank you for the superb advice, B&W”

Placed in ESA Support Group without medical assessment
“A big, big thank you from me.”

From IB to ESA WRAG, then Support Group before appeal heard
“Big, big thank you to everyone on the boards and those compiling the guides”

Double appeal success: ESA 0 to 18 points; DLA middle rate care and low rate mobility
“A huge thank you to the B&W as if it wasn't for their wonderful advice I doubt very much I would have won.”

ESA Support Group without medical
“Another big ****THANK YOU**** has to go out to the folks at B&W, the guides, and the kind people who volunteer their time to help us out on this website.”

Migrated from IB to ESA Support Group
“I would like to thank the B & W team for all the excellent information they have provided”

IB to ESA WRAG without medical
“I just want to say thanks to Steve Donnison, all the Modulators and everybody else who helps to run the fantastic Benefitsandwork website.”

DLA successfully renewed and award made for 3 years

“Thank you to you all for your help.”

Moved from WRAG to Support Group on appeal

“I would like to thank everyone on here and b&w for the encouragement and information”

You are welcome to reproduce this newsletter on your blog, website, forum or newsletter provide it is properly attributed to www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

You can also read this newsletter online (Open access).

We’ll be back with you after Easter,

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No.  5962666


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