Subscribing was the best thing I could have done! DLA higher rate mobility and care on initial claim
Completed the claim form online over a few days continually referring to your advice. Form was sent off third week in May . . . This morning I received the familiar looking envelope and tentatively opened it, only to be advised that I have been awarded the higher rate in care AND mobility for the next two years!!!
Thank you so much for your advice and guidance. You made me really think about how my condition affects me on a day to day basis and put it down clearly, rather than hoping that the reader of the form would 'understand' how I'm truly affected
More forum feedback at the end of this newsletter.
Atos attacked by MPs
The MPs who make up the work and pensions committee have come to the conclusion that the service provided by Atos in relation to the work capability assessment – the medical test for employment and support allowance - is so poor that another provider should be introduced to allow competition to drive up standards.
(Stories in this newsletter are all members only, with the exception of the Good News from the Forums and external links to other websites).
The report contains some unusually damning criticism not just of Atos, but also of the government for the way it has failed to prevent the extremely negative and inaccurate portrayal of benefits claimants as ‘scroungers’ and ‘workshy’ every time a new set of employment and support allowance statistics is released.
So, the fury of the committee’s chair, Anne Begg, can be imagined when on the same day that the report was published, employment minister Chris Grayling chose to release the latest ESA statistics ensuring that yet another round of claimant bashing headlines replaced coverage of the committee’s recommendations.
Anne Begg has taken the extremely unusual step of writing an open letter to Chris Grayling in protest at the continued vilification of claimants.
In the same week, a DWP research report provides the first evidence that the high dropout rate for ESA claims prior to a medical is not due to workshy scroungers being frightened of being caught out, as ministers and tabloids like to claim. Instead, it is due to honest claimants with conditions that have improved ending their claims, as Benefits and Work has argued all along.
Needless to say, this is a report which will not make headlines or do anything to stem the flood of tabloid hatred towards the sick and disabled.
NATIONAL CHARITIES HELP PIP DEVELOPMENT
In our last newsletter we reported that at least one national charity was recruiting members to help with trials of the assessment system for personal independence payment, which is due to replace disability living allowance and leave many thousands of claimants worse off. We have now learnt of another two national disability charities which are also helping the DWP with their trials.
ME CLAIMS SUPPORT NEEDED
Co-operation of a more positive kind is also on the cards, however. We have a request from a member who assists people with ME to claim ESA. They are looking for email contact with other volunteers or professionals, with a view to exchanging ideas for effective ESA claims for variable conditions.
PROFESSIONAL WELFARE RIGHTS WORKERS
Professional welfare rights workers only are wanted to take part in a survey being conducted by the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC). The purpose of the survey is to try to discover what impact Harrington’s first independent review of the work capability assessment has had. If you are a welfare rights worker you can find out more about the survey here. (External link).
Another item likely to be primarily of interest to welfare rights workers is the ninth edition of the DLA and AA Case Law Pack, previously published by Derbyshire Welfare Rights Service but now produced independently by the author, Marl Perlic.
The ‘pack’ is published in properly bound book format, with over 900 pages of carefully indexed extracts from DLA and AA commissioners and upper tribunal decisions. It’s a remarkable achievement and an invaluable resource for anyone involved in DLA and AA appeals. At £45 in book format and £25 on disc it is likely to be too expensive for most claimants. But it’s hard to imagine it not paying for itself very quickly in terms of time saved in hunting for case law if you are an employed welfare rights worker. More details from Mark’s website. (External link).
Finally, we’d like to wish you a sunny and peaceful August as this will be the last newsletter until September. We’re hoping to train some new moderators over the coming six weeks, as well as getting some new writers for the site up to speed in order to deal with the blizzard of changes heading towards claimants over the next few years.
We will still be publishing news items in their new home, however, and the site and forum will be running as normal.
GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM
And now, as ever, we’ll finish with some good news from the forum.
Higher rate mobility and higher rate care on initial claim
Support group without a medical
Higher rate mobility and higher rate care on renewal
Instant support group
Support group following home medical
From 6 to 15 points at ESA appeal
Work-related activity group without medical
21 points at ESA appeal
Higher rate mobility and higher rate care on initial claim
IB to ESA support group without medical
From work-related activity group to support group on appeal
Incapacity benefit appeal successful after 12 months
Higher rate mobility and middle rate care on renewal
Support group without medical
From work-related activity group to support group without a hearing
Higher rate mobility and lower rate care after previous refusal
PLEASE PASS ME ON
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