Login FormClose

More and more claimants who should be in the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) are being forced to remain in the assessment phase of ESA for a year or more, because of the growing crisis in the service provided by Atos.

Fewer than one in five claimants who made a new ESA claim between October and December 2013 have had a decision made on their claim, the latest DWP quarterly statistics reveal. Just 19% have had a decision, compared to 22% in the preceding quarter, suggesting that the situation in regard to Atos assessments is continuing to deteriorate.

The latest statistics for new claims show that:

19% of claimants have had a decision made, down from 22% last quarter.

41% of claimants got better, died or closed their claim for some other reason before they were assessed, up from 40% last quarter.

40% of claimants were still undergoing assessment, unchanged from last quarter.

Of those claimants who had a decision:

73% of claimants were entitled to ESA, the same as last quarter, with 58% going into the support group and 15% into the work-related activity group.

27% were found fit for work, the same as last quarter.

You can download the full statistics here.

Comments  

#12 tintack 2014-09-17 23:58
Quoting Paul Richards:
All of the main parties have a thing about 'Welfare Reform'! Interestingly enough though they helped out the 'bankers' some of whom a number of years ago almost bankrupted their own banks and created a 'sub-prime' type of disaster - some of these banks were bailed out by the taxpayer. As the 6th or 7th richest country in the world, this so called Welfare Reform has been little short of an abysmal failure - costing more than it saves and unfairly and often cruelly attacking the poor, sick and disabled people of Britain.


Exactly. Corporate welfare lavishly showered on those at the top while personal welfare is slashed in the name of austerity. It isn't really meant to save money though (despite the public rhetoric), it's meant to direct public anger against those who can't fight back while those at the top who tanked the economy carry on quietly coining it in.

Quote:
As I said before I only hope that the British people will be sensible at the next Gen. Election and that through misplaced loyalty or doggedness that we do not get any more of these twisted and dishonest Coalitions.
The problem isn't coalitions per se, it's a matter of which policies the government follows, whether that government is a coalition or not. For example, if the Tories had an overall majority there would be no coalition, but they'd still be kicking lumps out of the sick and disabled and the unemployed. The really fundamental problem we have is that all the main Westminster parties have been signed up to this repugnant agenda over the last few years. Labour and the Lib Dems may now be backtracking on the WCA, and I'd like to think things would indeed change for the better if next May sees the election of a Labour government or Labour/Lib Dem coalition. I certainly wouldn't put any money on it though.
#11 Paul Richards 2014-09-17 21:46
Hi tintack,
What you say is exactly right and you have explained it very well.
All of the main parties have a thing about 'Welfare Reform'! Interestingly enough though they helped out the 'bankers' some of whom a number of years ago almost bankrupted their own banks and created a 'sub-prime' type of disaster - some of these banks were bailed out by the taxpayer. As the 6th or 7th richest country in the world, this so called Welfare Reform has been little short of an abysmal failure - costing more than it saves and unfairly and often cruelly attacking the poor, sick and disabled people of Britain.
I cannot personally (and I am sure that so many others do also) wait to see the back of this unelected Coalition.
As I said before I only hope that the British people will be sensible at the next Gen. Election and that through misplaced loyalty or doggedness that we do not get any more of these twisted and dishonest Coalitions.
I also am sure that the Media will as usual play a large role in this when it comes - either good, or most likely - bad!
The UNUM situation with them being invited to this country was a disgrace and it should have never happened, but as usual, with the small plethora of these private companies chasing after the millions and millions of pounds of Govt contracts - it was almost bound to happen - through their own greed and Govt idealogy and crass stupidity - to hit the poorest/most ill & disabled and not the richest people to whom they seem to owe so much loyalty.
And also I agree with t=your comments re Scotland and it's vote - a yes vote would indeed be ironic especially for this Coalition and the Media as Scotland goes it's own way and to look after all of their own interests instead of the Westminster governments.
+1 #10 tintack 2014-09-15 00:20
Quoting Paul Richards:
If the General Public knew the truth, they would be horrified by the dreadful lies and mismanagement of the Public finances. If this Coalition falls, which it may well do before too long - it will probably all come out just like a burst water main - but if it does, they will not be able to stop it.


The problem is that the persecution of the sick and disabled really got going under New Labour, with the likes of Yvette Cooper and James Purnell. So all three of the main parties have presided over this. That means Labour will be wary of saying too much about it, and if they say little or nothing, then nothing will appear in the media. And even if the coalition does fall apart before May 2015, our media is not very likely to focus on the witch hunt against people on benefits.

If the public were made aware of the number of people who have died after being found "fit for work" they'd be horrified. They'd be disgusted if they knew that the WCA is essentially the same test that resulted in UNUM being successfully prosecuted in the American courts in 2003, and that UNUM were invited into the UK to "advise" the UK government on welfare "reform" in spite of being shamed and discredited in the US. But they don't know any of this, because all they read about is sensationalist and completely unrepresentativ e cases of fraud.

Ironically, this persecution of claimants might just help to tip the balance in favour of a Yes vote in Scotland. There's evidence that Scottish claimants are likely to vote yes in large numbers because they're being treated so appallingly now and hope for something better in an independent Scotland. Wouldn't it be poetic justice if the poor-bashing hysteria so beloved of the right wing tabloids resulted in the break-up of the UK which they claim to love so much?
#9 Paul Richards 2014-09-14 21:55
Hi Crazydiamond,
Labour has a lot to answer for also - they after all, initiated the 'Welfare Reforms' which the Coalition has continued with and tried to carry through. As regards the Coalition, what an abysmal failure -IDS has presided over an inept system which has more than likely (so far) cost far more than it has saved.
Meanwhile, all of the spending of hard-earned taxpayer's money has seemingly been covered up by a plethora of 'spin', twisting of information and thorough non-reporting by the Media, (apart from an odd article in The Guardian, or the Telegraph).
The mainstream Media such as the TV channels have for the most part been covering up what is actually the case - I personally think that they should be held to account.
The Yes/No vote in Scotland has been FULLY covered, but what this Coalition has been doing regarding the Welfare Reforms have definitely NOT been covered. Yes, they have covered the extreme minority of 'benefit scroungers' and successfully turned 'working' people against all people who claim any benefits at all. If the General Public knew the truth, they would be horrified by the dreadful lies and mismanagement of the Public finances. If this Coalition falls, which it may well do before too long - it will probably all come out just like a burst water main - but if it does, they will not be able to stop it.
+2 #8 Crazydiamond 2014-09-14 12:59
The whole concept of ESA with a two-tier entitlement category, ie the WRAG and SG was destined to be a failure right from the outset.

The idea of employing nurses, physiotherapist s and occupational therapists as opposed to doctors to undertake the WCA, was a ludicrous idea. Requiring physiotherapist s do do mental health assessments was crass stupidity, an action which did not escape the notice of an Upper Tribunal judge who completely denounced the practice.

The most galling thing about ESA was the fact that it was endorsed by New Labour under the auspices of Yvette Cooper, who said she was fully supportive of the welfare reform abolishing Incapacity Benefit, and replacing it with ESA. Even when NL were defeated in the 2010 general election, she said she hoped that the Condems would continue with the 'good work' with ESA which her party had started.

I think the writing was on the wall for the abject failure of ESA when the DWP claimed at its inception that it would only attract an additional 21,000 extra appeals, when in reality it has run into tens of thousands creating substantially more costs for the Treasury.

It make you wonder if ESA has actually saved the taxpayer money? Somehow I very much doubt it!
+1 #7 Paul Richards 2014-09-13 22:36
Hi Sharon67
I agree with carruthers. (my last message was lost, so an abridged message follows!)
Please take your case to the Citizen's Advice Bureau - they will take down all of your relevant information and then you should take your case to Appeal.
Don't worry about what the DWP told you - they will tell lies to cover their own backs and also not know about the current regulations. They think they are experts, but they are not.
As I personally see it, you were put into the ESA Support Group (keep that letter and if they need to see it, copy it and keep it to your records also!) and they have now refused to pay you your backpayments - THIS IS WRONG - THEY HAVE TO PAY YOU YOUR BACKPAYMENTS FROM WHENCE THEY STOPPED YOUR PAYMENTS.
+2 #6 carruthers 2014-09-12 02:07
Quoting sharon67:
. if i wished to appeal this i can contact them but was told my full claim for esa would have to be looked at again and i could end up being taken off esa!,, is this correct?.... it is not my fault it took 9 months to be assessed by atos..angry

You should raise this question in the forum, then one of the mods might answer your question.
+1 #5 Pat Sheehan 2014-09-11 19:41
I failed at the first hurdle, thrown off IB in September 2012 scoring zero points. I appealed of course and was on ESA contributions based for 12 months awaiting the Tribunal in October 2013. That failed. The Tribunal experts claimed (in writing) that "though he might not be able to return to work in the building trade he might possibly be able to do some light administration part time office-based work"! At that time I was over 61 years of age and still signed off as 'unfit for all work' due to 'chronic lumbar back pain'. I appealed against the Lower Tribunals decision but they refused me permission to appeal and I proceeded to the Upper Tribunal where they took, altogether, almost a year to refuse me permission to appeal the Lower Tribunal decision. However, I continued my ESA claim without a break from September 2013 but wasn't entitled to ESA any longer as it only lasts a year and I was in receipt of £75 a week 'ill health pension'. I completed the application form for another WCA in early 2014 but never did get to attend any further WCA's with Atos, I was never offered one in all of that year and resigned myself to Pension Credit which was on offer from 06.09.2014. I applied for that 10 weeks ago and as of 11.09.2014 I have not heard another word. My heart goes out to all of you out there suffering from crippling, chronic, disabling back pain. I have lived with it for almost forty years and the NHS had no answer for it back then and have made not the slightest progress with it since. My GP was happy enough to sign me off for the last two years as being unfit for any work but under the system we have now it didn't get me into the ESA 'support' group despite all my difficulties. Nobody out there is yet capable of measuring pain or even taking it seriously.

Pat Sheehan.
+2 #4 justanotherday2 2014-09-11 18:51
So the backlog isnt reducing, is it?

In the report and above it says "41 per cent of claimants had their claim closed before having a face to face assessment"...s o what % of this was claimants who died who should have been placed in SG or WRAG? Up to 41% of claimants in that 3 month period were so ill they DIED before even having a Face to Face assesment? Oh my, that is shocking. Truly shocking.
+3 #3 stuart52 2014-09-11 14:39
now not that IDS tells porkies but if he was ponnocio his nose would stretch from lands end to john o groats!
#2 sharon67 2014-09-11 13:47
applied for esa sept 2013..was on low rate for 9 months until assessment in june 2014..told fit for work (after spinal surgery in dec 2013).. payments stopped 2nd july 2014.. appealed and won and placed in support group..payment backdated to july 2014 ...told today i would not receive any backdated payments to when i first appled in sept 2013!!!!.. if i wished to appeal this i can contact them but was told my full claim for esa would have to be looked at again and i could end up being taken off esa!,, is this correct?.... it is not my fault it took 9 months to be assessed by atos..angry
+2 #1 tintack 2014-09-11 12:53
But.....but.... ...that nice Mr. Duncan Smith said that the backlog was reducing, not increasing! And as we know, he would never say anything untrue.

You need to be logged in to comment

Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and UC Updates

Our fortnightly bulletin, with over 80,000 subscribers, is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Find out what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare. Our mailing list is securely managed by icontact in the US.

Form Heading