I am in shock
The post was on the mat when we got home from a blood test.  I am in shock, original decision of no mobility or care been changed to Highest Rate Mobility & Highest Rate Care. Backdated to July 2010, awarded for 1yr to Jan 2012.

Read more feedback from the forum at the end of this newsletter

Health conditions that get into the support group plus tribunals nobbled?

Dear [fname],

The DWP have released their latest collection of employment and support allowance (ESA) statistics which show that success in getting into the support group can vary from 56% down to 2%, depending on the type of health condition you have. We’ve taken a closer look at which conditions get into the support group.  (Members only)

Still with ESA, we have had further confirmation that the harsh new work capability assessment is to be introduced at the end of March.

But the number of incapacity benefit claimants being assessed in the first month has now been greatly reduced. (Members only)

Still, if things are looking grim for claimants, then they aren’t looking very cheery for the companies hoping to make money from pushing them into work either.  Following warnings that the work programme may not be financially viable, private sector bidders are abandoning areas like the west midlands and, in one case, ditching the entire project.

Things are also looking grim for the people who advise claimants.  News that 900 debt workers have been issued with redundancy notices following the axing of government funding is making it even more of a certainty that many advice agencies will face closure.  Indeed, Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau is just weeks away from closure following the withdrawal of local authority funding.

Those advisors rights workers who do manage to keep their jobs may find that success  at ESA appeals becomes more of a struggle.  Benefits and Work can reveal that  Teams of DWP decision makers and Atos doctors are being surreptitiously shown into tribunals service (TS) back offices and being allowed to go through employment and support allowance appeal files, hunting for cases to either award benefits to or ask to have struck out.  Find out what has happened to the independence of the tribunals service.  (Members only)

Claimants aren’t giving up without a fight, however.  We’ve produced a round-up of current campaigns from national marches to attend, petitions to sign, a DLA early day motion to badger your MP about and . . . a mass visit to George Osborne’s house, apparently.

And just before we go to the traditional good news section:  why not follow us on Twitter and get the chance to win a year’s subscription? We have three subscriptions for claimants and one for a professional agency (it will need to be your agency following us) to give away.  But don’t hang about, you need to be following us by 6pm on Monday 7th February to be in with a chance.

There’s more details about why we’re using Twitter and links to get you started if you don’t already use Twitter here.  If you’re an old hand (which we definitely aren’t, you’ll find us @benefitsandwork

From 6 points to 21 points at ESA appeal

Incapacity benefit appeal success

Remaining in WRAG without a medical

Middle rate care on top of higher mobility after asking for claim to be looked at again

ESA renewed for ME/CFS without medical

DLA renewed after just two weeks

Placed in support group after visit from ESA manager

From 0 to 18 points for ESA appeal

You can also read this newsletter online.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

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(c) 2011 Steve Donnison


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