Incapacity Benefit To ESA Support Group With No Medical
 “Have recently been transferred from incapacity to ESA support group without having to go for a medical.  Used the material on this site to make a better case for myself. . . Benefits and Work is easily the best resource for helping with your claim.”

More good news from the forum below

ESA While Appealing To End

ESA claimants who appeal against a decision they are capable of work will be forced to claim JSA or go without benefits, possibly for many months, under a clause in the welfare reform bill currently going through parliament.  The government is now consulting on whether their harsh changes to the appeals procedure  go far enough and we are urging readers to respond.  

Find out more about the changes (Open access), due in April 2013, and how to have your say.

We also want to warn you that the DWP are hoping to end the right to have your ESA medical recorded -  by claiming that very few claimants are interested.  The fact that they are doing nothing to publicise this option in the first place means that they stand a good chance of getting away with it.  
The plan was revealed in a statement by employment minister Chris Grayling.  (Open access)

In yet more depressing news for ESA claimants, the DWP has revealed that it does not plan to impose any limits on how long compulsory work experience for claimants in the work-related activity group (Members only) should last.  
This is in sharp contrast to the time-limited compulsory work imposed on JSA claimants, although the DWP does claim that most WRAG work placements will be short-term.

However, given the furore that engulfed Tesco over its use of unpaid JSA claimants to stack its shelves – and the company’s rapid climbdown (external link) -  the DWP may struggle to find large companies or charities willing to take on sick and disabled claimants for compulsory work experience.

But if you want to make your own feelings known on this issue, there’s a national day of action  against workfare taking place on Saturday, 3 March, 2012.  The day is being organised by Boycott Workfare, who have a list of actions already arranged for the day (external link) on its site.  

The site also has a list of known workfare providers (external link).

We’ve now had over 4,200 responses to our DLA to PIP survey, so we’re getting close to our target of 5,000.  Please take part (open access) if you haven’t already. 

 It’s becoming clear that the attack on DLA claimants is likely to be a fragmented one – it won’t be simply a matter of making most lower rate DLA claimants ineligible for PIP, as many had expected, for example.

In fact, rather astonishingly, almost two thirds of those currently getting lower rate care DLA on mental health grounds, assess themselves as being eligible for the enhanced rate of the PIP daily living component. Fewer than 20% asses themselves as getting no award of PIP at all.

Meanwhile, claimants currently getting lower rate care DLA on physical health grounds are less optimistic, with 27% assessing themselves as getting no award of the daily living component.  But still 47.6% assess themselves as being eligible for the enhanced rate.

Clearly the way the DWP apply the test is likely to be much harsher than the way claimants do.

But it seems increasingly likely that there will be winners and losers at every current level of DLA care and mobility if PIP is introduced.  And,  given that the final decision about how the test is interpreted will rest with tribunals, the DWP may yet be in for some unwelcome surprises in the early years of PIP.

The survey is here (open access) and the results so far (open access) are here.
There’s much 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, Just Me, papasmurf and  balletdancer.

Thank you to all those who responded to our request for volunteer ‘Signposters’ for the forum.  We’ve started a number off this week and hope to extend the opening hours of the forum in the near future as a result.

For the present, however, the opening hours remain:

2-4pm and 8-10pm, Monday to Friday.

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

Success at ESA appeal hearing, 0 to 15 points

DLA success, high rate mobility and care awarded

IB to support group without medical

ESA appeal success, placed in Support Group

DLA decision reconsidered and high mobility awarded

Successful transition from IS/IB to ESA WRAG after medical assessment

Migrated successfully from IB to ESA Support Group with no medical assessment

Moved from ESA WRAG to Support Group after request for appeal and supporting letter from GP

Moved from ESA WRAG to Support Group after request for reconsideration

You are welcome to reproduce this newsletter on your blog, website, forum or newsletter provide it is properly attributed to

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

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No.  5962666


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