ESA – from zero to 36 points on appeal
i won my appeal today with my fibromyalgia
i went from 0 points to 36 points
i was soooo shocked that i don't know what happens next
ps thanks for this site its full of useful information
More feedback from the Benefits and Work forums at the end of this newsletter
Guide dog users. Deaf claimants. Wheelchair users. Just some of the new cuts targets.
Devastating changes to the test of who is eligible for employment and support allowance (ESA) come into force on 28 March.
Amongst the losers are:
blind claimants who can safely use a guide dog and have no other problems;
deaf claimants who can read and write and have no other problems;
claimants in manual wheelchairs who can propel themselves over fifty metres and have no other problems.
These are just some of the groups of disabled people who will be found capable of work and have to try to claim the lower paying jobseekers allowance (JSA).
Details of how other claimants may be affected by, for example, a big reduction in the number of scoring descriptors for mental health, are in an article we wrote over a year ago, when NewLabour drew up the new test (members only) but got voted out before they could implement it.
You can try the new test online right now and, if you’re a Benefits and Work member, there’s also Help notes equivalent to nine pages of A4 to help you make the most accurate self-assessment you can.
The new test will apply to ESA claimants when they are next assessed and to the 1.5 million incapacity benefit claimants as they are ‘migrated’. The government claim that pilots show that almost one third of IB claimants would already be refused ESA under the current, less harsh test.
And the misery doesn’t end there.
If you haven’t found a job after a year on JSA, the government proposes to cut your housing benefit by 10% as a punishment for still being unemployed - a measure so extraordinarily harsh that even Labour objects to it.
And, of course, your chances of finding a job when there are 2.5 million other people looking for one are slim.
But the government has chosen to make them even slimmer.
Because, if you had remained a long-term claimant who was incapable of work, private companies running the new Work Programme could have pocketed up to £14,000 for finding you a job. As a JSA claimant you’re worth mere hundreds to them – your chances of being ‘parked’ and forgotten whilst they concentrate on the big money opportunities are very high.
And, in a few years time, you’ll also have the axing of DLA and its replacement with PIP to cope with. We don’t yet know who’s going to lose out under that process, but we do know that the government wants one in five current DLA claimants to end up with nothing. Wheelchair users have already been flagged up as possible targets (members only), as we pointed out back in December.
Meanwhile, the bankers who ruined the economy have cut their bonuses by a fraction but raised their wages by a heap. And the politicians whose failed regulation allowed the bankers to wreck the economy in the first place – people like Blair and Mandelson – have taken extremely well paid directorships on the boards of . . . banks.
So, when Cameron says that “We’re all in this together” he may be telling the truth.
But what he doesn’t mention is that he’s going to make very sure that disabled claimants are “in it” right up to their necks, whilst the people to blame scarcely get a mark on the heels of their patent-leather boots.
Harrington timeline for year two irrelevant
DWP to hold welfare reform events
GOOD NEWS FROM THE BENEFITS AND WORK FORUMS
From 0 points to winning ESA appeal before the hearing
Successful IB renewal
DLA high rate mobility and low care on first application
ESA appeal won before the hearing
From DLA low rate care and mobility to middle rate care and low mobility on renewal
From 6 points to support group on ESA appeal
From 0 points to 24 on appeal
Placed in ESA work-related activity group before the appeal hearing
DLA high rate care and mobility indefinitely
High mobility and middle care in 5 days on renewal
Support group following medical
(c) 2011 Steve Donnison