Tories: DLA And PIP To Be Taxed, All ESA Claimants To Be Hit By Freeze

Dear [fname],

There are unconfirmed, but entirely credible, reports that the Conservative party is planning to make disability living allowance (DLA) and personal independence payment (PIP) taxable benefits in order to help pay for tax cuts for people currently in the top tax bracket.{jcomments on}

In addition, we reveal that all employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants are to be hit with a freeze on their benefits if the Tories get back into government in 2015, not just claimants in the work-related activity group. George Osborne’s weasel words at the Conservative party conference misled many, including us.

We did, at least, spot the sneaky misrepresentation by IDS when he claimed that universal credit is being rolled out across the whole country.

It isn’t.

Only a tiny, pathetic ‘universal credit lite’ is being rolled out. The software for the complicated stuff still doesn’t exist, except in the imagination of IDS.

Over at the Labour party conference, it wasn’t only the deficit that Ed Miliband failed to mention. He also said not a word about disabled people or disability or incapacity benefits in his entire speech. And Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, scarcely mentioned them in hers either.

Nonetheless, the Labour party are hoping you’ll shell out your cash to join ‘Disability Labour’ to help them win the next election.

Meanwhile, Nick Clegg is supporting a 1% cap on uprating of working age benefits being extended from 2016 to 2018, leaving just a one percent difference between the cuts by Lib Dems and the Tories on ESA claimants.

Many charities have spoken out against the effects of austerity on sick and disabled claimants, but the groups that you might expect to be most vocal seem to have fallen silent, perhaps due to fear of the Lobbying Act.

The Disability Benefits Consortium, for example, describes itself as ‘a national coalition of over 50 different charities and other organisations committed to working towards a fair benefits system.’ Unfortunately, the last news item published on its website is dated July 2014.

The Hardest Hit campaign, which boasts over 50 voluntary sector organisations fighting against benefits cuts hasn’t published a news article or details of any campaigning since April 2014.

Disability Rights UK on the other hand, whose aim is to ‘break the link between disability and poverty’, has news items right up to today. Unfortunately, not a single one of them is about the party conferences or the latest threats to benefits claimants. The election, it seems, is invisible.

If claimants are going to fight the latest threats to their already desperate living standards, they may find themselves fighting alone.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison


If you’re not already a member, join the Benefits and Work community before midnight on Friday and you can get 20% off the cost of your annual subscription.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 7437

Claimants and carers get an annual subscription for £15.96, down from £19.95. Professionals get an annual subscription for £77.60, down from £97.00.


IDS plans to tax PIP and DLA

Reports are emerging that work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith plans to tax disability benefits, including PIP and DLA as the Conservative crackdown on disabled claimants continues to gather pace.

Huge suffering caused by PIP delays
Evidence from CAB advisers across Scotland shows that the PIP system is dogged by huge delays which are making claimants health conditions worse. Claimants are also getting into huge financial difficulties and some are missing out on many months’ worth of linked benefits as a result.


All ESA claimants to be hit by Tory benefits freeze

All ESA claimants will be hit by a planned freeze on working age benefits if the Conservatives win power in 2015, not just those in the work-related activity group.

Lib Dems support benefits cuts and bedroom tax
Nick Clegg has revealed that he supports the 1% cap on working age benefits being extended for a further two years until 2018, causing more hardship for sick and disabled claimants. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrat conference has voted in favour of continuing the bedroom tax and for the introduction of a yellow card system for sanctions.

IDS cons Tory conference with two missing universal credit words

Iain Duncan Smith announced yet another slowdown of the rollout of universal credit to the Conservative conference yesterday, but managed to make it sound like a success by omitting just two vital words from his speech. Whether he actually lied or was just deeply misleading is for the reader to decide.

Housing association supports 600 tenants to appeal bedroom tax

A housing association has sent letters to over 600 of its tenants who have been identified as potentially having grounds to appeal against the bedroom tax. Coast & Country Housing has seen almost 1,500 of its households affected by the under-occupancy penalty, with the policy generally hitting some of its most vulnerable residents, including those with disabilities or carers.

Legal aid cuts savage sick and disabled, Lib Dems look the other way

The number of claimants getting legal aid to help with welfare benefits has plunged from 88,380 in 2012-13 to just 149 in 2013-14 due to coalition cuts. In addition, not one single application for exceptional case funding has been granted. The Lib Dems have expressed concern about the effect of their own legal aid cuts on children, but not about the effects on sick and disabled claimants.

Labour near silence on disability benefits
Ed Miliband didn’t mention disability and incapacity benefits at all in his speech to the Labour party conference and Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, had little more to say about them in hers. The overall impression is that this is a subject that they wish would just go away altogether.

Will you be joining Disability Labour?
The Guardian has published a piece by freelance journalist Frances Ryan on why she will be joining Disability Labour, a new wing of the Labour party to support disabled people. We’d like to hear from you whether you’ll be joining Disability Labour too.

Many thanks to all of you who have posted your good news in the forum. As always, it’s really appreciated by everyone involved with the site and by our visitors, at a time when positive news is in such short supply.

Please keep it coming.

ESA Support Group and PIP success
“Thank you for the guides and typical day sheet which I used to help me with my recent PIP claim. I started the claim in April and had the medical just over a week ago. I got a letter to say I had been transferred from IB to ESA Support Group just after the medical…Then today got letter saying awarded PIP at higher rate daily living…for 3 years. I will recommend your guides to others with the same condition.”

ESA Support Group with no medical
“Had my long awaited brown envelope today. Shocked but delighted to be put in Support Group with no F2F [face to face assessment] …I just used the B & W guides to accurately describe the effect on my life of my conditions. These guides and B & W advice have been truly amazing and got me in support group without a F2F or any of the upset others have suffered. Thank You so much B & W.”

ESA Support Group success – thank you to you all
“In January 2014 i had the dreaded ESA50 form to fill in, i had heard of Benefits & Work group … and joined to get all the information i could to help me with the form…Thanks to downloading your guides, my wife read every page and waded through the forms, after 9 months i have just received a letter from DWP putting me straight into the Support group without the dreaded "medical". We are both very grateful for your help and for the sake of less than £20 our immediate stress and worry has faded into the background. If there is anyone wondering if subscribing is worth it.......go for it, worth every penny.”

ESA Appeal success
“Well well well, I am just posting that I was today put in the support group for ESA at my tribunal hearing...Thank you so much for all your advice from benefitsandwork has been most useful and I will continue to be a member.”

PIP success
“Hello, I had the letter a few days ago…I'm happy that I have good news. I got awarded the standard rate of daily living, no mobility. From March 2014 till Feb 2017. That's a result I never expected to receive. It should help me with my health a lot…I used the guide from Benefits and Work, and had magnificant help from other people. I'm very grateful to everyone here. Thank you.”

PIP result
“Partner had a result for PIP without a face-face...Standard Daily (Living)…Again the guides etc on here had a massive part in this result.. Thanks”

ESA from WRAG to Support Group success
“Great news over the weekend - my daughter was moved from ESA IR WRAG to Support Group after a medical. She just got the letter - a week after the medical…Many thanks for all your help - we couldn't have got this far without your invaluable guides.”

ESA Support Group success
“Received a letter today re, ESA…I plucked up courage and rang them and asked what was it about…I had been placed in the SG for 3 years as this wasn't mentioned on letter. So thank-you all for getting me through everything I couldn't have done it without you. I will still be visiting you daily, as i believe your help is vital to the many individuals struggling with this system…Once again THANK-YOU!”

DLA to PIP success
“…pleased and relieved that they recognised my needs…Thank you so much for producing the guides, they are so helpful and made me feel supported, even though I was still very stressed throughout the whole process.”

ESA success
“Just to let say that after ringing DWP, my daughter has been put in the SG - for 3 years… I would like to say a massive thank you”

ESA result – support group
“After 7 weeks of waiting finally had result of dwp regarding my esa no medical and been awarded support group on paper evidence only can't believe it…thanks for all the useful tips on the forum”


If you’re not already a member, join the Benefits and Work community before midnight on Friday and you can get 20% off the cost of your annual subscription.

Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay: 7437

Claimants and carers get an annual subscription for £15.96, down from £19.95. Professionals get an annual subscription for £77.60, down from £97.00.

You're welcome to republish part or all of this newsletter, provided you credit Benefits and Work.

Good luck,

The Office Team
Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No. 5962666


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