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3 June 2015 Newsletter

ESA appeal “So happy I could cry”Benefits and Work guides covers set
“Just wanted to let you know that i had my ESA appeal tribunal today, they overturned the DWP's decision and awarded me 15 points, thats from 0 points and put me in the support group, so happy i could cry ! thank you all so much at B&W”


Insecure, Low Pay Jobs To Stop ESA Claimants Watching Jeremy Kyle Plus Death Statistics May Never Be Seen


Dear Reader,

The boss of Britain’s largest welfare to work provider believes that claimants are better off in low paid, insecure temporary work “rather than sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle”.

He also argues that the government have to get the “people who are technically unfit to work, back to work” and believes that the appointment of Maximus to carry out employment and support allowance (ESA) medical assessments will lead to an extra 2.5 million people being sent to his company.

Flyer for BBC programmeDeath statistics and dangerous guides
How many of those millions will end up being sanctioned and suffering a dramatic decline in their health – or even dying – as a result will probably never be known.

In fact, even the ESA death statistics that the government already holds may never be seen, now that the DWP have launched a last minute appeal against an order to publish them. If the DWP are determined not to release the figures, they can drag out the appeals process for a decade or more.

In reality, more lives may have been put at risk by sanctions than we realised, as it has now become clear that work programme providers have failed to follow guidelines that say they must have a face-to-face meeting with vulnerable ESA claimants before referring them for a sanction.

Further details of what providers must do will be in an updated version of our ESA sanctions guide, which will be in the members’ area by Monday.

There will also be updated versions of our ESA guides available from Monday. These will take account of new and –in our view – dangerous guidance issued to decision makers on how to take into account the effects of work-related activities when making submissions about the vital ‘substantial risk’ regulations. These regulations are one of the most important routes into the support group, especially for claimants with mental health conditions.

Hardest grafters and hypocritical MPs
Not to be outdone by Jeremy Kyle, the BBC are joining in the claimant stereotyping with a new show which has unpleasant parallels with the ‘Hunger Games’.

‘Britain’s Hardest Grafter’ will pit benefits claimants, migrant workers and people on the minimum wage against each other in a competition to see who can work the hardest. One of the aims of the show is to answer the question: ‘Is the benefits system providing many with a reason not to work’.

None of the contestants are likely to be recently redundant MPs, sadly.

Current MPs also don’t have to worry about grafting harder to earn more. They are about to pocket an inflation massacring 10% pay rise, whilst working age claimants face a 10% cut in the cash available to pay their benefits.

Their £7,000 a year windfall hasn’t made Labour leadership candidates at all shy about giving impoverished claimants a good kicking, however.

Caroline Flint, for example, told the Sun that Labour needs to start attacking benefits scroungers as much as bankers and should give people choosing to live off benefits a “kick up the backside”. Andy Burnham, in a speech to an auditing firm who have been involved in tax avoidance, argued that Labour is seen as “soft on people who want something for nothing”.

And, the really depressing thing is, Burnham wouldn’t see even a hint of irony in that statement.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

DWP’s dangerous new guidance on ESA substantial risk safety net
The DWP has issued new guidance to decision makers in relation to the vital substantial risk safety net for employment and support allowance (ESA) this week.

MPs to get 10% pay rise whilst benefits face 10% cut
IPSA, the body which sets MPs pay, has today confirmed its intention to give MPs a 10% pay rise, whilst the budget for claimants is set to be cut by more than 10%.

Work programme providers put ESA claimants lives at risk by not doing costly pre-sanction home visits
Work programme providers have been putting lives at risk by failing to carry out costly home visits before referring vulnerable employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants for sanctions.

Labour leadership hopefuls queue to kick claimants - even in speech to tax avoidance auditors
MPs hoping to be the Labour party’s next leader or deputy leader are lining up to kick claimants.

BBC launches anti-claimant poverty porn ‘Hunger Games’ show
Angry campaigners have accused the BBC of jumping on the poverty porn bandwagon with a new show, ‘Britain’s Hardest Grafter’.

ESA death statistics may never see light of day
The DWP have launched a last minute appeal against an order by the Information Commissioner that they must publish controversial claimant death statistics. There is now a strong possibility that the figures will never be published.

Sick and disabled targeted for low pay insecure jobs to stop claimants “watching Jeremy Kyle”
The boss of Britain’s largest welfare to work provider believes that claimants are better off in low paid, insecure temporary work “rather than sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle” according to the Telegraph newspaper.



As always, many thanks to everyone who takes the trouble to post in the forum or email us with news of your success. We know it’s many readers favourite, and most encouraging, bit of the newsletter.

PIP awarded
“Hi many thanks to the authors and contributors of this site for all the help and advice given to me which culminated in overturning the disgusting decisions by ATOS and the Dhss. I was awarded enhanced rates on both daily living and mobility for 3 years from 06/ 2013 to 06/ … Many thanks again to everyone who took time out to help me”

Thanks to you I got my PIP
“I've been awarded both pip for 2 years … It's all due to you for the advice…”

Benefits and Work guides covers set Support Group without medical
“Firstly, may I give a huge, huge "thank you" to all at B&W for the help I obtained from the website in completing my ESA50 form. I received a letter from Jobcentre+ yesterday informing me that I have been put into the Support Group - with no f2f medical! Amazing and such an enormous weight off my shoulders…Thank you so much...couldn't do this without you!”

PIP assessment
“I just like to say thank you for the information in the booklets. It really made things so much clearer when I had my assessment. I was more prepared than the health professional”

PIP success
“After applying for PIP in February and having my face to face assessment at the end of april, I received my decision today. I was quite surprised to have been awarded more than I expected - higher rate Daily living which I expected but also standard rate mobility which I didn't expect (based on her observations of me at the medical) ..I am very grateful to this site as it helped me fill out my form with a focus on my limitations and not my illnesses. I have also been put into the SG for ESA.”

ESA & PIP success
“Hi just wanted to say a big thank you , I followed your instructions for completing the forms , and after waiting since Dec 2013 have finally had my assessments … and today been told I am in the support group please keep up the good work Many Thanks”

ESA, Support Group, no medical
“Thank you to all at B&W. Wonderful people. ESA, Support Group, enhanced rate”

PIP success
“Thanks to this site my partner has been awarded top rate on both mobility and care”

I broke down and cried
Just received the dreaded brown envelope from the DWP. Hands shaking I opened it to read that my PIP entitlement in both categories had been given the enhanced status.. I broke down and cried, but they were happy tears. I have only just joined benefits and work as I found your website to be extremely informative, giving information and news that I could not find elsewhere.
I have just been transferred to PIP from DLA and when I got the letter my heart sank. I immediately downloaded your brilliantly informative booklet and sat down to read. Clear and precise I then went through each question in turn made many many notes, shed tears, and went through many many hours of doubt and anguish.
I eventually finished the form with days to spare, sent it off and then waited.
I want to thank everyone at benefits and work as without your informative guide I doubt I would have been able to complete the form and also achieve the benefit that I am entitled to.
Thank you thank you thank you.

Excellent guidance
thank you for the excellent guidance on your site which enabled us to make a successful claim ESA for my son, and without needing a Medical.
Yours sincerely and many thanks,

Support group
After 8 months having to live on £72.40 a week (which is not an easy thing to do, as I'm sure a lot of people will confirm), I've finally been awarded the Support Group component of ESA.
I'd like to thank The Benefits and Work website for all the help and encouragement to get me through what has been a very stressful and trying time.
Well done and keep up the good work.

Decision in less than 2 weeks
Just want to say a big thank you.
I kept delaying filling my dla renewal form. I finally did it using the guidelines provided by you guys Combined with my care plan.I received a decision in less the 2 weeks got higher rate for both mobility and care for 5 years!
So thank you! !!

Recommending your site to everyone
I used your site to help me ask for a mandatory reconsideration of a decision about my 16 year old son’s PIP decision. He was awarded the Basic rate for Daily Living. I obtained a report from my son’s school and wrote a supporting letter explaining that I thought he should be award 4 points for one descriptor instead of 0, and why. They accepted this and he was awarded 14 points taking him to the Enhanced Level. Although he lost the mobility element of his current DLA, the increase in the Daily Living payment covers the shortfall. I consider we have got a fair result, quite incredible given everything I have read about the process. Thank you very much for your indispensable advice. I am recommending your site to everyone in the same situation.


Good luck,

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