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15 July 2015 newsletter

Budget News, ESA Death Statistics And DLA In Hospital

You can read this newsletter online.


Dear Reader,

The budget was definitely bad news for sick and disabled claimants, but not as bad as many had feared. At least we were spared the taxing of disability benefits or forcing every claimant to pay the first 10% of their housing benefit.

But it was bad enough.

The four year freeze on working age benefits will leave many people struggling to survive. The decision to change support for mortgage interest payments from a benefit to a loan, with many of the details left unclear, is causing huge concern.

And the ending of the work-related activity component for new ESA claimants will not only hit people becoming sick or disabled in the future. It may also mean many current ESA claimants will be too terrified to try out paid employment, for fear they will not be able to return to ESA at the same rate if their attempt fails.

Watching the Labour party descend into chaotic infighting, as leadership hopefuls row over whether to support the budget or not, is also proving to be a deeply dispiriting spectacle for many of our members.

ESA death statistics
The only Labour leadership contender who seems to be earning any respect amongst our readers is Jeremy Corbyn. He was one of the first MPs to sign the early day motion this week calling on the government to publish the ESA death statistics. So far, a total of just 25 MPs have signed the motion.

How about giving your MP a nudge and asking them to sign before they go off on to enjoy their extended summer holidays?

DLA for children in hospital
There’s not much in the world of benefits that gives you hope for humanity. But the courage and tenacity of the parents of Cameron Mathieson is a touching exception.

In spite of tragically losing Cameron at the age of five in 2012, they continued battling for the right of children in hospital to receive DLA beyond the current 84 day limit. And after three years and a series of lost appeals, they finally made it to the Supreme Court where they won their case that stopping Cameron’s DLA was a breach of his human rights.

As a result, thousands of parents will be spared having to face financial meltdown at the same time as trying to care for their desperately ill child in hospital.

No wonder the Conservatives are so desperate to do away with the Human Rights Act.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison


MPs call for ESA death statistics to be published
A small group of Labour MPS, including leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, yesterday lodged an early day motion calling on the government to publish the employment and support allowance (ESA) death statistics.

DLA can be claimed by children in hospital thanks to Cameron Mathieson’s extraordinary parents
Many hundreds of children who have to spend long periods in hospital will remain entitled to disability living allowance (DLA), in spite of what the regulations say, the Supreme Court decided last week.

ESA work component likely to stay for current incapacity benefit claimants
Following yesterday’s budget, the Welfare Reform and Work Bill has now been published.

PIP and DLA spared, but ‘perverse incentives’ for ESA claimants axed
Today’s budget does not include any cuts, taxes or uprating freezes for personal independence payment (PIP) or disability living allowance (DLA), much to the relief of disabled claimants.

Which benefits are being frozen for four years?
In today’s budget, George Osborne announced a four year freeze in working age benefits from April 2016.

Terminally ill asked how long they will take to die by PIP assessors
Labour MP Frank Field has written to Iain Duncan Smith to complain that terminally ill constituents are being asked by personal independence payment (PIP) assessors what date they expect to be dead by, the Guardian reports.

Leaked DWP plan to abolish ESA WRAG and alter support group
The BBC has obtained a leaked document which shows that the government is considering abolishing the work-related activity group (WRAG) of employment and support allowance.

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 result
“Hi guys, i rang DWP today to ask if they could give me any idea when my claim from, dla to pip would be. I was shocked, my claim had already been dealt with. I was not expecting that, it was only 2 wks ago from my home assessment. Im certainly not complaining, .I have been awarded both care and mobility for 4 yrs. Thank goodness its all over. I would like to say a massive thank you for all the help and great advise taken from the site, i couldnt of done it without all the info. thanks so much guys”

PIP Appeal Allowed!!
“Hi B & W…Just back from PIP appeal . Gruelling to say the least!! …I did have a rep, who said i should appeal. I did. And today the appeal was allowed!!
I want to thank B&W for all the help , because thou I did have a rep, there is still a lot of personal input you have to put in, your guides , info, forum and help are so well worth it.!!
The whole process is hard. But i am really glad I persevered…if anyone reading this has any doubts , go for it, nothing ventured nothing gained… Thank you again !!”

PIP Tribunal Success
“Just got back from my PIP Tribunal hearing. I went from only having 2 points for dressing, to receiving Standard Rate for both Daily Living and Mobility…Thank you to everyone on here for answering all of my questions. My award was made for 2 years…Thank you again”

PIP Success
“Hi there I've been awarded Pip until 2017 ... I was very surprised I got both enhanced . So thank you”

ESA Tribunal Success
“Hi guys, I wanted to let you know that my mum’s tribunal was today........and it was successful. She was put into the support group for ESA!!! I would like to say a big thank you for all the help that I received via B&W in the run up. The guides you provide are very helpful too. But I have to say a very very big thank you to [the moderators], for taking the time to answer my many questions, with such great advice… I just wanted to say thank you and to give some hope to others in the same boat.”

PIP Appeal Success!
“Had an appeal 15th June for PIP, was originally awarded no points for anything …won the appeal but only got standard rate mobility. Thanks to the site as I would of got nothing if it wasnt for the reports and letters you put on here…. I have to say i found the appeal really tough and was shocked to get anything! So thankyou to this site, worth every penny of the subscription fee! …Without you guys things for benefits claimants would be so bleak”

“what a result”
"I am writing to tell you that due to your site I have been awarded Enhanced mobility and standard care for my problems. I had only hope to get the lower rate of mobility so what a result. I feel like it's worth living again to have somewhere to turn to get such valuable advice and assistance. I will be keeping up my membership as I have now been able to get back on track and without you, this would not have been possible.
Many, many thanks for all your hard work"

“information on your website is amazing”
"Thanks to this fantastic site, i went to my appeal hearing yesterday and was awarded enhanced rate mobility ,none of this would have been possible without the help of benefits and work, your information on your website is amazing, i would urge anyone who is appealing or going through a process of applying for PIP to join up it is money well spent. Thanks for all the help, I would not have won without you."

“higher rate mobility and care”
"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!!!"

“money well spent”
"I have just had my Tribunal today.I have suffered from Idiopathic Hypersomnolence for the better part of 2 decades, it's effect on me currently means that I sleep 5 days out of 7 and rely on very powerful stimulant medication on the 2 days that I am active.The Judge & Tribunal Doctor concluded that S29 & S35 of the ESA Regs applied and they would recommend that I be placed in the 'Support Group'.6 mths ago I had a Health Assessment by an ATOS 'Nurse' (soon to be on the receiving end of a professional competence complaint with the NMC). I scored a big fat Zero.
She pretty much dismissed all my evidence & told me that there was no reason why I should not be able to work.
I found the Benefits & Work information sheets very helpful when structuring my appeal - money well spent!


Good luck,

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