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Tiny fall in ESA numbers underlines IB to ESA transfer failure

The number of people in receipt of employment and support allowance (ESA) or incapacity benefit (IB) is set to fall according to the DWP’s early estimates for July 2015, released today. But the fall is tiny and once again raises doubts about the entire IB to ESA transfer process.

According to the latest figures, the number of people in receipt of ESA/IB has fallen from 2,525,000 to 2,515,000 between June and July 2015, after three months when numbers had remained the same.

However, the fall is well under 1% of the total number of claimants.

Moreover, with the transfer of incapacity benefit claimants to ESA nearing its long drawn out end, it is clear that it has been a massive failure in terms of cutting claimant numbers.

Migration began with pilots in October 2010, but didn’t get going properly until 2011. In May 2011 there were 2,570,220 ESA/IB claimant.

So, to date, the claimant count has fallen by less than 2% over the course of almost the entire ESA to IB transfer. And, in reality, it’s entirely possible that numbers would have dropped by at least that amount without any intervention by the government.

So, the real question is: how many lives has such a paltry cut in claimant numbers cost?


#5 Jim Allison 2015-09-20 17:11
A Senior Coroner has demanded that the government takes action to prevent future deaths of disability benefit claimants, after concluding in a “ground-breakin g” inquest verdict that a disabled man killed himself as a direct result of being found “fit for work”.

It is believed to be the first time that a coroner has blamed the work capability assessment (WCA) process for directly causing the death of a claimant.

Disabled activists believe it could prove a huge breakthrough in the fight against the government’s welfare reforms, and the battle to scrap the loathed fitness-for-wor k test and replace it with a more humane and less dangerous assessment.

In a report sent to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the senior coroner for inner north London, Mary Hassell, said “the trigger” for the suicide was the man being found fit for work by the department.

Responding to her concerns, in a document marked “OFFICIAL – SENSITIVE”, DWP claimed that its policy on how to respond to such cases “regrettably was not followed in this case”.

Full story at http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/coroners-ground-breaking-verdict-suicide-was-triggered-by-fit-for-work-test/

Disability News Service is run by Journalist John Pring who has mental health problems himself is a leading campaigner for disabled people and frequently post on Benefits & Work.

Well done John, for publishing this tragic story.

DWP said in its response to the Coroner’s report: “While the Department is committed to continuously improving processes for this group wherever possible, with such a large numbers [sic] of people involved in this system there will inevitably be instances where processes are not conducted in line with the stated policy.”
+2 #4 westy 2015-09-18 16:23
The witch hunt will continue until they reach their financial targets, at the cost of the sick who don't have the strength to fight back. We need some heroes to step up the mark and fight our corner.
B&W is a God send, but some Conservative Ministers who can REALLY see what is happening, are needed.
+4 #3 Bill24chev 2015-09-17 14:03
Maybe the figures for number of claimants dying was wrong and 10000 claimants stopped getting ESA because they died
+3 #2 stuart52 2015-09-17 13:59
So many people have died…so many due to pressure and cruelty from ATOS/DWP have taken their lives…and for what? so many have been put through what we have always known as a cruel and unfair regime, from day 1 the IB/ESA transfer regime always had a sinister aim, despite the government rhetoric ESA in my opinion never was about supporting claimants into suitable work, it was always about eventual money saving, the goal posts have been moved several times to make it harder to get, now in 2017 as we know the WRAG premium goes which proves my point about money saving,from a claimants point of view can we name just 1 good thing about ESA? the bottom line will be at the end of the transfer process the same number of claimants that would have been on IB anyway will be on ESA but with a drastic reduction in money, just how many more will lose their life as a result of this failed regime? and it looks as if the same will apply to PIP, again a planned sinister regime,
+3 #1 vision 2015-09-17 12:05
They will be "Moving the goalposts" yet again to achieve their target cuts, plan A hasn't quite worked so plan B.That is all it is about saving money for themselves.
Hopefully Jeremy Corbyn, new leader of labour will oppose these monsters. Someone has to stand up to these bully boys

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