Login FormClose

Free ESA, PIP and DLA Updates

With over 140,000 subscribers our fortnightly updates bulletin is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Get the facts about what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare.   Get your free benefits updates now.

Professional Members

We support both claimants and professionals.  These are just some of the organisations who have subscribed to Benefits and Work:

  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Spinal Injuries Association
  • Chesterfield Law Centre
  • Coventry Mind
  • Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Colchester Borough Council Welfare Rights

Read more

Should the EU referendum matter to claimants?

Confronted with Iain Duncan Smith and Boris Johnson in the Leave camp and David Cameron and George Osborne on the Stay side, many claimants may find themselves hating the thought of taking any part in the EU referendum.

But, setting possibly odious personalities aside, which result do you believe is going to be in the best interests of claimants?

Should we stay or should we go now?
If we leave the EU is it likely that the Tory party will be able to make life even harder for claimants and carers?

Will workers’ rights be even more comprehensively eroded, so that if you are sick or disabled there will be even less protection against discrimination in the workplace?

The European Court of Justice has made some pro-claimant decisions, such as allowing UK claimants to take some benefits abroad. But would being unable to access this court have any great effect on your future.

The European Court of Human Rights is not part of the EU, but once out of the EU it is possible that the Tories would feel better able to try to limit the ECHR’s power to interfere in UK domestic matters, including the rights of sick and disabled people. Would that make any difference to your life?

And do you think that business will suffer if we leave, so that there is even less tax money available to the state and even more calls to cut benefits?

Or do you think that the EU is sucking money out of the UK and that staying in means there is less cash and more pressure for austerity cuts?

Would the ability to limit the free movement of workers, by leaving the EU, mean that there would be more jobs available for UK citizens, so employers would be more likely to consider employing sick and disabled applicants?

We all know that payment of benefits to claimants from outside the UK makes the right wing press foam with rage and possibly increases the level of prejudice against all benefits claimants. Would there be less hatred towards sick and disabled people if we left the EU and the press had fewer opportunities to run anti-claimant stories?

And - getting back to personalities – if the Leave campaign does win, will that make Iain Duncan Smith even more powerful and even more free to indulge his cruellest instincts towards claimants?

On the other hand, if the Stay campaign succeeds, will that mean George Osborne is most likely to take over from Cameron and is he to be feared even more than IDS?

What will you do?
After the unexpected awfulness of the last election result, it would be no surprise if claimants were increasingly reluctant to vote this time around. But is the decision on 23 June too important for the future of sick and disabled claimants to leave it to other people to decide for you?.

So, will you vote and, if so, which way will you go – Stay or Leave?

Comments  

+2 #112 Moxie 2016-03-23 16:39
To me the vote to stay in if your disabled, that I have heard about on email received from this site is flawed.

To say the government can be stopped by EU if they bully and pick on disabled is wrong the changes and proposed changes all happened while we are still in EU and I heard of no protests from Europe.

The changes proposed in budget were voted out and IDS resigned all done with no help from EU .

I think some forget how the British can stick their feet in and protest as good as anyone when seriously wronged as we have seen .

I don't think IDS would want DWP job if Cameron was voted out and I think Boris will be next leader not current chancellor .
#111 David 2016-03-22 20:35
Keeping the lid firmly on the bile bucket .. of party politics or the lack of them
.
This in /out thing.
Are we supposed to follow the Eu mantra and harmonize all things fiscal .
I know a few years ago we had price harmonization in all manner of goods , suddenly things became more expensive over night .

So my thoughts are will we haver to follow the Eu blindly in social benefits ..

Perhaps seeing a decrease in the levels we currently enjoy so the social benefits are the same value throughout the EU .

OR

Will we see each member country set an agreed ratio that's related to the average wage earnt in that country .

Or
Will we ( not a cat in hells chance ??? ) see the EU force the UK to implement and increase social welfare benefits .?

Another thing that comes to mind after talking to a war pensioner yesterday .

Do most other EU countries do as the UK and include war disablement pension awards as a social welfare benefit rather than as compensation for injuries received in the service of the country?

Depending on the true answers , I guess many disabled & other folk on benefits on low incomes in a certain direction .


Any practical thoughts without any of the usual political bile & yorping folks ? .
+1 #110 maggie21 2016-03-20 17:53
Quoting Bill24chev:
When Politicians, usually Tory,say "we want to restore the sovereignty of Parliament" what they really mean is EU directives and the ECJ put a brake on them introducing their reactionary and ideological policies.

I suspect if they could some Tories would bring back the Poor Law and the workhouse.

Don't be a turkey that votes for Christmas!!


No I promise I won't be a turkey. That's why I fully intend to vote OUT of EU. What all politicians fail to tell you (apart from the truth) is that the welfare cuts are EU driven. All European countries are being pressured to harmonise welfare systems (amongst other things) as part of the push for ever closer union.

It stands to reason that as not all countries have the money to reach even our standard that we will all be pressured to bring welfare down tot he lowest common denominator. In other words we still have a long way to fall before we get to where Europe wants us to be.

It doesn't matter who is in power here the welfare cuts will happen in some way or other. Our only option is to vote OUT of EU. Then get rid of the nasty party and elect a party that actually cares about the sick, disabled and vulnerable, which basically means anyone except the Tories.

Being a turkey is voting to stay in the EU because that way is guaranteed to bring on more welfare cuts with even less possibility of protesting or doing anything about it.
+1 #109 maggie21 2016-03-20 16:40
Quoting Bill24chev:
When Politicians, usually Tory,say "we want to restore the sovereignty of Parliament" what they really mean is EU directives and the ECJ put a brake on them introducing their reactionary and ideological policies.

I suspect if they could some Tories would bring back the Poor Law and the workhouse.

Don't be a turkey that votes for Christmas!!


No I promise I won't be a turkey. That's why I fully intend to vote OUT of EU. The EU does nothing to curb the excesses of the Tories, they are behind them. What all politicians fail to tell you (apart from the truth) is that the welfare cuts are EU driven. All European countries are being pressured to harmonise welfare systems (amongst other things) as part of the push for ever closer union.

It stands to reason that as not all countries have the money to reach even our standard that we will all be pressured to bring welfare down tot he lowest common denominator. In other words we still have a long way to fall before we get to where Europe wants us to be.

It doesn't matter who is in power here the welfare cuts will happen in some way or other. Our only option is to vote OUT of EU. Then get rid of the nasty party and elect a party that actually cares about the sick, disabled and vulnerable, which basically means anyone except the Tories.

Being a turkey is voting to stay in the EU because that way is guaranteed to bring on more welfare cuts with even less possibility of protesting or doing anything about it.
-1 #108 Bill24chev 2016-03-20 11:45
When Politicians, usually Tory,say "we want to restore the sovereignty of Parliament" what they really mean is EU directives and the ECJ put a brake on them introducing their reactionary and ideological policies.

I suspect if they could some Tories would bring back the Poor Law and the workhouse.

Don't be a turkey that votes for Christmas!!
+1 #107 tintack 2016-03-07 22:20
Quoting Asbo:
Very good points, tintack. When the 'other side' are reduced to abusive insults you have to doubt the strength of their arguments. I certainly switch off once the abusive comments start flying...


So do I. I can't understand why people do it; it never ends well.
+1 #106 tintack 2016-03-07 22:11
Quoting Asbo:
I didn't mention that bit Tintack, as I thought most people would be aware of that. But that aside as I don't wish to get into a big debate about the politics of New Labour but this is why I chose the word 'even'. Even New Labour brought in free access to legal aid for benefit issues, there was a £28 supplement for disabled people on JSA and a supplement for 50 plusses for Disability Tax Credits. They also introduced Tax Credits which the government are hellbent on slashing and replacing with a derisory rise in the Minimum Wage which they are conning the populous into believing is a living wage. Yeah right. In 2020 £9 an hour will be even more pathetic...it wouldn't even be a LW if it was introduced tomorrow...


Yes, fair point. Of all New Labour's social security policies it's the WCA which has had by far the biggest impact on people here, and that impact has obviously been extremely negative. As a result it's easy to overlook some of their other, more benign measures, and you're right to point them out. The usual objection to Working Tax Credits is that they have been exploited by unscrupulous employers, who have been paying low wages which they knew would be topped up by WTCs, but to be fair, New Labour probably introduced them with good intentions.
#105 Asbo 2016-03-07 15:46
Quoting Richard Gregory:
Let's have some actual fact here, shall we? The welfare reforms were initially promised by Gordon Brown and then carried out by IDS, who took the reforms further. Why did we need the reforms? Because Blair and Brown shoved loads of claimants onto Incapacity Benefit to make the unemployment figures look good. The EU has absolutely nothing to do with our welfare system so it doesn't matter if we are in or out. The EU won't come to the rescue of the sick and disabled of this country, as they simply don't give a toss! The welfare system and welfare reform has absolutely zero bearing on whether or not one should vote IN or OUT, as this government will continue it's plan either way. The EU will be too busy saving it's own sorry arse to worry about ours. I am afraid too many people here live in a state of EU delusion.


Actually it is you who are wrong with your facts. It was Thatcher who started the trend of throwing people onto Incapacity Benefit way before New Labour. It was Peter Lilley and Michael Portillo who started the serious business of welfare reform back in the early 90s.
+2 #104 Asbo 2016-03-07 15:44
Quote:
When I read some of the comments here (and elsewhere) I really do fear for the future of Britain If people are going to get involved with political commentary then those same people should actually do some research and then form an intelligent argument based on that research....

If you want a grown up discussion it might have been better not to make comments like this:

Quote:
When I read some of the comments here (and elsewhere) I really do fear for the future of Britain
or this;

Quote:
I really am gobsmacked by the idiotic notion that a vote can be decided upon by which politician is voting what.
You do yourself no favours by throwing insults around like this.
Very good points, tintack. When the 'other side' are reduced to abusive insults you have to doubt the strength of their arguments. I certainly switch off once the abusive comments start flying...
-1 #103 Asbo 2016-03-07 15:41
[quote name="tintack
"]Quoting Asbo:
[quote name="Keith Smith"]To continue;

I agree with you except for the bolded bit. It was toward the end of New Labour's term in office that the WCA was introduced. I have no doubt the Tories would have introduced it too - the fact that they've been only too happy to continue with it shows that - but it's still a huge stain on New Labour's record.


I didn't mention that bit Tintack, as I thought most people would be aware of that. But that aside as I don't wish to get into a big debate about the politics of New Labour but this is why I chose the word 'even'. Even New Labour brought in free access to legal aid for benefit issues, there was a £28 supplement for disabled people on JSA and a supplement for 50 plusses for Disability Tax Credits. They also introduced Tax Credits which the government are hellbent on slashing and replacing with a derisory rise in the Minimum Wage which they are conning the populous into believing is a living wage. Yeah right. In 2020 £9 an hour will be even more pathetic...it wouldn't even be a LW if it was introduced tomorrow...
-1 #102 tintack 2016-03-06 21:59
Quote:
I am afraid too many people here live in a state of EU delusion
Ah, first you deride other people's contributions as idiotic, now apparently they're delusional as well. Charming. I suppose this is another example of "proper, grown up discussion" at its finest.

Quoting Richard Gregory:
Tin Tack, I am as entitled to my opinion, as are you or anyone else. My comments were based on information in the posts... people HAVE stated that they would or wouldn't vote based on what politician is voting which way.


Of course you're entitled to your opinion. No-one has suggested otherwise. But if you're going to lob juvenile insults at other people while simultaneously lambasting them for a supposed lack of grown up discussion, you can hardly complain if such a manifestly indefensible double standard is noticed.

And no, people aren't basing their vote simply on a dislike of politicians on the other side of the argument, it's the policy agenda of those politicians and how Brexit might further enable them to implement that agenda. Nor do such concerns necessarily even have to be restricted to the impact on welfare policy. There are other areas such as workers' rights which may well suffer if the Tories are "liberated" from the "shackles" of the EU.

Quote:
As I do not wish to enter further into negative debate I shall end my involvement here.
Richard, if you don't want negative debate, don't call people delusional idiots. It's not complicated.
-1 #101 Richard Gregory 2016-03-06 01:08
Tin Tack, I am as entitled to my opinion, as are you or anyone else. My comments were based on information in the posts... people HAVE stated that they would or wouldn't vote based on what politician is voting which way. That is a scary prospect, as people would be wasting a vote based on a personality. Whilst I am an OUTER in this referendum, I could have been swayed by sensible debate, which I have failed to see. Both my wife and I are victims of the IDS hate campaign, however, I am not naive enough to believe that in or out would make a jot of difference. If it did then IDS would not have got this far. Only the UN has instigated an investigation, of which we would still be a member. Where has the EU been in the last 5 years? I see much argument based on fear, which I can understand, however, it isn't useful. People need fact. To get facts, one needs to seek them. It's no good listening to politicians or the tabloid press, all of whom have their own agenda to push. There is an awful lot of misinformation being sprouted by both sides, however, as far as I can tell, most of it is from the IN campaign. There is much unbiased information available, as has been shown by some of the comments here. As I do not wish to enter further into negative debate I shall end my involvement here.
-1 #100 Richard Gregory 2016-03-06 00:24
Let's have some actual fact here, shall we? The welfare reforms were initially promised by Gordon Brown and then carried out by IDS, who took the reforms further. Why did we need the reforms? Because Blair and Brown shoved loads of claimants onto Incapacity Benefit to make the unemployment figures look good. The EU has absolutely nothing to do with our welfare system so it doesn't matter if we are in or out. The EU won't come to the rescue of the sick and disabled of this country, as they simply don't give a toss! The welfare system and welfare reform has absolutely zero bearing on whether or not one should vote IN or OUT, as this government will continue it's plan either way. The EU will be too busy saving it's own sorry arse to worry about ours. I am afraid too many people here live in a state of EU delusion.
-1 #99 tintack 2016-03-04 19:29
Quoting Asbo:
Quoting Keith Smith:
To continue;

If we vote out we will have challenges; but they will be our challenges. We will regain control of our economy, of our justice system, of our welfare system a and much more.


Sorry Keith, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, if it were the Labour and/or Greens wanting out then I might trust that being in control of our welfare system etc were a good thing. But the government are in control of it now...it's little to do with the EU and everything to do with the Tories wanting to cut the welfare state and take us back to the days of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists where there were only 'the charities' and 'rights' and 'entitlements' were still a faraway dream. We have fought long and hard for these things but it is consensus post-war politics that has got us a decent welfare state which includes the NHS. Having 'control' of all these things doesn't make the powers-that-be fair. Even New Labour gave us access to justice and a much fairer benefits system so it's easy to hide behind the EU as the root of all our problems and if we could only be free of the monster...the truth is that this government especially and other governments around the world care more about pandering to the corporates and the bankers. Yes, that may be partly tied up with the EU or should I say the EU is probably a reflection of the times but it's naive to think that coming out will mean a fresh new world. The EU is also more than the monetary side


I agree with you except for the bolded bit. It was toward the end of New Labour's term in office that the WCA was introduced. I have no doubt the Tories would have introduced it too - the fact that they've been only too happy to continue with it shows that - but it's still a huge stain on New Labour's record.
-1 #98 tintack 2016-03-04 16:41
Quoting Richard Gregory:
Well done Keith Smith for a sensible and valid viewpoint. I really am gobsmacked by the idiotic notion that a vote can be decided upon by which politician is voting what. Preposterous! Are people really going to decide the future of our nation based on a personality?


No, it's the policy agenda of those in power advocating Brexit that has people worried, and the fear that Brexit would allow them to take that agenda even further. Should that happen, people on here would probably be on the receiving end of the consequences. It's a perfectly valid concern.

Quote:
When I read some of the comments here (and elsewhere) I really do fear for the future of Britain If people are going to get involved with political commentary then those same people should actually do some research and then form an intelligent argument based on that research. Yes I have commented on here... several times... but I actually follow politics and have an opinion based on something other than the views of the gutter tabloids. There are some good political discussion programmes worth a look, if you really want to understand what is going on. Andrew Neil's programmes and Andrew Marr are quite informative, as is Question Time. Have a look for a few weeks or so and then come back and comment and we can have a proper grown up discussion.
If you want a grown up discussion it might have been better not to make comments like this:

Quote:
When I read some of the comments here (and elsewhere) I really do fear for the future of Britain
or this;

Quote:
I really am gobsmacked by the idiotic notion that a vote can be decided upon by which politician is voting what.
You do yourself no favours by throwing insults around like this.
#97 Richard Gregory 2016-03-03 23:47
Well done Keith Smith for a sensible and valid viewpoint. I really am gobsmacked by the idiotic notion that a vote can be decided upon by which politician is voting what. Preposterous! Are people really going to decide the future of our nation based on a personality? When I read some of the comments here (and elsewhere) I really do fear for the future of Britain. If people are going to get involved with political commentary then those same people should actually do some research and then form an intelligent argument based on that research. Yes I have commented on here... several times... but I actually follow politics and have an opinion based on something other than the views of the gutter tabloids. There are some good political discussion programmes worth a look, if you really want to understand what is going on. Andrew Neil's programmes and Andrew Marr are quite informative, as is Question Time. Have a look for a few weeks or so and then come back and comment and we can have a proper grown up discussion.
+1 #96 David 2016-03-03 23:12
Quote:
Quoting David:
Quote:
Quoting David:
Quote:
Quoting David:
Quoting Stripes64:


I think you will find that France now makes all resident Brits pay for health care as of about 3 years ago .it is only the Brit tourists who get NHS assisted health care using the NHS card till they are able to return to the UK



By no means. Basically, if you are an SRP or in receipt of invalidity benefit (in the present form of ESA....was Incap Ben) you are entitled to join the French equivalent of the NHS and access its benefits free of charge. You can travel anywhere in the EU using your EHIC card.
.

So my big bro Bill now very infirm and needing a full time carer , has taken up residence near Carcason he can use the Fench system with an NHS card ..
He said he was not entitled to an NHS card due to being a resident in France . He said that the rules changes several months before he & his wife took up residence.


If he is in one of the ESA support groups due to his infirmity, he is entitled to an S1 form (he has to request this from the UK but is a straightforward process as it is not open to DWP fiddling - he can get it by right because he is a European). He should present the S1 to his local CPAM to gain entrance to the French health service at 100%. This will continue until his ESA ceases (or if the UK votes to leave the EU). Hope this will help him.
Apologies I missed out that , Big bro Bill is 70 & retired ..... so no ESA ????
:lol: If Big bro Bill is 70, is he an SRP? If so he is entitled to an S1 in perpetuity (or until the UK votes to leave the EU). GB will pay his medical costs at 100% if he has a medical condition. I suggest he applies asap......best of luck!
Thanks I'll Skype with him . Cheers .
#95 David 2016-03-03 23:04
Quoting Keith Smith:
[quote name="tintack


If ESA were reduced to the same level as JSA, it would no longer take account of the extra costs associated with living with a long-term illness or disability. I just wonder if this might be the thing which IDS is so desperate to do which he can't under EU law? I may be totally wrong, but it sounds horribly plausible.


Sorry tintack, I know none of us trust IDS' motives but here it's not his idea. Britain (and some other countries) are under pressure to harmonise welfare systems. Unfortunately as one of the 'wealthier' countries of the EU this means our system will get much worse until we are at the level the poorest countries in the EU can sustain.
What you can claim for will end up the same in all EU countries; How much the individual receives will be a multiplier based on the size of the nations GDP.
Whoever is in No. 10 this will happen eventually, or at least as long as we are in the EUDavid Charter

Rather than try and take in loads of spin & lies & political biases I've purchased a book titled " Europe In or Out " ,by David Charter , my Kindle for a fiver . It's bang update with the facts and figures as well right up to 1 March 2016 . Charter is a journalist who had been doing EU & German political coverage ,.he's no fool either .

It's really very informative gives an even balance to things and has some surprising articles ..it's split into section to make it easier to read and is very factual
Some folks will enjoy it , others will groan and delete it as it is a bit heavy to comprehend all in one go first time round .it took me about five hours to red it . Second time round will be a lot easier as I'll have some idea of what's in the book and an understanding of certain things that I never had before.
#94 tintack 2016-03-03 22:40
Quoting Keith Smith:
Sorry tintack, I know none of us trust IDS' motives but here it's not his idea. Britain (and some other countries) are under pressure to harmonise welfare systems. Unfortunately as one of the 'wealthier' countries of the EU this means our system will get much worse until we are at the level the poorest countries in the EU can sustain.
What you can claim for will end up the same in all EU countries; How much the individual receives will be a multiplier based on the size of the nations GDP.
Whoever is in No. 10 this will happen eventually, or at least as long as we are in the EU


I'm sorry, I just don't buy this. Our level of benefits has been among the lowest in Western Europe for many, many years, well before the EU existed in its current form, and even now the levels in countries like France and Germany are far more generous. Yes, it's true that there have been cuts since the 2008 crash, but there's little sign of those countries implementing a UK-style welfare state. Nor were the likes of Cameron and Osborne forced to target people on benefits to "balance the books" - that was a choice entirely in tune with their long-held ideology, and indeed that of their party. Those in the Tory party who are most obsessed with getting out of the EU are invariably also those who want the most savage benefit cuts. That's not a coincidence.

No, I think we can quite rightly blame IDS. He's made it clear that he's on a personal crusade to "reform" welfare, indeed Universal Credit is his "big idea", as he's always happy to tell anyone willing to listen. We didn't get the nightmare of Atos and the WCA because they were forced on us by the EU, but because of long-standing links between very senior staff at Unum in the US, Atos and the DWP. Blaming the EU for this is quite wrong - the blame lies much closer to home.
#93 Asbo 2016-03-03 20:07
Quoting Keith Smith:
To continue;

If we vote out we will have challenges; but they will be our challenges. We will regain control of our economy, of our justice system, of our welfare system a and much more.


Sorry Keith, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, if it were the Labour and/or Greens wanting out then I might trust that being in control of our welfare system etc were a good thing. But the government are in control of it now...it's little to do with the EU and everything to do with the Tories wanting to cut the welfare state and take us back to the days of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists where there were only 'the charities' and 'rights' and 'entitlements' were still a faraway dream. We have fought long and hard for these things but it is consensus post-war politics that has got us a decent welfare state which includes the NHS. Having 'control' of all these things doesn't make the powers-that-be fair. Even New Labour gave us access to justice and a much fairer benefits system so it's easy to hide behind the EU as the root of all our problems and if we could only be free of the monster...the truth is that this government especially and other governments around the world care more about pandering to the corporates and the bankers. Yes, that may be partly tied up with the EU or should I say the EU is probably a reflection of the times but it's naive to think that coming out will mean a fresh new world. The EU is also more than the monetary side

You need to be logged in to comment