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9 March 2016 Update

ESA Cuts Go Ahead Plus Help Get Justice For Claimant Killed By Sanctions

Thank you so very much on behalf of my son!
“After a few weeks of anxious wait, we finally received our DLA to PIP transfer letter, awarding our 16 yr old son with Down Syndrome the enhanced rate for both care and mobility until 2026!!!!
I can honestly say that this would NOT have happened without the help of this site. I followed its advice to the letter and my son was given the maximum award, which is ten years.
The key feature of this site is that it helps you 'think outside the box' when filling in the application. Without its guidance I wouldnt have thought of putting down half the details I did, which obviously made the difference between receiving the standard or the enhanced rate. Thank you so very much on behalf of my son !”

 

Dear Reader,

Employment and support allowance (ESA) cuts for new claimants are to go ahead after the government finally won its battle with the House of Lords yesterday.

The Tories want to reduce ESA payments for claimants in the work-related activity (WRAG) group by £30 a week, bringing them down to the same level as JSA. They believe this will encourage WRAG claimants, such as those with degenerative diseases or serious mental health conditions, to go out and find work.

Twice the House of Lords voted down the changes, but yesterday the government finally got its way after declaring that the measures were covered by financial privilege rules.

The cuts will be introduced in April 2017, with the DWP claiming that no current ESA claimants will be affected.

Help get justice for sanctions victim
David ClapsonThe sister of David Clapson, an ex-forces claimant who died after his benefits were sanctioned is asking for your help to get justice for him.

David died in 2013. An inquest found that he died with no food in his stomach and no money to pay for electricity to power his fridge and keep his insulin cool.

David’s JSA had been sanctioned for a month because he missed two meetings. He was a vulnerable man and unwell, but too private and proud to ask for help when his benefits were stopped.

His sister, Gill Thompson, has fought tirelessly to publicise his case and that of other claimants who have suffered and died because of benefits sanctions.

She has already managed to get over 200,000 signatures on a change.org petition which led to an parliamentary select committee inquiry into sanctions.

Now she is trying to raise £10,000 to get legal help to hold an investigation/inquest into his death. After only a week she is just over £1,000 short of her target.

She is also supporting today’s day of action against benefits sanctions.

Appeal numbers drop, Atos costs rise
In other news, there has been an 80% drop in benefits appeals. But the DWP expect numbers to rise sharply as a result of the forced move from disability living allowance to personal independence payment.

And many claimants will be concerned by a new pilot scheme to put DWP funded job coaches in GPs surgeries and even give them the power to write entries in patients’ medical records.

On a cheerier note, lots of people will be delighted to learn that the a select committee is to launch an investigation into all the government accounts held by Atos, including the PIP assessment contract.

The investigation was prompted by the spiralling costs of a contract to develop an IT system to extract and sell data from GP practices. The committee said that Atos: “appears to have acted solely with its own short-term best interests in mind”

For the lucky few ESA claimants who are able to do some work and can find an employer, the news that people in the work-related activity group will soon be able to do higher limit permitted work for an unlimited period, instead of stopping after 52 weeks, will be very welcome.

But, for the vast majority of ESA claimants, we suspect it will make no difference at all.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

PIP award
“Got my award letter today and been awarded enhanced daily living and standard mobility till 2018,it is a weight off my shoulders and a huge relief for me, thank you to benefits and work for all the advice.”

Benefits and Work covers

BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
Success at last!
“Just returned from ESA Tribunal - my partner has been moved from work related activities into the support group! Relief and tears all round and many thanks to this site, which helped me prepare.”

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BENEFITS NEWS
ESA cuts passed by House of Lords today
The House of Lords this afternoon gave its assent to a cut of £30 per week for new claimants in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of employment and support allowance (ESA) yesterday.

Help get justice for a claimant killed by sanctions
The sister of an ex-forces claimant who died after his benefits were sanctioned is asking for your help to get justice for him.

Maximus accused of unreasonable ESA targets by former assessor
A doctor who trained in psychiatry and then worked for Maximus as an employment and support allowance (ESA) assessor has claimed that the company set unrealistic targets for the speed at which assessments had to be carried out.

Government to review all Atos contracts
The Cabinet is to review Atos’ performance in every one of its government contracts worth more than £10 million, the Guardian has reported. This will include the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment contracts won by Atos.

ESA cuts to go ahead as Lords back down
The BBC is reporting that the House of Lords is to back down from its opposition to government plans to cut £30 per week from the benefit of new claimants in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of employment and support allowance (ESA).

Claimants to march on GP surgery that is giving space to the DWP
Angry claimants are to march on one of six GP surgeries in Islington that is to embed DWP funded Remploy job coaches in its practice, the Guardian is reporting.

ESA permitted work time limit to be abolished
Lord Freud has announced that employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants in the work-related activity group (WRAG) will be able to do higher limit permitted work for an unlimited period, instead of stopping after 52 weeks.

Lords block ESA cuts again
The government was once again heavily defeated in the House of Lords over plans to cut £30 per week from the benefit of new claimants in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of employment and support allowance (ESA) yesterday.

80% fall in social security appeals
The latest annual report from the Senior President of Tribunals, released last week, reveals that there has been a dramatic 80% fall in the number of social security and child support (SSCS) appeal tribunals.

 

GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUM
Benefits and Work coversAs 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.

Thank you B&W
“Thank you so much to everyone at B&W. My daughter (full lower limb amputee +stroke) has just been awarded enhanced PiP for both care & mobility for 3 years. Could not have done it without the support of the Guides etc… thanks to B&W excellent publications.. We are so relieved as it is so stressful just to have to prove the level of difficulties caused through cancer & a stroke. THANK YOU and keep up the good work.”

ESA awarded at Tribunal
“I was awarded ESA based on the 15 points which I had argued for at my Tribunal today - I am so relieved and would like to thank this site and forum for your help… Many thanks for your assistance”

PIP awarded – thank you B&W
“Thanks to the forum moderators and the guides, my husband's transition from DLA to PIP has been successful, cheers...Many thanks and best wishes to all.”

PIP result
“After a few weeks of anxious wait, we finally received our DLA to PIP transfer letter, awarding our 16 yr old son with Down Syndrome the enhanced rate for both care and mobility until 2026!!!!
I can honestly say that this would NOT have happened without the help of this site. I followed its advice to the letter and my son was given the maximum award, which is ten years.
The key feature of this site is that it helps you 'think outside the box' when filling in the application. Without its guidance I wouldnt have thought of putting down half the details I did, which obviously made the difference between receiving the standard or the enhanced rate. Thank you so very much on behalf of my son !”


Good news PIP assessment
“HI, I had an assessment for DLA (previously awarded indefinitely in 1988) to Pip on 9th February. It was long and stressful. I'm extremely relieved to say the decision arrived today and I've retained everything that I had with the award being for an 'ongoing period'. I am so pleased and thank you for all the wonderful advice in the guides…Thanks again for all the great advice you give, it helps to read what's said to other people too .”

PIP awarded without medical
“Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice on this site as the dreaded brown envelope arrived today and my son has been awarded PIP standard rate without a medical for 2 years, he suffers from a mental health condition and I am sure without reading all the advice on here he wouldn't have been and we would be looking at an appeal. I feel so relieved and this will make such a difference to his life, thanks again”

PIP result – thank you
“This is a BIG thank you message for everyone on the forum who have all been so supportive of me… and also a BIG thank you to the mods and everyone else associated with benefitsandwork. I had a home visit and I got the enhanced rate for care which was amazing - thank you…. Given what I have read here about how harsh they are with assessing PIP, I am just thankful for getting enhanced care. I could not have carried on without it, and I am so grateful for the advice I got here. You genuinely saved my life.”

PIP award
“Just wanted to say my husband got his letter today he has waited 4 weeks since he was seen was awarded the top rate for mobility and the highest rate for care… many thanks for all your information.”

PIP Appeal success
“Having won a pip appeal a week ago, awarded standard daily living…I was on enhanced rate, Atos medical May 2015, award withdrawn September 2015 , took jt all the way, and although I crumbled into an emotional blubbering snotty wreck I managed to get through it and awarded standard rate there and then. If it was not for this site, fb page, guides , and help from disability north with submission it would have been too overwhelming to deal with..... Thank you so much ...”

ESA reassessment success
“Hi. Thought I would share some good news. Had the dreaded ESA re-assessment convinced would be called in for "medical". Heard this morning I have been put in support group without medical. I used the help on this forum and sent in lots of evidence.”

Don’t give up
“I just wanted to say 'Hi'. I was a member here a few years ago and have recently signed up again. I really cannot thank B&W enough for the information, help & advice they have shared over the years.
THANK YOU…My heart goes out to everyone as we fight this evil system on a daily basis. It is not easy and it is so so wrong. We must carry on as good will overcome evil eventually. Stay strong”


ESA Support Group – no medical
“Thank you, thank you, thank you....................just had to fill in ESA50 again and have received confirmation I can stay in Support Group for 1 year....................was dreading the process of medical and possible appeal etc. It took 6 months last year.............it is frustrating that I have to reapply each year … However, I would have struggled much more without this site - can't thank you enough.”

PIP Appeal success
“HI Everyone . I just want to thank B&W once again for the great help and downloads since my daughter turned 16 for DLA applications and now at 22yrs for PIP we lost higher mobility and middle care DLA we were awarded standard Daily Living. PIP which we appealed, turned down. recently attended First Tier Tribunal awarded Enhanced Daily Living and Enhanced Mobility…just so many people out there are unaware of the wonderful work you all do…Please carry on your wonderful work you have been a God send to my family. Thanks Again”



BOOST YOUR PIP AND ESA CHANCES - 20% OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP – OFFER ENDS MIDNIGHT FRIDAY.
Give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right ESA, PIP or DLA decision, whether you’re making a claim, renewing an existing award or asking for a reconsideration or appeal.

Subscribe now and get instant access to all our guides.

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: 74383

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.
Offer ends midnight Friday

 

Good luck,

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