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howie
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ESA Assessment (21st Nov 11 at 1:21am UTC)
Daughter re assessed
Hi
My youngest daughter was assessed for esa about a year ago.
She gets the top rate mobility as she cannot get out unless she is in her wheelchair. She cannot walk far, so my wife and I visit once or twice a week.
She has me/cfs.
She applied for esa about a year ago. She was messed around for almost three months before they paid her.
Her doctor wrote a letter stating she would need a home visit when she got a letter stating she should attend a medical.

Finally, she was sent a letter stating her esa payment and placing her in the group where she doesn't have to look for work, nor was she in the group where they considered she could work if they helped her.

Now, she is being reassessed.
She is no better than she was almost two years ago.
I'm just wondering if this is normal procedure?

I am aware how difficult it is for a person with me/cfs to be taken seriously.
They put my daughter through a heck of a struggle before they agreed she qualified for esa.
Ian
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Re: ESA Assessment (21st Nov 11 at 11:33am UTC)
Sadly it is the case, where my local Welfare Rights unit funded by the local council can take on no cases which are not going to Tribunal and have a good chance of getting a successful outcome.
If all of this process is aimed at saving money, the question is how much is it costing to do this ? {Rolleyes}
howie
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Re: ESA Assessment (21st Nov 11 at 10:26pm UTC)
Hi Ian,

good point re supposedly saving money.
In my opinion it seems that if a person who cannot work doesnt have their benefits reduced first time, they get reassessed until their benefits are reduced.
(Way too long sentence, oops)
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Re: ESA Assessment (2nd Dec 11 at 12:41am UTC)
The "Work Capacity Assessment" second review

Disabled people are to benefit from further changes to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) following an independent review of the assessment which looks at someone’s fitness for work, Employment Minister Chris Grayling announced today.

The changes, which will further improve the system’s fairness and effectiveness, are outlined in the second independent review by Professor Malcolm Harrington.

Chris Grayling today pledged to accept Professor Harrington’s recommendations and to further consult on how best to support people with cancer.

The second Harrington Review, published today, has made substantial recommendations, which have been reached after extensive consultation with health and disability groups, including:

Introducing checks on benefit decisions to ensure fairness and consistency
Working with disability groups to help develop guidance for Atos healthcare professionals and Decision Makers
Improved support and communications for people who move onto Jobseeker’s Allowance to make sure they get the help they need
Regularly publishing data on performance and quality to improve the transparency of the face-to-face assessment

Professor Harrington said:

"My first review found that the WCA is the right concept, but that each part of the process was not working as well as it could or should. Since my last review the process has started giving people a more tailored and personal service.

"This year I have worked alongside some key health and disability organisations to make further recommendations to improve the system, especially for people with mental health and fluctuating conditions.

"I am confident that the changes being implemented are already making a real difference to people and will continue to do so."

Minister for Employment, Chris Grayling said:

"It is in everyone’s interest to get the system right. We want the assessment to be as fair and consistent as possible. This is the first step on a journey back to work for many people and we want it to be positive.

"The system is far better than it was two years ago but there are still improvements and refinements we can make.

"We are committed to helping thousands of people move from benefits and back into work. Those who are found fit for work will get the help and support they need to get a job. Those found too sick or disabled to work won’t be expected to and will continue to receive the help and support they need."

The WCA is currently being used to assess the two million people who have been claiming Incapacity Benefit. The benefit closed to new claimants in 2008, meaning that everyone receiving it has done so for over two years with 900,000 having been on the benefit for more than a decade.

Currently DWP is contacting 11,000 claimants per week to ask them for a reassessment.


http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wca-review-2011.pdf
howie
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Re: ESA Assessment (3rd Dec 11 at 5:17am UTC)
Oh no, im guilty {Sad}
I am one of the 900,000 who has been claiming incapacity benefit {Rolleyes}

Im a pariah, a drain on society {Sad}

At least i know i will be miraculously cured by ATOS
Then i will be able to hold my head up high and work 25 hours a day, 7 days a week, and be given a small pebble to suck, in lieu of wages. Until i am 65 when i might be able to retire {Confused}
Unless the retirement age is raised in the near future {Sad}
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Re: ESA Assessment (3rd Dec 11 at 10:47am UTC)
Not sure of the dates but think the master plan is retiring at 67 after they have, the women's pension age up to 65 {Lips Sealed}
Your small pebble will probably be required to pay the extra contributions needed to retire later {Unsure}
The fewer people that retire the less it costs the welfare state , Simples {Wink}
howie
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Re: ESA Assessment (3rd Dec 11 at 11:38pm UTC)
Oh no, surely they wouldnt take my small pebble from me as well {Sad}
Oh woe is me {Sad} im not sure i could carry on knowing i may not even retain ownership of my pebble {Sad}
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Re: ESA Assessment (4th Dec 11 at 1:17am UTC)
From the Institute for Fiscal Studies,

The Chancellor claimed in his Budget speech that the June 2010 Budget was a 'progressive Budget', backed up by distributional analysis in the Budget documentation that showed that tax and benefit changes due to come into effect between now and 2012-13 will hit the richest more than the poorest. IFS researchers have previously cast doubt on this claim, noting that the main measures which will lead to losses amongst better-off households were announced by the previous government, and that the reforms to be in place by 2014-15 are generally regressive. The distributional analysis in the Budget documents also excluded the effects of some cuts to housing benefit, Disability Living Allowance and tax credits that will tend to hit the bottom half of the income distribution more than the top half.

IFS research published today makes use of analysis published by the Department for Work and Pensions since the Budget, and attempts to reflect the impact of all the benefit cuts announced in the Budget. It shows that, once all of the benefit cuts are considered, the tax and benefit changes announced in the emergency Budget are clearly regressive as, on average, they hit the poorest households more than those in the upper-middle of the income distribution in cash, let alone percentage, terms.

Do not think you will be a lone beach without a pebble, if some of this comes to pass {Shocked}
(double dip recession, that will not happen....well stash some pebbles though)
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Re: ESA Assessment (4th Dec 11 at 1:57am UTC)
I have devised a cunning plan to retain ownership of my pebble
Im going to swallow it before the govt can take that as well as everything else they want {Grin} {Grin}
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Re: ESA Assessment (4th Dec 11 at 6:27am UTC)
All things will pass Howie. {Shocked} They'll get it one way or another. {Smile}
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Re: ESA Assessment (7th Dec 11 at 6:16pm UTC)
Got cancer? Get back to work

By Sarah Coles,

The government's medical tests to catch malingerers claiming disability benefits could end up forcing cancer sufferers to go through the indignity of tests and 'back to work interviews' between chemotherapy sessions.

The government said it wouldn't make it harder for sick people to get help. However, if the experts get their way, life could get even tougher for cancer patients.

Side effects
Cancer patients undergoing treatment often suffer horrific side-effects. Many feel constantly sick and others are too exhausted to get out of bed. The world watched as Jade Goody (pictured) suffered the trials of treatment.

In the past, cancer sufferers have automatically received the highest rate of employment support allowance, worth up to £100 a week. However, in a recent report, the government's adviser on medical tests for welfare claimants suggested cancer patients having intravenous chemotherapy should have to prove they are too ill to work.

Tests
Professor Malcolm Harrington's report shockingly claimed that the automatic benefits have been "encouraging wrong behaviours from employers and stigmatising cancer as something that can lead to unemployment or worklessness".

He has suggested cancer patients will have to go through the same medical fitness tests as anyone else on sickness benefits to prove they are unable to work. If they are judged not to be sick enough to deserve benefits, they will have to go to practice job interviews in order to be entitled to continue receiving the money.

Outrage
Cancer charities have been outraged. They raise serious concerns that this system is not foolproof and that seriously ill people, fighting for their lives, will also have to fight for the right to take time off to convalesce.

Ciarán Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, told the Guardian: "This shows a clear disregard and misunderstanding of what it's like to undergo punishing treatment. Patients who previously had peace of mind would face the stress and practical difficulties of getting assessed for work they are too poorly to do."

The flip side
Yet there is clearly another side to this. In just over 18 months, 9,000 cancer sufferers were automatically entitled to this benefit. That's a lot of money to give people without ascertaining their level of need.

Cancer is a single word that covers a massive range of illnesses. Each cancer is different, each treatment varies and each patient reacts in different ways. This report is simply saying that the government should be allowed to assess whether a patient is reacting in a way that means they need to be at home with their loved ones around them.

Anyone who has lived with a cancer sufferer will tell you that sometimes work is out of the question. Sometimes it's the physical effects of treatment and sometimes the mental aspects of dealing with the disease that mean they need to focus on getting well rather than anything else.

However, they will also tell you that sometimes work is a godsend. If your particular form of cancer and treatment leave you able to work, and you actively want to keep busy rather than sitting at home worrying about your health, then there is no reason why any system should force you to take more time off than you need.

But what do you think? Would you support more tests for cancer sufferers, or is this too much to ask people going through possibly the worst weeks and months of their life? Let us know in the comments.

A view from Macmillan Cancer support
http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Livingwithandaftercancer/Practicalissues/Workcancer/Workcancer.aspx

howie
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Re: ESA Assessment (8th Dec 11 at 5:05am UTC)
Having read the post re cancer sufferers, if i were in a position where my opinion mattered here it is.

As mentioned above, there are many types of cancer.
Obviously treatment etc needs to be taken into account.
If a person wants to work & is able to do so, thats his/her decision to make.
However, it is fundamentally wrong, in so many ways for anyone else to make that decision for them.(esp if that person knows nothing about them, or is being paid to decide)

Its undignified to put anyone through more stress, to tick a box & class them as fit for work.

Its also insulting to insinuate they are too lazy to work.

The truth is, everyone who is too sick to go back to work, would happily go back to their job, if we could have good heath back.
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Re: ESA Assessment (8th Dec 11 at 12:14pm UTC)
They are still going after the low hanging fruit, easy results and no chance of a fight back with people fighting for their lives {Sad}
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Re: ESA Assessment (9th Dec 11 at 12:43am UTC)
Typical, what else could we expect from these people {Rolleyes} {Rolleyes}
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Re: ESA Assessment (9th Dec 11 at 12:40pm UTC)
Same old story who ever the government are {Unsure}
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Re: ESA Assessment (11th Dec 11 at 11:08am UTC)
From Ouch at the BBC by Emma

The UK is not alone when it comes to welfare reform backlash.

In Ireland's budget address on Tuesday, the government announced that disability allowance payments would no-longer be made to 16 and 17 year olds and payments to 18 to 21 year olds would fall from 182 to 100 Euros per week.

The decision was met with concern from backbenchers, disability organisations and families of severely disabled children.

On Thursday, while introducing the details of Ireland's 2012 social care bill, minister for social protection Joan Burton dropped the proposed disability allowance reforms. She said, "I am sorry if these proposals caused anxiety among people with disabilities and their families".

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a report released by Pricewaterhouse Coopers at the end of last week, shows that Australians with a disability are at a greater risk of living in poverty and far less likely to be able to find employment than those in other developed nations in the OECD.

Tom Bridge summarised the report's key findings in the ABC Ramp Up website.

"The report said that 45% of people with a disability in Australia are likely to be living at or near the poverty line. The most horrific part of that statistic is that it places Australia at 27th of 27 nations in the OECD.

"Australia is still well and truly in the bottom half of countries when it comes to employment prospects, ranking 21st out of 27 OECD nations ... with only 31% of people with a disability in active employment."
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Re: ESA Assessment (11th Dec 11 at 1:14pm UTC)
Same the world over {Sad}
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Re: ESA Assessment (12th Dec 11 at 4:02am UTC)
Oh dear, {Sad}
Guess theres no point running away to Ireland or Australia in a daring bid to escape from the atos hellhounds then {Cry} {Cry}
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Re: ESA Assessment (12th Dec 11 at 12:31pm UTC)
No place is safe if they get you back to work, they are there as well,

http://www.atoshealthcare.com/downloads/1241619840_1627-0907%20Employee%20Assistance%20Programme%20FS.pdf

to help you keep working {Wink}
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Re: ESA Assessment (17th Dec 11 at 12:10am UTC)
Benefit rates from April 2012

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/benefitrates2012.pdf
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