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howie
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Re: ESA Assessment (15th Jan 12 at 11:31pm UTC)
He has no problem touching his toes, come to think of it, he sleeps with his back foot in his mouth {Grin} {Grin}
Thanks for the advice on offshore hedge fund Ian {Smile}
Alas, Dave is right, he would probably eat it {Grin} {Grin}
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Re: ESA Assessment (16th Jan 12 at 10:02am UTC)
Investment banking as another option, bonuses are amazing and if it goes wrong it is not Tesla's problem {Smile} taxpayers will fund any mistakes {Sad}
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Re: ESA Assessment (17th Jan 12 at 12:34am UTC)
Ive been talking through various options with Tesla, weighing up risks etc.
To be honest, once he finished eating his lettuce, he seemed to lose all intrest in the conversation {Sad}
I guess it would be fairly safe should he. decide to go into investment banking, but im not certain it would be right for him {Rolleyes} just getting an expensive suit made (to con people into thinking he knows what hes doing)
Problem is, he is too focused on hoovering crumbs off the plate, to give me any
feedback (fun watching his whiskers push crumbs away)
I do like the sound of ripping people off if it goes wrong though {Smile}
In fact, it may be best to simply state its all gone wrong now, that way we can just sit back and wait for the cash to arrive {Grin}
I will discuss this during our next meeting, as Tesla is very busy chewing up the cardboard tubes toilet paper comes on {Grin} {Grin} {Grin}
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Re: ESA Assessment (18th Jan 12 at 7:59pm UTC)
Obviously has a very strong desire to work, has young Tesla... all he needs is support and guidance {Smile}
which is where Jobcentre Plus bring on their experts to assist in ticking the boxes {Grin}
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Re: ESA Assessment (19th Jan 12 at 3:06am UTC)
Ha ha, i would love to see what Tesla could do to one of their forms {Smile} {Smile}
Also, Tesla is very well natured and soft as a brush.
However, i feel i may be able to train him to bite the people who tick boxes for a living {Grin} {Grin}
I think a yoghurt drop per bite could get him to co operate {Grin}
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Re: ESA Assessment (19th Jan 12 at 10:26am UTC)
Have Tesla process the tick box forms and you could be certain they were not reading them {Wink} as he is using them for fresh bedding, the result will likely be the same as if it had been carried out by ATOS but without the environmentally friendly recycling {Grin}
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Re: ESA Assessment (20th Jan 12 at 10:03pm UTC)
True Ian, very true {Grin} {Grin} {Grin}
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Re: ESA Assessment (3rd Mar 12 at 3:01pm UTC)
From Pillar to Post

http://www.cas.org.uk/Resources/CAS/Migrated%20Resources/Documents/Evidence%20reports/From%20Pillar%20to%20Post%20FINAL.pdf

Welfare Reform: Thousands of sick and disabled Scots facing poverty

The government’s welfare reforms are having a devastating impact on thousands of sick and disabled Scots – according to evidence published today (Thursday 23rd Feb) by Citizens Advice Scotland.

The report, ‘From Pillar to Post’, describes the experience of the 170,000 Scots who are currently receiving Incapacity Benefit, and who are now being assessed for the new Employment & Support Allowance (ESA). These people have long been considered too sick to work, and are now having to prove they are not ‘faking it’ – just because the government has changed the definition of what it is to be ill. They are being moved from one benefit to another, and 115,000 of them are set to lose out in the process.

Publishing the report, CAS Head of Policy Susan McPhee says,

“ESA was introduced in 2008 for those who were ‘new’ claimants, and we have shown ever since how it is deeply flawed and is having a devastating impact on those who are most in need. It is now being applied to all those who are currently on Incapacity Benefit. That’s 170,000 people in Scotland who are having to undergo the uncertainty and distress that ESA brings.

“In this report we give an up-date on ESA today, and sadly the picture remains as bleak as ever. This is a policy which is unfit for purpose and is devastating the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“The intention of ESA was a good one. It was meant to help those on sickness benefits: to identify those who were capable of work and help them into employment, while continuing to support the rest, and saving taxpayers money in the process. That was the plan. In reality, ESA is failing to live up to its billing.

“In too many cases, it is failing to accurately assess a claimant’s ability to work, failing to help those able to work to find employment, and failing to support many with serious illnesses. It might be saving the Treasury money in the short-term, but it is pushing the cost onto the claimant, their families, local communities, service providers and ultimately the economy.

The report concentrates on real case evidence from CAB offices across Scotland. People who have been let down by the ESA system are increasingly having to turn to CAB for help. Last year the service saw an astonishing 33% increase in ESA cases. CAS say the reality of the ESA is best seen in these individual cases - many of which are detailed in the report.

Susan McPhee continues,

“Over 170,000 long-term sickness benefit claimants in Scotland will be re-assessed for ESA by 2014 and an estimated 115,000 of those will lose their entitlement to support. The only way for these people to mitigate the drop in income would be to get a job. However, with unemployment at a 16 year high, the economy struggling to grow, and former sickness benefit claimants facing discrimination from employers, many of these people will seriously struggle to find a job. As a result, tens of thousands of people face a significant drop in their already low income.

“People on Incapacity Benefit have been told for years that they are too sick to work, and now suddenly they have to undergo a flawed work capability assessment, only to be told they are no longer ‘sick’ and so face an immediate cut in income, followed by further cuts if they don’t look for work.

“So, one week you can be defined as sick and unable to work and then the next week you’re told you are not. This happens not because of any change in your medical condition, but because the government had moved the goalposts and re-defined what it is to be ill.

“We feel this is an unacceptable way to treat people, and the Government must move fast to accept the problems we have identified and fix the system so it becomes one which really does what it is meant to do, and helps the people it is meant to help, rather than making their lives even more difficult.”
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Re: ESA Assessment (3rd Mar 12 at 8:01pm UTC)
Hey - are these the same people who want self-government and devolution and things{Confused} Bring it on I say! {Tongue Out}

Poor old Ingrid took ages to get her oxy, so are surprised ........ no, we are not.
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Re: ESA Assessment (3rd Mar 12 at 11:49pm UTC)
Could be they want self government because the same thing is happening, where ever the Westminster Parliament make the rules {Rolleyes}
Same view through a different window unfortunately it is working no better anywhere else {Embarassed}
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Re: ESA Assessment (21st Mar 12 at 4:47pm UTC)
Changes to contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/adviser/updates/changes-to-contribution/

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 introduces two changes to contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which come into effect on the 30 April 2012. They are:

to limit the period for which people in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) can receive contribution-based ESA to 365 days; and
to prevent any new claims for ESA on the grounds of youth (ESA (Y)).

The ESA 104 week linking rule is also being abolished by separate regulations. These changes will also take effect on 30 April 2012 meaning the last day that a claim can be made using the 104 week linking rule is 30 April 2012.
What are the changes?

The Welfare Reform Act limits the amount of time people who are not in the Support Group can claim contribution-based ESA to a period not exceeding 365 days without re-qualifying. Time spent in the Assessment phase will count towards the 365 day time limit unless it is immediately followed by entitlement to the support component. People not in the Support Group who have already received contribution-based ESA for 365 days or more will have their entitlement stopped as soon as the change takes effect. This means that the last day benefit will be paid for is 30 April 2012.

The Act has also removed the special contribution conditions that allow people aged between 16 and 20 (or under 25 if in education or training at least three months immediately before turning 20) to receive contribution-based ESA without paying National Insurance contributions, this was called ESA 'Youth'. Changes will take effect on 30 April 2012, which means that all new people claiming contribution-based ESA will need to satisfy the standard contribution conditions.

People not in the Support Group who are currently claiming contribution-based ESA and qualified under 'Youth' provisions will have their contribution-based ESA time limited to 365 days. People in the Support Group will continue to receive contribution-based ESA providing they continue to meet the qualifying criteria.

Young people will still be able to claim income-related ESA if they are entitled to do so.

Once the change takes effect on 30 April 2012 all new claimants who are placed in the Work Related Activity Group will be informed that their contribution-based ESA is time limited to 365 days.

People in the Support Group and those solely claiming income-related ESA are unaffected.
Abolition of 104 week linking

Currently, where a claimant leaves ESA and starts work or training within one month, then returns to ESA within 104 weeks, their benefit is re-instated at the same rate as previously. As a result of time limiting, the 104 week linking rule would prevent some claimants who had left benefit and paid National Insurance contributions, for example by working, from re-qualifying for a further 365 days of contribution-based ESA. Claimants who make a claim to ESA up to and including the 30 April 2012 will still be able to make a linked claim.
What we are doing to support claimants immediately affected by time limiting

From 29 February 2012 we began contacting claimants in receipt of contribution-based ESA, who have not been assessed for income-related ESA and whose benefit will end between 30 April 2012 and 3 June 2012, to inform them of the change of their entitlement from 30 April 2012 and ask if they wish to be considered for income-related ESA. We will send these claimants a further letter after 9 April 2012.

The standard process we are introducing will ensure that those claimants whose contribution-based ESA stops on or after 4 June 2012, will be issued with a letter eight weeks beforehand. The letter will include details of how to be considered for income-related ESA.

Claimants, where we are already aware of an underlying entitlement to income-related ESA, will be automatically moved onto this when their contribution-based ESA ends.
What is contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance?

People receive contribution-based ESA if they have limited capability for work and have paid enough National Insurance contributions whereas income-related ESA is paid to people depending on their income and savings. The changes which take effect on 30 April 2012, will mean that contribution-based ESA can be paid for a maximum of 365 days unless the claimant is in the Support Group.
What is the Work Related Activity Group?

If someone is in the Work Related Activity Group, it has been decided that work may not be appropriate for them now, but with support they can prepare for work in the future.
What is the Support Group?

If someone is severely disabled or has a severe health condition they will be placed in the Support Group. They will not be expected to look for work and will get the extra support they need. They will not have to take up any work related support unless they want to.
What will happen if a claimant's contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance is stopped?

People not in the Support Group who have already been entitled to contribution-based ESA for 365 days or more will have their entitlement stopped when the change is introduced. Claimants with an underlying entitlement to income-related ESA will be automatically moved onto this benefit when their contribution-based ESA ends.
Claimants living abroad

Claimants living abroad and receiving contribution-based ESA will also be affected by the change. People not in the Support Group who have already been entitled to contribution-based ESA for 365 days or more will have their entitlement stopped when the change takes effect on 30 April 2012. The International Pension Centre will contact claimants before their entitlement ends to inform them of when their contribution-based ESA will end and that they are not entitled to receive National Insurance credits and may lose their entitlement to receive other Social Security benefits.
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Re: ESA Assessment (11th Apr 12 at 11:05am UTC)
Charity chief quits over fit-for-work test The Gaurdian -Amelia Gentleman
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/10/charity-chief-quits-over-fit-for-work-test

Paul Farmer says he has resigned to publicise his anger at an 'inhumane system' that is telling severely ill and disabled they are fit to work

Here's the moral dilemma that faced Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, last week: should he continue to sit on a government advisory panel, charged with scrutinising a policy that his charity believes to be inhumane? Or should he resign, publicising his anger at the coalition government's refusal to listen to the charity's concerns, and remove himself from the room where improvements are being discussed?

Farmer chose to leave the panel responsible for monitoring the functioning of the work capability assessment (WCA), the new fitness-for-work test that determines who is eligible for sickness benefits, frustrated that the government was not paying attention to the growing chorus of alarm over the reliability of the test.

His departure from the committee reflects the intensifying anger among charities such as Mind that represent people affected by the government's commitment to reassessing approximately 1.6 million recipients of incapacity benefit – which is being phased out – to see whether they are eligible for the new benefit, employment and support allowance.

Until now, charities have been voicing their concerns but expressing a desire to work with the government to get things right. Farmer's resignation marks a new, tougher stance.

Amid the fallout from his departure last week, there was despondency among campaigners over the government's failure to implement substantial improvements to a system that charities identified as "not fit for purpose" more than 18 months ago, but which is still being used to assess the fitness of 11,000 people a week.

Farmer's decision has been widely supported by other charities, which are also anxious about the consequences of pushing some of the country's most unwell and vulnerable people through a "flawed" WCA. There is growing concern about the rapidly rising number of people who appeal against judgments that they are fit for work (up to 50% of all those who go through the test) and of those who are successful in their appeal (around 40% of all those who appeal). At least 390,000 people have gone to appeal since 2009; tribunal courts have been forced to open on Saturdays and to increase staff by 30% since January 2010, to deal with the backlog. Appeals are costing the government around £50m a year, in addition to the £100m it is paying the IT company, Atos, to carry out the largely computer-led test.

"The DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] seems absolutely committed to pushing 11,000 people a week through a flawed system. That's the real problem for us," says Farmer. "That doesn't feel fair. I've moved from being puzzled about the reluctance to change, to being increasingly frustrated. I genuinely don't understand why the government doesn't just pause the process and reflect on why it's not working."

Although the government has implemented some improvements, he says: "We are not hearing anything that suggests that people's experiences have much changed." Mind was still seeing "extremely unwell people, who have only recently been discharged from psychiatric services, being found fit for work", he says. The charity's branch in Oxford has supported more than 100 people through the appeals process over the past year, 90% of whom have seen the decision that they were fit for work overturned.

Charities are anxious to be involved in government decision-making, so to step out of that conversation was a difficult choice. In his resignation letter, Farmer told Chris Grayling, the employment minister: "We have reached the point where we feel that the lack of progress in improving the system and the lack of willingness to consider more fundamental reform makes our involvement in this element of the process no longer tenable."

The DWP's version of events suggests that it was keen to push him off the committee even before he decided to leave. Farmer explains that officials had asked him to consider his position, concerned that a conflict of interest might be emerging, on the back of reports of imminent legal action by individuals with mental health problems against the government, over the fitness-for-work test.

In a statement, Grayling says: "I asked officials to ask Paul Farmer to step down after his charity became involved in legal action against the department. It's obviously not possible for someone involved in suing the department to also remain as an adviser to it."

Mind says there was confusion within the DWP, and stresses that the charity is not, at this stage, supporting any such legal action.

Farmer's decision to leave the four-person scrutiny panel, which includes two employers' occupational health experts and the new president of the British Medical Association, is backed by Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope. "We share Mind's concerns about the work capability assessment," he says. "The huge number of successful appeals are a damning indictment of a test that isn't fit for purpose. There's little point in scrutiny if the government doesn't listen to it."

Sarah Lambert, head of policy at the National Autistic Society, says colleagues back Farmer's decision. "We share some of Mind's frustration. There are a lot of problems with the WCA; the system is not working. We would like the process to be slowed down while improvements are made."

David, 52, went through the WCA earlier this year, and was found to be fit to work despite having rheumatoid arthritis so severe that he has been unable to work for the past decade. He says: "Anyone who can make the wider public more aware of this issue should be supported. If I was in his [Farmer's] position, I would have done the same. There is no empathy at all in the system; it is all accusatory."

Even before Farmer's resignation, tension between charities and the government had been mounting. Grayling recently expressed his frustration with charities he had asked to advise the department on improving the system. Commenting in a parliamentary debate, he said that instead of offering tweaks to the process, they had come up with a "total transformation of the whole process including … a new scoring system and a new computer system", and had offered no evidence that their revised system would be any better.

Grayling says the DWP is committed to implementing improvements "to try to make this a better and fairer process". He adds: "The only alternative to this is to leave people on benefits for the rest of their lives, doing nothing." Farmer stresses that Mind is also in favour of helping people into work. "We are very strong believers in the idea that people with mental health problems can and should work where that is possible … but we also know that there are huge barriers to finding work," he says.

"If I was Chris Grayling, I would have looked at the appeal figures and decided to pause the process," he adds. "It feels like an inhumane system … If people feel that they have not been treated as human beings, then you are not getting off to a very good start."
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Re: ESA Assessment (11th Apr 12 at 4:05pm UTC)
There is growing concern about the rapidly rising number of people who appeal against judgments that they are fit for work (up to 50% of all those who go through the test) and of those who are successful in their appeal (around 40% of all those who appeal). At least 390,000 people have gone to appeal since 2009; tribunal courts have been forced to open on Saturdays and to increase staff by 30% since January 2010, to deal with the backlog {Rolleyes} {Kiss} {Shocked}

Somebody is getting on with jobby centre.....plenty of jobs created....somebody is taking home decent wage packets...robin hood in reverse........or....


Close to doubling the ATOS staff levels is like doubling the crew of the Titanic to inspect the passenger passports before they hoof them out of the life belts and boats ....... into the briny.... {Grin} .....

also..."get back onto your ship captain"........"I slipped and fell into a lifeboat"... "it's sinking"...... {Grin}
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Re: ESA Assessment (12th Apr 12 at 11:45pm UTC)
Private sector medical staff assessing benefit claimants told to sign Official Secrets Act

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/12/atos-doctors-sign-official-secrets-act

no whistle blowers if it is going pear shaped then {Rolleyes}
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Re: ESA Assessment (15th Apr 12 at 2:48am UTC)
Prob got someone in a coma and made them work taking all the appeals {Grin}
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Re: ESA Assessment (3rd May 12 at 8:39am UTC)
As contributory ESA will be limited to 365 days from 30th of April 2012 anyone still entitled to ESA will have to apply for income related (means tested, savings under £16k and working partners must be on a very low income) IR ESA
The claim form for this is ESA 3 available from BDC (Benefit Delivery Centres) these are where existing ESA claims are dealt with from and the address/phone number will be on any correspondence sent by them. The forms are not available from JCP (Job Centre Plus) who deal with new claims not changes in conditions
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Re: ESA Assessment (2nd Jul 12 at 12:54pm UTC)
Making an appeal to the Social Security and Child Support tribunal (ESA)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pNKg6diFh0
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Re: ESA Assessment (5th Jul 12 at 12:38am UTC)
 
There is growing concern about the rapidly rising number of people who appeal against judgments that they are fit for work (up to 50% of all those who go through the test) and of those who are successful in their appeal (around 40% of all those who appeal). At least 390,000 people have gone to appeal since 2009; tribunal courts have been forced to open on Saturdays and to increase staff by 30% since January 2010, to deal with the backlog {Rolleyes} {Kiss} {Shocked}

Somebody is getting on with jobby centre.....plenty of jobs created....somebody is taking home decent wage packets...robin hood in reverse........or....


Close to doubling the ATOS staff levels is like doubling the crew of the Titanic to inspect the passenger passports before they hoof them out of the life belts and boats ....... into the briny.... {Grin} .....

also..."get back onto your ship captain"........"I slipped and fell into a lifeboat"... "it's sinking"...... {Grin}


LOL, I just couldnt help myself when i read this
Nice one Higgs

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Re: ESA Assessment (5th Jul 12 at 11:02pm UTC)
Citizens Advice buckling under volume of calls over new benefits
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/04/advice-stretched-benefits
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Re: ESA Assessment (17th Jul 12 at 1:30pm UTC)
WCA consultation for Harrington's 3rd review
As part of his third independent review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), Professor Harrington has called for more evidence.

He is particularly interested in the implementation of his recommendations and any changes to:

communications.
face-to-face assessment.
decision making.

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