Unfairly knocked of ESA Sickness Benefit?…….

……. I’d say so allow me to explain.

As many of my blog followers will know I am in battle with the DWP  but let me explain what lead to where I am now and more importantly the DWP’s maladministration and my MP’s uncaring stance.

I was on Incapacity Benefit (IB) for reasons well explained elsewhere in my blog and thus was migrated from this benefit to Employment Support Allowance (ESA). I was quiet happy with IB even if it was only a little shy of £100 a week because with my Disability Living Allowance and my wife’s part-time earnings we had enough to get by and lived a life with a modicum of decency with no threat of sanction or 365 day rule.

This migration set the ball rolling for an utter balls up due to the DWP’s lack of understanding and empathy which still goes on today even though I am now not even getting my just entitlement to ESA as I was in the wrong WRAG Group which has a 365 day limit despite me paying into this government via taxes and national insurance for many many years.

Firstly when I was forced to apply for ESA via the ESA50 form I missed the 6 week deadline to return the form because I struggled with it due to my impaired cognitive functioning and thus stopped my IB so had to type and send in a reconsideration letter of that decision it was reinstated eventually and thus from this point the DWP was well aware of my cognitive impairments right? well no as you will see as I further explain below.

I was put in the WRAG Group of ESA without an assessment however I thought this was wrong given the level of my illnesses and disability and thought I should have been in the Support Group of ESA and on my first work focused interview at JC+ the advisor agreed with me and so much she made my recommendations in job hunting or courses and said I should appeal as she thought I would win hands down, indeed some of you may think this advisor was a rarity and perhaps she was but she knew what she was talking about and indeed what her job should have entailed.

I wish I could have appealed but the fact is my SAH and the secondary conditions that serious event caused made an appeal too difficult to deal with indeed putting an appeal together for most people is hard let alone someone with clinical mental health and physical disability so it never happened and I remained in the WRAG Group for the 365 days after all it was no less than I was getting with IB. I found this whole process very confusing and did not know were to turn too for help.

Very few people understand SAH or rather the secondary conditions it brings which are both mental and physical indeed one of the conditions which causes the most problems for me is executive dysfunction this causes many issues including motivation which many put down to laziness but is nothing of the sort executive dysfunction plays a big part in me not being able to manage a working life and is why I went from job to job in the 17yrs I worked post SAH.

I sort help from my MP David Willett’s but he was a waste of space and could not wait to get me out of his surgery but said he would write to the DWP, that turned out to be a waste of time because his letter was very short and said that my health issues were STABLE now whilst the SAH was stable and indeed I have had no further incidences of SAH that was not the point I was making or indeed claiming ESA for, it was the many secondary health issues that the SAH caused of which he made no mention off in his letter to the DWP indeed he was someone who failed to understand or give me the time to explain.

An MP with a duty of care indeed

The DWP wrote back and said in black and white that:

“Mr Carter is not expected to get any better”

That is the one and only truth I have heard come out of DWP’s mouths and if that is the case why was my entitlement limited to 365 days and furthermore they knowing knew I would be left with no ESA support beyond the 365 days.

I have now been without ESA support since October 2013 but made a complaint to the District Manager for my area that complaint that seeks an anytime revision to be put into ESA Support group and be back dated to the date I was put in the WRAG Group is here:

https://diaryofansahstrokesurvivor.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/complaint-to-jc-using-the-recent-tribunal-court-case/

This complaint centres around the recent upper tier tribunal court case on mental health grounds there failure to take into consideration Regulations 29 and 35 and Reliably, repeatedly and safely.

I have had a reply from the District Manager here:

DWP DISTRICT MANAGER LETTER 20-01-2014

However this reply took 4 weeks to arrive cause further distress to me not knowing what the hell was happening and I also raised the question why they use second class post as surely this is not good enough for people like me.

I also note that the DWP proclaim to be positive about disabled people and investors in people that I think not.

I have written this blog in response to Mike Sivier’s blog here:

http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/victims-tell-how-they-were-unfairly-knocked-off-sickness-benefits/

I await the DWP’s response in earnest.

BBC confirms ‘Tory mouthpiece’ accusation with updated lies about ESA

Vox Political

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I have complained to the BBC and the UK Statistics Authority about this disgrace.

Today (January 25) the BBC published a scurrilous little screed claiming that “nearly a million people who applied for sickness benefit have been found fit for work”. Needless to say, the figures come from the Department for Work and Pensions and aren’t worth the time it took to type them in.

The story states: “The DWP claims 980,400 people – 32% of new applicants for Employment and Support Allowance – were judged capable of work between 2008 and March 2013.

“More than a million others withdrew their claims after interviews, it adds.”

It goes on to say that disability campaigners had stated that the work capability assessment tests were “ridiculously harsh and extremely unfair”, but says nothing about the fact that an almost-identical story was withdrawn last year after it was found to be riddled…

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Why Employment & Support Allowance (and DWP) fails the fitness test

Making rights make sense

So we’ve reached that annual day on DWP’s media calendar when it pumps out misleading statistics regarding the numbers found ‘fit for work’ following the Work Capability Assessment (1 million since 2008 allegedly).

I’ll leave the critique of the statistics to others, for whatever their accuracy within the internal logic of the absurd system created by the DWP, they are meaningless as an indicator of actual employment prospects.

In the BBC article, Minister for Disabled People Mike Penning MP is quoted as saying ‘it is only fair that we look at whether people can do some kind of work with the right support – rather than just writing them off on long-term sickness benefits, as has happened in the past.’

I couldn’t agree more.  Yet that is not what the Work Capability Assessment does at all.  It is an abstract measure of functional capacity, not a ‘real world’…

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Victims tell how they were unfairly knocked off sickness benefits

Vox Political

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‘Have 230,000 sick and disabled people been wrongly knocked off-benefit and forgotten?’ That was the question posed on this blog just two days ago, based on an analysis of statistics from the ONS and CESI. Without more input from the Department for Work and Pensions it is impossible to answer the question – but two former claimants have come forward with stories that support the allegation.

“I’m one of them!” wrote Steven Dix on Twitter. “My wife and I are now £400 a month worse off, with IDS’ ‘help’!”

He explained: “When I was on Incapacity Benefit it was indefinitely – then came ESA.”

Mr Dix was put on contribution-based ESA totalling £97 per week – but this only lasts for a year. After that, “I was told that my wife, who is on minimum wage at Asda, earns too much for me to get income-related ESA.

“We were told…

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