Same Difference

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

The DWP are deliberately inflicting hardship on claimants who appeal against ESA decisions by misleading GPs into refusing to issue sick notes. The shock finding was published last week by the legal advice charity Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K).

ESA claimants who challenge a decision that they are capable of work cannot claim ESA whilst they are waiting for a mandatory reconsideration decision. They may be able to claim JSA, but many claimants are reluctant to do so for fear that they may be unable to meet any jobseeking requirements and then be subject to a sanction.

However, if the mandatory reconsideration is unsuccessful, as the overwhelming majority are, claimants can then lodge an appeal and reclaim ESA whilst waiting for their appeal to be heard.

But in order to reclaim ESA, they have to produce a fit note from their GP.

Until recently…

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Same Difference

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

The DWP has been claiming extremely high levels of claimant satisfaction for PIP assessments, based on fewer than 1% of claimants being asked a single question in surveys carried out by Atos (IAS) and Capita themselves, Benefits and Work can reveal. The surveys are not anonymous and take place before claimants know what the assessor has written about them.

FoI request
Benefits and Work first became concerned about claimed satisfaction rates when the commons Work and Pensions Committee was investigating PIP and ESA medical assessments. The committee found that: ‘The PIP and ESA assessment processes function satisfactorily for the majority of claimants’.

This conclusion was based on figures provided by the DWP that “all three contracted providers consistently exceed their customer satisfaction targets of 90% for PIP and 91% for ESA.”

Such high levels of satisfaction are hugely at odds with our own…

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Another must read by Kitty S Jones.

Politics and Insights

youth obligationThanks to Joe Halewood for the screenshot

A little background on the “Youth Obligation”.

Thenational livingwage(which is actually an inadequate rise in the minimum wage) was one of the centrepieces of the Osborne budget back in 2015 – which does not apply to those people under 25. Osborne exhorted young people to “earn or learn” in a budget speech that also cut their entitlement to receiving benefits and student grants, prompting serious complaints that young people had been unfairly targeted.  

The policy to end automatic entitlement for the housing element of Universal Credit was announced by David Cameron and Osborne in 2014 and was introduced last April. Housing and homeless organisations warned last year that it will cause grave hardship and force cash-strapped councils to meet higher costs for emergency accommodation. The plans of a review, and potential for a government u-turn on the housing element payment for young…

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