The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

UK ESA consultation on future of the assessment.

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by RogerBlack, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. RogerBlack

    RogerBlack Senior Member

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    http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/10383/
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...nically-ill-sickness-benefits-claimants.47134

    Shortly is to be published a consultation on the future of 'work and health'.

    Quoting a response by Gareth Morgan, quoting
    Prior claims have been made that 'work is good for you', based on shoddy evidence of a trial that was not talking about the disabled.

    Things to think about when commenting on any releases of this sort.
    Those with severe illnesses may want to work, but be unable to. Requiring or encouraging them to work may both directly cause them issues with their conditions as they have to explain no, they can't (perhaps repeatedly) and face possible sanctions if someone decides they should be doing something.
    Those with some relapsing-remitting conditions that are momentarily able to work cannot usefully be forced into work as it may directly worsen their condition.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politic...kness-benefits-is-bad-for-health-damian-green

    This follows the announcement last month that some severely ill were to be exempted from periodic retesting. This is a typical policy that they will now point to as being more generous to one group, in order to deflect criticism from the larger group who they imply strongly to be swinging the lead.
    The 'work helps with health' has already been used to justify (from April) removing the extra payment for those on ESA who are in the work-related group, meaning they get the same as people on JSA/UC. (not for people who do not have a change of circumstances)
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
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  2. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    Do you know if this means people bundled out of the support group into the WRAG will get the new lower rate or will they carry on getting the current one?
     
  3. RogerBlack

    RogerBlack Senior Member

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    If someone is moved from the support group to the work related group after April, then they will get the new lower rate.
    Or if someone in the work-related group tries working for a few weeks, and can't, again they will be moved.
    For those that are in the work related group prior to April, and remain in it, they will continue to get the extra, until any change in their circumstances (they try working for a short time, for example and have to go back on benefit, or worsen to the support group then improve again would both be changes).
     
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  4. Artstu

    Artstu Senior Member

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    You can bet it will be the lower rate. I've been around £12 a week worse off for the last few years because I was forced to spend six months on JSA until I could have another assessment , had I gone straight from incapacity benefit to ESA I would have been hundreds of pounds better off.
     
  5. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    I 'liked' that but I feel I ought to take it back. With the current rhetoric about 'mental health patients better off in work', I feel sure that many of us are about to be bundled into the WRAG with grim results.
     
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  6. RogerBlack

    RogerBlack Senior Member

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    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/work-and-health-plan-to-help-disabled-people-into-employment
    Selected quotations from the announcement of the paper to be published in a couple of hours.
    I especially love that line.
    I computed recently that in order to work to my talents, while not impacting my health, I would need to earn around a thousand pounds an hour.
    (additional help around the home, monitoring me to make sure I wasn't doing too much, help with certain buisness tasks, ...)

    It may be appropriate if you can locate people that are likely to be writing pieces on this (see prior coverage of similar issues) to tweet or otherwise notify them of potential issues with this.
    'While I welcome real attempts to make it possible for people to ease into work, it has to be recognised that many people simply cannot do meaningful work, and attempting to do so will damage their health' type thing.
     
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  7. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    what a load of bollocks, pretending not to be a load of bollocks.
     
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  8. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    [​IMG]

    It's hard to imagine how they could have made this worse, but it does seem that they've hit the jackpot.

    If there truly is to be no hiding place any longer, this will be a disaster for the chronically ill in general and people with ME in particular. Expect sanctions to go through the roof, due to inexperienced 'work coaches' lacking empathy and pushing people through things they simply aren't capable of.
     
  9. tinacarroll27

    tinacarroll27 Senior Member

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    Can you imagine what would happen to someone with severe ME if you forced them to work!! They'd be dead within a week!!! This government is insane!! I've also noticed work is only good for the working class and poor. Politicians and the elite don't seem to be doing much work!! Half the time they can't be bothered to turn up and yet they still claim expenses running into the thousands every year!!
     
  10. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    A striking phrase, seeing as they've clearly decided the answer already.
     
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  11. Yogi

    Yogi Senior Member

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    I am confused at this. Damian Green made some good noises about getting rid of ridiculous tests for people with chronic conditions and that they understood the stress that this caused.

    This new announcement sounds like the same rhetoric of the decade!!!


    I have started a new thread on Fit for Work which was launced in 2015 which may be of interest here:

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...k-initiative-uk-govt-funded-me-and-cfs.47667/
     
  12. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    The previous announcement was just the government recognising how stupid it was to endlessly re-test the small percentage of people who were giving them the worst headlines. There was never any indication of any real understanding or compassion for the harm the ESA tests were causing. It was never going to be good news for ME/CFS... if anything it will lead to them focusing more resources onto the claimants not excluded.
     
  13. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    Splendid piece.
    https://medium.com/@jonathanhume/work-wont-set-us-free-1ef781eb9e1f#.xjjiisah3

    This passage has particular relevance to us I think:
    Health redefined as behaving as if you're healthy. Where have I heard that before?
     
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  14. RogerBlack

    RogerBlack Senior Member

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    I have to regrettably disagree with this.
    All prior indications are that this was precisely not what it was.
    It was a coldly calculated move to deflect attention from the upcoming (April) removal of the work component for new claims and changes.
    If it was a rational decision, then the decision would be later made to extend this to PIP - it has been confirmed it will not.

    The sole reason this has been announced is so that it can be used to reinforce the message of 'work is good' - with the explanation that the worst off will be exempt. (in reality a tiny fraction of those that need exempted)
    This is _precisely_ the rhetoric that has been used for PIP (which was explicitly intended to save 80% of the budget) - that they are 'targeting the help on those that need it most'.
    This is combined with spiking 'bad' stories following journalists reaching out to them, in the promise of further good interviews.
    http://www.disabilitynewsservice.co...s-revealing-its-secret-thoughts-on-the-media/

    This could be enormously positive if done right - with carefully run randomised controlled trials, and evidence based policies.
    I have at this point more faith in santa.
     
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  15. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    Could it not be both? The perpetual reassessment of such patients must cost them a fortune and they never get rid of them.

    And, in terms of PIP, there is actually a wider choice of awards that can be given. IIRC, you can get a 5 or 10 year award for PIP, rather than the ESA perpetual Sword of Damocles. Not permanent, but hardly short term.
     
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  16. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    That sounds more like an extension of what I said than I disagreement. I don't think that I disagree with your post!
     
  17. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    Oh dear I shuddered when I saw this news. I am one of the lucky ones as I was on ESA for 4+ years and then got to retirement age. What a relief it is.... no work and I am much happier.

    However one of my sons has severe mental illness and I am terrified of them hounding him into the Jobcentre. He was in work and already was coping with Tourette Syndrome and dyspraxia, but was developing psychosis and the pressures of the job contributed to him getting sicker and eventually he developed schizophrenia. He is stable, but I cannot see that he would ever be able to go back to the workplace as his anxiety is too bad. I had hoped that he would be in the group that would be excused all the retesting, but who knows now?
     
  18. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    That's not allowed anymore, you know. :cautious:
     
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  19. slysaint

    slysaint Senior Member

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  20. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member

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    Liverpool UK
    BBC News: Tory and SNP MPs demand benefit cut debate

    Some Conservative MPs are to join the SNP in demanding a debate on postponing disability benefit cuts.
    They will jointly call for a debate on plans to cut Employment and Support Allowance payments for sick and disabled people by £29 a week.
    One MP said there could be an attempt to force the government to concede at next year's Budget.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37830789
     
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