Monday, 11 April 2011

Last Chance to Have Your Say on ESA #fitforwork

The Broken of Britain's very own Sue Marsh (@sue2y) has written this brilliant blog on Left Foot Forward all about giving evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into ESA

#fitforwork and #DWP45 were a huge success over the weekend, and highlighted just how ridiculous most disabled people think the ESA system is.

Now for the serious bit: the inquiry into the Migration from IB to ESA which has been launched by the Work and Pensions Select Committee, with the call for evidence closing this Friday. Sue Marsh devoted a week to raising awareness of the issues a couple of weeks ago, and pointed out that: "Anne Begg MP has suggested that many individual submissions will always carry more weight than a collective response. Please take a few moments to read the issues outlined in the inquiry below and if you feel one or more have affected you, I urge you to write a short statement. It might be a description of how unsuitable your assessment was, your experiences of ATOS, or how time limiting the benefit could affect your partner's ability to keep working. If you have been through the worry and fear of a tribunal, we need to explain how this fails too and how hard it is to always be fighting."

The Broken of Britain is putting it's own evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into the Migration from IB to ESA on behalf of all our members who are not able to do so themselves.

If you can submit something, then please do, following these instructions:

Contributors should feel no obligation to comment on all the issues raised above, but should focus on those areas in which they have particular expertise or interest.

Please bear in mind that the Committee cannot investigate individual cases.

Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format, not PDF format, and sent by email to The body of the email must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The email should also make clear who the submission is from. Hard copy submissions should be sent to: The Work and Pensions Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.

Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained piece of written evidence. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include a summary. For further guidance on the submission of evidence see

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Material already published elsewhere may be referred to within a proposed piece of written evidence, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.

Additionally, submissions should be no more than 3,000 words.

Below are the inquiry's full terms of reference:

* The Department’s communications to customers going through the assessment and whether the information, guidance and advice provided by the Department and Jobcentre Plus is effective in supporting customers through the process.
* The Work Capability Assessment including: the assessment criteria; the service provided by Atos staff; the suitability of assessment centres; and customers’ overall experience of the process.
* The decision-making process and how it could be improved to ensure that customers are confident that the outcome of their assessment is a fair and transparent reflection of their capacity for work.
* The appeals process, including the time taken for the appeals process to be completed; and whether customers who decide to appeal the outcome of their assessment have all the necessary guidance, information and advice to support them through the process.
* The outcome of the migration process and the different paths taken by the various client groups: those moved to Jobseeker’s Allowance, including the support provided to find work and the impact of the labour market on employment prospects; those found fit for work who may be entitled to no further benefits; those placed in the Work Related Activity Group of the ESA, including the likely impact of the Department’s decision to time-limit contribution-based ESA to a year; and those placed in the Support Group.
* The time-scale for the national roll-out for the migration process, including the Department’s capacity to introduce changes identified as necessary in the Aberdeen and Burnley trials.


Anonymous said...

My Mp wrote back to me basically saying that the Govt will be implimenting all the changes to the Harrington review thing and all will be OK - I dont believe a bloody word of it and stupidly threw it and now it stays there till someone comes and picks it up again for me.

But in essence she said lots of views were given from people and this govt wil be implimenting them all.

Methinks she talks kak to be honest

Phil said...

What may happen to those IB claimants who are wrongly found "fit for work" and are rejected for ESA, but who have a chronic illness which means they are actually unfit for work?

They would be unable to claim JSA as they couldn't meet the strict requirements for JSA. If they tried claiming JSA, they'd fail and be hit with sanctions and removal of benefits.
Would Income Support be claimable? If not, then thousands of single people who are too unwell for work could be thrown off benefits altogether.
And losing benefits could render them homeless.

I don't wish to sound alarmist, but I haven't seen any comment on this matter, specifically, and wonder if the potential consequences have been considered?

(I'm assuming that the Appeals system is not perfect, as the data shows a lower success rate for those who have no representation).