(Rants, whinges, complaints, opinions, reflections, reviews and pointers on life for a disabled chap living in Europe.)
Monday, 18 March 2013
Ongoing Torment of DWP's ESA50 Form
If you think it is easy to claim benefits/defraud taxpayers then you have never had to deal with an ESA50 form, which is in actual fact a 20-page booklet. Many folk live in perpetual fear of its arrival. Here's the electronic trail of my dealings with it.
"****ESA is the most terrible failure of any developed nation for a very long time. The reasons are numerous and utterly undeniable. The government has failed to implement Harrington with any commitment and is actively increasing the rate at which vulnerable people face a failing and unfair test. We have engaged with a democratic process that has failed us at every stage. We have no choice left but to stop this ourselves. Over 100,000 people now face some kind of ESA assessment every MONTH. We can't afford to wait. ****"
Nigh on everyone who is chronically sick &/or disabled can get involved with this crowd-sourcing action. Click on the link and get started now... CRH
Colin-Roy Hunter on f/b, Altrincham & Sale West (Graham Brady, Chair '22 C'ttee) @criquaer on twitter @criquaer50 on storify http://crippledqueeranglo-europeanranter.blogspot.co.uk/ - (last three months averaged 3,000+ viewings) happy to post there if worth it.
The Form-Filling followed by The Waiting with no acknowledgement or updates as to how one's claim is progressing. The Waste-of-Money.
October new DLA form; ATOS doctor visited on New Year's Eve; decision end January; February ESA form. Winter is my worst time. For more than a decade I have been asking them to send forms in summer months when i am most able to deal with them. As I am house-bound this time of year will mean another ATOS visit.
Fellow tweeps try to help each other out wherever we can:
Sue Marsh's next plea for crowd-sourced input was a request for ESA stats and media tales.
Virtually every last one of us can get involved with this crowd-sourced campaign. Please do. %) CRH
"You in for today's little task? #ESAendgame *Waves at all the #ESAendgame people blushes a little there are so many, clears throat*
So, most of the public don't have a clue what ESA or WCAs are. For the next few weeks we need to dig out and share some of the best ESA stories or TV programmes or radio debates we remember and share them around. Everywhere.
I've dug out a few links from WOWpetition's facebook page. I believe wowpetition.com should have other items as they have been collecting too. %)
Too well for ESA, not well enough for JSA: http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/2224-esa-appeals-nightmare-confirmed
Ed Miliband/Labour's letter on ATOS/WCA & failure to adapt quickly enough: http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/02/27/letter-from-ed-miliband-on-atoswca-but-is-it-enough/
Workprogramme's 0.2% success rate for getting disabled into work; so what point WCA?: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/work-programme-finds-jobs-just-1723543
"The iniquities of the work capability assessment (WCA), which disabled people have to pass in order to continue to receive benefit, have been well recorded. Decisions are overturned in 38% of appeals heard and 14% of GPs say they have patients who have self-harmed as a result of fear of the assessment or actually going through it. A further 6% of GPs say they have patients who have attempted or committed suicide.": http://www.communitycare.co.uk/articles/25/02/2013/118938/flawed-fit-to-work-tests-pile-work-on-social-workers-and-harm-clients.htm
"A poll out on Monday showing that a majority of the public believe welfare spending should be increased or kept at the current level has surprised many people.": http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/02/public-attitude-to-welfare-claimants/
Now "more and more stories are filtering into the press creating negativity for the Government. Stories of poverty, of starving children, of people dying..." These are "Sign[s] Of Weakness: The Government Are Losing Their War Against The Welfare ‘Scrounger’": http://welfarenewsservice.com/a-sign-of-weakness-the-government-are-losing-their-war-against-the-welfare-scrounger/#.UTiwshxJI_0
"If, as IDS says, benefits are being paid as wages for work experience schemes, then ... I suspect that it breaches minimum wage laws. If they are not, as officially claimed by his department, then we have forced unpaid labour.": http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/iain-duncan-smith-has-no-respect-for-manual-labour/
Clause 99, Catch 22 – The ESA Mandatory Second Revision and Appeals. Unfairness. Weeks or months with no income: http://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/735/
"The figures are pretty stark: out of 68,000 ESA claimants placed on the Work Programme since it began, only 1,000 have found jobs lasting three months or more...": http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ouch/2013/01/the_great_disability_scam_as_t.html
Stats counter official ConDems rhetorical narrative, so naturally DWP unwilling to comment...: http://www.thefedonline.org.uk/disability-in-the-news/government-stats-show-most-new-esa-claimants-are-not-fit-for-work
**Trigger Warning** Alas since "not found" altho' listed when searching! Benefits Cuts, suicides and deaths. | Politics UK 26 Dec 2012 ... Mark and Helen Mullins were found lying side by side in their home after committing suicide together.They had been left destitute after Helen ... politicsuk.eu/archives/12537: http://politicsuk.eu/search/?cx=partner-pub-6454226542398136%3A4908208190&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=suicide&sa=Search Not technical enough how to track down. Sorry!
Hope these are of use! %)
At this point I vented my frustrations with the wretched form...
Was very busy with my ESA50 form yesterday, so could not properly update you all. So, some of the following posts are NOT today's news, but I suspect still relevant if you WOWers have not already seen them. Do message us if you have any strong views one way or another about postings. We have very few 'unlikers'; but if the number or type of postings is annoying you, don't suffer in silence, let us know. In fact, feel free to give feedback about anything to do with the page. But be gentle with us, we are amateurs and sick/disabled ourselves! Hopefully, if I get around to it later - which means if I do not forget - I shall post about statistics for the number-nerds out there! Have a good day everybody! %D CRH
Colin-Roy Hunter on f/b @criquaer on twitter Altrincham & Sale West Folk on ESA + DLA/PIP should not have to answer the same Q's and the information should be shared with SS so no need to repeat again. Forms should take proper account of fluctuating conditions. Supportive guidance should be sent out with forms giving e.g.s and explanations of terminology. Q's should not be worded to catch one out but to accurately assess one's needs. %)
Meanwhile, some bad news broke. Whilst the DWP and their agents, ATOS, require of claimants' absolute punctuality, they are finding it increasingly difficult to keep to their deadlines.
"The performance suggests that over the course of the full year around 260,000 people were not assessed within the target time... of 13 weeks [for ESA]."
Well folks, sorry I've not been as on the ball (for me) as usual; but I am just totally knackered. The bleedin' ESA50 is exhausting, draining, stressful. Hope to get it finished and sent off over next couple of days. Hopefully then normal service will resume. %) In the meantime: our page now has 632 likers - you are all just lovely and thanks for following. The petition at the time of posting tallies 25,941 so only 59 signatures to 26K. Thanks for sharing folks. We are still #18 in the e-petition chart out of 6,121 petitions or page 1 pf 307 pages. We are doing just great due to everyone's hard work, co-operation and mutual support. Many thanks, bless all you fellow WOWers & good night! %) CRH
Well, I have finished my pro forma ESA50 which takes the form of a 6,700+ word letter amounting to 19 pages. This, along with the thirteen other documents made up of 78 pages, I slipped into plastic wallets. I have securely tied everything in order with extra-long treasury-tags. One of my housemates labelled all the documents for me yesterday evening; one is buying me a jiffy-bag large enough to contain it all; one took it to the Post Office and mailed it recorded delivery.
[Image description: the ninety-eight pages making up my pro forma ESA50 claim.]
Once I have that proof of postage I shall breathe a sigh of relief, but will not fully relax until I can print off the proof of receipt - some time next week.