Monday 12 October 2015

Non-Governmental ESA & WCA Research

Ekklesia are researching how Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)‬ & the notorious and much-hated ‪Work Capability Assessment (‎WCA)‬ might be reformed or replaced. To this end they have devised an online questionnaire. Most of the questions are multi-choice with optional boxes.

I only wrote one long answer in respect to how any future benefit ought to look. My answer for Q. 30:

"I think it should be far more tiered, with the more points you get the higher the benefit awarded in order to account for extra costs - or if not tiered then with the addition of non-refundable grants. For example, someone with impaired mobility should be given an award towards a wheelchair and with each additional impairment an extra grant; someone who is sight-impaired should be given a grant to cover the costs of technology. At the top would be quadriplegics awarded grants to cover all necessary equipment.

Alternatively, the State should have a centralised purchasing body in order to save money through mass purchasing. Or a mixture of the two, so if someone wishes to pay more for equipment or does not want the State-offered product, they are free to choose.

Those requiring care, ought to receive additional components to cover such costs or the State ought to be obliged to pay for necessary care as in Sweden, for example. The additional benefit to society is the creation of employment opportunities and thus more folk boosting the economy.

There may also need to be a way for folk to receive grants or extra benefit to access private health-care which the NHS will not/cannot provide. E.g. I need physiotherapy, which I have to pay myself, as due to very variable conditions I cannot keep appointments, thus the NHS refuse to provide. Similarly, I cannot access mental-health support, etc."

If you have been through the WCA-process, please do help out with this research. One is given plenty of opportunities to save and go back at a later time, if one so wishes.

[Image description: Ekklesia logo ©]

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