UC update

My telephone appointment last week went fine. All the Work Coach wanted was to ask if I had received, completed and sent off the form for my WCA will which be coming up in the next few weeks. I wanted to check that someone was on top of sorting out exactly what UC I should … Continue reading UC update

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ESA and UC aren’t talking

Phoning ESA again. It has a long spiel followed by 'please press 1 to continue'. Why not just carry on without having to press 1? After more spiel, there is an explanation about it being the wrong number for Universal Credit. Then it tells you, twice, that you need to state what benefit you are … Continue reading ESA and UC aren’t talking

Universal Credit and ESA transfer

I started my claim for UC on 16th July. I told ESA on the same day, or possibly a day or two before, that I had moved house, no longer had any savings and was putting in a claim for Universal Credit. On 10th July I had received an ESA payment as per usual. I … Continue reading Universal Credit and ESA transfer

Universal Credit standard shenanigans

After getting a letter from ESA last week, this week I logged on to my UC journal and found that I had - at last - got an award breakdown. I'm on the basic rate, less than £75/week, and I had over £100 taken off the month's payment because of my earnings. As an added … Continue reading Universal Credit standard shenanigans

Work is not a health outcome

A couple of days ago I saw this tweet on Twitter: "Work as a health outcome is a fundamental principle for us. There must be a shared approach within the health and social care system" Jenny Osbourne from @GM_HSC #ERSAMBW #disabilityconfident #nooneleftbehind pic.twitter.com/13KRhqnyEf — Pluss (@PlussInspires) May 23, 2018 This phrase creates a visceral reaction … Continue reading Work is not a health outcome

Governments have no right to be ignorant

The government still doesn’t know what its talking about. But this time it’s almost seven years on from when it gained power, and its politicians no longer have the right to plead ignorance. They do not have the right to remain ignorant on matters of great importance over which they hold the power. A spokesperson … Continue reading Governments have no right to be ignorant

Atos to leave WCA contract early

On Thursday the DWP announced that Atos is withdrawing from its contract to run Work Capability Assessments, the controversial assessment for people too sick or disabled to work. Interestingly the DWP both claim that they sacked Atos (“We removed them. It’s not them walking away”) and that Atos paid them for leaving. Which to me … Continue reading Atos to leave WCA contract early

Evidence-based review of the WCA

The government has been carrying out a study of suitable descriptors to use for assessments for ESA. The results were supposed to be released in spring of this year, then summer, and then finally were released earlier this month. The superficial results suggest that the current descriptors are better than the alternative descriptors tested in … Continue reading Evidence-based review of the WCA

The benefits system, workfare and public opinion

We cannot afford to base policy on public opinion when the public opinion is based on false information. ESA is a good example of this. Public opinion is that a larger proportion of those who were or still are on IB did not need or deserve to be there. Consequently there was room for approval … Continue reading The benefits system, workfare and public opinion

The importance of medical evidence for disability assessments

When it’s their word against yours, medical evidence is what proves you’re not the one lying. Medical evidence is what says that you are in pain, or you are blind, or you are mentally ill. It’s what confirms that you aren’t making things up or exaggerating. It’s what tells the decision maker to believe your … Continue reading The importance of medical evidence for disability assessments