Author Topic: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment  (Read 605 times)

lankou

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Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« on: September 29, 2017, 09:53:37 AM »


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-and-support-allowance-and-universal-credit-changes-to-the-work-capability-assessment/employment-and-support-allowance-and-universal-credit-changes-to-the-work-capability-assessment-from-29-september-2017


Policy paper

Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit: changes to the Work Capability Assessment from 29 September 2017

Published 29 September 2017

Contents
1. Changes to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) 
2. Background information 

1.  Changes to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA)

From 29 September 2017, the WCA reassessment criteria will change for some Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) claimants.

ESA claimants in the support group and UC claimants with limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA) attending a Work Capability Assessment after 29 September 2017 will no longer need to be reassessed if it finds that they:
•have a severe, lifelong disability, illness or health condition
•are unlikely to ever be able to move into work

Claimants will be told if they will not be reassessed following their WCA.

This change does not affect:
• ESA claimants placed in the work-related activity group
• UC claimants who are found to have limited capability for work

2.  Background information

Reassessment periods

Reassessment periods are decided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on the basis of a claimant’s functional capacity. DWP is advised by healthcare professionals on:
•the assessment of a claimant’s health condition or disability
•the long-term effects of a claimant’s health condition or disability
•when and if claimants should be reassessed

If a claimant’s health condition or disability gets worse

ESA claimants in the work-related activity group can request a WCA if they think that their condition has worsened to the extent that they should be placed in the support group.

UC claimants with limited capability for work can request a WCA if they think that their condition has worsened to the extent that they should be placed in the LCWRA group.


Sunny Clouds

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2017, 01:03:32 PM »
This is really good news.  My only caveat is how it will affect some people to be told this.  If they word it too tightly, it may come as rather a shock to some of the people affected.

When I got my last medical certificate for PIP from my GP, it sent my mood spiralling downwards and every time I think of it, I feel distressed.  In my case, it's nothing I didn't know, it's having to face that it's how I come across to a doctor, which suddenly felt utterly humiliating.  (It's no discredit to the doctor that I felt that way, he is lovely and kind and professional.)

So I hope that when people are told they won't be reassessed, it will be in a manner that won't take away hope from the people that need it. 

neurochick

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 02:28:16 PM »
So I wonder what happens to those of us who have been placed in the ESA Support Group from day 1 on the basis of the ESA50 without any need for a Work Capability Assessment?  I've had 4 ESA50 assessments over the last 7.5 years and been in the Support Group since the start without ever being called for a WCA.

Its insane that they've just ditched 'lifelong awards' of DLA in favour of repeated assessments under PIP yet here we now have what are effectively lifetime awards of ESA with no reassessments.  The lack of logic coupled with the stupidity and sheer waste of public money in all this is breathtaking.   

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2017, 02:40:04 PM »
It's not a waste of public money.  It's public money well-invested in improving politicians' income from current investments, future income, and post-politics careers.  Gosh, anyone would think the prime concern of a government when spending public money should be the welfare of the public not lining their own pockets and those of the people and organisations likely to give them either financial benefits or more power.

Cutbacks in public staffing and contracts to private companies, especially contracts that need to be expensively cancelled and replaced, with dubious computer systems that need to be expensively cancelled and replaced are an essential part of any greedy politician's spending.

(typo amended, sense not changed)

« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 11:40:29 PM by Sunny Clouds »


KizzyKazaer

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2017, 05:14:42 PM »
In-depth discussion on UC happening right now on Radio 4's 'PM' news programme...

SunshineMeadows

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2017, 04:21:12 PM »
Lankou,

I moved your thread from News and merged it with the one WeDesign started here in Talk after you.

WeDesign,

see above  >thumbsup<

JLR2

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2017, 09:25:12 AM »
''....we now have what are effectively lifetime awards of ESA with no reassessments.''

Might this be a bit of a con in that if the government force through their intended roll out of UC there will be no one left on ESA to experience a future free of reassessments?  If I'm right in my thinking of things in this way I could see how the government could be hoping to lure folk into a false sense of security whilst at the same time seeing the government gaining some support from various areas of the public and in the media who would be talking of this change to ESA showing the government are caring. Or am I wildly mistaken?

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2017, 11:29:47 AM »
Well, I'm having some trouble believing that any of this is intended as a kindness to claimants..

JLR2

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2017, 11:34:31 AM »
I suppose put simply if ESA is abolished with the full roll out of UC then there is no one left on it to reassess.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2017, 12:03:04 PM »
JLR2 - what you say makes sense.

Having said that, if I've understood correctly, UC currently only replaces means-tested benefits, so there'll still be contributions-based ESA.

That being so, I'm guessing the way they'll deal with that is to extend the one year time limit for contributions-based ESA from whatever the work-related activity group is now called to the support group.  (I thought I was keeping pace with benefits changes and jargon but it occurs to me that I've no idea whether they changed the name of the WRAG ESA once they removed the WRAG component from it.)


JLR2

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2017, 12:46:52 PM »
Chances are that the DWP will announce the ending of all forms of ESA a bit like the way they're pushing their roll out of UC to deal with anything that they see as impeding their cutting the cost of the welfare system. Another reason why the government may be in a hurry to force through changes to the benefits system would be to have an incoming Labour or possible coalition government's hands tied before they can even get started in repairing what is left of welfare.

Suppose the DWP were to announce serious changes to the welfare system just before they tell the country, 'we are as result of a change in the leadership of the party, hence a change in PM, are calling another general election to be held within 30/45 days of this announcement'  doing so would allow them the opportunity to attack any policy put up by opposition parties during any such election, I think >erm<

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2017, 02:52:32 PM »
I felt so utterly despairing at the failure of Labour to oppose cutback in cutback to benefits.  Ironically, I think that when New Labour (which I have no love of) brought in ESA, they actually did it with fairly good intentions, or at least not utterly nasty ones.   

But then the longer I go on, the more negative and cynical I become about politics, which may be boring for others.  I was having a clearout of old books and papers last year and found some stuff from the mid to late nineties and in particular the writings of someone influential in a community where I'd been living. I'd been a 'community leader' in the area, happily getting active after being talent-spotted by him.  The area was one of the most deprived in the country and as I chucked out the stuff I'd got written by him, I saw that he saw eliminating poverty in the area as being about education and employment.  Oh how good it sounded.  He was terribly New Labour, Demos etc.

I became aware of the health situation there.  Someone pretty senior NHS-wise said that the majority of people in that area didn't live long enough to pick up a pension.  I didn't make the connection at the time.

Years later, I did.  That strand of New Labour was about getting people into work and ignore the people that were suffering because they couldn't work.  The giveaway, which again I hadn't thought of until later, was how eager they were to drop me like a hot potato when I had a breakdown.  It wasn't "She's gone bonkers, let's put a gap between us so people don't think we're bonkers," it was "She's depressed, she's no use to anyone."

Obviously, I'm biased.  Who wouldn't be with personal experiences like that?  Nevertheless, it left me with a sense that all the major parties have bought into the idea that if you can't work, you're worthless, in an era where technology is making it so that even if you can work, there's a shortfall of work.

I don't know what the answer is survival-wise.  Pre-modern welfare state, back in the middle ages it was the church & monasteries before Henry VIII found an excuse to shut them down and seize their assets.  ("Dissolution of the monasteries" sounds so much more harmless than "closure of institutions providing food, shelter, clothes, healthcare and education to people that need them as and when they need them," doesn't it?)  Then we had philanthropy, trendy but hypocritical.  Oh how lovely to establish a hospital or something with the money you only have through exploiting people, but at least that sort of help was there.  Then there were mutual societies, the fore-runners of National Insurance.

But with the dismantling of the NHS, the old buildings, owned by charities and mutual societies have mostly been sold off.   Mutuals have been turned into money-making insurance companies.  I don't know what's left. 

If you sell the idea that sick and disabled people are scroungers, if you 'other' them so people think it won't happen to them, then people don't have an incentive to chip together to provide a safety net.

I've a suspicion the main hope is to find a couple of trillionnaires that want to make their name off the back of helping sick and disabled people.  How awful that I might think that that's our best hope.

But who knows?  And the needs of sick and disabled people will probably be better furthered by people less negative and cynical than me.

Monic1511

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2017, 03:42:18 PM »
UC is meant to be for everyone and in live areas claimants who ARE entitled to con based JSA or con based ESA are being put on UC just because the call centres wont let them claim JSA or ESA.  After 40 minutes on hold listening to the repeated message UC is the new benefit and you should hang up and log on www.gov.uk/universal credit you can progress your claim more quickly. On line claims are processed quicker,.

After 40 minutes of that you get to speak to a person and after an argument you can claim con based benefit but you need to know the benefits is there to be able to claim it.  Many in work think they just walk into the job centre and are given help  >lol< >lol< >lol< >crying<  Even last week I had to say to a colleague she couldn't just present at the job centre, she wouldn't get past the security guard >angry<
If your off sick and being fired your even less likely to end up on esa if  UC is an  Option.  Another thing - your being sick doesn't exclude you from job searching, it's at the discretion of your work coach.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Important Changes to ESA, UC, WCA assessment
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2017, 04:10:04 PM »
I remember the days when if you were on the dole, you turned up each week/fortnight (I forget which) at your UBO with your UB40.  The office was spartan but the atmosphere friendly.  You'd tell the bloke behind the counter what work you'd been able to get (I was in the TA, so had random p/t work from that, and also temped with an agency whilst looking for permanent work.)  He'd do a bit of quick arithmetic and either give you a giro for the difference to take to the post office, or tell you (with no hostility) that you'd earned over the threshold.  You'd then say goodbye until your next signing on day.

I don't think people were any less willing to work then than now they're hassled.

The irony is that for 'mad' people like me, in the days of the asylums, people did basket-weaving.  It's the stereotypical image, isn't it?  A joke?  But I know I'm not the only one here to remember woven baskets as both useful and attractive.  The baskets you took to the shops or to school to carry your cookery home in.  Practicality and creativity combined.  Now if you go to a mental hospital, they'll have occupational therapy, but whilst it may possibly involve creativity, it'll be abstract and, quite frankly, have none of the satisfaction of producing something useful.  I remember being offered the opportunity as an in-patient to make a spaceship out of a cardboard box.  You wouldn't sell that, give it to someone or take it home, would you?

It also used to be so easy to do voluntary work if you were ill.   Now, it's a palaver.  I was at a hospital appointment not long ago and a doctor (not psychiatrist) noted that I was on the sick and suggested a bit of voluntary work might perk me up.  When I said I used to do it but after I left my last voluntary work was no longer prepared to do any more for fear of someone with targets to meet clicking on a computer box labelled 'change of circumstances' and either stopping my benefits so I had to appeal, or migrating me to different benefits with reams of paperwork and months of hassle and probably an appeal, the doctor nodded.  I have no reason to suppose, given his specialty, that he had any particular knowledge of or involvement in benefits applications, but it evidently made perfect sense to him.  As a doctor, he sees every day the lies, the cuts in funding, the further reductions in resources by outsourcing and privatisation diverting funds to profits.  He probably frequently wonders whether he should retire, change profession, go private or emigrate.

I think I'll post something elsethread about lab rats and enriched environments.