Employment and Support Allowance (ESA): a new harsher test
Employment and Support Allowance: a new harsher test
If it’s too long, start halfway down at “Both old and new tests are based on scoring points”.
Or if that’s still too much, read these excerpts:
“Some sentences are complete nonsense. Examples: ‘Customer does pottery all day’ (the claimant told the ‘doctor’ that she was pottering about) [Rightsnet Forum 2008] and: ‘The client’s Amputation of Upper Limb is mild. They have seen a specialist for this problem’ [Rightsnet Forum 2010].”
… Absurdity built in:
“A judge complained that Atos [the DWP’s contractor] refused publishing its handbook because of commercial confidentiality [CIB/664/2005]. For this reason, one of our clients will never know why LiMA decided that he can walk 100 metres, pick things from the floor and sit on a chair for 30 minutes on the basis that he is ‘usually able to use a microwave’ [BHUWC].”
… Unfairness built in:
“… low level problems score zero, while they were scoring something (three points) in the old test; yet the effect of combined low level problems can make people incapable to work [CAB, pp. 13-15].”
… The one that really scares me, with fibromyalgia, which fluctuates about as much as anything can:
“… the ‘doctors’ are recommended to disregard symptoms which come and go (variable conditions).
Back in 1996, a judicial decision had obliged the government to take variable conditions into account in the old test; now, using the excuse that the WCA is a new test, the government has wiped out what had been established!”
… Harshness built in:
“If we compare the old and new tests, descriptor by descriptor, we are surprised how strict the new test is.
Under the old PCA, for example, if a claimant was unable to walk up or down a flight of stairs of 12 steps, he scored 15 points and was ‘unfit to work’; if he could climb 12 steps only with the help of a banister, he could still score some points. Under the new WCA, in order to score more than zero, one should not be able to climb two steps, even with the help of a handrail. This is extreme.”
… extreme. Harsh, unfair, absurd.
My choice is between:
- being a mother to my children;
- ignoring my children in order to work at finding a way I can earn a living; and
- concentrating all my limited time (disability is so time-consuming!) and limited energy not only on form-filling, but on working out what the questions on the forms even mean.
How would you prioritise?
… I feel helpless.
Related: Benefits and Work – Employment and Support (disabledpeople.org)