- Answers to the most common questions about being transferred from IB to ESA.
- The text of the letter you will receive when the process begins.
- A first-hand account from a member of the phone call you will receive from a decision maker who, as it turns out, could almost have been reading aloud from one of our guides.
- A comparison, where it's possible, of the physical health tests for IB and for ESA - highlighting the ways in which the tests have changed.
- Suggestions as to which mental health points for incapacity benefit may be relevant to ESA the tests are too different for direct comparison.
- A comparison of the exemptions and exceptional circumstances for IB and for ESA
Combined with our step-by-step guides to completing the ESA questionnaire and attending a medical, our new guide to the transfer process should ensure that you are as well prepared as it's possible to be for the process you will be obliged to undergo.If you are a subscribing member, you can download our new guide from the ESA section of the Benefits and Work members area now.OTHER NEWS
In our last newsletter we wrote about the possibility of becoming self-employed as a way of escaping the treadmill of ESA medicals.We received lots of comments in response and this highly cautionary tale from one member threatened with prosecution and homelessness for being self-employed.Former athlete Steve Cram has also become homeless, at least on Facebook, after agreeing to become the Atos ambassador for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. His Facebook page appears to have been taken down after it was filled with howls of anger and outrage from sick and disabled claimants. (We were going to give you a link to his page but, obviously, that's not currently possible)There are further howls of protest, this time at the BBC, following its decision to close the BBC Ouch Forum next month. The forum is described by the BBC itself as the 'beating heart' of Ouch, the BBC's disability website. Users are now being advised by the BBC to go to Facebook and Twitter instead, a suggestion which is being met with fury because of the lack of anonymity and protection from harassment on those platforms.No outrage, however from Professor Malcolm Harrington. The government's independent reviewer of the WCA describes himself in an interim report as 'pleased and gratified' at the progress made by the DWP in making the work capability assessment fairer and more responsive.Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Harrington does not detail any consultation with claimants, admits that charities have not reported any improvements and entirely ignores the effects of the new, harsher work capability assessment.Another man with a talent for ignoring large chunks of reality is Chris Grayling, employment minister. Grayling has shamelessly denied that the government bears any responsibility for the current media hatred campaign against sick and disabled claimants. "Sometimes stories run in a way that completely bemuse me," he told the work and pensions committee, adding, however, that "I don't control... the editorial tone of the newspapers." Which doesn't mean, of course, that he doesn't privately delight in it or know very well what effect his press releases are likely to have.Meanwhile, Grayling launched the new work programme last week. 500 charities are now fighting over the scraps the huge private sector providers who won all the big contracts are being obliged to toss to them. You can download a full list of the charities involved.There's more snippets in our Stop Press News section, which we're hoping to expand and improve over the next few weeks. More on that in the next newsletter. Harking back momentarily to the last newsletter, we've been asked by the After Atos website we mentioned there to point out that they have an anonymous survey which people who have had an Atos ESA medical can complete. The results are published for use by campaigners.Finally, as ever, we finish on a cheerier note with some positive feedback from the forumFrom 0 to 33 points on ESA appealHigher rate mobility and middle rate care backdated for two yearsSuccessful IB to ESA transfer without medicalWon ESA tribunalSuccessful ESA appealHigher rate mobility for chronic fatigue syndrome
Higher rate care and higher rate mobility on initial claimDLA tribunal wins ESA appealESA support group with no medicalHigher rate care and higher rate mobility on renewal without medical6 points to 18 points on ESA appealPLEASE PASS ME ON
Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested. You are also welcome to reproduce this newsletter on your blog, website, forum or newsletter.You can read this newsletter online. Good luck,Steve DonnisonBenefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No. 5962666If you're not already a member, find out how to subscribe to Benefits and Work and give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right decision.