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Employment and Support Allowance The first year (well, almost!)

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Presentation on theme: "Employment and Support Allowance The first year (well, almost!)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Employment and Support Allowance The first year (well, almost!)

2 Rights and responsibilities “The Government and external stakeholders must act to provide additional help and support so that people can fulfil their potential. But making this difference also requires a clear response from individual citizens themselves: they need to meet their responsibility to take the necessary steps to re-enter the labour market when they have a level of capacity and capability that makes this possible.”

3 Remember the green paper? Little is done to prevent people moving onto incapacity benefits. Gateway to benefits is poorly managed – claimants receive incapacity benefits before satisfying the main medical test. Benefits trap people into a lifetime of dependency. Perverse incentives – paying more the longer people claim. Almost nothing is expected of claimants – and little support is offered. Those who try to plan their return to work through volunteering and training perceive that they run the risk of proving themselves capable of work and therefore losing their entitlement. The name ‘incapacity benefits’ sends a signal that a person is incapable and that there is nothing that can be done to help get them back into the labour market. To reduce the number of incapacity benefits claimants by 1 million over the course of a decade

4 Not as promised in first Green Paper A simpler integrated single benefit No-one worse off on ESA Would not effect existing claimants A more modern test but numbers to be reduced by increased support into work Some compulsion necessary to get people to engage but a positive Pathways approach

5 So how is ESA working? Two-thirds are failing the WCA nationally, up to 90% in some areas DWP anticipated 51% failure rate On IB, 39% failed the PCA Most of those failing WCA are claiming JSA or coming off benefit, rather than taking up work. ATOS say 80-90% are in WRA group Numbers in support group are low

6 DWP perspective “…it is encouraging that people are being helped to reach their potential, and this was a clear policy intention from the outset as we moved from looking at what people can do rather than what they can’t.” (DWP statement in Financial Times, July 2009)

7 From Wrexham BDC Not collated stats on failure rates only started to report this week Today – 52 came back from ATOS – 25 failed - 48% - but 15 had 0 points Feels more than PCA Around 250 to 400 a month only 4 or 5 Support component – 2 to 4% of those passing More appealing helped by ESA continuing at assessment phase rate – worried when hits existing claimants who lose money

8 Discussion areas Claims and processes At the medical Decision making and appeals Anything else?

9 Claims and processing Are people getting the right advice on (e.g.) Linking rules? Claiming IS (if previous IB claimants)? Options for IS/JSA and “better off”? Which ESA questions? Script problems? Are DWP picking up support group cases without the need for a medical? Are claimants coping with the ESA50? Delays in processing ESA claims? How are initial WFIs going?

10 At the medical What is client experiences of the WCA? Is the WCA and WFHRA being completed in the same session? By the same practitioner? Any indication of WFHRA impacting on WCA scores? Any issues from the physical test? Any issues from the mental health test?

11 Decision making and appeals Any problems using IB case law with ESA appeals? Issues with deaf clients and communication? Use of the medical guidance – helpful, unhelpful or just plain wrong? New arguments on “mental, cognitive and intellectual function” test and problem areas Evidence issues? Role of the ESA50s and its own descriptors? How are tribunals coping? Appeal stats just in! IB – approx 51% in claimants favour ESA – only 30% in claimants favour

12 Anything else? Over to you….!

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