Sunday, 28 September 2014

National Scandal? If not why not?

Sent 13th Aug...
> Hi Sir Gerald
> Many thanks for your correspondence of the 12th August.
> I have just read with dismay that sanctions on sick and disabled people - removing money they are entitled to for erroneous and sometimes ludicrous reasons- has increased unacceptedly.
> Sanctions for disabled and sick on ESA have risen by 346% (compared to the same quarter last year), new DWP figures have shown.
> Mr Iain Duncan Smith says this is returning fairness.
> In all fairness, it appears to be abhorrent.
> I do note that the coalition appear to have accepted albeit in intent, the Wednesbury Principle - I think this negates their holding any acceptance of this principle.
> Now is this a DWP questions item to raise? Or a Prime Ministers Question Time issue to be raised? Or both?
> It is in the nations interest that the current government is called on its appalling treatment of vulnerable citizens as often and as strongly as possible.
> I hope you will ad this to the considerable quiver of arrows existing, and ask when are the archers of truth, such as yourself, going to release their bowstrings and let fly?
> Many Thanks
And of course my MP directly approached IDS
I was sent copy of the reply to this from IDS to my MP .. As follows....
28th august 2014
Dear Gerald
Thank you for your letter of 15 th august on behalf of .... Redacted.... Regarding Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) .
We do not sanction ESA claimants for not finding work and do not require them to apply for or take up specific jobs. Sanctions are only imposed where a claimant does not engage with the support on offer which is designed to improve their chances of finding or preparing for work. Sanctions only occur in a  small minority of cases and in any month, only around 1 per cent of ESA claimants are sanctioned.
We know sanctions play an important role in this system. Department for Work and Pensions research suggests that the majority of ESA claimants, around 61 per cent , say they are more likely to follow the rules due to threat of a sanction. Sanctions are there to drive compliance and it is right that Work Coaches set requirements that will help to move claimants towards work.
Evidence shows that work and work-related activity is good for disabled people and people with health conditions. The Government does not believe it is right for the majority of ESA claimants, those in the Work-Related Activity Group, to be able to remain on benefits indefinitely. It is important that people who are capable of moving towards employment are not left to spend years written off by the benefits system. In the current fiscal climate, the Government needs to review the balance between contributions paid and unlimited entitlement to support.
The numbers of ESA claimants referred to the Work Programme have increased over the last two years by more than 60 per cent and, as such, we would expect to see a consequential increase in sanction referrals as more people join the Programme. In addition Providers are increasing the support on offer to ESA claimants to help them to improve their confidence and skills to help them move closer to work. With this increased support claimants will be expected to take part in more activity, which must be reasonable given the claimant's circumstances.
I can assure ... Redacted... that we would not sanction vulnerable claimants, such as those with learning difficulties or mental health conditions, without making every effort to contact them or their carer/healthcare professional first.
A claimant's medical circumstances are taken into account when considering requiring them to undertake a specific activity. Claimants are encouraged to discuss the impact of their condition on their support needs, and specialist advisers are well-placed to understand and reflect the needs of claimants to help them successfully moved towards employment.
We have put safeguards in place to support potentially vulnerable people. For example, good reason provision and appeal rights, an ability to waive and defer any requirements and reminders to claimants of when appointments are due. Claimants will not be sanctioned if they have good reason for failing to meet their requirements.
Finally, it should be noted that we have introduced hardship payments to prevent destitution as a consequence of sanctions. This is to ensure that ESA claimants in greatest need receive the right level of financial support to prevent them suffering hardship. Claimants who meet the criteria for a hardship payment will receive 60 poet cent of the personal amount for a single person. We have set the level at 60 per cent because claimants will already be in receipt of the work-related activity component and any premiums during the period of the sanction.
The Rt  Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Shenanigans. And stuff..

It may have come to your attention in the past that I've mentioned my illnesses...

Well also since 6 th of July
I've had a broken femur and several broken bones in foot.

The recovery phase is the most frustrating thing I can think of as it's eclipsing everything I do.

I'm off wheelchair, away from airboot and under hospital physio instruction.
And crutches.

And when they said 6 to 8 weeks in a&e ..... I knew somehow they were probably talking only of bone knitting estimate.

The cost of this to me has made several bills late or unpaid. Taxis aren't cheap on limited budget.

And the deterioration of tidy in the flat? That's a said thing. It has gone.
Everything is structured for can I reach it? Do I need it? And if I've used it do I need to put it away or would that mean difficulty when needed again?

Fatigue? Yes from the illnesses. Also the drain of pain from injury is shattering.

Do people see all this? No.


They see crutches. And me. When out. And that's at a highly planned mission each time. More so than normally.
They see the interfaced determination. Not the difficulties.

Why am I touring in writing what most ill or injured people know?
Probably because people need reminder, as often they sit in the "I'm alright jack" zone. .

And after saying everything and yet nothing, I close.

*grabs coffee *,*swallows painkiller*

Excuse my rambling.