Update to this blog.
Full Fact replied to my email within 24 hours and issued this correction, for which I thank them. This clarification is extremely important as you will see as you read this blog.
“CORRECTION 30 Aug 2015: The article orginally said that: “If someone is found fit for work, they can appeal the decision, and continue to receive ESA during the appeal process.” That’s true of some of the people in the figures, but after October 2013 an additional stage of mandatory reconsideration by DWP was added before appeal during which people do not get ESA, as is now explained above.
UPDATE 30 Aug 2015: Added “on ESA” to the first paragraph of the section Mortality Rates Matter. The section was intended to be discussing ESA specifically, and it is mentioned in the last paragraph, but this wasn’t clear.”
I came across this statement in this Fullfact article:
“If someone is found fit for work, they can appeal the decision, and continue to receive ESA during the appeal process.”
This is my email to Fullfact
At best this comment is misleading and is open to misinterpretation.
Since October 2013 appealing an adverse Work Capability Assessment (WCA) decision is now in two parts, Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) and Appeal. You cannot go to appeal without a MR decision letter. It is only when this part of the process is completed that claimants ESA is re-instated!
When someone fails a WCA and is found fit for work their ESA stops immediately and they must request a MR. During the MR period claimants must sign onto JSA in order to receive benefits. Those that do sign onto JSA can find themselves sanctioned, many do.
Many decide that they are too ill to sign onto JSA.
Many are redirected by the Jobcentre to advice centres if Jobcentre advisers there think they are to ill to fulfil their Jobseekers Commitment. The consequence of this is that these claimants cannot open a JSA claim.
The kicker to this system is that there is no open claim – ESA has been stopped and JSA denied for the above reasons and with no open claim there is no access to any hardship payments
I quote from “Adviser” May/June 2015 “….The time it takes to do a MR —10-12 weeks and a high proportion of clients have no income in this time, this in turn adds to the work of peripheral organizations GP’s A&E, food banks. hardship teams, churches and voluntary services. Frequently health issues that have been dormant flare up, (and there is a)risk of losing accommodation, but the DWP don’t count this impact”
I have completed two blogs: One re the numbers estimated by Citizens Advice that are left without funds and a second re The DWP clearance times and it does make shocking reading.
The comply or starve tactics from Iain Duncan Smith and his Department of Work and Pensions and Numbers should be a light, not a crutch
Please take the time to read both of these and make the necessary correction to your article so that your readers have the full facts.