About Me

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I have been working to support disabled people to live as independently as possible and realising their individual potentials for over 20 years. I am qualified in Health and Social Care Management and Ethics and Social Welfare. All blog entries are my responses to issues I see affecting those I support and indeed myself as I joined the disabled community after surviving a stroke.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

We're In It Together, Its Just Some Upto Our Toes while Others Are Up To Our Necks - Response To Cabinet Spending Review 2010

On 20th October, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered his spending review designed to reduce our national deficit. In the early throes of speech Mr Osborne stated the better off will pay and lose more proportionately. Now in the speech itself there was very little detail as to what the real life effects of the cuts made would be on the public on the receiving end (however there appears to be a former rainforest of supportive documentation, but one that stuck out horrendously to me was people on state paid sick pay will only be able to claim it for 12 months apart from extreme cases.

Without going through the supportive documentation, it would be fair to assume this means Employment Support Allowance, about which my concerns are well known among my followers and this appears to be another slap aimed at the work-shy but hitting those in genuine need in the process.

I will be looking through the documentation when I can to find the definition of an 'extreme case' based on the fact that I consider many of the stories I have received, it seems many extreme cases are being refused Employment Support Allowance in the first instance as 70% of failed applications are overturned at appeal. So on the face of it, it seems that months of battling to receive, what for many is a genuine entitlement, you are then time limited on your right to receive it.

Don't get me wrong, the deficit needs to be reduced, I'm not an economist so am not best placed to advise how this should be done and benefit fraud is wrong and should be addressed, but on the face of it this hardly seems fair and proportionate to me.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

I Could Write An ESAsay on Work Capability Assessments

Good day dear readers, I must apologise for the lack of recent blog, but although I took a temporary leave of absence from my blog, the problems with Employment Support Allowance and Work Capability Assessments remains, in fact they seem to be getting worse.

It's ironic that last week I was giving a seminar at my local college to a group of health & social care students on social and medical models of disability, and during this seminar I had something of an epiphany, we are returning more and more and more to the medical model at the expense of disabled peoples social needs and the Work Capability Assessment is a clear indication of this.

Now I have already written about my concerns with ESA and WCA procedures in my blog entry "Who Are The Real Benefit Cheats?" and with some of the stories that have come to my attention since then my concerns begin to grow.

I grow more and more concerned every time I hear of yet another disabled person being told they are fit for work when they can barely get out of bed. Its causing such stress to those getting caught in this trap that it will be putting more strain on our doctors (who are largely ignored in the ESA and WCA procedures) and their family units.

I am currently preparing a dossier of apparent ESA injustices which I plan to send to my local MP, Mr Justin Tomlinson, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith Mr Ian Duncan-Smith, Ms Yvette Cooper MP Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Minister for Women and Equalities and Mr Douglas Alexander MP Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Minister for Women and Equalities.

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