The new Employment Support Allowance emergency (#esaSOS)
On 28 January 2013 the government is due to make a set of changes to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). The WCA is the flawed ‘fitness to work’ test which assesses whether sick and disabled people can get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), a benefit designed to help and support very unwell or profoundly disabled people into work.
How many more seriously ill people must suffer before the government acts?
Since the Work Capability Assessment fit-for-work test (which in large part determines eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance) was introduced in October 2008, more than 400,000 people with serious illnesses and profound disabilities have appealed against the decision to strip them of state support.
Today (1 February), at 12.30pm, the Welfare Reform Bill will return to the House of Commons after a series of defeats in the Lords. Let's be very clear - it is a dangerous, incomplete bill based on flawed evidence and unpleasant ideals. It is vast and impenetrable - most of the ministers arguing for it have very little understanding of the detail within it. Yes, that's right, they don't understand the details or effects of their own policies.
Asking the Lords to make welfare reform fair and safe
Yesterday I went to meet the "Amendment Lords" ahead of today's crucial votes in the second chamber, where the Welfare Reform Bill (WRB) debate moves from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), the income replacement benefit for people with work-limiting conditions, to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which is intended to help with the extra costs people incur as a result of severe disability.
Welfare Reform Bill: Key issues for disabled and sick people
The extraordinary triple victory on specific benefit issues in the House of Lords on 11 January 2012 has raised questions for a number of people about the larger situation regarding the Welfare Reform Bill. Some of the bill might be helpful, but I want to be very clear today about which parts sick and disabled campaigners know to be unacceptable - and why.