Sue Marsh's blog

Rights and wrongs in Litchfield's Work Capability Assessment review

On 12 December 2013 Paul Litchfield finally released his Year Four report on the operation of the government's Work Capability Assessment (WCA) system.

How the government misled us over Employment and Support Allowance

In 2008, the then Labour government introduced a new out of work sickness benefit, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), to replace the old Incapacity Benefit (IB).

New ESA regulations will cheat people of support

On Monday 28 January SI 2012 No. 3096, Social Security: The Employment and Support Allowance (Amendment) Regulations 2012 come into force - unless you, and MPs, act.

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.

A message from Spartacus: vote with your hearts

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.

The case against time-limiting Employment and Support Allowance

On 11 January 2012, peers will vote on whether or not to time limit Employment and Support Allowance. This is a short, emphasis-pointed briefing about this vital issue.

Disability - Responsible reform? #spartacusreport

Timed to coincide with the return of the Welfare Reform Bill to the House of Lords, today (9 January 2012) sees the formal launch of the report 'Responsible Reform' (