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DWP Deliberately Inflicting Hardship On ESA Appeals Claimants

May 9, 2018

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

The DWP are deliberately inflicting hardship on claimants who appeal against ESA decisions by misleading GPs into refusing to issue sick notes. The shock finding was published last week by the legal advice charity Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K).

ESA claimants who challenge a decision that they are capable of work cannot claim ESA whilst they are waiting for a mandatory reconsideration decision. They may be able to claim JSA, but many claimants are reluctant to do so for fear that they may be unable to meet any jobseeking requirements and then be subject to a sanction.

However, if the mandatory reconsideration is unsuccessful, as the overwhelming majority are, claimants can then lodge an appeal and reclaim ESA whilst waiting for their appeal to be heard.

But in order to reclaim ESA, they have to produce a fit note from their GP.

Until recently the information given to GPs in form ESA65B, issued when a claimant is found fit for work, made it clear that no further fit notes should be issued to that patient except in certain circumstances. It explained that the patient had been found fit for work and :

“This means you do not have to give your patient any more medical statements for Employment and Support Allowance purposes. But you may have to give your patient new medical statements if

they decide to appeal against our decision

their condition gets significantly worse

they have a new medical condition.”

However, the new letter being sent to GPs states:

“As a result of this decision, [Title] [Surname] is not entitled to ESA from and you do not need to provide any more fit notes to [select] relating to [select] disability/health condition for ESA purposes.”

No mention of any circumstances in which fit notes should be issued is made at all.

Z2K first became aware of the issue because of difficulties experienced by their client Louis, who had lodged an appeal against an ESAS decision. Louis’ GP refused absolutely to start issuing fit notes again because, he said, had received a letter from the DWP instructing him not to do so, no matter how mill his patient was.

According to Z2K:

“The decision to omit mention of ESA pending appeal in the current ESA65B is irresponsible to the point of spreading misinformation to GPs. Louis had to register at a different practice, in order to find a GP willing to write him a fit note, despite there being no question that it was medically appropriate to do so. Louis did not have enough money to buy food while this was being resolved.”

The DWP have offered no explanation whatsoever for the change in the wording of the letter, except that it was altered as a result of a ‘ministerial requirement’.

That it is a ministerial requirement that claimants be caused as much suffering as possible, regardless of the law, will probably come as no surprise to our readers.

You can read the full story from Z2K here.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2018 3:22 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. mili68 permalink
    May 9, 2018 5:47 am

    Reblogged this on disabledsingleparent.

  3. Justin permalink
    May 9, 2018 10:04 am

    Firstly the DWP are not practicing GP’S, secondly and more importantly they are also undermining what gp’s are there for and by sending out a letter like this they could also be interfering in patient and gp confidence in trust, thirdly with there system being so wrong who are they to tell your gp what to do, I have not met that but have heard of it and I shall put it politely that if they at any time attempt to interfere in my professional care without proper justification that will be a decision they make at there own risk, get it wrong, hell will have no greater fury

  4. May 9, 2018 11:30 am

    Reblogged this on Christopher John Ball.

  5. Cay permalink
    May 9, 2018 11:51 am

    The dwp did this to a friend of mine who has a brain cyst amongst other really bad illnesses they’re murdering scumbags there’s other things they’re hiding not just this.sanctioning people they fail at their own assessments that suffer mental health problems agoraphobia if you don’t go to the jobcentre your sanctioned and any gp who refuse sick notes to patients who really need it then they should be sacked as they aren’t doing their job why would the gp listen to the dwp rather than the patient they’ve had a relationship with for years? Total loss of patient trust next it will be 7 million starving people dying because gps refuse to hand out proper care due to the dwp I’m ashamed to be British . This Tory government has to be the worst in history for cruelty to the poor cut taxes for the rich we are the drain on society well I hope you all rot in hell

  6. Cay permalink
    May 9, 2018 11:53 am

    They’re a disgrace they really can’t stoop any lower

  7. May 12, 2018 7:21 am

    “The DWP are deliberately inflicting hardship on claimants who appeal against ESA decisions”

    Well Duh
    And bears s**t in the woods
    And the Pope isn’t Polish.

    “The shock finding was published last week by the legal advice charity Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K).”

    Click to access 0001110841_AC_20161231_E_C.pdf

    Page 7 – “We also continued to work with the Ministry of Justice”
    Page 7 – “We will also continue to work with the Ministry of Justice on enforcement law reform”

    Page 18 – City of Westminster Council Ward Funding – £14700

    Z2K Trustees –

    Kay Lau – Treasurer – “Public Sector Audit from KPMG” (KPMG owned by Atos)

    Jim Dobel – ” he spent the majority of his career with the BBC where he held senior management positions” (BBC employs Atos and Capita)

    Christopher Pond – “Chris was MP for Gravesham between 1997 and 2005, during which time he served as a Work and Pensions Minister.”

    Randeep Ramesh – “is social affairs editor for the Guardian”

    Dame Ruth Runciman – “Dame Ruth Runciman worked for 30 years as a CAB advisor in Hackney and then North Kensington.” (CAB Bribed directly by the DWP)

    Jessica Walker – “ensuring legal best practice was followed by bankers.”

    Z2K Staff –
    Stacey Jackson – Tribunals Coordinator
    “Citizens Advice(DWP) and Mind(DWP)”
    Marc Francis – Policy and Campaigns Director
    “before that, Public Affairs Manager at Shelter.”

    Click to access 0000263710_AC_20170331_E_C.pdf

    see Page 69 and 85-87
    Irla Pepaj – Tribunals Project Worker
    “She comes from a Criminology background”
    “she co-founded Horizon Legal Advice Clinic, providing end-to-end legal advice on PIP and ESA”
    But has never heard of the Police???
    Jamie Wallace – Housing Liaison Officer
    “previously worked at the Hammersmith and Fulham Citizens Advice service.”
    (CAB Bribed directly by the DWP)
    Catherine Hartshorn – Client Support Coordinator
    “Catherine is a qualified social worker”
    But has never heard of Vulnerable Adult Abuse? or the Care Act 2014?? –
    Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect –
    Abuse of Vulnerable Adults –

    Click to access No_secrets__guidance_on_developing_and_implementing_multi-agency_policies_and_procedures_to_protect_vulnerable_adults_from_abuse.pdf
    Daniel Wrapson – Complaints Caseworker
    “worked as a social welfare caseworker in Barnet and for Greenwich Council.”
    Anne Killeen – Senior Casework Manager
    “was a team leader for Shelter”
    Andy Jackson – Stepping Stones Project Caseworker
    “and a caseworker for a Member of Parliament”

    Z2K Patrons –

    Founding Patrons
    1996 – 2000: The Rt. Rev. Lord Runcie
    1996 – 2009: Sir John Mortimer CBE QC

    The Most Revd & Right Hon the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury; Justin Welby
    The Duke of Richmond and Gordon
    Victoria, Lady Getty
    His Honour Judge Jan Luba QC
    Sir Henry Brooke
    Sandi Toksvig
    Lady Antonia Fraser D.B.E.
    Dr Shuja Shafi
    Jeremy Paxman

    So how much of their UK Government mates ‘”Hostile Environment” of ‘Grave And Systematic Human Rights Violations’, Abuse, Fraud, Torture and Murder have those BSing Course Of Justice Perverting scumbags helped to cover up?
    None of them ever heard of ‘The Police’?

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