Author Topic: ESA = IB ?  (Read 8545 times)

SashaQ

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 920
    • h2g2.com
ESA = IB ?
« on: 30 Jun 2014 03:45PM »
 :-( My turn for the ESA application, as I lost my job...

I never applied for IB last time I was unemployed, because I didn't think I was "incapacitated", and I thought ESA was as much about support for people with barriers to finding work as about being incapacitated, but on first view it seems not...

Ah well - we shall see...

KizzyKazaer

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9158
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #1 on: 30 Jun 2014 04:54PM »
Quote
.. I thought ESA was as much about support for people with barriers to finding work as about being incapacitated

Well, that's the theory behind ESA being split into two groups - Work-Related Activity and Support..  Sounds like you consider yourself part of the former, but it all depends on how that form is completed (and which assessor/DWP decision maker gets hold of it!)

Monic1511

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2626
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #2 on: 30 Jun 2014 07:28PM »
Hi
ESA is meant as a benefit for people who are unable to claim JSA because they have barriers to employment - ie health problems.  If you are "fit and available and actively seeking work" its JSA but by that the DWP typically mean any job under the sun so if you have health problems I'd go for ESA - good luck with the forms & don't give up when / if they tell you that you are fit for work.  Especially when you try to claim JSA & they tell you that you are not fit for work  >crying<

 >hugs<
Monic

Sunshine Meadows

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8388
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #3 on: 30 Jun 2014 07:37PM »
Sasha,

Sorry about you losing your job  >bighugs<. If you lost it through ill health you will have a better idea of the level of work you can and cant do, how and why and this should help when it comes to filling in a form.

When I was working I was given a number of reasonable adjustments to help me overcome the barriers to work eg I took all my personal time as one 30 minute break and my partner was aloud to get the wheelchair sorted and get me into the building once I arrived at work which was half way though his shift. On a perfect day with a computer that worked, not being locked out of the building, not having the disabled toilet occupied by someone changing into the motorcycle gear, I thought I was managing but the daily physical and emotional stress of working 'in the real world' was too much for me.

In my opening the WRAG was originally going to be based on the concept that a lot of sick and disabled people did not know there was help out there eg like Access To Work that paid for my taxi into work. It was thought that with help some sick and disabled people could work, however what with the banking crisis and then the ConDems getting in and the advent to time limiting contributions based ESA the original concept was smothered by a blob like structure that absorbed a lot of sick and disabled people who cant ever work into WRAG. There has been some re-balancing since 2010 but it is still important for people making new claims to realise they have to look at the type of environments their job roles will be in and if having a job is a realistic goal.

I hope that was not too much doom and gloom because being on ESA can help some people figure out what is right for them and they do get appropriate jobs.

auntieCtheM

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5765
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #4 on: 30 Jun 2014 07:43PM »
Hi Sasha, I'm sorry to hear that you have lost your job.  Were you made redundant or was it something to do with your disability?

Anyway apply for everything that you can.  There are places you can go to that sort out what you can claim for.

SashaQ

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 920
    • h2g2.com
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #5 on: 30 Jun 2014 07:57PM »
Thanks everyone.  >bighugs<

Yes, I was doubting my knowledge, as the advisor I spoke to on the phone seemed to think there was only one reason why people might claim ESA (i.e. off sick from work long term) but of course the WRAG and Support Group incorporate a variety of different people...

I didn't lose my job through ill health, which is what seems to be confusing the powers that be, but I am facing barriers to getting another job because of being disabled, as I do have limitations as to what I can do...  :-( I was made redundant, yes.

I had to laugh ruefully at a couple of the application questions, though - the first one was "do you need wheelchair access?" and the second one was "can you manage stairs?"  I can't imagine what they mean by "wheelchair access" if it doesn't include avoiding a flight of stairs...

 >lol<  >crying<

KizzyKazaer

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9158
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #6 on: 30 Jun 2014 08:01PM »
 >doh< my apologies, Sasha - I 'missed' the bit about you losing your job, sorry to hear that and hope you can either find another that meets your requirements or have a (relatively) stress-free ESA claim..

- and  >doh< to the wheelchair access question, unless your current model can elevate like the newer Daleks and sort of 'float' up the stairs  >whistle<

NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7373
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #7 on: 30 Jun 2014 10:06PM »
Sorry to hear that you were made redundant, Sasha  >hugs<

seegee

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5166
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #8 on: 06 Jul 2014 10:09AM »
Sorry to hear about you being made redundant, Sasha. >bighugs<

I think the theory of the work-related activity group is that it helps people who can't necessarily apply for every single job (including 40+ hours of work in a warehouse/ kitchen/ stacking shelves) to get support applying for jobs that are reasonable (=possible for them with their illness/ disability) while not applying to be, for example, a delivery driver (who must keep getting in/ out of the vehicle/ up steps to outside doors, concentrating for hours of driving...) or other impossible full-time jobs. 
Signing for JSA would mean you would be expected to apply for lots of jobs like that, because you get given "must apply for 30 jobs", though there may not be 15 reasonable-for-you jobs that month.
I know in practice the WRAG sometimes involves "teaching" people who have degree-level education in English language how to fill in a basic application form or get through a job interview - but if that's what you have to "learn" to continue having money to live on...

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4845
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #9 on: 06 Jul 2014 10:36AM »
People in the wrag aren't expected to apply for any job at all, as they are deemed to be too ill/disabled to work hence being awarded ESA. They are provided with assistance in taking steps that might help them find employment at a later stage though.

There is a wealth of people however that are able to do some work so don't fit the ESA criteria but due to their illness/disabilties their limits are severe but this makes like for them and the JCP staff impossible as they cannot jump through the necessary hoops to claim JSA. This is the biggest problem in the whole system.

Sasha, have you looked at the descriptors for ESA? Do you feel you meet any of them?

lankou

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3230
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #10 on: 06 Jul 2014 10:43AM »
People in the wrag aren't expected to apply for any job at all, as they are deemed to be too ill/disabled to work hence being awarded ESA. They are provided with assistance in taking steps that might help them find employment at a later stage though.
?

http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/2829-esa-claimants-subject-to-massive-increase-in-sanctions

Created: Tuesday, 01 July 2014 19:36

Employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants in the work-related activity group (WRAG) are being subjected to a massively increased sanctions regime that deliberately targets the most vulnerable. Sanctions, primarily aimed at claimants on the work programme who have mental health conditions or learning difficulties, have quadrupled in the course of a year, even though referrals to the programme have fallen by 43%.


The number of sanctions rose from 1,102 a month in December 2012 to 4,789 a month in December 2013, the most recent date figures are available for.

The vast majority of sanctions are imposed for failing to participate in work-related activity whilst on the work programme, which thousands of ESA claimants are forced to join every month in spite of overwhelming evidence that it does not improve their chances of getting a job.

The massive rise in sanctions, however, cannot be explained by a sudden huge surge in the number of claimants in the WRAG.

In fact, the number of claimants in the WRAG increased by just 21% between November 2012 to November 2013, from 460,160 to 558,960.

Indeed, between August and November 2013 the number of claimants in the WRAG actually fell slightly, from 562,620 to 558,960. Yet the number of claimants sanctioned in this period shot up by a staggering 75% from 2,193 to 3,837.

Nor can the rise in sanctions be explained by a corresponding increase in the numbers of ESA claimants being forced onto the work programme.

In fact, the rate at which ESA claimants get pushed onto the work programme has fallen dramatically over the same period. 8,290 claimant were put onto the work programme in December 2012. This fell to just 4,700 in December 2013, a drop of 43%.

Yet sanctions increased fourfold.

And the main targets of those sanctions are claimants with mental health conditions or learning difficulties. Back in April we pointed out that the proportion of this group receiving a sanction had risen from 35% of sanctioned claimants in 2009 to a massive 58% by June 2013.

That figure has now increased again to 62% in December 2013, even though claimants with these conditions make up just 50% of the work-related activity group.


Monic1511

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2626
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #11 on: 06 Jul 2014 06:30PM »
Fiz
I have people in the WRAG group being sanctioned for not asking previous employers for their jobs back, at wrag classes they are given help to write CV's & then they have to send them out.  But for the original poster ESA wrag would be better than straight JSA where you get sanctioned if your a minute late and don't job search on Sundays (when the library is closed and you have no internet access)

 >dove<
Monic

seegee

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5166
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #12 on: 06 Jul 2014 10:28PM »
People in the wrag aren't expected to apply for any job at all, as they are deemed to be too ill/disabled to work hence being awarded ESA. They are provided with assistance in taking steps that might help them find employment at a later stage though.

There is a wealth of people however that are able to do some work so don't fit the ESA criteria but due to their illness/disabilties their limits are severe but this makes like for them and the JCP staff impossible as they cannot jump through the necessary hoops to claim JSA. This is the biggest problem in the whole system.

Sasha, have you looked at the descriptors for ESA? Do you feel you meet any of them?
You're right of course, Fiz - WRAG's meant to be for people who "may be" fit for work at some point in the foreseeable future but aren't now - though I think it is often applied to people who can't reasonably be said to be fit for *full-time* work now, so someone who could probably do 10 hours a week might get it as you have to be fit for at least 16 hours a week to sign on for JSA; or am I more muddled than usual?

SashaQ

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 920
    • h2g2.com
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #13 on: 07 Jul 2014 10:58AM »
Thanks everyone  >bighugs<

Yes, Seegee's description is what my understanding of the theory behind ESA is - there are jobs I can do, but compared to someone who isn't disabled like wot I am, the number of jobs I can do is considerably smaller, so it potentially takes me correspondingly longer than contributory JSA's 6 months to find one.

It is a while since I looked at the descriptors, but it was my understanding that full time wheelchair users gained enough points for the WRAG (in recognition of the barrier that it presents to finding a job, as so many workplaces are not actually wheelchair accessible, or the jobs could not be reasonably adjusted for a wheelchair user to do). 

I just looked at the descriptors now, and it seems that there have been some changes since I last looked, but there is still a criterion for climbing stairs, for standing and one for lifting objects, so I could still qualify, yes...

All I can do is apply, though, and see what happens - the forms came through this week...

 >x-fingers<

lankou

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3230
Re: ESA = IB ?
« Reply #14 on: 07 Jul 2014 11:01AM »