Heads up - new sickness/disability benefit changes may be announced this week - Page 2 — Scope | Disability forum
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Heads up - new sickness/disability benefit changes may be announced this week

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  • apple85
    apple85 Community member Posts: 372 Pioneering
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,361 Scope online community team
    Okay, I sat and watched through the announcement.

    Let me give a little rundown. I will make it as concise as possible.

    - Government want to change, remove or reduce points awarded relating to "mobility, incontinence, social engagement and getting about". No other descriptor categories are being consulted on for change. I could not here "mobility" very well as he slurred the word slightly. The reasons for this are that work from home is now more available they say so these are apparently less applicable than when they were first made.
    - Changes will not affect those receiving cancer treatment or near end of life. Nor will it affect those of "severe disablement", such as those "with severe learning difficulties or unable to move from one seat to another."
    - They will  also be consulting on the provisions for claimants who would otherwise be capable for Work Preparation Activities but are excluded due to substantial risk being applied. This is often applied on mental health grounds and the government believes it has gone beyond it's original scope so will be changing how risk is assessed and applied.

    The government gave some other reasoning for the changes too. The government stated that 1 in 5 on WCA want to work, and these changes will help "bring them into the labour market to life a more fulfilling life."

    The consultation will go on for 8 weeks. They will consult disabled people, charities, employers as examples. The earliest any changes could be put into practice is 2025.


    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,361 Scope online community team
    edited September 2023
    WCA is indeed being scrapped according to the Transforming Support: The Health and Disability White Paper - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The earliest that could happen is 2026 but I've heard some say it could take until 2025.

    However, it seems the government believes action is needed now to get more people into work. Which the minister repeatedly said would be more beneficial the disabled.

    I find this an odd argument because I don't believe WCA prevents you from working at all. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
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  • apple85
    apple85 Community member Posts: 372 Pioneering
    Stride is going after those on esa/uc who are affected by the the ‘substantial risk’ rule (aka a good chunk of us only have our award because of that)

    https://askcpag.org.uk/content/207488/substantial-risk-and-the-wca

    this is very bad
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,361 Scope online community team
    I can understand the worry of anyone under WCA. Though, if you are already on WCA they would have to implement the changes (2025) and then re-review you I imagine. It's certainly a worry for people going for WCA in 2 years time.

    However, considering there can be legal action against such changes that can delay it and the earliest it can proceed even without legal action is 2025 I'm not very confident they can make these changes happen prior to an election.
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  • apple85
    apple85 Community member Posts: 372 Pioneering
    edited September 2023
    Thanks Jimm 

    I don’t know about others but I’m in a hell of a lot of trouble if this goes ahead 

    (also the substantial rule is there to protect others as well as the public, we know the dwp have no problem [Removed by moderator.]  but have they thought of the other possible consequence even if the percentage is low)
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,361 Scope online community team
    Another issue I see with WCA having an uptick in claimants is that the NHS backlog means more people are getting ill, and more severely, before getting help.

    This, personally, feels like trying to fix a single symptom of a wider issue.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,361 Scope online community team
    Hi @apple85, I understand your frustration but I had to remove a small section of your post. I'm sorry if this upsets you but there are lines we cannot have crossed when it comes to topics like that. Again however, I totally understand the anger and frustration at what is being done.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • apple85
    apple85 Community member Posts: 372 Pioneering
    I can understand the worry of anyone under WCA. Though, if you are already on WCA they would have to implement the changes (2025) and then re-review you I imagine. It's certainly a worry for people going for WCA in 2 years time.

    However, considering there can be legal action against such changes that can delay it and the earliest it can proceed even without legal action is 2025 I'm not very confident they can make these changes happen prior to an election.
    The problem is that the tories are on course for a huge loss next election and at this point they will throw the kitchen sink at whoever they think will keep them in power

    i got a feeling this may be very popular with the public and if allowed (obviously courts may get involved in the meantime) I wouldn’t be surprised if this is push 1st half of 2024 (unless stride said the 2025 in set in stone terms?)

    problem is the majority of people on esa or the disability elements of uc haven’t been reassessed/had a wca since before the pandemic -  95% are likely overdue so unless the dwp rush through the reassessments backlog in the next 6-18 months many of us will fall victim to Stride’s nasty plans from the get go
  • apple85
    apple85 Community member Posts: 372 Pioneering
    Hi @apple85, I understand your frustration but I had to remove a small section of your post. I'm sorry if this upsets you but there are lines we cannot have crossed when it comes to topics like that. Again however, I totally understand the anger and frustration at what is being done.
    It doesn’t upset me, I was trying to type it as discreetly as possible but I guess there’s no good way to put it - between you and me let’s hope I was talking rubbish

    but yes I’m very very scared and I hope the charities and lawyers will be working against this in a major way very soon
  • apple85
    apple85 Community member Posts: 372 Pioneering
    edited September 2023
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-new-welfare-reforms-to-help-thousands-into-work

    @jimm - was a 2025 start date actually said be stride or were you making an educated guess?

    edit: it says 2025 in this gov doc so unless they move forward that date you are looking post election as the election can be held no later than jan 2025

    although that does bring in the rather vile prospect that the tories may use this as a policy/reason why they should be voted back in next election
  • Tazzie
    Tazzie Scope Member Posts: 29 Courageous
    WHen I first got DLA, I could call and speak to the decision maker... it was so easy. Now, it's like mapping a minefield. They waste so much money trying to prevent a few people from scamming the system... I worked briefly for the company doing the ESA assessments because I wanted to learn how they worked- it's ridiculous. You are supposed to be a trained professional, but unless there is a referral or document to prove what the person has- even if their diagnosis and treatment records indicate a clear problem- you can't say that problem exists.

    Had one gent once- he was raging psychotic. Long history of mental illness, but had decided he was sick of the professionals and was no longer in care. So, he's no longer getting help so must be cured, right? Sigh. 

    No matter what they do, it will always be based in trying to prove disabled people aren't worth what they are getting. 
  • WelshBlue
    WelshBlue Community member Posts: 703 Pioneering
    Ok then .. my last comment makes me look very ignorant ... hand up to that.

    Not reading full facts. 

    Apologies for trying to be flippant over something so worrying to people, and can't see how they can use the working from home argument ... there can only be so many jobs available ?  And a lot would need experience ?

    Again apologies
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,361 Scope online community team
    @apple85 2025 was what Stride said in Commons during his statement. He said there was little chance of it being any sooner when another tory MP asked if it could be moved up.

    There was little sign of more funding actually being allocated to support these people who would be falling outside of WCA. I'm surprised no opposition MPs asked, maybe I missed it if they did.

    I'd recommend everyone respond to the consultation when available. We can perhaps hope they listen and consider the feedback.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • apple85
    apple85 Community member Posts: 372 Pioneering
    I think most of us can agree that this is a step in the wrong direction - I’ve already posted the ‘Work Capability Assessment: Activities and Descriptors Consultation Consultation Paper’ link above which is encouraging people to send in opinions via email (I personally think the dwp have already decided what they are doing so this could be just for show - but if legit then prehaps we should all make an effect to answer their questions and poke holes through it/make better suggestions)

    Honestly I’m scared I’ll break my screen if I watch everything stride said (officially up there as one of the cruelest w&p ministers now I think……..I honestly thought they could get worse than Coffey which was dumb of me)

    this big issue article makes the same points you have Jimm 
    https://www.bigissue.com/news/social-justice/dwp-welfare-reforms-work-capability-assessment-plans-reaction/
    (Is it just me or the big issue recently got a bee in their bonnet about dwp strategies? - I mean good for them and also the mirror as they’ve been hugely on our community’s side as well)

    I think liz Kendall said a few things but nothing to make you think she’s going to be a major disability rights advocate going forward

    the good news is that this is being covered my national news articles and the initial conclusion is this cruel rather than helpful

    https://www.itv.com/news/2023-09-05/sickness-benefits-overhaul-could-make-disabled-people-more-ill-charity-warns


  • apple85
    apple85 Community member Posts: 372 Pioneering
    Just a quick add on:

    can I get passed on a huge thank you to James Taylor and all the staff at scope - they are really sticking their necks out and fighting for a fairer future for all the ill & disabled and certainly one of the most vocal charity’s on this 🫶🫶🫶

    on a ‘catty’ note - would any of those ‘lefty lawyers’ giving suella braverman so much trouble come help us fight this move too 😼
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,329 Disability Gamechanger
    Luckily I reach SRP age in early 2025 .
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

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