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Scrapping ESA(WRAG) Group?


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How far can they go?

 

The fate of nearly 550,000 benefit claimants currently deemed unfit for work due to serious illnesses such as cancer is in the balance as it emerged that Iain Duncan Smith is planning a radical change to the welfare system.

The work and pensions secretary is pushing to scrap a part of the benefits system that helps sufferers of recent illnesses get back into employment. These individuals are covered by the term "work-related activity group" (WRAG) and are regarded as being capable of work in the future. They are paid benefits if they carry out training or practice interviews.

However, the Observer understands that Duncan Smith wants to disband the group, currently made up of 546,770 people.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/23/iain-duncan-smith-wrag-benefit-cuts

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If the DWP did their job right and put the sick/disabled into the correct groups in the first place we wouldn't be having this discussion.

If the WRAG was only for those with time limited illnesses and disabilities that could be easily overcome in the workplace, then yes that group should be gearing up ready to go back to work.

However we have many claimants in the support group and the WRAG with identical illnesses/conditions that affect them in identical ways.

 

Until the DWP get the assessing procedure right, then the government can't do much.

 

Seriously ill people with long term conditions and often life threatening illnesses being put in the WRAG is plain and simply wrong.

On the other hand putting people in the Support Group that get there only because they find it extremely difficult to get their mobile out of their jacket top pocket is also plain stupid.

 

The descriptors and the whole assessing procedure needs sorting.

 

I also fear that the same will happen with PIP with some with being given the higher rates for nonsense type descriptors. Yet very vulnerable people who don't fit any of the 'boxes' (descriptors) will be on their backsides out of it.

 

I know what I would do - I would go back to the old system of assessment by medical board.

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I am currently living on welfare, am in the receipt of Employment and Support Allowance and am in the Suppport Group. I do not have physical disabilities but mental health problems, which I have had since I was a child with additional as an adult. Amongst them I have A.D.D., O.C.D., depression, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Rape Trauma Syndrome, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (which has led me to have chronic shyness), and too many more to list, each one affecting the other. I feel at times they are all holding hands with each other. I don't go out - I'm a recluse/hermit/hikikomori, and feel much safer in doors. I go out because I have too (to see a therapist and do food shopping), and once my food shopping has been purchased I don't go out for another two weeks. Being and 'living' like this isn't fun, and it isn't how I envisaged my 'life' to be, and yes, it despresses me, which is where the therapist comes in. Early days on that though.

 

If I could be the opposite of how I am at the click of fingers I would love it. I think about what I was like before I was raped - happy, likeable, friendly, outgoing. Now I'm sad, unlikeable, hostile, and a recluse. Not my idea of a fun life that's for sure.

 

This was just written as a 'heads up' to someone who is on the ESA Support Group system. Just to let people know what it is like living with a non physical disability and mental health problems.

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I am damn sure the whole idea of bringing the ESA with two groups, one being WRAG and the other Support, was always to attempt to put the most seriously ill in the Support group to make the government look good to taxpayers, and the WRAG unbeknown to us was always going to be disbanded when they had got thousands into it, when you look at JSA, a claimant has to be signed up to be looking for 16hrs per week work, a GP can write to advise as in type of work, i.e. no heavy lifting etc and reasonable adustments can be applied with GP letter, it kind of kicks the WRAG in the arse, i don't know personally how much help those in WRAG actually get but have read that's its a farce, although they cant be forced into work, which is the reasoning behind scrapping it obviously, as has already been said in this thread if the DWP and the sidekicks Atossers actually assessed correctly honestly and fairly then there shouldn't be problems, i for one wont hold my breath on that happening in this government...

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a GP can write to advise as in type of work, i.e. no heavy lifting etc and reasonable adustments can be applied with GP letter, it kind of kicks the WRAG in the arse

Reasonable adjustments are well and good if JCP are prepared to apply them, in the current climate that's doubtful.

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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I cant see it working to be honest.

There are too many legal problems which could rise up to hit them.

I just think its IDS posturing, what with 'Call me Dave's" popularity waning

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Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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I agree osdset, I was just applying my train of thought as in I believe the intentions to dump the WRAG group were there all along, by looking as though they were tweaking JSA to "help people" they try to make it as similar to WRAG as possible to validate dumping WRAG, its how they always make things look to the taxpayer, like theyre getting everyone into work that can work, never mind riding rough shod over those who cant but are being forced to by dodgy deals with atossers. Am not all surprised that quite a few atosser heath professionals don't want to do recorded assessments, and with a ridiculous delay due to lack of equipment, its all another deliberate underhand trick by the government. Hence throwing so many into WRAG, next stop no WRAG exists oh well it will have to be JSA, lack of disability advisors due to cutbacks......its goes on and on.

 

I hope your right, and I di believe you have a point or few Invalidation, especially with IDS now apparently to be having to answer questions on how he works out figures and the such with regard to benefits. The best Christmas gift for me would be to see him appropriately placed on a very large very slippery slope ......

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I agree IDS has been underhand in how he's spilt ESA into two groups. I wasn't assessed until the scheme had been running for a couple of years and was put in WRAG. It had become clear by that time exactly what that meant i.e that they could put you on the work programme, courses etc which I wouldn't be able to attend so I appealed and was put into the support group for this reason.

 

There must be many people in the WRAG group who, having gone through the system, couldn't face up to appealing , who are patently not able to work for the forseeable future but will now be stripped of ESA altogether and unable to get into the support group as their condition hasn't changed.

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In the End the Tories need to win the next general election out right for IDS ideas to happen.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if the Tories did win out right,they start scare stories again and abolish the support group too !

Edited by 45002

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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They want to force ill people to claim JSA but I thought you had to state that you are well to claim JSA?

 

Having a disability in itself doesn't prevent you from claiming JSA. But many ill and disabled people won't meet the criteria for JSA. And some of us (including me) could work; but the required adjustments are unreasonable.

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Having a disability in itself doesn't prevent you from claiming JSA. But many ill and disabled people won't meet the criteria for JSA. And some of us (including me) could work; but the required adjustments are unreasonable.

 

I agree, many that do in fact claim ESA because they 'fit' one or more of the descriptors and have obtained 15 points or more could or can work, some with minor adjustments, some with major adjustments.

 

These are the ones that should be in the WRAG.

Unfortunately there are some in the WRAG that belong in the Support Group. These are those that never bothered to appeal against the poor decision and those that didn't bother to put up a strong enough case.

 

Until the government sort out their poor decision making, they shouldn't be considering this.

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I think most of us if not all of us will not be surprised by this.

 

The WRAG is in reality a stop gap measure, it seems to have been in some sort of limbo status group as the sort of support people would expect in the WRAG group doesnt actually happen and instead its more like a alternate version of JSA but with more money.

 

I expect also the problem that emerged in recent tv shows where it was revealed people in WRAG were parked by work programme providers has left IDS angry and so instead of fixing the support system I guess he feels it simpler to just dump these people either on JSA or in no mans land with no income. Its a very dangerous assumption to make that people on WRAG can handle been on JSA as there is some quite sick peopel in the WRAG group.

 

If people are in the wRAG group for a long time to me it suggests the WCA is flawed and that those people have been put in WRAG instead of SG, but only a government can see it different, they just see it as people abusing a system.

 

So why are people staying ill?

Why do they continue to qualify for WRAG?

 

Lets not answer these questions its too hard, just scrap WRAG instead it seems, to pretend society problems dont exist.

 

It seems benefits for illnesses will never be stable, its under threat of rehaul every 4-5 years at least now.

Edited by worried33
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How, exactly, could charities do a better job of paying welfare benefits?

 

I was thinking about of finding a job for people with reduced capacities. They have the expertise. I have contacted them for help as the WP is no good for me.

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I was thinking about of finding a job for people with reduced capacities. They have the expertise. I have contacted them for help as the WP is no good for me.

 

I see. Well yes, I think that you're probably right: charities with the appropriate experience would be better than WP providers at helping those with illness or disability find suitable work. That's a separate question from that of shutting down the WRAG, though.

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I was thinking about of finding a job for people with reduced capacities. They have the expertise. I have contacted them for help as the WP is no good for me.

 

Problem is they would need a heck of a lot more money - and to be fair even the charities would struggle finding work/help for people who are suffering.

The work is not there in the first place.

 

The first step for anyone is realise and accept that people are who genuinely ill are not able to work (in a lot of cases at least).

Why make them jump through hoops.

Take those people off the books, until they are able to return to work and things would improve.

 

The real scroungers of the benefits system are still not being targeted, just the soft and easy options many who are too ill/afraid to fight the system.

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Problem is they would need a heck of a lot more money - and to be fair even the charities would struggle finding work/help for people who are suffering.

The work is not there in the first place.

 

The first step for anyone is realise and accept that people are who genuinely ill are not able to work (in a lot of cases at least).

Why make them jump through hoops.

Take those people off the books, until they are able to return to work and things would improve.

 

The real scroungers of the benefits system are still not being targeted, just the soft and easy options many who are too ill/afraid to fight the system.

 

I am not sure there are really any scroungers at all.

 

At the training/induction, I thought one person was working the oracle, being negative and obstructive and I didn't like him. But I suspect he was going through a bad time. Why he had to muck it up for everybody else? But I would not want anyone like that in the work force any way. Too depressing. But some people do not get on with each other.

 

Job Search is interfering with my voluntary work. Pisisng me off considerably.

 

Charities have their books full helping people back into work.

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There is. But they are a minority. The fraud rate for disability benefits is less than 1% per year. I find it hard to believe that everyone claiming sickness benefits is doing so legitimately.

 

Agree a minority but they spoil it for everyone else.

Every time the press highlight a so called 'scrounger' we are all tarred with the same brush.

 

I scored well over 15 points at my last ESA medical, my report outlined my nervousness, how I struggled with memory tests, problems with being examined because of my arthritis the list was pretty extensive.

I was surprised all in all, and yet I still got placed in WRAG.

So now I have to face the work programme provider who deems me suitable for an IT course and we go over the same old same old each time.

All in all there is NO link up my WP has NO records about my medical,my illness - nothing - that all gets wiped clean when they take you on.

My job centre adviser told me that.

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Agree a minority but they spoil it for everyone else.

Every time the press highlight a so called 'scrounger' we are all tarred with the same brush.

 

I scored well over 15 points at my last ESA medical, my report outlined my nervousness, how I struggled with memory tests, problems with being examined because of my arthritis the list was pretty extensive.

I was surprised all in all, and yet I still got placed in WRAG.

So now I have to face the work programme provider who deems me suitable for an IT course and we go over the same old same old each time.

All in all there is NO link up my WP has NO records about my medical,my illness - nothing - that all gets wiped clean when they take you on.

My job centre adviser told me that.

I will be getting some answers soon (hopefully). I have submitted a SAR to the DWP for all records both clerical and digital of my ESA claim from onset, with particular focus on just what information Seetec were given and were privy to during their sustained campaign to get me onto the WP.

Seetec are still issuing so-called mandatory appointment letters despite being told not to by JCP, they have tried on numerous occasions to trick me into attending their offices to accept an apology from the manager and 'travel expenses'. As travel can only be paid to someone on the programme, signing for expenses would void my voluntary status and be an admittance that I have engaged with the programme.

 

I believe that Seetec were aware of my ESA voluntary status from the day I was referred to them, and once I am able to prove it I will forward the evidence to the police to consider whether fraud and deception have been attempted.

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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There is. But they are a minority. The fraud rate for disability benefits is less than 1% per year. I find it hard to believe that everyone claiming sickness benefits is doing so legitimately.

 

Invalidity Benefit was if you can't work in your chosen career path/job. Genuine probably. Any suitable work is a different ball game.

 

Thats why I had to change when the crunch came. I was recovering within the old rules anyway. Still a bit difficult though. More than a bit yesterday.

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