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Changes to Incapacity Benefit

Discussion in 'Social Security / Disability Benefits' started by KarenM, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. KarenM

    KarenM Registered

    I have to confess to being extremely concerned at what I have read regards the changes to the Incapacity Benefit, moreso now I have read some of the stories of the actual re-assessments.

    If what I have read is true, the assessment is simply a tick box answer session lasting no longer than 25 minutes, and could be carried out by a non-qualified doctor per se, e.g. occupational therapist, physiotherapist. Apparently if you arrive for your appointment and can walk 300 yards into the interview, you have no mobility issues? If you can pick up a piece of paper off the floor you have no motor skill issues. And as a person in the know so to speak, said on a benefit forum, unless you are terminally ill or in a coma, you will be categorised as fit to work, and moved on to Job Seekers Allowance and expected to attend 6 interviews a year to state what you have done about securing a job!

    Also bandied about, is if you deemed unfit to work, you will be put on ESA, and a time limit put on this of 6 months to a year, then that's it nowt, what happens then, your condition spontaneously self heals, and you live on what, fresh air.

    IMO this is just a number crunching exercise, moved potentially from one benefit to another, then the coalition can say we have reduced IB claimants by such and such, when in real terms the numbers for JSA will grow, and where might I ask are the jobs, that if even around, employers are likely to go for the fittest candidates first, and what firms would take me on for example where I would need to have in place aids to help me, and an understanding employer who is prepared to have me off sick regularly.

    Having only just secured benefits, and having had to undergo the very humiliating process of a medical, although my head says I am a genuine person, with medical evidence written up by my medical team, I physically cannot find the strength to fight, which is of course what they would want.

    Has anyone as yet been reassessed here, and what was your experience?

    Of course my information in thread may be totally wrong, I have just picked out bits I have read, on what I would call reputable sources.

    I am dreading that brown envelope dropping on my mat calling me for reassessment.
  2. nitediva

    nitediva Registered

    Hi Karen

    I am in the process of the initial assessment, I have sent off my "form" and waiting to be called for a "medical" I know someone who used to be one of the assessors and he has given me an insight into what happens. You are right it is a number crunching excercise. It is also correct that you are on cctv from the moment you pull up in the car park whilst you are waiting in the waiting room and everywhere about big brother watching you.

    If i should fail the "medical" which is not a medical but a functional assessmemnt then i will be taken off sick pay and put on to jobseekers which has run out for me as I am not entitled to income based JSA as I own a house that i do not live in due to the son and his g/f and baby live there and pay all the bills so it is a cost neutral situation for me. but because of this I will get no financial help what so ever. its not as if there is any real equity in the property with the prices being as bad as there are right now, plus a remortgage and it was my family home for over 20 years. my partner doesn;t earn mega bucks and couldn't afford tpo live here on their own let alone with me bringing no money in, but we maybe forced to oust my son and his family to move in my house that i cannot live in due to stairs and wait for them to spend £10k plus on adaptations such as new level access shower room and stair lift and othe such adjustments, i just cant fathom it at all and it doesn;t logically compute in my brain. I must add I live at present in a rented bungalow that is already disable friendly with everthing i need. so no further money would need nor have been spent on this.

    So I can truly empathise with you and understand the added stress of finances when this condition is exaserbated (sp) by stress and living conditions.

    L xx
  3. redknight

    redknight Registered

    Hi Karen,
    I can't add anything to your thread except a rant of my own.
    I gave up work when my son was born to look after him as I have no family near to help with child care. When he started school, I went back to work, and college to up date my qualifications due to new regulations.
    Having lived with Lupus for four years, I explained to my employer that I got tired easily etc but 'coped' well for several months. I had a knee replacement which sparked a major flare but nevertheless I returned to work. After two more months of constant flare I was advised that I should give up work.
    I tried to claim E.S.A. (New claims for Incapacity Benefit now go straight to E.S.A.) I was told that I didn't have enough N.I. contributions to qualify for the Contribution based award (as I had period's of non contribution whilst looking after my son and my daughter eight years previously) and my husband's contributions couldn't be taken into account. However, I could try to claim the Income Based award...but my husband earns too much!
    On one hand they'll take his earnings onto account but on the other they wont take his contributions into account, it's so unfair. I've worked all my life except for the two periods looking after my children (which, ironically, they would've given me child care vouchers for me to send my children to a child minder!)
    I wish you every success when the do call you for re-assessment and I really am praying that Lisa'a 'medical' goes well for her. I wouldn't like to be in either of your shoes.

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