Skip to main content

To: Iain Duncan Smith

Stop further harassment of ESA claimants

Stop further harassment of ESA claimants

Continue to pay ESA during the 'mandatory reconsideration' stage of the appeal process. Iain Duncan Smith plans to further penalise people who choose to exercise their legal right to disagree with a decision about their Employment and Support Allowance by refusing to pay them ESA while the decision is being reconsidered. This will have a devastating effect on the sick and vulnerable in our society, leaving them destitute with no money. This could be rectified, so easily, by allowing people to be paid ESA during the whole of the appeal process, including the 'mandatory reconsideration' stage. Please ask Iain Duncan Smith to introduce this simple measure.

Why is this important?

This is a scandalous attempt to limit access to justice for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society. At the end of October mandatory reconsideration was introduced, under the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

Previously, people could register an immediate appeal against a decision about their ESA entitlement and payment would be reinstated at the assessment rate pending the appeal. For a single person this is £71.70pw- the same as JSA - hardly a fortune!! Reconsideration of the decision was an on-going process. As soon as the appeal was registered the decision was reconsidered. This also happened when further evidence, such as a doctor's supporting letter, was submitted. Never-the-less even with further supporting evidence the decision was seldom changed and had to go on to appeal. There are so many people appealing it can take up to a year for the appeal to be heard at a tribunal.

Now, under mandatory reconsideration, any decision will first have to be reconsidered by the DWP before it can be registered as an appeal. The concern is that there will be no payment of ESA during this 'mandatory reconsideration' stage of the appeal process. There is no time limit on how quickly the DWP have to complete this stage. This means that, for an indeterminate time period, very sick, vulnerable people will be left without any money. Their only option will be to apply for job seekers allowance (JSA). But to qualify for JSA they must be available for work. Many of them are, genuinely, too sick to be able to work. Consequently, they may be refused JSA because they do not meet the entitlement criteria. So how are they going to survive with no money??? Far from helping people to get better, and ready for work, this will compound their problems, with money worries and result in further, serious, deterioration of their health.

It is of note that 40% of ESA appeals are successful, even higher if they seek advice (the success rate for our advice agency is over 80%). This policy will be harming the most ill and vulnerable in our society.
All this could rectified, so easily, by allowing people to continue to be paid ESA during the whole of the appeal process, including the 'mandatory reconsideration' stage. Please ask Iain Duncan Smith to show some compassion by introducing this simple measure.


Reasons for signing

  • Persistent Harassment and Dehumanisation of the Disabled by DWP, PIP, and ESA. Refusal to uphold EQA with respect to Westminster Council and TfL refusing Designated Disabled Access to Healthcare Employment as a Biomedical Scientistn, denying work exceeding 5 Years and HMCTS Refusing to pay travel, denial of Access to Work Provision and enial of costs toward Employment Tribunal. Gross State Denial of Disabled persons Humanity
  • I used to receive SDA ,I received O points on ESA,excuse the DWP used was I did not send ES 50 back! I could not get JSA ,my husband earns too much,so now waiting for appeal ,this government are a disgrace Could not get ESA ,even though I used to receive Severe Disablement Allowance based on 2 medicals 80% And 90% unfit for work,could not get JSA EITHER, my husband earns too much,what a load of rubbish,looking forward to a judge seeing sense at tribunal because the got,.cannot.


2014-01-30 22:50:29 +0000

ESA Campaign- keeping up the pressure!
MIND have kindly provided us with this link for writing to your MP:
Our target is to get 200+, MP's to sign to prompt a debate in Parliament. Thanks for your support.

2013-10-18 18:40:14 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2013-10-13 20:29:04 +0100

Hello All. Thanks to everyone for signing this and passing it on. We now have nearly 8000 signatures. Thanks also for the many comments which have been inspirational. I have managed to get a mention in Private Eye No.1350, 4 October, pg.30! Please continue to make a fuss about this- email your MP, or go to see them, contact local & national press and media. Anything you can think of to raise the profile of this issue and bring Iain Duncan Smith and the coalition government to account for their actions.

2013-09-21 21:51:04 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2013-09-19 06:39:35 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2013-09-18 22:26:00 +0100

500 signatures reached

2013-09-18 19:56:25 +0100

100 signatures reached

2013-09-18 18:30:49 +0100

50 signatures reached

2013-09-18 17:37:17 +0100

25 signatures reached

2013-09-18 10:29:48 +0100

10 signatures reached