The ESA ‘revolving door’ process, and its’ correlation with a significant increase in deaths amongst the disabledPosted: January 11, 2013
A Department for Work and Pensions FOI reveals that people having their claim for Employment Support Allowance stopped, between October 2010 and November 2011, with a recorded date of death within six weeks of that claim ceasing, who were until recently claiming Incapacity Benefit, totalled 310. Between January and November 2011, those having their ESA claim ended, with a recorded date of death within six weeks of that claim ending totalled 10,600. Bearing in mind that those who were successfully migrated to ESA from IB were assessed and deemed unfit for work, (under a different assessment process, originally) one would expect that the death rates would be similar to those who have only ever claimed ESA. This is very clearly not the case.
Furthermore, there are NO alarming increases in death rates amongst those who are still in receipt of Incapacity Benefit – there were approximately a million and a half claimants, compared to less than a million ESA claimants for this period. Many of those migrated so far have not yet had a Work Capability Assessment, as the Government decided to re-assess those people when their review from the Incapacity Benefit Personal Capability Assessment is due, for practical reasons. The migration process won’t be completed, it is anticipated, until 2014.
David Green from the DWP has urged that “care should therefore be taken when interpreting these figures”. Well I HAVE taken care interpreting this data, Mr Green. My careful interpretation is that the Government have MURDERED a significant proportion of those 10,600 people claiming ESA via it’s “Reforms”. Incapacity Benefit was fair, and reflected genuine welfare provision. The Reforms, including the new Tory-shaped ESA benefit, by stark contrast, are all about taking support and provision away from the vulnerable.
Indeed, the Tories have been very keen to articulate the welfare “savings” that they anticipated with regard to the disability benefits, including PIP, which is replacing DLA. But of course, these anticipated “savings” reflect a dark truth: the Government are setting targets to remove benefits from people, regardless of the impact of that imposed deprivation (and frank State theft of our tax funded welfare) on their well being, health and safety.
Those on Incapacity Benefit were not required to have continuous assessments, whereas those on ESA are constantly required to have the Work Capability Assessment. Many claimants have described a “revolving door” process of endless assessment, ceased ESA claim, (based on an outcome of almost invariably being wrongly “assessed” as fit for work), appeal, successful appeal outcome, benefit reinstated, only to find just 3 months later another assessment is required. The uncertainty and loss of even basic security that this process creates, leading to a constant fear and anxiety, is having a negative impact on the health and well-being of so many.
A significant proportion of those required to have endless assessments have very obviously serious illnesses such as cancer, kidney failure, lung disease, heart disease, severe and life threatening chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, myalgic encephalomyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, brain tumours, severe heart conditions, and severe mental health illness, for example. To qualify for ESA , the claimant must provide a note from a doctor stating that the person is unfit for work. There can be no justification for subjecting people who are so ill to further endless assessments, and to treating us as if we have done something wrong.
Negative labelling, marginalising and stigmatising the vulnerable via propaganda in the media, using despiteful and malicious terms such as “workshy” and “feckless” is a major part of the Government’s malevolent “justification” to the public for removing the lifeline of support from the sick and disabled. We are climbing Allport’s Ladder. That gives us a clear view of the Nazi realm. I have often suspected that Iain Duncan Smith is channelling the spirit of Goebbels.
In addition to justified anxieties regarding the marked increase in disability hate crime that the Tory-led propaganda campaign has resulted in, many sick and disabled people have also stated that they feel harassed and bullied by the Department of Work and Pensions and Atos. Many talk of the dread they feel when they see the brown Atos envelope containing the ESA50 form arrive through the letter box. The strain of constantly fighting for ESA entitlement and perpetually having to prove that we are a “deserving” and “genuine” sick and disabled person is clearly taking a toll on so many people’s health and well being. Many families of those who have died have said that the constant strain, anxiety and stress of this revolving door process has contributed significantly to their loved ones’ decline in health and subsequent death. The figures from the DWP, and the marked contrast between the ESA and IB death statistics certainly substantiate these claims.
The unbearably horrific, unforgivable and massive increase in deaths over this period coincides with the Government’s totalitarian styled rapid fire legislation of the Reforms, in the face of protest, horror, disbelief, fear and mass opposition. The Tories cited “financial privilege” to trample over opposition, and drown out the voices of protest. Those protesting and challenging this Bill notably included many from the House of Lords.
David Cameron made a Freudian-style slip when he announced to Ed Miliband recently, during Parliamentary debate, that “We are raising more money for the rich”. Not that we didn’t already know this was so. Many of us – around 73 sick and disabled people every week – are paying for that wealth increase for the already wealthy with our very lives.
There are many who have so tragically lost their lives because of this malicious Government’s brutal and grossly unjust economic war on the vulnerable, and because of the Tory-led ransacking and plundering of our welfare provision, and social support programs.
We must never forget this Government’s culpability. We must succeed in ending this systematic State murder, and we must also ensure that this evil and abhorrent affront to decent and civilised human beings – this catastrophic and silently unfolding Holocaust by stealth – never happens again.
#RT via http://kittysjones.wordpress.com