Written evidence submitted by Catherine
I fear that Work Capability Assessments are unfit
for purpose and do not treat younger claimants fairly. Time limiting
ESA to one year will cause unnecessary stress and suffering. It
is unfair and unrealistic.
1. My initial fear is the assessment process.
I have heard several stories about people being treated unfairly,
the reports being false and not representative of the claimant's
needs or disabilities. I was born with my disability, and being
only 37, I now have mobility issues, and also pain and tiredness.
Having been through the process of an appeal for DLA, I know how
the system can react to a younger person asking for support. So
the idea of having to go through even harsher tests for ESA really
2. Time limiting ESAI understand the "idea"
behind this is to try and help to get people back to work, but
you can't put a time limit on how people recover. In the past
five years I have had five operations on my legs, just to keep
me walking and to try and slow down the rate at which my joints
are falling apart. The first operation took me nine months to
recover from. I face many more surgeries just to keep me active
and then eventually four joint replacements, which all have a
limited life, mainly because of my age.
3. Time limiting ESA to 12 months, will do nothing
for my health, it won't help to find me a job, it won't help to
make me better off, it will do the opposite. It will financially
burden me and my family, it will add stress, worry and sleepless
nights (which I already have) because of the thought of what will
happen when the money runs out.
4. This is putting unreasonable pressure on my
family - To be completely honest I am really worried about what
the future holds for me, on top of the surgery and recovery, then
no finance to help support me and my family, to give me the time
to recover from the operations, I am sure it will eventually cost
me my family. At some point the strain will take its toll.
5. Working families like mine are being unfairly
punished by time limiting ESA - I have two children, my daughter
helps me with a lot of my care needs, she is only 11. My husband
works every hour he can to provide us with enough money to get
by on, but because he does that we are being punished, not only
because he can work, but because I was born with a disability.
6. Don't get me wrong I would love to return
to work, but it needs to be at a point when I am strong and healthy
enough to cope with that. It needs to be with an employer who
will understand that I need further surgery and who accepts that
I will need the time off to recover. I know myself that those
types of employer are few and far between, but what makes it worse,
is restricting disabled people to 12 months at a time when unemployment
is rising. The chance of finding work with an employer who understands
your needs is virtually impossible.
7. ESA shouldn't just be about getting people
fit for work, it should be about providing the support to get
people back to work, but at a point that is sustainable to them.
A 12 month limit is unfair, unrealistic and virtually barbaric.
The Government promised nobody will get left behind. I will and
so will my family. I will face the biggest cuts of any group under
the coalition Government. Even people in the highest earning bracket
loosing Child Benefit will not lose as much as me and my family.
8. I sincerely hope the Government reconsiders
time limiting ESA It's punishing the most vulnerable in society
who face the harshest conditions to return to a non-existent jobs