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ESA - Would you be able to help me?

R

redpen

New member
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
2
Hi all,

I was wondering whether I could ask for some help.
I am a journalism student who is working on an article about the changes to the incapacity benefit system. It is a school project so it will be unlikely to be published but I would like to have as many stories as possible.

I was wondering whether you would be able to tell me your stories about the experiences of it so far, whether anyone has contacted you about it, your fears, if you do want to go to work what would stop you from finding a job, or anything else you think will be useful to me.

Mental health is very important to me so anything you can say would be very helpful, and will remain anonymous if you wish.
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
The policy change has caused me worry & stress. The real issues are not being addressed in this benefit change. It will cause more suffering, & cause more poverty. Affordable housing; & proper support for the vast majority of the mentally ill is what is needed. But that won't happen. The entire situation is political - it has nothing to do with genuine help or assistance.

So I am left - despising the government, the psychiatric system, & society even more.

I sincerely hope that the international money markets continue to collapse; until they are utterly destroyed, I hope that the present systems & mechanisms of our societies fail utterly. That is the only way that there can be a genuine change. Certain things cannot be reformed. They need to be abolished. - if this means a return to indigenous living; then so be it, it would be better than this.
 
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lisajones

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
143
Hi Red Pen

You are very welcome to take anything you like from my past posts and any future posts I make for your articles.

Ask me any questions you like.

I see this as political by the NewLabour side of the Labour Party and Purnell trying to look like a hard man. This regime is ideologically driven and copies the American system and is being developed by people who know nothing about mental health issues and don't realise how it isn't suitable for people with these issues.

There is a lot of opposition within the Labour Party now. Look at the Compass site and the LRC site. Lots of posts and lots of resistance.
 
KrisD

KrisD

Active member
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
37
Welfare reform / ESA

With regard to the proposed changes to benefits, there exists an undeniable stigma toward those with mental health problems. After being made to jump through pointless hoops to retain benefits, how does the government propose to compel employers to employ people with mental problems?

Research for the Royal College of Psychiatrists found that fewer than four in ten bosses would employ a candidate who had experienced mental health problems. Mail on Sunday 12/10/08.

Sure, discrimination laws exist; but they are pretty easy to circumvent.

It is predicted that when the recession really begins to bite the unemployment figure will rise to 2.8 million. What chance then for those with a history of mental health problems? Employers are in business to make a profit, faced with two candidates one of whom has a psychiatric history who are they going to choose?
 
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lisajones

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
143
I have been fighting with Compass and Carers at CarerWatch and yesterdays White Paper on Welfare reform suddenly completely changed from the Green Paper and went in to reverse and took all carers out of 'conditionality'.

So the little people can win!

Carers have now said they will help people with mental illness win the same fight and they want me to tellt ehm what to fight for. So let's fight the fight. Let's fight and say we don't think people with mental health problems should be exposed to 'conditionality' but all the Pathways to Work shoud be available to them on a strictly voluntary basis.

How about that? Any good?
 
firemonkey

firemonkey

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
131
Location
Southend on sea
What i find disturbing is how economists, such as Gregg and Layard, who know very little about how mental illness affects people are hell bent on advocating policies that are causing a great deal of anxiety and distress amongst the mentally ill.

Just as disturbing is the way that some mental health professionals are embracing this arbacht macht frei mentality towards mental illness .
At my day centre there is an increasing focus on groups pushing the work agenda either directly or indirectly and an attitude of "how little can we patch them up before we discharge them."
This 'how little can we patch them up' policy is justified on the grounds that if people need to they can always self refer themselves back into the system via their GPS!
That of course presumes one has a GP that is both knowledgeable and sympathetic towards mental illness. In my experience that is a rare beast indeed.

Yesterday's Guardian 'Comment is free' has Paul Gregg claiming that "The reforms I helped propose aren't a 'crackdown' on welfare claimants – they're intended to help them".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/10/welfare

How can a supposedly intelligent man (academics are supposed to be intelligent) not be able to realise the untold distress and worry that he is helping to foster amongst vulnerable people?
If he has the intellect to be able to realise he is helping to foster distress but carries on regardless then it must come down to a complete abdication of anything resembling a moral compass.

As as well as distressing the mentally ill these reforms will also impact badly on carers of the mentally ill who already are treated abominably by this odious government ,and who will be the ones trying to limit and rectify the damage caused to their mentally ill loved ones by these policies.


If or when these backward steps come to fruition then it will become easier for further backwards steps negatively affecting the mentally ill to be advocated and put in place.

Demonisation today the spectre of the reembracing of eugenics that was popular amongst a sizeable proportion of both the American and British psychiatric establishment up to the Mid 1940s if not tomorrow but the day after tomorrow.

Feet are being pointed on a path that if followed will have the potential to lead us further and further away from being a compassionate and civilised nation and deeper and deeper into the modern dark ages.
 
M

maudikie

Guest
{QUOTE]

Wheremercy, love and pity dwell, there God is dwelling too.

William Blake.
 
S

skylark

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
12
I have been put through two of these interviews and a medical - I have my next pathways to work appointment in May, they say they don;t want to make me work but in the next breathe ask me to complete a c.v. My assesment also put me in the support group, which I think is meant to help me not harass me!
 
dib4uk

dib4uk

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
2,182
Location
south london,england
My original assesment came up with zero points, i went to tribunial and they went in my favour saying im too mentally ill to work at the moment and was placed in the highest group the support group i think it is. I dont have to attend anything or any groups, wish i did because all the help i can have means that i can get better soooner.
 
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AuroraBlues

Active member
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
32
My original assesment came up with zero points, i went to tribunial and they went in my favour saying im too mentally ill to work at the moment and was placed in the highest group the support group i think it is. I dont have to attend anything or any groups, wish i did because all the help i can have means that i can get better soooner.
Hiya,

I'm in the 'work related activity group' on ESA. The only help on offer for this benefit is going to 6 mandatory work focussed interviews (WFI's) all you really achieve in these WFI's is getting a CV completed, advice about working and benefits and voluntary work. How many hours you can do and possible effects on your benefits, if any. I believe they can help you with interview skills also.

http://www.benefitsnow.co.uk/esa/interview.asp

The advisors don't actually offer you groups to go to or offer you any kind of placements, be it part-time paid work, voluntary, or part-time training schemes. You ideally have to find these for yourself, although they can give you advise on where to look. And then they can maybe help arrange these things for you by ringing them up, or being there with you to support you when you are calling them.

The main goal it seems, for these appointments is to help you get back to paid work.

In my experience. I found that when i tried to mention college and re-training as a pillar to help me towards a future goal of paid work , they clammed up and couldn't give me any straight information. I was told that if i went to college full time, my benefits would stop because, if i could go to college, it's obvious i can go to work. I want to go to college part-time, but was told that it may be possible, but i'd have to clear it with ESA first as they assess these situations on an individual basis and that if ESA felt that doing this course pointed to the fact that i could use this time for paid work, then my benefits would be stopped. This conversation really griped me because for certain hours you are allowed to do permitted paid work or voluntary work on ESA, but when it comes to re training to increase your prospects, they seem to want to steer you away from the idea. After trying to enquire about this with ESA, i was passed from person to person on the phone, some saying the same thing as the advisor, others having completely no idea, eventually one person told me that a part time course was allowed as long as it didn't exceed 16 hours per week.

To be honest, you are not missing out on a great deal, and can easilly find these kinds of services elsewhere....

Do you have a CPN or are you in contact with your local CMHT?

If you want this kind of help, I.E paid work and voluntary work help and advice, you could get your CMHT to refer you to the Richmond Fellowship.
http://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk/

Alternatively, if you want to go to groups to get you socialising and back into the community, i'm sure there are many things offered at your local CMHT. From Art to pottery to crafts to book groups to peer support to sports to outtings etc. Speak to your CPN, Social Worker, Occupational Therapist (whom ever you have as your contact to the CMHT) and they should be able to give you information on getting more involved in these types of things.

Aurora :)
 
dib4uk

dib4uk

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
2,182
Location
south london,england
Aurora, thanks for the reply....

It seems that im not missing much as i thought that they had specialised groups like support groups going on, which is a bit misleading lol. Thanks for the information, i do have a cmht i see a pyshciatrist- maybe she can help me get incontact with some groups. I already do part time college via the open university and i do voluntary work, im looking to expand that and take on another challange and also something that fills up my day so to speak.

As for a support group i already attend a support group which i've found very very helpful. :D

:LOL: yes the only snag is the cv and my expectations because before my illness i was working as a nursery nurse but now even if i was ready to step forward back into work i dont think im suitalbe anymore really not with my problems.

Thanks once again for the information, you've helped me a lot in understanding what the work focused group thingie does, and im sure that you've helped others as well.

:clap:
 
M

maudikie

Guest
Maudikie.

Anyone with a severe mental illness should take an advocate with them to the DWP. They can ask for a re-assessmen. An alternative to work in the open maarket is to do some voluntary work, although this doesn't help finances, it does help the patient, and it should be regarded as rehabilitation to the best of their ability. I agree that most m.Ps do not understand mental illness(amongst other things. You could also talk to someone who suffers from mental health issues.
Good luck with your project. We need the young people to understand the problems of the mentally ill whatever the patients age may be.
Perhaps you could arrange with your local mental Health Team to make a visit to see one or more patients, and also their carers who have a great battle and are unappreciated. I would advise you not to make visits on your own, but with a professional.:)
 
brambling21

brambling21

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
50
Location
Cardiff, Wales
I've been claiming ESA for over a year now, in fact I made my claim in February 2009 and eventually had my medical in December 2009!

I can't over state the fact that if you claim ESA, you will need help to fill in the forms, and for someone to goto the medical with you.

DON'T EVER FILL IN THE MEDICAL QUESTIONAIRE ON YOU OWN.

I have a fantastic support worker from MIND Cymru who helped me all through the process, and thats what they are there for.

To help us.

I'm not sure what the changes are for people on Incapacity Benefit, one of my friends claims it, not sure how it affects her.

Bit worried they might chuck me off ESA when I'm not well enough, but I'll worry about that when, and only when, or if, that happens.
 
lal10

lal10

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Messages
133
Location
Cheshire
Aurorablues - I was told that because I am a student that I couldn't claim any benefits and believed that for months but then I phoned up my local Welfare Services team and they presumed that I was already claiming ESA and DLA after I explained my situation. When I explained that I wasn't the very blunt lady pretty much told me off for not claiming what I was entitled to and said that it is irrelevant that I am a student, if I am not up to working then that's all that matters.

The problem is that when it comes to things like benefits you get as many answers as the people you ask, it is terrible but getting any definitive answers/help/support is a nightmare but I found CAB and Welfare services to be the best as they work to ensure people get what they are entitled to.
 
brambling21

brambling21

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
50
Location
Cardiff, Wales
You can both claim benefits and study, provided that you study no more than 16 hours per week.
 
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