Thursday, 7 March 2013

#ESAendgame Beyond Day 1

The launch of #ESAendgame yesterday was simply remarkable.

Nearly 9,000 people have read about #ESAendgame in under 24 hours. 

It was the most shared and read article online in the UK yesterday. (Ebuzzing News)

318 people have taken part in our consultation "What Most Needs to Change about Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Why" In DWP terms, 318 responses is very large. But I want 1,000 - 2,000 We MUST show that we truly represent the experiences and opinions of sick and disabled people and their carers. A consultation here with thousands of comments is a VERY powerful tool in anything we compile.

PLEASE keep sharing any of the consultation posts like yesterday
whenever you can and encourage people to comment - you don't have to be sick or disabled or a carer to understand that ESA is inhumane and want to stand up for justice. I can't stress enough that #ESAendgame is open to EVERYONE. In fact, the more non-disabled people, DPOs, charities, MPs and "influential politicoes" that contribute and who join with us, the more credible our response and more frightening for Government. 

It is ONLY unity that will convince the government to think again, but with unions, the TUC, disability groups, political sites, everyday blogs on shopping and cooking and fishing, charities and politicians ALL talking about why ESA must be changed NOW we CAN win. But every last one of us has to join. Please, cross-post everything - you don't have to ask, just link back so we can estimate our reach.

So far, the issues people believe to change about the WCA and ESA RIGHT NOW (In order of most mentions) are :

Fear and Dread caused by the process
Constant Reassessment
The One Year Time Limit
Worsens Mental Health conditions
Continuing scrounger Rhetoric and made to feel dishonest and worthless
The Error rate and inaccuracies on forms and in decisions
Continuing inability to deal with Mental Health conditions
Makes symptoms/illnesses worse. 
Assessments are inhumane
The assessment ignores own Drs/medical evidence
Removing ESA indefinitely for reconsiderations before appeal - fear of no income
Fear of the Brown Envelope
WCA is designed to make you fail
The Assessors are not appropriate to the condition
Only 30 days to return the ESA50 application form
The form is to hard to fill in and takes enormous emotional toll
It's just a tick box system that gets 1 in 6 decisions wrong. LIMA must go
The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is not a "real life test", not about what you can do in a real job
Poverty casued by out of control process
People dying days after being found "Fit For Work" - in ever increasing numbers
**TRIGGER** ESA process making some suicidal
A growing number of people are "Fit to Work" according top Atos, unfit according to JCP and stuck in limbo
Changes are purely ideological and not based on evidence
The process is clogged up and taking far far too long
Many Disability Testing Centres are still inaccessible
Lies on forms
Fear for the future of dependants without carers
The descriptors do not apply to many conditions
Money taxpayer is paying for this failure
Forcing abuse victims to discuss abuse with stranger

I think that's a pretty good start as mini-sections of a report to present to the public eh? Your quotes explaining each one and adding human warmth? 

PLEASE we need new people to join every day and leave comments. 

Name (or twitter/Facebook/pseudonym)
1 line on what needs to change NOW about ESA

And please keep sharing every day and using #ESAendgame on twitter when discussing ESA. Let's keep building momentum

**PLEASE do remember to leave your constituency. It's not an address, but will be SO helpful later when we want to contact every MP and peer in the country to already have people who can send a quick email or two in every constituency. 

Ekklesia wrote this wonderful article with a selection if #ESAendgame tweets, it's very powerful and another GREAT article to share.

As always, if you care about this, please sign WOW petition 


  1. Sharon Hingley/ @daisybeebee
    South Staffordshire

    The inhumane interviews that ignore medical evidence and are more about hurting than supporting.

  2. Rita Davenport, Islington

    The Government has to realising that some if not most of disabilities are not going to get better,,there is a huge difference at not being able to work because you broke your leg/arm to not being able to walk through chronic arthritis in multiple will get better the other will not and at best can only be managed through strong painkillers/light exercise etc

  3. Billy McLean (@AutisticPrimate on Twitter and Billy TheMonkey McLean on Facebook)
    Salford and Eccles
    It's arbitrary, cruel, and is causing real human suffering.

  4. The worst thing about ESA/WCAs? In just one line?!!
    It's a calculated, callous, profit driven crime against humanity whilst the disabled are being vilified & treated like criminals!! - Love Anddaisypetals on Facebook

  5. The 'points' system - many '9s' or combinations of two '6s' equal severe disability, but no ESA. Suggest a sliding scale/percentage assessment instead? (Long version of idea here )

  6. Ana @Tempconfuse -Foyle

    indescribable fear, DX with MS 14 yrs ago,now a housebound wheelchair user, yet some random person employed by DWP will tell me I'm lying and I am perfectly fine

    1. I had similar things said to me by job centre staff
      "its only an amputation, whats so hard? whats is the problem"... forgetting that she knew NOTHING of my medical history, my genetic condition, that is a disgusting thing to say to somebody.

  7. Emma Round (@pseudodeviant)
    Birmingham, Ladywood

    All assessment centres need to be wheelchair accessible, that needs fixing as of this second.

  8. I hope this isn't too off topic - it's about effective use of media on another issue, which perhaps Spartaci could copy. Eoin Clarke shows how the numbers affected by the bedroom tax in marginal constituencies could result in loss of seats for Government MPs here:

    Any chance we could work something similar out in terms of people affected by ESA changes?

    1. We have this resource for DLA.

      I think ESA is a little different as the demographics are different. Whether we like it or not, people have less sympathy for ESA claimants than DLA. So we don't have the same threat, either media wise or electorally.

  9. Solihull, West Midlands
    I went to Five Ways in Brum for an assessment and the nurse who did the tests was completely out of her depth. She didn't know about my Palindromic Arthritis and tried several times to tell me it was something else. Eventually she left the room and came back 10 mins later and accepted there was such a complaint. When I used the proper names for the wrist and hand bones she said she didn't understand because "She wasn't that kind of nurse..."
    As you might expect the assessment went against me... I reported her to her professional body, but heard nothing back.
    I'm lucky as I'm well-educated and resourceful, but for many folk the system leaves them with nothing. It must be changed.

    1. I know exactly where you are coming from, they ignore what you say, ignore what your Dr says, and then make decisions based on , well, I do not know what! I have a long medical history, and and amputation (due to my genetic condition affecting my bones, and nerves muscles) We are all treated like liars and frauds, it is total discrimination.

  10. stop the constant & very expensive repetition of the same tests, which have already proved to be a waste of everybody's time & effort. take GPs/medical team's word, instead of ignoring them completely! the whole set-up needs to be changed to take into account mental health problems.

  11. @JamJar21
    Bolton South East
    The questions/tick boxes don't relate to real life.

  12. Steph Perkins/ @neffectual

    The constant stupid tests need to go, the whole process which makes you dread a brown envelope coming in the post because today could be the day they call you a liar.

  13. Just knowing that the tests still fail to recognise when illness will not improve, yet every year you have to fight again just to maintain the status quo. A guaranteed way to ensure someone's illness worsens with stress, mental health or not!

  14. Paul Ashby - Hampstead and Kilburn.

    This is a cruel, false economy that hurts those who are least able to help themselves. The pursuit of profit should never be allowed to come before the well being of the population, get rid of these inhumane and immoral tests and allow disabled people some dignity.

  15. Danka Gordon @danka
    Camberwell & Peckham Harriet Harman

    The system treats people who are unable to work due to ill-health/disability with contempt. Respect is needed for everyone!

  16. Chris McCabe @3salmon
    Atos & its 'health professionals' lie in accusing sick & disabled of faking, & take a huge fee.

  17. The effect pain, the stress with pain and medications have on an ability to hold down a job, and the fact assessmnet centres are so difficult to get to

  18. As I understand it you good people are being unnecessarily persecuted by sanctimonious busybodies. I have a tendency to reduce issues to platitudes, so please excuse this ignoramus, if I have got it wrong.

    You have a good spokesman though, if she will excuse my not indulging in fatuous pc expressions.

    1. I did ask for one sentence Howard ;)

  19. The whole system needs to change from being a buisiness excercise with unqualified proffesionals into being a real medical with properly qualified doctors. anyone with half a brain can see it is unfit for purpose becuase and it's been designed to be that way.

  20. Pip Brook, Sheffield

    What needs to change now: stop using ATOS

  21. @LizzieCharlton, Canterbury

    The WCA and continual reassessment makes symptoms/illnesses worse, and has huge effects on Mental Health of all claimants (including those who weren't mentally ill in the first place).

  22. WCA and ESA process left me so shattered I was put onto beta blockers on top of all my other meds to deal with the stress.

  23. @Robinhoodedman
    Nottingham East - Chris Leslie

    What needs to change now is the assessment of work capability needs to be determined by the individuals doctors with a full knowledge of the case history based on the interests of the patient, not the state.

  24. The doctor at Atos who interviewed me was about 95 and kept forgetting what he asked me and repeating himself then he told me I didn't have the condition that a psychiatrist had diagnosed. Atos has to go, nothing less.

  25. Catherine Loughlin

    Medical not fit for handling Mental Health issues.

  26. What needs to change? - they need to actually request reports from medical professionals treating claimants and only do assessments if the evidence from them is truly inconclusive.

  27. What nees to change is the insanity of creating an expensive state machine of assessment that is throwing human life down the drain and driving the authorities trying to administer it into bureaucratic chaos. And that's before you even try to fill in a single form.

  28. I was changed from icb 2 esa in 2014 and for months I was worried sick thank God I didn't hav 2 go for interview due 2 having arthritis along with a multy organ failure but so unfair way this benefit wirks