I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago about the letter I'd written to my MP . He contacted Chris Grayling on my behalf regarding changes to the welfare system and I have today received a forwarded reply sent to my MP from Chris Grayling .
It's too long for me to type out on here but is a pretty standard letter , and it appears to me that he must have been deluged with similar letters.
The letter basically states that these changes are taking place because the present welfare bill is costing the UK tax payers 13 billion a year , that many of those on incapacity benefit want to the opportunity to work , that it is a fair and equal assessment and that claimants who are found capable of work will be " invited " to claim jobseeker's allowance.
The last paragraph reads :
" For those who transfer to ESA , we will ensure that benefit payments are not disrupted . No one moving from their existing benefits to ESA will see a reduction in the level of their benefit entitlement at the point of change
Chris Grayling believes that the majority of people claiming Incapacity Benefit , Severe Disablement Allowance and DLA are capable and indeed want to work . He believes that with support " many " of those on these benefits will be able to do some form of work.
He includes a link in the letter to professor Harrington's reviews of the process and the Government's responses to these . Which can be viewed at :
He also says :
" We are committed to ensuring that individuals with the most severe disabilities or health conditions will not be expected to undertake any work-related group activity and will get the extra support they need as part of the Support Group of Employment and Support Allowance ( ESA ) . Additionally , claimants who need extra support to prepare for work will receive it as part of the ESA Work Related Activity Group regime ".
I am going to formulate a reply to my MP and ask if he has any knowledge of exactly what the current ATOS assessment entails , I'm going to detail my personal experience of it and ask him if he thinks this method is fair.
Basically this letter is a standard reply that indicates that the government have no intention of changing course and fully believe that the majority of people claiming disability benefits are fraudulent and are in fact fit for work.
It also indicates to me that this is purely a money saving exercise with no regard to the actual needs of ill or disabled people.