We’re supporting the petition to Amber Rudd to STOP the DWP telling GPs not to issue sick notes for patients who are wrongly found fit for work. Sign the petition here. See petition updates from Zacchaeus 2000 here.
Sick and disabled people are being deprived of vital benefit while they appeal, leaving them destitute and risking their health and survival, because the DWP is telling the GPs not to issue the sick notes (“fit notes”) they need to get ESA payments on appeal. The petition is by anti-poverty charity Zacchaeus 2000 (Z2K) which upholds welfare rights and supports people’s benefit appeals.
ESA appeals have a very high success rate.
WinVisible and many other claimant groups fought against the Welfare Reform Act 2012 which brought in deliberate destitution for sick and disabled claimants at “mandatory reconsideration“:
- If you are wrongly found fit for work, you are not eligible for any ESA payment during the first stage of fighting the refusal, called “mandatory reconsideration”. People have to claim Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) or even Universal Credit, to survive. You can claim JSA and be off sick at the same time. But beware of starting to claim Universal Credit, you are stopped from going back onto ESA once you win your appeal. See our benefit rights self-help information here.
- Many people try to manage until they can get their ESA back.
- Protests by thousands of sick and disabled claimants to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into the disability benefit tests, succeeded in getting the DWP to say they would drop their 80% target of mandatory reconsideration refusals.
- If your mandatory reconsideration is unsuccessful and you want to go to appeal tribunal, your ESA payments can start again, but you have to provide sick notes from your GP. This is what the DWP is telling GPs not to do!