‘Reforming’ ESA: the final frontier and the last moral boundary

A very thought-provoking post, especially as it shows just how even more slanted the reforms have become, to make any benefit even harder to obtain than ever before šŸ˜¦

Politics and Insights

Ā IDS ESA Speakout share post.png

Context

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people who are assessed as being unable to work because of a health condition and/or disability. Despite this, ESA has also been politically defined asĀ financial support for people having difficulty finding a job because of a long-term illness or disability, to ā€œhelp them back to workā€Ā despite their illness or disability. This presents a problematic tension because in order to qualify for ESA at all, people must be found to be unable to work, by their own doctor, and by the ā€œindependentā€ Work Capability Assessment.

Thereā€™s a significant difference between being unable to work, andĀ facing significant additional barriers to work. People who are assessed are most commonly described as having ā€œlimited capability for workā€ ā€“ a phrase which is not precise in its meaning, and which does not include or prompt any consideration of social, cultural, political andā€¦

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