Make A National Database of People With Multi-Complex Disabilities for ESA Purposes.
This petition had 6,799 supporters
I am making a call asking Iain Duncan Smith to create a National database of people with multi-complex disabilities who will NEVER be able to work.
My daughter, Danika, is 19 years old with profound multi-complex disabilities and is life-limited. She has the cognitive and physical ability of a 0-3 month old baby and is completely dependent upon me for all her needs.
Danika finished the special educational needs school she had been attending in July 2015. She became eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from the 1st of September 2015, the day after her entitlement to Child Benefit ceased.
In mid August, i put in a claim for Danika to receive ESA and went through a 45 minute interview over the telephone. This went through all of her personal information and disabilities. I was asked to provide a 'Fit Note' from her G.P stating her inability to work which i duly sent to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as asked.
On Monday 21st of September 2015, i received a letter from our local Job Centre Plus stating Danika was to attend a work-focussed interview on the 28th of September! This prompted me to write an open letter to Iain Duncan Smith on Facebook which is being shared. This must have reached the DWP because the following morning, Tuesday 22nd of September, i received a telephone call from them saying they had cancelled her interview as it was obviously inappropriate for Danika.
Our plight reached our regional BBC news team and by the 23rd of September, Danika & I appeared on their main news program. That very same evening, the district head of the DWP rang me, profusely apologising for their mistakes in sending Danika the appointment and took responsibility for protocol not being followed.
WE ARE FAR FROM AN ISOLATED CASE!!!
When a child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - just before their 16th birthday, via prior arrangement, a representative from the DWP visits them at their home to assess their capability of handling their own finances.
I believe, at this point, if it is obvious that the young person is not capable of such, their names should be entered onto a national database to show they re not, and never will be able to work so they can automatically qualify for the support group of ESA the minute they are no longer eligible for Child Benefit.
This will mean cutting out needless assessments and calls to attend work-focussed interviews which not only is a waste of time when it is inevitable they will qualify for the support group, but also cuts down on the costs to the tax payer.
For all ESA claimants, regardless of ability, they enter an assessment phase which is 13 weeks in duration. For the first week of this phase, claimants are not eligible for any money. For the following 12 weeks, a reduced rate is paid fortnightly whilst enquiries are made to decide whether they are put into a work or support group. It is unquestionable that Danika and others like her will be put into the support group.
Why waste time and resources in those few weeks leading up to being put into the support group when it is blindingly obvious they will never be able to work?
Please sign and help our cause for a national database to stop other parents with profound multi-complex disabled children having to go through this rigmarole when caring responsibilities are already very difficult.
Thank you for reading,
Donna and Danika Smith xxx
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