Is suspension of ‘pointless’ ESA re-tests giving false hope to claimants who have been refused?

Last Updated: October 8, 2016By
Sally Rahali [Image: Manchester Evening News].

Sally Rahali [Image: Manchester Evening News].

It seems the Conservatives could be encouraging people who have been refused Employment and Support Allowance to think they’ll get it after all – and without re-assessment – only to dash their hopes later.

Damian Green, who has taken over as Work and Pensions Secretary after Theresa May became Prime Minister, has said “pointless” re-assessment of “chronically sick” ESA claimants will be scrapped – but he has yet to define what he means.

Ms Rahali, the subject of the Manchester Evening News article quoted below, has thoracic outlet syndrome affecting her blood vessels and nerves, leaving her with an entirely numb right arm; a painful growth on her spine; type two diabetes; depression; asthma; muscle wastage in her leg; and incontinence.

Mr Green hasn’t mentioned any of these. The examples of conditions not to be re-assessed, that we’ve been given, include people with autism and illnesses such as severe Huntington’s or a congenital heart condition.

Ms Rahali has depression. She is currently being told she is fit for work but thinks this will change following Mr Green’s announcement.

What if she’s wrong?

Won’t it hit her much harder, after having her hopes lifted, if they are cruelly dashed because Mr Green’s advisors won’t listen to her doctor?

I fear this is just another spin on the ‘chequebook euthanasia’ tactic This Blog first mentioned nearly two years ago.

A woman with a long list of debilitating conditions who was told her disability benefits had been stopped because she was deemed capable of working – despite barely being able to walk up a set of stairs – has welcomed news that people with chronic illnesses will no longer be reassessed.

Campaigners say Sally Rahali is just one of an ‘unprecedented number’ of disabled people to have been hit by ‘draconian’ government welfare rules in recent months.

The 42-year-old scored ‘zero’ on a work capability assessment, meaning her Employment and Support Allowance payments (ESA) of £299 a fortnight have been stopped.

But Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green has announced that ‘pointless’ re-testing of ESA recipients with severe, long-term conditions will soon be scrapped.

It has been hailed as a ‘victory for common sense’, but campaigners insist it’s merely the first step in making welfare rules fairer.

Sally, from Eccles, Salford, said: “It’s good news, but it doesn’t help me right now. I’m still going to have to fight to get the money back.”

Sally has now been told she’ll have to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance instead of ESA and start applying for jobs, despite the fact she has a series of serious conditions.

She suffers from thoracic outlet syndrome affecting her blood vessels and nerves, leaving her with an entirely numb right arm; a painful growth on her spine; type two diabetes; depression; asthma; muscle wastage in her leg; and incontinence.

Sally hopes her case will soon be reviewed following the Tory’s policy change.

She said: “I was absolutely amazed when they said I’d scored ‘zero’. I can barely walk up a set of stairs, never mind work.

“My doctor, whose advice was ignored, couldn’t believe it.

“My assessment answers were twisted. I’ve no choice but to appeal. The decision was ridiculous.”

Source: Woman who can barely walk up stairs has disability benefits stopped – Manchester Evening News


Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in eBook format here:

HWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:



  1. joanna October 8, 2016 at 2:37 am - Reply

    Hasn’t anyone thought of taking their job seekers directions booklet to a lawyer, after all isn’t it a legal document? If someone is being wrongly forced to sign a document which surely becomes illegal because the claimant is not able to work that is wrong. Someone should take a stand, if that was my situation I would definitely do something and fight, as it is I don’t have that right.

  2. jeffrey davies October 8, 2016 at 5:28 am - Reply

    give you hope then dash it all part of the aktion t4 plan culling the stock by any means jeff3

  3. Neilth October 8, 2016 at 8:07 am - Reply

    Isn’t it entirely possible that people with really debilitating conditions who have nevertheless been deemed fit for work are the ones seen as pointless to reassess? Why ‘waste money’ when the DWP have no intention of changing their arbitrary rulings anyway?

  4. philippajanebrown777 October 8, 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Mike, I did one of those silly quizzes to see who was my most prolific Facebook post and you came up in bold right through the middle! Your blogs are fantastic, easy prose and explanations that can be understood. Plus of course the content!

    • Mike Sivier October 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks very much!

  5. Barry Davies October 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    I took it as those who are receiving the benefit, with long term conditions which are unlikely to improve will not have to continually be reassessed, I didn’t for a moment think that they would suddenly change their idea that I can work although I have been medically retired on the grounds that I can not. Clearly if you are not getting the benefit you will have to be “assessed” the removal of the private companies carrying out the “assessments” would be a positive step because they get paid assessment so refusing them is in their best interests.

  6. Dez October 8, 2016 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    As quoted “this is a victory for common sense” however like many of Cons hair brained cunning plans and con tricks this is where it will become derailed. Unfortunately very few Cons actually have any common sense or think further than the end of their long noses. Is this yet another quicky news spin statement, not thought through, but still to be tweaked by the same brainless ones as to how they can still restrict the reinstated benefits to the minimun number of claimants. I will believe their sincerity when I see it being extended to ALL deserving cases not just the obvious cases that should never have been reviewed more than the once…

  7. Sven Wraight October 8, 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Who does damien green think is going to employ Sally Rahali and others in unemployable circumstances?

  8. mrmarcpc October 11, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    It doesn’t matter what drivel Mat spews out, they will still continue their persecution of the ill and poor until they’re dead!

    • Mike Sivier October 11, 2016 at 3:46 pm - Reply


      • mrmarcpc October 11, 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

        Sorry Mike, typo!

        It doesn’t matter what drivel May spews out, they will still continue their persecution of the ill and poor until they’re dead!

        There you go, lol!

Leave A Comment

you might also like