I want to start off by telling you a little bit about the benefits this petition refers to, and the process you would go through in order to claim and be assessed for them.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
This is an out-of-work benefit for people with illnesses and/or disabilities which prevent them from working. If you were originally on Incapacity Benefit, this is what you would usually be transitioned onto and reassessed for. In order to claim, you will need to fill in an initial form to give information about your illness/disability, your circumstances at home, personal details etc. This is the ESA1. Your information is then assessed and you will initially be told if you qualify for the assessment rate of the benefit (usually the equivalent amount to Jobseekers' Allowance). After this, you will receive a questionnaire to see how your illness/disability affects your daily living, ability to work, care for yourself etc. Most claimants will be called for a face to face assessment and a very small amount will qualify for a home visit. It all depends on how ill/disabled you are. It tends to be very rare (more so than it should be), but in some cases, you may not need an assessment. Soon after this, you are told whether you are Fit For Work, in the Work Related Activity Group or in the Support Group.
This link gives more information: https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/what-youll-get
Disability Living Allowance (Soon to become Personal Independence Payment)
If you need to apply for this then I think you can only apply for Personal Independence Payment. Check this link for more details: https://www.gov.uk/pip-checker
DLA/PIP can be in or out of work benefits. They are designed to try and help with costs related to your illness/disability. You may also qualify for a car on the Motability scheme, if your mobility is poor enough. A lot of people rely on this as, without it, they may not be able to access work. Similarly to ESA, you need to send information to the DWP about your illness/disability and how it affects different parts of your life. You may also need to have a face to face assessment.
Although these benefits do call for medical evidence about your illness/disability, in order to assess you, the outcome of the assessment is mostly based upon what you or your carer tells them. The assessments can be terrifying for some people and fully explaining the impact of your illness/disability can be practically impossible.
I want to introduce you to a petition that absolutely NEEDS more signatures. It calls for the DWP to send out a form to all claimants deemed "Vulnerable". This could be due to severe physical illness, mental illness, learning disabilities etc. This form would be provided for the claimant to send to their GP or consultant; asking them to fill in to provide information if the DWP rules 29 and 35 apply to their patient. (I will explain these rules at the end of this post)*.
The point of this form is to safeguard the claimant and protect them against needless stressful face to face assessments if these would, in fact, be detrimental to their health. The evidence given by GPs and consultants should be enough to fully assess them.
This is the link: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47554 **
Please please please sign. It is extremely important!
* -Regulation 29 applies to Limited Capability for Work and Exceptional Circumstances related to this: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/794/regulation/29/made
-Regulation 35 applies to Limited Capability for Work Related Activity and Exceptional Circumstances related to this: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/794/regulation/35/made
**Special mention to Lynn; who created this fantastic petition. If you would like to learn more about Lynn, her son's story and how the petition came about, then you can find her on twitter (@SignSaveLives)
Thanks in advance!