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(375 Posts)
durhamjen Tue 25-Oct-16 12:58:22

They appear to have agreed that the stopping of welfare benefits has killed people.

What do you think?
From Jack Monroe.

durhamjen Wed 26-Oct-16 13:47:42

A parliamentary debate on Concentrix at the moment on Freeview 131.

vampirequeen Wed 26-Oct-16 19:02:38

They'll wheedle their way out of the firing and put the blame firmly on the shoulders of some low level, expendable civil servants by saying that they were over zealous in their interpretation of the government guidelines.

durhamjen Fri 28-Oct-16 14:58:36

Don't see how they can wheedle their way out of this.

They want disabled jobseekers to work, yet are cutting the funding to help them by 80%.

durhamjen Fri 28-Oct-16 14:59:10

durhamjen Fri 28-Oct-16 15:10:44

Hurray, some good news at last.

I know it's HMRC, not the DWP, but it's a start.
Now we need more employees in HMRC, all those that have been made redundant over the last few years, to catch up on claims.

durhamjen Fri 28-Oct-16 20:29:42

I hope the rest of you find this as ridiculous as I do. IDS called Ken Loach's film unfair, then asked Theresa May to reverse the cuts to universal credit and change the tax plans.

He has obviously been missing his extra taxpayers money that he got for being a minister.

vampirequeen Sat 29-Oct-16 17:45:43

He's trying to change his image but he's still a hard right Tory who is responsible for the death of people who's benefits were cut, changed or stopped.

durhamjen Mon 31-Oct-16 15:19:37

I bet he's not the only GP who feels like this.

durhamjen Mon 31-Oct-16 15:21:44

vampirequeen Mon 31-Oct-16 18:34:27

This GP is absolutely right. It's virtually impossible for GPs to offer cover to people who live miles away. I say virtually because my GP suggested I stay with the surgery if I felt I wanted to as I would find it very difficult to deal with strange/new doctors. However the arrangement is that I won't be able to have a home visit. I can still use the out of hours service but normal home visits are out of the question. I'm happy with this compromise because I would find it impossible to explain my condition all over again to a stranger. I don't have to explain at my current practice. All the staff...doctors, nurses, reception staff ..know me and know what can happen if I get over stressed.

That said this wouldn't work for everyone and there is no way a doctor could manage his/her workload if he/she had to drive miles between patients on home visits.

durhamjen Tue 01-Nov-16 19:27:07

The government wants people's views on the new green paper.

You might want to fill it in, Vampire. I certainly will.

durhamjen Tue 01-Nov-16 19:28:17

You've got until February, by the way.

vampirequeen Tue 01-Nov-16 23:27:36

I filled it in earlier today. The questions are very loaded.

durhamjen Tue 01-Nov-16 23:29:51

That's what I thought when I read it. I also wonder what weighting users will get compared to the professionals.

vampirequeen Wed 02-Nov-16 08:48:05

I suggested that instead of being assessed by 'health professionals' who have no idea about the client's condition they should simply ask the doctor who treats and supports the person on a regular basis. After all the doctor is a health professional with far more knowledge of the client.

This would reduce costs at a stroke as they wouldn't have to pay private company to try to prove that the client isn't ill.

daphnedill Wed 02-Nov-16 10:30:51

I read most of the document - it's long and admit I only skimmed through the last third or so.

There are a lot of good intentions, with which I agree wholeheartedly, but it remains to be seen how much of it the government is willing to deliver, because it will involve investment rather than short term solutions.

The emphasis has to change from assessing people to find out if they're eligible for benefits (with all the heartache that's causing) to genuinely supporting people into work and, in many cases, changing the attitude of employers. The latter is especially relevant to us oldies, as the state pension age and life expectancy rise but our illness/disability-free life expectancy doesn't. It used to be the case that over 60s needed only to work for 16 hours to be eligible for tax credits, but this is changing and affects the self-employed particularly harshly.There are many people in this age group who become self-employed, because they can't find paid employment, sometimes because they have an illness/disability which means they can't work full-time and/or are discriminated against.

vampirequeen Thu 03-Nov-16 09:56:36

I have no problem with people being helped to find work if they are capable of work but I object to people who are too ill being assessed as capable and having their benefits cut. I also think that someone who is assessed as capable should still stay on the higher rate of benefit because it is much harder for them to find work due to a range of reasons including only being fit for a small range of jobs and employers preferring not to employ someone who has a poor sickness record.

Finding the ill/disabled fit for work and reducing their benefit is a way of reducing the benefits bill rather than helping them into the workplace. Leaving them to die is even more cost effective because it not only saves money on direct benefits but also on the resources such as the NHS that they will no longer need to access.

daphnedill Thu 03-Nov-16 12:05:39

The current system is so flawed, it's difficult to know where to start. I agree with you that people who are obviously very ill shouldn't be hounded and stopping benefits for minor infringements is unacceptable. The emphasis should not be on 'catching people out' to save money.

However, it is also true that there is a peverse incentive for the unemployed to claim they are ill and to stay being ill. I was unemployed for nearly two years. Although I could probably have claimed ESA, I didn't, because it never occurred to me that I couldn't work. However, there were plenty of people on the 'courses' I was forced to attend who had no intention of looking for any work.

The problem with the system as it stands is that it's either/or. Somebody receiving ESA can't look for work, because that would be an admission that they are fit for work, nor can they do a few hours a week if that's all they feel capable of working. They're not even usually allowed to do voluntary work.

I think that needs to change, especially with the rise in the state pension age. There are people who could do (and would probably benefit from) working part-time. Not only would they have a higher income, but their mental health and self-esteem would improve. Employers need to play their part too and appreciate that writing people off just because they have been ill or have a disability means throwing skilled people on the scrapheap. They need to stop patronising such people.

There is a lot of good stuff in the dcocument linked to above, but I'm not optimistic that attitudes will change.

When people claim ESA, they go to lengths to prove they're incapable of work, because there's a finacial incentive. I think the first concern should be what work people can do. Training, mentoring and help with job searches should be provided - and not by an outsourced company motivated by targets. People should not be penalised financially for trying to find work, which is what happens at the moment.

durhamjen Thu 03-Nov-16 18:15:03

These are real reasons given for people being denied sickness or disability benefits.

I hope you are as disgusted as I am. Real people given these real reasons.

daphnedill Thu 03-Nov-16 18:57:58

Yes, I am disgusted by some of the reasons people have been sanctioned, but that doesn't change the fact that some people could work if they were given more support. As I wrote before, the thinking needs to change from finding reasons not to pay people to giving them support to do what they can.

I know from my time unemployed that there were people who wouldn't admit they could work for just a few hours, because they would lose all their benefits. There were others who had lost self-esteem, who would have benefited from being able to do some work to boost their confidence, even if it was voluntary, but they weren't allowed to.

Support needs to be individualised, not farmed off to some company like SERCO. I used to have to attend classes on writing CVs and doing internet searches and ended up being the course leader's assistant. However, when I asked to go on appropriate courses to retrain, I was denied funding, because they weren't on some official list.

I once handed my CV into the Jobcentre as part of my work search. They thought I was taking the pee, but I wasn't. I thought my insight into the system would make me good as a job advisor, but they didn't even give me an interview. :-(

Galen Thu 03-Nov-16 18:58:53

There is no descriptor that involves tying shoelaces! A lot of these complaints seem valid. I see similar all the time, but a few are patently untrue as stated

Galen Thu 03-Nov-16 19:01:18

With the mobility descriptor it must be assessed using any aids including wheelchairs. That is how the law is written

daphnedill Thu 03-Nov-16 19:11:23

The biggest problem is people who have mental health issues, which aren't really recognised at all. It's all too easy to swing the lead with them, as some people possibly do, but many don't.

Galen Thu 03-Nov-16 19:39:59

Also they seem to be assessed by people with little or no knowledge of mental health problems. E.g. OTs, PTs, paramedics and nurses from other countries where mental health problems aren't recognised.
Tell me about it
It's driving me crazy.
If you look at the success rates for people who go to tribunal, it speaks volumes!