Gransnet forums

News & politics

Billions to be cut from welfare services

(227 Posts)
Whitewavemark2 Mon 13-Nov-23 08:16:35

BBC headline.

“Ministers have drawn up large benefit changes for people who are unable to work due to health conditions, the BBC has learned.

The changes, affecting hundreds of thousands of people from 2025, would save £4bn from the welfare budget.

The proposals would see many more people forced to find work despite suffering from a range of physical and mental health conditions.

If the proposals are enacted, people who, for instance, are in severe pain while awaiting an operation or have some mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, may not receive the additional payment but would be expected to look for work.”

I expect the money saved will go into tax cuts, which a tiny minority posting on GN will be thrilled about☹️

Dickens Mon 13-Nov-23 11:49:40

Whitewavemark2

If anyone has suffered from serious anxiety or depression will know, this renders you utterly unable unable to function.

I once suffered clinical depression - brought about by a drug I'd been prescribed, but didn't know that was the cause.

I was prescribed strong anti-depressant medication for the depression (until the known cause was discovered) - very dangerous drugs for which I had to wear a medical bracelet... Monoamine Oxidise Inhibitors ("Parnate").

I went back to work - willingly, it gave me a sense of 'normality', but I was so 'out of it' that my employer suggested I take time off! shock

The prescribed drug that had caused the clinical depression was stopped but I was told to continue with the AD. Having researched it (not easy in the days before the internet) I decided it was too dangerous to continue with it and sared to taper it down. And then got into trouble with my GP for doing so without medical supervision - which they wouldn't give me because they wanted me to continue to take it!

Sometimes, you just can't win.

Luckygirl3 Mon 13-Nov-23 11:55:58

Germanshepherdsmum

Medication enables you to function wwm. That’s why I have to take it. Not a small dose either.

I am glad that the medication works for you.
Unfortunately not all are so lucky.

growstuff Mon 13-Nov-23 11:59:52

Germanshepherdsmum

Medication enables you to function wwm. That’s why I have to take it. Not a small dose either.

Medication didn't enable me to function.

Luckygirl3 Mon 13-Nov-23 12:05:37

And does not for many - sadly.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 13-Nov-23 12:59:56

That’s sad growstuff.

The medication alone didn’t work for me Lucky. There’s no magic bullet. I had to, and still have to, pull myself up by my bootstraps.

Luckygirl3 Mon 13-Nov-23 13:19:28

Not everyone has bootstraps.

Scat Mon 13-Nov-23 13:24:41

Not everyone has bootstraps. Yes they do but, for some, it's easier to keep on letting others pull your weight as well as their own.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 13-Nov-23 13:29:51

There’s a lot of truth in that. Everyone does have bootstraps - not all are willing to do their bit towards functioning though. I have lived my life on the basis that there’s no such word as ‘can’t’.

Dinahmo Mon 13-Nov-23 13:44:51

4 words to remember " I am Daniel Blake".

That film was an accurate indictment of the benefit system under the Tories.

Cabbie21 Mon 13-Nov-23 13:52:22

If someone’s anxiety is so overwhelming that they have panic attacks when they try to go out of their front door, or freeze with panic whilst trying to cross a road, they are not fit to work. If someone is so wracked with pain that they cannot think straight, they are not going to hold down a job. Or someone, perhaps with long covid, is very soon exhausted by trying to live a normal life and has to give up. It is easy for others who have not walked in their shoes to be judgemental.
Mental illness and pain are not immediately visible or obvious. Some are able to work through it, but for others it is totally debilitating. Unfortunately the latter are not always successful in getting the disability benefits they need. Those I have helped eg with PIP forms are all genuine applicants. Too many people have to wait months to go to Tribunal to get the award they deserve. If someone clearly does not qualify, I have advised them against applying.
The system does not work as it should, and yes, there are some claimants who do not merit an award, but it is not easy to jump through all the hoops. Many people give up. I believe there are more people who qualify for benefits who do not apply, eg for Pension Credit, or who fail to be awarded PIP, than there are fraudulent claims. The system does not need to be made any harder to navigate.

Casdon Mon 13-Nov-23 13:59:43

Germanshepherdsmum

There’s a lot of truth in that. Everyone does have bootstraps - not all are willing to do their bit towards functioning though. I have lived my life on the basis that there’s no such word as ‘can’t’.

If only it was as simple as you portray it. Many people with depression also have another mental health condition, for example bipolar disorder, which can cause or worsen depression, or a personality disorder that contributes to the depression not getting better. There are a number of enduring mental health conditions other than depression which bootstraps have no effect on either.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 13-Nov-23 14:15:39

I worked with a man who had BD. He had some very bad days but was always in the office. He had previously been in the military, and carried that attitude through to his work.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 13-Nov-23 14:19:34

There is no way when someone with BP going through a psychotic period could turn up for work😮.

pascal30 Mon 13-Nov-23 14:23:47

I don't believe that they will save billions ...it is going to cost a huge amount of money to implement a new scheme, and who is going to assess what level on the spectrum the cut off limit will be.. we already don't have enough GP's and MH practitioners. I only have experience of MH and I think that it would be fair to say that if someone is actually part of the MH service then they probably aren't able to work but if a GP has prescribed MH medication then possibly they can.. but I pity GP's for all the extra work this new proposal will engender for them.. I really hope we vote in a more compassionate government

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 13-Nov-23 14:34:12

Not everyone with BD (or manic depression as it was known in the days I’m talking about) has psychosis wwm.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 13-Nov-23 14:36:29

I know that! But you seemed to suggest that people with PD could still work even going through a bad patch, and a bad patch for someone with BP is psychosis.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 13-Nov-23 14:43:29

As I said, not all BD sufferers have psychosis. Fact. My colleague was not psychotic.

pascal30 Mon 13-Nov-23 14:46:10

There is as you say GSM a spectrum with Bi-polar and many people successfully work

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 13-Nov-23 14:49:39

Thank you pascal.

Casdon Mon 13-Nov-23 14:54:24

pascal30

There is as you say GSM a spectrum with Bi-polar and many people successfully work

Yes, but many don’t. It’s like all mental health disorders, there are degrees, and good and bad periods, and there are no regimes that work for everybody. It’s not right to say ‘I know somebody who reacted in ABC way therefore anybody who doesn’t is not trying hard enough’, that demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of how conditions manifest in others.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 13-Nov-23 14:58:36

Did I say that? No. Having suffered from mental illness for decades, I perhaps can be credited with some knowledge of the beast.

pascal30 Mon 13-Nov-23 15:03:18

Casdon

pascal30

There is as you say GSM a spectrum with Bi-polar and many people successfully work

Yes, but many don’t. It’s like all mental health disorders, there are degrees, and good and bad periods, and there are no regimes that work for everybody. It’s not right to say ‘I know somebody who reacted in ABC way therefore anybody who doesn’t is not trying hard enough’, that demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of how conditions manifest in others.

yes that is what a spectrum is.

Dickens Mon 13-Nov-23 15:07:55

Cabbie21

If someone’s anxiety is so overwhelming that they have panic attacks when they try to go out of their front door, or freeze with panic whilst trying to cross a road, they are not fit to work. If someone is so wracked with pain that they cannot think straight, they are not going to hold down a job. Or someone, perhaps with long covid, is very soon exhausted by trying to live a normal life and has to give up. It is easy for others who have not walked in their shoes to be judgemental.
Mental illness and pain are not immediately visible or obvious. Some are able to work through it, but for others it is totally debilitating. Unfortunately the latter are not always successful in getting the disability benefits they need. Those I have helped eg with PIP forms are all genuine applicants. Too many people have to wait months to go to Tribunal to get the award they deserve. If someone clearly does not qualify, I have advised them against applying.
The system does not work as it should, and yes, there are some claimants who do not merit an award, but it is not easy to jump through all the hoops. Many people give up. I believe there are more people who qualify for benefits who do not apply, eg for Pension Credit, or who fail to be awarded PIP, than there are fraudulent claims. The system does not need to be made any harder to navigate.

Cabbie21

If someone’s anxiety is so overwhelming that they have panic attacks when they try to go out of their front door, or freeze with panic whilst trying to cross a road, they are not fit to work.

No one Cabbie - but no-one can know the horror of a full-on panic attack unless they have experienced.

I have only experienced it once in my life. It came completely out of the blue. Yes, I was under duress and depressed - but coping.

I have never known anything so frightening. I was shopping in a small supermarket with my mother in a little village somewhere in Lincolnshire musing over the various items on display with her when, from nowhere, came this completely overwhelming sense of fear and dread. It completely engulfed me and I broke out in a terrible sweat, the room span, I thought I was about to faint, and I could feel my heart pounding in my ears. My mother, who was an SRN, thought I was having a heart attack at first. I ran out of the shop in blind panic and fear and just stood there frozen to the spot, shaking and trembling. I felt so afraid - but of what, I had no idea... I was literally panic-stricken. And the worst thing was that I had no control over it at all.

I truly believe that unless you experience it, you cannot possibly understand how utterly debilitating it is, nor that you cannot control it.

For a long time afterward I lived in fear of having another attack - which I never did. There is no way anyone could work under those circumstances. I'm tough and always fight against illness, pain, etc... but that would have floored me.

... because, you cannot control it. You can't talk yourself out of it, or rationalise it away. I remember how my body - legs in particular, became almost paralysed, I was, literally paralysed with fear.

Ziplok Mon 13-Nov-23 15:21:29

Seems to me there are a lot of “experts” posting on this thread who seem to know exactly what it’s like to be in chronic pain or depressed and think individuals can simply, by some sort of mind over matter, lift themselves above it to function normally. I’m afraid the reality is very different for very many. You can only reflect on how you have coped or continue to cope, but you can’t possibly know how it is for someone else in similar situations. There are some very judgemental attitudes on here.

silverlining48 Mon 13-Nov-23 15:26:23

I had a panic attack attack once, truly terrifying.
I didn’t know what was happening and thought I was going to die.