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Woman commits suicide blaming government's 'bedroom tax'. watch

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    (Original post by River85)
    Even with medical evidence claims are often rejected. When applying for DLA is a person is required to give details of their GP, and evidence from a GP has always been sought. I've known people whose GP has provided evidence, and they have also provided evidence through another medical professional (e.g. psychologist) and still had their claim rejected. These claims are usually successful on appeal as they go to a more knowledgeable, experienced decision maker.

    You'll also find few medical professionals will inform a person of their entitlement to benefits. They are medical professionals, not benefit advisers. They, certainly doctors, will see it as no business of theirs and just assume that if a person needs the support then they are aware of it and will apply.

    Besides benefits there are other things that are available but not well known. For example, we hear all the time of concessionary travel for pensioners, but rarely those with disabilities. If the lady's condition is as bad as the media are reporting then I'd be surprised if she was medically fit to drive. If she wasn't medically fit to drive then she'd have been entitled to a concessionary bus pass which would have given her free bus travel across England.



    According to the media (at least the Mirror and Sky articles) she was told by doctors she was too ill to work. However, she never received disability benefits as she wasn't "registered disabled". I have absolutely no idea what they mean by "registered disabled" as there is no such thing. This may be confusion/misunderstanding on the part of the lady and the family, thinking that one needs to be registered disabled in order to apply for benefits, and has been passed onto the media. We don't know.

    All we can take from the media stories is that the doctors told her she was too unwell to work. If this is true then she would likely have been eligible for Employment and Support Allowance and perhaps DLA.



    I'm not assuming she was denied them, just putting it out as a possibility. It's probably more likely that she wasn't aware of what help was available. It's also a possibility that she wouldn't have been entitled to many benefits.

    This, and the fact that someone's suicide rarely results from one single thing, is why I don't particularly like using this single case.

    However, this case likely does demonstrate, or at least draw attention to, the many people up and down the country who do need help but aren't aware of what help is available to them.



    I don't think it is that unusual. I think this largely depends on where in the country you live.



    And I'm not blaming the government for her death. Her death likely resulted from a range of factors. If she was in poor health, then it's likely the psychological effects of her health took a toll. We also don't know what personal problems she had.

    As I mentioned earlier, my chief concern is that she didn't receive some of the help that she was likely entitled to.

    Plus there are people up and down the country who are facing substantial cuts to their income as a result of HB cuts and are unable to move, or can move but face a substantial knock on effect on their quality of life which will lead to further mental health problems and therefore greater expense to the state.



    I can criticise the government for brining in a half-arsed benefit changes. There are perfectly legitimate reasons why some people need a house with at least one spare bedroom.
    She had two spare bedrooms, no need for a spare bedroom at all and was offered rehousing as an option.


    She was so sick that she didn't qualify for disability benefit and walked four miles to the motorway.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    She had two spare bedrooms, no need for a spare bedroom at all and was offered rehousing as an option.
    Perhaps she doesn't have a need for a spare bedroom. I don't know her. I cannot comment.

    It doesn't mean that other people claiming HB don't need a spare bedroom, however.

    and was offered rehousing as an option.
    Yes, I'm aware she was. We have been discussing this the last two days, you know?

    She was so sick that she didn't qualify for disability benefit
    You clearly didn't read my post.

    How do you know she didn't qualify for disability benefit? Did you know her well enough to be aware of how her illness affected her? How familiar are you with DLA and ESA, and its eligibility criteria?

    Read the newspaper articles: -

    Doctors told her she was too ill to work. However she didn't claim disability benefits as she was not "registered disabled".

    There is no such thing as being "registered disabled", in the same way that one can be registered as blind, partially sighted or deaf.

    and walked four miles to the motorway.
    Still doesn't mean she didn't have mobility or care needs....but I don't really care if she did.

    My intention is not to say that the government are responsible for her death, and to highlight this case in particular.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Sorry, I ran this through Google Translate and it was struggling...
    Google doesn't translate from plain english to a level of idiocy for you to understand, neither does it reverse what I write for you to agree with it.

    As far as I can understand, you are trying to say (completely off topic and irrelevently) that it's wrong for the government to want to reform the benefits system in order to prevent abuse of that system, because Philpot was the only one?
    Well I don't see why that would be off topic if I had actually said that but I never said. It seems what you consider to be off topic is something you either don't understand or disagree with.

    I doubt Philpot is the only case of the benefits system being abussed, but I think it would be very wrong if he is considered to be the exemplar of all on benefits.

    I think it would also be very wrong if the governments benefit reforms whilst aimed perhaps at trying to make the system more efficient, fair and prevent abuses had the ill effect of harming those who genuinly need benefits.

    In addition you are saying that because someone kills themself and blames the government, then it must be the government's fault, just as it is the government's fault when someone gets shot in the face, stabbed, run over, etc, is that it?
    No, what I am saying is that government has a resposibility to address these issues and take measures to prevent them from happening; which in those cases could be tackiling our drinking culture, stopping the sale of cheap alcohol, more policing, randomly stoping drivers to breath test them, tough sentences for drink driving, being imprisoned if carrying a knife, banning bb guns etc. If the government simply ignores the issue then it has failed in its duties and should be held accountable.

    Now the government has failed in some very serious issues lately, that it is not simply failure to tackle the issue; but gross misconduct and if any politician or ATOS Healthcare is found to be at fault then heads should roll for it.

    If the attitude in this thread is the same as societies views on mental health then I would say the government has clearly failed to raise public awareness of mental health, and has not done enough to tackle the issue in a positive way.

    In other words, basically you are saying that you can't (shouldn't?) criticise when something looked at objectively is Labour's fault (the benefits system that tempted Philpot to do what he did) but you can when something (everything bad that happens that can't be attributed to something Labour did?) can be perceived to be the Tories fault, even if you have to stretch credulity to do so?
    What part of "these are entierly pollitical issues, it is acceptable to discuss them and the exact same goes for the philipot case" did you not understand and how did you derive from that I was saying that it is unacceptable to use the philpot case to highlight faults in the benefits system?
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    (Original post by River85)
    Not necessarily. You're making an ideological statement there that not everyone agrees with. It depends on what you think the role of government is.
    Yes, I was aware of that when I wrote the statement.

    But I believe government should be run by the people and organised around communities who in their ownership the welfare state should belong to, whilst I think it is fine to have private healthcare companies etc and fine to make reforms to the system so it is not abused, it should be illegal to privatise away the welfare system. I would enshrine these ideals in the countries constiution if I had authority to do so.

    (Original post by AeneasBK)
    if we don't vilify it, stigmatise it, will it not seem a more attractive option. IF we start talking about "noble sacrifice" are we not setting a much more harmful environment for people in these vulnerable states. Saying "Its okay to feel despair, but if you top yourself its the lowest of the low" is better than "Many people who feel they can't cope decide to end their own lives to spare loved ones the burden" when it comes to discouraging people from the ultimate decision...
    No this is absolutely the wrong approach and I hope you will come to realise this.

    Do you serriously think it is a good idea to villify someone and brand them as selfish when they already see themselves as absolutely worthless and feel quilt for feeling as they do.

    By calling them selfish you are basically saying to the person that he/she is a worthless selfish human being and they will agree with that and determine that they do not deserve to live.
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    (Original post by River85)
    Even with medical evidence claims are often rejected. When applying for DLA is a person is required to give details of their GP, and evidence from a GP has always been sought. I've known people whose GP has provided evidence, and they have also provided evidence through another medical professional (e.g. psychologist) and still had their claim rejected. These claims are usually successful on appeal as they go to a more knowledgeable, experienced decision maker.

    You'll also find few medical professionals will inform a person of their entitlement to benefits. They are medical professionals, not benefit advisers. They, certainly doctors, will see it as no business of theirs and just assume that if a person needs the support then they are aware of it and will apply.
    Sorry, but you seem not to be understanding this. She had never worked. This was an ongoing situation for many years.

    Since we have not been told that she was kicked off disability benefits under the recent ATOS changes, as we almost certainly would have been by the media and Labour had that been the case - we can also validly assume that she was not claiming them under the previously comparatively laissez-faire attempt at running them under Labour, where ANYONE could get disability if they could convince a doctor to sign them off sick.

    Therefore any of your comments above that refer to the current situation regarding disability benefits are irrelevant. She didn't suddenly start being ineligible for disability, she was either never eligible in the first place, hadn't been eligible for a long time, or didn't bother claiming it.

    At this point one might wonder that she might communicate to her friends and family that she has been told by the doc that she is too ill to work, or explain perhaps to a benefits adviser (as they were known back then) at the Jobcentre when she went twice monthly to sign for her giro and fullfill her obligations as per the jobseekers agreement. "Did you apply for this job?" "No." "Why?" "Doctor says I'm too sick..."

    Considering all that, you need to ask yourselves why friends/family/jobcentre aren't asking her why she isn't on disability which provides more money if she has been told (prior to the ATOS reforms) that she is too sick to work, since all it took at that time was for a doctor to sign you off.

    For this to have been going on for so long and no attempt made to claim disability, I really question whether or not any doctor has told her that she was too sick to work. Thus it's relevant to question whether or not her condition was as serious as it has been made out to be in order to use it as a stick to beat the government with. In many cases, MG is adequately treatable with medication.

    If a doctor has assessed her as being too ill to work, do you think it's a massive leap of faith that the doctor will inform her of that diagnosis also?

    If you have been told you are too ill to work by a doctor, it does not take a great amount of cognitive ability to ask yourself how you might support yourself if you are physically unable to work (and if she doesn't have that cognitive ability, the doctor has a duty of care to ensure that she understands it), and it is too much to accept that she was unaware of the existence of these benefits, or that she had neither told her family and friends of the diagnosis and none of them were aware of their existence either.
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    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Google doesn't translate from plain english to a level of idiocy for you to understand, neither does it reverse what I write for you to agree with it.
    Perhaps you should reread your post then if you think that qualifies as 'plain English'.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Well I don't see why that would be off topic if I had actually said that but I never said. It seems what you consider to be off topic is something you either don't understand or disagree with.

    I doubt Philpot is the only case of the benefits system being abussed, but I think it would be very wrong if he is considered to be the exemplar of all on benefits.

    I think it would also be very wrong if the governments benefit reforms whilst aimed perhaps at trying to make the system more efficient, fair and prevent abuses had the ill effect of harming those who genuinly need benefits.
    It's the ambiguity of your post again. You did indeed say that

    The exact same goes for the Mick Philpott case, although the chancellor should be very carefull how he words what he says on that; as yes he has found one person abusing the benefits system but is Philpott the exemplar of all on benefits? I think not!!
    Ergo, it's reasonable to ask if you are saying it's wrong for the government to want to reform the benefits system in order to prevent abuse of that system, because Philpot was the only one.

    But since you have now clarified what you meant we are now at common understanding, so all is good, no?

    Do you not think that even one person abusing the benefits system is too much? Perhaps you have a credible alternative that means we can stop the Philpotts of this world and still have a nice friendly benefits system. I'm sure IDS would welcome your ideas.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    No, what I am saying is that government has a resposibility to address these issues and take measures to prevent them from happening; which in those cases could be tackiling our drinking culture, stopping the sale of cheap alcohol, more policing, randomly stoping drivers to breath test them, tough sentences for drink driving, being imprisoned if carrying a knife, banning bb guns etc. If the government simply ignores the issue then it has failed in its duties and should be held accountable.
    Evidently if this is your assessment of how well a government is doing, then you should be absolutely delighted that all the efforts thus far mean that crime is down, with numbers relating to all those you mention much better than under Labour. But I doubt that will hold much sway with you when it comes to making your trip to the ballot box...

    So you don't need to pretend that makes any difference to you at all.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Now the government has failed in some very serious issues lately, that it is not simply failure to tackle the issue; but gross misconduct and if any politician or ATOS Healthcare is found to be at fault then heads should roll for it.
    Serious issues such as the economy, immigration perhaps?

    But again, I doubt such issues will hold much sway with you when it comes to making your trip to the ballot box...

    So you don't need to pretend that 'performance on serious issues' makes any difference to you at all either.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    If the attitude in this thread is the same as societies views on mental health then I would say the government has clearly failed to raise public awareness of mental health, and has not done enough to tackle the issue in a positive way.
    I see. Why is it suddenly 'the government's fault' for failing to raise public awareness of mental health? Was everybody born in 2010 when the current government came into existence? At least there is no pretence that you are stretching credibility to blame the Coalition for everything.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    What part of "these are entierly pollitical issues, it is acceptable to discuss them and the exact same goes for the philipot case" did you not understand and how did you derive from that I was saying that it is unacceptable to use the philpot case to highlight faults in the benefits system?
    Again, apologies, but we are now at a common understanding, yes?

    Out of interest, if you blame the Coalition for not addressing crime issues, and you blame the Coalition for unspecified 'serious issues' and you blame the Coalition for failing to ensure we are adequately educated as to mental health issues, just who do you blame for the Philpott situation?

    Actually, no need to answer, I think we all know. Instead, tell me what you propose they should do about it?
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Since we have not been told that she was kicked off disability benefits under the recent ATOS changes, as we almost certainly would have been by the media and Labour had that been the case - we can also validly assume that she was not claiming them under the previously comparatively laissez-faire attempt at running them under Labour, where ANYONE could get disability if they could convince a doctor to sign them off sick.
    Pfft - not quite right mate. Labour also ran a particularly poor and unfair system for disability benefit.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Sorry, but you seem not to be understanding this. She had never worked. This was an ongoing situation for many years.
    How am I misunderstanding this? All I'm saying is that, according to the media, she was told she was too ill to work by doctors. I'm not saying her ill health is a recent thing, or that she's ever worked.

    Therefore any of your comments above that refer to the current situation regarding disability benefits are irrelevant. She didn't suddenly start being ineligible for disability, she was either never eligible in the first place, hadn't been eligible for a long time, or didn't bother claiming it.
    Erm. no.

    These are not comments about the current system. They are comments about the previous system. I specifically said Disability Living Allowance, not Personal Independence Payments.

    Many people who had sufficient care and/or mobility needs found their Disability Living Allowance claim rejected.

    I applied myself in 2003 and had my claim rejected (I didn't appeal). I applied again a few years later and had my initial claim rejected. After appeal I was given lower rate mobility and middle rate care - which is quite a substantial award considering the first two decision makers thought I had no care or mobility needs whatsoever.

    I personally know of many other cases. It was well known that Disabiity Living Allowance was just an exercise in how well you can fill in the form/you know what sort of things they're looking for and that many with needs found their claim rejected.

    This was all pre-Coalition government and ATOS.

    What you seem to be referring to is Employment and Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit. However, as far as ESA goes, a medical questionnaire (and usually assessment) is needed. Only if these are passed is the claimant placed in the support group (ie. not expected to look for work).

    I'll reply to the rest tomorrow.
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    Pfft - not quite right mate. Labour also ran a particularly poor and unfair system for disability benefit.
    Yes, you are quite right, the ATOS assessments started off under Labour. However I was referring to the situation before that, which was also under Labour.

    Incidentally, you can say what you like about ATOS's assessments, that they are unfair or whatever, and in many cases I have seen I cannot help but agree.

    Nevertheless, it is entirely reasonable to check that a disabled person is actually disabled before allowing them to claim enhanced benefits to enable them to manage the condition that necessitates enhanced benefits to pay for the increased cost of living as a disabled person.

    Proof positive that there was a massive abuse of the system by people claiming disability who shouldn't have been, was the fact that a good third or more of all claimants from the old system who dropped their claim once it was clear to them that they'd have to justify their entitlement and they'd be found out for the charlatans they were.

    After all, you'd have thought anyone who genuinely thought their condition entitled them to disability payments in good faith would at least give the assesment a go - after all, they are supposed to be genuinely disabled, right?
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Perhaps you should reread your post then if you think that qualifies as 'plain English'.
    Yes and perhaps you should put aside your own political biasses for a second, stop seeing what you want to see me as and consider for a moment that I have never:

    claimed to support labour, you automatically jumped to that conclusion because I question the conservatives bedroom tax. Yes brilliant logic on your part!!

    never claimed that I am against every pollicy the conservatives have,

    I have never voted before and most likely will not at the next general ellection,

    That I do support those efforts to reduce crime and are happy if that is the result. I am not sure if crime is any better now than what it was under Labour and if that is directly because of a new government. If crime is lower because of conservative policy you will have to prove that it is a causation rather than just a correlation.

    I never said that it is wrong for the government to reform the benefits system.


    I see. Why is it suddenly 'the government's fault' for failing to raise public awareness of mental health? Was everybody born in 2010 when the current government came into existence? At least there is no pretence that you are stretching credibility to blame the Coalition for everything.
    It is not suddenly the governments fault, but this government and government passed have failed to raise the issue.

    Like mature student said those who do need help do not know where they are
    supposed to go for it.

    Again, apologies, but we are now at a common understanding, yes?
    What so, is this now you afirming that you missunderstood me right after the rest of your post accuses me of saying things I did not say and having views I do not hold?

    Out of interest, if you blame the Coalition for not addressing crime issues, and you blame the Coalition for unspecified 'serious issues' and you blame the Coalition for failing to ensure we are adequately educated as to mental health issues, just who do you blame for the Philpott situation
    Previous governments actually.

    Is that what you expected to here?

    Those were not unspecified serrious issues I made clear refference to Atos and the governments reforms of disability living allowance, if you didn't pick up on that watch the news more often.

    Actually, no need to answer, I think we all know. Instead, tell me what you propose they should do about it?
    You are jumping to ill-founded conclusions about me and it seems that no matter what I say you have already decided that I am 'X' type of person.

    What would I do? How the **** would I know? I think you are expecting a bit to much from me a layperson essentially to explain to you how to run the country?

    But because I don't know my opinions are somehow not valid?

    I am not against benefit reform but I want to be completly sure that all of the things they are doing is entierly fair, especially when it is under a lot of scrutiny not just from the general public.
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    (Original post by River85)
    How am I misunderstanding this? All I'm saying is that, according to the media, she was told she was too ill to work by doctors. I'm not saying her ill health is a recent thing, or that she's ever worked.



    Erm. no.

    These are not comments about the current system. They are comments about the previous system. I specifically said Disability Living Allowance, not Personal Independence Payments.

    Many people who had sufficient care and/or mobility needs found their Disability Living Allowance claim rejected.

    I applied myself in 2003 and had my claim rejected (I didn't appeal). I applied again a few years later and had my initial claim rejected. After appeal I was given lower rate mobility and middle rate care - which is quite a substantial award considering the first two decision makers thought I had no care or mobility needs whatsoever.

    I personally know of many other cases. It was well known that Disabiity Living Allowance was just an exercise in how well you can fill in the form/you know what sort of things they're looking for and that many with needs found their claim rejected.

    This was all pre-Coalition government and ATOS.

    What you seem to be referring to is Employment and Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit. However, as far as ESA goes, a medical questionnaire (and usually assessment) is needed. Only if these are passed is the claimant placed in the support group (ie. not expected to look for work).

    I'll reply to the rest tomorrow.
    My apologies - you have more experience in these matters so I will defer to your superior knowledge as to what each of the separate disabled benefits are called and the requirements for each.

    Nevertheless, I stand by what I otherwise said regarding her not being eligible for disability benefits.
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    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Yes and perhaps you should put aside your own political biasses for a second, stop seeing what you want to see me as and consider for a moment that I have never:

    claimed to support labour, you automatically jumped to that conclusion because I question the conservatives bedroom tax. Yes brilliant logic on your part!!
    Ah well, it's an entirely reasonable conclusion to draw, since the only people calling it a 'bedroom tax' are Labour supporters, indeed that is Labour's pet name for it.

    It is not a tax at all, it is a reduction in freebie handouts to those deemed over endowed with the things

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    never claimed that I am against every pollicy the conservatives have,
    Indeed, I never saw evidence that you were, because that would be an exhaustibly long post, but you did seem to be against more things than you were for.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    I have never voted before and most likely will not at the next general ellection,
    Any reason why?

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    That I do support those efforts to reduce crime and are happy if that is the result. I am not sure if crime is any better now than what it was under Labour and if that is directly because of a new government. If crime is lower because of conservative policy you will have to prove that it is a causation rather than just a correlation.
    Why would it be anything but causation? That it just happened to decrease with no input or effort from the Coalition whatsoever?

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    I never said that it is wrong for the government to reform the benefits system.
    Good again...

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    It is not suddenly the governments fault, but this government and government passed have failed to raise the issue.
    Which is arguably true...

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Like mature student said those who do need help do not know where they are supposed to go for it.
    Can't disagree...

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    What so, is this now you afirming that you missunderstood me right after the rest of your post accuses me of saying things I did not say and having views I do not hold?
    It's not my fault if you write your post ambiguously and appear to be blaming the current government for everything, yet conspicuously failing to mention the previous government's er... failings.

    Once you clarified what you meant, I'm quite happy to agree that it can be interpreted differently

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    Previous governments actually.

    Is that what you expected to here?

    Those were not unspecified serrious issues I made clear refference to Atos and the governments reforms of disability living allowance, if you didn't pick up on that watch the news more often.
    Yes, you did mention ATOS, but it's entirely possible you were referring to other unspecified serious issues in addition to those.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    You are jumping to ill-founded conclusions about me and it seems that no matter what I say you have already decided that I am 'X' type of person.
    I have done no such thing. I can only draw such conclusions based on what is written here, and your first effort was barely comprehensible, and subsequent efforts seemed to be made up of bashing the government.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    What would I do? How the **** would I know? I think you are expecting a bit to much from me a layperson essentially to explain to you how to run the country?

    But because I don't know my opinions are somehow not valid?
    Well, if you are saying that such and such policy is wrong, you should at least be able to say why it is wrong, and what the government should be doing instead. Just saying.

    (Original post by Solarstorm)
    I am not against benefit reform but I want to be completly sure that all of the things they are doing is entierly fair, especially when it is under a lot of scrutiny not just from the general public.
    Naturally...

    In any change, there will be winners and losers. But being a loser per se is not necessarily unfair. It's only unfair if you are losing something that you have a valid reason to consider yourself entitled to. And I don't think anyone has a valid reason to consider themselves entitled to a larger home than is necessary, even if they have been fortunate enough in the past to be able to occupy one.

    Obviously, if you're accustomed to being a beneficiary of unfairness, then losing it will feel unfair (see also higher tax bracket recipients of child benefit). But the fairness that matters is how even-handedly the system treats everyone, not how it is perceived by specific individuals. And it's very hard to argue that a system which paid for a single person to occupy the same sized home as a family was fair.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Yes, you are quite right, the ATOS assessments started off under Labour. However I was referring to the situation before that, which was also under Labour.

    Incidentally, you can say what you like about ATOS's assessments, that they are unfair or whatever, and in many cases I have seen I cannot help but agree.

    Nevertheless, it is entirely reasonable to check that a disabled person is actually disabled before allowing them to claim enhanced benefits to enable them to manage the condition that necessitates enhanced benefits to pay for the increased cost of living as a disabled person.

    Proof positive that there was a massive abuse of the system by people claiming disability who shouldn't have been, was the fact that a good third or more of all claimants from the old system who dropped their claim once it was clear to them that they'd have to justify their entitlement and they'd be found out for the charlatans they were.

    After all, you'd have thought anyone who genuinely thought their condition entitled them to disability payments in good faith would at least give the assesment a go - after all, they are supposed to be genuinely disabled, right?
    I don't think we can draw any firm conclusions from the fact that some people dropped their claim.

    I am assuming that you are referring to news stories of somewhere in the region of 800,000 cases being dropped? If this is so, I am of the understanding that this figure is arrived at having looked at the number of dropped claims per month for about four years.

    The DWP's own report explores the reasons why people may drop their claims - for some, I am of no doubt that it is because they are trying it on and think better of it. However there are other explanations: improving conditions, change in treatment which alleviates their symptoms, difficulty in claiming causing people to abandon their claims, their condition actually making claiming difficult etc.

    I think it is a little unfair to say that a third of people dropped their claim = that third of claimants were fraudsters = the system is working.

    I do agree that some sort of procedure needs to be in place though. I do not think the current system cuts the mustard - hence the high number of cases which are successfully appealed.
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    I don't think we can draw any firm conclusions from the fact that some people dropped their claim.

    I am assuming that you are referring to news stories of somewhere in the region of 800,000 cases being dropped? If this is so, I am of the understanding that this figure is arrived at having looked at the number of dropped claims per month for about four years.

    The DWP's own report explores the reasons why people may drop their claims - for some, I am of no doubt that it is because they are trying it on and think better of it. However there are other explanations: improving conditions, change in treatment which alleviates their symptoms, difficulty in claiming causing people to abandon their claims, their condition actually making claiming difficult etc.

    I think it is a little unfair to say that a third of people dropped their claim = that third of claimants were fraudsters = the system is working.

    I do agree that some sort of procedure needs to be in place though. I do not think the current system cuts the mustard - hence the high number of cases which are successfully appealed.
    I don't think it's unfair at all.

    If you are disabled and you believe that disability stops you from working, you are going to attempt to justify that in your assessment, not by dropping your claim and going back onto unemployment benefits - unless you know you are lying about being incapable of work, or about your disability preventing you from working.

    If you have a doctor's note for something like “blisters”, “sprains and strains” and “acne” as preventing you from having a job, not to mention the thousands who were on disability for "alcohol" and/or "drugs" (actual examples by the way) then it's pretty obvious if you attempt to justify that to a disability assessment, you'll be laughed out of the waiting room, so of course you are going to drop your claim before it arrives.

    According to you, you would have us believe that a goodly proportion of all these disability claimants stopped claiming because they all somehow suddenly 'got better'. What a coincidence. Just before they are called in to have their disability examined, such a huge number of people's genuinely disabling conditions stopping them from working suddenly improved so much that it's not worth claiming for. Yeah, that's so plausible...

    I suppose before the DWP released the figures, you truly believed, hand on heart, that the number of people claiming disability in spite of not being so entitled was a very few? Like your comments before regarding large families claiming child benefits being very few, you are effectively making excuses for the large percentage of disability benefit claimants who are (sorry, were) taking the piss out of the system (we all know they exist) because of your own socialist prejudices.

    And so, because of them, genuine people that need help are losing out.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    I don't think it's unfair at all.
    I again I must disagree.

    I did not deny that there are some that are trying it on. My point was that we do not know (and probably can never know) the exact numbers who were trying it on and abandoned their claims vs the numbers of people who dropped their claims for other reasons.

    I have met quite a few people who had originally dropped their claims not because they were unworthy, but because they had grown tired of the process, didn't want to make a fuss, assumed that they would not be eligible etc. In my post which you quoted, as well as medical conditions improving, I also suggested other reasons why people may drop their claims.

    My point was that dishonesty and 'trying it on' is but one reason a person may drop their claim. In the time period between applying for benefit and in attending the WCA, there are bound to people who drop out of the process for a whole host of reasons.

    The real scandal here is not that people decide not to claim, but the numbers of people who are entitled to benefit, who are turned down after the WCA only to have their appeal upheld.
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    (Original post by n00)
    Thought we could maybe have another go at this one, found the other thread quite eye opening. Please do try and keep it respecful.



    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...r-8612647.html

    No doubt some of you as many in the press and government seem to be doing will attempt to lessen the blame on government 'reforms' by labelling this poor woman as mentally unwell and lacking the proper will power. Well this to me seems even worse, why are we putting the mentally ill under more and more financial pressure, then demonising them and simultaneously pushing through huge cuts in mental health spending leading to a massive problem of bed shortages? We now seem to expect all mentally ill patients to have a family that are able to provide long term care for their mentally ill relatives, but we will also demonise those same family members as scroungers the second they struggle to juggle a work life with life as a full time carer.

    I realise it maybe hard for some of you to understand the mental state of someone so desperate they commit suicide. Its only natural that some will question her reasoning, you're quite right it doesn't make sense to someone of sound mind, but clearly she wasn't of sound mind, so do try and remember this before you question her reasoning.

    No doubt i'll be attacked as i have already as using this tragic death for some kind of partisan motives, this is simply not true, i have seen first-hand the kind of treatment mentally ill patients can expect and its truely sickening. I'm afraid we will see more and more of this kind of thing, it really is inevitable with the kind of 'reforms' being pushed through.
    What are we supposed to say? People are just entitled to goods from the state? Why are they entitled?


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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    I again I must disagree.

    I did not deny that there are some that are trying it on. My point was that we do not know (and probably can never know) the exact numbers who were trying it on and abandoned their claims vs the numbers of people who dropped their claims for other reasons.

    I have met quite a few people who had originally dropped their claims not because they were unworthy, but because they had grown tired of the process, didn't want to make a fuss, assumed that they would not be eligible etc. In my post which you quoted, as well as medical conditions improving, I also suggested other reasons why people may drop their claims.

    My point was that dishonesty and 'trying it on' is but one reason a person may drop their claim. In the time period between applying for benefit and in attending the WCA, there are bound to people who drop out of the process for a whole host of reasons.

    The real scandal here is not that people decide not to claim, but the numbers of people who are entitled to benefit, who are turned down after the WCA only to have their appeal upheld.
    Oh, I can quite believe you do disagree and will continue to do so as long as you can continue to conjure possible but nevertheless ridiculously implausible alternative scenarios in your head.

    Anything to avoid admitting that the socialists allowed about a third of all disability claimants to claim fraudulently.

    Sure, people stop claiming for a variety of reasons. Some may get better, some may get sicker, some will even have died over that time, due to their condition. This will naturally affect the claimant numbers over time. But this is an ongoing process. Why did such numbers not come off disability before? Why did it take a letter from the DWP to 'cure' them? Surely there have been no magical cures or phenomenal recent advances in medical technology recently? We would have heard about them.

    You are asking us to believe that there was something magical that the government did at precisely the same time they told all these disability benefit claimants they would be assessed that caused them to come of disability, other than the fact that they knew that their claim was fraudulent and they would be found out.

    The alternatives you posit to account for the vast and unprecedented numbers dropping their claim, well they are certainly possible, but it's not very likely. Just as I can put ten red balls in a bag along with one hundred blue ones, shaking it all up, and then drawing blind, pull out the ten red balls without once drawing a blue. That's certainly possible. But were someone to see me do this, they would certainly suspect that I had tampered with it in some way, before they would accept that it was a completely honest and unbiased draw - perhaps I heated the balls before I put them into the bag, or some other trick.

    As far as your anecdotal evidence goes, I am going to write that off as completely irrelevant. Just as you would If I had anecdotal evidence of the opposite. Strange how everyone 'knows someone' that will support their claim, isn't it?

    Indeed, given the numbers - practically one in seventy of everyone in Britain, I'm not surprised that people know someone who has stopped claiming disability. Coincidentally it's always the genuine ones, perhaps the not so genuine ones are less likely to tell their friends and neighbours that they have been scamming benefits, so you probably know quite a few of those too, but are unaware of their cheating because they choose not to publicise it.

    Funny how it's different when that anecdotal evidence panders to your bigotry rather than contradicts your prejudices...

    You yourself should particularly be cautious of attempting to use anecdotal evidence in support of your arguments, especially since I have seen you pooh-pooh anecdotal evidence on several occasions.

    Strange how anecdotal evidence isn't valid because it isn't 'representative' when put through by someone in favour of reforming benefits, but when it's coming from someone where they are against the reforms, you can't get enough.

    Indeed, in the child benefit thread, you were knocking people back left right and centre who claimed to be aware of large families ripping off the taxpayer with child benefit, but yeah, you wrote them off wholesale, didn't you? Indeed it wasn't until I actually posted statistics showing the number was more than a very few that you conceeded.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    The alternatives you posit to account for the vast and unprecedented numbers dropping their claim
    Are they really unprecedented numbers? What are the numbers?
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Oh, I can quite believe you do disagree and will continue to do so as long as you can continue to conjure possible but nevertheless ridiculously implausible alternative scenarios in your head.

    Anything to avoid admitting that the socialists allowed about a third of all disability claimants to claim fraudulently.

    Sure, people stop claiming for a variety of reasons. Some may get better, some may get sicker, some will even have died over that time, due to their condition. This will naturally affect the claimant numbers over time. But this is an ongoing process. Why did such numbers not come off disability before? Why did it take a letter from the DWP to 'cure' them? Surely there have been no magical cures or phenomenal recent advances in medical technology recently? We would have heard about them.
    Fair play knocking back the anecdotal 'evidence'. I would point out that these aren't people I have a personal connection to, but clients and people I have met as someone who spends a lot of time in social security tribunals.

    Do you have evidence which shows that people drop their claims having been invited to a WCA assessment? People could, and do, drop their claims at any stage between handing in their ESA50 form, being invited for an assessment and attending the assessment. Not everyone attends an assessment - so there is a chance that one could simply hand in the form and get the benefit. For your argument to stand, you will have to show us proof that large numbers of people suddenly drop off the ESA radar having received their assessment invite. And even then, you would still have to concede that some, just some, would drop their claim for an innocent reason.

    What you are asserting is that about a third of people dropped their claims in order to avoid the assessment. You have nothing to back this up. You seem to make the further assertion that people are dropping their claims in the face of tougher assessments thanks to our saviours, the Tory led government - but the figures you cite are for the period from 2008 to 2012. So it seems that even when soft touch Labour were around, people were still running scared from the assessment... or maybe, just maybe, there are other reasons for people to abandon their claims?
 
 
 
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