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    (Original post by Bang Outta Order)
    Against my better judgement I'll pop my 2p in here. Regardless of whether your estimate is right or not, I notice people who don't understand the reality of things tend to glaze over important factors because they're completely unaware they'd even exist: 240 quid for a month for daily feeding and other expenses for each child is nothing. You're thinking of 240 as a "big number" and not money that needs to pay for several things for several people. It goes quickly. I feel the common man would spend that much in one shopping trip for two people. Which is why on here people keep asking "can I live off 50 quid a week?" The answer is barely yes for a single person, let alone 4 kids. Many people would lose their mind if they had to live off benefits. It's not an easy holiday. Whatever got her into that position is irrelevant. Because the kids are here now and need to be taken care of and in a first world country there's little to no excuse for them not to be fed and warm in European winters.
    It is a sterile debate. Expecting someone who basically couldn't comply with a set of rules for claiming benefit to micromanage inadequate money to an exceptionally high standard is not in the real world. I am sure Delia Smith could feed 50 let alone 5 for a month for £240 (there might be a lot of cabbage soup involved but that is very nutritious), but it is unreasonable to expect a woman in her position to do so.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I fully accept that it is functional assessment. but please tell me where, if anywhere, you disagree with any of my specific comments. All I have done is identified the functions involved in a common activity.
    You've failed to acknowledge the whole issue of reliability. Just because a person can do something, doesn't necessarily mean they can do it repeatedly, safely, in a suitable time frame and to an acceptable standard. For example, the person may be able to drive a short distance but become so fatigued after this that they have to sleep for a long time afterwards, as a result they don't drive very often and only do so when absolutely needed. Therefore being able to drive doesn't necessarily mean that they're barred from the descriptors you've chosen to look at. Or they may have a diagnosis that is variable in nature (e.g. Relapsing and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis). Here they may be able to drive fairly well (and safely!) for a few months of the year (less than six months), but the rest of the time their RRMS makes it impossible to do so safely, hence they cannot do the task the majority of the time to an acceptable standard.

    Assessing a person's disability isn't easy, this is why a snapshot assessment that often doesn't take into account evidence from the claimants own GP/Specialists is almost always going to end up with the claimant getting the incorrect award. This is why there's such a high proportion that end up needing to go to MR or FTT.
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    Universal credit, who thought that'd be a good idea.
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    Duncan2012

    Well? Don't rush to rep someone, and hide behind their comment. Speak for yourself. I wanna know what you think. Not what nulli thinks. Or I'd have quoted them...

    Why do you think 240 quid is enough for 4 children for 30 days?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    It is a sterile debate. Expecting someone who basically couldn't comply with a set of rules for claiming benefit to micromanage inadequate money to an exceptionally high standard is not in the real world. I am sure Delia Smith could feed 50 let alone 5 for a month for £240 (there might be a lot of cabbage soup involved but that is very nutritious), but it is unreasonable to expect a woman in her position to do so.
    This is part of the problem with University Credit generally. It is not sensible to give people, who are used to living on relatively small payments coming in every 3-4 days, a £400-odd payment once a month.
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    (Original post by Pathway)
    You've failed to acknowledge the whole issue of reliability. Just because a person can do something, doesn't necessarily mean they can do it repeatedly, safely, in a suitable time frame and to an acceptable standard. For example, the person may be able to drive a short distance but become so fatigued after this that they have to sleep for a long time afterwards, as a result they don't drive very often and only do so when absolutely needed. Therefore being able to drive doesn't necessarily mean that they're barred from the descriptors you've chosen to look at. Or they may have a diagnosis that is variable in nature (e.g. Relapsing and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis). Here they may be able to drive fairly well (and safely!) for a few months of the year (less than six months), but the rest of the time their RRMS makes it impossible to do so safely, hence they cannot do the task the majority of the time to an acceptable standard.
    I accept the point you are making in principle but you said something that rather gave the game away. Someone who drives when they need to, doesn't have a problem. Someone who is unable to drive on more than half the days when they need to has a problem.

    Assessing a person's disability isn't easy, this is why a snapshot assessment that often doesn't take into account evidence from the claimants own GP/Specialists is almost always going to end up with the claimant getting the incorrect award. This is why there's such a high proportion that end up needing to go to MR or FTT.
    And you will see that repeats a point I made in an earlier post.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I accept the point you are making in principle but you said something that rather gave the game away. Someone who drives when they need to, doesn't have a problem. Someone who is unable to drive on more than half the days when they need to has a problem.



    And you will see that repeats a point I made in an earlier post.
    Well, no, because they can't do it to an acceptable standard when they do carry the activity out. In the PIP "How Your Disability Affects You" form (PIP2) it asks you about after affects of an activity, they're supposed to take this into account. The person who can drive but then needs to sleep for hours after because of the fatigue it causes, cannot drive to an acceptable standard due to their disability. My point still stands.
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    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    This is part of the problem with University Credit generally. It is not sensible to give people, who are used to living on relatively small payments coming in every 3-4 days, a £400-odd payment once a month.
    But that isn't a mistake. That is a design feature. It is the clear intention of the government to increase personal responsibility. It is the same policy as curtailing housing benefit payments to landlords and personal care budgets for the disabled.
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    (Original post by Pathway)
    Well, no, because they can't do it to an acceptable standard when they do carry the activity out. In the PIP "How Your Disability Affects You" form (PIP2) it asks you about after affects of an activity, they're supposed to take this into account. The person who can drive but then needs to sleep for hours after because of the fatigue it causes, cannot drive to an acceptable standard due to their disability. My point still stands.
    No that isn't right. "Acceptable standard" is the quality of undertaking the activity when it is undertaken. What you are addressing is "repeatedly" which means as often as the activity being assessed is reasonably required to be completed. That is the PIP definition but ESA is not materially different. And of course what has to be undertaken repeatedly is the activity in the assessment not driving a car. One can use being able to steer a car as a proxy for the task of being able to lift and move an empty cardboard box but what has to be able to be done repeatedly is lift and move the box, not drive the car.
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    (Original post by Bang Outta Order)
    Duncan2012

    Well? Don't rush to rep someone, and hide behind their comment. Speak for yourself. I wanna know what you think. Not what nulli thinks. Or I'd have quoted them...

    Why do you think 240 quid is enough for 4 children for 30 days?
    He didn't rep me
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    No that isn't right. "Acceptable standard" is the quality of undertaking the activity when it is undertaken. What you are addressing is "repeatedly" which means as often as the activity being assessed is reasonably required to be completed. That is the PIP definition but ESA is not materially different. And of course what has to be undertaken repeatedly is the activity in the assessment not driving a car. One can use being able to steer a car as a proxy for the task of being able to lift and move an empty cardboard box but what has to be able to be done repeatedly is lift and move the box, not drive the car.
    Well, surely if they're using a persons rare ability to drive a car as a way of gauging their ability to pick up specific items (empty cardboard box, 0.5 litres of liquid, 1 litre of liquid) then clearly the issue of being able to repeat the task is still, most likely, a problem. :confused:

    My point is that a variable disability is going to find it harder to get awarded the correct award. This includes things like MH conditions.

    I actually went to my own PIP assessment yesterday and am in receipt of Support Group ESA. The lady who assessed me for ESA didn't even bother looking at my physical disability in relation to the ESA descriptors as (and I quote) she "doesn't know much about it." They're allowed to do this for ESA (not for PIP) if they think that a claimant already fits criteria for SG (I was awarded SG after my WCA). However, there are so many people with my physical disability who don't get awarded ESA/PIP when they clearly fit the criteria in terms of their functional impairment (as they're then awarded their group/rate correctly at appeal). A lot of assessors, like my ESA assessor, haven't heard of it, and that's fine (because it's rare), but then surely the weight of the assessors report should be less, right? Wrong. How is that fair? It makes no sense to take the word of the assessor over a specialist for things like this.

    People are suffering for no good reason. Why don't they take medical evidence more seriously? Some assessors don't even read it. Why should people go through the unnecessary stress of an MR or FTT when they're (clearly) already struggling? This is such a common issue and it's awful. The W&P committee currently doing a survey on PIP and ESA to see how it is for people on the receiving end, if you go and read people's stories there it's appalling.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    But that isn't a mistake. That is a design feature. It is the clear intention of the government to increase personal responsibility. It is the same policy as curtailing housing benefit payments to landlords and personal care budgets for the disabled.
    The policy is not sensible, though. It places people in a difficult position of managing a (very) tight budget for a month. Every last penny literally counts. Few sophisticated and experienced workers would be able to manage it. Yet socially disenfranchised and impoverished claimants, often without basic educational qualifications, are expected to. If they were capable of this feat of financial wizardry, they'd be a junior at PwC, not claiming Universal Credit.
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    (Original post by Bang Outta Order)
    Duncan2012

    Well? Don't rush to rep someone, and hide behind their comment. Speak for yourself. I wanna know what you think. Not what nulli thinks. Or I'd have quoted them...

    Why do you think 240 quid is enough for 4 children for 30 days?
    What on earth are you going on about?

    I do think £247.20 paid every 4 weeks, in addition to other benefits she was receiving, is enough to heat a house. Go re-read my post, you seem to be selectively misquoting me.
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    What on earth are you going on about?

    I do think £247.20 paid every 4 weeks, in addition to other benefits she was receiving, is enough to heat a house. Go re-read my post, you seem to be selectively misquoting me.
    What do you mean what am I going on about? Is that your defense? To accuse me of talking ****?

    And pointing me to re-read what I clearly read is also a cop-out.

    But I'll play your game. You literally said,

    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    4 kids = over £240 a month in Child Benefit. Tragic for those involved, but what's really unfortunate here is that she didn't/couldn't prioritise paying for heating with some of that.

    So what's the problem? You're saying right here, that you're accusing her of not "prioritising." You didn't mention what she gets paid for nothing. Or did you? Clearly, you were referencing what she gets in benefits is in your brain enough to not only pay for several people, but to also have constant money left over to pay for heating and electric perhaps to plug in a heater. And again...in clear black and white English, why would you assume 240 would be enough for that, and why are you presuming she was irresponsible? Why are you so heartless and also intellectually incapable to understand what "I can't afford it" means?! Lol just don't quote me, I'm not interested tbf. But would you be able to live off 240 a month? And with kids? No.
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    (Original post by Bang Outta Order)
    What do you mean what am I going on about? Is that your defense? To accuse me of talking ****?

    And pointing me to re-read what I clearly read is also a cop-out.

    But I'll play your game. You literally said,

    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    4 kids = over £240 a month in Child Benefit. Tragic for those involved, but what's really unfortunate here is that she didn't/couldn't prioritise paying for heating with some of that.

    So what's the problem? You're saying right here, that you're accusing her of not "prioritising." You didn't mention what she gets paid for nothing. Or did you? Clearly, you were referencing what she gets in benefits is in your brain enough to not only pay for several people, but to also have constant money left over to pay for heating and electric perhaps to plug in a heater. And again...in clear black and white English, why would you assume 240 would be enough for that, and why are you presuming she was irresponsible? Why are you so heartless and also intellectually incapable to understand what "I can't afford it" means?! Lol just don't quote me, I'm not interested tbf. But would you be able to live off 240 a month? And with kids? No.
    Nope, I still don't get what you're on about. Or why you seem to be getting angry at me. Bizarre.

    And I'm not really sure how to spell out my point any clearer, that £247.20 was just one part of the total benefits the woman got.
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    (Original post by Pathway)
    Well, surely if they're using a persons rare ability to drive a car as a way of gauging their ability to pick up specific items (empty cardboard box, 0.5 litres of liquid, 1 litre of liquid) then clearly the issue of being able to repeat the task is still, most likely, a problem. :confused:
    Not really. The effort tolerance required to drive a car is much greater than that to move a cardboard box, but the physical range of movements is very similar. If somebody has to lie down after driving for 5 minutes, it doesn't follow that they can;t move the cardboard box repeatedly but someone who says that they have given up driving because they can't hold the wheel because they can't lift their left arm may well not be able to pick up the cardboard box.

    My point is that a variable disability is going to find it harder to get awarded the correct award. This includes things like MH conditions.
    There is a problem buried deep in the heart of ESA. Is it a test day by day or a test of long term health? Increasingly the assessment looks at the condition over time but ESA descends from Sickness Benefit which was very much a day by day benefit.You still occasionally have a lucky claimant, who has a transient condition on the day of the decisionmaker's decision who wins an appeal on that basis. For example you may have someone who has a MH problem at his assessment. It isn't serious enough but by the day three weeks later when the decision maker reads the report and unknown to the decision maker, the claimant has sprained his ankle. It should be a straight win on appeal. He isn't weight bearing. He gets 1b (9 points) and 2a (15 points). The fact that a couple of weeks after the decision date, he no longer has an ankle problem is irrelevant.

    I actually went to my own PIP assessment yesterday and am in receipt of Support Group ESA. The lady who assessed me for ESA didn't even bother looking at my physical disability in relation to the ESA descriptors as (and I quote) she "doesn't know much about it." They're allowed to do this for ESA (not for PIP) if they think that a claimant already fits criteria for SG (I was awarded SG after my WCA). However, there are so many people with my physical disability who don't get awarded ESA/PIP when they clearly fit the criteria in terms of their functional impairment (as they're then awarded their group/rate correctly at appeal). A lot of assessors, like my ESA assessor, haven't heard of it, and that's fine (because it's rare), but then surely the weight of the assessors report should be less, right? Wrong. How is that fair? It makes no sense to take the word of the assessor over a specialist for things like this.
    The problem seems to be worse with mental health. There is a pattern of assessors not accepting conditions where they have not observed symptoms but where there is a clear specialist diagnosis. On the balance of probabilities, is the specialist lying or mistaken or have the symptoms not manifested themselves on that day? Assessors don't take the same view of epilepsy or diabetes. It is not a case of unless you froth at the mouth during the assessment or have a hypo, no ESA.


    People are suffering for no good reason. Why don't they take medical evidence more seriously? Some assessors don't even read it. Why should people go through the unnecessary stress of an MR or FTT when they're (clearly) already struggling? This is such a common issue and it's awful. The W&P committee currently doing a survey on PIP and ESA to see how it is for people on the receiving end, if you go and read people's stories there it's appalling.
    There is a lot of poor quality medical evidence about though. where the doctor is just reciting what his patient has told him and exercising no critical judgement. It wouldn't be tolerated in personal injury cases.

    Interestingly there is a form that rarely turns up before tribunals but is gold dust. G.P.s are consulted on whether people are fit to attend assessment centres. Unlike the letters written for claimants, it generally contains the doctor's true opinion.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    There is a lot of poor quality medical evidence about though. where the doctor is just reciting what his patient has told him and exercising no critical judgement. It wouldn't be tolerated in personal injury cases.

    Interestingly there is a form that rarely turns up before tribunals but is gold dust. G.P.s are consulted on whether people are fit to attend assessment centres. Unlike the letters written for claimants, it generally contains the doctor's true opinion.
    So you are saying if the doctor writes a letter as to why the claimant has to have a home visit for their assessment if the claim is then turned down that letter is then like gold dust to the tribunal?

    I actually have a friend who was in that situation but was still given the lower rate of esa...
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Almost certainly, they are overgenerous in awarding the main ill health and disability benefits. One can see that if one looks at the statistics for the higher rate of the mobility component for DLA/PIP "the free car". The numbers are disproportionate to other measures of mobility problems in the UK.
    As someone who works helping the disabled fill in forms and claim benefits, I can safely say this is complete horses***. Sure, it makes up a large chunk of the statistics in terms of what's paid out, but for every ill or disabled person out there getting what they're entitled to, there are several who are not. The claims process is laughable, the forms are very difficult to fill in if you don't know what you're doing and the questions are purposely vague, the assessment criteria is ridiculously stringent and the assessments are a joke, with assessors doing everything in their power to not award those they're assessing as for everyone that is signed off as fit for work earns them a bonus on their wage.

    Also the "free car" notion is absolute nonsense. It's not free at all - it's a lease option available specifically for those on PIP/DLA that costs over £200 a month plus any upfront payments due. Most adults have the option to lease cars in the same fashion, the motability scheme just happens to cater to the disabled including adjustments made to vehicles to fit the needs of the driver.
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    (Original post by paul514)
    So you are saying if the doctor writes a letter as to why the claimant has to have a home visit for their assessment if the claim is then turned down that letter is then like gold dust to the tribunal?

    I actually have a friend who was in that situation but was still given the lower rate of esa...
    I wasn't referring to a letter but to a routine DWP form that as I say rarely turns up in the evidence pack for appeals. It is an ES113. It is googleable.

    Tribunals put a lot of weight on them because they tend to show what the doctor really thinks (both ways) before he has been "got at".
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    (Original post by It's****ingWOODY)
    As someone who works helping the disabled fill in forms and claim benefits, I can safely say this is complete horses***.
    Incapacity benefits paid to 2.5 million working age people.
    Disability benefits paid to 2.1 million working age people.
    Combine those figures and Incapacity and/Disability benefits paid to 3.5 million working age people.
 
 
 
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