(Original post by katf)
Firstly, the people who do the assessing are completely incompetent. The so-called healthcare professionals don't need to have any specific degree.
I've been very unwell to the point I couldn't work. My doctor recognised that. The DWP put me through hell. They insisted I was able to do 40 hours job search a week, even though my GP said I was too ill to do any. It definitely slowed down my recovery.
The work capability assessment doesn't recognise mental health enough. PIP has very strict criteria. It's also a nightmare to apply for. I'm entitled. I don't get it because the application process is so horrendous it would probably actually kill me.
The DWP are, in my professional opinion, absolute heartless *******s. Some of my clients at work are being told that they're fit to work. They have needs such that they require my service to come in and look after them. Most are so unwell that without us they'd be in hospital. They aren't well enough to work, but I've had several clients declared fit for work and end up sanctioned because they can't meet their commitments. I've had to take clients to food banks. Before universal credit, we never had to do things like that. We are sending people who are very unwell to foodbanks for the crime of being sick.
The system stinks and it's killing people.
We have been over this before. UC job search is 35 hours. You said before you never got LCW, but that doesn't mean that you get the same work search requirements as people not facing difficulties. Commonly the requirement for near-misses is to do a more than zero work search -- so if you applied for one job or you looked on Twitter for a job once, you will have satisfied that requirement.
Besides, my point is not that the system is perfect. It is that the opinion of the claimant's GP is not determinative, because the GP is biased towards their patient (after all, doesn't cost them money) and they are (especially in MH cases) merely reporting what their patient is telling them. Your emotive account "absolute heartless *******s" demonstrates the bias of the people who work to support claimants, often after swallowing the client's sob story. I switch off whenever someone starts it, so I don't get suckered into it.
Disability benefits are not great for MH. The person in this story might have had MH issues. But the actual ailment he claimed with was COPD. Oftentimes, the reason the claimant fails (especially relating to physical conditions) is because of how they answer the questionnaire and questions at the assessment; not doing themselves justice. DWP is inquisitorial, but they cannot account for lack of communication across millions of claims.
People in these situations need to be given clearer info from DWP on their rights, and ongoing entitlements or DWP at least need to refer claimants more energetically to advice services. That way their stress can be alleviated somewhat, e.g. UC and housing element for the person in this story. In my experience of giving advice, merely explaining the situation in a clear and unemotive way is enough to calm the nerves of people who have lost benefits. A huge part of the reason for the stress is reportage -- relying on people like you asserting UC is hell.
Last edited by Notoriety; 2 weeks ago