Chronically ill Dad killed himself after being declared fit for work Watch

Pachuco
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The Tories are gathering I see.
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katf
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(Original post by Notoriety)
All ESA claimants' docs gave fit notes, because otherwise an ESA claim would not be triggered. To say that "his docs said he was unfit to work" is an obvious point and doesn't tell us anything.

And the reason we have this system is through many years of decision makers deferring too much to the opinion of biased doctors -- you could win an appeal simply by saying that a doc has signed a letter attesting to the claimant's being unwell. This didn't work as everyone who thought to make a disability claim could succeed as doctors report circumstances the claimant tells them; similar to those getting a fit note for work, and how employers are starting to challenge the notes more routinely. So healthcare professionals took a larger role in appeals, and HCP disinterested opinions (at WCAs) become the basis for the DWP's decision.

He overreacted. He needed to have more support to understand his situation. E.g. losing HB would be made up by the UC housing element. Always advise claimants, who are long-term unwell, to make PIP claims -- which go off slightly different descriptors. Anyway, a man with depression killed himself because he was depressed. It happens every day. Let's not be naive and attribute it to "being forced back to work", as if that would've been a part of his UC claim.
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.
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(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.
I don't think anyone has ever had a positive story about Universal Credit, it's ridiculous how bad it is. The only ones with anyting positive to say about it are the ones who are rich enough to never actually need it.
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Notoriety
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(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.
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katf
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(Original post by Notoriety)
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.
35 hours or 40 hours is pretty irrelevant. I was required to look for a job full time. I shouldn't have been. I couldn't look for a job briefly once and satisfy the requirements. Despite medical evidence from 2 doctors that I wasn't well enough to work.

A doctor who knows the patient is going to have a much better idea than some supposed healthcare professional.

The vast majority of my clients are recent discharges from hospital, or we're called in so they don't go to hospital in the first place. They all require pretty intensive support. We don't "listen to sob stories" we're there on the ground, actually supporting these people.

And that's why we need evidence from actual professionals who work with the client. Many "assessors" ask leading questions to minimise any issues the clients face. I've also read reports with outright lies in them.

The DWP need scrapping and we need to start again. Explaining things clearly does sweet FA if you're facing eviction and you're having to go to food banks, as many of my clients have faced. The fact we have food banks in Britain is indicative of a broken welfare system. A bit of advice won't help if you don't have the money to pay your bills or you're getting into debt.

I've lived universal credit. I've supported people through it. The system stinks. It doesn't work. I've had clients get £100 less one month for literally no reason. No explanation. Nothing. And they often refuse to talk to us, when our clients aren't capable of filling in complicated forms or speaking to strangers on the phone.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by katf)
35 hours or 40 hours is pretty irrelevant. I was required to look for a job full time. I shouldn't have been. I couldn't look for a job briefly once and satisfy the requirements. Despite medical evidence from 2 doctors that I wasn't well enough to work.

A doctor who knows the patient is going to have a much better idea than some supposed healthcare professional.

The vast majority of my clients are recent discharges from hospital, or we're called in so they don't go to hospital in the first place. They all require pretty intensive support. We don't "listen to sob stories" we're there on the ground, actually supporting these people.

And that's why we need evidence from actual professionals who work with the client. Many "assessors" ask leading questions to minimise any issues the clients face. I've also read reports with outright lies in them.

The DWP need scrapping and we need to start again. Explaining things clearly does sweet FA if you're facing eviction and you're having to go to food banks, as many of my clients have faced. The fact we have food banks in Britain is indicative of a broken welfare system. A bit of advice won't help if you don't have the money to pay your bills or you're getting into debt.

I've lived universal credit. I've supported people through it. The system stinks. It doesn't work. I've had clients get £100 less one month for literally no reason. No explanation. Nothing. And they often refuse to talk to us, when our clients aren't capable of filling in complicated forms or speaking to strangers on the phone.
As I pointed out initially, GPs giving out fit notes too readily was a historic problem rather than a hypothetical one. It is not something we should return back to.

And I am not sure why you're going to experience-for-experience. I did advice work for CAB. I did benefit apps, admin issues, MRs, and appeals. Giving advice will help -- as advice services can give debt advice (contact creditors, help clients with DROs etc), budgeting advice, know about local welfare support (e.g. DHP), and help people apply for other benefits to maximise income. But the problem I was talking about was the general dread of losing benefits, being switched to UC -- often clients have no idea how UC works, only know that people complain about it in long histrionic posts (often under the old rules, e.g. no advanced payment and week wait), and advice can help clients understand the specifics.
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katf
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(Original post by Notoriety)
As I pointed out initially, GPs giving out fit notes too readily was a historic problem rather than a hypothetical one. It is not something we should return back to.

And I am not sure why you're going to experience-for-experience. I did advice work for CAB. I did benefit apps, admin issues, MRs, and appeals. Giving advice will help -- as advice services can give debt advice (contact creditors, help clients with DROs etc), budgeting advice, know about local welfare support (e.g. DHP), and help people apply for other benefits to maximise income. But the problem I was talking about was the general dread of losing benefits, being switched to UC -- often clients have no idea how UC works, only know that people complain about it in long histrionic posts (often under the old rules, e.g. no advanced payment and week wait), and advice can help clients understand the specifics.
But the current system of so called healthcare professionals, who are not required to have any specific qualifications or experience, is fundementally broken. I wouldn't be surprised if the assessors benefited financially for turning people down. We already know that there have been sanctions targets. Esther Mcvey has admitted it.

You can only budget if you're getting money and you know how much you're getting. You can be the best person in the world at money management. Won't help if you don't have any to manage. Or if you have less than legitimate lenders coming round. Look at the UN Rapporteur's report on poverty. Read the bit about universal credit. No amount of advice helps if you don't have the money to pay the bills and you can't get said money. And every other service shouldn't have to spend their time mopping up the DWP's mess.

There is still a built in delay. Advance payments are a debt. They aren't your benefits in advance. You have to pay it back.

Councils are being screwed over too. Many don't have the money to provide discretionary housing payments etc. If my service didn't exist, the state would either have to spend 10s of thousands keeping my clients in hospital, or they'd probably all end up dead or causing massive social problems. Some of my clients aren't exactly pleasant people. We don't want them on the streets.
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Pinkisk
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This is murder by the Conservative Party pure and simple.

I wonder how many thousands of other people have suffered similar to this man but have not made headlines, committing suicide, working to their deaths to make ends meet or winding up on the streets...with little or no care from anyone. All this whilst our parliament votes in majorities every other day to increase the salaries of MPs and the Queen....I discovered today that Theresa May is a diabetic and she uses a CGM. This is the best kind of monitoring system for diabetes. Most diabetics are turned down for it by the NHS because its expensive.

They gorge on the best foods. They take extortionate salaries and they have access to the best services whilst the poor starve and die without a care...

This doesn't feel like the UK. This is a lot like the Animal Farm. Whats the word for this? Disgusting seems like an understatement.
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MQE99
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It's really difficult to imagine the anguish he must've been in to make such a decision.
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katf
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
This is murder by the Conservative Party pure and simple.

I wonder how many thousands of other people have suffered similar to this man but have not made headlines, instead committing suicide, working to their deaths to make ends meet or winding up on the streets...with little or no care from anyone. All this whilst our parliament votes in majorities every other day to increase the salaries of MPs and the Queen....This is a lot like the Animal Farm. Whats the word for this? Disgusting seems like an understatement.
Yep. Disgusting, heinous, evil, all words to describe the Tories. How anyone can vote for them is beyond me. My dad would disown me if I ever voted Tory.
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(Original post by katf)
Yep. Disgusting, heinous, evil, all words to describe the Tories. How anyone can vote for them is beyond me. My dad would disown me if I ever voted Tory.
I would be shocked if they won the next elections. Very little chance of that happening.
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
I would be shocked if they won the next elections. Very little chance of that happening.
Thank God.
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
This is murder by the Conservative Party pure and simple.

I wonder how many thousands of other people have suffered similar to this man but have not made headlines, committing suicide, working to their deaths to make ends meet or winding up on the streets...with little or no care from anyone. All this whilst our parliament votes in majorities every other day to increase the salaries of MPs and the Queen....I discovered today that Theresa May is a diabetic and she uses a CGM. This is the best kind of monitoring system for diabetes. Most diabetics are turned down for it by the NHS.

They gorge on the best foods. They take extortionate salaries and they have access to the best services whilst the poor starve and die without a care...

This doesn't feel like the UK. This is a lot like the Animal Farm. Whats the word for this? Disgusting seems like an understatement.
FYI these assessments were put in under labour
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
I would be shocked if they won the next elections. Very little chance of that happening.
Even with all the spending cuts and brexit difficulties etc they are still ahead of labour because they are unelectable.
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(Original post by paul514)
Even with all the spending cuts and brexit difficulties etc they are still ahead of labour because they are unelectable.
I agree with you here. The problem that we have is that Labour is our only alternative and its worse than the Tories in many many ways.

But under Labour even though a lot of these assessment procedures were in place they were a lot more relaxed and a lot more people were accepted than were turned away whereas now its so strict its impossible.
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
I agree with you here. The problem that we have is that Labour is our only alternative and its worse than the Tories in many many ways.

But under Labour even though a lot of these assessment procedures were in place they were a lot more relaxed and a lot more people were accepted than were turned away whereas now its so strict its impossible.
It’s tighter, not impossible.

On to labour, I was merely responding to you saying you would be shocked if the conservatives won the next election.
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
I agree with you here. The problem that we have is that Labour is our only alternative and its worse than the Tories in many many ways.

But under Labour even though a lot of these assessment procedures were in place they were a lot more relaxed and a lot more people were accepted than were turned away whereas now its so strict its impossible.
Yes the big problem is there is no good alternative.
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(Original post by paul514)
On to labour, I was merely responding to you saying you would be shocked if the conservatives won the next election.
I think its got to a point now where things are bad enough for the majority of people to sort of like not vote the Tories back in power again even if their only alternative is worse than them in different ways. Last elections were a catastrophe for the Tories and back then, I don't think, they had it as bad as they do now.
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
I think its got to a point now where things are bad enough for the majority of people to sort of like not vote the Tories back in power again even if their only alternative is worse than them in different ways. Last elections were a catastrophe for the Tories and back then, I don't think, they had it as bad as they do now.
Ah they did, they came out with a manifesto that promised nothing and said they would take most of the value of your house away if you were old and got ill.

They won’t be doing that again
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(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
Does human life hold no value to you? Don't you think that we as a society should care for those of our citizens who are, for no fault of their own, unable to provide for themselves? Should they just be left to die?
Of course, I just don't think robbing others is the best way to do it.
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