Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Incapacity Benefit, ‘Reassessment’ – Yet Again, and Again and….

with 44 comments

 

 

The BBC reports,

Incapacity benefit claimants in north-east Scotland and Burnley in Lancashire are to be the first to be reassessed ahead of UK-wide welfare reform.

Those deemed fit enough to work, using a points-based system, will be moved to the jobseeker’s allowance.

The reassessment was designed to end the one-size-fits-all approach to those with illness and disabilities.

(More Here. )

Our friend Harpy Marx comments (here),

This means bullying people into the job market based on supposedly “objective medical assessment” (changes to DLA) when really it is based on ideology, it means forcing vulnerable claimants onto Workfare by some contracted-out private sector company, it means further alienation and isolation. Mental distress hits around one in four adults. That’s a helluva number of people yet it’s still stigmatised and hidden. Marginalised and vilified (apparently we are “bad, mad and dangerous to know”). During the past two years, recession and unemployment has caused:

  • 1 in 10 had visited their GP for support
  • 7% had started a course of medical treatment for depression
  • 5% had seen a counsellor
  • Half said staff morale was low
  • 28% were working longer hours
  • A third said staff were having to compete against each other.

We can only agree with Harpy’s observations.

There are many people with ‘invisible’ illnesses. Mental health issues are widespread. On the Flexible New Deal in Ipswich there was one individual who is really seriously – really seriously –  mentally ill. I pointed this out the staff at the ‘Den’. They ignored my advice, although I suggested this person’s condition was well-known in the town and no doubt to the authorities.

Putting someone like that on JSA is not only a joke but an act of great cruelty.

 

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 11, 2010 at 9:23 am

44 Responses

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  1. I didn’t think there was anybody apart from the terminaly ill (and that isn’t a good enough safe guard in some cases)left on Incapacity to be tested such was the recuprative powers of Neo-Labours ATOSsers. Just listend to an article on GP partnerships and it seems that some of the new Tory cuts are intended to limit the amount of specialist refferals a GP will can make….But being Lowestoft’s Finest I have spotted a handy earner compensation wise for patients out of this idea that will cost the GP’s more than non refferals save. EG go to the GP with a serious problem that needs referal to a specialist, he doesn’t reffer you due to constraints, your condition gets worse as it will do in the eyes of the law Mr. Penny Pincher GP is liable.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 11, 2010 at 10:30 am

    • Lowe’, we could have done with your idea down here 7 years ago when GPs stopped referring all but those with the most serious mental health conditions for specialist help. GPs have actually been rationing referrals to medical specialists and tests for about 10 years.

      Patients have been now been told that the only way they will get proper specialist help is if they have taken a serious overdose or they have become dangerous to others. Then it’s likely they’ll just get bounced back to the GP after one assessment by a CPN, to be fed a diet of SSRIs which will leave them suicidal if the crappy non-treatment by the system hasn’t already done the job.

      GPs here, now have to push anyone with any type of mental health problem (including Bipolar Disorder & BPD, PTSD, Self Harmers etc) through the ATOS run “Positive Steps” programme, which consists of a phone interview with a “wellness advisor” (who has had 6 weeks training max) followed by instructions to do computer based CBT on their own at home (or maybe in the public library if they don’t have the net at home?) via the Positive Steps Website and read through some psychobabble in the form of tragic and expensive “self help” books. These lucky patients will then get regular phonecalls from the “wellness advisor” to make sure they get out of bed every day

      CBT is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. In it’s best form (and it’s rarely found in its best form) is a method of training the mind to challenge automatic negative thoughts that are often a feature of Depression (be it mild or more serious) It is only suitable for some patients. The Labour government decided that it was cheap and would suit everyone with any kind of mental health problem, so that’s all GPs would be able to offer apart from a shed load of Prozac type drugs. CBT can be delivered one to one as a counselling process where the counsellor guides the patient in ways of challenging their own mind set, or via the patient filling out endless diaries, where, for every single negative thought they have, they must rationalise that thought until it becomes “harmless” to them or, as ATOS have chosen, it can be carried out by the poor patient sitting alone at their pc, rationalising themselves into stupidity and despair.

      By all accounts the computer based CBT is based on “pull your socks up and don’t be silly it’s all in your head” There’s no money available to pay for the books – real quality books mind, such as “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway” Wellness advisors have the power to refer people to a limited number of sessions for psychotherapy, but that option is often avoided as it costs more.

      We must get your idea out to the suffering hoardes, the compensation they’ll get might just make up for losing their benefits and enable them to pay for their prescriptions of Prozac or at least a new axe with which to run amok in the local shopping centre and possibly then, qualify for some proper help.

      There’s going to be a really big market for your idea soon Lowe’

      Lucy

      October 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      • A good critique of CBT and how tardy it is, here:-

        http://www.psychminded.co.uk/news/news2008/October08/dorothy-rowe004.htm

        Axe Wielding Ovaries

        October 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm

      • To be honest Lucy, I was thinking about the Physicaly ill when I had my idea, but could just as well work with the mentaly ill, but it might be a bit much to expect them to be in a good enough state of mind to play legal Eagles with their GP as from what I have seen of people experiancing periods of mental health difficulties they only get to see their GP after its far to late, then just get proscribed some chemical cosh indefinatly. The long term use of which seems to add worse long term mental problems to conditions though dangerously intense at that point, would probably otherwise have been a long term problem.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      • would probably NOT otherwise have been a long term problem

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      • 🙂

        Lowestoft's Finest Testicle

        October 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      • It is true that, small problems turned into big ones because lazy GPs just handed out the pills like sweeties. Now they can just foist ’em all onto crappy ATOS run programs.

        Many with mental health problems can’t cope with the forms for applying for ESA and DLA, they get a raw deal with medical too. The assessors for the Work Capabitlity Test seem to be clueless about mental AND physical health problems. Too many GPs don’t have any interest in mental health issues either.

        So Lowe, this is why your country needs you and your idea. You can be The People’s Barrister – sueing the arse off of the Government.

        So, do you look good in a wig and gown?

        Lucy + Axe

        October 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      • CBT is great as long as there is nothing what so ever wrong with the person in the first place.

        Otherwise it is the worst form of Gadjo Mumbo-Jumbo out, How would these Neo-Labourists like to be brought to the surgery of Dr Lowestoft’s finest in an ambulance with a burst apendix then get told by me to “think themselves better, if your ill its your fault”(Wasn’t it Thatcher doctrine)? I don’t see any difference.

        its like for years we put up with all that left brain right brain Jenk and tests that say you have an intellectual inteligence or a practical inteligence that have now been thouroughly discredited, either you have an intelligence that with the right training you can assign to whatever or you don’t have.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm

      • It’s also dangerous to tell someone in great despair or distress that everything they think is wrong. It can tip them over the edge. People in despair or severe mental distress are often there because their life IS unbearable and they can’t cope. Telling them to pretend that everything is fluffy and wonderful is spiteful and cruel. It enforces their feelings of abject misery and failure. Forcing them to believe it, is obscene.

        Some of the instructions in the ATOS assessor’s handbook or something similar relate to that UNEM originated piece about illness and individuals – all about “ill behaviour” and people choosing to behave as if they are ill when they are ill. I suppose ATOS and DWP Decision Makers believe that people extend that to choosing to limp and fall over when they have broken or no legs? Choosing to pass out from the pain of soft organ tumour or deliberately not getting on with applying for jobs when they are having a massive epileptic seizure.

        This stuff is so wrong. It’s killing people.

        Lucy + Axe

        October 13, 2010 at 5:43 pm

      • Jobless to be offered ‘talking treatment’ to help put Britain back to work

        Jobcentres will bypass doctors to refer claimants for cognitive behaviour therapy at up to 300 centres

        The government has announced mental health co-ordinators will be based in Jobcentres.

        Jobless Britons are to be offered therapy to help them get back into work, under a “talking treatment” programme to be announced by the government over the next few weeks.

        On Monday the Department for Work and Pensions will announce that mental health co-ordinators will be based in Jobcentres. The plans, which will make mental health treatment and particularly cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) central to the fight to get Britain back to work after the recession, will eventually see centres providing CBT set up around the country.

        In the medium term, Jobcentre Plus will be encouraged to send unemployed people for CBT without the need for a doctor’s referral. Within five years the government wants 250-300 therapy centres set up across the UK.

        Sessions of CBT – which encourages people to look for potential solutions rather than the causes of difficulties – are today available to patients referred by their doctor, but the government wants to build on 60 pilot schemes to provide therapy centres in most primary care trusts. Successful pilots have shown that a mix of ages and ethnicity is to be encouraged so centres can offer group therapy with a cross-section of people.

        The chancellor, Alistair Darling, has signed off the commitment which will cost £550m a year redirected from what the government hopes will be a fall in unemployment. There is no new money involved.

        Under the plans, unemployed people would be eligible for eight therapy sessions immediately. Within five years anyone, including people in work, would be allowed to “refer themselves in” for treatment.

        One in four people are likely to experience a mental health problem and the effects on the jobs market are acute. Some 6 million adults in the UK have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, many of whom are on incapacity benefit.

        The move follows years of lobbying by Tony Blair’s “happiness tsar”, economist Lord Layard. Provision of cognitive behaviour therapy on the NHS was his earlier triumph but Layard has continued to lobby for it to be central to the jobs strategy.

        Layard and others were concerned that people with mild depression attributable to unemployment or working difficulties and referred for CBT by doctors were rarely asked to consider work-related issues. Likewise Jobcentres did not prescribe therapy for those for whom varying degrees of depression were a barrier to work. The former work and pensions secretary, James Purnell, said: “Mild depression doesn’t have to be a barrier to work.”

        About 40% of long-term sickness benefit claimants have depression. Work is being done on whether some people should have CBT before they go on to employment support allowance, which an official described as “an eight-week period which prevents people even going into long-term disability”.

        The official said: “We want a service where everyone who needs it can get access to basic talking treatments. The pilots are proving so successful that, whilst there are short-term costs, we expect the programme to save money in the long-term by helping people back into work, cutting the benefit bill and lowering costs in the NHS.”

        Ministers are worried that past recessions have led to huge rises in the numbers of long-term unemployed.

        What is CBT?

        Cognitive behaviour therapy doesn’t attempt deep psychoanalysis but instead works to recommend to a patient practical steps to overcome the depression that has proved debilitating for them.

        Created in the 1960s by the American psychiatrist Aaron Beck, it operates on the assumption that since emotions are based on patterns of thinking, if the patterns of thinking can be changed so too can the emotions. To the end of changing those patterns, patients are given targets and homework to isolate what makes them blue, and then they can set about managing that trigger.

        The government’s adviser on these issues, Lord Layard, believes that a short course of CBT delivered by a therapist with only basic training is all that is required to cure a substantial proportion of those out of work because of depression or mental health problems.

        He recommends double the figure the government is suggesting – 16 course sessions – which he costed at £750 a head, something he pointed out was about the cost to the state of someone remaining on incapacity benefit.

        Critics accuse CBT of being the ultimate quick-fix solution for a quick-fix age, driving real problems that had possibly surfaced for a reason, deeper into someone’s psyche with unknown later effects.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/dec/04/jobless-therapy-talking-cbt-unemployment

        The Guardian

        October 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      • Lowestoft’s Finest Testicle

        Bloody hell get some glasses thats Adolf Hitler not Lowestoft’s Finest …who’s hung like a Stud Bull…and just like Lowestoft’s Finest a Stud Bull only does it with the same Cow the once.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm

  2. They already call the place where they do some of the Assessments in Ipswich, ‘Lourdes’.

    Andrew Coates

    October 11, 2010 at 10:47 am

  3. It’s a joke, I gave the example of my friend who is now 59 and was struck down by an rapidly deteriorating spinal condition meaning legaly he can no longer do his life trade as a fork lift driver, he can’t now drive, walk without a stick,or bend over and things are getting worse. The Dole sent him to the doctors the doctor signed him onto incapacity and has given him supporting letters yet ATOS found him fit for work.

    He has zero chance of getting a job in the unemployment blackspot that is Lowestoft. As he was only qualified for driving jobs his jobseekers agrement has in effect been torn up leaving him only left with unskilled manual jobs….eg. waiter, barmen, cleaner none of which he can physicly do. What a joke either the ATOSsers should be in the position of offering the “fit” disabled a job that they can do and get to or they should be rightly pronounced unfit for work which is the truth.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 11, 2010 at 11:16 am

  4. 500,000 ‘fit to work’ sick pay claimants will be forced back into employment as Government bids to save £4bn with benefits crackdown

    Iain Duncan Smith believes 23% of those claiming will be ready for work immediately

    Almost 500,000 people claiming long-term sick pay will be forced to work or risk losing their benefit, it was revealed today.

    The move comes as Iain Duncan Smith introduces medical assessment tests on people receiving incapacity benefit.

    The Work And Pensions Secretary is seeking to slash £4billion from his department’s costs.

    Mr Duncan Smith made the announcement in an article in The Times today, in which he revealed ‘shocking’ figures showing that £135billion has been spent on more than 2million people who are or have been ‘on the sick’ over the last ten years.

    ‘This is not about forcing sick and disabled people who cannot work into employment, but about giving thousands of people the opportunity and support to move from the margins of society into mainstream employment,’ said Mr Duncan Smith.

    ‘While taxpayers rightly bemoan the wasted money, which they worked so hard to earn, the human tragedy is the lost potential of so many people who have been dumped to languish at the bottom of society.

    ‘We estimate we will find around 23 per cent of people fit for work immediately, with more needing just a bit of extra support to get into a position where they can look for a job.

    The failure to tackle incapacity benefit has trapped whole communities in dependency; it has robbed people of their dignity and left them feeling like second-class citizens.

    ‘As the former Labour Work And Pensions Secretary Alan Hutton once said, after two years on IB [incapacity benefit], you’re more likely to die than ever move into work.’

    His programme of cuts has already begun with new medical assessments beginning today, in Burnley and Aberdeen, to determine who among the people currently receiving incapacity benefit are fit for work.

    By re-drawing the boundaries on who is fit to work via the new Work Capability Assessment, Mr Duncan Smith expects to save half of his target, around £2 billion a year.

    People who pass the medical tests and prove fit for work will either move straight into work or will be shifted from incapacity benefit onto Job Seekers Allowance, saving the Government around £1,500 per year per claimant.

    To save the other half of his £4billion target, Mr Duncan Smith has outlined a series of measures.

    Those who are prove too sick or disabled to work face having a time-limit imposed on their benefits, allowing them to claim for six months or a year only.

    The better-off are likely to have their benefits removed altogether, while others will switch to means-tested benefits, further reducing the amount the government has to pay out.

    Ministers said the most severely disabled and people who were terminally ill will not be expected to look for work and will get extra help through Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

    Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: ‘It’s nothing short of a scandal that so many people were simply cast aside to a lifetime on benefits, wasting their talents and potential and costing the taxpayer almost £135billion.

    ‘While some of these people will be genuinely too sick to work, there will be others who through no fault of their own were told by the state that they were better off on the sick and then left behind – this stops now.

    ‘We are taking immediate action by starting the process of reassessing everyone on incapacity benefit to see if they can work, and for those that can we will be bringing in new support to get them into jobs.’

    But one charity voiced concern that the new assessment tests are not able to adequately establish whether mental health can affect someone’s ability to work.

    Mental health charity Mind called for a revision of the test before it is rolled out to over 1.5million claimants nationwide.

    Sophie Corlett, Mind’s director of external relations, said: ‘The benefit test being used in the pilots starting today has a fundamental problem when it comes to people with mental health problems – it does not do what it’s set up for, which is to distinguish accurately which people can work and which people can’t.

    ‘Over half of all benefit claimants have a mental health problem, so it should go without saying that any fitness to work test should thoroughly assess mental health and whether it presents a barrier to work and coping in the workplace.

    ‘However, many people with mental health issues have found that the impact of their condition on their ability to work is barely recognised.’

    The revelation on sick pay comes a week after Chancellor George Osborne sparked outrage with plans to scrap child benefit for millions of middle-class families in order to fund the biggest shake-up of welfare in 60 years.

    The payments to parents, worth £1,055, are to be axed for all higher-rate taxpayers from 2013 and benefits payouts will be capped for every family for the first time ever to ensure it pays more to work than to stay at home.

    When he made the speech at the Conservative conference last week, Mr Osborne told delegates there would be ‘no more open-ended cheque book… no family on out-of-work benefits will get more than the average family gets by going out to work’.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1319568/Benefits-crackdown-quarter-claiming-sick-pay-fit-work-says-Iain-Duncan-Smith.html

    Daily Heil

    October 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm

  5. Those who are prove[d] too sick or disabled to work face having a time-limit imposed on their benefits, allowing them to claim for six months or a year only.

    The better-off are likely to have their benefits removed altogether, while others will switch to means-tested benefits, further reducing the amount the government has to pay out.

    Daily Heil

    October 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

  6. 23 per cent of people fit for work immediately…..And where are the jobs they are going to do? There’s no where near enough jobs for applicants at present and my recent job searches are indicating the market is shrinking rapidly even more. I doubted we were ever out of recession anyway but now I think we are dipping down rapidly. So far the jobs able bodied people have been taking are part time ones and thats only for individuals lucky enough to be able to have enough income from elsewhere to be able to survive on part time wages, which is not an opption for most people.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    • too right lowestoft’s finest… the jc are just going through the motions telling peeps to fill in their diary properly… no good to say that there isn’t any jobs… got to be trying your best… got to be seen to be doing something lol the last time i signed the girl behind the counter was wetting her knickers at the thought of the work programme… how sad and fucked up is that?

      bright star

      October 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm

      • The Way things are going she might yet get to wet her knickers on it.

        At least Lowestoft Job Centre staff were a bit more realistic when questioned on Workfare plans and told me “Nobody knows, Anything could happen, Next time you come here there might very well be a To Let Sign”.

        To which I repplied: “Don’t you mean Toilet”?

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 11, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    • http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/96305

      A national reassessment ordered by the Con-Dems to force incapacity benefit claimants onto lower payouts has begun at pilot sites in England and Scotland.

      The “work capability assessment” is designed to give the green light for hundreds of thousands of people to be shunted into claiming cheaper jobseeker’s allowance.

      The test was launched in Burnley and Aberdeen yesterday in a pilot that will affect 1,700 incapacity benefit claimants.

      They will be the first to undergo the test by privateer Atos Healthcare before it is rolled out across the country.

      Trumpeting the scheme Tory Employment Minister Chris Grayling cited government figures suggesting that £135 billion has been spent in the last 10 years keeping two million people “on the sick.”

      He said: “It’s nothing short of a scandal that so many people were simply cast aside to a lifetime on benefits, wasting their talents and potential and costing the taxpayer almost £135bn.”

      Those reassessed and found “able to work” will move onto jobseeker’s allowance and be expected to find a job.

      But mental health charity Mind has already called for the test to be revised before it is rolled out nationwide because it claims it does not adequately assess whether mental illness can affect someone’s ability to work.

      The charity said the assessment consists of a series of tasks such as “can you count backwards from 100?” and “can you walk 200 metres?” without truly assessing the more complex psychological issues related to mental illness.

      Mind’s director of external relations Sophie Corlett said: “The consequences of being wrongly declared fit for work can be devastating.

      “Over half of all benefit claimants have a mental health problem so it should go without saying that any fitness to work test should thoroughly assess mental health and whether it presents a barrier to work and coping in the workplace.”

      The Department of Work and Pensions contracted private company Atos Healthcare to carry out the assessments.

      And Left Economics Advisory Panel chairman Andrew Fisher argued that the company’s assessment decisions may well be target-driven in order for it to keep its profit-making contract.

      He said: “The fact that around 40 per cent of all appeals against a WCA decision to stop the benefit are successful is particularly telling.

      “The government’s model of welfare reform is fundamentally flawed and is nothing more than a crude cost-cutting exercise.”

      Labour MP John McDonnell said that those hit by unemployment and welfare benefit cuts should mobilise en mass to resist them.

      He said: “Unions and resistance campaigns should open their doors to the unemployed and welfare benefit recipients, organising opportunities for both mutual support and protest.”

      TUC general secretary Brendan Barber also voiced concern that appropriate help and support for those found fit to work is not in place.

      The DWP denied that the assessment was target-driven.

      If you or anybody you know is being affected by these cuts please contact the email below.

      willstone@peoples-press.com

      Andrew Coates

      October 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

      • For a party that reckons it represents British Buisness I find it hillarious that the Conservatives have not obviously consulted Buisnesses on how much they at present need/wan’t to employ a large number of seriously ill people and people with mental health problems. (hardly ties in nicely with the Tory ideas on market forces/ cutting red tape/ cutting health and safety/ not interfearing with the running of private buisnesses/making Britain competitive)?.

        Lowestoft Finest

        October 12, 2010 at 10:42 am

  7. Someone mentioned that A4e’s logo looked like a swastika

    Check this out – the 4e’s

    A4e ARE Nazis - Proof

    October 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    • The Social Darwinism Agenda lives on… first through Darwin… then Hitler… and continuing unabated through to modern-day Neo-Nazi eugenicists epitomised through front organisations such as A4e.

      There is a deeply sinister “programme” at work here: Witness the utterly ruthless, relentless and insidious propaganda spewing forth from the (controlled) media attacking the weak, poor, sick, disabled and unfortunate.

      Strip away the Public Relations “spin”: fake “smiley” faces, glossy marketing brochures, “charity events” and the cartoon-esque websites, and we come to see the real agenda – The “4es” and their “hidden” meaning. A4e – Action for the Establishment of Evolution, Eugenics, Euthanasia and Eu(genocide). Infinite love to you all, David

      “Exposing the Dream World we Believe to Be Real”

      David Icke

      October 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      • And yet death brings the eternal peace of oblivion. Surely God is merciful and loving?

        Love To All

        October 13, 2010 at 8:33 am

      • “A4e Euthanasia Services – Bringing Eternal Peace to the Old, Sick, Disabled, Single Parents and the Unemployed”

        A4e Euthanasia Services

        October 13, 2010 at 8:43 am

      • It should be remembered that Hitler began a policy of mercy-killing of the disabled in the extermination camps before proceeding on to the Jews. Are the disabled in this country viewed as “untermenschen” – the undesirables as Hitler would? The disabled in this country really need to shake themselves out of their stupor because at the moment we are living in pre-Nazi Germany. The disabled ARE going to be EXTERMINATED – one way or the other. Wake up people!

        Untermensch

        October 15, 2010 at 12:47 am

      • The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal point of view. …

        Untermensch

        October 15, 2010 at 1:02 am

      • The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal point of view. … – wakey, wakey!

        Untermensch

        October 15, 2010 at 1:03 am

      • Leave Adolf out of it, he was a very misunderstood man, maybe not the most politically correct, but misunderstood nonetheless. As well as being a animal-loving vegetarian Adolf “put many people out of their misery” – the poor, sick, disabled, unemployed, gays, gypsies, Jews… and single parents. And what is so wrong with creating a Master Race ?

        Eva Braun

        October 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

  8. It’s the brosche-keltischeswastika

    A4e ARE Nazis - Proof

    October 11, 2010 at 8:34 pm

  9. people forced onto government programs particularly such as new deal with mental health problems’ i found tend to come off worse then when they first went on,those suffering anxiety and depression have the illness reinforced when confronted with a situation of reality of no work,constant bullying and bad treatment on these programs’ and an attitude that just leave benefits then when it was quite clear the employment market did not have that option.

    clearly something was badly wrong,the jobs market didn’t support the view held by those who were behind this,either they were just arrogant to the fact or they were completely just living in another world,the latter appears more and more common in the attitudes exhibited,the whole situation is out of control underinvestment in skills training and enforced hardcore unemployment are real problems today.

    “It’s nothing short of a scandal that so many people were simply cast aside to a lifetime on benefits, wasting their talents and potential and costing the taxpayer almost £135bn.”

    this is complete rubbish the sickness benefit system was used to dump people from the jobseekers system “just to get rid of them” from the numbers,those out of work for a substantial time will recount hardly an interview went by at the job centre with the “recommendation” to go on the sick to hide figures’,little more then a dumping ground. now all of a sudden its a wasted talent.this is a clear abuse of sick/disabled/unemployed for media propaganda purposes’ and tantamounts to the lowest of the low.

    in many ways like new deal and workfare just plain used,if not for cheap labour then exployted for political purposes’,it just doesn’t work the outcome on sick disabled individuals and a good many of healthy individuals is it builds barriers to any chance of workability.new deal like atos its ideals are complete fallacy.

    ken

    October 13, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    • Well said, ken. It was OK to use “the sick” as a dumping ground when it suited the agenda. Customers were being forcibly transferred to the sick if they didn’t take the job centre up on their “recommendation”. There was a determined effort to get as many customers as possible onto sickness benefit.

      I honestly believe that these “training courses” are deliberately designed to induce feelings of anxiety and depression in those unfortunate enough to come under their draconian regime. I’d go as far to say that they actively provoking their customers to take their own lives.

      It’s a recipe for disaster that those who are already in a fragile state mentally will be forced into the hands of these evil organisations.

      The “privatisation” and destruction
      of support services such as the Citizens Advice Bureau will only compound the situation.

      Red Dragon

      October 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

  10. it was quite clear that they couldn’t have cared less,as long as you were of jobseekers it didn’t matter where someone ended up.some of the “suggestions” such as travel the world were as idiotic as the whole sham.

    the treatment handed down by and witnessed by job centre plus and their conspirators’ has been nothing less then atrocious to observe.to attempt to then take this out on and somehow blame the individual for the situation is both ludicrous and beyond common sense.however this is how the country as whole has been run and now everyone is caught up in the laughing stock.

    ken

    October 13, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    • Travel the world!, lol, we can’t all be adventurers and explorers 🙂

      David De Rothschild

      October 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm

  11. Travel the world!, join the Gypsies.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  12. Glory to the Chillean Miners.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 13, 2010 at 4:04 pm

  13. So Lowe, this is why your country needs you and your idea. You can be The People’s Barrister – sueing the arse off of the Government.

    A lot of true words are said in jest, In truth I am currently assisting a friend on a high court case and were up against a team of the highest paid specialist legal brains in the country, these W*nkers wouldn’t last a day in Gypsydom. Were completely romping it thanks to their utter collective arrogance and ineptitude.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm

  14. No to Welfare Abolition network
    national meeting

    Sunday 24th October, London, venue tbc.

    Arrive 11am for 11.30am start. Finish 5pm.

    Come to the third national meeting of the No to Welfare Abolition network of welfare and disability rights activists, unemployed workers’ groups, parents, carers, trade unionists and allies.

    Share information about how we can access our rights and what the cuts mean. Work out how we can challenge the cuts together and defend and extend our welfare rights.

    The day will also include website training, so that we can co-ordinate a shared website for our movement.

    Lunch will be provided.

  15. job centres have been referring people to healthy minds,a pre meeting with a telephone appointment lasting around one hour,mine led to a high anxiety and depression score.

    ken

    October 13, 2010 at 10:21 pm

  16. Get pedalling

    How To Find A Job

    October 14, 2010 at 8:13 am

    • to the

      No to Welfare Abolition network
      national meeting.

      ken

      October 14, 2010 at 9:37 am

  17. 75% of incapacity claimants are fit to work: Tough new benefits test weeds out the work-shy

    Three-quarters of people who applied for new benefits for the long-term sick failed tests to prove they were too ill to work.

    Out of about 840,000 who tried to obtain the £95-a-week Employment and Support Allowance, 640,000 were told they were fit for work, or withdrew their applications before they took the tests – suggesting they were ‘trying it on’.

    Incredibly, 7,100 tried to claim because they had sexually transmitted diseases and nearly 10,000 because they were too fat. Only 178,000 – one in four – were given the payment after convincing doctors they were actually unable to work.

    The disclosure by the Department for Work and Pensions raises fresh questions over how many of the 2.6million people on the existing incapacity benefit are really incapable of being employed.

    The figures suggest that if they were tested to the same extent the number would fall as low as 650,000.

    This would slash the £12.5billion bill for incapacity benefit to just over £4billion a year.

    The Government is pushing ahead with trials in Burnley and Aberdeen to re-test existing incapacity benefit claimants. If successful, the tests will be implemented nationwide.

    The Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was brought in two years ago for new applicants. It will eventually replace incapacity benefit, which is worth up to £91.40 a week.

    All new claimants now have to undergo work capability assessments through a private contractor, Atos.

    The first three months are paid at a lower weekly rate of £65, while their claim in the form of a questionnaire about their condition is considered along with information from their doctor.

    They may then be asked to go for a full medical assessment. More than a third of claimants voluntarily give up the benefit within three months, however, rather than undergoing the medical tests.

    Even so, those who have failed or avoided the test since it was introduced have managed to claim as much as £500million in total before being screened out.

    Those who go in front of Atos-hired doctors are tested on how far they can walk, how long they can sit and whether they can bend and touch their knees.

    They also have to show whether they can hold a pen or pencil and do up a button.
    Those who can do basic physical tasks are tested for their communication skills and whether they can cope with change.

    People who are found to be sick are then put into three groups: those who need permanent support, those who might be able to work after a few months and those who are fit to work.

    Since October 2008, just 51,000 people have been put on the new sickness benefit indefinitely, meaning there is genuinely no hope of them being able to work again.

    Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: ‘With over two million people trapped on incapacity benefits, these figures underline how important it is that we make sure everyone who has the potential to work gets the right help to move off benefits and into a job.’
    He added that ministers had asked independent experts including charities to assess whether the medical tests were working.

    Mr Grayling said: ‘This is not about pushing the sick and disabled into jobs but giving those that can work the help to do so and those that can’t more, not less, support.’

    A detailed breakdown showed how people with a range of medical conditions were trying to get the benefits.

    Nearly 10,000 people have applied for the ESA because they are too fat – a condition which is labelled ‘endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases’.

    Of those applicants, just 600 were allowed to stay on sickness benefit.Of the 7,100 people have applied to go on sickness benefits because they have said they have sexually transmitted diseases just 600 were allowed to stay on the ESA.

    One Whitehall source said: ‘This is about government giving these people a nudge.
    ‘It costs more to help them into work, but in the long term it is better for them, it is better for their communities and it is better for our economy.’

    A spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘The high proportion of people who are found to be fit for work or who stop claiming before they are medically tested proves the Government is right to press ahead with reforms.

    ‘Now these payments can be directed to those who truly need them without being lost at the hands of opportunists and those who are capable of employment.’

    Reforms to incapacity benefit are a key to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s radical reforms plan for the benefits system, which accounts for £1 of every £10 spent by the Government.

    Douglas Alexander, the shadow work and pensions secretary, pointed out the reforms had been introduced under Labour.

    He said: ‘These latest figures show this reform put in place by Labour can help people make the transition from welfare into work.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1324035/75-incapacity-claimants-fit-work-New-benefits-test-weeds-workshy.html

    Daily Heil

    October 26, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    • it gave me a panic attack when i saw that… daily heil on invalidity benefit… i knew it was bad news… i had to pop a couple of pills n wait half n hour before i was brave enough to read it 😦

      margaret

      October 27, 2010 at 10:17 am

  18. A question the bloody idiots at a third party provider in their infinite wisdon are sending me to a place miles away from the train system. I am visually impaired and Have ended up on numerous occasions elswhere when I have attempted to catch a bus. I have told them of this they said well theirs training I told them I had received it and it had failed me. They then proceeded to say A4E might want to asses your needs.

    Correct me if I am wrong theres no provision for then to try and send me to a different doctor or to a doctor other than my own. AndIf i am forced touse bus if i turn up elsewhere and am unable to attend any meetins would that me they couldnt sanction me fr it if i have pre warned them

    Kyron

    October 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm


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