Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Mentally Ill Lose Disability Benefits and Face Life on Sanctioned-ruled JSA.

with 87 comments

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) sanctions by disability.

‘Punishments’ for benefits claimants with mental health issues rocket, figures show (January 2005).


Today: Urgent inquiry needed into impact of 100k mentally ill people losing disability benefits, says ex-health minister

Thanks to Enigma for flagging this up.

Note: I see people with mental health issues every single day in Ipswich Central Library.

Many of them are doing “job Search” – swearing and behaving oddly.

I have been on so-called ‘courses’ with people with these problems.

On one occasion a person with such severe difficulties (not just for himself but creataing trouble for others, particularity women) that he is subjected to multiple restraining orders.

Now we learn the situation is getting dramatically worse.

As this article points out people with these conditions do not always conform to the rule of ‘Coaches.’

Yet the same Coachy-Coachys have effectively judicial powers over whether they should eat, and whether they should have a safe place to live – food and shelter (for more on this see: Benefit sanctions: Britain’s secret penal system:Benefits claimants are subjected to an ‘amateurish, secret penal system which is more severe than the mainstream judicial system’, writes Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow.)

It is an absolute scandal.

Daily Mirror.

A former health minister today slammed the Government for refusing to investigate why people with mental health problems are the largest group to lose incapacity benefits.

Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services from 2011 to 2012, launched a stinging attack on the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), saying it has “absolutely no idea” of the impact of benefit cuts on mentally ill people.

The Lib Dem MP claims more than 100,000 people with mental health problems who lost their benefits have been “forgotten about” by the Government.

Mental health charity Mind today accused the DWP of not taking the issues seriously, and said the department is delaying in releasing the precise numbers of those with such illnesses affected by sanctions.

Speaking exclusively to Mirror Online, Mr Burstow said: “We know almost half of people taken off incapacity benefit, assessed, and found apparently ‘fit to work’ have mental health problems, and the Department responsible have absolutely no idea what’s happened to them.

“We have heard time and again that assessors had no real grasp of mental illness and its impact.

“We know that people with mental health problems need support and encouragement to get back into work and there is overwhelming evidence that people with mental health problems face discrimination in the job market.

“But over 100,000 people with mental health problems have been summarily put on Job Seekers Allowance and forgotten about.

“We don’t know if they have got jobs, we don’t know if they have been sanctioned, and we don’t know the impact of sanctions on their mental health.

“All we do know is that the Department don’t know and don’t seem to care.”

Research published by the Methodist Church last month showed people who receive the sickness and disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) because of a long-term mental health problem are being sanctioned at a rate of more than 100 per day.

According to the DWP data, the most common reason for being sanctioned is that a person has been late or not turned up for a Work Programme appointment.

Paul Morrison, Public Issues Policy Adviser for the Methodist Church, said in January: “Sanctioning someone with a mental health problem for being late for a meeting is like sanctioning someone with a broken leg for limping.

“The fact that this system punishes people for the symptoms of their illness is a clear and worrying sign that it is fundamentally flawed.”

“Churches have increasingly seen people in desperate need because they have been sanctioned.

“The suffering and injustice we have seen caused by the sanctions system deserves serious scrutiny.”

Last week, the Minster for Disabilities Mark Harper refused to investigate why the largest category of people transferred from incapacity benefit to the fit-to-work group have been people with mental health issues.

Tom Pollard, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Mind said: “It’s really worrying that you are more likely to receive a benefits sanction if you have a mental health problem than another health condition but we don’t have access to all the information about how often and why this is happening.

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87 Responses

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  1. what is happening is just like what you would expect if they were trying to get vulnerable mentally illl people to get to such a state that they commit suicide and thus reduce expenditure…

    – but mentally ill people are not stupid or without life force and the urge to live – many of them are just going to become much more mentally more ill…

    – many of them almost certainly ending up in mental hospitals and costing far far more than they ever did on Employment and Support Allowance.

    patricknelson750

    March 12, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    • The very same is happening to everyone who is unemployed or who are not important in this or any other countries society weather they are mentally ill or not.

      enigma

      March 12, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    • Of course it’s all about money, because money is more important than human beings to those who are the instigator’s of the plan which they have in place.

      enigma

      March 12, 2015 at 6:42 pm

  2. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    March 12, 2015 at 7:02 pm

  3. Written evidence submitted by Dr David Webster

    Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Urban Studies, University of Glasgow (SAN0110)

    http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/work-and-pensions-committee/benefit-sanctions-policy-beyond-the-oakley-review/written/16442.html

    enigma

    March 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm

  4. After five years of spending cuts, cost of living increases and stagnant employment, many disillusioned voters in Europe’s sixth-biggest economy have shunned the traditional two parties for anti-EU and anti-establishment voices that may splinter the vote and the United Kingdom as Scottish nationalism surges and a possible EU membership referendum looms.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/uk-britain-election-youngvoters-idUKKBN0M81SO20150312

    enigma

    March 12, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    • The vote is not splintered.

      The pundits predict the most severe hung parliament and the so-called big parties will not be able to form a government of one single party after 7 May.

      The danger is that the Tories will sit in power as a caretaker government for another 5 years as a result.

      Labour alone cannot form a majority government, even with the alliance of the Scottish SNP and Plaid Cymru of Wales.

      A group of parties need to gain 323 MPs to form a majority government in UK’s Westminster parliament.

      Natural allies to Labour are gaining nil media coverage.

      But they offer the best hope to gain the lost poor vote, that will not vote Labour or anybody else on 7 May. The words vote, elect and election turn them off.

      In England there are a great many voting areas that are marginals with sitting Tory and Lib Dem MPs, where the poor now outnumber all other voters.

      Yes the mentally cannot vote (accept in lucid moments). But the tens of millions of poor could help and their families by putting a pencil cross by the side of a different logo of anti austerity and anti welfare and pension reform parties, that would fundamentally change Labour in partnership.

      These are, in England:

      – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coaliton (TUSC)

      – Class War

      – Mebyon Kernow in Cornwall

      Cornwall has single figure marginals of very slim majorities of Tory and Lib Dem sitting MPs.

      These parties’ logos are on my little website
      as are where the marginals are and links to where the poor have the greatest voting power:
      http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

      Chris

      March 13, 2015 at 2:35 am

  5. “figures show (January 2005)” ??

    Here’s Ester’s so called evidence that massive sanctions help people into work.
    http://ukwelfarebenefitstruthseek.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/sanctions-help-jobseekers-into-work.html

    Another Fine Mess

    March 12, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    • So the UK sanction regime is worse than some other countries, but then there is just one IDS and one Ester and they happen to be in the UK.

      enigma

      March 12, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      • “This is another important factor. Most of the sanctions in the table above are less severe than current UK regime.”

        The above should not be stated anywhere on line for if the information from 2008 is not available it is then not a true fact.

        enigma

        March 13, 2015 at 11:14 am

      • Esther McVey: Equally, all the international evidence suggests that sanctions do have a positive impact on people getting into work, and there are two parts of that: as a deterrent, it has a positive impact on moving people into work, and there is further research that, should somebody have been sanctioned, it helps them into work afterwards.

        @ Q184 onwards
        http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/work-and-pensions-committee/benefit-sanctions-policy-beyond-the-oakley-review/oral/17970.html

        @Q213 Esther McVey
        I have to say if I was a claimant coming in under the previous regime where I did not know what sentences I was going to get..

        Another Fine Mess

        March 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    • There’s no evidence from the UK, and what evidence is there is from before 2008.

      It’s strange that so many clever people didn’t see the crash of 2008 coming, I was one of many predicting it in 2007, – on usenet in them dark days!

      Another Fine Mess

      March 12, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      • Just like the true stats – not available.

        enigma

        March 12, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      • To be honest about the sanctions regimes in all countries, most would think that every sanction regime in every country is the very same.

        enigma

        March 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      • Why should there be any sanctions for anyone while there’s already 100s and sometimes 1000s of applications for each ‘job’, Sanctions just don’t make any economic sense.

        On twity JCs are saying that there’s 100,000+ vacancies on UJM, why aren’t they saying 660,000+. They’re getting close to our low estimates of the number on there!

        Another Fine Mess

        March 12, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    • Many people I speak to assume that the sanction regime is happening only in UK, so many say “I’m planning to move somewhere else” of course it’s similar to those who assume whatever bad thing is happening to them is happening only to them.

      enigma

      March 12, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    • The Hype:
      Rugby MP Mark Pawsey said: “Universal Credit will transform the welfare state in Britain, bring £33 billion in economic benefits to society and make three million families better off by £176 a month including many families in Rugby.

      The reality:
      A Rugby man spent Christmas in a tent in a graveyard after his benefits were withdrawn unfairly, according to an election candidate.
      http://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/local-news/rugby-man-slept-in-graveyard-at-christmas-because-of-benefit-cut-1-6587225

      Another Fine Mess

      March 12, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      • Universal Credit will bring about permanent sanctions, by the hard to get Hardship Payments becoming recoverable loans from future benefit or earned income.

        Universal Credit will sanction the working poor on part time hours for not being to achieve full time hours.

        Universal Credit denies Pension Credit if one partner is below the new raised retirement age.

        Universal Credit denies payout of state pension to men whose partner is below retirement age, even up to 73 or 76.

        Universal Credit sanctions will hit Housing Benefit, which is absorbed within UC and paid direct to tenant and not to the landlord.

        This information is on all the blogs and forums, so why is the Rugby MP Mark Pewsey saying that sanctioning people off food money, will not just raise further the massive rise in malnutrition hospital admissions and kids suffering Rickets, affecting bone development.

        So the £33 billion must be the cost of IT projects and welfare admin and not the money to the people of Rugby.

        And the 3 million families better off by £178 a month live on thin ice, losing the money at the moment’s notice for keeps.

        There is another way.

        Rugby 7 May 2015 put your pencil cross by:

        TUSC candidate Pete McLaren
        (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)

        The anti austerity party running 111 candidates on 7 May throughout the UK but getting nil media coverage at all.

        Links to TUSC are on my little website, along with their logo for putting your pencil cross on the box by TUSC on 7 May.
        http://www.anastasia-englandl.me.uk

        This is Mr McLaren’s blurb from a TUC website:

        TUSC is the only Party which can say it will oppose all cuts at all levels, and has the programme to show how that will happen. Our leaflets outline the details, with nothing hidden”

        Pete McLaren, Rugby TUSC
        Here is Mr McLaren’s picture and a mention in the article of TUSC’s response, in the Rugby Advertiser on the man sleeping in the graveyard when sanctioned, informing that Universal Credit has been running 18 months in Rugby as a pilot:
        http://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/local-news/rugby-man-slept-in-graveyard-at-christmas-because-of-benefit-cut-1-6587225

        Chris

        March 13, 2015 at 2:51 am

  6. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    March 12, 2015 at 9:16 pm

  7. Reblogged this on Benefit tales.

    argotina1

    March 12, 2015 at 9:51 pm

  8. From the other side of the desk, Nov’14, look who’s responsible for the 35hrs jobsearch…

    every work coach now has to be a generalist across all Jobcentre disciplines. They are expected to be able to advise and coach in areas of work in which they have no experience and minimal training.

    In particular the aspiration to have every other JSA claimant sign weekly has put a strain on resources with many offices finding “work-arounds” to ensure that they meet the target without there being any meaningful intervention with the claimant.

    PCS is aware that a policy of sending all staff who reach 28 days sick absence to a Decision Maker for consideration for dismissal

    Many managers are reporting that they have been instructed to place 13% of all staff of all grades in the “Must Improve” category.

    Work coaches are being instructed that Claimant Commitments have to include a requirement that Jobseekers spend 35 hours a week looking for work and that this is to bring job searching activities in line with Universal Credit expectations.
    35 hours weekly job searching may be a requirement of Universal Credit but it is a long way from being delivered and is not supported by current JSA legislation.

    Worryingly members have reported being marked down at the mid year appraisal point for not adhering to this perverse instruction.

    PCS believes that this instruction is part of a broader cultural problem which is suggested in a recent document entitled “Sandra’s Central England Firelighters ‘14 Asks’”. This document infers using the “hassle factor” is a justifiable way of conducting business with claimants.

    ESA claimants and the “Hassle Factor”

    Another example of the hassle factor in action is the recent decision to invite ESA claimants in for interviews on Saturdays…
    advised of the potential reputational damage that media interest in this activity could cause at a time when DWP is already under scrutiny as a result of its attitude towards vulnerable claimants.
    http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwp-news.cfm/central-england-work-services-update

    Another Fine Mess

    March 13, 2015 at 1:18 am

    • OT: Crapita & Weekend Signups

      Another Fine Mess,

      This is interesting. Why? Recently it has been revealed that Crapita has been awarded a contract to ‘Look After’ [should that really read “Stitch up”? I wonder] new claimants via phone as ‘supposedly’ DWP staff cannot cope. [no evidence to support that claim is available so must be a lie – so why the award of the contract. Such Changes are NEVER in favour of the claimants so this MUST be bad news in some way].

      I wonder if loads and loads of claimants are going to be told they have an appointment – turn up, then get told have no record.

      For instance. If Crapita is doing the bookings they will need access to UC. How can they have access in a call centre that is not full of civil servants – the law is clear about such access and they won’t have it [reason why health lines must be populated by health workers – police phone lines etc etc]. Lets not even think of Information Act.

      So all in all there is the potential for a high ‘Pucker factor’ here.

      Lets not even think about the issues concerning people beng called in for other types of interviews.

      This smells like a hightening of the Sanctions Machine.

      Gazza

      March 13, 2015 at 7:36 am

      • It all amounts to – not enough suicides.

        enigma

        March 13, 2015 at 8:45 am

      • This, as DPAC say, is going to be Armageddon.

        Andrew Coates

        March 13, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    • Another Fine Mess

      March 13, 2015 at 4:03 pm

  9. Sounds familiar.

    Eritrea is considered one of the most repressive and secretive states on earth. The UN says forced labour and detention without trial are common.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31851587

    enigma

    March 13, 2015 at 12:10 pm

  10. Currently signing on once every week, I was told today by an adviser that because of the work programme (when and if someone had been on it and finished it) that my signing on will be back to sign on once every two weeks. also I will then see advisers at the far end of the building, so the parting of those signing on once every two week and those who sign on every week or every day.

    JJ, I asked the adviser today why the apt next week, and was told that it’s just to see how your job search is going, (which is what is done at every sign on), so I will be watching for any paper work that appears.

    Meanwhile I handed the advisor a doc which they don’t like. they have 10 days.

    enigma

    March 13, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    • Of course I will also send the same doc by recorded delivery.

      enigma

      March 13, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    • i had the hit squad adviser after my wp stint of 20 mins in 2 years had finished ans as i knew what they could and could not do did not last very long.

      did sign every week when seeing them at the back office in the jcp with about 4 of them in there demanding this and that to which i said i did not need to as it states in law n soon gave up, ended when they tried to get me in every day but that only lasted for 2 weeks as the bus fair was to expensive and i wanted it all back and not be out of pocket.

      i did ask for a weeks ticket but was told no and got a return every time then had to wait 3 days for it in my bank so was all ways out of pocket.

      after that was back to 2 weeks signing and normal adviser but the best thing was i had the same adviser that sent me to the wp haha fkn joke.

      was then sent round the office near every time and diff adviser to have a go but all failed to get a sanction doubt through to stop my benefits as i won every single one of them.

      as long as you have applied for the number of jobs in ur cc they cant do jack about it so if they put 100 a week refuse to sign it as its unreasonable.

      super ted

      March 13, 2015 at 6:03 pm

  11. The NHS has disregarded tens of thousands of requests by patients to opt out of the health service’s system of sharing medical records. Officials have admitted that not sharing the data would affect the treatment patients received – such as cancer screening services.

    Under guidelines released by the NHS last year, patients had been told they could, without affecting their care, “object to any information containing data that identifies you from leaving the secure environment … this includes information from all places you receive NHS care, such as hospitals”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/22/nhs-disregards-patients-requests-sharing-medical-records

    Following today’s media coverage on the care.data programme NHS England would like to clarify the following points in relation to patient care.

    •Under the care.data programme no patient data has been collected so far from GPs

    •The Pathfinder stage will test the care.data programme in four different English regions

    •The opt out for the care.data programme will apply to confidential GP data being used for purposes beyond direct care

    •The opt out is not currently live and will not impact upon direct care

    •How we communicate this to patients will be tested in the Pathfinder areas

    http://www.england.nhs.uk/2015/01/23/data-opt-out/

    enigma

    March 13, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      • NHS support to help people get and stay in employment. sickness absence related costs to employers and taxpayers have been estimated at £22 billion a year, and over 300,000 people each year take up health-related benefits. In doing so, individuals collectively miss out on £4 billion a year of lost earnings. Yet there is emerging evidence that well targeted health support can help keep people in work thus improving their wellbeing and preserving their livelihoods. Mental health problems now account for more than twice the number of Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefit claims than do musculoskeletal complaints (for example, bad backs). Furthermore, the employment rate of people with severe and enduring mental health problems is the lowest of all disability groups at just 7%. A new government-backed Fit for Work scheme starts in 2015. Over and above that, during the next Parliament we will seek to test a win-win opportunity of improving access to NHS services for at-risk individuals while saving ‘downstream’ costs at the Department for Work and Pensions, if money can be reinvested across programmes.

        http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/futurenhs/5yfv-ch2/

        enigma

        March 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm

  12. “Super Ted” makes a good point when he says refuse to sign your claimant commitment if it is unreasonable, but he should note that Jobseekers don’t necessarily need to do what is written in their Jobseeker’s Agreement or Claimant Commitment (see quote below from Dr David Webter’s report).

    “enigma” also posted a good one last night (after I went off), about written evidence submitted to Parliament by Dr David Webster of Glasgow University on sanctions. A brief quote from his report is:

    “Not actively seeking work’ is a misnomer. It usually means that the claimant is actively seeking work but has not done exactly what they are told by Jobcentre Plus. The great majority of such sanctions appear to be unlawful, since the law does not require jobseekers to do what they are told, nor even to do what is in their Jobseeker’s Agreement or ‘claimant commitment’, but to take such steps as are likely to give them the best prospect of finding work and are REASONABLE [emphasis Tobanem’s] in their circumstances”.

    The full report can be found here:

    http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/work-and-pensions-committee/benefit-sanctions-policy-beyond-the-oakley-review/written/16442.html

    Tobanem

    March 13, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    • tbh some staff are worse than others say some will let it go if id say left 2-3 jobs off what i was meant to do that week and others always say it was not enough no matter what i had done that week and pull out the cc to try change it but id never sign it as i had to apply for 7 jobs a week any way n that was more than enough tho they still wanted to double or triple it with some advisers.

      super ted

      March 13, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      • My CC, it doesn’t state anything regarding the amount of jobs I have to apply for, because they know that I know a claimant does not have to apply for any fixed number of jobs.

        enigma

        March 13, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      • Spot-on, “enigma”!

        “super ted”, tell these whimsical advisors there is no statutory minimum number of vacancies you need apply for.

        It is no wonder benefit advisors act the way they do, because as Dr David Webster points out:

        “Since the Social Security Act 1998 abolished independent adjudication, Jobcentre staff have had no personal responsibility to apply the law honestly but are mere agents of the Secretary of State”.

        “the secret nature of the proceedings [surrounding sanctions] is clearly leading to widespread misconduct within DWP”.

        “The Tribunal appeal system is almost useless: it is used by only 3% of JSA and 1% of ESA sanctioned claimants, and because its decisions set no precedents, the same abuses are constantly repeated by DWP”.

        Tobanem

        March 13, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      • who said anything about applying for jobs, i just put jobs on my paper work searches to piss them off could be real or made up know way of them finding out is there 😉

        i gotta have my 1 day of fun on me day out init 😉

        super ted

        March 13, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    • Cross posted to JVoid – get the word out

      Gazza

      March 14, 2015 at 9:05 am

  13. 35 hours jobs search.

    I was told by someone who signed on today, they were told by an adviser that he would be given a reconditioned computer and a USB mobile broad band stick because he did not have a computer or internet access, the computers though will be set up to open the website of UJM only, and he will be charged £1,75 (internet access) which will be taken out of his JSA.

    A claimant is given a computer, a USB stick, cost of £1.75, for access, then they are told that they have to use UJM only, also told they have to give DWP access to UJM, only then are they told that they have to spend 35 hours searching for jobs. then the claimant finds out that £1.75 doesn’t go far, so finds that he/she needs to top it up, for 35 hours access. if the claimant doesn’t bother topping it up, so that they can eat etc etc. = sanction.

    enigma

    March 13, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    • Watch anything to do with jobcentre plus computers,an adviser let slip these are monitored,but didn’t elaborate on that. given whats happening its best avoid anything to do with them where you have to log in.

      Giving access to universal jobmatch must never be given.

      ken

      March 14, 2015 at 2:11 am

      • You know Ken, a lot of unemployed people (those not on this website or other similar websites) believe everything they are told by advisers, I have talked to many who think what they have being told is correct/true and so the right thing to do. those people are difficult to help but I keep trying!

        enigma

        March 14, 2015 at 6:51 am

      • In Ipswich , we have too fill in a slip of paper with our Name. National Insurance Number. The Time We Logged On. The Computer Number. This Is Then Given To Either G4S Or One Of The ”Pod Staff”

        info

        March 14, 2015 at 9:21 am

    • The 35 hours jobs search is just bollox.

      If you’ve just loss yer job, then you might spend 35 hours or more during the first week, ringing any contacts, ringing any old mates to tell them the good news, fixing your CV, checking which jobsites might be best to use. But then what do you do for the second week, ring them all again?

      By then you’ll be realising that your last pay packet isn’t going to last long. But no worries, assuming your UC claim goes through OK you might get some payment in five weeks time!

      How are they going to police it?
      The ground-breaking jobs board – UJM is supposed to be searching and matching you to employers 24/7, so what’s the point in you doing the same thing, or are they admitting now that it doesn’t do that.

      Even if an advisor stood over you for 7 hours while you gazed at all the lovely ‘jobs’ on UJM, how would they know if you were thinking of something else like, Why am I here? Or Are any of these jobs real?

      If you claim to have asked a relative if they know of any ‘jobs’, what are they going to do, ask you for uncle Bob’s phone number so that they can ring him to check?

      What if you’ve handed your CV to some shops or pubs, are they going to ring them up and ask them to go though their waste bins to see if one of the CVs was yours, or ask them to check the CCTV tapes?

      I don’t shop very often, but when I do I often see/hear people popping in asking if there are any vacancies. I used to think they were asking for directions! But I’ve since been close enough to hear a few, the staff always say the same thing – “Check on our website” – I think that means no.

      How are the JC advisors going to go through your list of activities and judge if they add up to about 35 hours. What if they think it might only come to 28-30. They only get about 6 minutes to sign someone, it’s going to take them up to 2 hours to sign someone! They will take that amount of time if they think they’re going to get a sanction out of the signing – don’t ask how I know!

      What about the employers getting showered with CVs, phone calls and even visits. They’re already putting ‘must have previous experience’ on even 4 hour a week shop or cleaning vacancies to try and stop the torrent.

      Was there no one from the top to them bottom who asked ‘How are we going to police this policy? No wonder 30,000 dwp workers are worried about their jobs, in the real world they’ll be unemployable.

      Phew!

      http://automation.strikenow.org.uk

      Another Fine Mess

      March 14, 2015 at 2:49 am

      • First things first,

        “A claimant declares to supply evidence as part of there agreement”.

        Where and when did any claimant agree to prove such evidence is legit ?

        If an advisor doubts your evidence, start getting into the habit of asking why as the moment they do, presumption of innocence (the burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies) comes into play.

        You have to realise when an advisor says this, they are accusing you of suspicion of fraud (criminal and or common law).

        Do not let your respective advisor get away with merely commenting that its standard procedure as it is not as you cant go day in day out putting a particular claimant under the guise of suspicion of fraud, especially if they already proved on a previous occasion/s that this wasn’t the case.

        Basically if you decline to present further clarification that this act alone cannot be seen as any admission to guilt, meaning its then up to DWP to prove you acted fraudulently before issuing a sanction and not simply tag it as NOT ACTIVELY SEEKING WORK or something unconnected with the grounds of suspicion of fraud.

        If an advisor quotes you refused a reasonable request then inorder for that to be so they must present grounds to justify the premise of suspicion of fraud for that to be so.

        I personally went through this a while back so if it helps I first insisted that DWP call the police (the correct authority), THEY REFUSED,

        I then told them to put it to the decision maker with both there supposed grounds of suspicion and my legal references along with DWPs refusal to call the police, THEY AGAIN REFUSED.

        As you can imagine they gave up as my evidence couldn’t be argued against what with giving them dates, vacancies, employer/agency, and what I did and when so they had enough to investigate with yet like before REFUSED to pick one and check it out while I was there.

        REMEMBER YOU HAVE TO HAVE GROUNDS FOR THE SUSPICION OF A CRIMINAL ACT EVEN IF YOUR A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT.

        gaia

        March 14, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    • I will soon be given a letter regarding reconditioned computers and mobile broadband USB sticks for unemployed people, from someone who received it from the jobcentre, I will then scan it & put it on here.

      enigma

      March 14, 2015 at 7:04 am

      • Can’t wait!
        I’ll be especially interested if “set up to open the website of UJM only”, is true, and which bright spark thought of it because I’m quite sure it’s impossible.

        Unless it’s a some special OS, you need to be an expert to use a USB mobile stick on a desktop, – there’s all kinds of things trying to update themselves with 100MBs of updates.

        Another Fine Mess

        March 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      • I was using a USB mobile stick on a desktop for months, – no problem, when I didn’t have a laptop.

        enigma

        March 14, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      • This says:
        Available to everyone – Free PCs when taken with broadband from £1.75 per month for 12 months

        Looks like good value. But the small print says:
        Prices start from as little as £1.75 for the first 12 months (line rental required and 12 month contract for broadband required)
        http://goo.gl/Dg8Cg

        How did you make the bandwidth last the month.

        Another Fine Mess

        March 14, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      • Of course I wasn’t told about the phone line rental, also the talk of a USB mobile broadband stick is isn’t stated anywhere on that website,

        So this £1.75, “from” which wasn’t told either, is just the same as any ISP, it is cheaper than others, at the moment.

        Since a lot of people don’t read the small print, a lot of people will take on this offer (because it’s stated on that website that a desktop, monitor, keyboard & mouse is free) , and with a 12 month contract. so a lot of people will be worse off.

        Meanwhile there is no such thing as a free computer.

        enigma

        March 15, 2015 at 10:22 am

      • To those who think that the computer “desktop” on the website above, is free, click on “get your computer” on that website.

        A desktop, for someone on benefits, = £99
        A desktop for those not on benefits =£119.

        enigma

        March 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      • Do I own the lap top or am I just leasing it? if I own it then what is to stop me just formatting and reinstalling whatever OS on it I want?

        Same of the Bandwidth the contract would be with the ISP and not DWP.

        growls

        March 16, 2015 at 4:02 pm

  14. I talked to many people today at various different places which included the food bank, not one of those people has heard of “UC”, some of them have never heard of a “sanction” while I was informing them about UC and sanctions. a lot of people won’t know what’s hit them, when that time comes.

    enigma

    March 13, 2015 at 7:46 pm

  15. What’s this shit about oddball Ed Millipede having seven (7!) toilets so that nobody can hear him taking a dump!

    Fly on Ed Millipede's Toilet Wall

    March 14, 2015 at 12:35 am

    • Seriously, for Ed’s sake I hope that Ed is never sent to prison or held in court cells with the ‘open bogs’ where you have to shit in front of everyone -other prisoners, screws, lawyers. Or Ed placed in the ‘suicide watch’ perspex cell with a bucket to shit in in full view of everyone. Imagine Ed having to do a dump in public. Just don’t think Ed would survive somehow.

      The Prisoner

      March 14, 2015 at 9:23 am

  16. The people you see sat in the library all day are probably homeless. Homeless hostels turf them out in the morning and won’t let them back in again until the evening. So where are they supposed to go? Sit on a park bench all day? Keep walking round the shops all day? If you were in the same situation you would probably do the same especially in the freezing cold winter months, at least you would be warm sat in the library all day reading a book, doing a ‘job-search’ or whatever, although some of them just sit in a chair all day holding a sandwich that they never seem to finish.

    Ex-Homeless

    March 14, 2015 at 3:01 am

    • Not just Homeless shelters but also Bed & Breakfast style places – been there done that many a year ago…

      Gazza

      March 14, 2015 at 9:11 am

    • No we are doing our MANDATED 2 HOURS OR MORE computerized jobsearch. We need 15 minutes between each 1 hours session before we can log back on. That is if there are computers free.

      info

      March 14, 2015 at 9:17 am

    • Some people here all the time are homeless.

      As you say there are no full-time ‘shelters’ for those without a roof, and as others indicate being in many B & Bs also means being kicked out during the day.

      I know one – it happened to a friend of mine – they have nowhere else to go, the Community Resource Centre – Charity soup kitchen) excepted.

      That is another scandal.

      I am personally here a lot – doing my 35 a week Jobsearch.

      But I was referring to some very specific cases when I mentioned those with mental health issues.

      Andrew Coates

      March 14, 2015 at 12:27 pm

  17. More than 100,000 disabled Scots will lose benefits cash by 2018 as a result of Westminster welfare reforms, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

    But she pledged a vote for independence in next month’s referendum would halt the change, preventing “truly horrifying cuts in support for disabled people”.

    At the moment some 190,000 people in Scotland receive support from the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which is being replaced with the Personal Independent Payment (PIP) as part of the UK Government’s programme of welfare reform.

    This will result in more than 100,000 Scots losing some or all of their disability benefits, according to the Scottish Government.

    A report looking at the impact of the changes said that these people lose at least £1,120 a year, but added that almost 50,000 people receiving the enhanced weekly mobility allowance to help them get about could lose between £1,820 and £2,964 a year.

    Conservative welfare spokesman Alex Johnstone accused the Deputy First Minister of trying to frighten disabled people in the run up to next month’s vote on independence.

    The Tory MSP told BBC Radio Scotland: “What Nicola Sturgeon is trying to do is raise the level of rhetoric and try to frighten some people in the build up to the referendum.

    “It is simply not the case that people will be harmed in the way she is describing.”

    Ms Sturgeon, however, insisted: “It is simply wrong that so many disabled people in Scotland are set to lose so much money as a result of these UK Government changes.

    “I am particularly concerned that the redrawn mobility rules will mean that almost 50,000 people will lose entitlement to up to £3,000 per annum. These are truly horrifying cuts in support for disabled people.”

    She added: “This analysis of the UK Government’s welfare changes underlines the pressing need for a Scottish welfare system that has, at its heart, the clear principles of fairness and dignity.

    “Following a vote for independence, we will halt the abolition of DLA in Scotland and its replacement by PIP.”

    http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/u/sturgeon-disabled-scots-will-lose-benefits-cash-by-2018-due-to-westminister-welfare-reforms.1407921665

    enigma

    March 14, 2015 at 7:42 am

    • PIP will replace DLA for disabled people aged between 16 and 64, even if you currently have an ‘indefinite’ or ‘lifetime’ award. Disabled children will continue to receive DLA until they reach the age of 16. DLA will also continue to be available for those who were aged 65 and over on 8 April 2013.

      The timescales for PIP

      The nationwide roll-out of PIP is not due to be completed until 2018. To begin with, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is contacting claimants on fixed term awards, so if you’ve got a lifetime or indefinite award you may not see any changes at all during your next lease.

      http://www.motability.co.uk/understanding-the-scheme/pip-and-motability/

      Lord Sterling’s statement below to find out about the one-off transitional support package for customers who, following their initial reassessment by Government for the new PIP benefit, will no longer be eligible for the Motability Scheme

      Between October 2013 and 2018, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will reassess some two million disabled people aged between 16 and 64, who currently receive DLA, for the new PIP benefit. This reassessment process will include approximately 360,000 of the 620,000 disabled people who currently lease a vehicle through the Motability Scheme. Because PIP is a new benefit with different criteria to DLA, some disabled people may not qualify for mobility support under PIP or may do so at a lower level than they had under DLA. As a consequence, they will no longer be eligible to use the Motability Scheme.

      http://www.motability.co.uk/understanding-the-scheme/pip-and-motability/lord-sterling-transitional-support-package

      enigma

      March 14, 2015 at 8:02 am

      • The next move COULD BE. If you are fit enough to drive and have a ”Motability Car” it could be that you will be deemed fit for work etc

        info

        March 14, 2015 at 9:15 am

      • info,

        They are already doing just that, I read that during the WCA they are asking….”Do you drive a car”…..”Is it a manual or automatic”.

        The welfare state will be all but gone in five years time, no matter who wins the next election, we live in a one party state, change will NOT be allowed.

        Annos

        March 15, 2015 at 11:36 am

  18. OT : UKIP Prefers private, not NHS

    UKIP, the gift that keeps on giving [or in this case privatise and get rid of NHS more like]…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31883683

    Next up, if unemployed and no Health Insurance – die, you’re not worth saving!

    Gazza

    March 14, 2015 at 8:44 am

  19. Hi guy’s and gall’s, sorry I’ve not been commenting lately but I’ve had a family thing which looks like it’s gonna continue for quite sometime, once things are back to normal, I’ll be back.

    Obi Wan Kenobi – Jedi Master.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 14, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    • May the force be with you 🙂

      Jester McFail

      March 14, 2015 at 3:39 pm

  20. The Tories will carry on putting in place their vision of how our country succeeds by stripping public services to the very bone so they hit their target of spending back to levels not seen since the 1930s, before there was a NHS and children left school at 14.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2015/mar/14/nick-cleggs-qa-at-the-lib-dem-conference-politics-live-blog

    enigma

    March 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    • Also on live blog.

      The Rethink Mental Illness charity has put out a statement welcoming the mental health spending announcement. This is from its chief executive, Mark Winstanley.

      This extra funding in child and adolescent mental health services is urgently needed. Every week we hear shocking stories about children being held in police cells, or sent hundreds of miles away from home for care, because the right support isn’t available in their own community.

      enigma

      March 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    • They can keep UJM!

      enigma

      March 14, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      • Strange Timing.

        If anyone remembers I had issues with Manages trying to force that Sh*& on me. I dropped in two nice letters to two managers. No reply from them – no surprise, as I predicted but a nice little reply where DWP is most most contrite. Say near end that they wil lbe checking peridoically to see if changed mind. No chance in hell. I am going to put a stop to that idea. Time for this to be put with my other papers when I next sign on me thinks. Next time it comes up just point to letter and kill it off dead.

        Gazza

        March 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      • Oh, forgot to mention did it under heading of Harrassment

        Gazza

        March 14, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      • About 18 months ago I received a letter from the local JC, regarding an appointment, which was made for me at the local JC the letter stated that it was mandatory, with a warning of course you know! to arrive at the appointment to create an account on UJM, I went to the apt, first one there, early as usual, the person in charge (telling all those who also have an apt for the same reason) was not an adviser but someone on JSA, we know why, he said “everyone has to create an account on UJM” I said, “no they don’t” I then asked for his name, took note of it, he then looked worried then said, “you should sign the sign in form” stating that you have been here, I then left the building, no sanction, and still not created an account on UJM.

        It’s strange when we see all the bad comments on line from all those people who are not happy about using UJM, and yet they don’t bother to find out if they really have to.

        enigma

        March 14, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      • Mine too has same heading.

        enigma

        March 14, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      • Enigma,

        Good. I gave them something like four chances to back off and explain in writing what they[the managers, not staff] were trying to do. They failed in like now to explain themselves – primia facia evidence for a court.

        Next up will be work programme – boy do I have a surprise for them then.

        My Motto “Sign nuffin Guv’

        Gazza

        March 14, 2015 at 9:18 pm

  21. Government plans to cap the amount of financial support available to help disabled people into work, could deter employers from recruiting disabled people, campaigners claim.

    Campaign group Disability UK said: “Even now, with no cap, the scheme makes the Government money. For every £1 spent on Access to Work, £1.48 comes back to the Exchequer in tax, national insurance or savings to the benefits bill.

    “This short-sighted change will mean that employers may avoid recruiting the best people for the job, and that’s a waste of talent, resources and energy.”

    The Government says the cap will save £3 million, which they claim could be used to help support even more disabled people into work. They also argue that the introduction of Personal Budgets will allow Allow to Work users more freedom to decide how grants should be spent.

    Tory Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper said: “We have invested an extra £15m in Access to Work since 2012 and user numbers are rising steadily. I hope these changes will help many more to join them in getting into, and staying in, work in the future.

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/access-to-work-cap-could-deter-employers-from-recruiting-disabled-people/

    enigma

    March 15, 2015 at 11:20 am

  22. The impact of recent welfare reforms on women in Scotland will be the focus of a new inquiry by the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee.

    Evidence seen by MSPs has suggested that women are being disproportionately affected and research recently published by the Committee highlighted that lone parents have been severely impacted upon.

    The Committee has therefore launched a call for views and is asking how welfare changes have affected women.

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/inquiry-launched-into-impact-of-welfare-changes-on-scottish-women/

    enigma

    March 15, 2015 at 11:22 am

  23. UC, For those who doesn’t yet know.

    The regulations also allow DWP to supply relevant information to local support providers
    (which may include social landlords) for the purposes of providing advice, support or
    assistance to UC claimants who have been identified as needing it.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/253846/response/628721/attach/html/2/FoI%20583.pdf.html

    enigma

    March 15, 2015 at 11:37 am


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