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werehorse

A rant about the UK government!

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Sorry about this, but I need to vent!

 

The UK government employs a private company to carry out "work capability assessments" to determine who gets disability benefits. Recently there was a court judgment that these assessments discriminate against the mentally ill. Instead of improving the tests the government is going to spend money appealing the judgment!!

 

I was assessed recently and I was really lucky - lucky because the form arrived at a time when I was well enough to chase up evidence from my social worker, to research how best to fill it in and to do it within the short timeframe they allow you. Other people - people with serious MI's who are clearly not fit to work, who can't manage to get the evidence together, even people who are hospitalised at the time the form is sent - get found fit for work and have all their money stopped while they appeal, if they can face appealing - and at appeal many decisions get overturned, just showing how flawed the process is. Doctors are being overwhelmed by people suffering relapses from the stress of it all.

 

I am OK for the moment, but I have no idea when they'll want to reassess me - sometimes people win at appeal and then find they are called to be reassessed the following month only to be found fit for work again and have to appeal again. The whole system is CRAZY, and the only people benefiting from it are the private company who do the assessments. Why not accept the evidence of the pdocs who are surely the ones to know and understand what someone is capable of, rather than some random physiotherapist who knows nothing about MI! 

 

It's just an awful awful system here that is driving people to suicide, and I fear it is only going to get worse :(

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I agree, it's stupid.

I hope they change this to help people who are mentally ill.

Even if you are very physically disabled, but could walk a little, they deem you fit to work. It's bizarre.

The amount of money they are paying this company to weed out people who could possibly work, will likely cancel out what they'll save for people working.

So, what's the point?

Personally, I hate the UK government.

I don't vote, because there is no party I like. All the major political party leaders seem slimy and two-faced.

Edited by Sanity

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When we were considering emigrating (for health reasons, actually, this was before Obama became president, our choices were Canada, the UK, Oz, and NZ. After we heard about their psychiatric care in the UK, that option was eliminated. We qualified for Canada, but were told their was a 2 year waiting list. Unfortunately, my husband has too many seizures to meet the health qualifications to emigrate anywhere else.

 

But I know you have to really struggle to get decent care. And it sucks, and I don't know how I would cope.

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Some people probably were needlessly put on disability benefits in order to massage the unemployment stats, but for the majority who recieve it, it is a lifeline. You're preaching to the choir, I can't stand this government. Using the private sector to do these assessments is very worrying since their profits depend on them kicking people off these benefits and no doubt many people will suffer in order to keep the shareholders happy.

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Good grief, even Ronald Reagan spoke of the need for a "safety net".  When so much of the western world moved to the far right of Reagan and Thatcher, I stopped knowing what to think. 

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The amount of money they are paying this company to weed out people who could possibly work, will likely cancel out what they'll save for people working.

So, what's the point?

 

IMO it is not about saving money, it is about the principle/ideology.  Despite what they say in public many of the conservatives do not believe in welfare full stop. They know they have to pay lip service to it so they are setting up a system where those who are obviously grossly disabled (either physically totally crippled or mentally insane) get the bare minimum help they can get away with supplying.  Everyone else is demonised  as work-shy scum who could manage some kind of job if only they weren't so lazy/ignorant/weak minded. 

 

Of course when it comes to giving people with health problems a good kicking those with mental illness are an easy target.  We don't look unwell, we can have periods of relative good health and functioning and can therefore be easily painted as malingerers. What makes it even more disgusting is the fact that services for MI are being cut to the bone everywhere. Need to see a Pdoc, psychotherapist or counsellor ? Forget it. Inpatient treatment? Forget it. I don't believe any type of long term support for anyone but those with the most severe of problems exists any more....... and probably not even for all of them. 

 

They are now changing the rules to make it even more impossible for those who need disability to survive - no longer will people get the assessment rate of benefit if they appeal the (usually unfair) decision at the initial assessment.  People will be expected to live off fresh air while the DWP have unlimited time to 'reconsider' (i.e. automatically decline again) the decision before it can be taken to formal appeal tribunal.  http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/ian-duncan-smith-targets-the-sick-vulnerable

 

This government are just complete scum.... you expect it from the conservatives but the libdems enabling this is just disgusting and unbelievable - shows how quickly people will sell out their values and beliefs for a little power. 

Edited by crazyguy

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Conservatives have a history of opposing giving less wealthy people the vote, making it hard for workers to represent themselves and generally trying to promote the idea of moral work ethics, that people succeed or fail due to person failings, not circumstance and conditions. Margaret Thatcher was a protoge of an MP who had to leave in disgrace for his policies in this vein and her announcement that 'There is no such thing as society' was made to an interview in a women's magazine, the Conservative policy makers tried to rephrase it in documents to soften the idea, they weren't keen on that bald assertion. 

 

David Cameron's idea of the 'big society' takes it an interesting new level, putting the responsibility for peoples welfare into the hands of charitable and voluntary community organisations and inferring that those who do no prosper are lazy, entitled or lying. This idea that the undeserving poor need surveillance has led to all kinds of interference with free speech. The statistics show that there are very few large families in the UK living off benefits, benefit fraud for disability is low etc but the media is fed cases that portray this idea that the good hard working people on Britain are funding a mass endemic of feckless scroungers. Aside from being hate speech, it;s factually untrue.

 

Even odder is that recent independent studies have shown that the effects of Conservative labour and welfare policy have meant a bigger gap between the wealthiest sector and everyone else, with the affluent middle class they claim to speak for vanishing. People in work are worse off, there are fewer jobs, pay is falling for everyone but the highest percentile of earners, the service industry is taking a huge battering and the measure of creating part time/zero contract/temp jobs has not fuelled the economy nor have longer term perm jobs been created. Youth unemployment is at it's highest rate since the 70s. A generation of people have lost the chance to get a mortgage and many have told studies that they not only expect to get poorer but have chosen not to have kids as they cannot afford to in their fertile years.

 

No one in the UK is better off, unless they were wealthy enough not to be in jeopardy. For the first time in decades, all social stratas and kind of people are being robbed and no one feels able to protest and get some changes in.

Edited by Titania

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I agree wholeheartedly I'm a victim of this current private company, I won my first assement, but lost the second after having to appeal in court ( treated me like a criminal). Now I am technically signed of from work with monthly doctors notes. All my evidence, including letters from a consultant psychiatrist did not seem to be enough for these people. Iam left with the same amount of money I would get on JSA which isn't enough to live on, added to the fact

that care for the mentally ill is appalling.

 

I can not stand David Cameron, he only got in because people panicked that growth wasn't as fast in the economy as they would have liked. Even the middle classes are worse of now under the Conservatives, I hope everyone see's sense at the next election. Sadly demonizing the poor will not stop until every single voter and newspaper publishes the ACTUAL statistics. Most tax payers seem to think they are funding people who are lazy liars who have 3 foreign holidays a year and live in mini mansions, if they could see how little of their taxes are actually paid to benefits and how they actually help people then it might be a lot different.

 

ETA: I got my new atos letter today, I have to go for another assessment on the 5th of Dec, which is silly because I'm not

actually on the system as placed into a group, I know I will get legal advise and representation and I'm not going to be

examined by a 65 year old male ever again, of course the physical is pointless because it's MI, but they will subject me to

it none the less :(.  I will also lose because you need a certain  amount of points and 2/3 of it is physical functioning, and they

know this.

Edited by isthisit?

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