DWP, Atos, Fraud, Job Seeking, and Chronically Sick and Disabled People


There  are many who believe that people are choosing to live on benefits as an alternative to work. The vast majority of people want to work, some are desperate for a job, when there just aren’t enough jobs to go round. Then there are people who can’t work because of their chronic illness or disability. How must it feel to be called scroungers or shirkers on top of living with chronic illness and pain? People deserve to be treated with dignity. This excellent blog by Madd Suspicions entitled DWP, ATOS, Fraud, Job Seeking, and Chronically Sick and Disabled People makes this point. Think Left’s article Reframing the Welfare Debate  by Darrell Goodliffe shows how important it is to counteract the Coalition’s argument for benefit cuts before people are thrust into poverty.



Reblogged from MADD Suspicions:

“I know, that is rather a long title, but I couldn’t think of any better for now.  Anyway, this is important, I believe. I know, that is rather a long title, but I couldn’t think of any better for now.  Anyway, this is important, I believe.”

There is still so much that the more priveleged among us need to understand, there is so much ignorance around, and misinformation and blatant lies to be honest around stemming from politicians and certain sections of the media , relating to benefits, job seeking, the chronically sick and disabled people, that I felt I had to write this post.I saw this posted earlier on Twitter by one of the “Dragons” from a programme here in Britain, called “Dragon’s Den.  I never watch it, because I’m not money orientated, I don’t have an obsession for it and never have believed that being happy and successful equals having lots of money.  However lots of entrepreneurs seem to be like that, i’m sure not all are, and some may do some good.  However lots are.  Anyway, this was the Tweet from one of the “dragons”, Deborah Meaden, which was retwittered by someone I followed (that’s how I saw it) :”

More people working means less spent on benefits. Stimulate economy and make sure it pays to work. 

When I first saw it, I didn’t know how to interpret it.  I don’t know anything of her politics, I don’t have anything whatsoever against her personally.  I do think however, that sometimes this sort of statement can feed into the “scrounger” rhetoric, prevalent in our “civilised society”.

On seeing something like that my first thoughts when knowing nothing about the person is that I want them to understand things, and try to speak about things from my own experiences.  Obviously I can’t speak from anyone elses experiences.  And I hope I came across when I twittered back as wishing to be matter of fact and polite.

I posted a link to this round-up about ATOS and the DWP, which I attempt to update as often as possible.  I also posted a link to this post I have also made, relating to how I pushed myself, as an entrepreneur on that programme may do without mental illness, only with mental illness attached.  And how that made my mental health worse.

I hope that she will take a look at those posts, at least.  And maybe she can understand, depending on her background of course, which again, I know nothing of.

I don’t know why I did it, as I know that posts like that will often draw out undesirable conservative ideologists with the “arbeit macht frei” financially conservative ideology, but I had to take a look at the responses.  They weren’t actually as bad as I thought they may be after I prepared myself, then dove in and took a look.

First I saw this:

More people working means less spent on benefits. Stimulate economy and make sure it pays to work. 

And a response to that:

@DeborahMeaden@nickgibbens It hasn’t just got to pay to work, it’s got to STOP paying to NOT work.

@Roberto_Rausa@DeborahMeaden Could not agree more Robbie…

I thought a response to both of them at once would be a good idea, so I did so.  Which, so far, hasn’t turned out to be too bad a decision.  And brought about quite an interesting Twitter chat.

Of course, not something I would be comfortable with in the real world.

I wanted them to know, and to understand a few important points.

  1. Many people do NOT choose not to work.
  2. The chronically ill and disabled certainly do not.  And do not deserve beatings at the hands of the Lib Con regime in power.
  3. The DWP’s own figures show that levels of fraud on Disability Living Allowance are at 0.5% and Incapacity at 0.3% (Click here for the DWP official report in PDF format)
  4. The levels of DWPs own errors are twice as high as the levels of fraud.  (£160 million, compared to £80 million – See the above link)
  5. That isn’t even counting the importance of the human costs in lives due to deaths and suicides due to the stresses and strains of being forced through the process, which i’ve posted about previously.
  6. People go in for part-time jobs rather than/as well as full-time jobs for a variety of reasons.  a) Childcare.  b) You have to go in for those jobs available, if you don’t you could have JSA removed c) It is physically impossible for every person seeking work to fit into every single job available.  d) Not every job is suitable for every individual, as I posted about myself previously here.
  7. The focus seems to take away from those who do need real support, which is not only financial in nature, but often healthcare wise.  In fact, sometimes better healthcare and shorter waiting lists may mean that some of us are available to get back to work quicker.  Yet those privileged people do not seem to understand, the NHS and welfare are joined together.  You can’t have one without the other, and if you cut costs in both it’s bad, very bad!

And that is what’s happening right now.  Costs are being cut everywhere.  You can’t seriously expect to cut services in welfare and the NHS without there being consequences of that conservative ideology.  You force people through this process with your twisted ideology, you are driving mentally ill people closer to the edge, yes, some even towards suicidal tendencies.  You cannot take away people’s support networks tell them to swim and expect them/us all to.  Because we are not all going to be able to do that.

With costs being cut also in the NHS, as well as in welfare it’s the perfect storm.  And it is perfect for the conservative ideology.  With so many thousands of deaths already in less than 1 year alone so far, how many more?  It’s time to end the ignorance.  We need a joined up welfare, healthcare and employment system.  Because this system is dying, and as it dies, so are human beings.  Those in power cannot seriously be clueless about this end result.  Hitler certainly wasn’t with his “arbeit macht frei ideology”.

Be careful what you wish for.  You could become mentally ill tomorrow.  Then you’d see!  First they came for…… And where were you then? “