DAA News Network

UK: Vulnerable unemployed people being ‘tricked’ out of benefits

Posted 05/4-11 at 01.53

An officer at a government job centre has claimed that he and his colleagues are being pressured to meet targets for benefit reductions by tricking vulnerable people into breaking the rules so their benefits can be stopped.

"We were told suddenly that [finding someone to sanction] once a week wasn't good enough, we were far behind other offices, ...and (they) said we now have to do three a week to catch up. . . [Now] your office can shine ...through getting people into work, but that's really difficult. Or you can stop their money, and that's really easy "

Official figures show the total number of cases where people have lost their benefits has soared since the beginning of 2010 to 75,000 in October. Over the same period the number of disabled claimants being cut off has more than doubled to almost 20,000.

This follows a change in the rules in April last year where sanctions were extended to claimants who were late for job centre interviews and other less serious offences.

According to Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), "To say that we are targeting vulnerable people is ridiculous. We are massively expanding the help and support that jobseekers will receive to ensure that they get the right help and support to get into work."

However, the job centre officer points out, "From April, we offer no provision ... nothing, no training course, nothing. The funding ends at the end of March." Andy Robertson, at the Citizens Advice Bureau in South Tyneside, says his casework has more than doubled in the last year. He has also seen the changes affecting many vulnerable clients, such as those with dyslexia or mental health problems.


Editorial comment: As claimed, besides targeting vulnerable people and trapping them into making mistakes so their money can be stopped, on April 4th, the new Work Capability Assessment will be imposed on the 1.5 million people currently on Incapacity Benefit. This test has been shown to be grossly unfair, judging people fit for work who have life-threatening medical conditions, severe learning difficulties or mental health problems. Also jobs are hard to find, with unemployment rising sharply and funds apparently being cut that assist people with training and job-based support.

One lesson to be learned from this and other ‘reforms' being imposed in the name of creating the Coalition Government's "Big Society" is - if you want to be included in that "Society", don't be poor, don't be young and unemployed, don't be a single parent, don't be old, don't fall ill and, most of all, try your very best not to be disabled. You know it makes sense. And if you don't know that now, you soon will.

On the imposition of the Work Capability Assessment see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2011/apr/01/fitness-for-work-test-flaws



Comment added 31/1-14 at 11.22 by: author (dickmagus@gmail.com)

thought crossed my mind today!
the office for disabilities issues,
state on their web-site that,
the social-model,
should be used by "all" departments in UK*
government! that must by definition include,
Atos* as they are a contractor!
as the UNCHRDP* state the social-model should be used to access disability*
the government and Atos must be breaking the rules by using the Medical-model,
to access the WCA!
you can check my fact's! if you Google it all*
my advice> kick-ass*

Comment added 25/10-11 at 22.18 by: author (eomunda@yahoo.co.uk)

A thought, This coalition govt has moved its discussions about new implementations to the lower chambers to be discssed. The lower chambers are in accessible for the vast majority of wheelchair users, therefore disabled protesters will not be able to sit in as they would have if the discussions had been held in the main chambers. Surely then the government can be taken to court a, for discrimnation by not providing access for all and b, for not having open discussions with disabled people as sspecified in the UN bill of rights of rights

Comment added 19/10-11 at 20.02 by: author (Cougar@aol.com)

Income Support:Mental Physical Disabilities.DWP ring Daughter 16 Going on training course you need to claim child tax credits.15 Sept letter income support stopped,IB payment increased.result HC3 health cost Certificate You must now pay for ALL medication/Prescriptions.IB £13.65 Per week over what government say we need to live on.NHS Reform Ring a bell.The government should be ashamed are they NO, do they sleep at night yes morals NO.

Comment added 02/8-11 at 10.05 by: author (mollyizard@aol.com )

The Link in for people with disabilities to go back on their full benefits has been removed with no notice and people still have protection left on their contractual agreement with the dwp. I am a victim of this and I am sure there are many more. Disgraceful, wholly wrong, makes the Big Society a Joke.

Comment added 25/7-11 at 00.42 by: author (Sharon.dunraven@live.co.uk)

Disgraceful, shocking preying on the poor and vulnerable, you should be ashamed.

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