Assessing incapacity

I would think that everyone wants those who cannot work because they are incapacitated to receive financial support. I would think that everyone wants those who can work but who claim incapacity benefit falsely not to receive that support.

However, the previous Labour government tried to get people off  such allowances and my experience as a local MP from surgery is that the ‘re-assessment’ of people claiming has been variable at best.

We need to be sure that there is no perverse incentive to determine that someone can work when they cannot. We also need to be sure that those carrying out the assessment are good at it.

0 thoughts on “Assessing incapacity

  1. This site is now dead lynn has being captured good luck to all benefit cheats and our corrupt MPs it is quite sad that peoples comment have being edited the people in power do not want to feel guilty about benefit claimants killing themselves but it solve the problem my comments will not be posted or will be deleted because the truth hurts long live our CORRUPT MPs

  2. Probably be best if your posts are deleted Snowtintrough.
    I haven’t posted much because there are some very educated people talking on here who can express themselves far better than me. My brain is taking a battering from the painkillers for my arthritis, and the anti depressants. So lets just leave it to those who can think straight.

  3. Jenny,
    I’m sorry but I miised this the first time around.

    ‘There was no other member of the assessment staff available to chaperone my physical examination. The assessor asked if she could call in the receptionist!’

    I can’t believe that they are so badly organised that they have to resort to this. The trouble is that we have no rights anymore and they can get away with applying the lowest possible standards, and by lowest I mean below the lowest level that is acceptable.
    We are being forced to accept the standards that they apply, or being marked as ‘non-compliant’ and therefor automatically disqualified, so I see that you were left with no option other than accepting this.
    What an absolute disgraceful situation this is, but if it’s this way now just wait until the mass migration starts!
    Never mind, at least our MP’s are still claiming their entitlement to £93m/year in expenses.

  4. My comment posted around 2pm yesterday & same comment again around 8pm are still “awaiting moderation.” It contained a lot of info on Prof Mansel Aylward & his connections with UNUM & others.
    Other posts went straight on the blog, so I’m wondering why that particular post, posted twice is being moderated when others weren’t.
    Am I suddenly in a “dangerous persons” category or what?
    The post was not abusive in any way,shape or form.

    What is going on here?

    Jenny, I’ll try to find you email address on the blog as you said it was on here somewhere, then I’ll send you the links & you can send to others if you wish.
    Meanwhile, this site may be of great interest & help to you & others…….If of course my post is allowed!

  5. OK. I’m happy now. I’ve broken my missing post into chunks & voila! They’ve appeared!

  6. Bonica, it was a skype ID, jenny_fletcher, don’t want a ton of spam as a result of publishing email addy, I get enough already!

    Thank you for all the links, it will take a while to work through them and I am very tired, so will leave till tomorrow now.

  7. Why shoul my posts be deleted it is a free world and country and our fore fathers gave their lives so we could say what we want you sound like a NAZI and only want to hear the good comments I have tried suicide 3 times because of the pressure put on me by ATOS and The DWP if you do not like my comments do not read them you sad person

  8. Regards some very educated people are on site and better required to comment than me that is whats wrong ordinary peoples comments are what is needed not only the well edcucated and the rich we need every comment of any one no comment is a no vote come on you uneducated post your comments

  9. Hey Snowtintriough’I ain’t got no education to speak of.No GCSE’s etc.I left school on a Friday and started work on a Monday. But Lynne and her friends want to cast me as a lazy bum.

  10. Same here mal w. From a long, long line of hard working, working class poor (& proud of it) family. Like you, left school at 15 on a Friday, work on Monday.
    At 49, left to care for my severely disabled son alone. No choice on fit for work or not. Who’ll take care of my adult son if not me? No support from SS or anyone else.
    59 now, still going it alone & still proud as hell of my roots, self education, compassion & determination to fight any Govt that targets the sick & disabled. It’s way past time they recognised the value of what we do & who we are & behaved accordingly!
    Their ignorance, their attitude & lack of humanity is atrocious & unwarraned. They should be truly ashamed.
    I’m sick to my bones of wealthy ingrates with no experience of surviving below & on the poverty line judging us from the safe distance of their plush, expenses laden troughs & ivory towers.

    Come live my life Ms Featherstone, Messrs Cameron & Clegg et al. Live on my budget awhile before you pare it away even further. Not for a week like some TV reality crap, for 6months minimum. Live life through mine & my son’s eyes & experience. Try lifting 101/2 stone of dead weight when you’re riddled with Arthritis, aging & deteriorating in health faster than you should with dizzy spells & breathlessnes & afraid to take medication for your ills because you can’t afford the side-effects that will interfere with your duty of care & responsibility to those you love with everything bone in your body.
    Try being afraid of being hospitalised because there’s no-one to take your place & give that loving care in your absence. Worse still, try having an emergency, phoning round to get someone to be with your child for a few hours before you can think of phoning an ambulance to deal with that emergency. Then having to discharge yourself from A&E even though you’ve been told they need to hospitalise you to run tests etc.
    And worst of all, try being my beloved adult child, desperate to live a “normal life” like the majority of his peers but instead you fluctuate between hope & despair for 10yrs because of your equally fluctuating condition that dictates your mood & the quantity & quality of care.
    Feeling always like he’s taking one step forward followed by ten steps backward takes it’s toll on him emotionaly, physically & mentally so that he either wants to die or tries to end his life. Occasionally pleading with me to end it for him.
    I cannot begin to describe my emotions as a mother when your child tries to commit suicide & the fallout from preventing them doing so, let alone explain the feelings when your child begs you to end that precious life for them when they’re too weak physically & the emotional pain is too great for them to attempt it alone.

    Try it for 6 months? I doubt if any of you would last a week. And if you are thinking of Camerons & their son Ivan, I shed tears for their loss, felt their grief because I’ve lost loved ones too, but with utmost respect for their loss they received adequate help & support with care needs & had all the comfort & necessities that money can buy so had no financial stress to contend with inaddition to caring.

    I could go on dear Coalition because there is so much more than you can begin to imagine. Ours is just one partial story among the many who suffer & whose distress & suffering you fully intend to increase with no thought for our futures nor the consequences on our society.
    Your attempts to diminish & tar us as “scroungers” in the eyes of the general public via the media is as despicable & low a blow as can be.
    Your Budget cuts, designed to punish the poor, the disabled, the sick & the elderly & protect the wealthy will go down in history as the precursor to the total breakdown of our society & the widening of the gap between equality & inequality.
    This Coalition will forever bear the mark of shame & it will be well-deserved.
    Those Coalition MP’s that fail to act against it will have to live with their conscience.

    Finally, because I will not post on this abandoned blog again; Do what you will dear Coalition because however much you take from me & my son, even if it costs us our home & our lives.
    As long as I live you will never take away my dignity & who I am nor make me feel worthless or powerless or afraid & I’ll protest your cruel & savage cuts & policies with every breath I can spare between caring for my son.
    I cannot get out there to protest but there are many who can & will & I can & do get online to rally & protest my disgust & abhorrence at your lack of human kindness & understanding.

    Snoutintrough, don’t EVER be ashamed of your abilities & who you are. Don’t let them grind you down! To all posters, take care, be well, be strong, be pro-active as you can! Above all, keep SHINING YOUR LIGHT in the darkness for others to see the way clearly 🙂

  11. Brave post bonica, I really feel for you, not only fighting your own battle for good health but for your son too.

    Even if you don’t post again, I hope you will come back and read, and I desperately hope you will get in touch directly. Skype is so easy, it is like MSN chat but much, much more secure and it has the option of VOIP calls if you have speakers/headphones and mic.

    And for the others, let me say this. It doesn’t matter if your posts here are mis-spelled or the grammar isn’t perfect. You have stories to tell and anger to voice. Sickness is no respecter of birth, income or intelligence. Don’t get frustrated or feel intimidated, just say what you need to – no-one here will judge you on how you do it.

  12. bonica,

    you probably won’t read this but that’s one of the most moving posts that I’ve read. I never know quite what to say at times like this because words seem inadequate, there is no reply that would even come close to changing your situation, though believe me I wish there were. It is more than plain that your story came straight from the heart and I admire you for this and I felt every word and echo every sentiment.
    The Tories have been salivating over their lobsters for 13 years and planning for the day when they could pick up where they left off and give us another kicking. The most disappointing aspect is that they have been aided in this by a party that up until now showed no appetite for the exploitation and manipulation of the weakest and most vulnerable in society. The only consolation is that they always revert to type and it won’t be too long before greed gets the better of them, and personally speaking I hope that they take one or more of the Libdems with them for a long stretch inside.
    ‘Oh yes’ they say ‘but it was started by the Labour party’. Yes, but it could have been stopped by the coalition, but not only that but they now plan to attack the disabled. How much lower can they get?

  13. BBC Radio 4 You and Yours ran a very relevant item today, but why didn’t we hear about it here first – from Lynne Featherstone herself. The full details are supposed to have been posted on the programme website but they aren’t there yet.

    The Government – that is the ConDems coalition not the previous admin. – have appointed an allegedly independent advisor to report on whether Work Capability Assessments are fair or not. Y&Y did question whether a Gov. appointee could be totally independent but he said he hoped that he could be objective.

    However, how come this has all been kept under wraps? The advisor, whose name is Morrison was apparently only confirmed in his post in July – was that before or after the Parliamentary recess started?

    I think a little trawl through Hansard is called for.

    hopefully the details will be available on the BBC website later. I have given them a rocket for not putting it there in advance of the programme or perhaps I would not be the only one who knew. It was trailed on Radio 4 earlier this morning. Here is the You and Yours URL.

    This report (which will be done annually over the next 4 years) might be a great chance for more people like ourselves to be heard, or it may simply be window dressing – let’s hope for the best.

    Apparently one of the advisor’s advisors is the charity Mind – so that is one bright spot. There may be something on their website too – I’ll check.

  14. I am a carer. I’ve been following this discussion for a while. I gave up a well paid job, my social life and all my dreams to become a carer: excluded and invisible. I would like to work and have a normal life, go out in the evenings, go on holidays.
    I have not enjoyed this role at all, and sometimes I wish I had walked away, but what is making it so much worse is to be labelled a scrounger, a bad person, by the media and politicians on a daily basis. I am fed up with people talking and judging without knowing what life is really like for us. I am not asking for much but please don’t treat us like criminals who need to be punished.
    Unfortunately as I look after someone who is ill, I have not been able to find an employer who is happy if I go to work only on the good days (and I only know the same morning if it is a good day or not) and happy if I have to go home immediately when there is a problem at home. Part time work on fixed days is not a solution for me.
    Like many of you I’m really down and stressed at the moment.

  15. @Invisible,

    I was dreading a Tory victory in the last election primarily because of the reasons you describe. I was however given a little optimism by the formation of the coalition, thinking (quite wrongly as it turns out) that their venom would be tempered by the voice of reason, the Libdem inclusion.
    My hope has now evaporated as they have been hypnotised and now only fool themselves as they failed to see the sleight of hand that has excluded them from real policy decisions. They meekly allow themselves to be towed along in the slipstream of their more powerfull band of brothers, barely daring to offer a word of resistance but all the while muttering under their breaths. I don’t think that it will be long before they lose their nerve though as they sink lower and lower in the polls. Just watch as the second recession starts to bite and the reality of what they’ve ‘accomplished’ splits them apart.
    Don’t feel guilty because you are doing what your conscience believes is right, it’s called compassion and responsibilty and is a rare trait in these morally bankrupt times. Keep your head held high and feel proud of yourself for what you are doing, the real scroungers are those who choose to persecute us while they turn a blind eye to the real fraud.

  16. You are perfectly right Oldtimer. I’ve never trusted the Tories and I am extremely disappointed by the Libdems too. The problem is that we are living in a society that only values people if they produce and consume. If you don’t, you are seen by many as a waste of space and a scrounger. Politicians should try to include people but what we have seen so far are Cameron’s attempts to denigrate a large number of citizens who as a strange coincidence are the poorest and most vulnerable people. He has chosen to only show a side of his ‘broken Britain’, he is not talking about the 1 in 8 adults who care for someone else for free or very little money, the many sick and disabled people who although are not able or cannot find paid work, do useful unpaid work and the list, as you know, is long. He also doesn’t mention the fact that most employers are not prepared to face the extra costs and to allow flexibility when employing the sick, the disabled, the carers or the single parents. While tax avoidance, tax evasions, fat cats, bankers’ bonuses and so on are never mentioned even if they are probably the part of Britain which is most broken. So I find it very hard not to be very angry, stressed out and worried for our future.

  17. Because this was posted a while back – did not see more recent comments. First – Jenny – if you are my constituent then please get in touch and say that I asked to see this email personally. If you are not my constituent – then if you need help you have to go through your own MP. The issue overall is as in my original post.

    On the site dissappearing – my site was suspended by the host without notice. Have now moved my site completely. So – no conspiracy – but sorry did not get to explain sooner. L

  18. Lynne – I’m not your constituent, my MP is totally useless (David Willetts). He’s one of Duncan Smith’s clique that believe that ANYONE on benefits is a scrounger no matter how ill they are. There is a ground-in widely held misconception that work cures depression and that is why the ESA application is so short on questions that address that kind of condition. MY Community Psychiatric Nurse and consultant were shocked. They hadn’t seen an ESA form or an ATOS ‘medical report’ till I showed them mine.

    You’ll have had a copy of my email a couple of months ago now. The wet response I got back from Duncan Smith was little more than a re-statement of how ATOS/ESA should be working – after saying emphatically that it WASN’T working.

    Since then a lot has happened. I went for another ATOS assessment, got another ‘fail’ – got the medical report and scarecely recognised it as mine. Assessor failed to transfer over 50% of info from my ESA50 form, contradicted herself and made inappropriate judgements on points that were neither discussed or subject to examination during the assessment.

    My consultant psychatrist says in evidence letter for appeal – not fit to work – my GP says not fit to work. Let’s see how DWP manage to argue with that. To add insult to injury they stopped my benefit altogether, forcing me to go and get a crisis loan. Just think about the extra stress and anxiety worrying about not having any money to live on and having to beg Social Fund – who were very unpleasant on first contact. Refused even to give me basic info of how to apply etc.

    Have also read widely about ATOS. Last Select Committee’s report on Benefits had vast amount of evidence showing ATOS are not performing to acceptable standard yet Committee made few recommendations that focus should be on ensuring they meet contract conditions. Very wishy-washy.

    Have yet to read Mr Morrison’s report on the WCA – bedtime reading tonight. Lynne PLEASE don’t just give up on this issue. Keep snapping at the heels of Duncan Smith and his vindictive crew and there may yet be improvements. Hope so for the sake of all who have posted here. Thanks for your support.

  19. Jenny,
    really sorry to hear of your position but hope that you remain positive.
    I have just had it confirmed after filling in my IB50 and returning it on 20th July that (for the moment) I will be keeping my incapacity benefit. I have had to make a call to the DWP to get their decision as I have not had a letter of confirmation of this, and wonder why I was not part of the changeover to ESA as it is so close to the deadline. So, in the not too distant future I too will undoubtedly be in a similar position to yourself as the system has been specifically designed to fail as many people as possible, regardless of the empty rhetoric spouted by the coalition about supporting the most vulnerable in society.
    I am angry and confused at the moment after hearing that 3.6 million disabled people will be found to be fit for work in order to save £9 billion to appease Mr Murdoch who, according to ‘Question time’, the government are afraid to oppose. The upshot of this is that we are all subject to his influence over policy decisions which is a most unhealthy situation. He has continuously waged a psychological war against the sick and disabled by applying his is lowest common denominator, deliberately distorted reporting methods to vilify the less fortunate. It is expected that half of the 3.6 million disabled people will fall at the transfer stage from IB to ESA and the rest when DLA is reassessed.
    It is obvious that some form of money-saving pre-calculation has been done and a predetermined number are being targetted irrespective of capability or consequences.
    Totally, totally disgusting.

  20. We’d better go looking for miracle cures, people. According to George O, people are only allowed to be ill for a year. If they’re still ill after that, well, the Tories reckon shop doorways are so much more comfortable these days (if Selfridges is anything to go by), and those kind supermarkets throw away so much food that there’s plenty for the sick and disabled to scavenge for, isn’t there? After all, we need all that money so that Lord Ashcroft can continue to avoid paying any tax here.

  21. Twitter: faisalislam: 1 million currently registered as disabled or unhealthy will have an average of £2,000 ESA each removed by 2014/15 #sr10

  22. i am disabled 43 year old man living in residental care , i have just had my mobility componant removed from me in the spending review thankyou mr osbourne that means i will never be able to go on day trips away from the home , never be able to afford to socialise in the local community again as i wont be able to afford the transport, i have lost just under £200 per month leaving me with under £20 WEEK thanks mr osbourne for ruining my social life, where is the fairness in that ?

  23. QUOTE – The latest statistics show that between October 2008 and November 2009, 39 per cent of claimants were found to be fit for work and 37 per cent more closed their case before the assessment was complete. UNQUOTE

    Does anyone know how many of that 37 per cent committed suicide ?

    I am very thankful that my Income Support was stopped some years ago. That has taught me how to live on practically nothing. So living on nothing will be that bit easier. I have already cancelled newspapers, Sky, stopped playing the lottery, my car will now be going, just cancelled the service I had arranged. I reckon that we can live off my wife’s £30 a week wages. As long as we stay in bed all day and don’t eat. Will just pay the council tax and water rates.

    Good luck everyone. We are facing an enemy who will show us no mercy.
    Don’t forget that the new Apprentice jobs they are creating will only pay around £2.50 per hour, less than half the slave wage.


    Bonica if you come this way again please come to the carerwatch website. We are all carers there and every one will understand what you are saying.

    We are fighting for no conditionality under ESA for people with enduring disability. In a humane society you wouldn’t think you would even have to point out how cruel this is.