The DWP wants to start spying on disabled children in case they’re ‘benefit cheats’ | The Canary

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said that it’s looking to extend which benefits it routinely investigates for fraud. And now, it wants to include disabled children and pensioners in the dragnet. One campaign group called it the “hostile environment” getting “even more hostile”.

The DWP: big brother is watching you

On Monday 23 July, the DWP launched a consultation into the statistics it produces for benefit fraud and error. Among other things, the consultation will look at which types of benefits the department will target.

Currently, the DWP ‘measures‘ six benefits:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Pension Credit.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Universal Credit.
  • Personal Independence Payment.

By ‘measuring’, the DWP means it will:

visit or phone claimants to check their current circumstances. We see if they match what we have recorded on our systems, and whether they’re getting the right amount of benefit based on those current circumstances.

But now, it wants to extend the scope of what benefits it ‘measures’; or ‘spies on’ if you prefer.

If you tolerate this…

It’s consulting on whether to include:

  • Attendance Allowance.
  • Carer’s Allowance.
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children or pensioners.

Attendance Allowance is support for disabled pensioners. Meanwhile, the DWP pays DLA to a disabled child who has:

difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability.


Source: The DWP wants to start spying on disabled children in case they’re ‘benefit cheats’ | The Canary

Plans to cut benefit fraud must be transparent and quick says Public Accounts Committee : Express.

While I agree that benefit fraud needs to be stopped, as 1p of fraud is 1p too much, is benefit fraud as excessive as the Government and especially the media lead us to believe. For what you have to bear in mind benfit fraus is newsworthy, while non-benefit fraud is not.

Also while creating measures to combat the fraud that there is, this should in no way affect genuine claimants of benefits. The scandals of the way the current administers, who are working on behalf of the DWP, being Maximus, Atos, Capita and anyothers are dealing with genuine claimants is wholely not acceptable and should be classed as a form of ‘hate crime’ and the perpretors should be prosecuted.

FIDDLE CLASS White collar workers in £500m benefit fraud as ‘posh crooks’ rip off taxpayers with bogus claims : Sun.

People who defraud the benefit system are despicable, for they are not only committing a criminal act, but they are also diverting funds from those who a truely disabled. While benefit cheats are in the minority of those who claim benefit, every time a benefit cheat is exposed, it casts a slur on all who claim benefits and this should not be the case. The Government and the media should come clean and only demonise the cheats, not all benefit claimants.

British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows

Original post from The Independent


 Research shows public opinion often deviates from facts on key social issues including crime, benefit fraud and immigration

A new survey for the Royal Statistical Society and King’s College London shows public opinion is repeatedly off the mark on issues including crime, benefit fraud and immigration.

The research, carried out by Ipsos Mori from a phone survey of 1,015 people aged 16 to 75, lists ten misconceptions held by the British public. Among the biggest misconceptions are:

– Benefit fraud: the public think that £24 of every £100 of benefits is fraudulently claimed. Official estimates are that just 70 pence in every £100 is fraudulent – so the public conception is out by a factor of 34.

– Immigration: some 31 per cent of the population is thought to consist of recent immigrants, when the figure is actually 13 per cent. Even including illegal immigrants, the figure is only about 15 per cent. On the issue of ethnicity, black and Asian people are thought to make up 30 per cent of the population, when the figure is closer to 11 per cent.

–  Crime: some 58 per cent of people do not believe crime is falling, when the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that incidents of crime were 19 per cent lower in 2012 than in 2006/07 and 53 per cent lower than in 1995. Some 51 per cent think violent crime is rising, when it has fallen from almost 2.5 million incidents in 2006/07 to under 2 million in 2012.

– Teen pregnancy is thought to be 25 times higher than the official estimates: 15 per cent of of girls under 16 are thought to become pregnant every year, when official figures say the amount is closer to 0.6 per cent.

Among the other surprising figures are that 26 per cent of people think foreign aid is in the top three items the Government spends money on (it actually makes up just 1.1 per cent of expenditure), and that 29 per cent of people think more is spent on Jobseekers’ Allowance than pensions.

In fact we spend 15 times more on pensions – £4.9 billion on JSA vs £74.2 billion on pensions.

Hetan Shah, executive director of the Royal Statistical Society, said: “Our data poses real challenges for policymakers. How can you develop good policy when public perceptions can be so out of kilter with the evidence?

“We need to see three things happen. First, politicians need to be better at talking about the real state of affairs of the country, rather than spinning the numbers. Secondly, the media has to try and genuinely illuminate issues, rather than use statistics to sensationalise.

“And finally we need better teaching of statistical literacy in schools, so that people get more comfortable in understanding evidence.”

Bobby Duffy, the managing director of Ipsos Mori Social Research Institute, said: “A lack of trust in government information is also very evident in other questions in the survey – so ‘myth-busting’ is likely to prove a challenge on many of these issues.  But it is still useful to understand where people get their facts most wrong.”  ……….’

Golfer Cheats £26K from DWP but gets 6 Months Jail

These fraudulent benefit claimants create a measure of distrust for the genuine benefit claimants, for some people will believe if one claim is fraudulent then most others will be so. This is especially so if the propaganda being released from some Government sources and then repeated on the media is believed by some in the UK.

Focus on Disability Blog

Victoria Austin reports in the Daily Star, today, that a man who pocketed £26,000 in disability benefits while winning golf tournaments has been jailed for six months.

Alan Bannister exaggerated his arthritis for eight years and was given top-rate payouts reserved for people unable to walk, a court heard.

Disabled GolferThe former mechanical engineer, 56, claimed he could not hold a saucepan or peel potatoes, and said it took him 15 minutes to walk 50 metres. But secret footage was taken of Bannister lifting a bag of clubs before launching a 240-yard drive from the first tee and approaching the 18th hole four hours later.

Bannister, of Barry, was found guilty of obtaining money transfers by deception at Cardiff Crown Court.

Jailing Bannister yesterday, Recorder David Miller described his actions as a “blatant” fraud.

“Mr Bannister has justifiably been driven into the ‘rough'”

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The Other Care Crisis – 1000’s struggling to eat, wash or leave their own homes

The Other Care Crisis

The report The Other Care Crisis is published by Scope, Mencap, The National Autistic Society, Sense and Leonard Cheshire Disability. The leading disability charities are concerned that the debate about social care reform has focused on the needs of an ageing population and sidelined the thousands of disabled people under the age of 65 who rely on care in everyday life.

All persons should be able to expect a reasonable standard of living and a social life, while for most of us, this will be reliant on ourselves to fund all of this by gaining employment and then organising our spending budget accordingly.

But there are persons within all communities for whom this is impossible or extremely difficult. Here I am referring to persons with a disability for whom the prospects of employment are not possible, or can only be gained by some considerable effort.  For many persons, their only or main knowledge or involvement with people with a disability, will be academics who are disabled like Stephen Hawkins or the athletes who are disabled like in the Para-Olympics.

But, I am afraid these people are in the minority, there are many disabled persons for whom, none of the above is possible, even some basic employment may not be possible.  The only income these people with disabilities will have, come from State Benefits, provided they are lucky to live in a country which provides these benefits. I say lucky and perhaps, this is not the correct word, because no matter how it is reported in local and national media regarding benefit fraud, State Disability Benefits are not easy to obtain, especially in the current financial climate. Please also bear in mind that these benefits are only to provide a reasonable standard of living, what ever reasonable means. Is reasonable another way of saying standard or average?

The report mentioned above ‘The Other Care Crisis’ is focused on the situation in the UK, where the provision of these benefits are from Central Government agencies, mainly connected to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The current benefits are:

Carers and disability benefits

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults – what you’ll get, eligibility, applying, Personal Independence Payment

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) rates

    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is paid at different rates depending on how your disability affects you

  • Carer’s Allowance

    Carer’s Allowance is money to help you look after someone who needs to be cared for – eligibility, apply, claim for DS700

  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

    Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) money if you can’t work because of illness or disability – rates, eligibility, apply, assessment

  • Access to Work

    Access to Work is money to help you do your job if you have a disability or health condition – eligibility, how to apply

  • Attendance Allowance

    Attendance Allowance helps pay for your personal care if you’re older or disabled – rates, eligibility, apply, claim form AA1A

  • Become an appointee for someone claiming benefits

    Apply to become an appointee for someone claiming benefits – how to apply, stop being an appointee

But DLA is for 16-64 years olds, to be replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from April 2013 for new claimants, with existing DLA claimants being contacted over the next 2-3 years.

To some extent, PIP is being introduced to ensure only genuine claimants will be entitled to it, but at the same time the eligibility criteria is being made more restrictive. So this will mean some genuine claimants receiving DLA, will not get PIP or their rate will be reduced.

But as stated above, if your only income is State Benefits and these are cut, this is bound to affect your standard of living. If, this was only reasonable to start with, then what will it be called. If reasonable is standard or average, then is this bringing the funding down to provide a sub-standard of living or below average?

If you feel this is unreasonable you can contact your MP by following the link

PIP Emergency – Act Now!.

In addition to the State Benefits, a person with a disability may be entitled or may be in receipt of a care package from their Local Authority from funding provided by Central Government. This will be in the form of Direct Payments from a Personal Individualised Budget. An individual will be expected to make a contribution from their own income towards their budget. These Direct Payments are not additional general income, but are there to pay for the costs of care, which have been shown to be required from the Assessment of Need and the resulting Support Plan. The Assessment of Need will be undertaken by an assigned  Social Worker and the Support Plan from information in the Assessment will be prepared by either the assigned Social Worker or an assigned Support Planner. The Support Planner could be either employed by the Local Authority or from an independent organisation.

But due to the current financial crisis in the World and especially the UK, all Local Authorities have been directed by Central Government to make savings from their spending. This is not only for this year, but from the last few years and also for some years to come. All persons in receipt of a service from a Local Authority are effected, not only those receiving benefits. So, not only could your sole income of State Benefits be cut, but Local Authorities will also be tightening their own eligibility criteria for entitlement to Direct Payments. This will further affect your standard of living.

Should this essential spending, even be subject to cuts?