Woman with brain condition slams ‘demoralising’ disability benefit system

This is a continuing trend and is anyone at the DWP listening as all they do is quote the statistics re claims submitted, those approved, those declined and those successful at appeal.

Unfortunately you can use statistics to prove virtually anything that you wish to and Government departments at Ace in this, if nothing else.

What they should be looking at is the standard of those claims that are declined to be then approved on appeal, to ensure whatever needs to be learned to achieve an even greater success rate of correctly dealing with claims instead of just juggling figures.

This would not only save money, as every case going to appeal costs more then a correctly assessed original claim. Is it that they are so focused on declining claims that accuracy takes a backseat and in doing so more money is required to the assessing process than should be if the claim had originally been assessed correctly.

This, if looked at logically, is a nonsensical approach and is purely down to shortsightedness and a refusal to learn from mistakes.

Not only is it costing more money within the finality of the process, but even more importantly is the distress and harm it is causing for the respected claimants, who in the longer term are causing more resources to be required within, not only with Social Care, but also the the health services to manage the health conditions that theses assessment processes are causing the respected claimants to suffer from.

For all concerned why can they not ensure that they get it right the first time.

Maybe, as many feel, the DWP just do not care how much suffering they are responsible for.

Chris Smith: People Want the Advertising Standards Authority to Act on Political Claims

I agree with most of this post, however, in my 60 odd years of life on this earth I have found that there are not many politicians in who you can believe in, be they red, blue, green, purple, orange, yellow and others. However, there are some in which there is some form of belief and others practically none. They all promise the earth and unfound riches in their manifestos and only when they assume power can the truths be revealed.

You cast your vote and hope for the best.

Regarding Brexit nothing has come forth as we have not Brexited and will not be doing so until March 2019 or may be not, depending on whether there will be a transition deal or not.

Everything is so up in the air and no one on either side in the UK or Europe can be sure of the final outcome. We can all speculate on what the outcome or outcomes will or can be and who will be in power if and when we do or not do Brexit.

That length of string is getting longer or is it shorter, day by day.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

This is another fascinating little video from RT’s Going Underground. Host Afshin Rattansi talks to the former cabinet minister under Blair, Chris Smith, above his decision to oppose the Invasion of Iraq, his work in the Advertising Standards Authority, and Brexit.

Smith was Blair’s Culture Secretary, and the author of a book, Creative Britain. The cover showed him wielding a professional movie/TV camera. He states he opposed the Iraq invasion because it was ‘obviously the wrong the policy’. He also states that during his time with the Advertising Standards Authority, people wrote in asking them if they could possibly act against the misleading political advertising in elections. Smith states that this is sadly impossible. Their constitution limits them to commercial advertising only, and they have no power to prosecute or punishment politicians that lie.

On the subject of Brexit, he and Rattansi clearly hold different views. Smith appears…

View original post 947 more words

Half of pupils expelled from school ‘mentally ill’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Half of pupils expelled from England’s schools have a mental health issue, according to analysis of official data. The Institute of Public Policy Research suggests if excluded students with undiagnosed problems were included, the rate would be much higher. This figure compares with one in 50 pupils in the wider population who have a mental health condition. The government said it would be publishing plans to improve mental health services later in the year. ‘Thrown out’ The research comes as the number of fixed term and permanent exclusions is rising. Figures just published show that last year, some 6,685 pupils were excluded permanently from state primary, secondary and special schools. Some 35 pupils were excluded every day in 2015-16 – five more daily than in the previous year. Eight out of 10 permanent exclusions happen in secondary schools. Here, the rate of permanent exclusions has increased from 0.15% in 2014-15 to 0.17% in 2015-16 – equivalent to 17 pupils per 10,000. Overall,

Source: Half of pupils expelled from school ‘mentally ill’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Hard Evidence: has the coalition made pensioners better off?

Original post from The Conversation


Pull the other one. Carl Court/PA Wire

As a reader might infer from my photograph, I am a pensioner. I mention this with the purpose of full disclosure, because I shall discuss how the likes of me have fared compared to all of you out there who must work for a living.

We find in both media and research reports many reasons why those who live to pension-receiving age represent a serious burden to society in the UK and elsewhere. Prominent among these reasons are the proclivity of the elderly to use the NHS more (I plead guilty) and the indisputable fact that the retired seem content not to engage in paid work (guilty again).

To these transgressions has been added an additional charged – the alarming growth of “intergenerational wealth inequality”, according to the FT. The Conservatives have also been accused of wooing older voters with a range of benefits denied to the hard working, doing-the-right-thing households.

The poor suffer more

Faced with these allegations, a look at the numbers is warranted. The Office for National Statistics provides quite detailed information on the income of the taxpayer categories “non-retired” and “retired”. It is unfortunate that the latest statistics are two years old, referring to tax year 2012-2013. Nonetheless, this allows a comparison of the pre-coalition result to outcomes three years later.

One of the most important aspects of earnings and pensions is their unequal distribution. The chart below demonstrates the pattern of inequality, reporting the percentage change in “final income” for those retired (blue) and not retired (red), between 2009-2010 and 2012-2013, adjusted for inflation.

“Final income” comes as close as statistics can to measuring material welfare. It includes all income payments, plus cash benefits, minus income tax, minus indirect taxes, and finally, plus all benefits in kind.

Inflation adjusted percentage change in real final income by decile. The retired (blue) and not retired (red), tax years 2009-10 to 2012-13. John Weeks|Data: Office for National Statistics, CC BY
Click to enlarge

Once we wade through all the categories and numbers, we discover that the average non-retired earner suffered a decline in final income of 8%, while the pensioner almost broke even at -0.7%. For those not retired the losses were quite similar across the board. For example, the poorest 10% of earners suffered a 10% decline, the same as for the seventh worst off, with the fifth worst off suffering a 13% decline. The smallest decline occurred for the top earners – continuing the much noted tendency towards greater inequality over the last three decades.

For the retired the story is quite different. The poorest 40% of pensioners endured a real income contraction of more than 8%. Every other earning category enjoyed an increase with the exception of a tiny decline of 0.1% in the eighth.

A clear message comes from statistics for retired and not retired households – gains and losses have a distributional dimension. Declines were much the same for the employed. In contrast, the bottom 40% of pensioners suffered serious decline, while the top 60% did not.

Private v state pensions

A second chart reiterates the importance of the distribution of pension income. It shows the inflation adjusted change in wages and salaries for the non-retired, private pensions and the state pension over the same years. The wages and salaries of non-retired households declined for the poorest 40% at about the average for all earners.

The private pension story proves quite different. The average private pension rose by inflation adjusted 12%, while the outcome for the bottom 40% was a decline of 1.3%. The state pension increased by almost 4% for the poorest 40% – by far their main source of income – and even this was less than the overall increase (5.3%). Though all state pensioners receive the same cost of living increase, earlier retirement by the more unemployment-prone explains the smaller gain for the poorest 40%.

Inflation adjusted percentage change in wages and salaries, and pension income, average and for the bottom 40%, tax years 2009-10 to 2012-13. John Weeks | Data: Office for National Statistics, CC BY
Click to enlarge

The statistics convey a lesson in caution about generalisations. Yes, on average pension incomes rose more (or fell less) than non-pension incomes under the coalition government through the tax year 2012-2013. But differences over the income distribution are dramatic – those at the top gained and those at the bottom lost out.

David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne are not attempting to “woo older voters”. Among the retired they woo the same constituency they woo in the country as a whole – the rich.  ……..’

Disability and Social Security

Reblogged from Beyond Disability


• Disabled people are significantly more likely to be victims of crime than non-disabled people. This gap is largest among 16-34 year-olds, where 39% of disabled people reported being victims of crime, compared to 28% of non-disabled people.
• It is estimated there are 62,000 disability motivated hate crimes each year on average.
• In 2013-14, there were 1,985 disability hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales, an 8% increase from 2012/13.
• 40% of disability hate crimes involved violence against the person; of these, 31% involved injury.

Sitting Villeyball
Cerebral Palsy
Disability and Leadership
• 27% of disability hate crimes involved public order offences, 13% involved criminal damage and arson, the remaining 20% involved crimes such as theft, burglary and sexual offences.
• More than 80% of 16 year olds with a statement of Special Educational Needs or disability have reported being bullied, compared to less than two thirds of non-disabled young people.
• 56% of disabled people said they had experienced hostility, aggression or violence from a stranger because of their condition or impairment.

• Disabled people are less likely than non-disabled people to think the criminal justice system is fair, 57% as opposed to 63%.
• A similar pattern is observed in attitudes of disabled and non-disabled people to whether the criminal justice system is effective, 38% compared to 44%.
• More than 20% of disabled people have experienced harassment in public because of their impairment.
• Harassment is the most common crime experienced by disabled people. Verbal abuse outside homes and repeat burglaries are common experiences.
• 9 out of 10 people with a learning disability have been a victim of hate crime and bullying.
• People with mental ill health are more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators, and the costs to the criminal justice system are significant.
• Disabled people are significantly more likely to experience unfair treatment at work than non-disabled people (19% compared with 13%).
Courtesy of Papworth………’

Mother’s Day: How does your family size compare?

In the UK it is Mothers Day on Sunday 15 March 2015.

Are you wishing to surprise your mother with a present, by purchasing through The Giving Machine you can also make a donation to your favourite charity or charities, without any cost to yourselves. You can both remember and acknowledge your mother and your favourite charities in one action. My own favourite charity is Sheffield Mencap & Gateway and I donate to them, when shopping on the internet, by using The Giving Machine, it is so easy.

Original postfrom Office of National Statistics*

‘..Mother’s Day has been celebrated in England and Wales since the 16th century. Over time, family sizes have decreased and women are having fewer children by the age of 30 compared to previous generations.

Fast forwarding to the 20th century, the average family size for women born in 1941 – for example – was 2.34 children per mother. In contrast, their daughters’ generation – represented by women born in 1968 – had on average 1.92 children per mother. Meanwhile, women born in 1983 had fewer children on average (1.02) by their 30th birthday than women born in 1968 – who had 1.15 children by the same age.

Use our calculator below to enter both your year of birth and your mother’s year of birth – or any other generation(s) you like. How do the different childbearing patterns compare?………………..’


You can also view other statistics, being Economy, Employment and Labour Market and many more.


*Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

26 shocking Disability statistics from UK

Reblogged from Beyond Disability

1. There are over 12 million disabled people in the UK. Almost 1 in 5 people (19%) in the UK have a disability; this figure has remained relatively constant over time (12.2 million in 2012/13)

2. The prevalence of disability rises with age: in 2012/13, 7% of children were disabled (0.9 million), compared to 16% of adults of working age (6.1 million), and 43% of adults over state pension age (5.1 million). There are more disabled women than men in the UK.
3. In 2012/13, the most common impairments that disabled people had were: mobility (57%), stamina/breathing/fatigue (38%), dexterity (28%) and mental health (16%).
4. The distribution of disabled people is fairly evenly spread across the UK. The North East, Wales, the North West and East Midlands have the highest rates of disability, while London, the South East and the East of England have the lowest.

  1. People from white ethnic groups are almost twice as likely as those from non-white ethnic groups to have a limiting long-standing illness or disability (20% compared with 11%).
  2. Disabled people are far less likely to be in employment. In March 2013, the UK employment rate among working age disabled people was 49% (4.1 million), compared to 81.8% of non-disabled people.
  3. 44.3% of working age disabled people are economically inactive. This figure is nearly 4 times higher than for non-disabled people (11.5 %).
  4. The 2 most commonly stated enablers for employment among adults with impairments are modified hours or days or reduced work hours and tax credits.
  5. The 2 most common barriers to work among adults with impairments are a lack of job opportunities (43%) and difficulty with transport (29%).
  6. Disabled adults • Disabled adults are nearly 3 times as likely as non-disabled adults to have no formal
    qualifications, 30% and 11% respectively.
  7. The 2 main barriers to educational opportunities for disabled adults are finance (15%) and a health condition, illness or impairment (9%).
  8. 19% of households that include a disabled person live in relative income poverty (below 60% of median income), compared to 14% of households without a disabled person.
  9. The gap of people in absolute low income between families where at least 1 member is disabled and those where no one is disabled has increased over the last few years.
  10. The largest gap is among working-age adults in families with at least 1 disabled person (22% compared to 12%).
  11. The high level of unemployment is the primary reason why so many disabled people are in low income households.
  12. Disabled people pay on average £550 per month on extra costs related to their disability. As a result of these extra costs, disabled people are twice as likely to have unsecured debt totaling more than half of their household income.
  1. Disabled men experience a pay gap of 11% compared with non-disabled men, while the gap between disabled women and non-disabled women is double this at 22%.
  2. Disabled people experience much lower economic living standards than their peers.
  3. Disabled people face a disproportionate likelihood of living in a deprived area, and are more likely than non-disabled people to live in poor housing.
    20.There is a shortage of housing that is specifically designed to meet disabled people’s needs.
  4. The majority of homes in England (84%) do not allow someone using a wheelchair to get to and through the front door without difficulty.
  5. Transport is the largest concern for disabled people in their local area. Pavement/road maintenance, access, and frequency of public transport are the biggest issues.
  6. It is estimated there are 62,000 disability motivated hate crimes each year on average.
  7. The annual cost of bringing up a disabled child is 3 times greater than that of bringing up a non-disabled child.
  8. 40% of disabled children in the UK live in poverty. This accounts for around 320,000 disabled children and almost a third of those are classified as living in ‘severe poverty’.
  9. Children in families containing 1 or more disabled persons are twice as likely to live in households with combined low income and material deprivation as those in families with no disabled persons (22% compared to 10%).
    Memory loss
    Down Syndrome
    Inspiring stories on Disabilities
    Courtesy of Papworthtrust

13 year old children today, are the media right or wrong?

Today’s 13-year-olds are not as bad as we’re led to believe from The Conversation.

An extract ‘In 1982 I was toying with the idea of a career in teaching. That year a controversial film, Made in Britain, starring Tim Roth was released and I almost didn’t become a teacher. The film’s central character, Trevor was a dysfunctional, violent, foul-mouthed youth – everything society hates and fears. My natural fear was how would I, as a young teacher, cope with a classroom full of such kids? Of course the film is fictional. It portrayed the 1980s accurately – but did it portray Britain’s youth accurately?

With the way some of the media represents young people, you may be forgiven for thinking that Roth’s character is alive and well and infesting our streets and schools. Different newspapers have their favourite terms for teenagers: the Daily Mail likes “yobs”, while the Daily Express goes with “feral kids”.  ……….’

Within the above is the following report

Longitudinal study of young people in England* from the Department of Education

An extract from ‘ ………The analysis presented in this report shows that 13 year olds and their parents are, on the whole, positive about their school, home and personal lives. They appear more likely to make responsible choices than ten years ago – the findings produced in this report are in line with other research suggesting this is a sober, responsible generation of young
people. ……’

So just what is the truth? Do the media just highlight a minority group and then by either design or not imply this is in fact the majority. Is this just for the media of today or could it also be for yesteryear? For, is it not true that there as and may always will be a minority group of individuals who wish to rebel against the Values of Society and will these persons be the ones who the media wish to highlight. For in most cases what makes ‘headlines’ is it tragedies and bad events or good events?

The same can be said of the media coverage of persons on benefits, do they not publish accounts after accounts of persons claiming benefits for which they are not deemed to be entitled or misuse the benefits they receive. This then provides, to the population at large, a distorted belief of persons who claim benefits. There may be many more instances of how the media may distort information. Should the media not provide a balance in their reporting? It may be that you need to view the political leanings of each publication and should this be made clear within each media.

But in any context you will be studying statistics and can these statistics always be believed. Do we really know how the information as been obtained, is it from actual happenings, or is it from what has been said by particular persons. If it is the former are all happenings being included and if the latter, do we know what is being said is the truth. Are the statistics representative and how many persons have been included in the research. In the former have all areas of the country been included and all demographic persons.

So just what can we believe? Or do we just form our own opinions from information gleaned from a variety of sources, whether they be correct or not.

So are the media right or wrong, but this is just your own opinion as to what it is. But as it is an opinion, others may not agree, but we all do have a right to our own opinions.

* Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.