Malingering, illness deception, and disability benefit reforms | Ekklesia

Bernadette Meaden, over on Ekklesia, has produced a useful article on the way successive governments have manipulated criteria for receiving incapacity/disability benefits to make it easier to withhold payment.

None of the information is new, but the reference to Steve Griffiths’ paper for Compass, Dark Times For Those Who Cannot Work : No Competence, No Compassion, in Incapacity Benefits Reform’, is useful.

If the DWP simply looked at evidence from the NHS and elsewhere, they would be far less suspicious about the numbers of incapacity benefit claimants. Whilst on average people are living longer, health inequality means that poor people have a much shorter healthy life expectancy, and many become unable to work long before retirement age. Medical advances mean that people survive accidents and illnesses that in the past would have killed them, but they may not be able to work.The NHS could readily supply information on these issues, but as Griffiths explains, “The connection seems never to have been made between two major Government workstreams serving the same people. People on Incapacity Benefit die early, that is acknowledged by Government. But it is as if in benefit terms, they were just expected to drop off their perches rather than suffer chronic illness and be the beneficiaries of a progressively vanishing ‘security for those who cannot work.”

Because the DWP ignored such evidence and pursued its own agenda, Griffiths says, “The health needs of people who are the subject of huge investment by the Department of Health have been treated counterproductively as invisible, or worse, as malingering, by the DWP and successive Work and Pensions ministers driven by a compulsion to judge and to privatise.” He sees this as “a failure of compassion, unacknowledged incompetence and injustice on a massive scale: a social policy tragedy.”

ministers driven by a compulsion to judge and to privatise.” He sees this as “a failure of compassion, unacknowledged incompetence and injustice on a massive scale: a social policy tragedy.”

Source: Malingering, illness deception, and disability benefit reforms | Ekklesia

7 thoughts on “Malingering, illness deception, and disability benefit reforms | Ekklesia

  1. Steve Grant

    As a carer for my wife for nearly 18 years I have seen the “dark” side of the DWP and it’s bitter employees chosen for their vindictive nature.Without my tenacity my wife would have long since been dead denied of her benefits by a so called “caring” society..

  2. concernedkev

    http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatoscontract.html
    This link has to have been one of the best I have used as a reference over the years in supporting Mrs K . Somewhere in it is the evidence of meetings with senior officials in Health and Welfare and insurance companies.
    The essence of the early formation of ideas around disability and welfare is pushing the notion that the sick are in collusion with their Doctors to maintain their sick status. Politicians of all parties have been persuaded of this ridiculous notion some, like the present incumbents know full well this is not true but they are not interested in the truth just the destruction of OUR welfare services.
    What is worse is the candidates in the Labour leadership are trying to outdo IDS in his venom against disabled people.
    The sad thing about all of this is that the BMA and RCofGPs have allowed their professional integrity to be besmirched by ATOS and now Maximus who employ people with lesser qualifications to override these more experienced doctors.

Comments are closed.