Let’s strip away DWP deniability of benefit claimant deaths

Here comes the reaper: Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Here comes the reaper: Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Evidence that the DWP is pushing an ever-increasing number of sickness and disability benefit claimants to suicide is mounting, right?

But the DWP is refusing to accept that any of its policies are responsible because “correlation isn’t causation”, right?

In essence, this means that, except in a few very rare cases, there is always doubt that the DWP’s treatment of a claimant has led to their subsequent death, right?

So why don’t we ask benefit claimants to eliminate that possibility?

Over the weekend, This Writer was talking about the DWP’s assessment regime for sickness and disability benefits with a friend who, while receiving ESA, is in dispute with the Department about the award they have been given.

My friend admitted quite casually that they have been having suicidal thoughts on a fairly regular basis, ever since they were told they were being migrated to Employment and Support Allowance.

It never occurred to this person that it would be possible to use that fact as evidence that the DWP was, itself, therefore a threat to their health – but it occurred to me.

I thought: “Why not create a form letter for people to sign, stating that the DWP’s treatment of them had pushed them into considering taking their own life?”

It may seem a ghoulish prospect, but it seems to be the only option.

So I drafted the following, as a template:

“This is to certify that the treatment I have received from the Department for Work and Pensions with regard to my benefit claim for [example:Employment and Support Allowance] has caused me to experience suicidal thoughts and feelings and an urge towards self-harm.

“The Department’s behaviour has harmed my [physical/mental – use as applicable] health in the following ways: [describe any deterioration in your physical health and the thoughts and feelings you have had that have led you to consider ending your own life].

“I hold the Department for Work and Pensions entirely responsible for the downturn in my health. While I have not yet given in to the self-destructive feelings, I can only conclude that my doing so has been the intention that informs the Department’s treatment of me.”

[your signature]

[the date]

It isn’t perfect; I only had the idea over the weekend so nobody should expect it to be. But it’s a start.

What do you think?

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73 thoughts on “Let’s strip away DWP deniability of benefit claimant deaths

  1. Pendantic Geek

    ESA is a cut of £30 for around 640,000 people. £1 each would be quite a war chest for a class action lawsuit against the DWP for mental cruelty.

    1. anon

      It’s interesting that the use of mental cruelty and other forms of coercive control have recently been made a CRIMINAL OFFENCE in the UK, IF they occur in a domestic setting, yet the DWP, councils and related authorities use the same tactics as routine tools to control and dominate every aspect of the lives of the most vulnerable.

      When the government recognises such treatment as so harmful (when exercised by ordinary people at home) it prohibits it by law, how can the DWP possibly deny the sytstematic harm inflicted on disabled and other claimants through their ever-expanding coercive control over our lives?


  2. Prefer Tobe Anon

    I think you’re going in the right direction there.
    My solution was to say “enough is enough” and I requested the form to sign off.
    On that form I declared that I do not have a job to go to but I will no longer require JSA because I intend on committing suicide due to the incessant and unfair harassment of two different Jobcentre’s staff.
    A long very detailed email to the Employment Minister at Caxton House ensured that the form was neither destroyed or ignored.
    Panicked phone calls from the Area Manager, an investigation, an apology of sorts and restitution of my claim followed by an ESA claim form sent to me suggesting that I claim.
    My point is that hitting them the way they hit you by cleverly lettered veiled threats is very effective and leaves an undeniable electronic and paper trail that they can’t ignore

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s only a threat if they’re up to something criminal, of course.
      My only concern is that the reason people feel pushed towards death is understood.

      1. Phil Lee

        Well, of course harassing someone on the grounds of their disability IS a criminal act, so that response by Prefer Tobe Anon is a good one, although if they got too many like that I suspect they’d start claiming that they get so many like it that they can’t take them seriously. Although, with a full elecrtonic and paper trail, could they afford NOT to?

  3. thejaffer

    About time someone had this idea. I have been toying with ways to get DWP and IDS to take responsibility for their actions in their incessant attacking of the most vulnerable in our society. You have made a good start. Now to get the message out where it’s most needed. Well done!

  4. Phil Lee

    Great idea – it just needs for there to be some independent custodian of copies of the letter (maybe the samaritans?) who could then make them available for audit as a proportion of claimants, or in the worst case, produce them at an inquest. Ideally, this would be one central organisation, so that statistical analysis could be performed on anonymised (but verified) data. This could then be presented to the UN committee on the rights of persons with a disability, the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, etc. (you can tell, I’ve pretty much given up on our own legal system actually delivering justice). I suppose there is a faint chance that a British court might break ranks and refuse to just follow orders, but I ain’t holding my breath.
    I’d fill one in, exactly as you’ve outlined it, although I’m also open to any suggestions for improvements.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’d leave a copy with a friend or relative rather than an organisation – that way, it can be produced easily if needed. I think an organisation’s resourced might be strained by the process of keeping track of what’s happened to people.

  5. Katherine

    I would drop the last paragraph because it is a conclusion highly challengeable in court, and substitute “No other changes in my life have contributed to my tendency to suicidal thinking.” In law the evidence – and keeping a daily diary is an excellent idea – should speak for itself. Just a thought.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Trouble is, the DWP has a proven track record of extracting only enough evidence to suggest what it wants to suggest, which is why I considered it better to spell out the significance.
      That said, I don’t have any objection to your words so, if people prefer them, then by all means substitute them.

  6. foggy

    Absolutely brilliant Mike. Thank you 🙂

    I would also add to the template that ‘my Dr has also been made aware of the detrimental affect the DWP policies are having on my mental health and well being and that this has been recorded on my medical notes’.

  7. Kitty S Jones

    Brilliant idea Mike. I came up with some similar ideas in feb, but didn’t get as far as thinking of a letter – genius. Qualitative methods tend to be much more inclusive that quantitative analysis, lending participants a dialogic, democratic voice regarding their experiences.

    “The current government have tended to dismiss qualitative evidence of the negative impacts of their policies – presented cases studies, individual accounts and ethnographies – as “anecdotal.” However, that is a very authoritarian approach to administration and it needs to be challenged.

    Government ministers like to hear facts, figures and statistics all the time. What we need to bring to the equation is a real, live human perspective. We need to let ministers know how the policies they are implementing and considering directly impact ourselves, their constituents and social groups more widely. One of the most powerful things we can do to make sure the government listens to our concerns is to engage and support the organisation of family, friends, neighbours and wider communities. While many people regard state or national-level politics as an intractable mess that’s impossible to influence, collective voices really do make a difference. The best weapon of influence we have is meticulous documentation…..

    A starting point may be the collective gathering of evidence and continual documentation of our individual experiences of austerity and the welfare “reforms”, which we must continue to present to relevant ministers, parliament, government departments, the mainstream media and any organisations that may be interested in promoting citizen inclusion, empowerment and democratic participation. We can give our own meaningful account of our own experiences and include our own voice, reflecting our own first-hand knowledge of policy impacts, describing how we make sense of and understand policies, including the causal links between our own circumstances, hardships, sense of isolation and distress, and Conservative policies, as active, intentional, consciencious citizens. Furthermore, we can collectively demand a democratic account and response (rather than accepting denial) from the government.”

    Anything you can use on here, help yourself, and anything I can do to help, giz a shout – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/the-importance-of-citizens-qualitative-accounts-in-democratic-inclusion-and-political-participation/

      1. Ceebs

        My worry with this is if only a few people did it, then it would be used as evidence that 99% of claimants think the DWPs approach is right. And if lots of people do this then “its a political campaign by the far left and has no connection to the work of the DWP”

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        But doing nothing would also be taken as evidence that claimants think the DWP – or rather the Conservative Government – approach is right.

  8. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    I consider that anyone who has been so badly let down that they have considered suicide, or worse still are considering suicide, would find some solace in signing such a letter. I very much doubt that those responsible for the mal-operation of the DWP would wish to even consider such correspondence but the European Court of Human Rights might well do so which is another reason for wishing to remain in the EU. Therefore I consider it a very good idea Mike.

  9. Michele Eve

    Where do we then send the letter? To the DWP? Won’t they just ignore them like they ignore everything else that becomes too inconvient for them?

    The idea is a good one but it’s not clear where the leverage comes in or that it will be met more than an arbitrary response and/or more stone-walling.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      My thinking was simply that it should be kept by the claimant so that, if the worst should happen, there would be no way for the DWP to deny the significance of its treatment of that person.
      As I mention in the article, it is ghoulish. But I don’t think claimants who find themselves in that situation have been left with much of an option.

  10. Terry Davies

    Is it right that the. USA company heading the DWP should be using a failed workfare theory that couldnt be enforced in America. Shouldnt our police, NHS banking services be headed by UK national and not companies or individuals from other countries????All comments welcome.
    the above draws attention to decisions from individuals who are not affected by those decisions.
    eg Carney is heading the interest rates ( Canadian) Bruce keogh the NHS ( zimbabwe) etc. These individuals are not affected directly by their decisions also their families get gain with no pain. likewise the DWP heading the work fare assessments.
    feel free to correct me if this info is not accurate.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The Unum Corporation does not head the DWP, but does appear to be a very influential adviser.
      The theory is not workfare, but the controversial ‘biopsychosocial’ method – search previous Vox Political articles for information on this, and the way it has been – shall we say – adapted for use by the DWP.

      1. Terry Davies

        thanks for confirming about the American influence in the DWP. the psycho social based name seems a label that has been attached to justify changes and the input of psychologists. Remember Hitler used psychologists to justify killing disabled during the 3rd Reich. any one see any parallels with the final solution ?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        There are certainly similarities with Nazi policies, but the biopsychosocial theory of health was worked out separately from Unum or the DWP and has merely been perverted by those organisations. I have written articles about it, so you should get more information by typing “biopsychosocial” into the search box on this site.

      3. Terry Davies

        thanks mike for the psycho- social link.its been my experience that Psychology books written are compliled by authors deriving their knowledge from the frontline worker reports.
        Thus what doesnt work is a one size fits all approach.Individually based assessments are of essence this should be given as staff training when they are assessing an individuals suitability for work.
        Hitler bypassed these considerations and likewise the American company charged with redponsibility of maintaning the balance between an individuals health and their suitabilty to work in slave – like conditions.
        Thats why the comparison between the third reich and tory policies are valid.

  11. jaynel62

    My concern is this would then introduce a claims process with a new form to be completed, assessment to be undergone, a mandatory reconsideration etc. I say this from personal experience including evidence from a senior psychotherapist – Be careful please xx

  12. Damien Willey

    You could be onto something here. I’ve just sent back my wife’s ESA50 and are currently waiting for a WCA date (chance of being rolled on would be a fine thing…). She has Fibro anxiety and depression, but she hasn’t been as bad as she is at the moment in quite a while. She admitted to me yesterday she’s had suicidal thoughts for the first time in years. Just the mere thought of this assessment is sending her backwards at a rate of knots.
    I’d be very interested to see if this would have any sound basis in law

  13. Thea Lumbers

    It might just work. If nothing else some one will pick up on the fact DWP are getting all these letters/emails, and I don’t think our wonderful government will want the publicity. Good thinking.

  14. Alan Grant

    The problem is how do you get it to the people concerned – ie how do you reach them? And to have any real impact you would need hundreds to respond as such, even thousands, and then you would need it publicised, say an article in the Guardian, or even get the BBC on to it to do a report, otherwise IDS and co will just ignore it.

    And THEY of course know that what they are doing – and have done – will have a derogatory effect on the mental and physical health of numerous people, and that some will end up taking their own lives, and many others will die prematurely due to the worry and stress and ill health caused by it all.

    WE may know what they are doing to the poor and the elderly and the sick and disabled, but I doubt the majority of people do and, as such, we should all be writing letters to our local newspapers exposing these sadistic sociopaths and enlightening as many people as we can. And we have a great source for the info right here. And a very big THANKYOU for that Mike.

  15. anon

    Perhaps this could be set up as a petition for people to sign somewhere. Or perhaps an anonymised survey which could allow people to quantify their experiences in more detail – e.g., identifying specific factors such as WCA tests, workfare, work related activity, cuts, bedroom tax, council tax, or other factors..

    I do have a concern about openly admitting to having had thoughts of suicide or self-harm, which is that the DWP, perhaps in collusion with local councils and/or workfare providers, might use any such statement to invoke the Mental Health Act to punish and even incarcerate claimants.

    There was the recent case of a council trying to evict a man from his home by abusing the MHA in this way. (Many councils have been routinely using the related Mental Capacity Act for years to force elderly homeowners into euthenasia factories aka care homes to avoid paying for home care, while freeing up inheritance funds for greedy collusive relatives).

    Claimants also face the increasing danger that making any such statement would steer them into the clutches of the variousl CBT Nudge “counselling” programmes being rolled out in Jobcentres.

    I have the feeling that unless I had access to a good solicitor or a very strong, supportive family, I would be seriously imperiling what little personal liberty I have left, in making ANY admission to the UK’s seriously hostile authorities of ever having had any thoughts of self-harm.

    I feel it would be an enormous breakthrough for people to be able to register the life-threatening effects the current abusive regime is having on them, but the UK is no longer a safe place for anyone in vulnerable circumstances to live, and it seems vital to look for a safe and anonymous way for such sensitive data to be handled. Perhaps ideally a trustworthy campaigning group could set up a database where claimants could “register” their issues, with statistics being publicised anonymously. There could also be the possibility of people giving advance consent for their data to be released to coronors, police and the media in the event of their being pushed over the edge.

  16. Bookworm

    This is a good idea, also I think keep a copy with your paperwork so if you did commit suicide at least the coroner would have some evidence of why. Although nobody should give IDS the satisfaction of dying on his account.

  17. Alexander Barclay

    People who have these thoughts should consult a doctor and request treatment. Suicidal thoughts are a main indicator of depression. The first question on the NHS 24 guide on depression is

    This advice is suitable for those over 18 years old. If you are under 18 and feeling depressed, it’s important that you talk to someone immediately, such as your GP or school/college nurse, or call NHS 24 on 111.
    Some questions in this self-help guide are designed to eliminate the possibility of more serious problems. You should answer all questions carefully, even if some do not appear relevant to you.
    Please select an answer:
    Do you feel like ending your life, harming yourself, or harming others?


    Answer YES and you get

    Dial 999 Dial 999
    Seek emergency help immediately, ring 999 and ask for an ambulance
    You said YES to:
    Do you feel like ending your life, harming yourself, or harming others?

    This to me is so obvious I wonder why it has not been highlighted before.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I would certainly agree that people with suicidal thoughts should seek medical help.
      Of course, they can do that and also write and keep a copy of the form letter.

      1. Alexander Barclay

        I agree – was looking at this as a backup to the letter so it couldn’t be dismissed due to lack of professional opinion.

    2. Terry Davies

      Alexander your reply poses two questions. What happens to those who feel depressed/ suicidal when there is no longer NHS support.
      Can u imagine a health insurance company coping when profits not care is a primary focus.?
      remember insurance premiums were increased yesterday as a source of revenue by the government.!!!!

  18. Barry

    Not supporting the government or IDS in particular in any way, but their stance appears to be, that as every sanctioned or otherwise rejected claimant haven’t killed themselves there is no causation of the suicidal behaviour attempted or successful. this is of course nonsense but it is the same reason they claim that screwing he poor to give the rich tax cuts is good for the british economy.

  19. diabolicalme

    Since I have a history of s/h and o/ds and suicide attempts in relation to DWP anxiety, and have lived in a state of constant dread, stress and extreme anxiety/terror every single day for the last 3 1/2 years waiting for the post each day, I have no qualms and nothing to lose (& everything to gain) by declaring my daily self destructive thoughts and urges to s/h and suicidal ideation purely in relation to continuous worry about and actual process of any DWP assessments. Excellent idea IMO.

    I appreciate the real concerns/repercussions Jayne is raising but not sure how else we can keep fighting this before we’re all starving, destitute, homeless and dead anyway.

    As ever, thank you Mike.

    1. diabolicalme

      (hi Mike, just wondering why my comment above is still pending…apologies if it’s too confessional or potentially triggering??)

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, there wasn’t any problem with it; I simply hadn’t got to it yet.
        Of course, you had to go to the back of the queue because you asked about it. I have to be fair – I’ve done that to others so I had to do it to you as well.

      2. diabolicalme

        ?? I only just asked about it an hour ago today as I saw others comments from much later yesterday, posted well after mine, and then worried I may have put something not allowed, or perhaps been forgotten. Sorry if I’ve annoyed you by asking, I so so appreciate all that you do for us.

  20. chocolatewig

    Well this is refreshing to read, I have been struggling for a long time and have researched the best way to die and have made plans, I’ve not had the nerve to tell anyone it all seems so attention seeking. But it isn’t it’s reality.
    For me they have trapped me into a life of constant financial worry, of losing my house and my car with fear of being judged for not looking disabled! Ruining my pride.
    I’ve just got back from the doctor having confessed my fears. But my overriding thought in all of this was how to ensure my death will be classed as suicide with the welfare reform DWP and the constant negative rhetoric on top of an illness.
    you need to be pretty healthy to deal with these things. Suicide is happens when you have nothing left. Be it money, love, hope, or future.

  21. Veracity

    You will remember the criticism which followed the Top Gear programme performing stunts near the Cenotaph. Apparently, this “disrespectful” action disturbed George Osborne while he was working on his latest Budget!

    Is it not more disrespectful to inflict austerity cuts on the most needy which result in so much widespread despair – including many victims considering suicide?

  22. nicola159nicola

    I think you’re on to something. I doubt the DWP will give a rat’s arse about the letters on an individual basis, as I already add this information to practically every piece of correspondence I send them – particularly the PIP and ESA forms. However, setting up a website, or somewhere where people could upload or lodge these letters en masse would create a VERY newsworthy topic for an organisation like the Guardian or BBC. If the letters make clear that you are giving notice that, should your death occur from either suicide, as an indirect result of self-harm, or a fatal deterioration in your health due to stress and anxiety, the DWP is to be held directly responsible. A copy should be sent to the DWP advising them that the original is lodged with XYZ to be produced in court and released to the media should you die as a result of DWP action or inaction. Now that WILL get their attention, and it should be sent to Noel Shanahan, the DG of the DWP (I have his email addy if need be), not some lackey in the ESA dept.

  23. mohandeer

    Mike. You have first hand knowledge of the detrimental consequences of the DWP communications. You have Mrs. Mike’s own health issues and the effects of DWP harassment as a good example. I know, whenever I receive that DWP brown envelope I have to endure a feeling of dread, then I have to sit down and take a puff of my GTN to help with my angina which is a direct consequence of fear and dread. With shaking hands and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach I eventually open the letter. Even when the letter is simply a notice of an increase in my allowance under new government legislation, it takes me nearly half an hour to compose myself and wait for the dread to pass. This is the case for many thousands across the country. It indicates the kind of psychological pressure the DWP puts all those receiving benefits under. Any further harassment by the DWP certainly puts a psychological strain on me and the consequences are increased angina and other problems. I am awaiting a response to my latest application for renewal of my ESA in the Support Group and since receiving the form end of February have been in a dark depressive state but not suicidal. I don’t consider my life holds much for me and that a massive heart attack might be a blessing if it were not for my dog. I do fear that if anything should happen to her I would simply throw in the towel. Does that mean that people such as myself are unaffected by the systematic assault on Welfare recipient’s psychological state simply because I decline the option of suicide? The end result is that the stresses of DWP policy exacerbates my physical condition, just as they must do the same to many others. There is also the question of how many others do not realize just how depressed they are, not all suicides are pre-planned, many of the most successful ones are quite spontaneous as a result of an ever deepening sense of hopelessness. I will not take anti-depressants for as long as I have Gracie, I just wouldn’t do it to her, but how many others can determine for themselves they are suicidal? I don’t count because I won’t actually do it, but what of others?
    We need to make people aware that just because they haven’t had suicidal thoughts it doesn’t mean that they are not suicidal.

    1. Brian

      I have a friend who recently broached this subject following filling in a ESA50. she has stated her “intention”, both to me and on her ESA50, should she be stripped of her only means to survive. She has told me, that while depressed, she is of sound state of mind, but would have no other rational alternative. she is well read and educated, but severely disabled and sick. I had to tell her that her intention is not the answer, but was unable to reply what was, when she asked for an alternative.

      She explained the catalogue of hostility she has endured through her ‘assessment’ regime and the worry and despair she has suffered. This is an appalling state of affairs, if this person does as she has stated she assures me the paper trail will leave no quarter for confusion as to the reason for her action. I would urge anyone in this position to make an effort to continue, no matter what they are faced with, but in good conscience how can one argue another’s wishes when put across so logically.

  24. mrmarcpc

    Something needs to be done about this bald devil in human form, he has so much blood on his hands, he and the DWP and the tories should not be allowed to get away with any of their crimes!

  25. Veracity

    And just wait until the new Work and Health Programme comes in. Unwell people will be treated as well, and well people as unwell.

    Long-term unemployment will be classed as a psychological disorder called “psychological resistance to work”, and, worse still, the claim will be made that it can be “cured” by a Jobcentre psychologist.

    Even worse still is the prospect of psychologists being employed by private business companies – such as G4S – who are already advertising for CBT Practitioners to cure sufferers among the long-term unemployed!


    back in the day we had no internet where we do a lot of talking as today but i think you have to hit the streets and roads to get a message across to these animals in goverment and to a lot of people hiding behind there curtain with people with depression they feel alone confused and suicidal if people could hold on to something like people were fighting there corner against the evil treatment at the hands of this goverment they may see a glimmer of hope. mike i think its a good idea

  27. nicola159nicola

    I was wondering if a letter such as this could not be sent to the DWP, and that you also inform them that said letter has been added to your medical records. It’s my understanding that a coroner would need to see medical records, so there’s no way they could fail to see the letter. If you tell your GP this is simply a precaution, I can’t see how anyone could be sectioned, etc., for something that is a precautionary measure. If you have a family solicitor, that would work equally well. Those of you with crappy and unhelpful GPs may also benefit from them getting a dose of reality and deciding to be more supportive, as, should anything happen to you after that, their lack of support could be considered a contributory factor. I see that as a win-win.

  28. jbw31

    Actually I did put something like this on my form at the end under any other information a couple of years ago when I was transferred onto ESA. I stated that the worry and torment of not knowing what would happen when they considered my claim was causing anxiety attacks and aggravating my PTSD, as well as causing extra pain. I even put that I would consider suicide if I felt my case was rejected with no real reason.

  29. Angela Owen

    three years ago, my sick pay was dropped,, the dwp didnt tell me, i had a letter from the bank and same day one from the council, telling me that no money had gone in , the council thankfully paid my rent, what followed was a very distraught me ringing the dwp and i ended up going to tribunal for a failed medical, when i finally got a copy of the assessment i asked dwp have you sent me someone elses form, these answers are not what i gave, any way the tribunal took 12 months to happen , and i was paid appeal rate whilst waiting, during this time i got many thoughts of suicide and how to go about it, because when you are genuinely too poorly to work, this is how these things affect you, chronic pain and being worn out all the time, doesnt help in times of great stress what a good idea, i think also, if i ever decide to do this act i shall leave a letter for my family and get them to send it to you

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Not to me!
      They should show it to the coroner and question how many others have died in the same circumstances.

  30. nicola159nicola

    Also, as the DWP is trying to avoid publishing data on the 49 cases it investigated, what about also adding something to say you want the details of your death, the coroners report, and conclusion of any DWP investigation into your death to be made public and wave your right to privacy – that would put the cat amongst the pigeons!

  31. hayfords

    Saying you feel suicidal because a benefit might be cut is equivalent claiming to be suicidal because a benefit is not increased. Perhaps all claimants would like to choose a figure that they would be happy with. However, it is the work of the government to take such decisions. It is quite reasonable for people to complain if their benefits are cut but their complaints may not result in changes of policy.

    Hopefully such tactics will be ignored.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They’re not saying they’re suicidal because a benefit might be cut; they’re saying the DWP’s treatment of them makes them feel worthless and as though they should take their own lives.
      The fact that you actually believed it is acceptable to make such a sickening statement as you just did speaks volumes, not just about your attitude but that of your fellow Tories.
      Perhaps other readers would like to tell you where you’ve gone so badly wrong.

    2. Brian

      What an arse you are. Let me deprive you of your wife, put your children in care, sack you from your job, remove full use of your legs, drain half your blood, destroy your senses and tell you I’m going to persecute you for being alive and not rich. Then I’m going to remove your only means of survival, starve & freeze you and tell the world what a burden you are. If you think all those national insurance contributions you have made add up to something, tough. Now come and tell me I’m unreasonable!

      1. hayfords

        There is no accurate estimate of how many or how much will be cut from benefits. It is the intention to continue to support those in most need. Others may have benefits cut if they are deemed to not be entitled. Over the years we have moved increasingly towards a benefit culture with some people expecting to receive a particular benefit forever.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, it is not the intention to support those in most need. It is merely the stated intention. In fact, those in most need are being targeted. You need to understand disability and you don’t.
        “Others may have benefits cut if they are deemed to not be entitled.” By whom? I’ll answer that – by people who want to save money, and certainly don’t want to help people who have disabilities.
        Your last sentence is so incredible it defies belief. If YOU had a disability, through no fault of your own, and it was a worsening condition, how long would YOU want to receive state help that was necessary for you to continue living any kind of useful life? Try to imagine you aren’t already rich, so you can put yourself in the same position as the people who will be harmed by this evil policy.

      3. Terry Davies

        are you aware or an idiot. there is no need to see things in terms of finance. because we will forever be given figures and statistics which are fake, misleading and deceptive. its a simple matter of principle. is it right to further deprive the disabled because Osborne wants to engratiate himself with his rich cronies who fund the tory party after being given taxpayers money?
        that is the question. if you think yes youre a tory. if no youre part of a faction which wants fairness without corruption and division between factions in the UK.

      4. hayfords

        Clearly, people with severe or worsening disability need benefit support. That doesn’t mean that people in receipt of disability benefits do not need reassessment. That reassessment is part of fairness.

      5. hayfords

        “You are another one of the people removed from reality. There is no fairness in the assessments.”

        In that case you might complain about the assessment process and not the principle. I am sure the process could be improved but the principle is correct.

      6. hayfords

        That is not relevant. It would always be unlikely that the person making policy would be disabled. Policy is never about any specific cases or the policy becomes too complicated. There is a saying, “hard cases make bad laws”.

      7. Mike Sivier Post author

        The current Tory cabinet contains some of the worst “hard cases” I know, and you’re right – they make terrible laws.

      8. che

        It is relevant because it’s always the people who no experience of the situation who know it all. I suggest you go back into your pond with the rest of the slime who inhibit it ( basically any tory) and shut the F*ck up until you know what you are talking about.
        Gettng a progressive incurabable disease would give you some insight.

      9. Mike Sivier Post author

        As I have said many times, please do NOT attack other commenters personally. By all means, tear their arguments to shreds, but please do it in a civil way. I know it can be difficult sometimes.

      10. Terry Davies

        its clear Hayfords is divorced from reality and has limited knowledge and awareness of principle its meaning and its effects
        to simplify assessments are a dual edged sword they are currently being used as an excuse deprive disabled people by wrongful interpretation of the regulations. this saves money which is then wssted by the government and given as tax breaks to the wealthy. this Principle is wrong and unfair.
        An assessment is made by doctors, and Health and Safety reps; ibsurance companies, job interviews, driving instructors, tax inspectors loan sharks , banks etc.
        These all differ and show the priciple of assessment is needed but can be both fair and unfair. be both begstive for society ( wrongfully inferring risk, not fit for purpose, misleading or misrepresentational of facts , unreslistic etc.- or positive ie creating realistic use of funding, fairness, equality in distribution of resources, improving claimants lives etc.
        The DWP have not produced regulations to facilitate positive outcomes. the regulations are unrealistic and its assessments being used to produce the negative outcomes of suicides etc.
        Any civilised society will condemn this approach to welfare arrangements for its weaker and vulnerable people.
        Or do we have pretense of being civilised citizens but in reality are only primitive people no better than neanderthals who cared for the weak and vulnerable relatively no worse than we do today.!!!

  32. Bipolar's gf

    What a brilliant idea! I wrote something of that nature in my appeal for PIP but I didn’t put it as bluntly as that. I’m sure to be dragged across the coals again soon enough, (I won my appeal) and the bf is going through an ESA reassessment at the moment, so I will be sure to remember this.

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