Sick joke: Root out the scroungers
130,000 living on incapacity benefit for 10 years are declared fit for work
NEARLY 130,000 people on sick benefits for over ten years are fit to work, new figures show.
One in four ordered to get a job have pocketed state handouts unchecked for at least a decade.
The huge scale of welfare dependency was exposed during a mass reassessment of incapacity benefit claimants.
Ministers believe many became well enough to return to work months ago but went unchecked. But they fear large numbers could simply be workshy scroungers.
Some were claiming the cash for being overweight, suffering headaches or even acne.
Of 145,000 people found fit for work so far, 39,500 of them had been on the handout for over ten years. Nearly a third of them — 12,400 — had been on it for more than 15 years.
A third of scroungers disappear
A third of all sickness benefit claimants appear to miraculously recover the moment they’re told their Atos medical is due?
Many had been drawing handouts for decades but stopped before their face-to-face assessment was due.
…more than a third of those given an appointment did not wait to find out if they were still eligible, official figures reveal.
Employment minister Mark Hoban last night ordered officials to probe why so many are dropping out.
We all know why they’re dropping out though don’t we?
Grayling clears up some misconceptions:
…it was the previous Government who introduced this system. .. the system that we inherited was not adequate. It did not do the job properly and in many cases led to wrong decisions about individuals. I and my colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions have spent the past year trying to sort all that out..
it (Atos) was contracted originally by the previous Government. We have not sought to change the contracting arrangements because, frankly, it would be massively disruptive to do so in the middle of the process.
Let me be clear—Atos has no financial targets. A myth has been circulating for some time that our contractors are incentivised to find people fit for work. That is absolutely not the case and I am happy to put that on the record.
The second thing we did was to address the fact that people in between periods of chemotherapy could, theoretically, be found fit for work. We did not think that that was right and therefore we have excluded people who are in between courses of chemotherapy from any kind of return-to-work process, as well as those involved in chemotherapy at a particular moment in time. Again, that seemed the right thing to do.
Fundamentally, we are trying to help people with the potential to work to get into work and not end up spending the rest of their lives on benefits.
… if someone was a Paralympic athlete with a university degree, there was no obligation for them to look for a job. That is not right.
DLA is the second most expensive working-age benefit, yet the allowance hasn’t been properly reviewed since its introduction in 1992.
• In the last 8 years the number of people on DLA has risen from 2.5 million to nearly 3.2 million.
• In 2010-11 the DWP expects the DLA total bill to be £12.1 billion – 0.9% of the UK’s GDP and the same as the Department of Transport’s entire budget for 2010-11.
• There are 140,000 people who have been on DLA since 1992 and have never had their claims reviewed. One fifth of those on DLA have had no contact with the department in the last 10 years and around 2 million people have been given indefinite awards. Too often people can get the benefit without a periodic review of whether they still need it or not.
Sheffield Hallam University incapacity benefit study;
those who claim incapacity benefits might be regarded as ‘hidden unemployed’ in the sense that they would probably have been in work in a genuinely fully employed economy.
a third of all claims by men in the survey had been for 10 years or more and a further fifth for between 5 and 10 years….after two years on Incapacity Benefit a person is more likely to retire or die than return to work.
The striking figure is the share of IB claimants that have no formal qualifications at all – two-thirds of all men and women.
only one-in-five say they ‘can’t do any work’.
the proportion of IB claimants saying they would like a job is very low indeed – just 15% of men and barely more women.
He’s a guru for the welfare extremists but more careful reading of Professor Berthoud’s theories are quite revealing:
But the proportion of non-working disabled people who said they were permanently unable to work rose substantially between 1985 and 1996-97. There is a clear sign here of the growth of disability as an economic identity; the acceptance of “I am disabled” as an appropriate economic role by the disabled person, his or her personal community (family and friends), and perhaps the broader public community (including employers, doctors and benefit administrators). (Just as “I am a housewife” was accepted as an economic identity 30 years ago.)
On his disability graph:
There is no bulge in the distribution which could be used to argue that “most” disabled people are at the less-severe end of the spectrum; nor a bulge at the opposite end which would suggest that “most” of them are “incapable of work.”
Oh dear, oh dear…..