Man With Cancer Told To Give Up Treatment and Join Work Programme To Keep Benefits

A Scunthorpe man has received a 40% cut in benefits after he was diagnosed with cancer, leaving him in serious financial distress during his battle with a disease that killed his father and brother.  To add insult the injury, the DWP told him that he could return to his previous level of benefits, provided he gave up treatment and complied with the Jobseeker’s programme.

Read more here: http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2014/05/02/man-with-cancer-told-to-give-up-treatment-and-join-work-programme-to-keep-benefits/

Indignity – a policeman’s experience of mental health patients and the police system

Working as a police officer has forced me to be a part of some of the most unbelievable indignities I’ve ever seen and I wasn’t a willing participant in many of them – and unfortunately the worst of them have been mental health related incidents. After almost eighteen years of experience, I’ve seen and done some things I’d really rather not and it’s influenced my thinking about what I believe we should be trying to achieve here.

I wanted to share just some of them with you —

https://mentalhealthcop.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/indignity/

Mental Health Cop

Working as a police officer has forced me to be a part of some of the most unbelievable indignities I’ve ever seen and I wasn’t a willing participant in many of them – and unfortunately the worst of them have been mental health related incidents. After almost eighteen years of experience, I’ve seen and done some things I’d really rather not and it’s influenced my thinking about what I believe we should be trying to achieve here.

I wanted to share just some of them with you —

  • I don’t want to see a complete, unequivocal end to the use of police custody as a Place of Safety under the Mental Health Act because it saves the custody officer some grief – it’s absolutely degrading to see someone in distress in custody where they have done nothing wrong. In many cases it is also legally degrading and no-one should pretend…

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MS sufferers’ health damaged by benefits tests, survey finds

Nearly half of those with multiple sclerosis surveyed by MS Society said they felt the process caused their condition to relapse or deteriorate

Many multiple sclerosis sufferers required to undergo assessments to claim disability benefits are having their health damaged as a result, a survey suggests.

The MS Society found that nearly half (48%) of people with the disease of the nervous system who had an assessment for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) felt the process caused their condition to deteriorate or relapse. Just over a third who had a face-to-face assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) said the same.

The charity says the disability benefits system fails to take adequate account of the fluctuating and hidden symptoms of MS, or the extent of their impact.

Its chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said: “Having MS is enough; it should not be made harder by a welfare system that doesn’t make sense for people living with the condition.

“Lack of understanding of the condition and the failure to use information from medical professionals is causing stress or contributing to relapses and deteriorating health. This is counterintuitive to a system designed to support people with disabilities.”

ESA, and its eligibility test, Work Capability Assessments, and PIP have been dogged by controversy. The fairness of the assessments have been called into question repeatedly and there have been severe delays in processing claims, leaving people stressed and penniless while they wait.

As well as the detrimental impact on health recorded by the survey, a number of respondents said the changes to the benefits system had forced them to spend less, including on treatment.

Around one in 10 said they had reduced outlay on attending hospital appointments and a similar proportion said they had cut down on medical treatment or prescriptions. About a third said they were spending less on food, 28% on transport and 41% on socialising with family and friends.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/sep/14/ms-sufferers-health-damaged-by-benefits-tests-survey-finds

‘My benefits were cut by 40% when I got cancer’

from the Scunthorpe Telegraph

A Scunthorpe man has hit out at a system that cut his benefits by 40 per cent when he got cancer.

Pete Woodcock wonders why after all the TV programmes about unemployed people living off welfare payments, nobody has looked into sickness benefits and how unfair they are.

He said: “I have been unemployed for around eight years but carried out 40 hours of volunteering in the community each week whilst job hunting.

“I have just lately been diagnosed with cancer. I’ve had numerous hospital visits on both sides of the Humber and because of my hospital visits been unable to attend job clubs. Hence I had to sign on sickness pay.

So they reduced my benefits by 40 per cent.”

He added: “When a person has cancer the last thing a person needs to worry about is finances but I now have to look after my family, pay bills and finance my trips to hospitals on less than £100 per week. Is this what health and welfare reforms have led to?

“The DWP even told me that if I went back on to jobseekers and gave up my treatment I could go back on to £140 per week to live on. Meaning if I decided to die, I could be richer! If I want to live, my family have to suffer financial hardship.”

Tories discuss stripping benefits claimants who refuse treatment for depression

Senior ministers now believe the rules should be reviewed in order to reduce the “huge” numbers of people who are declared unfit for work due to mental health problems.

Hundreds of thousands of benefit claimants face being stripped of their state allowances if they refuse to undergo treatment for anxiety and depression, under radical plans being drawn up by ministers.Existing welfare rules mean it is not possible to require claimants to have treatment, such as therapy or counselling, as a condition of receiving sickness benefits.

Senior ministers now believe the rules should be reviewed in order to reduce the “huge” numbers of people who are declared unfit for work due to mental health problems.The first moves towards potential reform are expected in a series of pilot schemes to be launched within weeks. The trials, jointly designed by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions, will test ways of combining treatment for mental health problems with support to find work.

According to the government, 46 per cent of benefit claimants receiving Employment and Support Allowance, the main benefit for ill and disabled people, have mental health problems. This means that the proposal to enforce treatment could apply to an estimated 260,000 claimants, who receive up to £101 per week each in ESA. Estimates based on government figures suggest the state spends up to £1.4 billion a year – more than £3.5 million per day – on ESA for these claimants with mental health issues.

The reforms however, would apply only to those claimants judged to be capable of some work in future. Those who are judged to be incapable of work due to the severity of their conditions would not be targeted under the plans.

Tory ministers hope to persuade senior Liberal Democrats to back the idea of mandating treatment for benefit claimants with common mental health problems.

The proposal will raise ethical questions about whether the state should have the power to force patients to undergo treatment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10964125/Tories-discuss-stripping-benefits-claimants-who-refuse-treatment-for-depression.html