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/

Paid to fail? The appalling record of the Work Programme contractors who find jobs for fewer than one person in 10

But the businesses still rake in millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash every year

The appalling record of Wales’ work programme contractors can today be laid bare by figures that show they got fewer than one in 10 people a job.

Rehab Jobfit, which covers Wales and south west England, found work for just 3,460 job seekers out of 39,060 referred to them.

The nation’s other provider, Working Links, helped just 3,930 people out of 39,620 referrals.

As the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union slammed the findings the companies were stood accused of being paid for failure.

“The problem with the work programme is the way it is set up,” a PCS spokesman said. “A lot of untested companies like this are able to get these referrals from Job Centres to deal with people that need expert help, advice, and support to get back into work. They are not up to the job. This is emblematic of what is wrong with the work programme.”

Firms rake in millions of pounds in taxpayer cash.

According to Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) documents payments range “from a maximum of around £3,800 for a young unemployed person to £13,700 for someone who has a limited capability for work and, as a result, has been receiving benefits for several years”.

That means Rehab Jobfit could have earned almost £48m while Working Links could have been paid almost £54m for those people they did get into work.

“But they are doing themselves out of money they could be getting on the contract by being such poor performers,” the PCS spokesman said. “One of the problems of paying people by results is that they go and cherry-pick the easiest people to place. That means the people the programme was designed to help are getting left behind because they are too difficult to deal with.”

He claimed the programme was “really poorly designed”. Our position is that it should be scrapped and brought back under DWP control where expert help exists,” he said. “The DWP needs to invest to give people in Job Centres time to spend with job seekers that they need.”

ead the rest of this story from Wales Online here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/rehab-jobfit-working-links-jobs-8938525

“A4e hassled my brother literally to his death”

Work Programme Provider A4E is harassing  people who have been signed off their services..

From the Facebook page ‘Atos Miracles’

“Asked on here before about this…son in support group but was on work programme. A4e keep ringing him to “see how he is”. I spoke to cab and they said he has no obligation to (participate in the ) work programme so i rang A4e to tell them that. She said they have a duty of care n i said well your letters and phone calls are stressing him so she agreed to check into it. Another letter has arrived and they want to phone him next week and it states he has to let them know if he cant be available. Harrasment? He is on the autistic spectrum and any stress affects him terribly.

*(comment)  I imagine they get paid every time they send a letter or make a phone call. If so we could be looking at outright organised fraud, in the same way they defrauded the government by claiming for tagging people who had long since been released from their tagging order. I wonder if anyone is investigating this?                                       
*(comment)    If these people could just read a pamphlet about the autistic spectrum they may be a little less clueless. They probably don’t ‘believe’ it exists. What a waste of time and money to the public purse and of course how upsetting for you both. Xx
*(comment)  I’m in the support group was in the Wrag group and I’ve started getting calls from the work program people too. I told the woman to leave me alone and if she carried on phoning me I’d report her for harassment and also told her I would speak to my mental health support worker about it. I blocked her number from calling also.
*(comment)   My son’s autistic, has to do free work placements in factories or they stop his money. He signs on weekly he gets dla but only a low rate is classed fit for work. They don’t seem to understand he has trouble communicating and understanding people
*(comment)   If anyone is distressing and alarming him, then call the police and start legal proceedings against A4e. They will soon stop. Also contact your local councillor and MP.
*(comment)  It’s harassment . If he’s in a support group they can’t do this. He will be heading straight for meltdown territory if they keep this up. Time to threaten with legal action under the DDA??
*(comment)  You look at your bank account to find there was no payment… You ring dwp to be told ‘we tried to contact you to ask you to attend x meeting, when you didn’t turn up your benefits were withdrawn.. You will have to start a new claim’
*(comment)   I still recieve letters from them even though I’ve been in the support group for over a year. Stressed me out as they kept threatening sanctions if i didnt go.Even though my Dad called them to explain & ask them to stop they wont.

*(comment) According to the dwp if you are in the support group A4E cant do anything. They told me to ignore their letters,which we have,& i still get my esa,& haven’t been sanctioned x
*(comment)   My friend had same problem with A4e, job centre told him he was under no obligation with them so he told them to stick it!! They hassle you because they get paid!!
*(comment) I was at A4E yesterday the bloke as good as told me they pester people like hell because they (A4E) don’t get paid otherwise
*(comment) A4e hassled my brother literally to his death

 

From the Facebook page ‘Atos Miracles, 13th March 2013

Work programme needs more work

The government’s own assessment of how the work programme is going, conducted for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by independent experts, suggests it is still badly under-performing.

The “work programme evalulation: interim meta-report” was signed off ready for publication in September 2013, but has been sat on ever since.

A Whitehall source told Channel 4 News that the decision not to publish was taken “at a ministerial level” on the basis that the department didn’t want another embarrassment to deal with.

The report is not written in the most strident language, but contains confirmation that one of the DWP’s pet projects is failing in one of its central tasks.

– See more at: http://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-on-politics/work-programme-work/27769#sthash.3xpVN1r1.dpuf

Exclusive: The government’s own assessment of how the work programme is going, conducted for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by independent experts, suggests it is still badly under-performing.

The “work programme evalulation: interim meta-report” was signed off ready for publication in September 2013, but has been sat on ever since.

A Whitehall source told Channel 4 News that the decision not to publish was taken “at a ministerial level” on the basis that the department didn’t want another embarrassment to deal with.

The report is not written in the most strident language, but contains confirmation that one of the DWP’s pet projects is failing in one of its central tasks.

– See more at: http://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-on-politics/work-programme-work/27769#sthash.3xpVN1r1.dpuf

Department for Work and Pensions ‘put girl in coma’ – now they won’t leave her family alone

The Mirror’s Real Britain columnist Ros Wynne-Jones on the private companies being paid to hound people – whatever condition they are in

At Sheila Holt’s home in ­Rochdale, Lancs, her sister Linda fetches a letter. It’s to Sheila from Seetec, a private company paid a bonus every time it gets someone on ­benefits into work.

“We hope that all the activities or training intervention completed so far has not only supported you to achieve your aspirations but has moved you closer to the job market,” Linda reads, her eyes filling with tears. You will shortly enter the second stage of your Intensive Job-Focussed Activity.”

Sheila, 47, has been in a coma in hospital since December 17, but she is still receiving letters from Atos and Seetec, contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions. “They’re still hounding Sheila even now,” Linda says.

Far from “achieving her aspirations”, Sheila’s family believe the pressure their severely bipolar daughter was put under to take part in the Work Programme has led to her being in the coma that now means she almost certainly never will.

“Sheila was doing OK until July,” ­Sheila’s 74-year-old dad Kenneth says quietly. “Then they started threatening to take her money away.”

Now Ken spends his days at the hospital holding his daughter’s hand, or keeping a vigil with Sheila’s cat, Tawny, at her home.

The hospital says it is “uncertain when, or if, she will regain consciousness”, but Ken still hopes. ­“Sometimes her eyes open, even if she doesn’t know you,” he says.

Her life scarred by ­childhood trauma, Sheila has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals and has attempted suicide three times. Diagnosed with severe bipolar and heavily medicated, she hadn’t worked in 27 years.

“Anyone who met her could see that Sheila couldn’t work,” Ken says. “She couldn’t be with people.”

Still, last July Sheila was told by the DWP she was now being placed in the Work Related Activity Group of disability benefit claimants – and must now attend the Work Programme. Linda wrote on Sheila’s form that “it is extremely important Sheila doesn’t experience stressful situations”. But, in August, her sister was allocated a “Groundwork” placement in Middleton, two bus rides away in rush hour.

“She just couldn’t cope,” Linda, a reflexologist, says. “She was terrified.”

When Ken went to visit Sheila on December 5, she was so agitated that he took her straight to A&E. The following day, she was sectioned, and on December 17 she suffered a massive heart attack at the psychiatric unit. Staff fought to save her life, but her brain was starved of oxygen for around 30 minutes.

The family has written to the DWP to say they can see “a clear link between the extreme anxiety caused to her by having to attend numerous meetings with workplace advisers and the decline in her mental health”.

Here is How the UK Govt Hid 1 million Jobless From Today’s Unemployment Figures

The UK government today announced that unemployment has fallen by 167,000 to 7.1%. But the government of David Cameron is engaged in the long honored tradition of manipulating job statistics by removing eligibility for welfare, and using government work programmes and underemployment to mask the real issues facing UK jobseekers and workers.

The UK has the Thatcher government to thank for the majority of the statistical trickery which currently renders the government released unemployment figures redundant.  Prior to 1979, the unemployment rate was anyone registered as unemployed, this was converted to a percentage of the total workforce and that was the published unemployment rate.  Then some changes came in:

  1. Redefining Unemployment:  originally defined as those ‘registered’ unemployed, changed to only count ‘claimants’ – this obviously reduced the number greatly as many unemployed people do not, for various reasons, claim benefits.
  2. Cutting Benefit Entitlements: By making changes to the benefit system (who is eligible and not) the government can magic away unemployment numbers by simply removing eligibility for benefits.  If the person cannot claim, they are not classed as unemployed.
  3. Training Schemes & Work Programmes: the conservative government of the 80’s began to double count those in training & work programmes.  First, they excluded them from the unemployed figures, then they added them to the total workforce figures – this means that simply by recruiting people into a work programme, the government has reduced the unemployment figures.  Prior to Thatcher, these schemes were not counted as employment.

The Thatcher government was able to show a drop in unemployment of 550,000 in July 1986, and 668,000 in 1989 by transferring those unemployed into work programmes.  They also kept an average 90,000 unemployed under 18 year olds off the books by making them ineligible to claim benefits.

Sadly, none of these changes have since been reversed, giving the UK public a much skewed view of unemployment and underemployment.  If we look at the research prepared by other bodies without such downright deceitful exemptions, we reveal a more realistic picture of the economic woe being meted out across the country.

 

The UK government today announced that unemployment has fallen by 167,000 to 7.1%. But the government of David Cameron is engaged in the long honoured tradition of manipulating job statistics by removing eligibility for welfare, and using government work programmes and underemployment to mask the real issues facing UK jobseekers and workers.

Messing with the Figures

 

 

The UK has the Thatcher government to thank for the majority of the statistical trickery which currently renders the government released unemployment figures redundant.  Prior to 1979, the unemployment rate was anyone registered as unemployed, this was converted to a percentage of the total workforce and that was the published unemployment rate.  Then some changes came in:

  1. Redefining Unemployment:  originally defined as those ‘registered’ unemployed, changed to only count ‘claimants’ – this obviously reduced the number greatly as many unemployed people do not, for various reasons, claim benefits.
  2. Cutting Benefit Entitlements: By making changes to the benefit system (who is eligible and not) the government can magic away unemployment numbers by simply removing eligibility for benefits.  If the person cannot claim, they are not classed as unemployed.
  3. Training Schemes & Work Programmes: the conservative government of the 80’s began to double count those in training & work programmes.  First, they excluded them from the unemployed figures, then they added them to the total workforce figures – this means that simply by recruiting people into a work programme, the government has reduced the unemployment figures.  Prior to Thatcher, these schemes were not counted as employment.

The Thatcher government was able to show a drop in unemployment of 550,000 in July 1986, and 668,000 in 1989 by transferring those unemployed into work programmes.  They also kept an average 90,000 unemployed under 18 year olds off the books by making them ineligible to claim benefits.

Sadly, none of these changes have since been reversed, giving the UK public a much skewed view of unemployment and underemployment.  If we look at the research prepared by other bodies without such downright deceitful exemptions, we reveal a more realistic picture of the economic woe being meted out across the country.

The Real Unemployment Rate

 

J003A study put together by Sheffield University in 2012 set out to establish the real level of unemployment in the UK, given that there has been little change in the published unemployment statistic, we can suppose they still hold relatively true.  The study found:

  • For Britain as a whole in April 2012, the new figures point to more than 3.4 million unemployed. This compares to just 1.5 million on the claimant count and 2.5 million according to the Labour Force Survey – the government’s two official measures of unemployment. The difference is attributable to extensive hidden unemployment.
  • An estimated 900,000 unemployed have been diverted onto incapacity benefits. These are men and women with health problems who claim incapacity benefits instead of unemployment benefits. They do not represent fraudulent claims.
  • Hidden unemployment is disproportionately concentrated in the weakest local economies, where claimant unemployment is already highest. The effect has been to mask the true scale of labour market disparities between the best and worst parts of the country.
  • In the worst affected districts, the real rate of unemployment is often around 15 per cent. Knowsley in Merseyside tops the list with a real rate of unemployment estimated at 16.8 per cent.
  • The older industrial areas of the Midlands, the North, Scotland and Wales mostly have the highest rates of unemployment. In large parts of the south of England the rate is still only 3-4 per cent.
  • Comparisons with similar data for earlier years shows that Britain was still a long way off full employment before the 2008/9 recession. Full employment is now still further away and the real rate of unemployment is higher than at any time since 1997.
  • The report casts serious doubt on the likely impact of the Coalition government’s reforms, notably the Work Programme and Universal Credit, which are founded on the assumption that unemployment can be brought down by encouraging the unemployed to find work. The evidence points to large and continuing shortfalls in job opportunities away from the most prosperous parts of southern England.

One of the more worrying points in the survey is the widening gap between ‘claimant count’ and unemployed (p5), as ever increasing numbers of people fund themselves without a job or eligibility to claim social security.  For this expanding pool of people, exploitation beckons……..

read the rest of this article (22nd Jan 2014) here: http://iacknowledge.net/here-is-how-the-uk-govt-hid-1-million-jobless-from-todays-unemployment-figures/

Work Programme Helps 1 In 30 ESA Claimants Shows Data

Same Difference

With thanks to Disability Rights UK.

The last Work programme information shows how many employment support allowance (ESA) claimants found work between 1 June 2011 and 30 June 2013.

Of the 186,530 put on the work programme only 6,210 had a job outcome. This averages out at 1 in 30.

For more information see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131129/text/131129w0002.htm#13112938000119

Disability Rights UK’s report Taking Control of Employment Support argues that the government’s huge Work Programme is failing disabled people (with at least an 88% failure rate) and is very poor value for money.

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