Blogging Up The Works

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

For Whose Benefit. (Rant Warning)

There have been lots of stories in the papers about the Governments intended reforms of Incapacity benefit, and even programmes on television about benefit cheats. The biggest question for me is how the hell do they get on benefit in the first place. Cos I certainly can't!

Over the last few months I have convinced Linda she needs to get benefits and backed by the doctor we are making the applications. These started last Novemeber. We are little forward. Meanwhile, during that period I too have had odd weeks when I've needed to claim Income Support. Not managed it yet.

I'm not going into the precise circumstances because I don't wish to but I can tell you it is proving to be a nightmare. On one of the programmes that has been on recently, a woman with a seriously autistic child was trying to claim carers allowance. Her husband used to get it but when he died she was told she couldn't claim as a widow. So for the last 12 years she has had to struggle on. The poor woman is obviously suffering, the staff have seen the boy as she has to drag him round with her. It's obvious she is entitled. Bloody obvious! But no, not to the Benefits Agency.

Before people start saying that if it wasn't for the scroungers then we would get our benefits then that's not the point. We don't get told we're due them but there's no money, we just don't seem to get any further forward. They can't even decide, as a director of a company, whether I'm an employee or self-employed. It basically depends on who answers the phone on what day.

The staff must be harrassed. I'm pretty even tempered but even I get stressed talking to some of them. Then again I have spoken to some really helpful people there as well. It's a pity it's luck of the draw who you get.

Whether we get anything in the long term God alone knows, or any of the cases who don't get it but should. Eventually the stress of it will be too much for Linda and that will be that, she'll withdraw the application. Still, at least that way we'll have saved the government some money so that's alright then.


  • It's all well and good the government wanting to get people off incapacity benefit and into jobs but before that can happen there need to be jobs for these people to do! If you've been on long term incapacity benefit then there aren't going to be many employers who would want to employ you. Companies need to be profitable and not all of them are going to be able to take on board someone who may well require not only specialist working conidtions but an understanding employer who will allow them to have time off as and when required. I don't know of many employers who would be that sympathetic.
    As for Incapacity benefit, DLA and any other related benefit, you must always put the worse case senario down on paper. What you are like on the worse day, what your symptoms are like on the worse day. And if you have a diagnosis from a consultant or specialist all the better. It may say on the paperwork that you don't need a diagnosis but it goes a hell of a long way to helping you get a positive application result!
    If I can help at all let me know. I've loads of experience of filling those forms in. We're about to start the whole process with son 2 - fun times a head, eh?

    By Blogger Elle, At 7:21 PM  

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