Author Topic: Scarily clueless about benefits  (Read 1289 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Scarily clueless about benefits
« on: March 19, 2017, 12:38:58 PM »
There's someone on another MB (which one matters not since this individual isn't unique) who is scarily clueless about benefits for people with mentally illness.

So what's the big deal, you may wonder?  Most people are pretty clueless about them.

The big deal is that they are employed by an NHS trust to help service users with their benefits claims.  I feel that if I were still in the psychiatric system and if we had someone like that round here, I'd be going to lengths to tip people off to go elsewhere for help.

I'd love to ask their success/failure rate, but that would probably be seen as very aggressive and pointed.

But at times like this with people unfairly and wrongly being denied the benefits to which they're entitled, being in a position where you're relying on the help of someone who either hasn't a clue or who pretends they haven't a clue is, from my perspective, scary.

On the other hand, they probably read my posts as being made by a know-all who's familiar with the theory yet makes mistakes (like my clanger on here as I panicked over what was going to happen to my benefits) and doesn't actually get the job done.

Fiz

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 03:37:13 PM »
I've had 3 friends use carers together to compile their PIP tribunal appeals, really poorly imo seemingly having no clue about descriptors, and all 3 fail. Now another has told me carers together is helping with their PIP tribunal and I don't know what to say! I can only hope that area is more knowledgeable than the other 3!

On the edge

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 10:48:49 AM »
There was benefit meltdown in South Wales for deaf people.  No support, no advice areas, and deaf used family to help, and 68% lost PIP immediately because the family could not understand either.  Being more determined than most, I sought out support not from the deaf areas or the CAB's (Because the former hadn't a single trained operative to advise, and the latter hadn't the funds to pay for support to ask), and found in the RNIB the full support to make a PIP claim.  It seemed ludicrous at the time for a deaf person to approach a blind charity for help and suffering no eye issues, but there simply was no-one else.  The RNIB made the important calls for us, kept up the contact with the DWP (Who had refused us that contact), arranged communication support to fill in the form and to support during the assessment.

Sadly I read yesterday they are running out of funds to help people now after being snowed under with people desperate for help.  Meanwhile I read the CAB publicising BSL support on youtube, but NOT offering it in their advice centers.  We saw NONE of the major hearing loss charities doing anything, the BDA/CAB/AOHL etc... they were ignoring desperate pleas for help too, claiming  to oppose the DWP was 'too political'.  The BDA were telling people to go elsewhere, and only in certain areas of London and elsewhere found support.  In two cases here, I was told to get on a  train to the Southern Counties of England and pay for professional benefit advice there, absolutely ridiculous.  The online contacts  to the DWP via 'dedicated' sign language and text areas, certainly DID exist, but, if you called on them no-one answered!   The kicker, was that the delay also invalidated your claim, because there are time limits on response....

The other issue, is that in applying to the DWP for sign language support, found BSL terps here were not turning up, or repeatedly cancelling appointments at last minutes, it took 3 applications to the BSL terps by the DWP before one actually came.  There were suggestions BSL terps did not want to alienate deaf people by supporting the DWP, and terps themselves saying the unprecedented demand for their services, was taking them away from bread and butter work day to day.  That no areas concerned had taken into account the DWP support demands were outstripping the ability or resource of deaf support by 4 to 1 and ability to meet that demand. We simply did not have sufficient support to meet such a widespread demand.  When new benefit assessments come in again, we will be faced with the same problem, no-one is addressing support supply and demand.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 10:51:43 AM by On the edge »

lankou

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 10:59:35 AM »
DWP ministers are scarily clueless about benefits.

On the edge

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2017, 07:39:41 PM »
Bean counters...

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 07:43:06 PM »
CAB in my area have now stopped helping people with PIP claims - any people - because they haven't the resources to keep offering the (time-consuming) service.  I just hope there will come a time when claimants can find all that they need online without having to pay a membership fee for it...

Still, it can never be a substitute for a knowledgeable human being sat opposite you.  I loathe this Government and its continued litany of 'work is best'  >steam<

Monic1511

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2017, 09:30:16 PM »
Luckily my council still funds welfare rights officers but the downside is that the funds come from EU funding and we all have so many clients we could work nights and not keep up with demand.

Many folk think I have this that and the next illness so I must be due that benefits - EH no, start with what descriptors are there and what points do you think you meet, then tailor your answers to that.  if I'm really fed up with someone who says but I have X and cant do Y I say "ok here are the points which ones do you meet, I'll gladly write your reconsideration letter but on what grounds, those are the rules in front of you there."   granted that's not helpful to everyone but 90 minutes of trying to get info out of someone and all they can say is "but I have tinnitus and have no social life so I must be due PIP" arrrrggghhh

moaning over for now
Monic

On the edge

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 10:47:53 AM »
My council had funding for welfare rights too, they referred me to a HOUSING ASSOCIATION in a different area altogether, because they could not afford to support the deaf, I told them they were legally required to, they replied 'Only if you have sorted the issue with the DWP first.. we then try to sort out what it means via rent/taxes etc...' 

I was intrigued enough to contact this area, after all I had no other options presented.  They sent me an e-mail saying "We have 2 people at present attending classes to learn sign language, neither are trained in welfare advice.." Looking further online I came across an RAD office (Royal Association of the Deaf), and amazingly 100 yards away from the council offices.  I thought great ! they are a deaf legal charity, surely they can help ?  I failed to establish ANY contact with the local office at all, the place was closed all the time, and their head office replied 'it is open, but staffed by just one person who commutes to England as and when required..' 

I asked my local council if THEY could establish the status quo of this office, and they said they had no idea it existed, i told them you, me and the local deaf community had no idea!  They could not establish contact either, in fact said as they were aware it had NEVER opened.  Reading between very wide lines, it would seem to have been a funding ploy not a viable resource at all.  Pushing this charity for replies they admitted the person employed to staff the office had left their charity, but 'had to maintain it, as per funding agreement', I said but, it WASN'T actually open never had been...

The DWP should not be sending out forms people cannot read or understand, it would help if they weren't printed in a foreign language from Neptune as well.  Many of partner's peers had literacy problems, so had no idea what was required in the way of responses, result, no claim went in.  The DWP said ask their social worker, but 80% of deaf no longer use them, the dedicated deaf services finished 14 years ago.  The DWP actually supply support if asked, but many deaf did not know that, the DWP is obliged to help them understand forms, and assist them at assessments by law.  Instead, the DWP were telling deaf to bring a  friend or family member, a ploy used by the health services and others to avoid paying for proper support.  It is problematic as family do not understand the forms either, when they went to the CAB on deaf behalf the DWP refused to work with them insisting only the claimant can apply.


Sunny Clouds

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2017, 03:30:15 PM »
(((On the Edge)))

If I say that despite all the things we have clashed over, I wish I could come and wrap my arms round you and make you feel just for a moment that someone cares and understands, you'll know what an impact your words have made.

Just for comparison, on a very much minor note, I'm having more and more problems trying to deal with some public bodies on the phone and tried to work out how to install software to make my computer work with the voice relay things or whatever they are.   The site with the downloads said phone companies have different charges etc. so I contacted Virgin who seemed to talk a load of gobbledygook, but in the end all that I could grasp is that they said they wanted to charge me 16p/minute.

But I thought at least I can hear enough to make that call, to try and make sense of it, although I shall probably write in, but how on earth do you even begin to  sort things out if you can't hear at all?

I've been dealing with the local council over something to do with my council tax exemption (severe mental impairment) and it was a nightmare.  I couldn't get the staff to slow down and speak clearly.  I've also been dealing with the DWP over something and the helpfulness has been very variable and it makes so much difference whether they grasp the hearing thing or not.

So how on earth you're supposed to deal with all this if you're profoundly deaf, I cannot imagine, save to suppose that insofar as it may not be impossible, it must be so close to it to be what I come across researchers describing as not statistically significant.


However, I would make one observation.  It's not just in relation to deafness there's a problem.  That isn't to deny how awful it is in relation to deafness or in any way to diminish what you say, it's as a prelude to saying that I think that the government is deliberately making it as difficult as possible to get as many different benefits as possible, except for those it believes are claimed by those that can be counted upon to vote for it, so there are also obstacles in the way of others.  They make the forms and procedures too difficult for people with learning  disabilities, they make it so you have to have pretty good sight to access the paperwork needed if you have poor sight, they hold assessments in centres pretty much inaccessible to those with the impairments they're supposed to be assessing, they use forms that ask the 'wrong' questions, so that anyone not familiar with the small print of the law is in with a good chance of not mentioning something important or even vital.

As I say, that doesn't in any way diminish from what you say, I simply mention it in support of my proposition that this is deliberate, not lack of knowledge or understanding on the part of the people who set up and run the system.

Chin up! (And sundry other trite comments that give you an excuse to let off steam by growling at me.)   >run<


On the edge

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2017, 08:22:32 PM »
I did NOT claim for myself as a deaf person but on behalf of my partner who is deaf no speech and unable to understand the DWP posts.  The DWP said deaf people can't talk, you do, nothing doing as I was concerned, but they lived to regret that!  Since I was deaf I cared for both my aged parents and both of them with terminal illness's, and have brought up an autistic son too.  I've been a carer 50 years... still doing it.  What readers need to understand is the DWP gets to do what they want because they were voted to do that, and because disabled are a drain on society, and we are living too long, (not my belief I can assure you !), you have to wonder, are the tories entirely to blame? or your next door neighbour is? someone had to have voted for them.  I don't think anyone here did....

Deaf V disabled ?  let's not go there today lol

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2017, 09:30:50 PM »
 >bighugs<

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2017, 12:17:54 AM »
"I did NOT claim for myself as a deaf person"

Sorry.  I thought this had related initially to a claim for yourself and had led you to consider both how this had affected you and other deaf people with a range of issues.  My apologies for misunderstanding, but I hope you found my response ok in other respects, i.e. agreeing with you that the situation vis-a-vis the obstacles in the way of claiming benefits if you're deaf are unacceptable.

As for people voting and attitudes towards disability, I think it's sort of circular, because various politicians and media moguls have done a very good job of setting people against one another and convincing people that other people are in some way undeserving or fraudulent.

Have you come across the biscuit model of this type of politics?

Three people are sitting at a table - a rich man with politicians in his pocket and media outlets to sell his views, an ordinary man who happens to listen to and read the information and views disseminated by the rich man, and someone struggling to get by and relying on benefits and help.

A waitress brings in a plate of 12 biscuits.  The rich man takes 11 and says to the ordinary man "Watch out!  That scrounger's after your biscuit!"

So it's circular.  The ordinary people vote in the politicians that manipulate them.

Aargh!  I just realised we're agreeing on some things.  This won't do, On the edge, we've a reputation to uphold.  We're going to have to find something to clash over.  Let me think.  Erm "All deaf people should sign."  No, that won't do, I barely scraped level 1 and forgot it all very rapidly after the test.  "You've got to say Deaf not deaf."  Hmm, that won't do, either, because I use the terms randomly. 

Oh dear, we'll just have to settle for agreeing that the way the DWP and the government treat deaf people is disgusting, that they're also treating lots of other disabled people disgustingly, and that we get twitchy over how much it's the politicians to blame and how much it's the ordinary people  around us.  At least, I think we agree on that?

Oh, and it's good to see you back.  Seriously.

On the edge

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2017, 11:10:47 AM »
This is the nub isn't it, deaf versus disabled, it is NOT a view I share.  I started out campaigning by joining and being part of the first coalition of disabled people in Wales.  Initially, I joined because I was rejected by deaf peers from joining their campaigns because 'You aren't really deaf you can talk and don't use sign language..' (Which apparently was the entrance qualification.)  I learnt a lot about disability as an issue they supported me, where I was able, I supported them and still do.  I tend to get bogged down these days countering deafness as a right or cultural pursuit.  The promotion as I saw it was negative AT disabled people, they keep reiterating WE (deaf people), aren't them (Disabled people).   It is justified via rights, equality and all the rest of the confusing and biased approaches of those things.  I saw deaf as abusing rights laws frankly in many respects and getting away with it because they could.

My deafness, the access is not sign language, but the deaf campaigns oppose that too.  The coalition I joined was first-rate and I never looked to lobbying solely for the deaf after, too restrictive and singular.  I also produced their magazine for them so not all about deaf. It enabled me to be the first deaf person to attend the launch of the disability act in the 1990s, ironically because the deaf reps said 'It is about disabled not us..'  I had the dubious 'honour' of representing the entire signing deaf community at the launch in Manchester via the coalition.  I think equality is wide open to abuse today, and sadly have had cause to oppose some areas advocating it in isolation, I don't think this aids inclusion one iota. If you get 69m with individual demands for rights then none are possible to give.  You are bound to be opposing someone by default.

yep pity about the BBC thing! they still say they are the 'OUCH' voice of disabled people, despite kicking us out.  I gather they import sanitised views from disabled prepared to not rock boats... maybe we should challenge fellow disabled who are doing that ?  I just see an alarming rise in disability and deaf luvvies frankly !
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 11:14:08 AM by On the edge »

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2017, 12:40:52 PM »
Please let me use this as an excuse to have a mini-rant about the divisions between the 'mental' community and the disability community.  I think the biggest problem lies with a different usage of a single word: biopsychosocial.   Say it to many disabled activists and they instinctively and understandably go off on one.  It's the term that's been used as a way of denying sickness/disability money to people and could be, I think, best described as the equivalent of 'it's all in your mind' or 'you just need to think differently and you can work' etc.

In other words, in disability circles, biopsychosocial = excuse for denying them the help they need and are entitled to.

But in mental circles, it's the opposite.  Going back to its roots, it's the word that says it's not simply 'it's how your childhood and subsequent life affected your thoughts and feelings' vs 'it's in your genes' vs 'it's society's effect on you', it's the word that says mental disorders are a bit of all of these and individual to each person.   This is very, very important if, as an individual, you want to argue that pills aren't enough or therapy isn't enough or that the reason you feel the way you do isn't the same as the reason why the person next to you feels the same way.

In particular, it's very, very important in the context of the big drive by drug companies to frame mental illness/disorders in terms of 'chemical imbalance' and to pour vast sums of money into genetic research.  Yes, it sounds melodramatic, but if you think of T4, you can see why there are many people with mental illness/disorders that don't want someone saying simply 'you've got the wrong genes and your body chemistry is all wrong'.  Saying it's more than that can literally be life and death if there's a change in  how nice/nasty a country is.

So you've got a quite unnecessary clash and all because certain immoral insurance companies used a word to cheat people.  So long as disability activists continue with 'it's not biopsychosocial' and similar phrases, not 'that's a distortion of the concept of biopsychosocial', there will be a divide between them and those that say 'we may have a mental disorder/illness/distress/health problem, but we have individual reasons, don't treat us all the same and don't write us off as fundamentally flawed'.

A word, a concept, and a division.  The same as a deaf person seeing saying they're not disabled as meaning, very roughly, 'disabled people are defective, I'm not defective, I'm just different'.  I think, personally, that that's why in places like where I live (large conurbation), even though there's a deaf community, the Deaf identity ones seem to hide away in a separate centre that has, for me, all the atmosphere of a different-language day centre, e.g. a Hindi/Urdu day centre.

I admire you, OtE for the way you've kept at it in terms of deaf disability rights. 

lankou

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Re: Scarily clueless about benefits
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2017, 12:50:57 PM »
  I think the biggest problem lies with a different usage of a single word: biopsychosocial. 

The problem is Mansel Aylward's bastardised version of the biopsychosocial model of disability being used for testing for fitness for work.
It has no place in the welfare system at all.