Author Topic: Clampdown on benefits for addicts  (Read 4144 times)

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« on: November 10, 2012, 03:51:52 PM »
"Clampdown on benefits for addicts

Drug addicts and alcoholics who claim thousands of pounds a year in sickness benefits could be stripped of their handouts if they do not seek treatment.

By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent, in Abu Dhabi

10:03PM GMT 05 Nov 2012



The proposal, which is likely to be fought by campaigners, could be extended to people who claim benefits because they cannot work due to obesity or back pain.

The crackdown is the latest attempt by the Coalition to get to grips with Britain’s multi-billion-pound welfare budget.

Downing Street sources described the plan as a “tough love approach towards our aim of ending the something-for-nothing approach in benefits”. Currently, anyone claiming sickness benefits has to obtain medical evidence of entitlement. Under the scheme, anyone with a treat-able ailment will have to agree to seek regular treatment or lose the hand-out.

This would see alcoholics denied benefits unless they attended regular meetings at a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Similarly, drug addicts would be denied payment if they refused to be treated.

Trials across the country, costing £25 million, will be announced by Mark Hoban, the work and pensions minister, before Christmas.

“It’s right that we provide support for people in need, but we should also expect something back in return,” a government source said last night. “We are already helping people back into work through unemployment benefit conditionality.

"Now we are looking at transferring that principle to sickness benefits, so that for those people who are sick but able to take practical steps to improve their health, the benefits system encourages them to get better.”

The changes will apply to the employment support allowance, which is worth £105 a week. Figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions in July showed that nearly 22,000 people with drug or alcohol problems were claiming the allowance, which pays out £7 billion a year.

Officials stressed that once the principle was introduced into the benefits system it could be expanded to other ailments, which would increase numbers caught by the changes. This means people who are claiming the payments because of bad backs, depression or obesity could see their support slashed.

The pilots are based on a “three strikes and you’re out” model, which has seen welfare payments taken away from unemployed people considered not to be doing enough to find another job.

Details are still under discussion, but The Daily Telegraph understands that payments would be docked if benefit claimants failed to attend regular sessions with a health care professional."[i/]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9657216/Clampdown-on-benefits-for-addicts.html

Words fail me.  >steam<   
   
   
   

lankou

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 04:30:35 PM »
That will put the crime rate up along with the amount of social problems.

Minniehaha

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 04:41:21 PM »
Officials stressed that once the principle was introduced into the benefits system it could be expanded to other ailments, which would increase numbers caught by the changes. This means people who are claiming the payments because of bad backs, depression or obesity could see their support slashed.

The doctor in attendance at my recent appeal tribunal is already applying that principle.  He implied, without knowing anything about my (almost) forty years of struggle with mental illness, that I hadn't done enough to seek treatment for my depression since I began claiming sickness benefits nine years ago.  He also seemed sceptical about my 'bad back' - actually sciatica which mainly affects my leg.

As I lost my appeal, I also lost my contributions-based ESA as I failed to get into the support group.

Mabelcat

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2012, 06:00:07 PM »
We are heading more and more towards the Victorian ideas of 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor.  It makes me sick.

Monic1511

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2012, 06:59:41 PM »
Hi
Is it just me or is the reporter "Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent, in Abu Dhabi 10:03PM GMT 05 Nov 2012"    a bit behind with the times.

I see methadone users on a weekly basis and have done for the past year, most of them have been found fit for work and also they normally lose at the tribunal stage, also a decision maker let slip that the alcoholic claimants who are appealling the decision to find them fit are normally sent an ESA50 every 3 months.
This is not a new policy - there are no descriptors in ESA that cover the addiction problems but there were on IB.
more than 2 years ago a local alcoholic spent several months without benefits cos he couldn't remain sober enough to write an appeal & would storm into the JC+ and demand money but since he hadn't appealled nor had he claimed JSA (he wouldn't have met the "fit and available" rule anyway) he couldn't be paid.
I felt sorry for the JC+ staff as they got all the abuse & no one could work out who was going to employ him anyway.

If accepting treatment for drug addition meant paying ESA the DWP wouldn't be finding methadone users fit for work

As usual the press get the facts skewed "he changes will apply to the employment support allowance, which is worth £105 a week."  Only Support Group ESA is £105.05 per week and we know how few meet that criteria  >steam<

Monic

devine63

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2012, 09:33:21 PM »

There are just a few holes in this idea about drug addicts:

1.  Only heroin users can get replacement therapy featuring methadone - if their local NHS happens to still have a treatment centre that offers methadone treatment, as it has to be supervised by a properly qualified and experienced psychiatrist.   What about those addicted to other drugs for which there is no replacement therapy?  Or is the govt planning to get them all addicted to methadone so that  the NHS can pay for it?

2.  Who would be willing to offer employment to a person addicted to methadone? (especially as many users have a criminal record as a result of their addiction)  Does anyone know the effects of methadone on a person?  After all it is a heroin-substitute - I gather there's no high, but that doesn't mean there are no effects....

3.  and don't get me started on forcing treatments on us because we're fat or smokers or whatever....

regards, Deb
regards, Deb

[devine63]

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 10:11:31 PM »
The number of deaths due to Methadone has been increasing for sometime now if you are not opiate tolerant it can kill you.

Even if you are tolerant I believe the dosage has to be carefully controlled.

I don't know about here in the UK but in the USA it is being increasingly used in pain management for which  it is highly effective.

There fore many more people are being prescribed it. hence the rise in deaths involving methadone that and the shortage of heroin is driving users to turn to it.


Also methadone stays in the system as long as 59 hours. People may feel they need more pain relief before the drug is cleared from the body, and if taken too often or at doses that are too high, toxic levels can build up, which can lead to life-threatening changes in breathing and heart function.

It is not a safe drug.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 10:44:05 PM by Ironic John »
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

devine63

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 10:46:30 PM »
Yes one of the reasons addicts must have expert support with methadone is that the street heroin they have been taking is not pure, so no way to tell really what dose it is they have adjusted to ...
regards, Deb
regards, Deb

[devine63]

bubble

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 03:19:03 AM »
Forced treatment is not ok in any circumstances.

Its again one section of people at the moment until they extend it to other illnesses. Like the old saying,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, when they came for me there was no one left to fight...........................

This is NOT right in a civilised society.

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 05:33:12 AM »
"3.  and don't get me started on forcing treatments on us because we're fat or smokers or whatever...."

I'd love to know how many people claim ESA or DLA for primary obesity, as opposed to those claimants who simply become obese due to the effects of their condition or treatment.

The talk of compulsory treatment for 'bad backs' and 'depression' is really worrying. Not only does the casual way these disorders are spoken of serve to trivialise them, but the idea of forcing someone, especially someone with a potentially life-threatening MH condition, into possibly unsuitable therapy, strikes me as counterproductive and downright dangerous.

Monic1511 - standard practice for the right-wing press. When in doubt, always publish the highest possible rate for any benefit, to get their readership outraged enough to support the introduction of yet another cruel policy. 

bulekingfisher

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 10:37:26 AM »
Hello NeuralgicNeurotic

This idea of with holding benifts sounds like political corresponts don't know what they are writting about + are out of step with the govt of the day so I ask do they desvre to be employed with a handsome salery + the perks that go with the job

devine63

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2012, 08:38:15 PM »

Hi NN

"I'd love to know how many people claim ESA or DLA for primary obesity, as opposed to those claimants who simply become obese due to the effects of their condition or treatment."


The point is that no one really knows what are the factors which mediate body weight (plenty of evidence that it is not as simple as many would like to think) - so, for example, doctors are just beginning to recognise that becoming fat could well the the one of the first symptoms caused by the process of becoming diabetic (type 2) for some people - rather than the obesity being the cause of the diabetes.

Therefore: why do we need to distinguish between those who have what you called "primary obesity" and those for whom it is secondary to some other condition?
regards, Deb
regards, Deb

[devine63]

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2012, 08:54:58 PM »
"The point is that no one really knows what are the factors which mediate body weight (plenty of evidence that it is not as simple as many would like to think) - so, for example, doctors are just beginning to recognise that becoming fat could well the the one of the first symptoms caused by the process of becoming diabetic (type 2) for some people - rather than the obesity being the cause of the diabetes."

Cheers! Wasn't aware of that >thumbsup<

What I was trying (and failing) to get at, is how many people claim DLA because of obesity itself, rather than a disability or illness which may have obesity as a side effect, either of the condition or its treatment. My guess would be none to not that many, and it's just been thrown into the mix because in the popular imagination it's something self-inflicted. 
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 09:10:55 PM by NeuralgicNeurotic »

devine63

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2012, 09:26:30 PM »
Hi NN

I understood that was your point, but I don't think the DWP breakdown their stats that finely - but as you say, it won't be many ...

If you are interested in some material on how bad the "science" is in most articles about weight, let me know by PM

regards, Deb
regards, Deb

[devine63]

Otter

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Re: Clampdown on benefits for addicts
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2012, 09:45:53 PM »
its a political statement nothing more

one question though- where is this treatment for addicts?