Author Topic: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.  (Read 1005 times)

lankou

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I suggest anyone who is fragile mentally at the moment does not read this article. I have contacted my MP about it asking them to get the DWP to either verify it or deny it:-

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/07/17/disabled-claimants-told-2-yrs-to-get-job-or-be-sanctioned-for-a-year/

huhn

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 06:10:30 PM »
one word  I have to say: mad

Sunny Clouds

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 07:43:00 PM »
I have to say that this article, whilst interesting, is presenting information in a muddled and incomplete way, so until I know more, I'll suspend judgement.

Undoubtedly, the government is making things worse and introducing more and more unreasonable criteria and appalling reductions and stoppages of  benefits.  At the same time, this seems more like what happens if you apply for one benefit, get moved to another, and find yourself in limbo in the system, with what's described as a one year sanction actually being a time between when you are determined fit for work and when you can apply again for benefits on the  basis of incapacity for work rather than unemployment.

That doesn't mean that it isn't a problem, just that I'm not convinced the description of the mechanism whereby it happens or will happen is correct.

lankou

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 07:58:35 PM »


That doesn't mean that it isn't a problem, just that I'm not convinced the description of the mechanism whereby it happens or will happen is correct.

That is why I have contacted my MP.

Monic1511

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 09:21:00 PM »
If you really want to know what is happening to those on universal credit you need to find the full service areas and look at the local reports, there is a facebook group of universal credit survivors where people are helping each other.
As for the rules and the conditionality, the work coach can sanction you but sanctions can be disputed, the problem is you need to do this via your online journal,
Claimant commitments can be amended - I have done it for people in the live service area I work in just now BUT there are no disability premiums on UC, so if your on JSA & have dla you get a premium but not if you have claimed UC.
ESA claimants on UC still have to meet the claimant commitment and if the work coach thinks its reasonable for a person on dialysis to be jobsearching 20 hours a week they have to do that until you can get the claimant commitment changed.

As for sanctions - yes they can use them but the responsibility is on the claimant to challenge them and involve their elected members to help them, if your MP wont help then the local media will .

Yes this nightmare is part of active legislation but until there is a national campaign legislation wont be changed.
sorry but I deal with the live service areas of UC and its already a nightmare, full service is a disaster in slow motion

Sunny Clouds

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 12:39:57 AM »
I'm afraid that if they make me do things online, all they'll get from me is a flood of manic gobbledygook if I go into meltdown.  At least in writing, I can think twice before posting it, or if in person, I can take someone with me.

As it is, the poor so-and-so that will be assessing my PIP application faces a PIP2 plus over 100 pages of explanations/summaries etc. of how things affect me and certificates & witness statements, and that's after whittling it down.  That's nothing to the length of my last ESA renewal.  Can you imagine if they try to sanction me and I go bonkers, with no delay, just online, psychotic manic panic?

Has any of you seen my typing when I panic?  When I type, I do a lot of backspacing etc.  I wear out my backspace keys.   Let me give you a taster of when I type without checking.

Ththis ist howet it cotmensa ot whetin I todongt stlot waoewtn ans ty batckstpace atnd batcksapce and tre-reeatd and ttake lotys to f caters.  TYhats# thtust what hatppens if I tlet it haptten and thdont' corretct fot it.  Btow itmtigne if I'tm pabigiciknt as twell.  Thisty isnt' fakted, it's aqht reallty happens it I tdont' take timryer abty amebtd etybs

* Translation.  This is how it comes out when I don't slow down and backspace and backspace and ?? and take lots of care.  That's just what happens if I let it happen and don't correct for it.  But imagine if I'm panicking as well.  This isn't faked, it's what really happens if I don't take time and amend ??   [note there are two words that I can't make out myself and can't remember what they were]

The irony is that for all that I loathe UC, I don't believe that most of the actual problems arise from the obstacles deliberately placed in people's way, I believe they arise from other factors and assumptions.

When the government will really start acting, I hate to say, is when a few seriously mentally ill people go bonkers and do something headline-worthy.  Up until now, the mental health services have done their best to pick up the pieces, but they're crumbling.   

Monic1511

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2017, 08:33:27 PM »
Hi Sunny
the thing with UC is that very few area are full service and the only people in that area who are on UC are the people who have changes in their circumstances (birth of a child / start a job & need tax credits)  and the people who make new claims to benefit.   If you live in a full service area and are on legacy benefits, you remain on them until you have a change of circumstances.

I have no idea if UC will be rolled out all over the UK but if it is there will be major traumas and it'll be up to the press to pick up the story.

I know its easy to say but please folks, concentrate on the hear and now and let UC stay in the future just now.

Monic

Norrin Radd

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 09:30:35 PM »
I'll be in contact with my MP about this, but I don't see this happening any time soon. It's not going to be easy for the government to make such a change to the welfare state.

lankou

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2017, 09:41:11 AM »


I have no idea if UC will be rolled out all over the UK but if it is there will be major traumas and it'll be up to the press to pick up the story.


Monic

UC rollout timetable just released:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/628958/universal-credit-transition-rollout-schedule.pdf


Sunny Clouds

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2017, 10:38:28 AM »
They're rolling it out here before the end of the year.  But to say I'm confused would be an understatement, because I get income related ESA but every once in a while they get in a pickle whilst re-assessing my capital and move me onto contributions-based ESA, then back again when they've sorted it.  (At one point they got in so much of a pickle, they stopped it altogether and by the time they sorted it, they owed me about 2500.)

So I suppose I'm going to have to make a decision as to whether to go for UC or "new style" ESA.   Oh for the days when  you claimed Incapacity Benefit and then if you wanted claimed Income Support on top, and you could see quite clearly how much you got for your contributions, how much extra you got for the income stuff and what was what.

Maybe when the time comes, some info fed into Turn2Us calculator will show whether it's best to go for the "new style" ESA.  I assume that, like UC, it won't have disability premiums.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2017, 10:54:16 AM »
Oh hell, just read that sanctions link.

So when it comes to steps towards improving health, do I say something like "meditate for 10 min/day to improve my mental state" or do I say something like "crowdfund a trip to America for a cure I've read about"? 

If I do this whilst I'm a bit bonkers, will they think I'm taking the proverbial.  I wonder what they would have made of it if this requirement had been in place when I got it into my head that God had given me a great mission to go and make peace in a particular overseas country, but then I went into meltdown over which languages I spoke as I tried to find an evening class in the language they speak there.  I mean, stopping a war is work, isn't it?

If I stay in the support group, it won't, for now, apply to me, but didn't I read that they're extending this sort of conditionality in UC to people in whatever the UC equivalent of support group? 

And what about people with significant learning disabilities?  How terribly easy for people (me included) to assume that if people have too low an IQ to cope with what we tend to see as 'the basics' won't have lots of conditionality, until there was the case raised in parliament of the JSA claimant unable to tell the time and sanctioned for being 4 minutes late.  Will they get sanctioned if they don't understand these questions?

I oscillate back and forth between thinking that the people that design this stuff thing it'll help people to get back to work and thinking that they design it just as an easy trap to increase the sanction figures.  Maybe they don't know either.

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2017, 03:29:18 PM »
UC rollout timetable just released:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/628958/universal-credit-transition-rollout-schedule.pdf


For what it's worth the roll-out timetable for Northern Ireland can be found here:

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/universal-credit

And the last statement on the matter from the then Minister for Communities is here:

https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/news/universal-credit-roll-out-begin-september-2017

Who knows how this might change in the future, because we still don't have a  Executive.

Monic1511

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2017, 09:37:11 PM »
Hi Sunny Clouds
I read this statement "So I suppose I'm going to have to make a decision as to whether to go for UC or "new style" ESA."  and thought - No sorry if you are in a live service are and there is a change to your ESA, say you were found fit then you don't get a choice of UC or new style ESA - its UC (ESA) that you would have to claim.   In a full service area it UC or nothing,  Its East Lothian (I think) that were telling us about people with cancer undergoing chemo being refused UC because they could not attend the jobcentre to activate their claim.
In UC you make the initial claim online but your claim is not registered until you attend the jobcentre and the work coach activates your claim.  (no emo's cos this pc wont do it but you can guess which ones I want to insert) 

We have no idea the level of conditionality expected of people who are accepted as having limited capability for work or in the support group.  I'd bet the jobcentre has no idea either.  It will all be open to interpretation but all contact in live areas has to be through your on line journal.  One man was sanctioned because he swore in the typed conversation and it was all down to his frustration. 
The WRO staff in full service areas report that the online journal is like a facebook page but no one has any idea how HM Tribunals are going to react when the dwp produces screenshots of conversations to say the claimant did not do something.

Can you see why I really don't want to get too roped in just now, I have enough nightmarish clients in a live service area when very few folk know how UC operated and the staff are not trained.

As for the timescale - its flexible - the government brought forward Inverclyde's full service with about 4 weeks notice.  Inverclyde has one of the prisons in it and all the prisoners have to claim UC just before they get released, they then are meant to be paid their housing element and they will then pay it to the homeless unit / bail unit (ha ha ha)  last I heard the unit was owed 85,000 in unpaid housing element.   Oh the joys of UC (utterly crap)


IDS thought that the taper would encourage folk back into work but then George Osborne abolished the work allowance and that has undermined the whole concept, 
- enough for now I need a cuppa ;-)
Monic

Sunny Clouds

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Re: VERY worrying article about Universal Credit and disablity.
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2017, 12:54:30 AM »
So from when my jobcentre area moves to UC it's a means-tested benefit (UC) or nothing? So if I draw down a lump sum on one of my pensions so I'm over the threshold for means-tested benefits, I'm completely stuffed?  Then what's the point in what the .gov website calls 'new style ESA' if it's not for those entitled to contributions-based benefits? 

Time to claim my war pension, I think, if it's UC or nothing.  So much for paying all my contributions if we no longer have an option for those not eligible for a means-tested benefit.  I've written a letter to tell the DWP they can go to hell with my benefits, and I'll be on the phone to the Legion and SSAFA tomorrow.  Then I'll be in touch with the Army Benevolent Fund, my regimental association and my private pension funds.  So much for all my years of contributions.