Author Topic: "Battling with Benefits"  (Read 1992 times)

RoseRodent

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"Battling with Benefits"
« on: 26 Feb 2016 02:31PM »
if you're not normally in the BBC Wales area, you may not know about this 3 episode show covering the issues in sensible ways, not the channel 5 "gawp at these loud benefit claimants smoking, drinking acme shoplifting " way.

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: "Battling with Benefits"
« Reply #1 on: 26 Feb 2016 02:50PM »
I've been watching it on iPlayer. It's not bad at all - much less stigamtising and judgemental than the standard benifits bashing fare.

The 3 episodes, which cover sickness and disablilty benefits, the bedroom tax and sanctions, can be found here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b071jrnw/battling-with-benefits-episode-3

 

Sunny Clouds

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Re: "Battling with Benefits"
« Reply #2 on: 26 Feb 2016 08:59PM »
I just watched an episode.  It was good, but it didn't really explain why they needed what they did.

For example, the girl that needed a female taxi driver.  Did she need one or just want one?  I'm guessing there was a reason, for example some sort of previous assault or abuse, but in the absence of an explanation, it just looks like pickiness.

Likewise the deaf girl.  She appeared to understand the interviewer's questions, including when they appeared to be walking side by side, when you'd expect there would be difficulty lipreading, giving the impression that she could actually understood more than was suggested by her application for PIP, but it's entirely possible, the BBC being what it is, that she was asked the various questions several times before she understood and the film was then edited.

So poor examples insofar as they suggested applying for benefits that weren't needed.

In relation to the couple that moved, it would be easy to wonder what on earth would make them move without ensuring they'd got jobs first, so again that doesn't make for a sympathetic example, even though there was a passing mention of relatives so they might actually have had some caring role. 

I was very unhappy that it wasn't pointed out that the jobseeker that didn't stay signed on just to get his NI credits could be reducing his pension.

So a good programme, but not the best examples they could find, given that there were key issues not explained.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

RoseRodent

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Re: "Battling with Benefits"
« Reply #3 on: 09 Mar 2016 09:16AM »
That's true, though it's a millions times better than the Channel 5 version. I wonder where they get some of those people, but I presume a job advert such as this:

Do you have loud and obnoxious opinions? Can you spout them without filter? Then Channel 5 is looking for YOU!!

Required: You must smoke and be prepared to drink noticeably in the show.
Desirable: Shoplifting, an anti-work attitude, broadly racist opinions, very expensive clothing and electronics

I agree that the taxi thing did look picky, and I had a certain sympathy for the council at the beginning  because an accessible taxi with a female driver isn't an easy thing to conjure up in a small town. I lost that sympathy, however, when one was found within a few weeks once the council got around to actually looking rather than pushing paper and throwing up their hands. If they had started 12 weeks before term when teh application was made, they would have found her in good time. I also didn't like that they said she is "entitled to" a taxi rather than she "needs" a taxi.

It demonstrated how random the allocation process can be. The girl with hearing loss very similar to mine and NO other (mentioned) disability had got around 80 pounds a week in DLA, which I presume is made up of LRM and MRC. I have that hearing loss AND I'm a wheelchair user and I have limited use of my hands AND I have fatigue and I was turned down for LRM 5 times and MRC 7 times. Not that I'm saying she should not have got it or I should, just that there's a total lack of parity there. I don't think I they covered the reason for her not progressing to PIP very well - she may have thought it was very unfair, but the decision at least appeared correct - using 2 hearing aids is worth 2 points. Maybe at a push she could get some other categories, but I can't see she could muster 8 points out of Daily Living OR mobility, and 6 points is as worthless as 2. She stopped getting it because that was the policy intent. Sadly.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: "Battling with Benefits"
« Reply #4 on: 11 Mar 2016 05:17PM »
Reading your last post makes me think I'd like a couple of television programmes about the randomness of it and unfairness of it.

I'd also, I think, like a programme that focusses on hidden costs.  I'm lucky in that I've got a bit of pension money and I'm ok for my benefits, but if that weren't so, I'd be in an entirely different position.

Apart from anything else, there are, as we all here know, up front costs, running costs, bit at a time costs etc.

Even something as simple as how fast your condition deteriorates can make an enormous difference.  For example, sight deteriorating.  If it goes very slowly, you've time to buy things as you go along.  My sight isn't terribly bad, but as you all here know, I recently purchased a white cane plus rover wheel to compensate for the combined effect of sight and balance problems.  I forget the total cost of cane and wheel, but I think it was the best part of 30.   Not a fortune.  But what if unlike me you need a whole host of stuff all at once.  A magnifying glass.  Some brighter lightbulbs.  An extra large television controller.  An easy-use timer for cooking.  And so on.  Totally different.

But also, with my conditions, I'm not struggling with the amount I get, whereas some people really are, and so I found the cane and wheel easily affordable, whereas someone else might have really struggled to find the money.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)