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How do we really get a better deal?
I have been off the forum for a while as things did take a turn for the worse.
This has been brewing since the last episode in Feb this year, and was a culmination of DWP and PIP's yet again sending me through the ringer to prove that I am ill, again, before paying what " they believed to be correct."
Last week I attended a meeting and one of the comments about "how to fix the system" and how to get the Secretary of State once admitted that there were serious Typos and Grammatical errors on not only my claim but every claimants assessment to benefits.
A suggestion as to get a level playing field in payments was this:
That PIP recognises that disabled people face extra costs, is not related to income or work status, and is non-means tested are all hard won and important principles the Commission believes are vital to hold on to within any social security system.
In terms of recognising the disadvantage in income many disabled people face, this has been done through income related benefits. Invalidity Benefit, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit have all had supplements which recognise this and this is certainly an important principle which the Commission wishes to hold onto. This is also demonstrated in our proposals around having a disability supplement for the Guaranteed Decent Income (see below). (I have removed this since I am looking at the principle behind the benefit.)
One way to get MPs on side is to subject their expenses claims to the same degrading and humiliating process currently used, ie, a claim is made with evidence, the evidence is ignored and the claim refused, they then put in a MR and receive a text message telling them they are looking at it and then receive a letter upholding the original decision which is dated 4 days earlier than the text message. They then have to go for a face to face assessment where non qualified people copy and paste from previous assessments. They then lodge an appeal just for everything to be paid a few days before the appeal is due to be heard & 18 months after making the claim it is paid.Does that sound about right as to how your benefit entitlement is processed?
Being offline for a few weeks has given me a chance to step back and actually look at the benefits system, and the assessment process. I am luck in some respects that I can use a computer of a sorts, but what of those people that can't use a computer, you all know the statements everything is done on line now? What if there is a one parent family and single child that becomes disabled who or where do they go to get help, "the go to person?" They don't have savings or spare money to get a Mobile phone or the contract that goes with it? If like my wife she would not even know how to switch on a computer let alone search for link to get help for benefits? She is retired Disabled but won't go to a doctor, does not claim benefits and looks after me.
She does not want to learn how to use a computer, and can't claim carers allowance since she has a pension, its one or the other, and in seeing the stress of the form filling says I would not put my self through that for what they pay.
How many others are like that? The reason for Disability benefits was to pay the extra costs incurred because of a sickness or disability that does not come from an able bodied person in Mobility allowance or care costs and adaptions both at work, if still working or at home.
Where has the system gone wrong? Its now a cost cutting exercise. The reason for the amounts of money now being poured into the system, as one comment from Boris said, we have put more into the system than anyone has ever done? This is because of years of neglect and lack of keeping up with the costs incurred by the disabled.
Has your money gone up to pay for the increase in Electricity or the increase in petrol?
By us its gone up 10pence a litre in a week. Its always pass it on to the consumer, yet when your bin collections were reduced to fortnightly to cut labour and fuel costs, were your rates cut or a percentage given back? When post was twice a day and is now once at around 11.00am did they reduce the cost of letters.
When you post a letter to the DWP or PIP's that costs £2.45 signed for and they say they didn't receive it do they care? Or the cost of the 0345 numbers to pip's and taking 3/4 hour to answer a single call do you get charged less? Is it sorted out any quicker, no, it still takes 20 weeks.
Where has the system gone wrong? It has allowed the DWP to get away with poor service to the people that need it the most when they need it the most. There is no Duty of Care, if there was why are assessors not showing I D badges when assessments take place? what are they afraid of? We all know the answer, you all need to start asking for some accountability, since every case that is won in a Tribunal I would bet that the DWP have had 200 other cases that people have just give up when they have a report that scores ZERO. Because instead of making the system easily accessible as it was intended they now throw every spanner they have at you, so that one case that wins a few Grand back that they were already entitled to is peanuts to the number that they say do not complain.
Same old complaints against them that you would never see, because they do no publish the ones they loose and why, and certainly don't alter the paperwork supplied by the assessment companies.
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