AIBU to be incensed at the inequalities in the benefit system? (long sorry)

(259 Posts)
Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 10:48:11

I read MN every day and think how awful it is that so many people are struggling to cope on inadequate benefits and of the nit picking interviews they have to go through to get anything extra. And then there's ASOS causing so much upset and forcing disabled people to justify their existence.

I know there is a very small minority who play the system but they seem to be the only ones we ever hear about. So many people are struggling, no one should have to go to a food bank to feed their children.

However, there are cases where the money could be shuffled around and aimed at those really struggling.

My cousin is autistic and she lives in a wonderful complex within the community. She has a flat (bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom) and there is a care worker on call 24/7. SWs call daily to help her prepare meals, do her washing, take her shopping and so on. She also has an active social life, organised by SS and a local charity. She also has a supported job washing up in an old people's home close by. She sees her remaining parent every weekend and they go on holiday together. She pays for her own holidays and some of the care from her allowances.

This really is an example of excellent care. She was recently reassessed and she is entitled to every penny she gets in allowances and benefits.

However, she has a five figure amount of money in savings. All of this is saved from her benefits and allowances. I hope she has a long life ahead of her but when she dies this money and a lot more, I guess, will go to her family.

AIBU in thinking that this would not be fair? And AIBU in thinking she is getting far too much (at the moment) and there are people out there who need it more?

Suelford Mon 27-Jan-14 10:51:24

You don't actually say how much she gets, so how can we know if she is "getting far too much"?

Seff Mon 27-Jan-14 10:53:05

Circumstances can be so different, though. There's a difference between someone who has been on DLA (for example) all their lives and someone who had a job, mortgage and other debts and then had to go on benefits.

Savings should be taken into account though, IMO. Having said that however, with the way the government treat the welfare budget, I wouldn't want to count on receiving full benefits for the rest of my life and would expect that one day Mr Osbourne and his cronies would try and take it all away from me. So in that respect, maybe it's a good thing to have the savings there just in case.

Tricky one, though. But the govt/media are only interested in talking about "scroungers" and don't seem to have time to really think about what's best for the people on welfare rather than the balance sheet.

SabraCadabra Mon 27-Jan-14 10:59:22

My DP is recently disabled due to AVN in his hips, he can only walk few steps is in wheelchair. He's claiming ESA support group which he has been on for ages for other things. Friends/family keep telling him to claim DLA but hes scared ATOS will do a number on him and he'll lose his ESA. Its a pain as we really need the extra money weve no car and now have to take taxis everywhere, and he could do with new wheelchair his is falling to bits. Plus if he gets on DLA would it open other things for him? We're in 2bed council house really need 1 bed ground floor flat.He cant get upstairs to bathroom we have a 24hr Asda over road have to use disabled loo there.

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 11:01:06

I don't know the exact sum she gets, only the amount of savings. She is very comfortable where she is and has everything she needs, including holidays abroad. I'd be the first out there shouting if she wasn't getting enough.

But currently she is getting more than she needs and it would be better spent elsewhere. That's what I was thinking.

5HundredUsernamesLater Mon 27-Jan-14 11:01:51

I think the whole benefits system needs looking at and that far more benefits should be means tested. Child benefit for example has always been paid to everyone wether they need it or not also state pension. A relative of mine who is a pensioner has never touched any of his state pension as he already has more money than he will ever need without it. It's just piling up in the bank to make a tidy sum for his daughters inheritance. I'm not saying that every pensioner is as lucky but I think any state handout should only be awarded following a full assessment and any savings should be taken into account.

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 11:02:18

Sabra that's the sort of thing I think the "extra" money should go to.

hoppingmad Mon 27-Jan-14 11:03:36

Sabra, have you thought about an exchange? I'm sure there will be people looking to swap for the extra bedroom

WooWooOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 11:04:02

If this is the position that your cousin is in, then it's one of very few examples of the benefits system doing a good job.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a benefits system that effectively compensates someone for the earnings that they will never be able to make for themselves because of a disability. I don't think this type of benefit should be at all means tested.

There might be people that need it more due to their own disability and circumstances, but then that's what needs to be changed, not the amount your cousin gets.

SabraCadabra Mon 27-Jan-14 11:07:12

Weve looked at exchanging but theres hardly any flats here mainly houses. I think a lot of people exchanged because of the idiotic bedroom tax too.

Lucked Mon 27-Jan-14 11:07:32

I think with some benefits savings are taken into account. My aunt works in this area and has been in the homes of old ladies with really old furniture/appliances and heating down low etc begging them to spend their savings so they can carry on getting all their benefits.

Tbh if your are completely dependent on benefits and are able to save I think you are wise to as you never know what service may be cut in the future.

WilsonFrickett Mon 27-Jan-14 11:09:12

So your cousin pays for some of her care, yet is able to save some money from her benefits/wages and you think she should be penalised for that?

I know some benefits are meant as a temporary 'safety net' but your cousin is disabled. Why shouldn't she be able to save a little bit of money? Good on her for being able to do this. She's entitled to a little bit of extra security, just like anyone else. Because she is just like anyone else. She is out working ffs - why shouldn't she have some money put by for a rainy day?

sashh Mon 27-Jan-14 11:09:15


The thing is your relative is lucky that there is a place like that for her to live. Somewhere like that is rare. If she was in a bog standard council flat do you think she would have savings?

Once her savings go over a certain amount her benefit will be cut accordingly.

Also, assuming she is on IB, as soon as that swaps to ESA she will loose about £45 a week.

If she is managing to save some money from her benfits then good on her. There is no guarantee she will carry on receiving the level of support she has, or that she can carry on living where she is, or has a job, or even will continue to receive the benefits she does. Having some savings gives her a little bit of a cushion for the future.

hoppingmad Mon 27-Jan-14 11:11:49

That's a shame sabra. Fwiw I don't think esa & dla are connected and you can qualify for one and not the other so I don't think there's anything to lose by applying. Your local cab office might be able to help?

I agree with woowoo though, dla is different to other benefits. A person whose earning capability is reduced or non existent through no fault of their own is no less entitled to holidays/savings etc than a working person.

WilsonFrickett Mon 27-Jan-14 11:15:53

Also - incensed? You are incensed by this? Really?

When you say 5 figures it makes a difference which 5 figures. 10,000 or 99,000

badtime Mon 27-Jan-14 11:19:47

OP, with the way local authorities are 'reableing' people at the moment (i.e. sending an OT round a few times to tell them how to do things, then saying 'right, you're not disabled any more', then trying to cut their care packages), your cousin may not be in such a comfortable position for ever.

I think YABU.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 27-Jan-14 11:21:46

I am pretty sure that here in Wales people cannot amass more than a certain amount of savings without their benefit being affected.

ShooCat Mon 27-Jan-14 11:24:21

I have to say that I do agree in part. My mother in law is retired and lives entirely on state benefits, some of which are related to her disability. She has an extremely high standard of living including holidays abroad. She can't hold much in savings as it would affect her pension credit so she just spends and spends on clothes, luxury toiletries, expensive hairdressing etc. I don't begrudge her it, but it is a bit out of kilter that she has so much disposable income while others are really struggling.

FutTheShuckUp Mon 27-Jan-14 11:26:14

Sorry but I couldn't help but chuckle at ASOS...all they've done in this is sell clothes don't hate on them

It depends which benefits. For example incapacity benefit isn't means tested, but treated like an insurance you took out which pays out $xx.xx when you are sick, but you wouldn't get all the other extras if you had a large bank balance.

I think the cut of begins at £16,000, but for some benefits it may be much lower.

Poloholo Mon 27-Jan-14 11:28:19

OP it sounds like your cousin is well looked after which is great. I see your point about her being able to save but is it a bad thing is she has managed her money carefully to put some aside?

WilsonFrickett Mon 27-Jan-14 11:29:36

To be honest Shoo I do believe that some pension benefits should be means tested. I think it's a disgrace that millionaires can have a free bus pass and that people who spend the coldest 6 weeks of the year in Spain can claim winter fuel allowance. But as pensioners are the biggest block of voters I can't see any govt doing anything about it any time soon.

zebrafinch Mon 27-Jan-14 11:31:22

DLA is not means tested but other benefits are and savings are taken into account for means tested benefits
Are you jealous that your cousin can have something approaching a normal life? one that other people her age can have? In my experience disability means a long slide into poverty for most people.

WooWooOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 11:31:57

My Gran is in the same position as your mil ShooCat, I think it's great that she is able to have a decent standard of living now that she's retired and not in the best of health. She worked since she was 14, even while having 12 children (not all of whom survived).

I hope that we preserve this for our pensioners so that even if people are struggling now, they will still be able to look forward to a decent standard of living in their old age.

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 11:32:03

People in your cousin's situation are few and far between and is getting that level of support because she really needs it but in some ways it also restricts her she isn't truly free to go out and do anything she wants. All her spending will be recorded and watched as part of the process of the support in theory to protect her from the risk of financial abuse. However you can't say we are going to pay you less because you have all these financial constraints on you as that in itself would be a form of abuse. If she is ever deemed able to live completely independently her costs will rocket.

Misspixietrix Mon 27-Jan-14 11:34:31

FuttheShuckup I thought that too! grin. I don't really know. OP what makes you think she gets far too much? Like a PP said the amount would make a difference to some peoples opinions. I know of a few Pensioners that are more than 'well off' and yet can remember my dear late aunt trying to rub two pennies together in order to get her weekly shopping in whilst her friends would be booking their 3rd cruise of the year. DLA etc is for the purposes of getting about e.g taxis to the hospital appointments and as some one once pointed out to me. Some look like they have more than enough because they don't use it as its intended too. Which isn't always their fault. Good on your relative I think she's doing really well for herself by the sounds of it especially the job you mentioned her doing.

coppertop Mon 27-Jan-14 11:37:16

Your cousin will need support for the rest of her life. With the cuts that are happening around us, there are no guarantees that this level of support will continue.

I'm not sure who you think would need money more than someone who has been assessed as needing to have support available 24/7 in order to carry out even the most basic tasks?


zebrafinch Mon 27-Jan-14 11:37:31

When Universal Credit is introduced people who have 6000£ in capital will lose some of their benefit. If they have 16000£ in savings they will not be eligible for universal credit

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 11:41:36

Oops, sorry about ATOS mis-type.

I'm incensed that some people are struggling to survive and have to visit food banks to feed their children, Wilson

DCos has no real concept of numbers and money. She has learning difficulties as well as autism. The SWs see that her bills are paid, her mother takes her clothes and flat shopping, the SW takes her to Sainsbury's. She buys what she wants from the shop over the road - magazines and chocolate - but would not be able to get the bus to the town to bigger shops and wouldn't understand the prices or be safe carrying large amounts of money.

I only feel there is something wrong in that she has amassed money she doesn't know what to do with while others are struggling.

People in your cousins situation will be very rare and if she doesn't understand money then perhaps she only thinks she has savings. Unless you have seen her accounts of course.

The good news though is that she will be losing much of that shortly and you may even end up having to take her in and look after her yourself.

zebrafinch Mon 27-Jan-14 11:53:58

"I only feel that there us something wrong in that she has amassed money she doesn't know what to do with whilst others are struggling"

biscuit my first

Why don't you keep your nose out of her business.

If her supported living place melts away, she is going to need her savings, and as £10000 is 5 figures, if its closer to that end it wont last very long will it.

frugalfuzzpig Mon 27-Jan-14 12:03:45

Thing is surely everyone should be encouraged to save. It's a good thing and in most cases (admittedly not your cousin)

You could have two people in council houses on exactly the same benefits and rent/bills, but person A fritters the remainder, person B lives as sensibly as they can and puts any remainder into savings.

Person B has a chance of getting a mortgage and no longer needing their housing, but person A might be there for life.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 12:04:32

The issue of savings from benefits is a hard one. My gran was in a home and was entitled to the small amount residents with no savings get in benefits - something like £10 a week? This is to pay for toiletries, clothes, etc.

My gran had lots and lots of clothes, and got special shampoo and soap prescribed by the Dr. The only thing she spent money on was a hairdresser that came to the home, and a few chocolates. So over the years it accumulated into savings.

Others in the home who came in with very little, really struggled to buy what they needed out of that amount, especially if they had no family to help out. My parents ended up buying and bringing in stuff for some elderly people.

Whenever you have a blanket rule, which benefits have, some people will do better than others because of their individual circumstances. Particularly if they have family to help out. And yet for elderly and disabled people, those without family need to be properly looked after too.

frugalfuzzpig Mon 27-Jan-14 12:05:11

Sorry I forgot to finish the first paragraph:

Thing is surely everyone should be encouraged to save. It's a good thing and in most cases (admittedly not your cousin) it could lead to a future where they don't need as much help anymore.

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 12:09:17

Back that's a really shitty thing to say.

I have looked out for her all of her life and will continue to do so. I am a signatory on her savings account and also her NoK after her mother. She is living where she is because her family fought for her rights from the age of 2. If she needed to move I'd have her here with us in the blink of an eye. We wanted her to have somewhere of her own because the rest of the family are a lot older than her and won't be around forever.

WilsonFrickett Mon 27-Jan-14 12:11:27

I'm incensed that some people are struggling to survive and have to visit food banks to feed their children

I am too. But I don't see that cutting your cousin's benefits and support is a way to fix that. Because that is what you are suggesting. Which is, frankly, what the Tories want you to think...

We are a wealthy country. We shouldn't need to have food banks. But we should also look after people like your cousin and not grudge the fact she's been able to save a little from what she has. We don't have to take away from her to give to hungry children.

ReallyTired Mon 27-Jan-14 12:18:36

Do you really want to swap lives with your cousin because you are jelous of her "savings".

Your cousin is severely disabled (yes.. autism is a disablity!) She works and recieves disablity allowance. Having a five figure amount in savings could mean that she has 10K. A nice amount, but she is hardly rolling in it.

I civilised country looks after its disabled citizens. I would save your wrath for those who truely abuse the benefits system.

horsetowater Mon 27-Jan-14 12:21:30

Hmm my db had a lot of benefit money when he died that he saved up. It was divided between his nephews and nieces. However if my dps had died first he would have needed every penny to set himself up again. Families deserve this money, they have lost out too.

horsetowater Mon 27-Jan-14 12:22:11


Libran70, If it came to it I'd be arguing for her to continue to get full care, you are arguing against it.

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 12:24:35

FFS, I'm not jealous of her savings. I certainly wouldn't want to swap lives with her. I'm concerned for people struggling on inadequate benefits when she has everything she needs and more. She will always be looked after, we will make sure of that.

horsetowater Mon 27-Jan-14 12:27:36

Are you saying that DLA should be means tested?

Altering benefits, like your cousins, will not mean that someone struggling and visiting food banks will get an increase in theirs.

You should be thinking about the people who do not have a decent level of income and how that should be addressed, not how someone who is on benefits who appears to have a decent life can have their benefits reduced.

AmberLeaf Mon 27-Jan-14 12:31:18

YABU because you are almost giving the impression that every adult with a disability of that sort is in the same position.

how your cousin lives is how it should be, most adults with learning disabilities and their families do not have it so easy.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 27-Jan-14 12:31:40

She didn't ask to be born disabled, the funding doesn't automatically come to people you know.

DS is autistic and trust me if I could have a NT child and give up the DLA money I would in a heartbeat.

I don't think you have a fucking clue how hard it is for people with autism.

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 12:31:57

Maybe it should be, horse.

I can't agree that the families deserve the saved money. We're all very comfortable and don't need it.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 12:34:43

I agree actually that the families don't deserve the saved money.

But benefits need to be enough so that those without family support are still okay.

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 12:37:45

Of course I have a fucking clue forty what a stupid thing to say. 30 years of experience and battles with the LEA and various other agencies. D.aunt and uncle struggled with the system and I work in education, so most of the battles have been mine.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 27-Jan-14 12:37:53

The thing is people on benefits should save if they can.

What if the essential appliances such as cooker breaks down, with no money people only option is stores like bright house which means they end up paying twice the amount as this is the only type if finance option available. A second hand one are also expensive if it eats up the whole weeks budget.

ConnectFourChamp Mon 27-Jan-14 12:38:17

Wow. As a mum of a child with ASD, my heart soared when I read about the support your cousin is receiving. Then thudded back to the ground when I read the rest of your post.

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 12:38:19

I'm actually quite shocked that someone who claims to have so much awareness of how her cousin lives can feel this way. It's almost like you are only seeing the figures on paper with no actual understanding of the life she leads. Do you spend much time with your cousin?

horsetowater Mon 27-Jan-14 12:38:29

It is not means tested for a reason - to protect the vulnerable. If a wealthy family of a disabled person said they 'looked after' the person but didn't need the DLA then they could have financial power over that person.

It's a very fundamental basic right for the person to have autonomy with their own income. You can't mess about with that.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 12:38:30

I don't really get this OP. Would it be ok if she did understand money and spent the money on home improvements or something else that she wanted/needed?

Your cousin is very lucky to be living in the kind of accommodation she does. However she may not always be in such a fortunate position she is in now and saving will definitely help her.

Do you think because her money came from benefits she should not be aloud to keep any amount of savings or be able to leave behind some money for her loved ones? I am in receipt of some benefits as I am a single Mum who does work but I am on a low income. Every year I go without certain things for myself and save my ass off to take DD away on holiday so we can both have a nice week away somewhere, it is something I look forward to all year. Should I maybe not be aloud to spend that money on a holiday abroad and instead give it back?

And really, is it any of your business?

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 27-Jan-14 12:39:42

It's not a stupid thing to say.

It's even worse if you do have an idea, yet begrudge her having this level of support.

ConnectFourChamp Mon 27-Jan-14 12:39:42

We're all very comfortable and don't need it.

Donate it to charity then if it ever comes to it.

AmberLeaf Mon 27-Jan-14 12:42:19

she is your cousin not your child, so as much as you claim to know about the situation, it's not you that has to worry about what will happen to your ever dependant offspring when you die is it?

When I read these threads about someone getting such wonderful care, with social workers (really?) in and out all day, Lots of holidays and money left over. I think "This is exactly what the government wants to see posted on high profile places like mumsnet because it helps justify the cuts"

It couldn't be better if it were written by a member of George Osborne's staff.

ginnybag Mon 27-Jan-14 12:57:03

If she's managed to save that amount, what is she missing out on?

The amounts set for benefits aren't huge. So what 'ordinary' expenses is she not meeting to be able to save? It may be that your cousin simply doesn't do/need/have some of the things that are considered essential costs, or it may be that they are being elsewhere.

If it's the second, that's great. It's fantastic that she's in that position. She should save, and then, if she never needs it and you feel bad, it can be donated.

If it's the first, is there anything she could be doing/could have that would improve things for her? It sounds like she has all her basic needs met admirably, but it may be worth reviewing.

And yes, whilst I see why it seems wrong that she's building up a reserve whilst others go to food banks, it may just be that your cousin is one of the lucky few for whom circumstances/family support/location etc have combined so that it all works as it should. This may not last forever, so some reserve is probably a good thing!

JohnCusacksWife Mon 27-Jan-14 12:57:40

OP, I think you're being unfairly flamed here. It seems to me that all your questioning is a system which gives, based on the info you've supplied here, enough "extra" money to allow some people to accumulate significant savings when so many other people are reliant on charity to feed their families. Seems a fair enough comment to me.

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 13:01:57

Forty I do not begrudge her having that level of support. I'm the one who got it for her. It's the amount of money she gets that I'm concerned about. The benefit system is a mess and some of it is misdirected.

Amber I am the one who has to worry when her mum dies.

Meep her housing is taken care of. Any improvements are paid for by the council.

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 13:03:20

Thank you, JohnCusacksWife, that's what I'm trying to say.

Joysmum Mon 27-Jan-14 13:06:25

I quite agree that there are inequalities in the benefits system.

Why should families with at least one worker in it be worse off than those fully reliant on benefits. Those working should be better off for doing so.

Those who have conditions that limit the types of work they can do should be expected to at least look for work they can do, rather than assuming they can do nothing. I also think that those with disabilities should be favoured for public sector work will more job shares or job banks but should be expected to do something when they can.

Public sector jobs should also be given to those who are unemployed and without disability. Benefits should be earnt and job hunting and community tasks should take up more than an hour a day!

Those who can do nothing should be fully supported and not feel pressured to do something they can't.

Why should somebody living at home with parents receive the same amount if job seekers allowance to somebody who has to run a home (eg pay utilities) and feed themselves from the same amount.

I don't see why somebody fully reliant on benefits can afford to go on holidays every year and have savings when we (in days gone by) and so many of my friends have all been in full time work, unable to save or afford holidays and yet paying taxes to allow these people to do so.

The benefits system should be a safety net to ensure families can get by. Those in work should be able to get top ups to ensure that they have greater disposable income than those who don't work. They shouldn't be paying for a lifestyle for others that is better than theirs!

Taxation should be fairer too. Why should a greater proportion of the incomes of low income families be taxed? That's hugely unfair.

Unfortunately, it's hard to devise and implement a fair tax and benefits system and would take a massive upheaval and cost to implement and lose votes with those not seeing the bigger picture or badly affected by the changeover so a vote loser and no government would be that brave so the inequalities will continue.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 13:08:28

Ok, I'm still struggling to understand fully, I guess because we don't know the figures. I wonder if you look at the amount in savings vs how long it's taken to save it up would change your mind.

Take £10,000 for example. You could save that over a 20 year period by saving just £41.66 a month. There is a huge chance that YANBU and I don't agree with the people who have said about swapping places etc. It is cruel. However without giving any indication as to how much expendable cash a month/year we're talking it's hard to say whether YABU or not.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 13:09:04

Joysmum - The OP is talking about a severely autistic woman who will never work.

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 13:10:51

libran yes you fought for her to have that care and support but the government could decide to cut it tomorrow leaving your cousin to need to find housing and furnish it which would completely eat into her savings. If her support was cut overnight her position would completely reverse and you would be on here complaining that she doesn't really get enough. The costs involved to tailor benefit levels to an individual would be astronomic so they are set at flat rates according to physical need. That is right and fair, someone shouldn't be financially penalised because every penny they spend has to be accounted for leading to a much lower spend and consequentially a much lower level of life enjoyment on a day to day basis.

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 13:13:05

libran yes you fought for her to have that care and support but the government could decide to cut it tomorrow leaving your cousin to need to find housing and furnish it which would completely eat into her savings. If her support was cut overnight her position would completely reverse and you would be on here complaining that she doesn't really get enough. The costs involved to tailor benefit levels to an individual would be astronomic so they are set at flat rates according to physical need. That is right and fair, someone shouldn't be financially penalised because every penny they spend has to be accounted for leading to a much lower spend and consequentially a much lower level of life enjoyment on a day to day basis.

It's a bit like my Dad. He is housebound and receives DLA - but he also has significant savings. I suppose the DLA is to pay to have his shopping delivered and to pay a cleaner.

I wonder if his will be stopped under the universal credit thingy?

doitmyself Mon 27-Jan-14 13:30:33

I'm surprised she has managed to save. Usually in residential/supported accomodation they take all of your DLA and Benefits and leave you £20 a week.

DLA btw, isnt being included in UC as it's non-means tested. At the moment.

Impatientismymiddlename Mon 27-Jan-14 13:36:11

OP - I know that you have written that you fully understand your cousins situation and have been active in the fight to get the fantastic services that she currently has. Bit I am interested to know whether you have had to take sole care of your cousin for more than a few weeks at a time without the support of others? Looking in on a situation is very different from living the situation on a daily basis.
I have no doubt that your cousins parents have also been actively involved in obtaining the current level of services and are relieved to know that your cousin is well cared for and has some income to pay for her basic needs should she have an income reduction in the future.
You really need to have a rethink about the issues in your post as you sound quite bitter. I'm sure the people being forced to use a foodbank wouldn't want to swap their very able and 'normal', albeit financially poor lives for your cousins life where she is trying to cope in a world that she probably finds frightening, confusing and stressful.

wetaugust Mon 27-Jan-14 13:43:27

So a 5 figure sum would be anything between 10,000 and 99,999?

I am assuming she receives ESA, HB and DLA. She may also be receiving Direct Paymrnts to pay for her support worker.

The ESA and HB elememts are means-tested. The Direct Payments are sometimes means-tested.

If she has more than £16,000 in savings her ESA and HB will be reduced by an amount of 'interest' that the DWP determine she should be recieining on her savings.

Who is her DWP Appointee - because it's the responsibility of the DWP Appointee to deal with the DWP.

Somebody must be acting for her financially as you claim she does not have competence.

zebrafinch Mon 27-Jan-14 13:45:50

My adult son with high medical needs will be lucky to save a penny, his DLA care component has now been taken away because of the time he spends in hospital and periods of respite. When a disabled person is in accommodation supported by public funds- whether the local authority or NHS is paying, the DLA care component which they receive will stop after a number of days.

Grennie Mon 27-Jan-14 13:46:15

doitmyself - If she gets £20 a week but her parents provide everything e.g. new clothes, trips out, then it would take 10 years for that to accumulate to £10,000. So perfectly possible for an adult with severe disabilities who have supportive family.

Viviennemary Mon 27-Jan-14 13:49:04

I wouldn't begrudge this person the money she gets. Because she is in need of support. Because she lives a frugal life is her choice.

SugarMouse1 Mon 27-Jan-14 13:52:45

Meh, does she feel she isn't worthy of it?

She could always give some of it to charity, if she wanted to.

It's good to have savings, many people die penniless and their funeral expenses are a 6K+ burden to their families.

YANBU, I know of a woman who is only 'disabled' because she is fat, she gets DLA, doesn't even need it I doubt, not short of money.

People like David Cameron claiming benefits for his son was completely out of order.

TBH, I think when DLA is handed out it should also be means tested IFYSWIM, I also know of an scummy couple who use their kids ADHD disability money to fund their millions of tattoos and exotic pets!

JuliaScurr Mon 27-Jan-14 13:53:19

The whole point of the Welfare State & NHS is to share the risks that come with normal life. I didn't plan to get MS, others have unplanned triplets, others get made redundant aged 50. We all benefit from the next generation being brought up properly and we recognise that in child benefit. It unifies our society and values. I don't want to live in a country where every penny must be justified and tested; the Welfare State isn't a safety net, it's a valuable resource for a coherent community

JuliaScurr Mon 27-Jan-14 13:55:01

Income Tax is means tested - use that to recoup excess income

NinjaBunny Mon 27-Jan-14 14:08:13

People like David Cameron claiming benefits for his son was completely out of order.

Why, though?

If he's entitled to it then why shouldn't he have it?


zebrafinch Mon 27-Jan-14 14:14:58

"When she dies, this money and a lot more will go to her family"
Not if she is alive when universal credit is introduced. Her benefit situation will be affected by her savings and if she has substantial savings she will not qualify for Universal Credit and will have to support herself until her capital diminishes.
I wondered why £6000 was the maximum in savings you could have before means tested benefits were affected now I guess from a previous posters remarks it is that you will need this for funeral costs.

Lambsie Mon 27-Jan-14 14:23:27

We have a severely disabled child (profoundly autistic with severe learning difficulties). He will never be independent. He will never have the life choices that most people take for granted. He gets DLA and I receive carers. We could 'manage' fairly comfortably without it but it makes his life a little better. I grew up in a family on benefits - 4 sharing a bedroom, heating in only one room in the house, no holidays or trips, second hand clothes and shoes etc. If I could give him my childhood in return for taking away his disabilities then I would

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 14:27:33

You need to read wetaugust's post. If you are a joint signatory on her savings account, you could be in serious trouble if her savings are over the limit. She will not have this money to leave to her family, or anyone else, if she's over the limit then the law states that her benefits will be reduced until she is within the limits.
As joint signatory, you may be liable for not letting the DWP know.

wetaugust Mon 27-Jan-14 14:30:02

The more I think about this thread the more mean-spirited the OP seems to me.

Everyone who qualifies for benefits can, after they have paid their living expenses, do whatever they want with the excess, be that save, feed it into a fruit machine, give it to charity, smoke, drink, pay for Sky - whatever.

You have no right to question what they do with their excess.

The fact that there is what you perceive to be an unnecessary excess is a Govt issue.

I find it quite difficult to believe that someone who has a relative who is so disabled as the OP states her's to be is even questioning the amount of support that relative receives.

sashh Mon 27-Jan-14 14:30:38

Maybe she should take up drinking and smoking OP

Jux Mon 27-Jan-14 14:42:48

Sabra, please try to persuade your dh to apply for DLA. It will open up a huuuuuge number of things for him. If he can't get upstairs to the bathroom, there is a grant to put one in downstairs, he could get a car/electric scooter/wheelchair through Motability, there's all sorts of things you would get help with. It would make a massive difference.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 14:43:49

If I said what I thought I'd be rude

So will just say YABU.

And mean spirited in the extreme.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 14:48:58

My DD probably won't have anyone to care for her when we go.

So she will need the money.

So we should either cut her money or make families who can support their adult child bear that extra financial burden?

Stellaface Mon 27-Jan-14 14:55:23

I'm inclined to agree with OP in a way...

I unfortunately have ILs who reap the benefit system for all it is worth, having never worked and recently managing to develop very suspect 'disabilities' relating to mobility. They are continually popping out children, so I get very judgey on how limited their mobility actually is angry They can afford the usual things - massive TV, huge new car (Motability, of course), nice hols... which we and others like us have to save up for, for ages. Whilst paying for their nice hols/tv etc out of our taxes (rant rant rant).

So because of that experience, I am of the opinion that benefits should be vouchers that can only be used for food/certain bill types etc, rather than actual cash, as having disposable cash should surely be the privilege of those who earn it... In OP's case, her cousin does work as well, so that income is her money to save/spend as she likes, unlike my ILs, who enrage me beyond words whenever I see them with more new stuff that would count as an unaffordable luxury in my home.

Seff Mon 27-Jan-14 14:57:19

I wondered how long it would be before someone came spouting crap about vouchers. Time to leave.

Oh piss off with the vouchers.

I hope you don't claim CTC/WTC or CB then Stella?

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 15:01:16

In return for handing over the mobility element of your DLA, you will receive a car. Some cars require a (non returnable) deposit.
The forms are some forty pages, and require copious notes from GP and Specialists.
Motability cars are not free

coppertop Mon 27-Jan-14 15:04:40

I'm always intrigued at the way women not claiming benefits 'give birth to' babies, but women claiming benefits apparently 'pop babies out'. confused

morethanpotatoprints Mon 27-Jan-14 15:04:51


Nobody who receives any type of benefit is well off, so if you can live extra frugally and manage to save for such a time when benefits are cut yet again then you should be applauded.
Yes, there may be people who are struggling and need more help, but that's what needs addressing not believing others have too much.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 15:05:01

* I am of the opinion that benefits should be vouchers that can only be used for food/certain bill types etc,*
As for this, who the hell are you to dictate to me? I am in receipt of Carer's Allowance. I receive £55 pw for looking after four people with disabilities. If I want a bottle of wine once a month, or a cheap magazine or even a paperback, I'll have one, and when you work an 18 hour day, getting out only for the supermarket, and even then not always, and the school run, and do the lifting, shopping, cooking, cleaning that I do, with no prospect of a break, holiday, or even a day off, then, and only then can you tell me what to do with my money.
Now feck off!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 27-Jan-14 15:07:40


Do you have children? You too could sah and look after them rather than work. Then you too could have these lovely things your relatives have grin Its your choice love.

PortofinoRevisited Mon 27-Jan-14 15:15:55

Did you join specially to get everyone in a tizzy about benefits, perchance?

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 15:16:26

Anyone who gets any sort of benefit from the tax system should bow down to all the tax payers and show eternal gratitude. So were you born in a nhs hospital or given birth in one then bow down, have you ever seen a doctor or visited a&e, ever needed the help of the police,received child benefit, received an education, walked on a pavement - these are all benefits paid for from taxation so know everyone is looking down no one can look at anyone else to judge them. I could list lots more benefits but you get the point.

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 15:17:23

So now* stupid phone I can spell honestly.

wetaugust Mon 27-Jan-14 15:28:44

The OP was a bit disingenuous with the title of her post.

It's not really about benefits at all as she says in her first post that her cousin actually has supported work.

The support that outreach workers give her cousin is not actually 'benefits'.

If the OP was actually as involved as she claims to have been in secured support for her cousin she would know that the people who are assisting her cousin on a day-to-day basis with shoppping etc are actually support workers or personal assistants and are nit social workers as the OP claims.

This AIBU stinks to high heavens.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 15:33:22

I dont believe you stella.

To get a motability car you need to be unable or virtually unable to walk.

So you are either stirring or making massive incorrect assumptions.

bigbluebus Mon 27-Jan-14 15:39:38

I'm guessing with the sorts of benefits she gets then she can't have amassed savings of more than £6k otherwise she will start to lose some of her benefits on a sliding scale anyway. On that basis, her savings will cover the cost of her funeral when she dies and there will be very little left over - unless of course you are planning on paying for her funeral as her next of kin. Last funeral bill I saw was just under £4k - and that wasn't for anything flash - and didn't include the 'do' afterwards. So I would guess that no one will be getting anything left over when your cousin dies.

SoonToBeSix Mon 27-Jan-14 15:43:38

Stella I am a wheelchair user so have very limited mobility I am currently pregnant with twins ( my 5 and 6 th child) amazingly I was actually able to conceive whilst lying flat on my back. Obviously unlike your Ils who must have needed to swing from the chandeliers to conceive their children.
Oh and a mobility car is not free btw it is leased.

mercibucket Mon 27-Jan-14 15:49:35

when you say 5 figure savings, why dont you just say the amount?

you want us to think it is more than it is, i think

Libran70 Mon 27-Jan-14 15:49:35

There is a social worker in the complex 8 - 12 every day, sometimes staying later if needed. Each resident also has a named social worker. There are also several support workers and care workers on shifts all day until 10pm. Some of the residents have higher physical needs than my cousin.

Her job is 2 hours a day at lunchtime 5 days a week, helping clear tables and wash up.

Maybe I should have called it the welfare system not the benefit system.

And maybe IABU but I don't think it's mean spirited to wish that those in need has more resources from the limited pot. This is quite the reverse of benefit bashing, such a shame that some people couldn't see that.

doitmyself Mon 27-Jan-14 15:58:25

Perhaps instead of wanting to remove money from your disabled cousin for the 'limited pot', you should want to get companies to pay their taxes and MP's to stop claiming for bog roll and moats.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 15:59:50

Its very mean spirited to begrudge someone with a disability their income.


jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 16:12:22

If this is anything like the situation my friend works in then it sounds ideal but is a living hell. A block of flats which are not exactly nice on the roughest street possible a street that people with any choice wouldn't walk down in broad daylight. The 'clients' all have 1-1 care but live ' in the community' every single penny that is spent has to be recorded and to a certain extent justified by the support workers to the social worker which in real terms means as little as possible is spent because no one wants to be accused of misappropriation of someone else's money. Those little treats we might enjoy like a bottle of wine or an occasional take away are extremely rare to non existent. The person living this way will have every part of their life scrutinised. Is it any wonder that someone in that situation ends up with savings. Believe me if someone gets that level of care their life is beyond bad already.

zebrafinch Mon 27-Jan-14 16:13:29

I agree it stinks.

It does not add up. The DWP appointee of the cousin is not doing their job properly. I find it hard to believe that if the appointee is dong their job properly that they can "amass savings" from paltry benefits instead of spending the money appropriately on the claimant and also they should be informing the DWP that the savings limits have been reached.

Another attempt at divide and rule.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 16:17:17

"If someone gets that level of care their life is beyond bad already".

Well that fills me with happiness for my DD's future. Thanks.

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 16:23:11

Sorry fanjo I didn't mean to upset you.

mercibucket Mon 27-Jan-14 16:25:21

insensed by non tax paying multi nats would be more useful tbh

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 16:27:15

For anyone else reading and feeling DH's auntie ( who has a severe learning disability) lives in supported accommodation with her friend and seems extremely happy.

5HundredUsernamesLater Mon 27-Jan-14 16:33:11

To get a motability car you don't have to be virtually unable to walk you just have to be in receipt of the high rate of DLA ( not sure how the PIP works for that) and to get the high rate of DLA you have to be virtually unable to walk OR be a very good liar. There are still lots of people who manage to cheat the system. And to the people who have said the cars aren't free are right but they still work out a lot cheaper than buying and maintaining your own vehicle.
I don't think that the OP is saying that people like her cousin shouldn't get benefits but thinks that the money available should be more evenly spread out so that everyone should be able to live comfortably and not worry where their kids next meal is coming from.
As for the idea of vouchers, I think that for some benefits it would be a good idea as there are definitely families who find it hard to budget and dont always spend the money on what it is actually for. I can see the point of the poster who is in receipt of carers allowance who wants to treat herself but carers allowance is her money as a wage for being a carer and is a bit different from the people who think child benefit is for spending in the pub.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 16:38:45

There arent lots of people who manage to cheat the system.

The fraud rate is very very low.

And you need lots of supporting evidence from.professionals.

You are spouting myths and untruisms.

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 16:41:19

So 5hundred what do you think child benefit should be spent on and how should it be paid then?

WooWooOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 16:41:45

I don't think it's mean spirited to wish that those in need has more resources from the limited pot.

I don't thnk that's mean spirited either, I agree with you in fact. But I don't understand why you would say that someone who's level of need is so high that they have to live in supported accommodation should be the target for redirecting money away from.

There are plenty of other ways that public money is spent inappropriately, why not be incensed at those instead of your cousins perfectly valid reason for receiving state money?

As for your comment that maybe DLA should be means tested - just no. For lots of reasons.

5HundredUsernamesLater Mon 27-Jan-14 16:48:32

I'm not spouting anything and the figures of fraudulent claimants are obviously only the ones that have been caught. If they caught up with everybody who is claiming things they aren't entitled to the number would be more accurate and a lot higher.
And child benefit should be spent on things that benefit the child. The clue is in the name.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 16:51:02

Go and read a DLA form and all the evidence required then come back.

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 16:55:58

But what do you class as benefiting a child? Having a roof over their heads, food to eat, warm beds, clothes, shoes or does it have to be something over and above that? Swimming lessons, school trips? Child benefit goes generally into a communal pot and there can't be many families who spend less than that amount on the children.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 16:56:51

Figures from both the ONS, DWP, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation all demonstrate that the number if all perpertrators were caught would be around 0.6%. The DWPs own figure for fraud AND DWP error currently stands at 0.4%. So no, not a huge amount, in fact a very small amount, partly because of the soul destroying forms one needs to fill in and partly because the sheer weight of evidence that is usually required.
Oh, and as for far cheaper than running your own car, I really don't know any car that costs £79.15 per week to run, that's £316.60 per month, do you 5hundred

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 16:59:28

Dla has a fraud figure of less than 1%
The care for the lady who is severely disabled in the original post is provided for out of her care package which is assessed by a social worker working for the local authority, so it has nothing to do with benefits or dla or motobility cars.
The ignorance on here is astounding and so is the envy of the most vulnerable in our society. What the actual fuck.
I am speechless, honestly!

WooWooOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 17:00:55

To be fair, the DWP isn't about to tell the nation that they estimate more than 1% of claims is likely to be paid wrongly are they?

I don't have any more faith in this government figure than I do in any of their others.

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 17:02:21

The lady in the op would have to use her dla mobility rate to pay for taxis as she is too mentally impaired to drive and her Mum would not qualify for it because her daughter no longer lives at home. Just in case you were UN clear on that

AmberLeaf Mon 27-Jan-14 17:04:29

I probably should have known how this was going to end up.

Same old, same old.

AmberLeaf Mon 27-Jan-14 17:06:06

If the fraud rate was said to be higher, I doubt anyone would be arguing that it was untrue somehow.

jacks365 Mon 27-Jan-14 17:07:02

Because of the way the government is trying to divide and rule I would expect them to inflate the rates of false claims rather than lower them. Lower rates implies deserving cases and we all know the government want to discredit anyone who claims to justify cutting the welfare bill.

JakeBullet Mon 27-Jan-14 17:10:50

Given the obvious agenda of this Govt to cut public spending Woo I think it would be definitely in their interests to give the numbers of fraudulent claims as accurately as possible. So if they say 1% or less I believe them!

5HundredUsernamesLater Mon 27-Jan-14 17:10:56

Why do you presume that someone with a difference of opinion to you on certain things knows nothing. I will read the DLA forms AGAIN when the renewal is due, sometime later this year. Then I will fill them in AGAIN.

I know quite a few people who have stretched the truth and been awarded benefits they shouldn't really be getting and like I said, if you haven't been caught then you haven't been counted.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 17:14:41

Well I am frankly astonished you are acquainted with the forms and still think it is easy to commit DLA fraud and loads of people to do it.

Almost cant believe it.

WilsonFrickett Mon 27-Jan-14 17:15:55

I don't think it's mean spirited to wish that those in need has more resources from the limited pot.

But your cousin is in need because she is disabled. I cannot get worked up about her having a few grand in the bank. She will never live on her own, never get an independent job, never be able to do 1001 of the things I do every day and take utterly for granted. I do not care that she has managed to save some money. I wish she could take it all and spends it on a big, huge, massive, fuck off party or holiday or car or sensory room or something that will give her pleasure because her life is full of challenge and difficulty at every turn. Instead she will end up spending it on her care at some point in her life.

So meh. YABU.

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 17:17:31

Let's not forget the figures don't actually show a true reflection of those who have been awarded a lower rate than they should have either. I would bet this figure is . Much higher

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 17:17:39

Hear hear.

Id be ashamed to post that OP, tbh.

JakeBullet Mon 27-Jan-14 17:20:43

How many people out there "haven't been caught" then?

Personally I don't know ANYBODY getting DLA who doesn't need it. People have good days and bad you might see someone doing well one day who would not look so able on another day.....but there is space on the DLA form to say this. DS gets DLA as he is autistic....he gets middle rate care and lower rate mobility. Some days he is great.....other days....and more commonly he needs more input.

Likewise his request to meet from school....."up the road by the shops Mum" filled me with horror as he is a dizzy daydream by roads and totally thrown by noises (the reason he gets lower rate mobility DLA). I have declined this request.....but sit in the car by the school so he doesn't have the indignity of his Mum meeting him grin

Thing is disability is not always even if you think someone is being fraudulent then the chances are they are not.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 27-Jan-14 17:21:23

Your cousin's supported living is most likely funded through social services, NOT the benefit system. So, why are you making this about benefits? Also, every single person is expected to contribute to their social care package, so she will be using some of her benefits for that.

TheLightPassenger Mon 27-Jan-14 17:23:29

what wilson said in her 17:15 post. in its entirety.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 27-Jan-14 17:23:55

DLA should be means tested? Are you serious??!! Bet you aren't disabled or in receipt of DLA!

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 17:24:32

Wilson is on fire today grin

JakeBullet Mon 27-Jan-14 17:25:14

Candy is right a lot of her benefit will be taken to contribute to her care package. What you are seeing is what is left over from this, my grandmother built up nearly £9k over several years in a nursing home. The money paid for her funeral and the headstone when she died. There was little left after that.

JakeBullet Mon 27-Jan-14 17:28:18

DLA should definitely NOT be means tested. I got it for DS while in work and it helped fund several therapies designed to support him. It has also ensured that while he needed me I could take a period of time out of work and concentrate on him.

5HundredUsernamesLater Mon 27-Jan-14 17:29:08

I really don't want to argue with you but I know lots of people who grossly exaggerate their disability to make sure they get money and I know of one who has nothing wrong with him but laziness. He has the doctors baffled as he seems unable to move without being in excruciating pain. Scans etc have been unable to she'd any light on it but this mystery illness has prevented him from working for a while. He has been awarded DLA and still gets it despite one of his neighbours reporting him and sending photos of him digging his garden and up a ladder cleaning his windows.
As i said before he hasn't been caught so he hasn't been counted.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 27-Jan-14 17:30:00

Also, her social worker will have done a financial assessment, so I'm sure she can't have had that much.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 17:32:20

Give up 5hundred, nobody believes you.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 17:34:14

Yes ..what dawndonna said

wetaugust Mon 27-Jan-14 17:35:55


If you feel that strongly then you should report him too.

As a veteran of 4 DLA assessments I can assure you that they don't dish it out on heresay. There will be supporting medical evidence.

5HundredUsernamesLater Mon 27-Jan-14 17:37:57

I do give up.
But think that you are very naive if you think fraudulent claims are really that low.

AmberLeaf Mon 27-Jan-14 17:41:01

Anecdote is not data.

5HundredUsernamesLater Mon 27-Jan-14 17:47:58

That is not the sort of thing I would do. I try to live and let live.
I think it's quite sad that someone pretends to be more disabled than they are for financial gain and is an insult to people that are genuinely disabled but it is still a fact that people do it and get away with it.

wetaugust Mon 27-Jan-14 18:00:08

I try to live and let live.

No you don't.

You come on internet forums moaning about supposed benefit cheats you personally know of.

But when there is a course of action you could take you prefer to stand on the sidelines, clutching your pearls and expressing disgust at all these frauds.

You are the fraud here.

Does this guy you know who leaps tall buildings with a single bound also keep a goat, perchance?

twinkletoedelephant Mon 27-Jan-14 18:00:55

My brother is in full time residential care we have always been told if his savings go above 8000 this can then be taken away from him - we try to make sure this dosnt happen and he pays for activities he enjoys horseriding / skiing for the disabled etc
And has at least 2 holidays year - it's good he has some money put aside for things New bed / clothes DVD player can pay a extra carer to take him out etc...

The staff in his home quite like taking him for a work assessment - to be honest he does like a day out and new people to chat too smile

He can absolutely not be left for any length of time which is why ss pay for him to have 24 hour care

WooWooOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 18:02:52

I believe you 5hundred, I know someone who does the same.

If you are a good enough liar, getting the evidence you need isn't difficult.

Given the obvious agenda of this Govt to cut public spending Woo I think it would be definitely in their interests to give the numbers of fraudulent claims as accurately as possible.

The government doesn't need to make one of its own departments look completely incompetent to drum up public support for cutting the welfare bill, there is already enough.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 18:06:20

Just for the record I also know someone who claims fraudulently...

It maybe be difficult but it is by no means impossible to do.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 18:12:15

Fucking hell, and here they all come, out of the woodwork.
I know two people that fiddle their taxes. Well knew. I reported them.

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 18:12:35

Just for the record I don't know anyone who claims fraudulently
However, I know loads and loads of people on the bones of their arses caring for ill and disabled loved ones, who struggle to get the correct dla award because they don't understand the forms and who find it impossible to get an assessment off social services.

WooWooOwl Mon 27-Jan-14 18:14:19

Yeah, unfortunately people fiddle taxes too.

The human race can be shit.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 18:15:11

Well I was on this thread earlier but it was prior to this discussion. I just clicked on just now and read the last couple of pages and think that it does happen more often than what people think. The guy I know has fraudulently claimed benefits for years and years. This is just the latest in a long line.

wetaugust Mon 27-Jan-14 18:15:32

The human race can be shit.

Yeah - we meet a fair few of them on here.

AmberLeaf Mon 27-Jan-14 18:17:16

Ditto Owllady

JakeBullet Mon 27-Jan-14 18:17:22

So fecking well REPORT them then! Why sit here whinging that they are fraudulently claiming if you are prepared to do fuck all about it!angry

Or is it because you are actually not sure? But you think they are claiming fraudulently?

Which is it? Because if I knew someone was deliberately defrauding the system in this way I would report it.

Any evidence IS difficult to get, it took 5 years for my sons autism to be diagnosed and I certainly did not get DLA beforehand,

Misspixietrix Mon 27-Jan-14 18:17:52

The only people I know on the fiddle around my area are the ones that started their own small very successful- businesses and omitted to inform HMRC. Also if HMRC investigated all those on said estate claiming to be single working parents and wondered how they ever sorted childcare because the 'non resident' partner actually looks after them whilst they are at work. They would have an absolute field day. They're BOTH as bad as others that fiddle IMO.

PortofinoRevisited Mon 27-Jan-14 18:18:57

I have reported this thread to MNHQ as it seems an odd first thread and ticks a lot of goady boxes and Op seems to be a bit vague on roles and the HUGE amounts of money her cousin is receiving hmm. Op, please feel to tell me I am incorrect. I would interested to know what benefits your cousin does actually receive.

HoneyDragon Mon 27-Jan-14 18:23:06

Only ticks one box to me Porto. It's YET ANOTHER lets decide who the worthy are thread.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 18:24:44

I'm not moaning. I was just telling you a fact.

zebrafinch Mon 27-Jan-14 18:25:19

Fraud is so low because it would involve pulling the wool consistently over the GPs eyes, making sure there are absolutely no inconsistencies in the answers to the 40 page form the sections of which are capable of cross referencing, making sure the subsequent renewals are consistent with the evolution of the condition, fooling the professional people who give written statements to accompany the DLA form , having explanations as to why clinical assessments, scans, x rays , blood tests, medical appointments, surgical investigations, psychological assessments etc do not match the statements given, fooling the specialist hospital teams, fooling the DWP medical assessors, standing up to a robust examination of the evidence supporting your case when the neighbours shop you etc etc .,

zebrafinch Mon 27-Jan-14 18:28:47

I agree with Portofino.

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 18:29:17

I wonder how many people are entitled to certain benefits and don't claim them either, I bet there are loads, either through ignorance or choice
I wonder how many people struggle along in poverty because they don't have the capabilities to fight the system
If you really think it's that easy to get care for someone who is severely disabled, do look into further, read evidence on the matter. Read carers uk. Read voluntary organisation and charity reports. Then people might listen if you put forward an informed debate rather than saying I know someone etc

I know someone too and I know so and so
Oh and you know I know him! And I know a woman who...<eye roll>

Misspixietrix Mon 27-Jan-14 18:29:20

Indeed Portofino they seem to be a string of them at the moment. must be an article coming up somewhere. Also OP. I just wanted to say I'm signatory on my DMs account. I wouldnt dream of discussing her finances in this much detail on an internet forum.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 18:33:01

Owllady - I'm not interested in debating the matter with you. I am telling you that I along with apparently several others do know as a fact that someone fraudulently claims.

It isn't up for debate, it is a fact end of story.

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 18:35:02

How can it be a fact if investigations into those reported do nit face investigation and criminal charges?

WilsonFrickett Mon 27-Jan-14 18:38:07

As no-one is suggesting the Op's cousin is fraudulently claiming, isn't all this talk of false claims de-railing the thread a little?

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 18:39:21

Maybe she is pretending, I know someone who pretended once

WilsonFrickett Mon 27-Jan-14 18:42:06

Because she's so rich with all the benefits Owl?

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 18:42:39

Did I say he had been reported?

AmberLeaf Mon 27-Jan-14 18:43:17

Wilson golden rule of all benefit related threads...must always descend into talk of fraud, because everyone knows that benefits claimant = fraudster. hmm

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 18:46:39

Yes Wilson, it was her life long ambition to go and live in adult sheltered housing with a full time carer, despite the fact she got 12 a* and is capable of digging a big hole in her back yard

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 18:48:25
MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 18:48:34

I don't think that all benefit claimants are committing fraud at all. I was merely commenting on an existing conversation within the thread.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 18:51:52

Oh dear *Owllady"

I know it as fact. It is my friends Dad. He has openly admitted that he has fabricated his "disability".

It doesn't have to have been reported and investigated to be a fact you know.

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 18:56:53

No, but it does have to be real
But then my friends uncles brothers nephew once said something too once as well

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 19:00:48

I don't think it's me that is living beyond the realms of reality.

It's interesting that you find it impossible to accept a truth because it doesn't tie in with your own beliefs.

Owl like I said I'm not particularly interested in debating the fact, especially with someone who is disillusion enough to believe that something like benefit fraud where this particular benefit is concerned doesn't exist at all.

I think I'll just leave this one here.

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 19:04:21

It's not my beliefs, it's based on my own direct experience of the system.
I am not under any delusions. Have a nice evening.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 19:12:51

Oh dear *Owllady"

I know it as fact. It is my friends Dad. He has openly admitted that he has fabricated his "disability".

It doesn't have to have been reported and investigated to be a fact you know.

It's all well and good being all kinds of patronising, but when you come up with shit like this: Owl like I said I'm not particularly interested in debating the fact, especially with someone who is disillusion enough to believe that something like benefit fraud where this particular benefit is concerned doesn't exist at all.
It just makes you sound thick. Now, go away, get some facts, not anecdotes and try and a) argue your case properly and b) use big words properly.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 19:22:24


How does it make me sound thick? As for using "big words properly" it was auto-correct on my phone but i sincerely apologise for that offending you.

What case is there to argue? There was an existing conversation regarding benefit fraud and I commented that I know of someone who does claim fraudulently.

If you really don't think this type of benefit fraud exists then quite frankly that is delusional.

AmberLeaf Mon 27-Jan-14 19:27:44

I think everyone here knows it exists. but that the reality is it is less than 0.5% of claims.

Those are the facts.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 19:31:15

Amberleaf I fully understand that, I never disputed that. In fact I'm sure I said something along the lines of it being a very difficult thing to do but it's not to say it doesn't happen.

The fact that I know someone seems to offend people, I have no idea why.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 19:31:41

Meep Of course I'm aware that it exists, I'm also aware of the figures. As I said upthread. It was your rude and patronising tone to Owl that pissed me off, so you got it back.
If you know somebody, report them, don't come on here and make life difficult for those of us who live with disability day in, day out, for years on end.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 19:36:31

Well Dawn I'm sorry my tone offended you but I didn't care for Owl's tone either so it's swings and roundabouts really.

I do know someone, I won't be reporting them and I certainly don't see how I have made life difficult for someone who lives with a disability by stating a fact.

I haven't implied that anyone on this thread claims fraudulently, I haven't claimed that's is easy to fake a disability in order to obtain these benefits. All I actually said was I know someone who claims fraudulently, that's it.

Impatientismymiddlename Mon 27-Jan-14 19:36:37

If people really know people who are committing benefit fraud then the right thing to do is report them. Coming on here complaining that disabled people get too much money and that too many DLA claimants are not genuine or needy enough is just downright pathetic and mean spirited. Try having a severe disability for a day, pay for numerous taxis, pay for a cleaner, pay for a helper and then come back and say that DLA and motability schemes are too generous.
FFS, talk about targeting the most vulnerable.

innisglas Mon 27-Jan-14 19:38:57

The shortage and misuse of tax money has very, very little to do with welfare payments and everything to do with bank bailouts. I think it is wonderful that your cousin is able to live a full and happy life with her disability and that is why we pay taxes, so that we can all be assured of a certain quality of life for ourselves and our nearest and dearest in the event of disability or unemployment. What I object to is how much money is going to keep the banks afloat.

JakeBullet Mon 27-Jan-14 19:39:36

So report it again <getting bored now> or does he have a disabiliy that perhaps YOU are unaware of and he doesn't want you to know about? They don't ignore reports of is unvestigated. The fact it has been investigated and nothing seems to have happened means there is either not enough evidence of fraud or just possibly that there is something else you are unaware of.

I am not silly enough to thibk that benefit fraud with regard to disability does not exist....of coursr it does and people are prosecuted for it. the fact that these often highly publicised cases are part of the 1% quoted estimated fraud figure is amazing as by the publicity you would believe the numbers to be higher.

Wherever there is money to be had you will find dishonest behaviour. However by rubbishing the 1% figure you are in fact allowing yourself permission to doubt everyone who has to claim any form of disability related benefit.

The DLA form for example is horrendous, it cross checks in several places and you have to provide a mass of evidence. I am sure a determined fraudster given lots of time (you cannot just send in a form with no evidence so to build this up takes time) could make a fraudulent claim.....but they would need repeated GP visits, possibly further tests and referrals before they build this up.

In addition some illnesses vary, I have a friend with severe agoraphobia, many days she cannot leave the house. On a good day though you might see her having coffee in a cafe with me. Doesn't take away the fact that she cant get on a bus, is anxious in public and would be unable to work reliably on most days.

What you see is not always the reality.

My DS is autistic.....he can look and seem very "normal" (whatever that is) but in a supermarket or by a busy road is a nightmare....especially if it is noisy.

Things are not always what they appear.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 27-Jan-14 19:42:53

Meep Coming on here and saying that you know someone who is claiming fraudulently (and worse that you won't report them) minimises the real life experience of others. It's people like you that make ATOS make our lives hell, that support the insidious little narrative this government feeds the Daily Mail, for every one person that says publicly:'I know somebody fiddling' there are probably around forty people reading it and making assumptions. Thanks to this sort of rubbish propaganda disability hate crime has increased, disabled people have become afraid and depressed and ATOS have been allowed to flourish, all because everybody, despite the figures, knows somebody who is fiddling and doesn't fucking report them.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 19:43:03

I would just like to clarify that I do not think that DLA claimants are not genuine or greedy at all. And I would never ever think that they don't deserve every penny they get.

There is a small minority that aren't genuine but I would never assume someone was claiming fraudulently unless I 100% knew they were.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 19:46:15

Well I apologise if you think it is minimising peoples experience, it wasn't intended to and still don't see how stating a fact has done that but I am sorry you feel that's what I have done.

The fact of the matter is it does happen. It isn't right but it does happen.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 19:48:32

Jake I have never reported the man. I have no intention of doing so. Rightly or wrongly he is my friends Dad and I will not ever report him.

If someone else does well, he deserves it but I won't be the one to do it.

I have said in a previous post, I don't think he has ever been reported.

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 19:51:09

I have no idea what my to be comes across like on line but I really am a bit exasperated by people thinking we live the life of Riley when the opposite is true. I had to live my whole childhood alongside my sister in chronic pain every day and die a tragic early death whilst my mother struggled to cope. Then I have seen myself how vulnerable my own daughter is and how the world is a frightening place and how her disabilities have caused me to also have to give my life to caring. We don't need to be ridiculed or accussed of fraud and we don't want to have to fight the system every day, let alone fight the ignorance in society. So if my tone comes across in a certain way, maybe you can understand why.

I had to go to the funeral of a child last week who was severely disabled, to think anyone could if would of thought his parents put it on. Should be working. Etc. Are the subject of financial envy? Well, it turns my stomach

Impatientismymiddlename Mon 27-Jan-14 19:52:01

If you know he is definitely committing fraud and you do nothing about it then you are just as bad as him, so stop bleating on about it.

Owllady Mon 27-Jan-14 19:52:48

If he is commuting fraud you can report him anonymously. Seriously, I think it would be for the best. All of you who know somebody, report them.

takingthathometomomma Mon 27-Jan-14 19:56:43

I agree with WooWoo. Depending on the severity of your cousin's autism, it is unlikely would be able to find/sustain to support her financially or allow her to put some money aside. This is something that's out of her control. It's not like she's had some bad luck but it will probably pick up again soon; it's her life. The system is doing a fantastic job for your cousin.

MeepMeepVrooooom Mon 27-Jan-14 19:59:22

Bleating on I presume that is the same as being asked a question and answer it then?

As I said I apologise if anyone feels that by saying I know someone that fraudulently claims that I have minimised their situation or have been offended by it. I apologise. WhenI rejoined this thread that was what the conversation was on at that point.

What I won't apologise for is defending myself when being called a liar, thick and several other things by posters just because I dared to voice an opinion.

Threads like this are great for updating my in my head reasonable poster and twats ,cunts and wankers spreadsheets.

However threads like this are generally nasty goady bollocks that upset people who have plenty of shit in their lives already.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 27-Jan-14 20:11:29

I really don't want to argue with you but I know lots of people who grossly exaggerate their disability to make sure they get money and I know of one who has nothing wrong with him but laziness. He has the doctors baffled as he seems unable to move without being in excruciating pain. Scans etc have been unable to she'd any light on it but this mystery illness has prevented him from working for a while. He has been awarded DLA and still gets it despite one of his neighbours reporting him and sending photos of him digging his garden and up a ladder cleaning his windows.

"He has the doctors baffled as he seems unable to move without being in excruciating pain."

Chronic and unexplained pain is real condition.

I'm always fascinated by how many 'fake disabled DLA receivers' MNers seem to know. They always get caught gardening by their neighbours too. Astonishing!

Misspixietrix Mon 27-Jan-14 20:31:22

Not sure if the tax money comment was aimed at me or not but if it was of course its relevant. Why is it okay to slag off one group for possible fraud but it is okay for another to do so? Just because they work? They are still FRAUDENTLY claiming if they get higher rate WTC for example. Wonder if the OP is going to come back. Funny that another Benefits thread has appeared so timely in conjunction with tonights tv showing? hmm.

Misspixietrix Mon 27-Jan-14 20:38:45

There's absolutely LOADS of them you know Candy. When I don't see the poor dears on their mobility scooters I catch them unicycling home when they think no one is looking grin.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 27-Jan-14 20:54:54

DS gets DLA, I am always tired as he sleep approx 4 hours and when he is not sleeping he is a danger to himself. He doesn't understand danger. He is almost 8 and still wets himself and wets the bed. I am 'lucky' that I have 1 full night sleep a week. I have been up since 6 after DS went to sleep at 1:30.

Not to mention fighting the LEA to get him statemented, having to explain why he needs to use the disabled toilets as the hand dryer sends him into a melt down.

I am scared for his future, He has major learning difficulties and i really can see it getting any better.

The money is used A) to give his sister some respite and some sort of break from him B) it used to replace things he has broken c) for the extra electricity that is used D) the internet so he can watch netflix and for me to access support groups. E) for taxi fares so when he has appoinments ( sometime 4-5 a month) and to be able to get to the school asap f) for him to go to clubs so he learns social skills.

there are many more.

To look at DS nobody would think that he has a life long condition. Nobody knows what happens behind clothes doors.

Just look at my body and see the bruises DS has caused on one of his meltdowns. However I have to take it as he is my son and i would walk over hot coals with a nail in my eye because he is my son and it's not his fault that he was born different

JakeBullet Mon 27-Jan-14 21:07:23

I also know someone who has unexplained pain.....its called Fibromyalgia. No apparent cause for's down as a psychosomatic condition (I sure someone will tell me if I am wrong).

On good days.....usually when weather is warmer this lady can do all manner of things (including gardening) but on bad days it takes her ages to get out if bed, she has baths to ease the pain and takes masses of pain killers. On really bad days she is hospitalised.

So yes, Fibromyalgia exists....and it is horrible.

Not saying that this is what the cause of unknown pain is in every case but its a possible reason why someone complains of terrible pain without an identified cause,

My friend was in a violent and abusive relationship for over 20 years so if it IS psychological then I am laying bets on severe PTSD wbich has to come out in some way for her.sad

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 21:31:08

Fibromyalgia is a recognised pain processing disorder not a psychosomatic one.

JakeBullet Mon 27-Jan-14 21:37:17

Thanks Fanjo, wasn't totally sure....just know she is in horrific pain sometimes, Horrible.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 21:37:37
FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 21:38:09

Poor woman sad

diaimchlo Mon 27-Jan-14 21:38:31

Speaking from personal experience I can assure you that DLA/PIP as it is now called, is extremely difficult to get as someone mentioned further up thread they require so many tests, scans, opinions, xrays etc.... IMHO you need to be almost horizontal in a wooden box.

People who manage to defraud the system must be coming up due for the new PIP assessments which, I can bet my bottom dollar on, they will be denied.

For those of you who openly admit to being aware of fraudulent claims, SHAME ON YOU! you are as bad if not worse than they are IMHO. Whoever they are or how ever they are related to you personally you should not hesitate to report them.

As for the OP YABVU your cousin should be able to have as many savings as she wants. All her services can be cut and private care does not come cheaply.

the figures of fraudulent claimants are obviously only the ones that have been caught. If they caught up with everybody who is claiming things they aren't entitled to the number would be more accurate and a lot higher.

And you got this from who? Your hairdresser?

AmberLeaf Mon 27-Jan-14 22:40:02

that quote you have bolded backonlybriefly, just goes to show how well all this anti disability propaganda has worked.

Even the DWPs statistics dont mean anything to people like that.

so many people now equate disability benefits with fraudsters, as though its the norm for people to be faking disabilities.

Thats why threads like this are so harmful.

Givesyouhell Mon 27-Jan-14 23:39:36

I work in the field of social care for adults with learning disabilities. Jak365 earlier commented that support workers are extremely careful with service users monies due to the level of scrutiny they are under. This is exactly true and deters support workers from spending money. Also people in supported residential care often have many, if not all bills met and their benefits are not needed for many expenses due to this. To add to that, some people with learning disabilities want less materially than a lot of other people - where often a magazine or small treat will suffice and a quiet and fairly routine based life may suit an individual.

I'd agree with OP, I know of a lot of people that have built up very considerable savings due to the factors I've mentioned. I understand what she is saying - our systems can be so good, when working well that it's possible for some people to have more than they actually need or can make use of.

Jux Mon 27-Jan-14 23:51:34

Most people don't exaggerate, they don't need to. Us disabled lot are advised to fill in the forms describing our worst days. I have ms and am sometimes almost normal, or it looks like I am.

Very often though, I am not.

Sometimes it doesn't show except as a limp, but you cannot possibly look at me and decide how much pain I am in, nor how quickly my muscles fatigue, nor indeed how exhausted I get just from walking/limping down the road. Believe me, I have no social life except for the people in the shops. By afternoon I am exhausted and incapable - the last time I went out in the evening was sometime in the summer - but if you saw me in the morning then you'd probably say I was playing the system.

I feel guilty enough about the minimal amount of help I do get - DLA and carers twice a week for less than an hour a time. Thanks for making me feel even more of a drain on society. It's so heartening to know that there are people who resent my presence. Live my life, you'll love it.

And I would give my eye teeth to be able to work.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 23:54:14

Givesyou...yes..and it's important they have the same means to buy luxuries as anyone else. I really feel that.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 27-Jan-14 23:55:01

Jux..people who resent you are ,frankly, tossers.

itsnotthateasy Tue 28-Jan-14 08:39:25

Savings are taken into account for income support and job seekers. . 3 thousand in savings I think is the threshold .

No idea about ESA as fortunate enough not to be in the position of needing it .

JakeBullet Tue 28-Jan-14 09:01:14

I think most people who get ESA have to live off it..., they wouldn't be able to save it.

My severely agoraphobic friend gets it....she certainly can't afford to save goes in the pot to cover daily living expenses.

horsetowater Tue 28-Jan-14 09:25:13

The motability scheme is also a big con. If anyone thinks they are 'better off' getting a motability car, well they are not. Motability cars are new cars, or very nearly new, so people are buying them at a top price. You are much better off buying a second hand car for half the price. Motability is a scam, like the Green Deal, only helpful for people that would never be able to afford credit.

I know what you're trying to say op, I think that you're seeing it a little to simplistically though, as in there's x amount of fixed money and it's not doing much use there however there's a family starving who that would make a huge difference too and it wouldn't effect your cousin in anyway.
My uncle has severe mental health problems and is in managed accommodation, he buys everything he wants and his standard of life is good if you were to look at it on a superficial level. He manages to also save a rather large amount which he's likely to never use (hasn't been touched in 20 odd years). It's good that he's managed to do that and he has every right to spend that on anything he wants but he just won't. Therefore that money is actually pretty redundant to him. I think you're seeing it like that and that that money could be helping some one else as it's not doing anything for the individual who's saving it?

I've probably worded this all wrong but I think I know where you're coming from op. The thing is that it's terrible that we're even thinking that. There are far far bigger sources of money (tax dodgers, corporations etc) that could be affording everyone to have the lifestyle they want and deserve without taking from another.

The poor shouldn't have to fight the poor for what we all deserve.

Owllady Tue 28-Jan-14 09:32:32

I sold my car to go on the notability scheme because it takes the stress off me and its one less thing to worry about and I need a reliable car because breaking down could be catastrophic! It isn't cheap though, I agree. The woman in the operation would have to use her mobility rate money to pay for transport though as she is too mentally impaired to drive. Why are people ignoring this confused

People have also already mentioned regarding savings. If it goes over a certain amount you have to start paying towards your care, it's the same with all adult care (those that have elderly relatives sil know this too)

Freckletoes Tue 28-Jan-14 09:37:48

Haven't read the whole post but came upon the fraudsters vs non fraudsters argument. Background: I don't claim benefits, I have a condition that would allow me to but on OH income I doubt I would be entitled to. I do know someone who is fraudulently claiming and I have anonymously reported her-to my knowledge nothing has changed (works cash in hand in physical agricultural role). So my question is why do people who are genuinely claiming and entitled to benefits get so wound up when people mention the fraudsters? A comment about lazy, layabouts who are playing the system is aimed at them. If you are genuine in your claims then don't get so stressed about people who are slagging off the scrounges-they aren't slagging off you! The welfare state is for genuine people with health issues to help and support them through life and we can be nothing but proud that such a thing exists in the UK. But those abusing the system deserve slating. However if you're not abusing the system-chill out a bit. smile

WilsonFrickett Tue 28-Jan-14 09:40:59

Because Freckletoes the OP's cousin is not fraudulently claiming. And it gets tiresome that every thread with the word 'benefits' in it ends up getting derailed into fraudsters v non-fraudsters about two pages in. It has nothing to do with this discussion at all. We aren't talking about a fraudster, we are talking about a woman with severe autism.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 28-Jan-14 09:43:16

"Therefore that money is actually pretty redundant to him."

I don't know the age of your uncle but the benefits system may not be around forever. He may get maliciously reported and lose his benefits, there may be a simple clerical error that means he doesn't get any money for a month or two, so those savings may come into use. If I were in the position where I know I couldn't work long-term due to my health condition, I'd sure as hell save up what I could for a rainy day, more so than your average Joe Public.

Freckletoes Tue 28-Jan-14 09:49:12

As far as savings from benefits go, rather a simplistic view but if someone is able to live frugally and put money aside then they shouldn't be penalised for it. In an experiment if you gave 10 different people in the same life situation the same amount of money you can guarantee some will blow the lot and some will live carefully and keep some back-it is natural for us all to be different. (Before anyone jumps down my throat I am not saying people who have no savings have blown all their money-everyone has different expenses/family size/regional variations). I suppose if the OP cousin is in such good structured care and able to save so much then perhaps she could be seen as receiving more money than her needs..... Let's face it - this whole system is impossible to ever get 100% "right"!

Freckletoes Tue 28-Jan-14 09:55:13

But Wilson, that is just the nature of any conversation or post surely-they always go off on a tangent! How many other posts on here or any other forum stick rigidly to the original post.....

hoppingmad Tue 28-Jan-14 10:00:06

Freckletoes - unfortunately it is not as simple as chilling out a bit. Hatred against benefit claimants is not restricted to frauds.
The most miserable time of my life was the period I claimed benefits (legitimately). It was a crap time anyway but the treatment by other people made it so much worse. People I had counted as close friends turned against me and as a result I am still too scarred to even contemplate attempting to make new friends.
I don't want to get into all the details but trust me, the venom against benefits claimants is sickening. Also, we are considerably better off as a working family so the notion that heaps of money is available on benefits is not the case in my experience

WilsonFrickett Tue 28-Jan-14 10:00:13

I know, but it's so predictable on these threads that it's almost not a tangent at all. It's become part of the 'meme' for want of a better word, that it's impossible to discuss benefits without someone talking about their Uncle Jimmy who's off digging potatoes. It's become a silencing technique imo - like if people want to talk about immigration and they are automatically accused of racism.

Owllady Tue 28-Jan-14 10:01:05

It will take an amazing scientific breakthrough to enable those with severe autism and sld to commit benefit fraud

horsetowater Tue 28-Jan-14 10:02:19

I think there is a high tolerance of fraudsters in areas where the only work available is very poorly paid and very hard work.

I live in London and most people are working as there is enough work to go round. But I know people in small towns where many have never worked and are in a self-disablement situation (health issues due to lack of exercise and smoking or mental health issues due to low self-esteem because there is little hope for them where they are, alcoholism and drugs).

It is really about time the government took a long hard look at WHY people 'fraudulently' claim benefits - perhaps it is their only means of survival.

I believe a MUCH higher minimum wage will put a stop to all this. At the moment, low wages are subsidised by tax credits so there is a kind of low glass ceiling that employers don't want to break. Employers will treat their staff better if they know they can only employ 6 people at a good wage instead of 9 people at a low wage. Their staff will be happier, productivity will go up. They will invest in their staff. The 3 people who can't work will be more keen to find work, as it will be well paid and worth committing to. This in turn promotes productivity and competition. In Germany the mindset has always been a feeling of sympathy if you can't work but absolute respect and the expectation that you will find it again. Wages are good and staff are treated well because of a business model that is long-termist and not based on the whims of shareholders.

Having people on low wage simply encourages shiftiness. It's a culture of 'they don't care about us, why should we care about them'.

The reason why disabled people get benefit is for their empowerment and an acceptance that we are part of a caring society. It is a fundamental right that we shouldn't mess about with. Sadly people have been driven into a position where they only feel empowered by being disabled. How ironic.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 28-Jan-14 10:05:32

No, nothing ever sticks to the original post, it meanders. However, those of us who have to deal with benefits get tired of being put in a position whereby we have to defend ourselves. Somebody always knows somebody who is fiddling, and judging by Mumsnet the fraud figure stands at around 85%!
As I said before, it's about perception. Studies show that thanks to the internet, joe public genuinely believes that fraud with regard to benefits runs at around 25%, whereas the figure for DLA is 0.04%. That's a considerable amount below the figure. However, on these threads, because somebody always knows somebody, it inflates the figure in peoples heads and then we get the Daily Mail whining on about benefit scroungers and the language becomes that of the deserving and undeserving poor and the first to suffer (as has been proved in a 2013 study by UEA) are the disabled. They are the first to suffer financially and then obviously with regard to health issues, then political issues, such as Disability Hate Crime, which has increased considerably under this government because of the narrative being played out on the pages of the right wing press with soundbites provided by the government. And then, (trust me, there's a bingo card) along someone comes and says oh just give them vouchers, then, they've all got blackberries and iphones and so it goes.
With regard to the situation above, as has been pointed out by wetaugust et al, once the person concerned is over the limit in savings, then the DWP need to be informed so that she can be reassessed.

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 28-Jan-14 10:21:55

It will take an amazing scientific breakthrough to enable those with severe autism and sld to commit benefit fraud

This^^ multiplied by a thousand likes.

AmberLeaf Tue 28-Jan-14 10:39:17


its because so many people fail to see the difference between genuine and non genuine. they lump them all together and think it is their place to decide who is which.

as dawndonna says the public perception of fraudsters is way off.

There is also the issue of people wrongly assuming that someone is less than genuine. no one really knows what goes on in a persons life. so if the default setting is 'must be swinging the lead' it does make you feel a little defensive.

doitmyself Tue 28-Jan-14 12:05:56

People on DLA who manage to save might be saving up for a powerchair. Unless you are totally incapacitated (and often not even then) you cannot get one from wheelchair services.
An adult one is around £7000
A paediatric one ranges from 9-25K.

ConnectFourChamp Tue 28-Jan-14 12:34:31

Tbh I can see how the young lady with autism might save more of her benefits, particularly if she is being given help with managing her money properly. My son (with ASD) IS 7, he has a very basic understanding of things. For Christmas, he asked for a pot of moonsand. It's one of the things I love about him, he's always happy to receive things but he's not constantly wanting and asking. My older son at 7 asked for a Wii and countless other things. Hopefully this girl's family treat her to a few luxuries and treats along the way, sounds highly likely as he is obviously well loved and cared for. Most of us, on benefits or not, could probably save more money if we didn't crave the extra things in life.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 28-Jan-14 12:41:05

doit providing you let the dwp know that you are saving for a specific, they will be flexible and leave ringfenced money alone.

tb Tue 28-Jan-14 13:45:09

My late mil used to get a lot in benefits, including a supplement for extra food due to ill-health. She used to psend this on cigarettes as, in her own words, she'd rather smoke than eat. 6- a day, and 80 if she got really stressed.

My late dm used to het her oap, and had a part-time job, and paid income tax, although her total income was less than mil's benefits and mil paid no tax as only her pension was taxable.

This anomaly doesn't really seem fair. Many potential governments have said that the tax/benefit system needs to be integrated, but, once elected none of them have ever had the courage to tackle the problem.

The suggestion for integration have come from both Labour and Tories, so isn't due to political bias. The system has been tweaked, patched etc so many times that it needs a complete overhaul.

Those who remember Yes Minister will know that when Sir Humphrey wanted to encourage his minister to reverse a decision, he used to describe it as 'courageous'.

An example of this over-complication is that Gordon Brown used to increase personal allowances, but delay the implementation of the increase, thus giving with one hand, but sort of taking away with the other. At the same tax credits were introduced, and they may not have been needed if the tax allowances had been increased by a realistic amount and implemented sooner. All this sort of thing did was to complicate the system and increase the number of people on the public sector payroll.

Candy - perhaps I should've qualified that with 'at the moment'.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 28-Jan-14 18:19:55

Jazz Fair enough. I wasn't having a go at you btw. smile Just explaining (to the general bashers, not you) why many people in similar situations do need a little nest egg if they can afford to save a bit.

WooWooOwl Tue 28-Jan-14 19:32:28

However, those of us who have to deal with benefits get tired of being put in a position whereby we have to defend ourselves. Somebody always knows somebody who is fiddling, and judging by Mumsnet the fraud figure stands at around 85%!

But you don't have to defend yourself. No one is attacking you. You choose to get defensive, and maybe that is understandable if you have had a real need to defend yourself in the past, but you certainly don't need to defend yourself because a couple of posters are aware of someone who claims fraudulently.

It's very sad that these thread always end up in an argument, and it's completely unnecessary. It stifles debate about something that we should be able to talk about freely. It's our system, and there's no reason we shouldn't talk openly about it.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 28-Jan-14 19:40:05

I don't mind discussing genuine fraud but "I saw John who claims DLA for a hip problem walking up 3 flights of stairs" is just tittle tattle.

I'm sure there's something she could spend her money on. It probably hasn't occurred to her. Would she benefit from a communication aid, or an iPad for example? Because she won't be bought a communication aid by SS or the NHS - that is definite.

But otherwise as people have said - there IS a savings threshold over which she would be paying for her care, she's not getting rich on state handouts.

Or does she have savings because she CAN'T spend the money. We receive direct payments for ds1 - I have far far too much money in the account at the moment, but I can't spend it. I have a lot in there because our support arrangements for the summer holidays fell apart 2 days before they started so we had to shuffle our way through the summer rather than doing it with proper support. I can't just spend the money - I can only spend it on support workers for ds1. I don't get to compensate for the hell of no support by spending the money on other things - I'll probably have to give it back (or persuade SS I can spend it all on support for him quickly). All my spending from that account is monitored and has to be accounted for. Yes it makes it look as if I have a healthy savings account in my name - but I don't, it's not money I can use for anything except staff for ds1.

why do people who are genuinely claiming and entitled to benefits get so wound up when people mention the fraudsters?

Because the benefit bashing encourages the abuse of people whose only crime is being poor.

And because just before another announcement that benefits will be cut there tends to be a rush of posters who know lots of people cheating on benefits. Or who say "you know, I reckon people have money left over so the benefit rates must be too high"

Could be a coincidence of course.

Even MPs make false statements to make it seem most benefit claimants are stealing so that they won't lose as many votes when they take from the poor. The government's own figures show that benefit fraud is relatively minor.

It's rare to see actual debate because those criticising benefits generally don't have a clue who gets them and why. They have picked up a few keywords from the daily mail and repeat them over and over.

WooWooOwl Tue 28-Jan-14 20:09:36

Some posters seem to class any conversation that isn't praising claimants to the hilt as 'benefit bashing' though.

Too many issues get clogged up together in these threads. Abuse of anyone is abuse, it doesn't matter whether it's directed at someone because they are rich or poor, black or white, fat or thin etc. abusing someone else is always wrong.

Unjustly implying abuse when nothing but a conversation about a state service is going on is also wrong.

Misspixietrix Tue 28-Jan-14 20:17:11

I've just read that the stars of a certain show.Have had to be moved to safe houses. That is why people get so defensive. Because regardless of whether someone is genuinely on the sick / dole and people thinking they've saw something is disingenuous at worst and daft at best. Only last week a dear friend who has been Housebound for 20years had defend herself in tears to people because some thoughtless cunt thought they saw her at the Post Office. tb would you mind elaborating the extra supplement your MIL was given? Only I can't think for the life of me what category it would come under. As others have said the lady in the OP probably has some savings because she has everyone else helping and managing for her.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 28-Jan-14 20:30:18

WooWoo, yes, I choose to get defensive. Maybe because I've been around these parts for a while and I have had, with others to put up with various accusations. Maybe because when I was claiming more than the Carer's allowance I currently claim I was shopped and without money for six people for a period, why was I shopped, because I dared to buy basmati rice instead of the cheaper long grain. So yes, I choose to get defensive. Oh, and because I have to sit here and watch morons say 'vouchers are the way' and the disabled aren't allowed to pay extra for sky television, despite being virtually housebound, or maybe it's because the cuts have got to come from somewhere. hmm

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 28-Jan-14 20:36:01

WooWoo I'm happy to discuss examples of the welfare state going wrong but again, as I said "I saw my neighbour pull up some weeds and then drive to the shops in his motability car" is NOT failure of the state, unless you can prove that the person is actually faking their disability.

zebrafinch Tue 28-Jan-14 20:40:33

I am cynically beginning to think that the purpose of highlighting the savings in this post is to get public opinion on board so that contributory based ESA is brought into the universal credit wrapper as it is currently outside it . Whilst The OP's cousin's Housing benefit will be affected by savings under universal credit as will income based ESA, currently contributory based ESA is outside and unaffected (click on help and advice section for future changes in benefit advice)

The DWP appointee for the cousin is tasked with managing the benefit money on their behalf. Yes it can be difficult to spend money when someone cannot express their needs. The appointee should be actively meeting regularly with the cousin and her day to day Carers to plan how the money which the cousin is entitled to should be spent to enrich her life. If over the years the DWP appointee for my son "amassed a five figure sum" from his benefit entitlement I would say that the appointee is not doing their job properly.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 28-Jan-14 20:53:16

Some posters seem to class any conversation that isn't praising claimants to the hilt as 'benefit bashing' though

That's not strictly true,is it.

The reality is that people call it bashing when the figures people recieve are hugely exaggerated or benefits that don't exist are randomly thrown into the mix,or people are criticised for owning a tv or accused of getting everything for free yet still being given a made up figure of free cash. Or outrage is expressed because any money is handed over or it's implied that families on benefits don't feed their own children because its hardworking tax payers who do,or that if your on benefits your feckless scroungers who shoud stand on your own two feet and you must be spending other people's money on drugs and your a crap parent.

You know this you've done it yourself enough.

WooWooOwl Tue 28-Jan-14 21:05:12

I agree with you candy.

Now Sock that's not strictly true is it.

I've never called anyone a crap parent, I've never accused anyone of spending taxpayers money on drugs, I've never criticised anyone for owning a TV, or accused anyone of getting everything for free, or made up figures about amounts of free cash.

You are accusing me of all sorts of crap just because you and I have differing opinions and you seem to have twisted what I have said in your own head so that you have something to rage at. It's wierd.

YANBU. I have 6 children and am constantly skint. If the people who get benefits don't need the money, it should be put back into the pot so people like me who don't get enough can have a better income. It's only fair, if the pot can't get bigger, stop paying out to people that don't need it and people who do need it can get more.

Misspixietrix Tue 28-Jan-14 21:30:30


IneedAsockamnesty Tue 28-Jan-14 21:36:48

Actually woowoo I wholeheartedly agree with you on many many issues rather a lot of your posts have been interesting thoughtful and show consideration as well as several threads where we have both had the same stance on a matter,I also have no inclination to rage at anybody,I am far to busy planning my next sock amnesty.

However you have often been pulled up by several posters on many benefit related threads for posting unpleasant generalisations and just the right side of goading type things.and you have never quite grasped exactly what it is you have said that gets the reaction.

deakymom Tue 28-Jan-14 23:04:55

perhaps she doesnt go out shopping often? to be fair her benefits are also there for her to be able to travel to buy clothing etc i think its great that her accommodations meets her needs but that is rare these days and the benefits are tested on people who dont have that perhaps you can encourage her to return it to the government when she dies if you think that is fair?

zebrafinch Wed 29-Jan-14 04:32:36

cannot agree with your suggestion deakymom - a logical extension of this would be everyone who receives child benefit and tax credits return their savings to the Government when they die!

WooWooOwl Wed 29-Jan-14 08:42:43

Fair enough Sock. I tend to think that people who are pulling me up do so because they simply disagree, which is fine, or because they are taking something I have said personally when it wasn't.

A lot of 'pulling up' seems to me to happen because people make generalisations about anyone who believes there are significant ways in which the welfare bill could be better spent. I actually don't want the benefits bill to be reduced, (as my posts on this thread relating to the OP will allude to) but you can barely say that you don't agree with certain benefits without being called a daily mail reading, Tory loving, poor hating goader.

Owllady Wed 29-Jan-14 09:28:15

The lady isn't poor she is severely disabled and needs 24/7 care. She is part of a minority of people in our society who is extremely vulnerable.
I have been a taxpayer. My husband is a taxpayer. I would rather our tax is paid to people like this.
I can't believe it's even being questioned, let alone picked over.
It beggars belief

If over the years the DWP appointee for my son "amassed a five figure sum" from his benefit entitlement I would say that the appointee is not doing their job properly

Absolutely! And that has triggered a memory of something I read recently where people in care homes were not being allowed to spend their money. Hm. Trying to remember where that was.

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