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To find stories about disability benefit 'fraud' worrying

(29 Posts)
TheDailyFail Thu 13-Nov-14 22:55:24

First of all apologies for the Daily Fail link:
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2833525/Round-GOLF-caught-benefits-cheat-swindled-10-000-claiming-walk-10-yards.html

As a disabled person with a fluctuating condition the prosecution of this man and others like him really worries me.
The process for claiming disability payments such as PIP is constructed in such a way that you have to answer very narrow yes/no style questions to be entitled to any money. I bet if this man had been allowed to give an open and rounded description of his disability and how it effects his life he wouldn't have fallen foul of the system.
I think anyone who has a fluctuating condition could in theory be prosecuted for fraud. After all the bar for claiming is that your condition has a significant effect on your life for 50% of the time or more.
Medical practitioners have ratified the fact he has serious medical issues.
So AIBU to be horrified that if you are 'caught' on a good day, propped up with pain killers and for which you may take several days recovery you are a criminal?

TheDailyFail Thu 13-Nov-14 22:59:01

After all the bar for claiming is that your condition has a significant effect on your life for 50% of the time or more

Just to clarify what I mean by that, the system does allow for fluctuations i.e you don't have to be unable to walk more that 20 metres all of the time to claim higher rate. Just 50% or more.
This for him could have been on one of the 49% of days he was doing ok.

sleepygardens Thu 13-Nov-14 22:59:55

Gosh ... I see what you mean. I feel really sorry for him, to be honest. sad

Whatisysystemidfor Thu 13-Nov-14 23:01:32

Very well put. I agree with you completely.

missymayhemsmum Thu 13-Nov-14 23:05:40

These stories are meant to worry you. There is an orchestrated campaign from the right wing press and politicians to make out that every person who claims benefit is a workshy scrounger, every lone parent is a slapper raising yobs and all disabled people (other than plucky heroes and services veterans) are putting it on and could work if they want to, except that of course any requirement to reasonable adjustment in work is an unfair burden on business. It is being deliberately orchestrated to make sure the struggling working poor are angry with benefit claimants (and of course immigrants) rather than the rich, the bankers and international corporations who are screwing them over. And it is working, sorry.

scousadelic Thu 13-Nov-14 23:07:00

I'm no expert but I think this might be far more extreme than the normal fluctuations of a medical condition. There is a very big difference between not being able to walk 10 yards and playing golf.

Having medical issues is not the same as being disabled enough for some benefits and I would imagine that this is not based on just one good day but on a whole series of observations.

In order to have money to support those who need it we do have a responsibility to ensure that benefits are not abused

TheDailyFail Thu 13-Nov-14 23:08:08

missy If it was just a story in a right wing agenda paper I would agree with you but this has been held up in a criminal court.

JulietBravoJuliet Thu 13-Nov-14 23:09:21

When my dad filled out his DLA claim, he was advised to fill it out as if every day were his worst day. He has osteoarthritis and some days can walk ok, especially if pushing a shopping trolley, yet other days he can barely get out of his chair (particularly when the weather is cold and damp, as this really affects his knees and hips). If the benefits people had seen him wandering round Costco with a trolley for a couple of hours the other day, they would have hauled him up for fraudulently claiming that he struggles to walk 10 yards sometimes yet I've seen him, and helped him, on his frequent bad days! and he is not fraudulently claiming by any stretch of the imagination.

TheDailyFail Thu 13-Nov-14 23:13:01

There is a very big difference between not being able to walk 10 yards and playing golf

I have a condition that means sometimes I can walk 20 minutes (admittedly I will pay for this for several days after) but other days I need a stick or wheelchair to get around. My condition does fluctuate that much.
Even when I may appear to be having a 'good' day my condition is present and I have to pace to ensure I can function.

juliet Exactly that's what makes me worried about the current system

missymayhemsmum Thu 13-Nov-14 23:24:07

There are a lot of things that are upheld in a criminal court that don't get a page in the daily fail. It fits with an agenda so it's published.

scousadelic Fri 14-Nov-14 17:39:14

I agree there is an agenda here and it isn't nice but I stand by the fact there is a huge difference between not walking 10 yards and playing golf.

A round of golf (9 holes) generally takes a couple of hours, often over uneven ground, 18 holes can take over 4 hours, and when you think of all the swinging, stretching, bending to retrieve balls, etc it is quite strenuous and is very, very different to your example of being able to walk 20 minutes.

It is all down to what is likely to be a reasonable variation I suppose

raltheraffe Fri 14-Nov-14 17:45:21

My DH and I both receive DLA. We both have an indefinite award but sadly that does not mean jack shit now as in 2016 we will both be reassessed for PIP.

DH's disability is very straightforward. He is blind, totally and cannot read Braille. He should have no problems migrating to PIP.

My disability is bipolar, a fluctuating condition, which is sometimes incredibly debilitating and on good days has very little effect on me. I am dreading this assessment thing.

The rate of DLA fraud is 0.25% or one in 400 claims. Yet due to the coalition we are now all viewed as shirkers and malingerers. It is disgusting.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 14-Nov-14 18:09:43

I know many disabled people who play golf to get them a little bit active and outdoors as well as socialising.

The golf club I go to has a coach who specialises in helping people with lots of different disabilities learn to play.

It's a bit like when footage of disabled people on holiday abroad is used as 'evidence' so bloody what are disabled people not allowed on holiday?

It concerns me because its like they are saying to be considered as disabled enough you have to be totally confined to your bed forever or some other such ridiculous idea.

Latara Fri 14-Nov-14 18:23:10

I agree with what Missy says totally.

I get DLA but I don't tell anyone because they'd probably think I'm too well to get it. I don't look like I have serious MH problems & epilepsy which is not too well controlled.

BackOnlyBriefly Fri 14-Nov-14 18:24:35

I too have doubts about being able to play golf on his good days, but we don't know the details.

The principle is still worrying though. I can pass for perfectly fit for brief periods. I could have been in that picture and they would have said "ha! we caught two of them".

I've just remembered something from years back. An elderly couple would pass my door to the local shop and he would be pushing her in a wheelchair. Weeks later she would be pushing him. I wonder what they'd have made of that.

Darkesteyes Fri 14-Nov-14 18:28:59

Check out Moving On on bbc iplayer. The one that was on on Tuesday with Lisa Riley in it. Its about a woman with an ill husband who steals a lottery ticket. Its written by Jimmy McGovern (Cracker,Hillsborough) and mentioned in the script and on screen are the assessments and the fact that the husband doesnt pass the PIP assessment even though he has MS.

Stripeyfeet Fri 14-Nov-14 22:09:21

My DH recently filled in a PIP form and it made me feel really bad for him. On his bad days, he can't get out of bed. Every movement hurts. But yes, we go out and do fun stuff occasionally because otherwise what life would we have? He can just about take the kids to school every three months or so (well, when he's not on medication) but I guess if you looked at him then, he'd look OK. He has to lurch forward quite quickly to be able to walk, otherwise he'll fall over. He does things at home that no employer would even allow him to do, because if you don't just get on with it then life is shit. Then he sits around in (extra) pain for a week. The constant benefit fraud stories scare me too. Nobody in their right mind would ever employ him.

raltheraffe Fri 14-Nov-14 22:15:49

It is horrible. As someone with bipolar I had to constantly prove to the GMC I was fit to practice as a doctor (3 monthly reviews with a GMC appointed psychiatrist). I have to prove to the DVLA I am fit to drive (3 yearly assessment). When I had ds I had to prove to SS I was fit to be a mum.

I jumped through all of these hoops.

Now I have to prove I am disabled??? After being assessed by pdoc after pdoc? If this was some fraud case would I really go to the effort of getting myself sectioned twice? Staying in a horrible hospital for months on end just to pick up the benefits? If I have the ability to fraudulently get myself sectioned I should be in line for a bloody Oscar.

Integration14 Fri 14-Nov-14 22:30:04

My mum got parkinson ( she is not living in these country), and sometimes when the medication makes effect and you cant noticie the disease, ( no shaking, walking fast, getting up in a chair) and another times she cant hold a cup to drink because her hands are shaking. She thinks that she does not have Parkinson and some days will not take the medication and other days will have triple medication.

raltheraffe Fri 14-Nov-14 22:33:20

Parkinsons is a horrible disease. I am still saddened by Robin William's death, just awful.

Cherriesandapples Fri 14-Nov-14 22:37:08

Osteoarthritis is a fairly stable condition. Look at his golf swing, he is totally defrauding the state if he can do that and says he can't walk more than 10 metres on a bad day. As it said in the article he played golf for three days. Someone with OA may pull it together for a shopping trip but would never manage three days of 18 hole golf. Just accept that some people do actually try to defraud the state!

raltheraffe Fri 14-Nov-14 22:40:02

My husband has always got SDA. This is now being migrated to ESA and according to the RNIB he should be placed in the support group. The ATOS assessment was beyond awful. When we arrived he was told by ATOS staff he had to enter the building in the revolving door and could not use the disabled entrance. I grabbed my mobile and informed them I was calling their head office and explaining that we could not attend the assessment as we were not permitted to use the disabled entrance so they begrudgingly let us in. It was some weird test to catch out an alleged shirker who has been registered blind by a consultant ophthalmologist. I told ATOS before the assessment I intended to record it and they said I was not allowed but they would make sure that the ATOS assessor recorded it on their equipment and they refused when we finally got in the assessment room.
One of my doctor friends contacted me and said I could earn some extra cash doing assessments even though I no longer practice medicine. I refused to get involved as I think it is a disgrace.

raltheraffe Fri 14-Nov-14 22:41:35

OA primarily affects the hips and knees. It can affect the shoulder but everyone is different.

nocoolnamesleft Fri 14-Nov-14 22:48:07

My biggest problem with the (incredibly rare) person who defrauds the disability benefits system is that they then give right wing daily fail readers ammunition against genuine claimants, and raise the hoops through which said claimants have to...um....prove they are unable to jump.

Admittedly, I'd kill to have half that much mobility on my best day...relax, I'm not claiming. Others' needs are much greater.

ilovechristmas1 Fri 14-Nov-14 22:48:08

raltheraffe just to give you a little hope,i applied for PIP this year for the first time,im also Bipolar,no medical needed and was put in the enhanced care rate till 2020

it did take 8 months as there was a huge backlog

so it may not be as bad as you think,good luck

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