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Thread: Doth We protest too much?

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Doth We protest too much?

    I have thought for a while about this and wasn't sure whether to post it, but it seems to me that some recent posts have been overly critical of the benefit system; so maybe a bit of balance.
    We don't live in a perfect world.

    Yes there are problems with the benefit system.
    Yes the system makes mistakes.
    Yes these mistakes are causing people stress that they shouldn't have to put up with.
    Yes some of the decisions being made seem to be against commom sense.

    But is that not why we are all signed up as members here?

    To help people who are new to these problems.
    To give help with what can be a confusing system.
    To use our own experience to help others cope with what is a new world to them.
    To point out when the letter you get is wrong and how to get it corrected.
    And of course to give to give virtual hugs and support to anyone going through a difficult time.

    From my own experience, and from reading the posts on here and elsewhere, most of the long term DWP and Jobcenter staff understand the problems, they don't like the system either but their hands are tied by legislation and by the rules they are told they have to work to.
    Some of these rules are Dickensian but they have to work with them to keep their jobs.

    I am being encouraged by a lot of the recent posts I am seeing that are saying that the Jobcentre and DWP staff are treating people as people and not just as a set of notes written down on paper.
    Last edited by nukecad; 02-01-15 at 22:28.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    I think people need to have a bit of a rant sometimes to get things off their chest and somewhere like this is a safe place to do that.

    However we should all try to remember that it's not personal when a decision doesn't go our way even though it sometimes feels as though it is.

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    My feelings are much the same as yours, nukecad, though I also agree with catlover that people need safe space to vent their frustration and hurt with people who understand.


    Arguably the biggest problem with ESA and PIP is that people do not understand the system. There are quite a few posts here from people who have not fully appreciated that these benefits are based on the effect of the claimant's health conditions and disabilities on their ability to perform a list of prescribed tasks. Some of these people have gone to considerable trouble to provide medical evidence that is far more elaborate than necessary, and wonder why this evidence has seemingly been ignored.

    There are examples of bad practice by DWP and contractor staff. However, I think most of the hurt, anguish and uncertainty caused by the benefit system is a mixture of the complexity of the system and bad policies. The shortage of good quality advice and support, which is partly a consequence of the Legal Aid cuts under this government, has played a considerable role in raising the levels of hurt, anguish and uncertainty.


    catlover's reminder that an adverse decision is not personal is really important to keep on stressing. A benefit can only be awarded if the evidence before the decision maker indicates the claimant more likely than not qualifies for that benefit. With PIP and ESA, adverse decisions are typically down to a failure to give a good-quality explanation of the problems you have carrying out the activities and/or serious problems that are overlooked by the criteria.


    Almost without exception, the DWP and contractor staff I have dealt with have been polite, professional and understanding. When I have had a problem with DWP or contractor staff, it has been in situations where they have been as failed by the system as I have. There is nothing a member of staff can do to offer a quick decision when there are huge queues waiting for assessment and for a decision once the assessment is available. Similarly, there is nothing a member of staff can do to give good quality information on the likely time until a decision is available if they cannot tell which point your claim has reached and do not know what the typical delay for each stage is.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    catlover;

    Thanks for pointing out something I missed mentioning in my own rant.

    Of course we all have to let off steam now and again, and this is a good, usually non-judgemental forum on which to do it.

    I had just been getting a bit anoyed by some recent posts that seem to have a negative and political slant without trying to give any helpful advice.

    Maybe my new meds are making me less tolerant?
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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    i think if people want a political rant it has its place and others may agree or want to debate, but i think to do that its more considerate to make their own post, not so kind to do it on someone elses thread, someone who may already be struggling and may take it personal.

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    Good points nukecad. Flymo especially does stirling work informing folks, because a lot of frustration is caused by the LACK of the correct or applicable knowledge. And yeah sometimes ppl need a rant or a scream for help.
    Political rants I have no patience with. There's FB groups for that and some of em a wee bit unbalanced!
    Some posters seem to have no one else with whom, or of whom they can ask. Their family don't know, professionals may give conflicting advice. It is important to highlight the GOOD stuff also. examples of helpful advice, websites, experiences and this does happen here as well

  7. #7
    I think that, whilst the system is not without its faults, we in the UK are in fact incredibly lucky to have a benefits system at all.......that doesn't help those who are struggling with adverse decisions.......but on the whole it helps many thousands of people who, if in other countries, may not have even the opportuity to apply for help.
    I am 'in the process' of PIP claim and of course am hoping for a positive decision, and hoping that I have painted a clear enough picture of my son's needs. I do hope that in time the process will become clearer and more transparent to those wishing to claim

  8. #8
    TheAmazingAtheist
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    No actually we don't protest enough.

  9. #9
    Senior Member flowerangelx's Avatar
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    I try and stay out of political debates. My own family tried to coax me into a debate on New Years Eve and I was having none of it. I tend to keep most of my political opinions to my self.

    If I find somebody giving out incorrect information, I will correct them. My Uncle rent on a rant about benefit fraud and 'disabled people taking all the benefits'...I said one sentence, gave him a statistic and he soon shut up!


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    I have thought for a while about this and wasn't sure whether to post it, but it seems to me that some recent posts have been overly critical of the benefit system; so maybe a bit of balance.
    We don't live in a perfect world.

    Yes there are problems with the benefit system.
    Yes the system makes mistakes.
    Yes these mistakes are causing people stress that they shouldn't have to put up with.
    Yes some of the decisions being made seem to be against commom sense.

    But is that not why we are all signed up as members here?

    To help people who are new to these problems.
    To give help with what can be a confusing system.
    To use our own experience to help others cope with what is a new world to them.
    To point out when the letter you get is wrong and how to get it corrected.
    And of course to give to give virtual hugs and support to anyone going through a difficult time.

    From my own experience, and from reading the posts on here and elsewhere, most of the long term DWP and Jobcenter staff understand the problems, they don't like the system either but their hands are tied by legislation and by the rules they are told they have to work to.
    Some of these rules are Dickensian but they have to work with them to keep their jobs.

    I am being encouraged by a lot of the recent posts I am seeing that are saying that the Jobcentre and DWP staff are treating people as people and not just as a set of notes written down on paper.
    From reading your very interesting and informative posts in the past, I haven't forgotten how you were apparently harassed by staff at your local Job Centre for at least a year or so if my memory serves me correct - until fairly recently I believe; I believe your treatment at the hands of the DWP was in the guise of the Work Programme or whatever. Fortunately, you are very well "clued up" to deal with this kind of treatment; therefore, you are lucky as you are not an "easy pickings" kind of DWP target, what really worries me is: the vulnerable people who are not as fortunate as you or I - at effectively navigating the Social Security system and therefore standing up for themselves. Consequently, please, lets not carried away with apparent DWP "humanity" or indeed "integrity" - as this would be foolish.

    Buster

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