Well, many stood up and stated it would happen. Changes to the benefits system have continued to be introduced and slowly the cracks have began to appear!
Was the DWP ready for the consequences when some affected claimants didn’t know how to deal with them changes? Seemingly not!
I was sadden to read the story of how a man had set himself on fire outside a Birmingham benefits office (Job Centre Plus).The man who was reported to have mental health problems was reportedly deemed fit for work despite being seen as vulnerable, therefore sparking a change to his benefits. It’s said that he was unable to deal with such changes (which is also rumoured to have caused a late payment) therefore making him extremely upset leading to him dousing himself in flammable liquid and setting himself ablaze.
The man was taken to hospital with burns to his legs.
This shows the sheer frustration the benefits system can cause to those who have mental health problems, disabilities and medical conditions. The cuts are affecting some of britain’s most vulnerable people and although I believe there are those that claim sickness benefits such as DLA when they shouldn’t I believe the Government are going the completely wrong way about fixing the issue.
This man was just one of many claimants forced to cope with huge overhauls within the system because he suffers from an “invisible” condition therefore giving them the green light to hit him with the back to work stick. It’s quite apparent from his actions that this isn’t a person mentally able to deal with the pressures the workplace may provide. Yes… People make mistakes, but medical assessments should be the best and when someone is very unstable for whatever reason it’s hoped that such professionals are able to pick these things up! After all this is not the first incident and won’t by any means be the last! Earlier this year there was reports of an attempted suicide in a Liverpool benefits office! Yes, these changes are really hitting the wrong people and this could lead to the government actually having blood on their hands.
In the past the Government has claimed that 600 million has been overpaid through the DLA’s current system. They claim that they are not trying to reduce the benefit or the number of people claiming it, but instead trying to reduce the growth rate in the number of claimants. Though since such reports were made we continuously hear about claimants losing out, societies most vulnerable people being encouraged back into the workplace before they are ready.
I recently received Little man’s DLA form. It seems that his current claim will run out come September requiring us to reapply. The letter makes it all seem so bloody easy (you know the type, don’t worry reapply and the benefit will continue as it always has done). Except I know that the system is under pressure to make them cuts and they are looking to save money any how they can. Little man needs his DLA as as much (if not more) than he did back in 2008 when he was first awarded it. The thought of having to fill out the huge form and endure the whole sodding process again, fills me with dread.
If you have been affected or fear you will be affected by cuts to sickness benefits (especially that of DLA) I’d love to hear your thoughts?