Monday 12 November 2012

People's Review of the WCA

Anticipating the publication of Professor Harrington’s third (and, for him, final) annual review of the Work Capability Assessment, the WeAreSpartacus group have published our own review, from the lived experience of the sick and disabled people going through it. The People's Review of the Work Capability Assessment includes the experiences of more than 70 claimants who have been wrongly assessed, humiliated, badly treated and forced to go to tribunal to secure the benefits to which they are entitled under by law. 

The review also highlights press reports of some of the claimants who have died after being found fit for work or whose suicide has been linked, at least in part, to the stress of a process which is essentially abusive, demeaning and not fit for purpose. In the final section of the review, we examine what has been said about the WCA by the Government, MP's, courts, professional bodies, medical organisations and individual medical professionals. This section includes full references, including replies to Freedom of Information requests, so readers can check the facts for themselves.

In July of this year, investigative journalism from Panorama and Dispatches exposed the suffering experienced by claimants of Employment Support Allowance (which replaces Incapacity Benefit) going through the WCA process. The documentaries also revealed something of what goes on behind the scenes at Atos Healthcare, who undertake the assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. 

MP's have raised concerns about the experiences of their constituents; questions have been posed to Ministers; debates have been held in the Commons; the British Medical Association, medical professional bodies and charities, both large and small, have condemned the process; the National Audit Office has highlighted the waste of money from unnecessary appeals; and disabled and sick people have been working continually under extraordinarily difficult circumstances to expose the suffering and hardship they're experiencing. But still the process continues; neither the Department for Work and Pensions nor Atos Healthcare have been held to account.

The People's Review needs to be shared far and wide; it is a comprehensive analysis not only of people's experience, but of the policies and activities behind the scenes which reveal the objective reality of an assessment process which needs a radical overhaul, for the sake of disabled and sick people - and for our country, which cannot afford to fund a broken system which costs much, much more than just money.
(An accessible version is available for download from:
Last but not least, if you have your own story to tell about going through the WCA, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section.


  1. I have just completed my ESA form; very stressful just in itself.
    I have Parkinson's Disease, OsteoArthritis, digestive and Kidney problems etc etc- I also suffer episodes of (suicidal) depression.
    If I am deemed 'fit to work', I know I won't have the strength/ability to fight it - it will probably be the end for me.
    Even if I somehow do get through this. then next year I face it all again with DLA/PIP - just before my 65th birthday!

  2. Amazing report. Spartaci - (or Sue, if well enough) - I've got some questions, could you help? With whom do you think we should share the report? When we pass it to MPs, what action should we ask them to take? Thanks so much for advice.

    1. Just speaking for myself, I would ask them to ask the Government to a) Respond, and b) bear it in mind in further reviews of the WCA, and in handling assessments for PIP, to stop such problems continuing, or even expanding to the new benefit.

  3. I found the personal stories so difficult. Even if you appeal and assuming you win, you are called back in within weeks and the whole stupid process will start again.
    For people who have no hope of a job because of age and medical condition it really does look as if the Government is trying to hound us to die as soon as possible so we are no longer a burden on the state.

    I have sent the link to my MP........
    Much good will it do, but one has to try!

    To the people who compiled it all, many thanks for your time and efforts; we see it, we know it, and it is happening to us.

    Maybe someone somewhere will take notice, however I suspect for many of us it will be too late!

    Below are just some of the 70 cases in ‘The People’s Report’ that should be obligatory reading for every MP of every party.

    [size=150]“Client’s husband is in hospital in a coma. He was sent ESA50. Client contacted DWP to explain situation and was asked to obtain letter from hospital confirming he is in a coma. Did so. Was told to send it to ATOS rather than local BDC. Did so. Husband has now received decision letter- yep, as he has failed to return the ESA50 without good cause and is therefore capable of work and no longer entitled to ESA.”

    “My client has had brain damage since a massive haemorrhage/coma at the age of 22. This has left him with a short term memory of 20 minutes. He doesn’t remember me, or my voice, and keeps extensive diaries of daily events so he can record what he has to do. He has been found capable of work 3 times, and on one occasion he lost his home, because he couldn’t remember what he had to do to appeal.”

    “I have a brain tumour and was left disabled because I had the left side of my cerabellum amputated,
    because of this my balance and co'ordination to my left side is shot coupled with the fact that all the cancer could not be removed I am also terminally ill, I DID NOT MAKE IT INTO THE SUPPORT GROUP. I was told I should be working in a set period of time, funny as it was the same as my lifespan, I contacted my MP who was luckily an x GP and gave him permission to look at my medical notes he was disgusted and got my decision reversed I am now in the support group. The letter from the DWP stated that I was not terminally ill for the purposes of benefit entitlement.”[/size]
    “A young man explained how his uncle, who had severe mental health problems, committed suicide after the test gave him zero points and found him fit to work. He had appealed against the decision, and won at tribunal. But shortly after that decision, he was called in for another assessment, and for a second time scored zero points and was told he did not. He began appealing against the decision again, but a few days before another tribunal date was set, he hanged himself.”[/size]

    [size=150]“Stephen Hill, 53, of Duckmanton, died in December of a heart attack. The dad-of-two had suffered heart problems for around two years and was awaiting major heart surgery but following a ten-minute medical examination on November 17 he was deemed well enough to work. Mr Hill’s brother Anthony, 52, said: “I think the worry put so much pressure on him.”[/size]

    Don’t forget: pile the pressure on your MP to read and respond to this report.[/b]

  5. the deaths keep piling up how much longer is this going to go on for ?

    1. The major reforms aren't even here yet Nick, and the intolerance towards the ill and disabled has stayed very static within the wider Public.

      But intolerance's always change, usually every decade or so. After 9/11 it was the Muslims turn, now it's people on benefits and especially people with conditions like obesity.

      I would imagine if Labour took power in the next election, their MP's will protest the PM to make many changes to the horrible Welfare Bill. Attitudes should change with a New Government, sadly many thousands will die in the time ahead. Most of them uncounted, because they are dying of stress (related to assessments) which can't be proven.

      Just keep fighting until you die, or see things change . As I am sure you will Nick.

      You know the cruelest thing in all of this, is to be given the extra money because you are ill/disabled, then have some untrained monkey take it away to keep their criminal job.

      IDS talks about family, but the first thing in life you need even before love, is security. Without security you can't love, and if you can't love then you have family breakdown. He talks about dysfunction, when he is prepared to murder thousands, tens of thousands for some maniacal ideology, not to mention his personal sadistic satisfaction. He "knows" exactly what he is doing, and he knows his welfare changes are going to be catastrophic, deadly, and criminal.

      But whatever club he belongs to, whatever secret society, the baldineers perhaps, he'll be a leather clad Tory getting a good spanking for being a perfectly agreeable boy.

    2. These deaths because of negligence by the DWP/ATOS/ are getting way out of hand and at some tipping point the police will have to overrule the government

      Has these deaths taken part in a hospital or any public or private building then it would have been shut down by now

      if the government continue to kill it's sick and disabled behind the scenes (you must remember that the vast majority of these deaths are kept away from the government and IDS by the civil service)

      then the government could go on to kill off all the sick and disabled over a set period of time say 15 years

      i say 15 years as over the past 4 years around 2000 sick and disabled have died but the government could increase that figure if the general public stay silent on these matters which they most certainly will

    3. I'll leave you with the complete A-Z inventory of TfL's heritage assets to be flicking through. That's your ... Answers in the comments box and, please, only one guess each. ... I do hope they're already looking for alternative accommodation, just in case. ... This blog's not a fan of clutter on the tube map.
      cheap accommodation uk

    a very tragic tale if ever their was one but as you will see from this news is in that if your negligent and cause death like the DWP/ATOS to another person by your action then you like this person in this news will end up in prison at some point and that applies to anyone in the government who is in the know of what goes on and is always like the government in the denial stage when in fact they know full well that people are dying by being reassessed for welfare benefits and taking no action to save their lives

    yes it hard to believe that the prime minister will just stand by and let you die but those are the cold hard facts and theirs nothing bar a miracle we can do anything about it

  7. I am one of the people wha had to go through a WCA and am currently waiting for my date for an independent tribunal as someone who suffers from heart disease (HOCUM) and anxiety and slight depression i have been off work for the almost 5 years not because i want to doss about and watch tv all day but because have been told by my cardiologists not to work while they try to decide the best course of action to give me a chance of a normall life...

    i can empathise with so many regarding the stress this situation is putting on peoples lives is immense as i am close to breaking point now i worked from when i was 16 to when i had to stop aged 33 only 37 now spent 4 years as an active member of the territorial army and worked damn bloody hard every day and the time i ask for some help from the govermant yeah ok i got it at 1st it was incapcity benefit but with the cost of my medication and travel expense to and from 3 different hospitals was quite costly but managable but now since beginning of jan of this year being on ESA i barely manage my meds are paid for but with the drop in money trying to live at a acceptable level is nothing but impossible...

    i never wanted to be off work for as long as i have been and hoped after a year off i would have been able to go back but was told it would be something that they would look into in the future but there may be a glimmer of hope for me if my last tests came back with info needed i should get the go ahead to have an ablation procedure and will find out just after xmas then theres a chance that i can go back to work and i wouldn't have to feel like a stranger in my own country that gets treated worse than prisoners, asylum or political refugees...

  8. the benefits crowd just dont get it. the reforms are about making sure u are better off working than on benefits. what is wrong with that? why should someone on benefits be better off than those that work? pls answer

    there are 2 million households where generations of families have never worked. how? u say u are claiming what u have paid into the system but these people have never paid into it so how are they getting it?!! essentially only in the UK can u go straight from school onto benefits and stay on them avec a few kids etc till yr grave.

    u dont realise u say min wage at 40hrs = £270 so u better off working! wrong so wrong. from £270 u got to pay tax/ni rent council tax etc can u see why most would rather stay on the handout with all rent and expenses paid for. benefits are tax free too unlike a salary!

    also when go on holiday forums i see many ppl asking that they are on ESA and worried that when they go on holiday they may not be allowed in as they dont have a job so the immigration may get suspicious! so ESA so lucrative can go on foreign trips to far flung places. also not so ill so they can go on holiday.

    the grey area of what degree of illness impinges the ability to work is being milked for billions in this country and it is time the gravy train is stopped once and for all.

    1. It isn't about being better off you nasty bastard. it is about what's right and what's wrong.
      Are you completely ignorant or do you just enjoy pretending you know better than millions of others who think you are definately a complete waste of space.

    2. As usual you're back to wind others up with your fact-free bilge! The thing is, you're drawn here by the title of this blog aren't you? It's not supposed to be taken literallly but you're too thick to realise that! Hence the usual rubbish about "benefits crowd" and other pathetic gobbledygook regarding benefits recipients. No acknowledgement of the many who are suffering from the double whammy of ill health and cuts to the meagre assistance the government gives them.

      You love to trot out the sort of right-wing propaganda about how we're better off on benefits than those working but fail to grasp that this isn't because those on benefits are raking it in but because we exist in a system that has created a working wage unable to keep up with rising costs of living.

      That system is free-market Capitalism, or neoliberalism, which you seem unable to recognise is the same system that has been in crisis since 2007.

      It's the same system that has seen over-inflated house prices (by 40% acccording to the IMF), pricing many out of the housing market and creating high rents (where a large chunk of benefit payments go!)

      It's the same system that tries to keep wages low in order to attract corporations competing with the barbarically low wages in the developing world. So we get things like Working Tax Credit and Child Benefits for those in work.

      It's the same system that has forced many onto short term contracts, seeing them in work one minute and then on benefits the next.

      It's the same system that rewards the tax dodging rich through their off-shore havens but penalises everyone else who gets caught up in the tax/benefits system.

      It's the same system that expects everyone to conform to a one size fits all society - where everyone is supposed to work a 40 hour working week regardless of their health or family commitments.

      It's the same system that has produced a media that churns out scare-mongering sensationalism and scapegoating stories to satisfy the idiots like you who have no idea how the world works.

      Until you can grasp this I suggest you stay away from this blog and stop making an idiot of yourself!

    3. nice one Gordon
      it also the same system that keep the wars going so that as many people as possible die but the politicians will always blame the other country then themselves

      if the UK or USA never existed things in the wider world would be much calmer not every country wonts to stuff it's people and treat them like slaves yes many do like the usa/china/uk/india but the majority don't

      over the coming years you will see this country align itself with china so you better watch out

  9. Sorry to feed the troll but sometimes it presents a golden opportunity to put things into perspective.

    People like the idiot above are so gullible when it comes to conventional narratives presented by Government and media alike they fail to see that there is another narrative that challenges this orthodox one.

    That's why the many go about their everyday lives blind to the system that governs them and clinging to the belief that it's the poor, the disabled and those struggling to exist who should be blamed for the state of the economy.

    Instead of challenging othodoxy it's easier to seek scapegoats where the media tells them to look. That's at the root of the current attacks on the most vunerable in society.

    1. Totally agree with Gordon Blimey, you do talk such meaningful and helpful comments. c93f60a6 -12f9-11e2-a1c3-000bcdcb471e(Not terribly concerned, but is it male or female?)talks a lot of talk, but alas has the inconvienient position of being the only poor soul who seemingly doesn't understand the difference between common sense and unadulterated nonsense. Such is life, another education wasted. One question though, c93f60a6 -12f9-11e2-a1c3-000bcdcb471e, if i may ask, did you get run over by a wheel-chair when you were younger? That is funny, but you really shouldn't harbour grieviences, it only makes you bitter. Try to learn, there's a good person.

  10. Well, my dear Mum passed away recently who I cared for and did so with my own health I am now alone and grieving, obviously down income wise and so watching how much I use the electric/gas, eating less and often own brand/yellow stickered/food on offer.

    Eating mainly quick meals in the slow cooker/microwave. To keep warm diving under the duvet and/or wearing layered charity clothes around the house, thermals, socks. Even sometimes gloves, hat and scarf indoors.

    Of course I fear the bedroom tax(like many places around the UK there are few if any suitable smaller properties to downsize to and with changes to the council tax and increases in rent, utility bills and trying to keep a roof over your head and the price of everyday items such as food,not luxuries and what happens now? I am being chased to fill in the ESA form and no doubt a medical with you know who...

    I have the support of my Dr but I suspect they take no notice and he's heard similar tales...

    I have immune problems, kidney damage, on strong drugs, mobility problems, joint trouble, eye problems, water retention, pain, tiredness and fatigue,a hernia, anxiety but I can use my hands so no doubt I will be told that I am fit.

    I did manage to get some help from the welfare rights dept of the council who say don't worry and have a kind of template how to fill in the ESA form which I hope may help but even if successful as has been said it will have to be faced again with the DLA/PIP carry on...and yes they keep wearing you down by calling you in over and over again...

    There is a website offering more advice and seems popular but to access more of its advice you have to part with money. I'm not keen on that idea...

    So my future is worrying. To stay put I am trying to absorb future costs but if they keep taking away what I get at present or increasing what we have to pay out the only other option may be to try and take in a lodger/let out a room which I am told is a possibility according to the housing association.

    Life in the UK in the 21st wonderful...and I know how difficult it is for many working on low wages and still having to attempt to claim help from the State, we really are in trouble...

    1. Sorry to hear about your circumstances,but I have heard that you can also contact your housing officer and ask for a house swap which is another option.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Thanks Martin...
    The truth is on my town smaller properties are few, are in horrible locations and often out of the way so any money saved on say the new bedroom tax would be lost by needing to use taxi's and buses to get anywhere. They keep building two and three bedroom houses/bungalows and not decent properties for single people of which we are told are many of the population(the young starting out or the old possibly alone through losing a partner, illness etc...)

    Funnily enough there is a public meeting about the lack of small properties later this week in my county..or should I say the public can attend if they turn up. Round here I think house swaps are out and you have to bid on property and score points. They are likely to try and move you to another town. I could be more isolated.

    The bus service is poor after 6pm and offers only two routes through the centre of town so with mobility problems as many homes(even abled bodied)are some distance away so that cuts you off from the service(plus during Winter and the dark nights)you feel vulnerable walking the streets especially if slow and unsteady.

    I fear that attempting to walk could go against me and yet what option do I have other than to stay at home...if I eventually get a mobility scooter you can't take that on a bus or put it in a taxi and sometimes you wish to go off town...

    The taxis are expensive just to get around the town unless you stay within a couple of streets.

    So any money saved by moving could soon be lost with a couple of taxi journeys and if a long way from the bus routes, you may as well stay indoors but then you just become sad and lonely with little social contact.

    If I move I worry that I may no longer be under the care of my Dr and the surgery I have been with for many, many years...

    Sadly, I have no family. There are two brothers of Mum's in their 80's(one in America)the other twenty miles away.

    Where I am at present the shops are only two streets away...and I am central to what goes's are cheaper and though it is a struggle I am nearer the main bus routes...

  13. Sadly those with the loudest voices often sprouting anecdotal and hearsay evidence to support their views are heard and the way the media reports matters or ignores what affects many of us on here(not forgetting the spin the policians put on matters)means we hear opinions and not fact.

    This helps divide the population...when we should be mainly united.

    Often someone working resents their money going to who they see as fiddlers/scroungers...the voices of those most vulnerable are rarely heard. Those who work and feel hard done by should not be critical of those at the bottom end of society and what they are given but ask why employers are not paying a decent wage and why in many cases landlords are charging so much for their rents etc...

    And I don't just mean us on here when talking of those struggling, I include those working in low paid jobs, who still have to try and claim state help(The MNW at least acts as a safety net)but is not a living wage. I include those who find themselves suddenly unemployed but are finding fewer jobs available whilst many more are applying for what is, those who become ill, those who are caring for someone and many others that I have no doubt missed out.

    Today in the news they are again talking of the effects the bedroom tax will have and now there is criticism of the benefit is bad enough what is talked about for families(but no one talks about the amount being less for single people)and being single does not necessarily mean your cost of living is less. With less money coming in the ratio of what you spend could cost more.

  14. The CAB that helped advise me are underfunded and struggling to see everyone who needs help and they often don't know what is to happen in the future so often they admit they are unable to help as much as they would wish but the good thing is they virtually said I would not become homeless and would still have a roof over my head.

    Also, I have to often book three weeks ahead to be seen because so many need their help and/or hours are reduced.

    I found a department at the local council called Welfare Rights who tell me not to worry and to stay in touch and phone whenever I need advice(they are only available three hours per weekday morning)and often the line is busy. But again they say I will not be made homeless. I hope that they are correct. That has lifted some worry off my shoulders.

    I have been pointed to their national website with details of how to fill in the forms so hopefully I will succeed and win my case.

    I do have one cushion that in one way could help but in another way complicates matters and it may sound ungrateful saying this but Mum had a small amount of savings which will go to probate, it is enough(just)to stop my help even if I am successful in my claim...but it is not enough to last me years...and will be used within months by paying ordinary bills like rent, CT, utility bills and food not luxuries...and the worry is when I drop to the amount where I can re-apply for help once more and I will have to jump through hoops and what guarantee have I that I will be successful again even though I keep being told that I will.

    So more headaches...I may have to show proof of what I am spending the money on and it is not as if I am buying luxury items...I could do with some basic comforts like new curtains, carpets, beds and sofa...had Mum lived we were going to do that.

    Then again, if I thought I could not stay put I don't want to spend money on items I may have to leave behind. But if I don't use it to try and improve my life it will all be lost to paying bills.

    Most of what I own is second hand or old and it would be lucky if what I own comes anywhere close to £2,000 so I sometimes wonder why I should bother with contents insurance this year. If I was burgled I doubt there is anything of value, the burgler might feel sorry for me and want to give me something.

    I can live this way because no one visits so I don't have to entertain.

    I reckon just paying rent, CT, utility bills, food and my little treat and way of staying in touch with the world by phone/internet I could be spending £200 per week. I will also have to pay for my presription drugs that keep me alive/stablise my conditions. That does not allow for any replacement of items that need repairing/replacing or unexpected bills or doing anything socially/travelling outside the immediate area.

    And only continuing to get DLA might mean I can initially survive...but if that stopped...well, what then?

    It's scary!

    1. You did the right thing contacting the Welfare Rights department. That's good.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Thanks,
      I hope that Welfare Rights really can make the difference...

      The same letter that says I may have to attend a medical and change to the new ESA benefit says that quite a few different benefits are being phased out hence why they are contacting me...yet in another paragraph they say you may still be entitled to IS. Is that instead of ESA or as well as?

      Anyone believe they'll accept my forms and not give me an assessment, no neither do I...

      I am now sleeping badly and upon waking have that knotted feeling in my stomach...

  15. To c93f60a6-12f9-11e2-a1c3-000bcdcb471e

    Two Parts

    Part One

    Truthfully answer the following question:

    If you became long term sick or disabled and as a result you could no longer work, would you claim benefits?

    If the answer is no, you are not going to make a claim, are you are seriously telling us that you are quite prepared to find yourself destitute, without food or shelter and dependent on family or charity?

    This is what would happen to sick and disabled people without the benefit system. Which is exactly why it was set up.

    One day you may be sick or disabled.

    Certainly with advancing age few people escape illness and unless you are unfortunate to die young old age is inevitable and despite the government’s attempts to get everyone to work until they drop, few people are capable of doing so after 65 and many much earlier. Even the right-wing conservative writer and hypocrite Ayn Rand, disturbingly so adored by Conservatives for such stances as her opposition to public welfare and healthcare; even she took both towards the end of her life when poor and ill.

    There is of course also the ethical consideration. I know that may be a concept with which you are not familiar. In simple terms it is right to support sick and disabled people, the unemployed and anyone disadvantaged, it is the mark of a civilised society.

    The government are not trying to get disabled people back to work - THERE IS NO WORK for able people never mind the disabled. The government wish to slowly erode the benefit system until it no longer exists. The process will be a slow chipping away at our welfare system over the years until people barely recall its existence. The government want to turn the clock back to a when there was no welfare system and those who were disabled had to resort to charities, relatives, begging or simply face destitution and death.

    Is this what you want?

    If so, you are a sociopath

    Here we are speaking of course of genuine disabled people - you seem to be confusing this with the issues of benefit fraud which is 0.05 percent.

    If you are still of the opinion that chronically sick and disabled people should receive a reduction of or abolishment of benefits than you are an evil person or a sociopath which probably amounts to the same thing. If you can callously stand by and allow this government or any other to destroy our benefit system, incite hate towards benefit claimants by their anti disability propaganda, allow sick and disabled people to die then you are no better than the people who stood by and allowed Hitler to murder millions of people including the disabled. In fact you are worse as of course many people in Germany did not condone the actions of Hitler but were too afraid to speak out fearing the consequences.

  16. To c93f60a6-12f9-11e2-a1c3-000bcdcb471e in two parts

    Part Two

    However I rather think you have simply fallen for the governments’ propaganda because you do not have a mind of your own and are not much of a thinker. A least I hope this is the case, the thought that someone really wants to see disabled people and long term sick; destitute without heating, food and a home to live in is really disturbing.

    Concerning basic minimum wage.

    Yes basic minimum wage is not a liveable wage and as I said before if the basic minimum wage were higher benefits would seem less unfair from the perspective of the person who has to work.

    Again I ask you why would you rather lower or abolish benefits than seek to improve basic minimum wage?

    Perhaps you should turn you attentions to improving the lot of the working man and seek to improve levels of pay. We are really all in it together, or we should be; the sick, disabled, the unemployed, the low paid in fact we are all a part of the ninety nine percent, and instead of falling for the oldest strategy in the world namely ‘divide and conquer’ perhaps you should do something to improve the circumstances of the vast majority of working people who spend their precious lives toiling long hours for low pay or in the case of workfare no pay, simply to make big corporations who pay little or no taxes, rich.

    Again I say the abolition of benefits will not improve the position of the low paid, all you will have done is make life more of a misery for people who already suffer.

    As for the following misinformed comment

    “there are 2 million households where generations of families have never worked. how?”

    Here are the facts

    Two generations of unemployment is rare:

    “...research confirms worklessness is a major problem: in 3.7m working-age households, 18% of the total, nobody has a job. But two-generational worklessness is far rarer – workless parents and grown-up children are found together in only 0.9% of households. As for homes with two generations that have never worked, the fraction drops further, to less than 0.1% of the total”

    Even if it were true that there are millions of second generation families where no one has worked - whose fault is that?

    Not the sick and disabled.

    But rather the governments who have allowed greedy corporations to take our industry abroad to China to exploit people there who work for low wages thus increasing their profit margins at our expense.

  17. Christine you have hit the nail on the head their are many sociopaths and not just the guy above but also in government

    as i said above over the coming years you will see this country align itself with china and the politics of all political party's will be one of a mixture of BNP/FASCIST/COMMUNISM/EXTREME CONSERVATIONISM with not a labour policy in sight so we will all have to be very carefull and that includes c93f60a6-12f9-11e2-a1c3-000bcdcb471e

    1. I agree Nick there are sociopaths in this government, mostly notably Cameron himself but also Osborne, Duncan Smith and no doubt others . There has to be something profoundly wrong with a person who can so callously with deliberate intent bring about so much suffering to vulnerable people. I doubt if any of the above ever have one twinge of conscience or doubt about what they do.

      As for there not being any Labour polices in sight I think there have not been any real true labour socialist polices now for many years, New labour seem to be nothing more than a paler shade of blue, more to the right than the left. I think our situation would be less dire under labour but I do not see them radically altering benefit reforms to our advantage. I hope I am wrong.

    2. well we all know what happened to Hitler at the end of the war and true to form when things get bad and charges are going to be brought they take the easy way out and kill themselves

      the death toll in the welfare reform process is very high all of the decease's families will at some point wont to know how and why their loved ones have died so that the many guilty both at government level and DWP/ATOS can stand trial for the crimes committed against the weakest in society

      I for one look forward to judgment day whenever that day takes place as it surely will as history dictates

      some say it will take years and indeed it probably will and in the meantime the weakest will be constantly attacked and die though the stress of it all in the process

  18. the benefits crowd still dont get it. so the fact that millions of families have never worked and claiming benefits from cradle to grave is the fault of china is it?! strewth.

    explain there ARE jobs for ppl here explain why we have 1 mill + eastern europeans working here these are jobs brits should be doing but welfare pays more so they dont bother.

    support for welfare reform has never been higher dont forget that you are fighting a losing battle. reform is about ensuring u are better off in a job than on the sick.

    if benefits went would u still moan? no course not because noone would listen and what would it get u? nothing.

    if benefits went u would think more about getting a job than what u can get out of HMG for nothing.

    stop blaming others and using others to fund yr life.

    times are changing and finally HMG has woken up to the fact that this country is dying due to the millions that expect something for nothing. do the jobs that eastern europeans do and stop moaning noone is listening anymore and support for caps and cuts has never been higher. dont forget that.

    1. Why don’t you learn to read properly

      No one including myself said it was the fault of China , read what people write properly before responding . What I said was, it was the fault of greedy corporations taking our manufacturing to China and other countries and the government allowing them to do so. As for the millions of unemployed families read the Guardian article link I posted, you really do write such rubbish don‘t you despite evidence that what you write is wrong.

      More importantly

      You still have not answered the question:

      If you became long term sick or disabled and as a result you could no longer work, would you claim benefits?

      Answer that question truthfully.

      The tide is in fact turning

      Your comment:
      “support for welfare reform has never been higher ...”

      You are wrong people are beginning to realise, at least intelligent people, that the welfare reforms are not about weeding out the tiny minority of fraudulent claims but rather a deliberate attempt to destroy our welfare system. As more and more people realise what is happening to genuine sick and disabled people things will change.

      You are indeed a sad person and thankfully I am glad that there are so few people as ill informed, as callous and indifferent to the suffering of others as you are. Few are so confident that they will not need help from our welfare system at some time in their life.

      As other commenter's have said it is a complete waste of time reasoning with you , you present the same tired uninformed rhetoric

      I agree with what others have said it is time to ignore the troll and stop feeding it and treat it as though it does not exist.

      I for one will not read any more of your pointless comments, after all when you have read one or two you will have read them all as they all repeat again and again the same arguments. And when you’ re really stuck for valid argument you bring in the immigrants so typical of the ignorant racist and uninformed in our society.

      Goodbye Troll it has been an interesting experience commenting on your nonsense now however without an intelligent response from you it is just boring

  19. People...seriously, give up arguing with this person. They're just getting fun out of doing it. Seriously, it's not worth it.

  20. @ Oya's Daughter

    Message received.

    I've bitten back in the past but not anymore. I've just been watching something on Trolls and realise that they're just overgrown schoolkids taking the proverbial. Attention seeking idiots the lot of 'em.

    Bye Troll.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Sorry everyone about feeding the troll again. I guess I actually thought it might eventually respond in a rational intelligent way. Sadly I was wrong. I agree with the last three commenters that it is best to ignore the troll. Don’t read its messages, after all its name is easily recognised therefore so easy to avoid.

    1. Christine, you are a powerful writer. I think someone somewhere in the mainstream media, who can see through what is happening in this country, should employ your talent writing for their publication - you're absolutely brilliant!

  23. Can someone explain how the system allows you to claim benefits as soon as you leave school and then keep them until you die? These people have never paid into the system so how do they get it.

    Check any newspaper article that talks about welfare reform. read the comments at the bottom all are wholly in favour of making sure that work pays more than welfare. what objection do you have to that? if you do then it shows pure idleness.

    i will answer yr q why dont u answer mine? when there are 1 million ppl working from eastern europe why do u say no jobs? there are jobs u just dont want to do them. if yr handout was stopped would u do them? course u would there would be NO choice.

    if i was long term sick i wouldnt claim as i have worked damn hard all my life and saved money for such an occasion rather than spend it on beer holidays smoking etc etc

    once welfare goes u will see bs conditions like ibs fibromyalgia disappear also. do they exist in countries with no welfare. course they dont as they dont get u any ££ there so ppl dont bother inventing them.

  24. For all those that think support for cuts are waning these are the 2 top rated comments on a recent article talking about cutting welfare. Support IS rising exponentially.

    "£500 a week?!! That's £26K per year TAX FREE?!!! She is living in cloud cuckoo land! There are PLENTY of families that work and take home a lot less. I'm all for cutting that amount AND giving any benefits to be recieved by card / stamps. I don't care if it's humiliating to receive welfare benefits in that way - maybe then some people wouldn't think of it as a lifstyle choice as opposed to the 'support system' it was meant to be!
    Rating 3952 Report abuse"

    "This is offensive to hard working, poorly paid workers who have to survive on much, much less. You cut your coat according to your cloth and if you can't afford to live somewhere, you move to somewhere less expensive. That is what working people have to do so why should people on benefits - especially the dyed in the wool scroungers - be treated any differently? The LibDems are utterly out of touch with reality and this stupid woman illustrates this."

  25. Now there has been a report on the radio today. But I believe I heard that 37% fail...but then when they go to appeal 38% succeed and see their benefit reinstated...What you can do with statistics...the media and politicians usually just quote the first one so it looks bad...

    Now who do we believe on this, a Government Minister said that the reason the tests fail are because the claimants arrive without medical evidence from Dr's and Consultants and usually only present it at the appeal/tribunals but seven respected charities and a claimant that was interviewed said that evidence is often ignored and it is taken into the assessments. So who is telling the truth? This same radio report highlighted that often due to time restraints it is difficult to get evidence from Dr's and Consultant's in time to accompany the forms you have to fill in and to take with you...

    Also, some Dr's are charging for writing letters on behalf of patients facing these tests(I believe they said £13)and a Consultant had charged over £200 which when you are on benefits and fighting to keep them and could lose them, is pretty unfair.

    You can hear this approx 35 mins into today's Radio 4's World at One...

  26. A friend in the States tells me she cannot believe the new Bedroom tax and benefit cap and says if that was tried there the people would not take it and politicians there would probably not dare put such an idea forward.

    However, she also mentions that the BBC radio have two programmes next week that may be of interest to us...

    One is called Poor's about reporting on the poor and their issues.

    The other is called the State of Welfare...

    Do you think they will be fair? No, neither do I...

    Even the recent programme on BBC1 about Food Banks found and concentrated on a con man they had found and also the querky involvement of a kind of religious organisation in running the service...which probably played into the hands of those who are against the help given to who they see as scroungers...

  27. Sorry, Poor Reporting was on Radio 4 today at 4pm it may be available later as a podcast but certainly can be heard for the next 7 days...

    More here about the second programme...

    Three hours of it so I assume it includes Woman's Hour and You and Your's...such programmes should also air in peak evening times too...not just the daytime when maybe those affected may hear it, those who don't understand and perhaps work during the day should listen. Even some of us having to attend tests, job centres or work courses may miss these programmes...

  28. my daughter has a severe learning disability and today i received notice she will be assessed for work. i'm at a loss, she has been at her day centre for twelve years, has severe learning problems and epilepsy as well as challenging behaviour. how could they even think of assessing someone like her for work, surely some if not a lot of learning disabled will end up in social care due to this?


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