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  1. #1

    Default Coalition Reaches New Low!

    It's as if they know they will be voted out next election and kept out for a generation, so are basically going insane with power!
    And worse, this isn't hot of the press. I just haven't seen it on this forum.

    http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Aboutus/...fitchecks.aspx

    Macmillan Cancer Support has strongly criticised a Department of Work and Pensions decision to propose changes to the benefits system which could have devastating consequences for many thousands of cancer patients[1]. Under the plans being consulted on, seriously ill cancer patients in the middle of gruelling intravenous chemotherapy treatment will be forced to prove they are too sick to work. Some patients will have to face back-to-work interviews or be denied a crucial benefit - Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

    This is despite unambiguous recommendations from cancer experts and 30 cancer charities[2] who have clearly stated that patients going through debilitating cancer treatment - and who have to leave work - should be automatically eligible for ESA.

    Until now, cancer patients receiving non-oral chemotherapy have been exempt from work-focused interviews and medical assessments to determine whether they may be fit for work, while oral chemotherapy or radiotherapy patients have not been given this protection. Cancer charities, representing the views of patients, have asked the DWP to end this discrepancy as the side-effects of oral chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be just as physically debilitating as non oral chemotherapy. However, instead of extending exemptions to particularly vulnerable cancer patients, the DWP is proposing to remove these from all.

    This announcement also comes despite the Government’s repeated assurances that they had no interest in making it harder for cancer patients to access benefits while they are undergoing debilitating treatment[3] and would reverse changes introduced only months ago to extend protection to patients awaiting chemotherapy.

    Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, says:

    “Cancer patients in the middle of treatment are, in many cases, fighting for their lives. Yet the Government is proposing to change the rules so all cancer patients will have to undergo a stressful assessment to prove they are unable to work. This shows a clear disregard and misunderstanding of what it’s like to undergo punishing treatment. Patients who previously had peace of mind would face the stress and practical difficulties of getting assessed for work they are too poorly to do.

    “To make matters worse, the Government is pressing ahead with proposed changes in the Welfare Reform Bill that will make 7,000 cancer patients lose ESA after 12 months simply because they have not recovered quickly enough.

    “We hope Ministers will rethink these proposals and listen to the clear views of the cancer community. Cancer is the toughest fight many people will have to face, the Government should not be making it tougher for them.”

    Macmillan has launched a petition to call on the Government to make changes to the Welfare Reform Bill: www.macmillan.org.uk/welfarepetition
    And what have we heard opposing this from Labour?

    There it was. Want it again? Look closer.



    Exactly! We've had people we loved die this way. But... new low. This shower are worse than Thatcher. I can understand people having drinks on ice for when she dies, I might do the same for Cameron.
    Although if it turns out to be a Labour idea that they never had the nerve to push through, then... I'm not even surprised.

  2. #2
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    I hope this has been mis-reported to some extent. Doesn't look very good, does it?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    I hope this has been mis-reported to some extent. Doesn't look very good, does it?

    It has. Hugely.

  4. #4
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    This article shows that the Macmillan Cancer Support actually have no real understanding of what is happening within the DWP at all. They have looked at three or four different changes that are happening within the DWP for benefits for those with health conditions and amalgamated them all together into a mish-mash then assumed that these changes will automatically affect people with cancer.

    For a start, terminally ill or cancer patients are treated as special cases for ESA and do not have to attend any work focused interviews. They are not having to prove they are sick in any way apart from having to provide the medical certificates that all customers to ESA have to at the start of their claim. For customers with terminal health conditions or with cancer and not in remission, the customers wouldn't normally even have to provide medical certificates as soon as that information is known. Customers with cancer and
    who are not classed as terminally ill would have to attend a Work Capability Assessment which is a medical assessment to determine whether they have limited capability to work or no capability to work. After the assessment, they are placed in the support group, receive an extra assessment rate to their benefit for the period of the prognosis of the Work Capability Assessment and don't have any contact with the Jobcentre at all unless they want to during that prognosis period. That prognosis period is most likely to last at least 12 months and in many cases 3 years. At the end of that period, they have another Work Capability Assessment which ensures that anyone in remission and ready to leave the support group and move into the work related activity group would then have appointments in the Jobcentre. Anyone still receiving treatment would have another 1-3 years before they have another medical assessment.

    The DWP is also certainly not removing ESA from people who have not recovered quickly enough after 12 months. This is a classic example of an organisation specifically placing a spin on something for their own ends. At present, there are two forms of ESA, Income Related and Contributions Based. Unlike with other benefits, the Contributions Based element of ESA, which is based on how much National Insurance Contributions a person has paid, doesn't have a current end date. Most benefits, such as JSA or Income Support, the conts based benefit ends after six months. Someone could stay on ESA conts for the remainder of their lives even if it were 30 or 40 years. The Government is changing this by placing a 12 month time limit on it. That doesn't necessarily stop the person getting ESA as they could still get the Income Related version as long as there isn't already income of a higher level coming into the household, such as a partners full time earnings.

    They are also throwing in ideas in the article that relate around the reassessment of customers claiming Incapacity Benefit. Now, Incap ended as a benefit for customers over 6 years ago, and any new claim for people with health conditions was then made to ESA. This, as I said, has been running for 6 years, and now the last remaining customers on Incap are being reviewed to assess whether they are still unfit for work and go on ESA or fit for work and go onto Jobseekers Allowance instead. These customers are ones who have been on Incap for at least 6 years and in many many cases for far longer. Anyone who is terminally ill and still on Incap would be treated as the special case for ESA.

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    It is an emotive subject, and I hope it's nowhere near as heartless as it sounds.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    My thoughts after reading Paul's comments: Wow, isn't it complex? No wonder they have so much difficulty sorting all these health benefits out.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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