Disability benefit claims rose as there are now more people with disabilities, the system isn’t being abused.

Why has there been a rise in the number of people claiming disability related benefits over the last few decades? Some consider it a dramatic rise that they wrongly assume is caused by ‘abuse of the system’, but they’re wrong, there has been a rise simply because there are genuinely more people with disabilities, with every right to apply for and receive support. 

There are several possible reasons behind this rise and here are just a few of them –

(If anyone knows of other reasons then please add a comment or contact on Twitter PoliticalSift so I can add them to this list, thanks. Please also sign and share this petition to make parliament assess the impact of welfare cuts)

Ageing population

People are living longer and generally the older people are, the more likely it is that they will have health conditions/difficulties and therefore need assistance.

Advances in health care

Such as with improved pre-natal/peri-natal care has meant more premature babies survive, but often with disabilities/learning difficulties. 

Advances in medicine

People that are born with disabilities, people that suffer strokes, heart attacks, people that have an accident, people with cancer, people that develop conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, Dementia, people that are HIV positive, people with certain diseases, are all either surviving or are living longer due to advances in medicine compared to decades ago and this has therefore added significantly to the amount of people with disabilities and therefore the amount of disability claimants.

Advances in medical technology

Similar to the above point regarding advances in medicine, advances in medical technology has helped people to either survive certain circumstances and/or has enabled people to live longer.

Returning military service personnel

That return with physical and mental health disabilities/illnesses.

Acknowledgement, understanding and raised awareness of disabilities/health conditions/diseases

Over the last few decades there has been advances in our understanding of conditions which has meant that people that would have been previously misdiagnosed and/or dismissed are now receiving diagnoses that has allowed people to claim the support that they are rightfully entitled too and should have previously received. Such as with people with learning difficulties, as one example.

Cuts to the NHS/Cuts to preventative care

Acute conditions/disabilities that should be short term are developing into chronic, long-term difficulties that has caused a rise in the number of people requiring disability related benefits. It is also causing an increase in the amount of conditions that develop alongside existing conditions, such as with mental health.

Changes in attitudes

There is still a huge way to go in this, but there has been a change in the attitude of the individuals themselves with physical/mental health conditions/illnesses/disabilities. People are more likely these days to seek help, although still no where near enough do, and accept support rather than for example, working themselves into the ground despite for example, having a heart condition, or for conditions such as depression that would, and unfortunately still does, escalate to the point of suicide. Plus, the attitudes of loved ones and those around the individual and society in general to certain disabilities/health conditions has changed over the last few decades that has meant more people are not having to try and hide or not admit to their condition, although again there is still a very long way to go for attitudes of individuals, those around them and society in general to change and for stigma to be removed. 

Rise in obesity

The associated health problems related to obesity, such as diabetes (both types of diabetes causes 7,000 amputations every year), strokes, heart conditions, cancer, physical limitations and so on has caused more people to have disabilities and health conditions that has resulted in more people needing to claim disability related support.

Poverty

The rise in inequality and disparity between pay and cost of living has meant that people with disabilities in work now need the additional financial support, as well as people that are now needing support to help with their disabled child/partner when before their pay would have covered costs and they wouldn’t have needed to claim disability related benefits. This disparity and rise in poverty has also affected those in old age, pensioners previously would have had savings or would have received a pension that covered their additional needs due to their health whereas now people don’t have savings and/or their pension doesn’t cover costs so they are having to claim benefits for support that they wouldn’t have previously needed to claim for.

Poverty, Consumerism and Mental Health

The impact of advertising and engineered consumerism plus the poverty/destitution that people find themselves in due to the lack of *decent* jobs has had an impact on the wellbeing of society. People are bombarded with adverts in every aspect of their lives that has led people to ‘need’ rather than merely ‘want’ items/products, but because of the disparity between pay and cost of living it has meant people are not able to meet these engineered consumerist needs and this then has a knock on effect on their overall wellbeing and can lead to people developing mental health conditions and the added stress of debt can have physiological ramifications that can lead to physical disabilities. Alongside this, certain cultural changes such as our obsession with our weight and as a result of inventions such as the internet and social media, has led to conditions such as eating disorders, and the associated health problems, and to low self-esteem and the knock on psychological effects from this.

Addictions

Those with drug, alcohol, medication and so on, addictions aren’t being given the appropriate support and this is therefore leading to additional health difficulties.

Rise in population

Finally, there has been a rise in the population and we have therefore naturally alongside this seen a rise in the number of claimants of disability related benefits compared to the amount of claimants previously, decades ago within a smaller population. 

Thanks to ‘Spoonydoc’ for this additional point sent via a comment – “Another important factor is the mass closing down of institutions. This thankfully moved disabled people who once would have been locked away out of sight in such places their entire lives back into the community. Such people are now supported through disability benefits, which they would not have claimed in the past.

Ironically we may start to see a reversal of this for disabled people who require a lot of personal care unless we reverse the current trend of capping community social care costs, and, just recently, continuing NHS care costs, to that of care homes.” This is a good point about how we have to reverse this trend, as I’m sure the government will then claim they have ‘moved’ people with disabilities into/back into work because they’re no longer claiming benefits, similar to what they do with employment figures when they sanction claimants to then say that because they’re no longer claiming JSA, that automatically means they’re in employment, which isn’t true. 

Regardless of whether you agree with some or all of the causes to the rise in the number of people claiming disability related benefits, you will see that there are genuine reasons as to why there has been a rise in people with disabilities and therefore a rise in the number of people claiming disability related benefits. In-fact when you consider all of the reasons you will see that there should have been a much steeper rise and that there are a huge amount of people with disabilities and health conditions that aren’t receiving the support/benefits that they need, that they should be receiving and are entitled too. 

What we can safely say is that there hasn’t been a rise in disability related benefit claimants because of the system being ‘abused’ or that people are fraudulently claiming, this is nonsense propaganda and spin by the ruling elite to manipulate society into thinking there is a huge amount of fraud to direct anger at people that simply don’t exist to deflect attention and anger away from where it rightfully belongs, at the ruling elite. 

It’s infuriating how some people purposefully ignore the fact of how much of welfare spending is lost to fraud. That amount is 0.7%, which it could be argued is actually a higher amount than is actually true. Given the rigid disability ‘assessments’ for both Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independent Payments, and as the latest revelations around benefit related deaths and around the suicide training given to DWP staff shows, these ‘assessments’ are not fit for purpose, they’re so draconian and unjust that the UN is to investigate human rights violations against people with disabilities. 

These tests were brought in under New Labour and as this article shows, the government has known for over 5 years that these tests are failing people and causing severe hardship, suffering, stress, anxiety and even death. There will be some within the 0.7% of ‘fraud’ that aren’t frauds at all, but rather victims of a system that is failing the very people it purports to help. 

A portion of the 0.7% of fraud could be because of the effects of Conservative policies regarding things such as austerity, the bedroom tax, benefit sanctions and so on, some may have turned to ‘fraud’ either out of destitution or desperation, they may have been driven to ‘fraud’ just to feed their children, to keep a roof over their heads, to stop them from going into a debt spiral or to try and keep up with existing exorbitant debts to legal loan sharks – payday lenders. Some may be genuinely unfit-to-work but because of the rigid and dysfunctional way the tests are carried out, meaning they could be wrongly found fit-to-work, it could be leading to some that are either ‘fraud-ing’ Job Seekers Allowance because they’re not actually able to work so shouldn’t be receiving a benefit intended for those seeking work, or have had to exaggerate certain parts of their health/disability to meet the criteria of the Work Capability Assessments so would be viewed as ‘frauds’ according to the tests but aren’t genuine frauds as they are genuinely unfit-to-work, they’ve had to commit ‘fraud’ so that they actually receive the correct outcome that the flawed test wouldn’t have come to. 

The constant ‘scrounger’ and ‘welfare dependent’ rhetoric spouted by the government and mainstream media might have driven those once considered ‘hard working tax payers making the right choices’ to ‘fraud’ because of the lack of jobs, the lack of genuine, secure, full-time, well paid jobs. These people that are down on their luck through no fault of their own but because of economically inept ideological austerity and other government policies and actions, such as no longer providing legal aid at workplace tribunals, in-work benefit freezes, employers being able to sack people without just cause, the benefit cap, and many many more that mean people are either fed-up of being accused all the time despite looking for work that isn’t there so have been driven to commit some kind of benefit ‘fraud’ or are being forced to commit some kind of benefit ‘fraud’ such as half heartedly applying for jobs they don’t want just to satisfy their ‘work coach’ while they wait for a decent job that they want to apply for. 

Plus, what people always forget is that to receive JSA contributions then someone has to have first paid into the system, they’re not getting ‘something-for-nothing’, they are getting the money that they paid in to cover for when they find themselves without work. Plus, someone in employment can’t just leave that employment to then receive JSA. 

These are just a few examples of how the level of fraud is probably a significant amount lower than the already low 0.7%, not to mention those with difficulties that need help filling in the forms but aren’t given the support when applying, again due to government cuts, that apply incorrectly and unknowingly commit ‘fraud’. 

It is also important to note that the 0.7% figure is the amount of welfare spending lost to ‘fraud’, it isn’t a percentage of claimants like some mistakenly presume and neither is it a percentage of all people in society, it is just of welfare spending ‘lost’ to ‘fraud’. I don’t have the raw data to hand but given the amount of people in society, given that the percentage of spending lost to ‘fraud’ is probably a lot lower than 0.7% and it would be fairly safe to argue the percentage of genuine fraud would be closer to 0.2 or 0.3% then the percentage of people that genuinely commit fraud, would probably be less than 0.05% of society. 

Not to mention that the 0.7% figure is of all welfare, not just disability related welfare, so when we consider this then the number of people that commit disability related welfare fraud it will probably be even less than 0.05% of society. The number of people that genuinely fraud disability related welfare is absolutely minuscule, the number of people that should rightfully receive disability related welfare that don’t will by far out weigh the number that commit fraud. The current system is failing the very people it is supposed to help, the government is purposefully causing hardship to tens of thousands of people that they should be helping, to justify their economically inept ideological austerity to shrink the state and shift even more wealth from those that have the least to those that have the most.

Given these figures then it is highly likely that more is lost to Tax avoidance/evasion in a single day than is lost to benefit fraud in an entire year. 

More will be lost to Tax avoidance/evasion in a single day than is lost to disability related benefit fraud over several years!

Would someone really blame someone down on their luck that has lost their job through no fault of their own, either due to their health or being laid off that is struggling with bills and having debts pile up that then claims, for example, that they aren’t living with their partner to receive a tiny amount of support (that they should be receiving anyway if they are in need) to stop their debt spiral causing them to lose their home or from causing them to have no quality of life while they look for work or try to adjust to life with a disability?!

What have we come to as a society where we’d rather kick someone while they’re down than give them what is just a tiny amount of support? Support that they need, support that isn’t actually enough that rarely even covers the basics let alone allowing people in this one chance at life that we get to have some quality of life. 

What have we come to where we can get so angry at someone being given just a tiny amount of support while we have those with the most exploiting the vast majority in society to gain even more? Huge amounts of money, hundreds of billions, that could be used to invest in society and have multiplying effects that instead is either hidden in tax havens or hoarded by just a few thousand people that would otherwise be used to give everyone, tens of millions of people, in society a decent standard of living. 

What have we come to when anger is so misplaced and unwarranted yet those where anger really belongs are untouched and allowed to continuously and monstrously exploit the very people that are angry at those with so little? 

How can these people not see the absurdity of their attitudes and actions? 

How can people not be ashamed of how they view and how they treat their fellow human beings? 

How can people not see that they’re being manipulated into hating people that don’t even exist

How can people not see the devastating effects that their attitudes are having on those already suffering? 

How does it not bother some people that their fellow citizens are needlessly dying? 

How does it not bother some people that they have some responsibility in the suffering of and even deaths of tens of thousands of their fellow citizens?


  

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28 thoughts on “Disability benefit claims rose as there are now more people with disabilities, the system isn’t being abused.

  1. Another important factor is the mass closing down of institutions. This thankfully moved disabled people who once would have been locked away out of sight in such places their entire lives back into the community. Such people are now supported through disability benefits, which they would not have claimed in the past.
    Ironically we may start to see a reversal of this for disabled people who require a lot of personal care unless we reverse the current trend of capping community social care costs, and, just recently, continuing NHS care costs, to that of care homes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good point! I’ve added it to the list. Good point as well about how we have to reverse this trend, I’m sure the government will then claim they have ‘moved’ people with disabilities back into work because they’re no longer claiming benefits, similar to what they do with employment figures when they sanction claimants to then say that because they’re no longer claiming JSA, that automatically means they’re in employment, which isn’t true.

      Thanks for your comment, appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe people who in past could chose not to seek benefit support because they had savings, have to seek benefits because their savings have been used. I couldn’t see this as a reason in your sound article.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can see three reasons that may increase the number claiming ESA. One is the sudden change in state pension age. The incidence of age-related disabling illness rises sharply in the over-60’s but they are now forced onto JSA /ESA (women in particular) and rather being able to access a state pension.

    The second is that contact with the DWP is creating illness, especially mental illness. This is of the outcome of disonance in anyone trying to live on a knife-edge being pushed over by sanctions, or the retesting of the physically ill, or the relentless bullying, and these stresses affect millions living constantly under the threat.

    A third reason is that people are not following medical advice that would help recovery, because they fear that being seen, for example, taking a short walk outside, or going to a pool to swim. Many consultants & GPs are reporting their patients are unfit for work and will remain so, but a little exercise may improve such things as pain & stiffness. But the patients fear if they are seen outdoors or walking short distances will be reported to the DWP and found fit for work, and have all benefits stopped, or worse. This is true for those with MH problems, including panic attacks, for those with variable conditions, as for physical conditions, such as crippling arthritis.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Only just seeing this months after it was written so it’s probably too late, but here goes anyway…I agree about the fear of being seen walking or attempting small amounts of exercise, as I’m in that situation myself. Even though only have one or two days a month when I can do so I’m really paranoid that that is the day they’ll be watching me, so many times I dare to risk it because I worry that I wouldn’t be able to attend a hearing if it fell on a bad day. It had happened years ago on an appeal when I was found fit for work despite the assessor making so many mistakes it wasn’t funny, but I couldn’t travel the 25 miles to the tribunal. Even though we faxed the info, because I wasn’t there they upheld the original decision. I reapplied for benefits, was assessed again by a different area and found not fit for work! And awarded DLA. Do not want that kind of hassle and stress again. Fighting these people can be like a full time job and we already know we can’t bloody do one any more!

      Anyhoo, deep breath and carry on…

      Another cause of increased numbers claiming may be the demise of the wealthier unions. In the past unions like the NGA (print union famously destroyed by Thatcher and Murdoch) would financially support members who couldn’t work. If the work itself had led to illness or disability it was like an insurance policy (or as NI contributions are supposed to work). Members were also protected from developing many conditions by being supported in negotitions with employers to avoid overwork or to ensure correct and safe practices were adhered to. There have been a huge number of construction injuries because there’s little protection by unions, and whistleblowers and those who flag up problems were blacklisted.

      Higher pollution levels, longer working hours (peer pressure, fear of losing job), poorer diet (eating at desk) and lack of exercise at work all contribute to increased stress (add in road rage, unreliable, overcrowded trains before and after the day’s work).

      I can think of a couple more but need some sleep (3.30am).

      Excellent article, going to repost.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Apologies for not approving your comment earlier, only just got round to checking the notifications!

        That is an excellent point which you’ve made, I may have to rewrite or repost this article as the lies relentlessly spouted by the mainstream media to cause conflict, deflect attention and so on, surrounding disability/out of work benefits continue to poison the majority of people’s minds. Lies which cause people such as ourselves such traumatic hardship and suffering on top of what are already ridiculously difficult and traumatic times!

        I’m here if you wish to make a ‘virtual’ friend ๐Ÿ™‚ I am in a similar situation with not having any friends or a social life and would be happy to chat over email if you would like to, no pressure though obviously ๐Ÿ™‚ just letting you know that the offer is there ๐Ÿ™‚

        I hope you’re able to do what you’re able to do when you’re able to do it, without fear of being wrongly thought of/accused as being a ‘fraud’. I know it’s not that easy! I just meant that I hope you are able to do it as I really do understand and know how debilitating judgement can be! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I have found having the support of medical professionals helps me to try to not be as worried about it. I told them about my fears and they said that they’d support me and ‘have my back’ if anything was ever to happen relating to any accusations. I appreciate that might not help you/everyone and that might not be a possibility in your unique circumstances, but I just thought I’d share what has helped me to in some way not be as worried about judgement and so on.

        All the best, let me know if you’d possibly be willing to rewrite this article so as for a reposting of it is a bit more fresh and not just a repeat of this one, no pressure though ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx

        Liked by 2 people

      2. yes, CurleySue we are here online if you want be friends and have someone to talk to who understands. I too am in the same situation, with multiple health problems, and age not helping! I have joined the Labour party and several off-shoot FaceBook groups, which are an absolute lifeline to those of us who are isolated, they help us be active and functioning as people, not medical conditions being policed by the DWP. Some groups have helped “isolated” people make real-life friends too, and provide financial support or transport support to get to meetings and demos. It’s changing, for the better, because we want to make it change. xxx

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Employers’ attitudes is a big one: employers are now less likely to make an effort to accommodate people with disabilities, etc who want to work, and, with a few small, low-cost changes, and a bit of understanding, might be able to.work, are now being shut out as employers go “oh well, I can get as many people as I need from JSA, so why should I bother with making changes so some “broken” person can have a job?” Also, automated processes have taken away jobs which normally would have been done by people who may well have had disabilities, and certainly would have been low-skilled. Those jobs don’t exist any more, but no support has been brought in to help disabled people, and those with mental health issues and learning difficulties access the jobs that now exist.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The system puts quite tough barriers in the way of people being recognised as sick or disabled, and the rate of false positives (fraud and otherwise) is low. So the official number will always be an underestimate, and the more life is made difficult for people when they try to pass for well or abled, the more they will come forward to claim ESA (or PIP) and press through the obstacles. So the number will go up when life is made harsh ad precarious, even if the underlying level of wellness and ability remains the same – though of course, if life is made harsh and precarious the number may not remain the same at all.

    Some people – I have no idea how many – must have been getting by in the past on JSA without much thought about their (genuine) condition. As the JSA regime was made more stringent and punitive, those people find it harder to cope and become motivated or advised to apply for ESA, to which they find – if they are persistent – they are entitled.

    Similarly, Osborne has announced that the ESA Work Related Group will be very much like JSA from 2017 – more so-called “help”, more conditionality, and the same money as JSA. In the past a claimant would settle for the WRAG rather than potentially risk their ESA claim by making an appeal; but if ESA WRAG is much the same as JSA they may as well take the chance. Many claimants will therefore press to go in the Support Group, and some will succeed because they genuinely meet the criteria (such as they are) despite being refused initially by the DWP. A few, I guess not many, may be told on appeal that they don’t even qualify for the WRAG, but they will not have lost much.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I believe the 0.7% figure is actually “fraud & error” – and includes errors made by DWP as well as by claimants. Of course, DWP believe that any error made by a claimant is actually fraud.

    There will be many people out there, like me, who don’t know the DWP system well (for whatever reason, mine because I lived in Australia between ages 16 & 30 – I worked for DSS over there, it has a very different attitude) & accept what they are told when they contact the office. I called and was told that because my husband works & earns above a certain income, I was not eligible for any benefits. When I found out otherwise, 5 years later (!), I called the DWP to complain & was told that nobody should accept what they are told on the phone & should apply for a benefit anyway. *headdesk* This suggests that they lie as a matter of course in order to reduce the number of claims made. I’d have lost my job if I’d hadn’t told a member of the public exactly what benefits they should put in a claim for (and helped them change the claim form if they had made it for the wrong benefit – Duty of Care).

    1. It was 5 years before I discovered I could claim DLA! (max mobility, mid care)
    2. I was unaware of Contributions Based IB/ESA. Too late now, it’s been more than 10 years since I last worked (and that was “self employed”) or paid any NI. Especially as I’ve since been told that with a permanent condition I may have been able to remain on the benefit regardless of my husband’s income.
    3. Regarding NI… this means that I am not on a recognised benefit for NI purposes, which means I am not getting any NI credit & will continue to be 100% reliant on my husband until I die – any national pension I will be eligible for will be in the realms of a couple of pounds a week.

    Welcome to 1815.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m in a similar boat relying on my partner, because I hadn’t paid enough into the system to receive ESA contributions based. Which is ridiculous for so many reasons, especially as my partner only earns minimum wage, she works full-time (40 hours), but it isn’t enough to have a ‘minimum’ standard of living for one person, let alone two! It’s also especially ridiculous as before I had my injury that developed into a chronic condition and the subsequent other difficulties as a result, thanks to specialists in the NHS not wanting to ‘waste’ their budget on scans and surgery on someone only 21 that up until that point had been one of the most healthiest and fittest people going (repeatedly saying “You’re only young it’ll heal on its own”, well no it didn’t and it got a whole lot worse. I had been a student at college and then university and although I worked on average over 25 hours a week in a part-time job to fund my studies, I hardly ever paid any tax or any NI, after I left university my injury happened a few months after and before it developed and became worse I did work and pay into the system but only for a year before I was forced onto sick. So I couldn’t have paid enough in because of my age, so it’s ridiculous that I don’t receive ESA because of my age (I’m late 20’s now) and because my partner earns minimum wage. All those people out there that think life is a picnic on disability/out of work benefits have no idea of all the strict and stupid rules that apply even after one has passed the obscene work capability assessment and been found ‘unfit-to-work’ and placed in the support group and how minuscule the amount of money is even if one does meet the criteria, they’re basically saying ‘You’re unwell so you don’t need money to have a life’, it’s abhorrent and inhumane! Where’s the dignity or even slightest bit of independence? I’m really sorry to hear about your situation and I’m sorry to then talk about my own problems, I hope I haven’t come across as selfish as my intention was to relate rather than ‘make it all about me’ lol, I hate how powerless we currently are! Although I have faith in Jeremy Corbyn and in organisations like disabled people against cuts and the wowcampaign to fight and I am trying my hardest to raise awareness and I hope some people can find some solace in knowing that there are people out there taking the fight to our draconian, callous, ignorant and murderous government.

      Thank you for your comment. Thanks for the information regarding the 0.7% figure, when I get chance I’ll amend the post to include this. I hope you’re doing as well as possible and if you ever need someone to talk too then you can comment on a post and I’ll share my email address or you can contact me on Twitter @PoliticalSift

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I, and my children, were diagnosed last year with a genetic condition that has no cure and affects every system in the body, after years of my struggling with almost constant pain and severe fatigue. I moved to self-employment a few years ago, after always working full-time for an employer, so that I could still work when I feel well enough to (often on a laptop propped up in bed!), and claim Working Tax Credit as my earned income is still pretty low, as my health isn’t good enough to work the hours I want to work. I’ve always refused to claim any form of disability benefit, despite my Mum and my sister having to do so for the same condition, because A) I don’t WANT to admit to myself that I have any form of disability (I believe in the power of the mind and that what beliefs we have about ourselves can affect our ability to function), B) I will lose a sense of myself as a person of value who is making SOME contribution to society and our economy if I’m no longer classed as ‘working’, and C) because of the sheer stigma that claiming disability benefits has in this uncompassionate and judgemental country.

    I’ve worked all my life since I finished my education and used to pride myself on never claiming anything and instead paying my way and funding, through my taxes paid, the system that I strongly believe SHOULD support those that can’t work. I can still remember feeling actually excited when I started paying Poll Tax (as it was back then!) as it meant I was a fully paid up contributing person to the economy, which gave me a sense of helping others less fortunate than myself and a feeling of pride that I was doing that!!

    Now I hear that the tax credit system is changing, and when Universal Credit is introduced fully for self-employed people, my income will be ‘forced’ to be the same as if I was earning National Minimum Wage (which is impossible for someone like me) or I will lose my entitlement to UC. There are bad days when I am so exhausted, even my breathing is laboured and extremely hard work which takes supreme effort, and I don’t even have the energy to hold my phone whilst lying in bed so that I can read and respond to work-related emails. All I can do on those days is sleep, as even holding my eyes open is too tiring (so no lazing in bed watching daytime TV for me, something people often say benefit claimants do all day!) When I have pushed myself physically, even just walking into town, I often need two days in bed to recover afterwards, so I work on my laptop in bed on those days. Or the pain in my back is so bad that I am crawling around the house on my hands and knees. Looking after 2 children on those days is a blast, but I still refuse to accept that I’m ‘disabled’, as I see disability as not being able to EVER do the things I can do on a good day (I CAN still walk, with quite a lot of pain, which I frequently use mental pain-coping techniques to ignore anyway, but then it just messes me up afterwards as I’ve then overdone it!).

    So when the time comes for the DWP to look at my Working Tax Credit claim and transfer me to UC based on minimum wage earnings, I may well have to claim disability benefits instead, and I’m not sure if that will then ‘allow’ me to continue to work at all, as I may well be judged a fraud, claiming disability benefits when I CAN work sometimes? So I would add ‘shifting goalposts in the benefits system’ as another reason for more people claiming disability benefits than have previously. I would dearly LOVE not to have to claim anything at all, and be able to find some form of employment that allows me to work when I feel well enough to AND stand financially on my own two feet, as I always used to do. Having any kind of financial dependency after being so independent is a VERY hard burden for me to bear. I went to university, studied hard, got a good degree, bought a house, worked hard building a career, paid my taxes, got married, had children, studied part-time for another diploma of higher education whilst working and raising them, made what I felt were sensible life choices, eating sensibly, not smoking, not taking drugs, very little drinking etc to keep myself healthy and fit. But being born with a genetic condition that has affected me more and more as I’ve got older wasn’t a choice I had factored into my carefully planned ‘successful’ life! If anyone working for the DWP has any suggestions as to things I could do to utilise all my skills and earn my own living, please feel free to send them to me, because I have NO sense of entitlement to benefits; I actually just want to earn and pay my own way again in a way that I can fit around my condition, so that I feel a useful part of society again and can feel a sense of pride in the fact that I’m completely paying my own way again ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I could cut and paste your statement and stick my name on it so easily! Apart from the husband and children part, sadly: I concentrated so hard on working thinking that there was time for that later. But when later came, my genetics and overworking had caught up with me. And now I don’t get out to meet people and have lost my home and had to move away from all my friends, no social life at all! I don’t like to call myself disabled because I have the odd good day here and there, and I’m embarrassed by the stigma, and ashamed generally that I need help rather than being the company owner, employer, manager, boss, competent, useful achiever I once was. Wanted going to encourage you but now I’ve just whinged about myself. Wish you all the best, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Are you aware that the whole “DLA claims have risen by a million” thing from 2010 was due ENTIRELY to Pensioners (who can’t claim DLA, but retain it in payment when they retire if they were getting it before). The WHOLE million was due to OAPs.

    I’ve just discovered that the DWP have removed the ‘tabulation tool’, so I can’t now link to the source.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was more talking about when people talk about the rise over the last few decades.

      I was aware about the pensioners thing, although I can’t remember the exact details, neither can I for the life of me remember why pensioners can’t claim DLA???

      What do pensioners claim instead then?

      Thanks Helen

      Like

  9. Though the tabulation tool has gone, a small sample (which only goes up to 2005) has been archived here http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100408122512/http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/dla/dla_quarterly_statistics_feb05.asp .

    In 2005 there were 659k over 65s receiving DLA and also 179k women over 60 – total 838K pensioners on DLA. There were also 166k men aged 60-64 & a further 172k women aged 55-59.

    So in all by 2010 there were almost 1.2 million people in receipt of DLA who simply wouldn’t have been eligible when DLA was introduced. Hardly surprising the claimant count went up!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pensioners never could claim DLA (though they keep it in payment if they’ve been getting it before retirement).

    Attendance Allowance is available to pensioners who need care, but there is no mobility equivalent. Seems very unfair, but the logic (as I understand it) was that ‘old people should expect to become less mobile’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So how come it was claimed that an extra million claimed DLA in 2010? ๐Ÿ˜•

      Apologies, I’m a little confused now lol ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”

      How ridiculous that someone can’t claim DLA because of their age!?

      Like

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