BB2 and Channel4 programmes info

monday 30/07/12

Channel 4 Dispatches: 20:00

Britain on the Sick

Using undercover filming, reporter Jackie Long investigates the shocking processes used to assess whether sickness and disability benefit claimants should be declared fit for work.

BBC2: 20:30

Panorama - Disabled or Faking It

DURATION: 30 MINUTES

Panorama investigates the government's plans to end the so-called 'sick note culture' and their attempts to get millions of people off disability benefits and into work. In Britain's modern welfare state, millions are being paid to private companies to assess sick and disabled claimants but is the system working? Or are new tests wrongly victimising those who deserve support the most?

28 Replies

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  • I cannot comment on the programme above as I will not be able to see it but maybe by sharing my several years of successful experience, someone may benefit...so here goes.

    I used to work within and with the DWP. It can be very difficult to identify genuine people and the professional liars, make no bones about it the cheats make a profession out of it!

    All I can say to ANYONE & EVERYONE that has been refused and has good need.

    First go to CAB or your local council offices. They have benefit specialists there and they are to be used to help YOU. Please use them.

    Secondly, the system is hard for both you and the governments assessors so don´t give up, follow the appeals process, and always get as much up to date medical evidence you can and fight for your right as an English taxpayer to claim your entitlement.

    Thirdly, when answering the questions on the form, read the question, think of your condition at it´s worse, THEN answer the question truthfully.

    It´s hard, it´s frustrating and in some areas downright ludicrous BUT remember the `on the floor´ workers are just as frustrated as you,if not on occasion more so, with the constant changes in regulations etc.

    They are not there to be personally mean to you.

    Just remember the onus or burden of proof lays directly on your shoulders so make absolutely sure you leave nothing out, even if it is embarrassing or you think it trivial.

    By following the above personal guidelines I have had 100% approval rate with DLA claims & carers allowance. Above all this may feel highly personal to you but the person reading the form no doubt has great sympathy if not empathy with your situation, but if you do not give the full day to day difficulties picture to them they cannot help. They are not bank managers, they just have to justify every single thing they do three times over, so take emotion out (it´s hard I know believe me) there is no place in benefit rules and laws for emotion, just cold hard facts.

    Hope this is of help to someone.

  • it was very kind of you to shaire the info and i also agree its very hard to tell who is facking compaired to who is not .. saddly that is human greed .. as much as we grumbel about the uk etc we are lucky to have a benifit and NHS service ...

    however bad it sometimes messes up ..

    and i have had it mess up

    gentle dyslexic hugs

  • Benefit fraud is extremely low, 0.7% for disability benefit. Nothing is ever 100% fraud-free but this is about as low as it gets. Far more worrying is the number of ill people being denied benefits and dying because of it. Fraud by the rich is much more widespread.

  • Thanks, burntiffa, for a very interesting look at the DWP - it's very hard sometimes to see the view from the other side of the fence!

    As you say, there are cheats out there who are very good at claiming benefits they don't deserve, whilst the needy go without.

    I think fibromyalgia is a disease which leaves sufferers in a very difficult spot, especially if like me you have 'flares' of pain. I have days, weeks, even when I don't feel too bad, then I will have a few weeks when I can't walk, and have felt almost suicidal with pain.

    I have always been too embarrassed to claim anything, because I know that at my best no-one would believe there was anything wrong at all.

    I had to leave a well-paid job and manage on part time work because of fibro - even that was very difficult, but I didn't know how else to cope.

    I know I'm one of the lucky ones as I do have longish periods of reasonable mobility and comfort, but the bad bits in between are hard to bear!

    Love to all ... Moffy x

  • Ladymoth, firstly what a lovely photo and room lightening smile you have. Everyday you work you pay for the right to some help if you should ever need it in the future.

    You are however quite right about FM being a very difficult disease for upstanding citizens to apply for.

    To you directly I would ask you again to read my point of "Read the question, think of your bad days, then and ONLY then answer the question honestly."

    I would always say to my previous clients, if the taxman said to you here you are, because you still try to work even though you have to endure unspeakable pain

    (I don´t know about you but childbirth was a doddle in comparison!). Would you turn around and say "oh that´s very kind but no thank you"

    Applications for this condition must be made, need to made and deserve to be paid, recognised with more information on the daily, hourly and minute by minute suffering this silent disease inflicts. It is the a very effective way that this disease will gain more respect and knowledge by the DWP.

    So please do reconsider your situation and I would be happy to help you to make contact with a specialist in your area. Do take care I am delighted you manage to have free phases, long my they continue for you, but that it an emotional and caring response and answer. You need to ask for the form and state the facts of our struggle.

    Do take care and thank you so very much for replying.

  • I have read your posts with interest burntiffa, however, although I am glad you have managed to get the help you need there are many that the system is failing. I had my 1st assessment in may 2010 and was awarded 0 points, I appealed with the assistance of my local CAB and at the tribunal in the December was awarded ESA on the basis that I had in fact 18 points. May 2011 I had to complete and ESA50 again which I did with the assistance of the CAB lady who helped with my appeal. I was sent for another WCA and back to 0 points despite the fact that my Fibro was worse and not better so I am having to appeal again whilst trying to live on the assessment rate benefits. Finally I have received a date for my new Tribunal and am hoping I have another win as I will be in real trouble if not. Although I have just about managed to survive it is the only time in my life that I have not been able to clear my credit card on a monthly basis. I still manage to drive short distances with the assistance of my blue badge which was awarded in January after an OT assessment (I am still in shock that somebody actually said yes, you are entitled), however, it is mainly car expenses that are on my credit card. If I lose my case this time I do not know how I will be able to clear my debt or keep my car on the road, the latter of which would make me virtually housebound as I am unable to get on a bus.

    I know there are many others on this forum in the same boat (or worse) as I, so even with specialist help the system is failing many of us that really need help.

  • Hi Ladymoth

    I'm just copying and pasting my comment above re the extremely low rate of benefit fraud - around 0.7% for disability benefit. Nothing is ever 100% fraud-free but this is about as low as it gets. Far more worrying is the number of ill people being denied benefits and dying because of it. Fraud by the rich is much more widespread and that's what we should be concentrating on. It is obscene.

  • Hi Moffy ,

    I missed it i was hour late foggy head at time!

    Yes serious debilitating bed confined or house confined flares.

    Just on one at moment .

    Being classed as an Employer it is hard the other side of fence, believe me since this started i had to change my position from not just self-employed but to employer and how Difficult it really is with this condition! Personally i struggled physically so either close down or think positive so given it a go but my brain is just not washing on the rite spin and gets muddled up, you get ppl in and the nightmare it can cause (stress) + (worry) = (symptoms) = (flares) viscious circle.

    I used to as a youngster have odd hangover sick day then bosses get wise to patterns (like i do). I have no way of watching the programme now as our sky was off for a while so only basic chanels :-( . I may look on my i phone.

    Thats another thing i think i get treated differently now i am a business woman and in one rexpect its nice but as in friends etc its not! They become weiry and less talkative.. Xxxxxxx

  • The Ministers are hoovering millions of pounds via the schemes projects, the people who are given this job called ATOLL are the back packers of Ministers, to share the money they are going to get.

    Ihat a very serious HART ATTACK due to governments scheme called Warm Front (DISASTER FRONT) This scheme has been planned twisted trapped to suck money from the vulnerable people with full of lies. from the beginning it was created only for this purpose!! The Prime Minister said they wanted to tackle with the poverty of fuel, INFACT there is need to tackle with the greed of Ministers and back packers. LIEYING. Warm front leaflets twisted with full of lies to ask money as much as they can depending on the person customer I should say.

    They asked me I mean rushed me to pay £480.00 at the last minute of 12 month waiting to threatened me , forced on every bit of it did not communicate to answer my questions, REFUSED TO give written work description and labour, to hide their disgust dishonest money cheating. only the installer told me in person what kind of com bi central heating they were going to install (WHICH was damaging the house disgusting cheap of cheapest quality does not exist in the market but provided only for the warm front by the Plumb world something!!

    Complaint procedures twisted trapped by the DECC Ministers are hiding themselfs behayd the customer services!! Good quality combi central heating cost only £3.000.00 before VAT for 3 bed house in my area.. Written Work , labour discription given . civiliciaz hounest no twisting no cheating!!!! more over no damaging at all.

    I have been to the hospital receintly, the Consultant refused to diagnose me DELIBERATELY! hence I have rheumatic Artheritis since the year 1992, His clinic was disgusting, and disturbing luckly I have not met him , he must be the same!. I have decided praying for my health in the church will be more usefull than seing consultant in the hospital.

    Dentists torturing, damaging healty teeth and gum to extend the work to claim more money from NHS ALSO forcing treatening people to pay hundreds of pounds, hence all the Dental treatments free for the people who are ON INCOME SUPPORT!!! Complaints twisted trapped to cower up by the Department of Health NHS, Dental practice board.

    British Gas damaged my gas central heating in front of my eyes, it was working but a bit slow, that is the reason I called them, he asked me to pay £800.00 to repair it even though I told the I am on income support cant afford! They left me in freezing cold -4 in the middle of winter.

    Complaints twisted to cower up ( All the complaints procedures are twisted to cower up, dont vast your time for nothing.) we are cheated by the power companies as well, the reading clock moving forvard too much radio electronic something.There are many more . opticians solicitors cheating as well.

    Finally, I am not happy to hear like benefit cheats!!!!! They are honurable respectfull precious people comparing to those ones i try to explain above. If the person is healty and refusing to work , this must be treatened as mental health problem like Psycially ( I dont know how to spell ) needs treatment not punishment, thats because they are punishing themselfs to live with a very little amount of money. All the DSS benefits too little to surviva!!!!.

  • I just wanted to make a correction . I had a very serious hart attack.

  • Yes apparenlty they are paid to fail you...and I can verify my own experience...after I was failed, I requested a report...it was a pack of lies...understatements, exageerations and she claimed to have doen tests she didnt even do.My GP was outraged and supported me and they reinstated me without going to tribunal...but the stress made me sicker than ever.

    I have a flexible job I love and can do now with wonderful bosses, but finding work I CAN do is very difficult, and not many people are so tolerant of illness and disability. You have to declare it at interview and you see the change in attitude towards you and you know you wont get the job.

  • I can certainly agree with the remark about ATOS being paid to fail people for the heck of it. My son has suffered with mental illness (as described) Im a fighter and I refused to give up, bearing in mind he is now 34, he has had a brilliant GP over the last couple of years.

    We have JUST had a SPECIALIST assessment and he falls well into the AUTISTIC spectrum and sadly so does his 6yr old son, my little grandson.

    He has been persecuted all of his life been branded lazy, scrounger you name it he has been called it.

    If you know you are right and you need that all important help DONT GIVE UP.

  • My son had the same trouble and schools did nothing. After an assessment at uni 2 years ago ( he is now 23) they finally discovered he had so many learning problems it was amazing he go as far as he did. They good new is he got help with learning aids and has just got a foundation degree in music. Shame it took so long to find out. I agree don't give up .

    Hugs to all xxxxx

  • It is such a shame that so many people abuse the system making it so hard for those who are genuinely poorly. Sadly fibro, depression and many other illnesses have no outwardly signs so there are an awful lot of people out there who just don't believe us. I have a "friend" and I use the term lightly who is healthy and could work but can't be bothered as her benefits and child allowance gives her plenty of money to live off. It makes me so angry that we are made to suffer and work. I just wish there was someway the sceptics could live our lives for just one day, then I bet they would change their tune.

    Hugs to all xxxxxx

  • Hi Pinkpig

    Benefit fraud is extremely low, 0.7% for disability benefit. Nothing is ever 100% fraud-free but this is about as low as it gets. Far more worrying is the number of ill people being denied benefits and dying because of it. Fraud by the rich is much more widespread. That's what we should be concentrating on - it is obscene.

    x

  • I agree, especially after watching the programmes last night.

  • Good on you :-)

  • The Media is supporting the winning parties and rich . They are diverting the attention of corruption away from themselves.!!!

    Unhealthy people are harassed, disturbed, and most of them started to have mental disturbances, because of harassment of the Ministers their back packers, and Media.

    We should have right to sue them, if there is really Justice.

    Isn't there any body out there, who believes in God to stop these people who are corrupting scroungers.

  • Millions of pounds were paid to ATOLL. of course that's what I have been trying to explain. This money will go to Ministers pocket. It is the same in every country, People are saying they don't know for which party to vote for that's because ALL of them are corrupting! Some countries are even worse than this country, We are a bit luckier , but does not mean we should keep quite to let them abuse their power. Media is very afraid to write about the criminal corruption of Dentists. Opticians, British Gas, Solicitors. they say they will get sued. Not afraid to say all this health threatening things about the unemployed unhealthy people..

  • Hi to everyone

    I wanted to comment on Burntiffa's comments if i could?

    Firstly what is really bugging me is when you stated "By following the above personal guidelines I have had 100% approval rate with DLA claims & carers allowance" can i ask did you tell them on the other information that you use to work for DWP?

    I will tell you what i have experienced during my time claiming benefits, oh and benefits which the LAW says I'm entitled to, you take off for a crisis loan i had because i wasn’t paid anything for three weeks.

    Well here goes, i had an accident in work which made me incapacitated, my doctor, my occupation health doctor and the Rheumatologist said i was not fit to work. I claim sick pay from my job, they paid me for six month. When this ended, i had to apply for ESA, it use to be Incapacity Benefit. I saw a doctor some 7 miles away from me and i had to attend. That’s another thing that’s just reminded me how come when claiming for ESA i have to go to a centre where the doctor is and when i applied DLA the doctor came out to my home??? Going back, so i applied and was granted ESA and was placed in the Work group, which entitled me approx. £77.00, plus £26.00 because I’ve been put in the work group. I had to attend 5 or 6 Mandatory (sorry i cannot remember how many exactly) appointments with agent, he helped me fill in my C.V and helped me apply for jobs. Bearing in mind i still had a job by this time!!!! I had to attend them to get the extra £26.00 I did explain this to the gent that i still had a job and he said it was for the government statistics, this is the reason i had to attend them. They offered me X amount of money if i went back to work within three months. I couldn’t believe what i was hearing it made me soooo mad, i was off work SICK, it’s not a choice being sick!!!! I use to take home over £1500. a month, on the sick i was taking home (in the work cat) approx £400.00 plus my rent paid. In anyone’s eyes you could see there is a lot of difference in the monies i was getting. I could not adjust to this amount of money from what i was use to getting, but i didn’t have a choice..... 3 Medical Doctors said i was not fit to work????

    Okay a year went by, i have been diagnosed as having Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. The names might mean nothing to some people, I’ve heard it when i say i have fibro, people i tell say " oh yeah my friend has it or oh yes my mother has it" it’s not as rare as i first thought. Its 2 labels and those labels mean different to everyone. A year later and my symptoms were getting worse, i became incontinent at the age of 48, bowel and bladder. The pain is excruciating not just in one place it’s all over the body, the fibro affects all of your muscles, and your brain is a muscle. I had to have a hysterectomy because of the fibro. I am clinically Depressed, I cannot concentrate, I went to college to train as a Counsellor, and I was trying to save so I could go to University to do my PHD. I use to ride my motorbike which i can no longer enjoy, and i loved a game of bingo, even the simplest tasks i cannot do. If i go to the toilet to move my bowels, i cannot reach around to clean myself, i hear you saying Oh My God, yes oh my god its soooo embarrassing to have someone do it for you! I have to be helped to get in and out of the bath and the list goes on and on......I am on 6 types of tablets some at the maximal dosage recommended. So, the 3 doctors (trained specialist in their field) say I’m unfit for work. April comes and i get a request to attend my work with my managers. In a nut shell, i was relieved of my duties because i do not fit their work capability guide lines any longer. June comes and i get an application form to fill in to reapply for ESA, because it only lasts one year. I got help to fill it in, because i have Arthritis in my hands, wrists, shoulder, hip, bottom of my spine, in my right knee, feet and toes. Holding a pen, or trying to pick the kettle up to make myself a cup of coffee i can’t do without pain.

    I get an appointment with the centre again 7 mls away, i had to cancel a few times, which they replied was if i miss any more appointments i will have my benefits STOPPED, so i shouldn’t be ill??? I was assessed this time with a nurse. I explained my symptoms were getting worse etc. I didn’t hear anything until i was to collect my benefits it was stopped. I spoke to someone about it and they said all i can do is to appeal against their decision. So as requested i sent my appeal papers to them. A week went, by this time i had no money for three weeks, i rang them and they said they have 10 days before they accept my appeals forms. I asked how do i pay my gas, electric, water rates, telephone bill, TV licence etc., they relied get a crisis loan. So i applied for one, they gave me £35.00 i couldn’t believe it...... I had to get another crisis loan the following week and they gave me £42.00 They sent me a letter saying while i am in the assessment phase of the appeal they would only pay me £77. a week, but they still might send me to the work group, with the gent who helps me with my C.V etc....an not give me the extra £26.00...I have been to the CAB and are helping me with my appeal. All this is not helping my depression, my fibro or my arthritis. £77. a week and they decided they are to take £7.50 off me for the crises loan i had??? JOKE.....

    I wish it was that straight forward as you say Burntiffa, it’s not.....Tell me what’s hard for the governments assessors??? Are they ill, do they have pain, are they living on state benefits? Why should i run around when I’m ill getting evidence, i cannot recoup while running around? I got help to fill out my forms, i told them at my worse as you state, i didn’t leave anything out, but i did put that i should not be made to have a commode downstairs. even prisoners have their rights. You say "there is no place in benefit rules and laws for emotion, just cold hard facts". Please tell me the reason why i didn’t get granted ESA if 3 specialist Doctors say I’m not fit to work, yet a nurse saw me once and she decided and the assessors that I’m not entitled to anything. Oh yes they did say either appeal or claim jobseekers, but how can i claim jobseekers when I’m soooo ill and the doctors confirm this??

    I am really pleased for you Burntiffa an all of those who have been granted their benefits. I understand there are a lot of people especially young men though my experience, that are willing and able to work, but they have got themselves into a rut and learnt to live on benefits, the genuine ones that need it, are penalized.

  • Hi gogetitjulie

    I am going to reply to you but very bad day today I have the same as you & ptsd so shaking too much to type for long, hope you understand. i am also trying to research why you were treated with such utter disrespect & incompetence. Assessed by a nurse! My heart goes out to you, nt that that will help much hence why i need more time. is it possible for you to let me know which county you live in. i also need to point out that i left the service in 2005 after a breakdown in 2003 so knowledge a little old but am willing to update to see if something can be done. With the up most respect and my kindest regards burntiffa

  • I watched both programmes last night and was disgusted with how Atos assess people with many different disabilities and say they are fit for work, I have been put into the work related activity group instead of the support group, the C.A.B have put in an appeal but we have not heard anything since Feb, all I want is to be put into the support group and receive unlimited support which is what we all need. this government wants No People in this country with any DISABILITIES !!!!!!!!

  • Is it me or is the British Government Favouring Adolph Hitler's " Nothing But Pure Blue Eyed Blonde Healthy Citizens " Wanted Here? Herr's Cameron Clegg Grayling and Co are definately showing there Nazi Tendency's

  • I know that people do play the system but I had an assessment at home and the doctor who came out told me he had to see me go up and down stair which I did by crawling up and shuffling down on my bottom as virtigo meant I could not stand. he said if I did not do it I would be failed for disability. On his report he stated I was seen to go up and down stairs easily. Really I don't think so. He made me bend over and I fell and had to grab the table to stop me crashing to the floor but his assessment was that I was fit and not needing any assistance. I personally am paranoid about the days I have a good day and can walk unaided and the stress of this in itself make the whole situation worse. I do not drive due to the virtigo side of the illness although every doctor tells me I am safe to drive, I fail to see how if your head spins and your vision fades your fit to drive but I had to fight tooth and nail to get a bus pass. For the record I would love to have a full time job and earn my own living and I resent being interogated as if I am a scrounger. I have broken bones from falling and now I feel I have to go to the gp with every little thing as last assessment they said I don't have enough evidence of my falls. Now to me that is a waste of gp time and money just to show them brusing.

  • The. Obvious comment about ITV programme was how corupt! Using % to assess an number of claiments is mad mad mad!

    Whatever stage anyone is at with making or appealing the same considerations apply.Get CAB yes,but do yourself a favour and see your GP to discuss support even check what is on your health records.I found that some receptionists fill in forms for GP and GP just signs it!So hence see the GP.When it comes to appeal taking a friend with you is great but a disability advisor from I dependant Living organisation is better!

  • Hi to everyone, I was flabbergasted to see this in my mail box, I hope others on here understand why we are treated so bad, I'm not the only one: UK

    Dear julie,

    My apologies if the Benefits and Work website runs rather slowly or even grinds to a stop occasionally after this newsletter goes out.  Please visit again later if it does.  In fact, we weren’t going to publish a newsletter in August, but we felt this was one item of news that many members would want to know about.

    In a surprising, and for many Benefits and Work members deeply dismaying, decision the DWP have announced this afternoon that Atos have won the biggest share of the contracts for carrying out personal independence payment (PIP) medicals. A smaller share has gone to Capita.

    PIP is due to begin replacing disability living allowance (DLA) for working age claimants from April next year, with all current working age DLA claimants having to be reassessed for the new benefit. The contracts for PIP medicals are worth up to a billion pounds in total and have attracted the attention of many multinational companies.

    Atos have won Lot 1 and Lot 3 in the bidding for the contracts.  Lot 1 covers Scotland, NE England, NW England & Isle of Man while Lot 3 covers London and South England.  Capita have won Lot 2, which covers Wales and Central England.

    Lot 4 which covers Northern Ireland has not yet been awarded and Lot 5 is also up for grabs, but the DWP have said they do not intend to use Lot 5 unless things go wrong with regional suppliers.

    Atos are deeply unpopular with many claimants and disability organisations due to their methods of assessing claimants for employment and support allowance.  On Monday of this week, the company was the subject of a Panorama documentary and a Dispatches documentary looking at alleged failings in the way they carry out the work capability assessment.

    Capita, which runs the Criminal Records Bureau on behalf of the Home Office and is invariably  referred to as ‘Crapita’ by Private Eye, has no history of carrying out medical assessments for state benefits.  The company has been involved in  a number of less than successful public service contracts in the past, however, including Individual Learning Accounts which were subject to  fraudulent claims on an unprecedented scale and which were shut down after just one year.

    Amongst the unsuccessful bidders for the contracts so far awarded are G4S who are still reeling from the Olympics security fiasco, Serco, Avanta, Ingeus Deloitte, APM UK, Reed In Partnership and Vertex. 

    You can read more about the award of contracts on the DWP website.

    And Benefits and Work members can comment on this story in the Members News section.

    GOOD NEWS FROM THE FORUMS

    We’ve just had time to find a few good news posts from the forums to end on a cheerier note.

    Migrated from IB to ESA Support Group

    "A sincere thank you to B&W."

    Moved from IB to ESA Support Group, without medical assessment

    "I am absolutely certain this would not have been possible without your website and guides. Many, many thanks for your assistance."

    ESA decision revised during appeals process, placed in Support Group

    "I would like to thank the mods and the writers of the guides as I wouldn't have been able to do it without them. So a big thank you."

    Success at DLA appeal

    "Thanks for the guides, my DLA appeal was upheld last week."

    ESA decision revised after appeal lodged, placed in Support Group

    "Thanks once again to everyone on this site, all the lovely MODS and Steve and Holly."

    Award of high rate mobility and middle rate care DLA confirmed for an indefinite period

    "Thanks to B&W for all the help and advice."

    Join the Benefits and Work community now and discover what a difference it can make.

    You are welcome to reproduce this newsletter on your blog, website, forum or newsletter provided it is properly attributed to benefitsandwork.co.uk

    You can also read this newsletter online (open access).

  • stunned.

  • I had not heard of this site before, but i have had dealings with Steve Donnison.

    Had a quick look around the site and wow at last independent up to date advice. Well done to both Steve & Holiday Whitehead will subscribe to help them keep up the good work.

    In answer to your question before -" I wanted to comment on Burntiffa's comments if i could?

    Firstly what is really bugging me is when you stated "By following the above personal guidelines I have had 100% approval rate with DLA claims & carers allowance" can i ask did you tell them on the other information that you use to work for DWP?

    With one couple i was still employed by dwp so yes i was duty bound to state i was helping. On all other applications i helped people from my local community and people that had heard about me asked for my help for example the security guard from one of the buildings i attended regularly asked if i could speak to his wife as she was totally against the system with good reason as they made her feel very degraded. (know how she feels eh)

    I spoke with her and gently highlighted to her that where she had said she didn´t need assistance to the toilet for example, indeed she did as she used furniture and the walls as support to get there, and that was no further than 18ft away on completely flat floor, no rugs etc,that she had to walk.

    When I helped people i always did out of hours and just helped them see their everyday coping mechanisms for what they were.

    There is no excuse for the way you have been failed and the scary part is that more and more contracts are being awarded to outside agencies that to get their funding are almost forced "to cook the books" and results and employ people with no formal advice, job seeking or benefit specialist training.

    Cases like yours bring me to tears as the work that the team I worked with were ALL about the people as individuals and the targets we were set were blasted out of the water, souly down to the fact that we gave a s**t about every single person we dealt with so didn´t try to shove round pegs into square holes and whatever work or training we helped them into they stayed, enjoyed, excelled and later found a new way because we treated them as human beings and not numbers!

    I specialised in prolific offenders, domestic violence victims, drug and alochol abusers and any other person that the local job centres had basically given up on as to hard, ignorant or too troubled to deal with.

    It burnt me out but as god is my witness i do not regret a minute of it and would happily do it again if i was capable, however i know with certainty that IF i was ever strong enough to do it again I would be fired within the first day, as I have never suffered fools gladly or very quietly it must be said xxx

    sorry said too much

    but will leave it and not hit the delete button, as you of all people deserve to know that there were people out in the Dept that were human, straight, honest and really HARD WORKING and they are are drowning in this s**t just as much as you, however many, like me, have been forced out by health or injustice, so all I can say is good luck but the benefitsandwork.co.uk website looks like a top notch service.

    I´m sorry for the angry tone it is in no way aimed at you, far from it my heart goes out to you and your struggle, my tone is purely down to frustration, which we all have to bear each day one way or another.

    Take care xxx

    Burntiffa

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