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The state benefits system mega-thread.
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Old 13-08-2019, 20:13   #2221
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
Sanctions did indeed exist before 2010 and are sometimes necessary to ensure compliance of the rules. However, not to this ridiculous extent. Extremely petty and ridiculous reasons are now being used to sanction people to get staff stats up. The DWP denied that staff were under pressure to do this, but this was found not to be true.

After losing a child and her partner, it's no wonder that her head was all over the place. The DWP used to be there to help people, now it's a culture of believing that everyone is a fraudulant liar until proved otherwise (and even then, like in this case, the sanction wasn't lifted).

It's one of the reasons i'm glad I no longer work for them, I simply couldn't treat people like this. A lot of experienced staff have either left or took refundancy, with the rest just biding their time until retirement. New and inexperienced staff are coming out with the most absurd comments and their decisions would be laughable if they weren't so damaging to those in need.

Further examples of ridiculous sanctions are an army veteran being found dead in his flat after starving to death, a man being sanctioned for 'failing to complete a medical examination' after having a heart attack during the examination, a lone parent being sanctioned because her toddler needed to use the toilet. Thousands of people have either died after being spuriously found fit for work or committed suicide because of this.

One bright spark decided to suspend my DLA, when I rang for a written statement of reasons and the regulations used to be quoted, she said "we don't need to tell you that"! I told her to to stop being silly and get a manager on the line. The manager apologised and immediately desuspended the claim, but how many people who aren't as au fait with the regulations as me would just have accepted this nonsense because they know no different?

It's true that people can appeal against the DWP and many are successful, but after they've been through the Mandatory Reconsideration stage, there are backlogs of over a year for appeals to be heard. How are they supposed to live until then?

I think that the loss of experienced staff is why so many mistakes are being made, though it doesn't help when the Government itself doesn't seem to know what it's doing. They introduced the Bedroom Tax, but didn't specify exactly what a bedroom was, leading to many people having an exemption granted. Another example is their attempts to abolish the Severe Disability Premium with the introduction of Universal Credut. They made a mess of that and have decided to award back pay of 120 a week, but some people lost 180 a week so another legal challenge is to be made.
She missed 8 appointments, not just the one. She didn't get sanctioned for missing that one. It was only when the missed appointments mounted up, all without explanation, that they took action.


Quote:
"Sanctions are a last resort and when we are made aware - including retrospectively - of good reasons why appointments are missed, they will not be used.
"Universal Credit customers can keep in touch with their work coaches over the phone and via the online journal."
She apparently could attend hospital appointments, but not make an online entry or a phone call? Her partner could even have done it. She obviously thought she could get away with it multiple times, so didn't take any avoiding action.

The comments section accompanying the article isn't exactly supportive of her.

Quote:
A woman says she was driven to shoplifting and drug abuse after having thousands of pounds from her Universal Credit payments cut after missing an appointment the day after suffering a miscarriage .
That is a blatant lie, as she missed/avoided multiple appointments.


Unless there was a previous letter, the DWP letter would suggest that the sanctions didn't start until until the face-to-face 8th Feb 17 appointment. At that point she would have been able to explain herself, but it wasn't accepted. The GP letter was dated 14th Mar 17. She should have been able to produce hospital letters.


The definition of excess bedrooms was set in place decades before 2010. It applied to private rented sector. No changes were initially made. Any changes were ones the Labour didn't introduce.

Last edited by nomadking; 13-08-2019 at 20:20.
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Old 14-08-2019, 13:34   #2222
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadking View Post
She missed 8 appointments, not just the one. She didn't get sanctioned for missing that one. It was only when the missed appointments mounted up, all without explanation, that they took action.


She apparently could attend hospital appointments, but not make an online entry or a phone call? Her partner could even have done it. She obviously thought she could get away with it multiple times, so didn't take any avoiding action.

The comments section accompanying the article isn't exactly supportive of her.

That is a blatant lie, as she missed/avoided multiple appointments.


Unless there was a previous letter, the DWP letter would suggest that the sanctions didn't start until until the face-to-face 8th Feb 17 appointment. At that point she would have been able to explain herself, but it wasn't accepted. The GP letter was dated 14th Mar 17. She should have been able to produce hospital letters.


The definition of excess bedrooms was set in place decades before 2010. It applied to private rented sector. No changes were initially made. Any changes were ones the Labour didn't introduce.
You've clearly never had to experience the death of a child.

Seeing as you're back to trying to politicise this thread, the 'overlarge' rule for the private rented sector was brought in on 15/1/89 by the Tories at the same time that Housing Benefit claims had to be referred to the Rent Officer to ensure that it was not 'significantly above a reasonable market rent'. This was after they abolished the right to have a 'Fair Rent' registered, meaning that on the one hand rent controls were abolished, but the Government didn't want to pay out more in Housing Benefit, thus leaving people to pay the difference out of the money intended for day to day living expenses.

When the idea of abolishing rent controls was first mooted, Thatcher said that she would be prepared to pay out extra Housing Benefit, but when it happened, this was reneged on.
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Old 14-08-2019, 14:25   #2223
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
You've clearly never had to experience the death of a child.

Seeing as you're back to trying to politicise this thread, the 'overlarge' rule for the private rented sector was brought in on 15/1/89 by the Tories at the same time that Housing Benefit claims had to be referred to the Rent Officer to ensure that it was not 'significantly above a reasonable market rent'. This was after they abolished the right to have a 'Fair Rent' registered, meaning that on the one hand rent controls were abolished, but the Government didn't want to pay out more in Housing Benefit, thus leaving people to pay the difference out of the money intended for day to day living expenses.

When the idea of abolishing rent controls was first mooted, Thatcher said that she would be prepared to pay out extra Housing Benefit, but when it happened, this was reneged on.
Why should somebody be entitled to full housing benefit so they can live in a large oversized mansion? Common sense really. The changes brought along with the "bedroom tax", were not only beneficial to claimants, but things that mysteriously the previous Labour Government chose not to introduce. Instead they chose not increase the money paid to the landlords by setting the LHA rates much too high. Rents then increased to match those excessive rates, with Landlords safe in the knowledge HB(ie the taxpayer) would cover it.
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Old 14-08-2019, 17:09   #2224
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Originally Posted by nomadking View Post
Why should somebody be entitled to full housing benefit so they can live in a large oversized mansion? Common sense really. The changes brought along with the "bedroom tax", were not only beneficial to claimants, but things that mysteriously the previous Labour Government chose not to introduce. Instead they chose not increase the money paid to the landlords by setting the LHA rates much too high. Rents then increased to match those excessive rates, with Landlords safe in the knowledge HB(ie the taxpayer) would cover it.
We're not talking mansions, we're talking terraced/semi detached houses. I agree that in some cases it's inappropriate for people to live in an oversized property, but it wasn't been thought through properly. Most council properties are 2 or 3 bedroom houses designed for families, there simply isn't enough 1 bedroom properties. The result is that people are having to either meet the shortfall out of their benefit intended for day to day living expenses, get into arrears and be evicted (some of these will qualify for much inferior 'temporary' accommodation that costs the taxpayer hundreds of pounds per week) or end up homeless with all the problems that that entails.

Many local authorities are now finding their larger properties impossible to let. It's not that people are refusing to move somewhere smaller, there simply isn't the accommodation available. The Government argues that they should consider the private sector, but this means much less housing rights for the tenant and even higher costs in Housing Benefit, simply because private sector rents are higher than those for social housing. Often, the amount the state is prepared to pay for private accommodation is similar to the overlarge local authority rent without the Bedroom Tax!

Because the regulations didn't specify exactly what a bedroom actually is, many have been able to become exempt anyway. All that's been achieved is the exact same amount of Housing Benefit being paid, with the hassle and worry for claimants and extra administrative costs for local authorities.

Some of these people are shunted from property to property (sometimes many miles away) which causes problems for work (many HB claimants are in work), childcare and schooling etc. Who would want to disrupt their childs education by changing schools every five minutes? There is a bigger picture to consider.

So, we have a situation where people are being repeatedly messed about, houses lying empty and the taxpayer paying out more for temporary accommodation. Surely it would be better to have someone living in a property with an extra bedroom than paying out hundreds a week for families to live in one room whilst their old house lies empty.
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Old 14-08-2019, 18:56   #2225
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

Bedroom tax beneficial to claimants. I must have missed that report somewhere...
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Old 14-08-2019, 19:06   #2226
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Originally Posted by peanut View Post
Bedroom tax beneficial to claimants. I must have missed that report somewhere...
Perhaps if you actually followed the part of the discussion.
The initial point from Richard was:- "They introduced the Bedroom Tax, but didn't specify exactly what a bedroom was, leading to many people having an exemption granted.".
I pointed out that the NEW exemptions(eg room for overnight carer), didn't exist under Labour and hadn't previously applied to the private rented sector. In that sense they are more generous than before. Also very generous with taxpayers money, is where people can be paid 3,000 to downsize.
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Old 14-08-2019, 19:16   #2227
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Originally Posted by nomadking View Post
Perhaps if you actually followed the part of the discussion.
The initial point from Richard was:- "They introduced the Bedroom Tax, but didn't specify exactly what a bedroom was, leading to many people having an exemption granted.".
I pointed out that the NEW exemptions(eg room for overnight carer), didn't exist under Labour and hadn't previously applied to the private rented sector. In that sense they are more generous than before. Also very generous with taxpayers money, is where people can be paid 3,000 to downsize.
Ah right sorry my bad. I read it wrong, as in 'The changes brought along with the "bedroom tax", were not only beneficial to claimants'...It can be read slightly ambiguously. (along with...)...
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Old 14-08-2019, 19:32   #2228
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Ah right sorry my bad. I read it wrong, as in 'The changes brought along with the "bedroom tax", were not only beneficial to claimants'...It can be read slightly ambiguously. (along with...)...
"along with" explicitly means "as well as". Nothing ambiguous about it.
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Old 14-08-2019, 19:39   #2229
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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"along with" explicitly means "as well as". Nothing ambiguous about it.
Well I read it wrong. I said 'my bad' and explained why (politely), it was ambiguous, if you want to argue that then do it to yourself, I've got better things to do. Seems like you haven't.
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Old 16-08-2019, 18:58   #2230
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Originally Posted by nomadking View Post
Perhaps if you actually followed the part of the discussion.
The initial point from Richard was:- "They introduced the Bedroom Tax, but didn't specify exactly what a bedroom was, leading to many people having an exemption granted.".
I pointed out that the NEW exemptions(eg room for overnight carer), didn't exist under Labour and hadn't previously applied to the private rented sector. In that sense they are more generous than before. Also very generous with taxpayers money, is where people can be paid 3,000 to downsize.
The Bedroom Tax didn't exist under Labour, so exemptions weren't required for social housing. The 'Spare room subsidy' was a notional idea invented by the Cameron Government- previous to this it was simply the rent payable.

It's correct that exemptions weren't made for overlarge properties (which may or may not be bedroom related) in the private sector, instead the local authority had the discretion to top up the Housing Benefit for those in a vulnerable situation using regulation 11 or by making payment/s under the 'exceptional circumstances' rules. This system was much more flexible and dynamic than the present exemptions list.
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Old 16-08-2019, 19:40   #2231
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
The Bedroom Tax didn't exist under Labour, so exemptions weren't required for social housing. The 'Spare room subsidy' was a notional idea invented by the Cameron Government- previous to this it was simply the rent payable.

It's correct that exemptions weren't made for overlarge properties (which may or may not be bedroom related) in the private sector, instead the local authority had the discretion to top up the Housing Benefit for those in a vulnerable situation using regulation 11 or by making payment/s under the 'exceptional circumstances' rules. This system was much more flexible and dynamic than the present exemptions list.
Prior to 2010, there were limited(eg too disabled to be expected to move, reached state pension age) exemptions for excess bedrooms for HB in the private rented sector. Any that were there would've automatically been there for the social sector. The NEW post 2013 exemptions applied to both the private and social sectors. That is because they use the SAME underlying law. Those in the private rented sector can now have a "spare" bedroom for an overnight carer or to store a large amount of medical equipment.

Any definition of what constitutes a bedroom is pretty much the same as before. Where there have been minor changes or clarifications, they would've happened irrespective of the "bedroom tax". They are part and parcel of what happens over time.
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Old 18-08-2019, 12:17   #2232
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

Work til you die, plebs.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politi...n-age-18953679
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Old 18-08-2019, 12:26   #2233
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Well there goes many a private pension fund. Who in their right mind would pay a chunk of their salary into a pension they probably won't live to receive?
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Old 18-08-2019, 13:48   #2234
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Unbelievable. Imagine a fire officer being expected to rescue someone on a ladder in their 70's!

I'm encouraged by some of the comments to this article, maybe people are finally beginning to wake up to what's happening.
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Old 18-08-2019, 14:47   #2235
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Re: The state benefits system mega-thread.

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Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
The Bedroom Tax didn't exist under Labour, so exemptions weren't required for social housing. The 'Spare room subsidy' was a notional idea invented by the Cameron Government- previous to this it was simply the rent payable.

It's correct that exemptions weren't made for overlarge properties (which may or may not be bedroom related) in the private sector, instead the local authority had the discretion to top up the Housing Benefit for those in a vulnerable situation using regulation 11 or by making payment/s under the 'exceptional circumstances' rules. This system was much more flexible and dynamic than the present exemptions list.
I hate to be pedantic, but there never was a tax on bedrooms.
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