Author Topic: Why Britain Should Expect More From Disabled For Their Own Good  (Read 8212 times)

Yvette

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Why Britain should expect more from the disabled for their own good, by the paralysed doctor in charge of assessing benefits claims.

Dr Stephen Duckworth was paralysed in a rugby accident aged 20.

Now he heads team assessing whether or not disabled people are fit to work.

Says that the disabled should be encouraged to be independent

The paralysed man in charge of assessing benefit claimants has said the UK expects too little of disabled people.

Dr Stephen Duckworth, who broke his neck during a rugby accident 33 years ago, said society is letting down the disabled by not demanding a contribution from them.

The 53-year-old now leads the team that  will assess those who apply for the personal  independence payments, which will replace the disability living allowance.

Dr Duckworth said: ‘We need to move to a culture where employers recognise employment is therapeutic as opposed to illness-creating.

‘It is far better to go back to work to get better than to wait to get better to get back to work. Use work as a therapeutic intervention.’ 

Dr Duckworth – who trained himself to breathe by using his diaphragm rather than his chest muscles – believes more than 20 per cent of  Britain’s five million disabled have wrongly become dependent on benefits.

He said ‘at least a million, probably north of a million’ of those ‘deemed to be disabled... have got there through system failure and the way society is organised’.

The father of four – who receives DLA himself and will be assessed for the new benefit – said that minor injuries had become ‘a very common avenue towards multiple benefit receipt’.

In an interview, he details a claimant’s possible path after an accident ‘that could have happened at work as a result of lifting a box of photocopy paper’.

He says: ‘It gave you a bit of a limp; you get a no-win, no-fee solicitor, a claims farmer, coming up to you.’

As a result, he continues: ‘You get, say, £6,000 in damages from your employers, that builds your impairment, you’re off work for six months, then drop from full pay to half pay, then statutory sick pay.’

After which, Dr Duckworth says ‘you’re feeling the financial pinch’, and he envisages the claimant realising he can get an enhanced income from employment support allowance, and going on to claim it.

The scenario, he says, is: ‘Do my work capability assessment, get signed off on to the employment and support allowance at £106, so have a bit to pay the loan sharks back, [but] I am depressed and my partner has left me... my life is falling apart.’

Dr Duckworth, who served on the board of the Olympic Delivery Authority for London 2012, was suicidal after being paralysed as a medical student, but he refused his parents’ offer to look after him.

He said: ‘When I broke my neck, my mum and dad said, “Don’t worry, Stephen, we will build you a granny annexe”, and I screamed until I was blue in the face.

‘If they had built me one I would still be living there, they’d have wrapped me  in cotton wool and I’d never have got  back to London.’

How wonderful it must be to be Dr Duckworth!

If Britain was more accessible and employers were willing to employ disabled people then lots of people with disabilities would be more than happy to work.  But it doesn't happen like that. 

Parking and transport are a problem - although Access to Work is supposed to help with that.  Premises are not always accessible and many small employers can't afford to make expensive  alterations to widen doors, put in ramps and provide an accessible lavatory.

Many employers are not willing or unable to allow people with disabilities to work part-time or adjust their hours to suit their disability/medical conditions because of the nature of the work.

A member of this board, Chris Page, who is a wheelchair user, has stated many times that he has applied for job after job but has been turned down. (Hope you don't mind me mentioning you but you have posted about it.)


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415778/Why-Britain-expect-disabled-good-paralysed-doctor-charge-assessing-benefits-claims.html

Peggythepirate

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you’re off work for six months, then drop from full pay to half pay, then statutory sick pay.
1. You're lucky if you get full pay for six months. Some employers don't give you anything. (Mine is prepared to pay up to two weeks for sick in a year.)
2. You're even luckier if your period on full pay is followed by a period of half pay. Only very large employers can manage that.
3. If you've been off sick for six months you can only expect statutory sick pay for a further two weeks. SSP only lasts for 28 weeks.

He appears to be only talking about people who become disabled while in employment.

He can't have been paying much attention when he did his Disability Equality Training (*if* he did DET), if he thinks it's all right to lump all individual disabled people together as 'the disabled'.

Fizzbw

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How can anyone say that an income of £106 a week is a good income, that people prefer this to working??? oh there may be a few, but they are not the norm. All his criticisms are things that society has to change, not the disabled.

Fx

Defying Gravity

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It is very aggravating when people don't recognise the privilege that they have. This doctor has lost the privilege associated with being able bodied but is still benefitting from all kinds of privilege including having a 'socially approved' disability, his gender, education, employment status etc.

ditchdwellers

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I don't think that employers view having a job as 'therapeutic'.

JLR2

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"In an interview, he details a claimant’s possible path after an accident ‘that could have happened at work as a result of lifting a box of photocopy paper’."

This guy's use of the above as an example suggests to me that he has a girn against disabled folk claiming disability benefits full stop!  He would have been as well to say all disability benefit claimants are welfare scroungers.

Not everyone has parents with the available money or access to it to be building granny flats. Many like myself did not suffer disabling injuries through lifting a box of photocopy paper, in my case my car crash, so I would like to know just how he envisaged his example became so seriously injured lifting this box?  Did the claimant try to lift it whilst at the top of a very high and unsecured ladder on the 9th floor of a office building from the outside in the rain?
« Last Edit: 09 Sep 2013 03:10PM by JLR2 »

Silverstar

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I also notice he himself will have to be assessed for PIP, if he has a well-paid full time job then why is he claiming for something he doesn't really need? So why not set an example to the "scroungers" and refuse it? And he talks about a sense of entitlement yet clearly has one himself. Bloody hypocrite. Sorry Dr but we can't all be nice middle class, well-educated, well-paid individuals. If more employers were willing to take a chance then maybe more disabled people would be in work.

But until they tackle the 2.5 million plus unemployed, able-bodied, motivated, up to date people who are actively seeking work then what chance have people who have been on the sick for many years and whose track record of attendance will not be very good stand? Trust the Daily Heil to run this story, what a load of bu****it. 

JLR2

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"if he has a well-paid full time job then why is he claiming for something he doesn't really need?"

Because he is of the David Cameron school of scroungers.

Dic Penderyn

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Yes if your a posh scrounger like cousin David it's OK. What chance do rest of us have of a fare go with pratts like that calling the shots.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

JLR2

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This guy is the establishment's token disabled employee to allow them to pretend they actually care about those they are assessing on behalf of the DWP.

starsmurf

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Clearly he doesn't realise that:

a) his disability is unusual as he was a fit, able-bodied adult when it happened.  Giving him massive advantages over someone disabled from birth.

b) it would've been very unlikely for him to get into medical school had that accident happened before entry.  As he was already a student, they made allowances but had he gone into his medical school interview in a wheelchair, it is very unlikely he'd have been accepted.  Without that, he probably would still be in that granny annexe. 

c) the talk of a granny annexe shows that his parents most likely have a good income, so he's never known real poverty.

He also doesn't realise that few employers are like the NHS and pay sick leave in the way he describes.  From his comments about £106 per week, he obviously thinks that it would be a good income to a pleb.  Notice the comment about a loan shark, he clearly thinks that's how all poor people operate.

Maybe we should set up a petition to his employer demanding his dismissal, as he has clearly shown himself to be prejudiced against those he will be in charge of assessing, especially those injured at work.  He clearly believes that applications are routinely exaggerated.  >angry<

Perhaps if he has a taste of life on benefits, he might change his tune but I won't hold my breath. >devil<
Look carefully at the avatar, note what's barely visible in the gap in the rings.  I've highlighted it for you.

JLR2

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" Notice the comment about a loan shark, he clearly thinks that's how all poor people operate"

The only thing missing was a plug for Wonga.

Yvette

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Trust the Daily Heil to run this story, what a load of bu****it.

I am glad the DM ran this story - because it informs disabled people of what people like Dr Duckworth O.B.E. are promulgating.

He is part of the establishment and will indeed be heading the team responsible for assessing PIP claimants, so the DM not running this story wouldn't change anything or make it different. 

It just lets the world know what horrible 'anti-disabilities' people are in charge - including a token establishment figure with a disability.

KizzyKazaer

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He clearly doesn't take into account the 'contributions' disabled people might be making that aren't in the form of paid employment - voluntary work, for instance, or even being helpful and supportive to others as we see on this very site all the time.  Not valuable enough in his esteemed viewpoint, obviously, just because he had better 'breaks' after becoming disabled than many others do.

Just bored now with all this tedious and relentless 'paid work is the panacea for every ill'...

Mabelcat

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What he says does make some sense but will be used to penalise and stigmatise those disabled people who are unable to work whether it's as a direct result of their impairment or due to a lack of suitable support.