Author Topic: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!  (Read 575 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« on: 24 Jul 2021 01:38PM »
Green  paper just published suggests merging PIP and UC.  It compares our social security system with those of four other countries which, it would seem, provide mean and inadequate support.

disability news service article

Never mind, our leaders have been copying places like Australia with nasty social security systems for ages now, so why would we mind more nastiness?

Besides, with so many disabled people not getting the help they need, would we notice the difference?

We have foodbanks, school uniform banks, toy banks, community libraries (e.g. in unused telephone boxes) etc.  What next?  Mobility aid banks?  But how do you have a 'caring' bank?

Example of how do you get 'care' and what do you spend pip on to get it?  (Yes, of course it's ranty - this is me posting it!)

I was chatting the other day with a neighbour who's alcoholic and who has a near relative (not in their 'household') who's disabled with bipolar and, I think, something else.  Anyway, my neighbour was complaining about how their relative expects them to go shopping for lots of stuff but never seems to want to spend on it - where does their money go?

I suggested that part of the problem is getting the sort of support you need, so if you can't get it you can end up either paying too much for something else or wasting the money.  Perhaps the relative, like my neighbour, has a drink problem?  No, I was told, a gambling problem.

Well, there'd be money to be saved by having a decent, helpful, non-shaming addiction support service round here, but there doesn't appear to be.

However, I did point out that even though I've a free bus pass, there are times when I take a taxi when people assume it's because of the ataxia, but that's only indirectly the reason.  It's not the 'transport' I'm hiring, it's the 'escort', i.e. the taxi driver to get me to places when I'm scared or overwhelmed.

And if it comes to that, given that my neighbour's relative doesn't appear to be spending all their money on gambling, just wasting it, maybe they're doing like I do with puzzle books, sugar and xanthines (in coffee & cocoa), and my neighbour does with alcohol and playing board games (not for betting), i.e. blotting out life's pain, maybe their relative does that with gambling.

But don't expect the politicians that want to cut PIP, that are cutting NHS services, that have slashed funding to local authorities so they can't pay for all the care that people need, etc. to stop supporting people that sell the things we use to cope instead, such as alcohol, junk food, gambling, crowd-atmosphere sports & festivals etc.  Far more important to help pubs than day centres.

Incidentally, my neighbour, as an alcoholic, is also on benefits but at a lower rate hence the grumbles about where their relative's PIP is going.  Like me, they're not opposed to people getting PIP (but then, as a recipient of PIP, I'm biased).
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Monic1511

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #1 on: 28 Jul 2021 03:36PM »
I haven’t read the green paper but the chatter is that it’s to cut the cost of disability benefits. How that’s meant to help disabled people I don’t understand but I’m not a politician. 

The press reported that there’s no medical but just a doctors report - ok how many are honest and tell the doc all the things they struggle with? My gp wouldn’t know how often I wash, get dressed, eat proper meals or even take my meds but that’s what pip assesses.

Merging ESA and PIP doesn’t help either as you can work and still get Pip so we have the assumption that all disabled people cannot work.  :f_steam: :f_wah: :f_bleep:

Blood pressure is rising so rant over for now :f_peacedove:

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #2 on: 28 Jul 2021 06:04PM »
Quote
I haven’t read the green paper but the chatter is that it’s to cut the cost of disability benefits. How that’s meant to help disabled people I don’t understand but I’m not a politician.
Haven't you been paying attention to what our lovely politicians and their friends in certain media outlets have been patiently explaining for years now?


We disabled are almost all benny scroungers who'd go back to work in an instant if we realised we couldn't get lots of lovely money for our disabilities.

I'm still trying to work out how that makes sense in terms of my lost career and lost dreams, but I daresay if I listen to enough propaganda I'll make sense of it.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #3 on: 28 Jul 2021 09:23PM »
I am really struggling to understand how those two benefits can possibly be merged when UC is income-related and PIP isn't :f_doh:

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #4 on: 28 Jul 2021 10:28PM »
I am really struggling to understand how those two benefits can possibly be merged when UC is income-related and PIP isn't :f_doh:
Simple - you make a ministerial declaration that it's important to focus funds on those that need it most,  increase PIP by 10p/week but declare it as a national five year figure so it sounds like a lot, then make it means-tested.

Not that I'd expect the worst of our government, of course.  I mean, it's not like they've made any nasty cuts to benefits or support up to now, is it?  Oh dear, can I get points for a Pinocchio nose?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #5 on: 30 Jul 2021 05:44AM »
This worries me sick. At the moment people on ESA with severe disability premium are being held off a transfer from ESA to UC but how long will that last. 

I've already been shocked to realise that I will be 67 at least before any battles for money to live ease with retirement.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #6 on: 30 Jul 2021 09:22PM »
Joining the shocked brigade.... was about to reply to Fiz, "but what about Pension Credit?", still under the impression that anyone aged 60 and over would qualify.  Ha bloody ha ha.  Checked the gov.uk pension age calculator and.... also not eligible for State Pension or Pension Credit until age 67.  So, considered to be 'working age' (a group the Government really seems to have it in for) for another 12 years.

What an absolute crock of >expletive deleted<.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #7 on: 30 Jul 2021 11:10PM »
It's simple.

Keep increasing the retirement age whilst privatising the NHS and cutting disability support, thus reducing life expectancy, and the pension budget drops.

You could say ah, but they rely on their pensioner voter base, but I'm not convinced that the sort of pensioners that fall into categories like sick, disabled, fragile, deprived etc. are most likely to vote for them.  Some would, but others would have been round enough to work out who's cutting their money.

I get very frightened and just cling onto the thought that even if the Tories destroy the whole of the welfare state, communities can fight to help one another. 

Also there are the likes of me that would volunteer a lot more if we weren't terrified someone somewhere would suspect there'd been a 'change of circumstances' and re-assess me, even though the only change would be that I'd found a way to use what mental and physical resources I do have.  If I'd nothing to lose, I'd do what I could, even if in due course I crumbled.  At the moment, I do very little.  I used to do loads of volunteering before I chickened out.  If social security was as flexible as when I was a youngster, I'd be less twitchy and I bet loads of people would be like me.  Do what you can, when you can, without fear.

I wish I didn't have so many malicious thoughts, though, wishing cabinet members would get nasty long covid and find out what chronic sickness and disability are really like.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #8 on: 01 Aug 2021 06:25PM »
Quote
If social security was as flexible as when I was a youngster, I'd be less twitchy and I bet loads of people would be like me.
Likewise - the way the system is now leaves many disabled people in a permanent state of fear (I'm still p'd off that PIP is so time-limited, unlike DLA which could be indefinite)  Perhaps the Government would like us to conveniently pop off to save on the benefits bill in general :f_steam: I think we should all try to stick around as long as possible out of sheer cussedness....

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #9 on: 01 Aug 2021 06:55PM »
I've just been talking on the phone with a friend and we were sharing our fears and I said that something that encourages me is use of technology to fight back.  Two examples (I think I may have mentioned one elsethread recently.)

1.  In America, a group with help from a network of others online, is trying to find a way of producing insulin open source.  You can't patent insulin, but you can patent ways of producing it, which the drug companies controlling the  market and charging sickening amounts for it do.  I have high hopes for this group.  I think it's good that when drug companies produce something they can cover their research costs, spread across the successes, and make a profit, but that's not the same as what is happening with many drugs.

2. Some of you may know about 3D printed hands (with forearms).  Electronic hands cost a fortune, and hooks are rather limited.  Someone found information about an old (Victorian, I think) mechanical version. They adapted it and made it into something you can 3D print.  Not as good as super-duper unaffordable digital whatever, but functional and relatively affordable and available if you've got access to a 3D print shop.  As a bonus, it's apparently relatively easy to adapt to different sizes, e.g. for children, and you can pick your colours.  Boring, skin-matching, or bright and fun.

This won't fix people's need for expensive personal care, but it's an insight into a growing movement to make various sorts of equipment and treatment affordable.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Reply #10 on: 01 Aug 2021 07:02PM »
It makes me angry still how our society writes people off.  Leaving aside my personal story of, frankly, giving in and giving up, this is one of my favourite examples of an attitude that should, IMO, be the norm, and isn't...

Back in the early eighties, I served alongside a soldier who'd joined the forces in the tail end of national service days, so about twenty years earlier.  He'd have been described by his colleagues, but with no derision, as 'thick as two short planks'.  We used to help him with stuff like making sure he'd put his uniform on right etc.  

So why was he respected, even admired, not derided?  Not because of some abstract 'be nice to disabled' thing.  He was the most fantastic driver I ever saw.


He could take a 'four tonner', i.e. a truck weighing five and a half tons carrying a four ton payload, with a trailer on the back that from my memory, if a long trailer, was about the length of an old mini car, and he could parallel park it with precision.  He could also reverse into gaps you'd think too narrow between other vehicles.

So expletive right we'd help him with his kit.  Smarten him up for parade then know he'd get us to where we needed, carrying loads of high explosive as well as a load of soldiers, without us all getting blown up.

But now they'd write him off.  Not just the army, but society.  A lot of society wouldn't ever have valued him, but some of it would.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)