Ouch Too

Forum => Talk => Topic started by: AccessOfficer on 25 Jan 2013 03:02PM

Title: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: AccessOfficer on 25 Jan 2013 03:02PM
A former lance corporal wounded in grenade attack in Iraq says he is being accuse He says that six successive doctors, including three appointed by the DWP, have agreed his injuries are serious.
But assessors from the D.W.P have stopped a £70 monthly allowance to Douglas's wife, Maria, for help with his "bathing and toileting difficulties" after in effect accusing him, he says, of "faking" his injuries. The DWP said he had failed to inform them of a "change in circumstances", essentially that his health had improved.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/24/disabled-grenade-soldier-benefits

Regards
AO
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Yvette on 25 Jan 2013 04:48PM
How appalling. The D.W.P  are   >bleep<     >bleep<
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: DarthVector on 26 Jan 2013 01:39AM
Yet again, I'm sickened by the way DWP spokespeople always ignore the injustice at hand and push their agenda instead. Every single time the press ask for a comment on a case like this, the DWP does nothing but assert that the system will be so much better after the welfare cuts are complete.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: neurochick on 26 Jan 2013 03:34AM
Before everyone automatically jumps to his defence, you might want to read further and also look at some of the comments he himself made about his great recovery in an interview on the BBC news website after he had the neuromodulation surgery for his bladder and bowels.  There is much more to this than the usual 'poor bloke with an acquired disability being turned down by the DWP' story.  He has been the subject of multiple investigations including a covert investigation involving the police. 

I'm not saying that the particular decision to refuse careers allowance was correct -  just that not every story about a disabled person not getting benefits should necessarily be taken at face value as inherently involving unfair treatment by the DWP.  Whether this particular man did or he didnt obtain benefits he wasn't entitled to, disabled people who abuse the system are no better than non-disabled people who do the same.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 26 Jan 2013 08:28AM
Somehow the knowledge that that the full force of the state had been turned against this individual and that the police had been spying on him does not make me feel any better.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 26 Jan 2013 09:59AM
What I am uncomfortable with about all this is the mindset held by his insurers:

Despite his failed appeal, Douglas continued to pursue his case with Scottish Widows. It then put him under surveillance, apparently suspicious after learning he had set up the charity and was working as an administrator at a local primary care trust.

That smacks to me of someone being penalised for working - at a time when the Government is pushing for as many disabled people as possible to get back to paid employment.  Rather 'damned if we do and damned if we don't' is the message, it seems.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: stalwart on 26 Jan 2013 01:06PM
I just spent 15 mins writing a post and then it says I'm timed out >steam< I feel like  >crying<
It takes a lot out of me doing posts :-(
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: seegee on 26 Jan 2013 01:09PM
The "timed-out" thing has been happenng to me too.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: oldtone27 on 26 Jan 2013 01:42PM
Noticed OuchToo has been slow on and off for a few days, but ok today so far for me.

To avoid 'time out' problem I always compose posts in a text editor first then copy and paste to reply box. That way I still have text until I know it has posted.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Peggythepirate on 26 Jan 2013 03:29PM
The Guardian article doesn't make any sense. They're confused about whether CA is his or his wife's benefit. It's not clear if she's working. If she earns over £100 pw she wouldn't get CA anyway. It doesn't make clear whether they're also talking about DLA. If so, on what grounds did he claim DLA? What is it that he can't do for himself? Are these claims at odds with what he does at work? DLA care would have to be at middle or higher level for his wife to get CA. We just don't know. Does he need Access to Work? It's not mentioned. Does he claim Tax Credits? Does he have an army pension?

If he didn't tell them about a change of circumstances then he should expect them to challenge him.

There is just not enough clear, solid information in this article for anyone to tell the rights and wrongs of the situation.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 26 Jan 2013 05:42PM
When it says timed out just refresh the page you should find the reply has been posted.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: neurochick on 27 Jan 2013 12:33AM
Kizzy

His insurance company aren't trying to penalise him for working.  The policy was in place to pay off his mortgage in the event that he became totally disabled.  The test for this is that a person is totally unable to do any work of any sort.  Some policies are based on a test which pays out if you are unable to work at your normal job (a lower test standard) but others like this only pay out if you are unable to work at all in any job.  That is why they were investigating the claims that he was undertaking all of this activity which would either be equivalent to a job or would show that he could actually do a job.   The article quotes him telling us how hard he works.  It's not about penalising anyone, its about paying out to assist someone but only in circumstances where a person is completely unable to work at all.  Unlike state benefits, this is a commercial arrangement that he entered into voluntarily with awareness of the policy test upfront. 

I am no fan of insurance companies believe me but I have no desire to pay increased premiums because people get payouts they aren't entitled to receive.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 27 Jan 2013 09:56AM
I still don't see why the police became involved where they acting on behalf of the DWP or the Insurance company or was there a question of criminal activity involved?
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Peggythepirate on 27 Jan 2013 12:40PM
Quote
I still don't see why the police became involved where they acting on behalf of the DWP or the Insurance company or was there a question of criminal activity involved?

The article doesn't make things at all clear.

*If* someone lied to their insurance company and said that they were incapable of doing any work when. in fact, they could do work, in order to claim a pay out to which they were not entitled, it would be fraud. Fraud and suspected fraud should be reported to the police.

We don't really know exactly what has happened in this particular case.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 27 Jan 2013 01:00PM
Points taken, Neurochick and Peggythepirate....

I'll certainly agree about all the facts not being available - that's the trouble with most media reporting on benefit fraud anyway, whether it's 'pro' or 'anti' the claimant!
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 27 Jan 2013 02:34PM
The guy has not had some sort of miraculous cure he has merely been enabled to control better his bowel and urinary functions alleviating his incontinence to a degree he still requires help with the normal things.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: neurochick on 27 Jan 2013 06:26PM
I certainly didn't suggest he had, had a miraculous cure in my post if you were referring to what I wrote.

The police investigation would have happened because insurance fraud and benefit fraud are both criminal activities.  If there was reasonable cause to believe that he had made a fraudulent claim in either case, that is where the police involvement would come in. 
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 27 Jan 2013 07:28PM
I was not referring to any post in particular just that being able to control when you defecate may be considered a big plus for a person but does not necessarily mean he needs less care as to the involvement of the police I was asking a question not making a statement for the police to be involved they have to be alerted to the possibility of a crime I just wondered by whom the insurers or the DWP if by the DWP surely he should have had an interview under caution not be placed under covert observation did they watch him while he had a crap to make sure he could not get on or off the toilet unassisted or what.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: neurochick on 27 Jan 2013 08:43PM
You seem really angry in your posts.  I don't know why you seem to be so irritated by this story or various posts. 

I'm going to bow out of this thread.  I don't need to feel quite so jumped upon for expressing a valid opinion or explaining why police could be involved.  I don't entirely appreciate your rather aggressive language. I don't think it's necessary in order to get your views across.
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 27 Jan 2013 09:52PM
Sometimes if we feel particularly strongly about an issue, for whatever reason (it might have affected us directly or someone we cared about, for instance?) it can influence the way we express our views about it and we may come across as having an 'edge' to our tone - which is not actually intended as a personal attack against anyone in particular, but might be received as such.

I honestly don't think SinisterJohn was 'getting at you' in any way, Neurochick, rather more at the 'subject matter'; ie his irritation was aimed at the idea of police investigations in this case rather than you for expanding on that aspect of the topic.  I hope you can both continue to contribute to this thread if so wished, after all, this is the place for debating!
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 28 Jan 2013 07:09PM
Sorry about the slowness and time outs, the server can be like that at weekends.

One tip is rather than refreshing the page click back a page using the arrows at the top of the browser screen. In my experience it often takes me back to the page where i was writing my post and the text is there. Other methods already mentioned are useful too.

I can see how the thread topic and details could have brought emotional responses, maybe we can give it another try tomorrow.
Kizzy  >thumbsup<
Title: Re: Disabled by grenade - soldier fights for his benefits
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 29 Jan 2013 12:39PM
The insurance company was due to pay out on total disability, I think this means unable to work at all whether it be in the claimants original occupation or something else they can do with help or training. It does look like the soldier had little or no bowel or bladder control, but then after he had the surgery he then got some control back

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-13763414 (quoted in the Guardian article.

Quote
Mr Douglas said: "It has given me back my independence and my freedom."

Quote
But assessors from the department have stopped a £70 monthly allowance to Douglas's wife, Maria, for help with his "bathing and toileting difficulties" after in effect accusing him, he says, of "faking" his injuries. The DWP said he had failed to inform them of a "change in circumstances", essentially that his health had improved.

We have to be careful when we read stuff like this because the soldier is using words like faking it and not the DWP. I know being investigated by the police, the insurance company and the DWP does show that they question or dont believe new circumstances are sufficient for his claim. We dont know enough information ourselves to work that one out.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/24/disabled-grenade-soldier-benefits

Quote
Despite his failed appeal, Douglas continued to pursue his case with Scottish Widows. It then put him under surveillance, apparently suspicious after learning he had set up the charity and was working as an administrator at a local primary care trust.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-13763414

Quote
Mr Douglas said since the operation he had regained his dignity and it had made "immeasurable changes" to his life.

"I have got most of my life back now. I don't have to think too hard about what I'm going to do and where I'm going to do it," he said.

"Even my children can see that Daddy is getting better. It's having an impact on everybody's life.".

The BBC article was written on 14 June 2011 and did change my initial view of things.

To me it sounds like the change in circumstances and also the fact the soldier was pursuing his case with Scottish Widows after a failed appeal, caused his new circumstances to be investigated.

I am not saying the system is fair - we know it is not, but it does say change in circumstances must be reported and if you are going to be quoted in a BBC article saying your life is much better after treatment of a condition you have to expected to have a ? over your claim.

Whether or not a person should be expected to work or considered not to be totally disabled when they have impaired (not complete loss) of bowel and bladder function is more a topic for a new thread.

This is just my take on things.