Benefit cheats ‘colour attitudes to disabled people’
The government spends £100 million a year through the French private company ATOS to run the benefits system for people who are unable to work. There are people who could return to work and yet are claiming the benefits. The public perception is that its the disabled who are cheating the system, claiming benefits when they could be back at work.
The Panorama program shown on BBC 1 on 30 July identifies cases where disabled people were being classified as capable of work when it was perfectly clear that this was not a realistic proposition.
The same program also identified people claiming they were too ill to work yet undertaking activities such as running the Marthon.
Yes there are benefit cheats. Yes the tests for capabicity to return to work are flawed. Yes the disabled are perceived by some of the general public as cheating the benefits system.
But I strongly believe that there are two factors that need to be considered.
- Are the people who conduct these tests engaging with the people who are being assessed?
- Claimants are not answering the questions correctly.
There are two issues that you must think about when answering questions concerning your claim for benefits
- When answering questions about your own disability it is only too easy to make yourself sound less disabled than you are.
- Once you have set the bar at a certain height it is very difficult to change it in your favour.
Click here to read the article on The BBC
Click here to see theBBC Panorama program