The new welfare system takes for granted that all claimants are scroungers and cheats who need to be penalised. Political Scrapbook:
The £1.1 billion cost of fraud (a modest 0.7% of the total benefits spend) averages out to £59 across 18.5 million claimants. In contrast, MPs were ordered to pay back £1.2 million in the wake of Thomas Legg’s inquiry into expenses, an average of £1,858 for the 646 members of the Commons.
Especially if the claimant supposedly has a “disability” and yet doesn’t fill in their ESA50 (Limited capability for work questionnaire). The claimant’s wife contacts ATOS and offers as an excuse that the claimant is in a coma, and presents a letter from the hospital where the claimant is staying which confirms that the claimant is in a coma, but really: if you don’t fill in your ESA50 yourself, or at least check and sign it, you are obviously a scrounger and a fraud.
Employment and Support Allowance focuses on the patient’s abilities – on what they can do rather than what they cannot. The overarching principle of Employment and Support Allowance is that everyone should have the opportunity to work and that people with an illness or disability should get the help and support necessary for them to engage in appropriate work, if they are able. It builds on the successful “Pathways to Work” programme, which is now available nationally. We are investing in every region to ensure that a range of services is available for your patients, including condition management programmes specifically designed to help your patients manage their conditions in preparation for a return to work.