Paralympics and State Benefits

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hairygrape | 20:56 Wed 29th Aug 2012 | News
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There has been much anger over the way this Coalition government is treating disabled people regarding state benefits. There are tales of people desperately ill being losing their benefits and being forced back into work. Some seem to have committed suicide along the way.

How exactly does this relate to the Paralympics. Surely, some of those competing in TeamGB must be receiving Incapacity Benefits or Disability Living Allowance due to the profound disabilities they suffer.

Can we expect these people who have committed themselves to the Paralympics receiving letters from the DWP telling them to go and find or job or even attend a medical on the basis that if they can compete, they must be capable of doing some sort of work.


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I think they should and will be treated in the same way as any other person in their position who claims disability related benefits
Interesting article here:

This paragraph is an enigma

"Here's another curiosity: an estimated 25,000 people will have to give up work when they lose DLA and become immobile. Their DLA was worth around £90m, but on average pay, they contribute £146.7m to the Treasury. Out of work, they will get another £127.7m in benefits. Did no one do the sums?"
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Yes, that is an interesting article mamalynne and certainly food for thought.

Right now, I'm imagining DWP investigators watching the Paralympics and taking note of the capabilities of the TeamGB members. Probably even working on a rota system.

God help those athletes in a few months time when the DWP letter drops on their doormat. Will these athletes regard this as the ultimate kick in the teeth for representing their country? Will they be granted an amnesty? Should they be treated the same way by the government as other benefit claimants?

I find these questions very difficult to decide upon.
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It also makes me wonder how many potential paralympians have pulled out of entering for fear of repercussions.
I imagine as stated in that article, a number of the athletes are in receipt of DLA, which can be claimed if you are working.
I don't think it's a problem- if their claims are genuine, as I'm sure they will be in most or almost all cases, they'll be okay and have nothing to fear. I see no reason to think otherwise.
What do you feel should be done?
If you are referring more to the 'fit to work' scenario, we can only assume how many are registered unemployed. Not sure of those figures.
There is a very flawed assumption in all of this thread - that Paralympians are on benefits and/or do not have jobs.

Many people I know with disabilities which would 'qualify' them for a Paralympic event, are happily working for a living with no support from anyone except themselves.

Please examine your stereotypes carefully before typing ...
In all of this thread ?, I have made no such assumptions - that article names a few athletes who mention their DLA to which they are entitled, indeed many may hold down jobs too,
Sorry Lynne - not aimed at you - most of your comments weren't there when I started typing

d xx
plus, alot of them have sponsorship and lottery funding anyway.
Where is the evidence of sucide hairygrape?
Understood Dave.
Hi dotty, I haven't read the article yet but I am assuming that it's not where they are getting their funding, more like if the competitors are fit to join in with this type of event then they perhaps should not qualify for DLA. Everyone knows how the government departments have had it in for the disabled and any excuse to cut benefits, they will. I will have to read the article.
Atos the same company that decides whether these people and others are fit to work etc are also sponsors of the Paralympics
Are we talking hypothetically here?

How many of The Paralympians are ACTUALLY claiming Disability Living Allowance?
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sunny-dave, i did say "some of those competing" and did not imply all of them. i think it very unlikely that TeamGB does not have some benefit recipients amongst the team.



The fact that ATOS are sponsoring the event should send shivers down the spine of those competing and in receipt of benefits
^"The fact that ATOS are sponsoring the event should send shivers down the spine of those competing and in receipt of benefits"

I'm not sure why you think that
The reason they are linked is that Atos, a sponsor of the Paralympics, is the company which the government uses to do the assessments of people claiming disability benefits.

Problems with the assessments have been highlighted in the news a number of times. The extreme end is that hundreds of people have been declared fit for some form of work and died shortly afterwards.

Where appeals are concerned, if someone goes for an appeal with no help, there is a 40% chance that the Atos decision will be overturned. If they get help from, for example, the CAB there is a 70% chance of the decision being overturned. Those numbers alone give some indication that either Atos are not assessing people properly or are being too strict in the assessment.

Oh and to put a bit of icing on the cake, I seem to recall reading recently that further changes to benefits for the disabled, which will be applied from next year, will affect at least one of the GB athletes taking part in the Paralympics.

And finally, just to give another bit or perspective on all of the disability claims, the DWP themselves put the level of fraud for Disability Living Allowance at 0.5%. That, in money terms, is £60 million, and the fraud figure for incapacity benefit fraud is another £20 million (0.3% of the total). Those figures are for 2010-2011.
DLA has no bearing on work

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