Independence, a noun, the state of being Independent. But what then is Independent, it could be the adjective, Free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority, or the noun again, An independent person or body. What is clear from the very basic meaning of the word is that is stands for the act of being able to be a person who can be autonomous. So a Personal INDEPENDENCE Payment, is surely to assist, a struggling sector of society to achieve this goal??
I do not want this to be seen as a rant against the DWP and their latest methods to penalize the least able to help themselves, in fairness the DWP are doing a great job of highlighting to the world how bad they are!! This is just because this whole system needs exposure…………..
The original payment to help disabled was called “The Disability Living Allowance”, it uses the word living to indicate it is there to help, does it help, sometimes, and if you can convince the powers you are disabled, and the higher levels of allowance are needed, they do help, a little. Also, if a person is on the higher levels a nominated person can receive £62 a week Carers Allowance. Just to be clear, this is £62 a week, for 24-hour, 7 day a week on-call care. It could be argued a partner does that anyway, however, do they really expect to help someone in the toilet at 3am??!! I am going to put an advert on Monster right now for a Carer at £62 a week…………..
Now, let’s be clear, from the start, there may well be people who are claiming allowance, and getting paid, who are as disabled as David Beckham, that does need stopping, however, there are a lot of people who are claiming because they are disabled, maybe not overly visible, and desperately need the help, need the INDEPENDENCE that PIP should give.
There are a large number of us who are getting very fed up with this ridiculous benefit. It has the most inappropriate name and the most ludicrous processes of selection. It is not correct to judge somebody’s mobility on whether they can walk 20 meters, in old money that is 65 feet. Put simply the length between the wickets on a Cricket Pitch. For those of us who struggle that 65 feet is a big deal, but we will struggle with everything we have to walk that far, at the end we may well be exhausted, shaking and near collapse, but we will have crossed that small hurdle, we might only be able to do it once in a month, but we achieved. According to PIP therefore we are not disabled!!! So we struggle to do it, because we all have the little piece of us that sees it as a challenge, buy the DWP can then say it proves we are well, what do you do???!!!
If we drop our pen on the floor, we all struggle to pick this up, it may take a huge effort, however, again, it is an inner struggle we want to win. If we achieve we are not disabled apparently, even if in doing this we fall on the floor, we bent to retrieve, so we are making up our disability!!
If the DWP doesn’t have to award us the higher levels, or any level, of PIP think how much they save. Not that I am suggesting this saving is how assessors and managers might be targeted, that is not proven, is it??
According to a report by The Independent (a cunning name!!) Newspaper, The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been accused of setting an “outrageous target” that staff should turn down four out of five benefit appeals. The department’s response to a Freedom of Information request revealed staff conducting mandatory reconsideration reviews were held to a “key performance indicator” that said “80 per cent of the original decisions are to be upheld.
It shows a corrupt introduction of a corrupt system.
However, and let us try to look at things objectively, in principle the name is great, and should represent what the benefit offers to those of society who are in need, in need of INDEPENDENCE. What is so hard about a government standing up and standing behind the true meaning of a benefit and delivering this properly, and actually being seen as a government that truly wants to help people and not just pay lip service to many and deliver nothing but stress, upset and more destitution.