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Everything posted by Bustard

  1. IMO they want a disincentive to appeals according to this http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2011/10/disabled-people-guilty-till-proved-innocent/ According to this , there's no evidence of widespread abuse of the appeals system . The successful figures clearly show there's something clearly wrong with the system ? They seem to be paranoid & neurotic about the odd chance of someone getting one over on them , you can either tolerate the odd necessary evil , if you go all holier than thou they should expect to be contradicted and challenged . As one caller said to Victoria Derbyshire on Five Live ...the real hard core " Frank Gallagher - Shameless " type scroungers are too hard faced & savvy to be caught out , they'd know the system better than the DWP staff and can also bully people . DWP staff say on forums the real [problem]s are far more sophisticated than the odd person coming the old soldier , usually involving immigrants ...non pc or not . To catch them out is seemingly too much like hard work ? The Govt allegedly put pressure on Prof Harrington re Cancer Patients , it appeared that they were trying to teach them a moral lesson about entitlement , that backfired in the media . " Forget the WCA what's the point? Had one last week (my second) it lasted 21 minutes including the greet in reception and me being able to turn of my recorder after leaving. One before that was 25 mins so at least I'm getting more efficient " IMO As soon as you step inside the ATOS Origin " Medical " Centre Car Park , your assessment starts , there is nothing remotely informal about it , one centre report-ably had 95 CCTV cameras .....there's been stories about security guards giving people pens to see if they drop them ..." remarkably similar " to the Pound Coin test ? IMO Basically they're using Insurance Claim Industry Methods to trip people up, where the fraud rate is 20 % , with DWP benefits the fraud rate is 0.3 - 0.5 % & claimants will have written evidence to vouch for their conditions . Also in the Insurance Industry you need proper evidence that can stand up in court . My late Uncle fell off a ladder whilst working as a glazier , he was summoned to the Office & paid up , however on the way out someone was watching him through binoculars , there was a story in The Daily Mail about a lady who'd tripped over and injured herself working for ASDA in their bakery . She alleged that she'd been covertly filmed for 4-5 years by a private investigator hired by ASDA . There was a report in the media of a Bombardier Shorts worker who had a metal sheet the size of a billiards table fall on him . One of their senior managers had him filmed from a unmarked van lifting up his baby . The Senior Manager wanted him in the office accusing him of malingering . Royal Mail later headhunted that Senior Manager to be their Personnel Director in Northern Ireland . However at least these firms are at least trying to get proper evidence unlike ATOS & the DWP with underhand seemingly innocent and innocuous closed and sideways questioning about the likes of Facebook . The conclusions made by ATOS or the DWP " Decision " Makers seem to have very little to do with the real world of work . Google UNUM Provident " Bad Faith " about remarkably similar events in the States and UNUM Provident being outlawed in 22 states ...it's " interesting "
  2. AFAIK the reason for using late 80's to early 90's technology with Analogue cassettes is the twin deck recorder makes a recording on magnetic tape via it's recording heads and that's that as it were http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Cassette . If a digital medium was used for recording IUC's , there would be ways and means of tampering by either party . The problem with the person being interviewed making a private recording by whatever means is admissibility . I think there was one case of a teacher being sacked by a school board of governors , she made a recording outside the room they were in discussing her case . Apparently there was contentious points and issues and she took the school to a Employment Tribunal , however her private recording was deemed to be inadmissible by the Tribunal . I was told of one case in the 90's when a railway manager employed by another sector , took it on himself to film a guard inside the engine's cab with the driver when he ( The Manager ) was on annual leave . The railway wanted him sacked , the Union representing the Guard got it thrown out as the video recording was deemed to be inadmissible . What I'm driving at is things can work both ways . As for that guard they caught him again and they sacked him ...some people never learn
  3. if the DWP wants to trip people up or accuse people of fraud or " get to the truth " by " reading between the lines " do it properly . It appears that the regulations are so badly drafted , worded etc and they're " open to interpretation " as they say . The original UNUM paper back in the early noughties was entitled " Malingering , Illness & Deception " AFAIK ...there was a lot of lobbying after that ....a odd coincidence ?? http://tia-junior.blogspot.com/2011/11/surreptitious-assumptions-made-by.html Hope this is of use , I've included it as it explains things better than I can
  4. Absolutely ! Legal people advise that an innocent remark could be twisted and used as evidence , there is a case for making very carefully written statements ...with good legal advice . It would also be less stressful too. Their job is to get something that would be recommended for prosecution and someone in front of the beak , to plead guilty and in and out of the court as quickly as possible . That Lady that investigated you sounds fairer and maturer than some & less likely to take things too personally . There's ones that lay it on too thick with an eye on brownie points and Council / DWP office politics ....that's their problem alone . In a friend's case , their statements were underlined and circled in red ink by the defending solicitor as they begged more questions than answers . Forget what you see in films or on telly their job is to make people look as guilty as . As it happens the defending solicitor had words with the CPS Prosecutor hired by the council and those statements were dropped as too contentious . His introduction was as short as possible , he produced graphs to make things look good but that's it . The magistrates were as nice as possible and it was all over in about 10 minutes . What had happened was the junior investigator at the IUC had previously visited that friend as a compliance officer and the blonde bombshell was asked for ID , but she twisted it to make out that friend was acting shifty and furtive by not immediately letting her in and trying to make a connection in her court statement . It was also " interesting " that the then compliance officer was going on about her mortgage with her BF and that friend had paid off her mortgage as the property was bought before prices went silly nationwide not just in a guild town . Kirsty Alsop has a lot to answer for ! . There was catty but put nicely questions about what that friend was going to do that particular day . That friend had been very ill and had passed a Personal Capability Assessment with the DWP backed up by Senior Hospital Consultants . If anything that friend had worked too hard and the last job nearly put that person in hospital . The house stood out like a sore thumb alongside the scruffy Housing Association ones . They do target particular areas .
  5. it's interesting that solicitor said it was an unusual case , they can delay court cases as they have to book court rooms months in advance . I believe in IUC's they have to get an admission that you purposefully , knowingly and wilfully intended to defraud . If you feel you merely sold personal items and merely bought wisely ...maintain that position ....say that it's a grey fuzzy area ....what they sound like they're doing is ramping up their personal opinion into supposed fact ...extrapolating they call it Two scenarios ...one they're looking for a test case OR they've been well advised by more senior legal people that they have less than a 50 % - 55 % chance of proving beyond all reasonable doubt in court . That's the problem they can initially work on what they call on the bounds of probability with they call " articulate-able suspicion " , they'll have a definite game plan and they'll ! hope there's more pieces to the jigsaw , their job is to see if they've got a case for prosecution that'll stand up in court ...they can't waste public money on wild goose chases . My problem with IUC's is this ....is this an investigation which is fair enough ? or are they are trying to be Prosecuting Barristers in a court . Somebody could make an innocent remark and it could twisted or used to make a lot of trouble for someone ...hence the need for legal representation . They may be trying to move the goalposts ? and this is all to impress someone a lot more senior ? ..............in the IUC they went for they call the " Bingo Moment " ............it's subtle or verbal bullying really , they're hoping you'll fall for their naive ruse and believe what they said and say " Oh yes ...you've got me bang to rights , it's a fair cop Sir " .....Ok I'm being sarcastic but that's the gist of it . Your solicitor riding shotgun in the IUC advised you well . The other common case scenario is say someone picks up a CD in HMV , you're waylaid by someone outside , then a guard or store detective taps you on the shoulder . You're taken into the Office . The Police are called ....weeks later you're in front of the magistrates for shoplifting ............you maintain or your solicitor maintains in court that you were genuinely absent minded or whatever ....you're found not guilty and walk out of the court without a blemish on your character as they have to give you the benefit of the doubt . The problem now with benefit fraud is assumptions by people in charge ...a dangerous game to play . Going back to the shoplifted CD scenario ....the magistrates could be arguing amongst themselves in a court back room ....one of the bench will say I don't believe her , I've got her number and if I ever have her in front of me again ....we'll see ....another might say we'll have to let this go .....hence the earlier point made on did someone knowingly , wilfully etc ? Not all investigators are monsters , in case anyone accuses me of bashing them , one blew the whistle in The Guardian saying their bosses are giving orders to target single mothers as a soft touch , they find it frustrating as there's other people that they could have in court and convicted based on good evidence . Others complain of unrealistic targets imposed , lots of marriages and relationships break up due to that pressure . The present government are complaining that the conviction rate went down under New Labour ....there well may be a good reason for it ...or there is a childish , " we're tougher than them " game to score points . As I've said if they did some digging on eBay or went round the car boot they may well be people that they could have in front of the beak . unfortunately you can only wait ...hopefully it'll be the benefit of the doubt one as in the CD from HMV text book scenario and let it go as a necessary evil even if they're suspicious of you ....not nice Might be a good idea to put this discreetly on forums like eBay forums via a " friend of a friend " ....they do watch 'em ....a calculated gamble ?
  6. This is a problem ...if you say were purposefully going round Boot Sales , jumble sales early or even auctions or doing cash in hand house clearances in order to make a profit ; they may well have grounds for suspicion as you've crossed that line . The regular car booters also trade on eBay and have a feel for values , they're hardly likely to sell someone ....for example a pair of rare 70's Levis for 50p that someone will sell on for £40 - 70 on eBay .......all eBay is a glorified online big car boot sale .........in your case this does not appear to be the case and it's nobodies business but yours . It does make me laugh all these wild goose chases ......if the DWP or LA staff wanted to go round boot sales .....they could see who is actually in effect working ; some people turn a blind eye as it keeps some otherwise unemployable people for one reason or another out of mischief , and there is the discipline of work not the Broken Britain model . The problem is due to their pettiness and small mindedness they appear to miss what is going on right under their noses . What I'm driving at is that you've a choice ....do you tolerate necessary evils or do you go all holier than thou ? .....if the authorities go all holier than thou ....they should expect some to contradict and challenge them ? ....standing up to them . There's also the counterfeit dodgy DVD's both on eBay & on boot sales ....often it's a way of laundering drugs money ....why not chase them ? There are some on eBay that bid for supermarket vouchers for say £50 which they'll use for a big shop to hide the profitable trading ........not that I'd condone wilful benefit fraud There are some eBay sellers that the Revenue may be interested in . Re the OP there's all the associated costs with eBay ....listing fees , Paypal commission , printing packing notes and invoices , my Canon cartridges cost £18 a time , paying for broadband ...answering people's questions dealing with queries , cost of packing materials , petrol and diesel and wear and tear on a car running parcels to the Post Office It makes me laugh as there's articles in the papers about benefit claimers sat on sofas watching 42 " Plasma TV's , not getting up to 12 noon etc , drinking cheap lager and cider
  7. there is pressure from the Govt to get convictions for benefit fraud , as the percentage went down under New Labour , which will work it's way down the food chain and will not always be handled very well ....bit of a willy waving " we're tougher than them " contest ....good legal representation is recommended .....
  8. yeah a fishing expedition ramped up to a " articulate-able suspicion " ....somebody or some people looking for brownie points or under pressure and not fancying a visit to JCP + him or herself or at best trying to give an impression of " doing something "
  9. Appeal be a " nuisance " going through the channels , there is a lot of pressure from the Govt to " low ball " claims and save money . If you feel the ATOS Origin Doctor did harm and was unprofessional complain too . There's people banking on you not causing a stir ...hoping that people will be too worn down to give ATOS & the DWP any problems . That ATOS hack and his brownie points is not your problem . You're just a number to him . Also take it outside the DWP / ATOS ....plenty of " extremely militant " websites and Facebook pages ....so the DWP / ATOS can't close ranks ....there are discreet ways and means . The so called militant sites have been instrumental in getting ATOS justified negative coverage in the likes of " Private Eye " , The Daily Mirror and The Guardian ....the alternative is incessant drip , drip sensationalism in the media about undeserving scroungers ....this redresses the balance . Too many people take the likes of The Daily Mail , Express , Sun , Star and Telegraph as gospel ...the Govt feeds the media with press releases that can be translated into lurid and hysterical headlines . Google is your best friend .
  10. re Statements in lieu of submitting yourself to an interrogation at a IUC ....you are cautioned ....if you fail to mention something in a statement that you later rely on in court ....then the DWP or a LA can draw an adverse inference from it i.e. accuse you of being evasive . The worst scenario I can foresee is failing to inform , but there seems to be no element of fraud ...hopefully common sense will prevail ....there is a lot of pressure from on very high these days and it is not necessarily handled that well down the food chain . A slap on the wrist ....at the very worst ?
  11. Chances are if you're selling your BF's clothes on eBay , it'll be at a loss , if you for example went round Boot Sales or even a jumble sale regularly early and say bought a pair of rare Levis for 50p and then sold them at a profit , then it would become the DWP's business and you could be in trouble for failing to inform and trading and they'll say there's an element of intent ...the articulate-able suspicion for hauling you across the coals . If you feel everything is above board , just cooperate within the letter of the law but not necessarily in spirit so you can't be accused of being evasive , i.e. a drafted statement with primary evidence to back it up obviously with legal advice . Basically they want you on their patch not knowing the rules of the game ....that's all it is to them . Kindest thing I can say is that there will be a lot of pressure from on very high and target cultures . It's not necessarily personal . Hopefully common sense should prevail . You could have been shopped by someone .....a curtain twitcher ...someone with a grudge / issues with you , apparently there's 600 calls a day and 80 % are expected to be malicious , however the DWP will say that's still 120 calls that could be well founded and the vexatious calls are a necessary evil .
  12. I do know of someone with a heart condition bringing his Consultant in on a ATOS Origin " medical " to ride shotgun and pull rank . He was in and out in five minutes flat , no disingenuous and underhand closed questions about East Enders , Facebook , computers , no pen handed to him by the ATOS security guard and searches for recording equipment or having to pick up pound coins to try and fail someone on spurious grounds . The reassessments are purely to create false statistics , in the Kafkaesque world on Planet DWP if someone wins an appeal against a ATOS Origin " medical " , apparently ! the matter is investigated and the result que surprise is send that person for another medical ! . IMO You are dealing with a very , very regimented style of management , a very dated top down style , managing by diktat - with no doubt a culture of fear , everything is to a predetermined outcome and everything is purely to impress someone more senior - the justification for this is that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet . Some of it will have something to do with " public sector reforms " that were first popular in the 80's and then under Blair and then a concept called " New Public Sector Management " where any concerns are dismissed as vested interests are involved - the NHS is no different hence the management horror stories defying all credibility and logic . I'd also imagine you'd have a very static career if you don't sing the company song . You are also dealing with some very institutionalised people that don't know anything bar the DWP too . They have finished a few people off with the stress of this cat and mouse game and the horror stories beggar belief . The kindest thing I can say about the DWP is that there appears that Politicians more interested in Daily Mail headlines aided by Senior and Junior civil servants are trying to micro manage the DWP ....very , very badly ...New Labour were particularly guilty of this but the Condemns are taking things to extremes . The reality re the Welfare Bill is that 50 % is on State Pensions - the 65 - 75 yr olds would appear to be the " low hanging fruit " , at one time these people didn't really live that long after 60 - 65 now they do , however this group is prime voting fodder so they're left alone , also they can quite often be typical Daily Mail , Express and Telegraph readers and we all know what party these papers support . 20 % is on what arguably are middle class benefits like Child Allowance - Millionaire Osborne claimed child allowance and also avoids £1.6 million tax , Cameron claimed DLA for Ivan , his wife's father allegedly owns half of one county and receives £3.5 m in subsidy http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1261389/SamCams-father-exploits-Labours-green-subsidy-wind-farm-nets-3-5m-year.html . So why not pick on people that are least able to fight back and are hardly likely to vote for them either ? . My apologies for quoting off a rival thread but this appears to be a hard but fair analysis and summary and explains things very well . By Deeply Blue on Money Saving Expert Com " I agree that it is more useful to discuss the test of functioning as we have it, rather than a medical diagnosis - which it isn't. However, at this stage, I think what you are quoting is the stated aim of the test, not the actual rules. I think that when we are considering the overall function of the test, it makes sense to remember that the re-drawing of the definition of a condition which prevents someone from taking up paid work, was not done just to try to make everyone think more positively. It was first drawn up under the last government to try to reduce the benefits bill. They wanted to do this two ways. First they were going to try to identify those who should not have been in receipt of benefits in the first place - those who were either actively committing fraud or working the system. Unfortunately there were not enough of those to (despite the wailings of the Mail and the rant in the Sun), so they decided to re-draw the lines about what made someone disabled enough to warrant state help. The new tests attracted a lot of criticism, both from those who thought them too harsh, and those who thought them poorly designed and badly implemented, regardless of their severity. They were, however, a real learning experience for the DWP. Firstly they found that the company carrying out the "disability assessment" was capable of reducing those who were regarded as "unfit for work" on an indefinite basis to a mere 5% of the original applicants, and consigning another 30-40% to "work-related activity". This was very much better than the DWP had expected. Secondly they found that, amongst those who appealed (and many didn't) there was an unexpectedly high level whose original refusal was over-turned. The Appeals Tribunal was not saying that the original test was unfair or too harsh, just that the original claim by any particular person plus the evidence that was available amounted to a claim which should have succeeded by the rules as they stood. Everyone agreed that this level of reversal by the Tribunal was undesirable. The DWP didn't want to pay out the money from people they thought should have "failed", ATOS didn't want the embarrassment of explaining why their results were so unreliable and the claimants didn't want the stress and time of going to appeal. And nobody (including the hard-pressed advice services) wanted the much greater degree of cost and effort involved in going to appeal. One answer to this problem would have been to improve Atos's assessment procedures, another one would have been to encourage the DWP staff who made the final decision on the claim to look more carefully at the documents. The DWP chose a third method - they looked again at the test (as outside observers had urged), tried to improve the way the test was put together and - principally - made the test even harder to pass. This meant that those who were "simply" blind, wheelchair bound, or autistic would no longer be disabled enough. The tests were tweaked not to improve the fairness of the test, but to fine tune the desired outcome. The DWP, having scented blood, realised that they could get even “better” results if the tests were a little bit more consistent and the Tribunals had fewer opportunities to overturn the original decision. The new tests have a gloss put on them for disability organisations and doctors, that they are designed to help people with disabilities to function better in society, or at least better in that sector of society you encounter in the workplace. “Work,” they trumpeted, “is good for your health. Unemployment is worse for your health than 10 cigarettes a day.” To the wider public they produced the wave of “most of these people are not the real disabled, they are just scroungers. These people get hundreds of pounds every week just by saying they have a bad back and no one checks on them for years at a time. All we are doing is checking up on the scroungers and tightening up the rules a little, to stop those who are working the system. It will all be better for the “real” disabled.” The underlying truth is that the bill for looking after the elderly and the disabled is not going to go down without a lot of help. The government cannot say out loud that some of these people are going to have to starve or suffer or (best of all) die because we can’t afford them any more. They think that they cannot put up taxes any more, so trying to reduce the amount of money being paid out is the best answer. It is this, more than anything else, which is driving the change in the tests for sickness and disability benefits. The rules are not designed to see what you can do – they are designed to make sure enough people “fail” the test to bring down the welfare bill by at least a pre-determined 20-25%. They are part of the fallout from the demographic time bomb. No matter what anyone does, that reduction in the bill is the over-riding priority, and about 1 recipient (or potential recipient) in 4 will have to have all their benefits taken away, or even more of them will have to have them reduced by some mechanism. The number of those who commit fraud or exaggerate their claims is not enough to get back enough money – even if there were a foolproof method of detecting them (which there isn’t). All that can be done by individuals is to look after their own selfish interests - make sure that someone else is in the “for the chop” category. There are going to be genuinely disabled people who will not get this benefit, any claimant has to prove, indirectly, that he or she is more disabled than others. Nobody should be in any doubt about this. The worst aspect of the debate here, and everywhere else, is that the WCA pretends to be an objective, absolute test. "Meet the appropriate definition of disabled or sick and you will get the benefits." This is like the height test at fairgrounds - if you are a certain height, you can go on the ride, don't meet it and you can't. But it doesn't work like that in reality. If too many people meet the height test, they will raise the bar. If 250,000 (number picked out of the air - I haven't time to research it) people qualify for ESA and the DWP and the Treasury between them think the country can only afford 200,000, then they will change the qualification. No amount of good advice and careful preparation is going to change that horrid reality. All the advisor can do is to say, "Make sure that your case is better than that of the bottom 25%." This is what "unsustainable" means - it's now a competition, not a right. If we manage to prove that the sick and the disabled are being unfairly targeted then something or someone else is going to have to make up that shortfall in the budget. When the immediate problems from the crash of '08 have passed, and assuming that another such disaster is not on the way, the demographic timebomb will still be with us. Consider the implications of the fact that all three main party leaders have children under the age of 3. I cannot think of any other period in our modern political history (the last couple of centuries, say) when that has been true. The government of this country has passed into the hands of the young and the healthy. George Osborne, who is in charge of the nation’s money, is also young, fit (as far as we know), healthy (ditto) and above all, rich. He can afford to restrain his sympathy for the old, the sick and the poor. He sees no inconsistency about trumpeting about how evil it is that somebody should live off money they have not worked for when that somebody is too ill to work, whilst himself living off money for which he has not worked, because he inherited riches. So the place of the sick, the disabled and the old in the great scheme of things is set for the next decade at least, and probably the next two or three generations. They are “unsustainable”. This situation will affect almost everyone, since most become sick or grow old, and many are or will become disabled. One way or another the cost to the government for the welfare of all of us will have to drop. Currently that way is via the WCA and, soon, PIP. (It has also impacted on pensions, and that one too is not going to get better.) To that extent, ATOS is merely the tool and not the task. There's another part of the story, however, which I'll post later. Sorry this is so long, but I haven't the time to edit it down " .
  13. yes - by all means appeal - 40 % win without advocacy , 70 % with , in trial areas it's been 80 % when ATOS Origin have failed 33 % , some CAB staff win 90 % - dreadful figures proving the WCA is not fit for purpose . Plenty of horror stories about ATOS Origin on some damning internet sites .
  14. IMO The methods used by ATOS Origin are exactly the same as the outlawed ( in some US States ) " disability denial " ones used by UNUM Provident , i.e. somebody is overplaying , exaggerating illness / disabilities etc and they'll use any " justification " no matter how vague and obscure to suggest this , basically to present everything in a negative way . The problem in this country is that there is no Constitution , here a elected dictatorship be they yellow , red or blue just legislate ......quite often badly ! . UNUM Provident used to call it " aggressive claims management " , apparently their problem was there wasn't the old open and shut claims , i.e. someone got asbestos or lost their hand in a machine anymore , they were accused of mis-selling policies . ATOS Origin's mechanistic and unfit for purpose according to Scotland CAB LIMA software was developed by UNUM Provident . Also IMO it is a well known fact that there has been quite a lot of legal bullying of critical sites by ATOS Origin . It's no coincidence that UNUM Provident's outlawing in the states started with internet action culminating in a class action being taken out against UNUM Provident ......." interesting " ? .......IMO the possible danger for ATOS Origin is a " McLibel " scenario . Personally IMO Black Triangle will be the next to be " targeted " . IMO What you're really dealing with is a Corporate Cabal with very " organic links " to each other and some very organic links to various " corrupt " politicians and governments too , looking for cuts ...whoops sorry ! " solutions " . Also I've heard allegations of relentless weekend long hacking by UNUM Provident to try and take down a scathingly critical of ATOS Origin site ...what was " interesting " was that particular site was asking for first hand accounts of dealings with ATOS Origin . Also allegations from another disability campaigner , none too enamoured with ATOS Origin ; getting a lot of visitors from UNUM Provident and from the City of London i.e. major shareholders ? . You could also argue that Neo Cons ideologically would prefer to have no NHS , nor welfare state and would prefer a Insurance system , it's " interesting " that an expensive TV advertising campaign is being run . IMO ATOS Origin also have a bad reputation as a Occupational Health Provider , their methods are broadly similar to those used on welfare claimants , and they are " financially incentivised " . They also work on the " good doctor " basis which goes back to " colourful " city character Lord Freud , known in the city for pushing share issues then the companies would " suddenly " go bust , wanting " independent " doctors , not ones apparently that are too frightened of GMC complaints or ambulance chasing lawyers to sign anyone off . ...the Employers propaganda was first , it's all sour grapes from old soldiers , professional claimers and skivers , then the next tactic was warnings to staff about too much talk about ATOS Origin HCP's being unqualified etc which had to stop forthwith . The next tactic was that an employee's GP etc was not qualified to judge whether someone could work or not , only OHS knew what a employees job entailed and could pass judgement if somebody was to work or not , and employees were not being told what they wanted to hear . IMO That particular employer is well known for a very regimented managerial style by diktat , being autocratic & underhand , regarding themselves as above the law or at best operating at the limit of Employment Law with some very perverse interpretations put on things by Senior Mgt and " coincidentally " is not popular with Industrial Tribunal Chairmen . IMHO You could argue that the partnership with ATOS Origin is one made in heaven . However twice at Union Conferences there could have been debates with the mandatory ATOS Origin horror stories , that could have gone on all night which is well beyond the realms of coincidence ......and irony of all ironies , the employer has paid ATOS Origin to finish employees as cheaply as possible on medical grounds then as soon as the now ex members of staff have applied for ESA they have been turned down on often allegedly dubious grounds by the DWP . Even the Employer's Managers have complained about very poor service from ATOS Origin . Employees and the Union complain of incoherent " medical reports " riddled with gross factual errors , contradictions begging more questions than answers , again this is " very interesting " . The Corporate BS emanating from ATOS Origin about " removing the barriers " i.e. " all in the mind " " so and so is a hyperchrondriac " etc is " coincidentally " very similar to the horror stories coming from DWP Trial areas ......80% with advocacy were winning appeals against ATOS Origin in said areas ... " interesting " . http://blog.atoshealthcare.com/ there's an article by the ATOS Origin Chief Medical Officer , " coincidentally " ex UNUM Provident
  15. That's his old mate Gideon ...in this Downton Abbey spoof ...probably thinks it's a Virtual Reality Programme as they'd love to turn the clock back http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/10/06/david-cameron-has-no-ideas-how-to-boost-the-economy-115875-23469947/
  16. Wallace ( Ed Milliband ) likened Cameron to that fictional public school bully http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cut-out-the-flashman-act-aides-tell-david-cameron-2282105.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13363120 You are right they were spoiling for fights and there was also a vindictiveness , she'd more strategy unlike these gung ho Bullingdon Berties though .
  17. Playing to the gallery and Daily Fail / Diana / EDL / The Sun readers like that menopausal woman with the shoe fetish ....think Ken Clarke is going to be found dead in the toilets at Ronnie Scotts though ? http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/10/david-cameron-recycled-rhetoric-on-benefit-claimants-conservative-party-conference-2011/ Cameron's recycled rhetoric http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/09/30/do-the-unemployed-spend-just-8-min-looking-for-work-a-rebuttal/ Do the unemployed spend just 8 minutes a day looking for work , usual problem Ministers trying to impress Daily Blackshirt readers with dubious statistics from equally dubious sources , then Senior and Junior civil servants and Senior Managers giving their staff a problem , that's if they've got any left . It means more bureaucracy and / or a new IT system , His Toniness did ever so well with the NHS IT system . Then the intention is to privatise JCP + and give the work to firms like the one that has 20 people fighting over a computer found in a skip and thinks people will get work out of the Sits Vac in the Daily EDL or making paper mache models , the fact that the paper can only cost 20p was purely coincidental . http://www.politics.co.uk/opinion-formers/pcs-public-and-commercial-services-union/article/pcs-welfare-plans-mean-big-profits-for-big-business Not to fear there is a £987 million road building scheme .....so we can all ride our bikes for 90 minute journeys to work & our betters can see road building gangs in the rain from their German cars .............reminicisent of the Bavarian Corporal's scheme l in the 1930's who wasn't too keen on Human Rights & Democracy either ....I'm sure some Daily Mail readers will say he was half right but went a bit too far
  18. I'm afraid the last riots played right into Flashman's hands , it's not the 80's anymore , people have to be a bit more creative
  19. she sounded like a jaundiced and cynical ( probably understandable in a way ! ) Court Duty Solicitor ...who's used to dealing with druggies , prozzies , shoplifters ( and probably the same old faces ? ) etc pleading guilty and getting their sentence down to community service / probation .....seen this happen before on here .....a bit of a cow ? 'fraid to say Need more subtlety and guile from advocacy
  20. you are all being very unfair to them ....IDS is simply stopping people being inactive and depressed about their lives ....and Dave Snooty is telling us all to pay off our debts .....that's a order ...rolls eyes ....anyway I'm going out now to look for Theresa May's fishy pussy http://planetpmc.blogspot.com/2011/10/did-you-know-that-conservatives-are-now.html
  21. Originally Posted by speedfreek " It's Tory conference week you silly Billys So far we've had dangerous immigrant rapist, serial killer, kiddy fiddler kept in Britain for owning a cat by EU Even Daily Mail readers think it's a load of bettys http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/n...ce-speech.html That's what I heard yeah. Should get the blue rinse brigade cheering from the rooftops and waving their little flags. " http://uk.news.yahoo.com/job-seekers-targeted-cameron-141507784.html " An expectation of devoting "several hours" to the task instead will now be included in the conditions attached to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - though no exact figure has yet been announced. The rules are also to be changed to force the 1.58 million people on benefits to take up jobs up to 90 minutes from their homes - 30 minutes more than the commute requirement imposed on many of them at present. " Beyond Parody those The Daily Sieg Heil frothing at the mouth comments http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2045002/Conservative-party-Conference-2011-Cameron-announce-tougher-benefit-rules-Jobseekers-conference-speech.html 50-inch plasma TV: What people on the dole buy with their benefits to watch Jeremy Kyle. Hard-working middle-class people cannot afford such fripperies due to the high cost of private education and BUPA. 1001 uses for vinegar book: An amazing medical textbook that no self respecting doctor should be without. 1950's: When god created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Everything was perfect. Nothing was wrong. All was well. Benefits: Any money given by the government to people who are too lazy to work. Currently stands at £200 per week. Council Tax: The most egregious of taxes. A hard-working millionaire in Hampstead will pay perhaps twice that of a family of chavs in Lewisham simply because he lives in a £5 million house and they're sharing a rat-infested hovel. Under the far fairer poll tax the tax burden was reversed. Read more: http://www.angrymob.uponnothing.co.uk/daily-mail-dictionary#ixzz1ZqqeHYG8 Typical Daily Mail headlines: "Black person gets job" "Presenter says word sex on TV" "My angelic little girl was made to wear a hoodie by a gay immigrant paedophile communist" http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=daily%20mail
  22. IMO that Solicitor doesn't sound experienced at all in Benefit Matters and yes a good Citizens Advice Case Worker could be a good advocate at a IUC
  23. think ?? it's a case of did you wilfully or intentionally or knowingly and that's the job of the interviewers at the IUC to get that out of you that you did so knowingly , wilfully or intentionally , technically you did fail to disclose a material fact but the undeclared work whilst in training bit is a bit iffy ..... .....I would maintain in a apologetic manner that you were badly advised and in retrospect / in hindsight naive to trust that manageress ..............and you believed that work experience was beneficial to your training so you could maintain you did not knowingly , wilfully or intentionally intend to defraud and stick to that throughout the interview . You could have a statement drafted out covering all bases but then they could say you were being evasive and hadn't cooperated fully , it's not your job to " convict " yourself for them though . I'd stand up to the grilling so they'd have to say that you firmly maintained you didn't knowingly etc try to defraud to their superiors who will judge on this . I can well understand a Council going after someone who was regularly working in catering , cleaning etc and hadn't declared it that is fraudulent . If you are paying back the over payment you are co-operating I get the impression that the solicitor should be defending you better and there should be much more mitigation ; I'd ask to change solicitor and that solicitor is answerable to someone more senior at that firm . Somebody senior may be a lot better ? . I know she has to play devil's advocate on things to be cruel to be kind BUT if something is " bad " , it's the authorities job to judge ? I also think any solicitor should negotiate with the council to use discretion , at the very worse IMO they should formally caution you , some Councils are smarter than others , at least that Solicitor is trying to put the IUC put forward Most Councils policy is more or less the same ..........I can't really imagine prosecution unless they're going for glory , which could ! look over zealous / silly . Basically most Councils work on a tariff this is Manchester's http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/726/benefits-fraud_investigation/722/benefit_fraud/5 " When we have finished our investigations and there is enough evidence to go ahead with a prosecution we will consider which of the following actions are appropriate. * Criminal prosecution, for the most serious cases ( automatic after £2000 ) * Formal caution * Administrative penalty (this is where the Council will offer a fixed penalty fine as an alternative to prosecution) * In a few cases, no formal action other than recovery of any overpaid benefits. This will be for cases of a less serious nature or involving small amounts of money. " ....I think ? that solicitor is mentioning a worst case scenario , she could have explained it better ? . I get the impression she's more used to straight criminal offences in magistrates or crown courts committed by people that can be known to the police and have " bothered " the magistrates or judge before and those people on trial are happy as long as long as they don't get sent down or suspended sentence even if arguably they should have got that .....basically a Court Duty Solicitor In what I'd think in the very unlikely event they'd prosecute this still has to be considered " 4.3 Some common public interest factors against prosecution A prosecution is less likely to be needed if: • the court is likely to impose a nominal penalty; • the offence was committed as a result of a genuine mistake or misunderstanding (these factors must be balanced against the seriousness of the offence); • the loss or harm can be described as minor and was the result of a single incident, particularly if it was caused by a misjudgement; • there has been a long delay between the offence taking place and the date of the trial, unless: �� the offence is serious; �� the delay has been caused in part by the defendant; �� the offence has only recently come to light; or the complexity of the offence has meant that there has been a long investigation; • a prosecution is likely to have a bad effect on the victim’s physical or mental health, always bearing in mind the seriousness of the offence; • the defendant is elderly or is, or was at the time of the offence, suffering from significant mental or physical ill health, unless the offence is serious or there is real possibility that it may be repeated. • the defendant has put right the loss or harm that was caused (but defendants must not avoid prosecution or diversion solely because they pay compensation); • proceedings are likely to cause adverse publicity to the Council A full list of factors is available in The Code for Crown Prosecutors. " This from Manchester's site backs up what I said before " We will also consider the following issues when deciding what action to take. * the level of financial gain * the level of deliberate intent * the level of cooperation with the investigation * whether the information was voluntarily disclosed * whether there had been previous fraud the physical and mental health of the claimant * mitigating social factors * the level of substantive evidence * the standard of the investigation * the standard of the benefit administration associated with the case " Some forum threads and posts say if you change your socks ( metaphorically speaking ! )tell the Social or Council and they'll get sick of you and eventually leave you alone as a guideline for the future but you'll know all this now .
  24. there's " discussions " on Mums Net & Net Mums about shopping people , there was one official bit " This is not a fight club Ladies " though it should be " saucer of milk ladies ? " at times ? ....think some of them have had read The Daily Mail or Daily Diana too often as you get all the stereotypes and it can be same chapter , same story ..." people like you etc , etc " , " if it was up to me etc , etc " ....anything sensible / constructive will wind them up even more ! they have a skit on these forums in " Private Eye " called " From the message boards " ....it's not that exaggerated ....unfortunately
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