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Bounty hunters to cut benefit fraud by £1bn - Telegraph - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

Bounty hunters to cut benefit fraud by £1bn - Telegraph

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
I wholeheartedly agree Eun, there is little point in reviewing claimants with progressive and terminal illnesses and ideally such individual cases should maybe be exempt from review. When I suggested automatic reviews every 2-3 years, I was adopting a pen-pushers view on claims. Most of the pen-pushers in DWP only see paperwork and not the individuals concerned, to them they are just names on a piece of paper. They wouldn't know the difference and effects between one medical condition and another.

I have little doubt that some claims are wrongly assesed and a claimant receives less than what he/she should or that some claimants do not report a deterioration (change) in their circumstances and again do not receive what they are entitled to. Wouldn't such reviews possibly rectify initial wrongly assesed claims and highlight claimants who's benefits should be increased.
You might also ask yourself if you would want your wife to go through the stress of having to prove her entitlement repeatedly, your wife has MND and there is no question whether she is a "genuine" claimant, of course she is, but what makes you think that others are not?
If "the system" requires my wife to be reviewed periodically, whilst I agree it would be stressful for her, I would have no qualms about her being reviewed. It's not that I think others are not genuine claimants, we see reports in the papers frequently where an individual has appeared in court charged with fraudulent benefit claims. Such reports and campaigns by certain tacky newspapers have fuelled a perception by the general public that fraud of the benefits system is rife. This has resulted in nosey neighbours, ex partners out for revenge or other members of the public making malicious calls to the authorities.
Surely it would be better from the genuine claimants point of view to welcome "official" policing and reviews. Thereby changing the public perception. I think we are all in danger of getting tunnel vision on this, don't lose sight of the fact that we are not only talking about medical related claimants, we are talking about all benefit claimants.

What's the alternative: To leave things as they are and allow fraudulent claimants to get away with it until such time as they maybe discovered or reported by a nosey neighbour? Yes we are probably only talking about a small number of fraudulent claimants, but those few have certainly captured the publics attention!
Bearing in mind that most awards of benefits have to be renewed with the exception of indeterminate awards of DLA and AA and that these too can be reviewed at any time, making one group in society repeatedly have to prove their innocence because of a small minority who are dishonest in order to satisfy a public whose belief that fraud is rife in the system is based, not on facts, but on a false perception surely turns every claimant into a suspect?

Perhaps we could extend this into every area of life where there is evidence that a minority act dishonestly? For example, demand that every citizen annually supplies their bank, etc. statements to the relevant government departments to ensure that their expenditure is consistent with their declared income and capital for tax and benefits purposes and/or demand that every motorist annually attends a police station to provide proof of a valid driving licence and current MOT, road tax and insurance.

These suggestions would not only not be cost-effective but would cause public outrage, penalising the many, treating them as suspects, because of the actions of the few seems only to be acceptable to the general public when the many are members of a minority group, them, not us, one might call it discrimination.
Incidentally, in the interests of ensuring that we are all aware of the terminology used by the DWP, terminal illness is defined as having a prognosis of less than six months to live, it is not the same as having a progressive and life-limiting illness, exempting from regular assessments to prove entitlement only those who have a progressive and terminal illness will not exempt either people like Eun's son nor will it exempt those with progressive illnesses and disabilities which do not directly lead to death within the six-month time frame.
It is not possible to eliminate all fraud unless no benefit/allowance is given we have to accept that fact.I would suggest that those that cheer proposals to make it ever more harder to claim/continue to receive eligible benefits bear in mind that far from "getting the fraudsters"(who will find a way) the result is that more potential claimants do not even claim and genuine claimants lose out.No savings from"fraud" increase the "pot" for the genuine,indeed the cost of such attempts far outweigh an ever diminishing saving at all.
It's difficult to know where the problem lies. Is it down to perception among the general public, fuelling the media and kicking off the politicians, or is it rather more sinister?

My son has autism. He's been spat at, had eggs thrown at him by youths who thought they were funny, and been threatened by drunks for "looking funny" at them. Yes, more than once to all of these. Why? Because he's different, and different is scary.

They ought to try being Mike. They'd know what scary really was.

Hindle-a is right. There is no way to eradicate all fraud. And every time the "scroungers" are vilified, another person who might have claimed is turned away through fear of being labelled that way. It comes to something when the government's own figures show that the underclaiming of disability benefits is higher than the supposed level of fraud across all benefits ("supposed" because it includes office errors which make up a significant proportion of the figure).

It does raise questions about the reason for all this, doesn't it?
Not really, Charles.
If the lid to the coffers was simply left wide open, then the money would all be gone come daylight, and there would be nothing left. You know fine well that is true - there have to be checks and balances, otherwise the whole system would fold up and we would all lose out.
I'm sorry, Scally, but there is no excuse for not telling people who are entitled to the money that they should claim, and there is no excuse for targeting more people than make up the fraud for benefits cuts. There is no excuse for criminalising the innocent and at the same time ignoring the far greater level of fraud.

All of which is happening now.
If anyone isnt aware of the benefits system by now then they must be very otherworldly, though to be fair some older people who should know better having lived with the welfare state since 1946 still insist that they dont have a disability or need a pension credit - despite massive government information programmes: well ultimately it's their call, they dont have to claim it.
Actually, Scally, most of the people I speak to - carers, disabled people (or friends and relatives of) and callers to information stands don't have a clue about the benefits system. You know yourself that if you don't ask the right questions you don't get the right answers.

What if you don't know what you don't know?

How do you ask the question?

Of whom?

One reason that there's so much need for carers centres, the Down Syndrome Association and countless other organisations is that they tell you what you need to know. If you're lucky enough to know they exist, and how to contact them - or come across an information stand.
Another good reason to demand a major simplification of the benefits system, because if you need to be an expert to know whether to claim, then the system is clearly wrong. So, rather than moan all the time about every minor change, why dont we campaign for simplification on the lines of a simple, universal citizens income for all? Maybe because it would put many of the advice workers, civil servants , and fraud investigators out of a job - an entire parasitic industry feeding on disabled and poor people, decimated. Image