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Welfare reform: £50 fine for errors on forms - Carers UK Forum

Welfare reform: £50 fine for errors on forms

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[quote]The “civil penaltyâ€
Jolly Good Wheeze, that, eh? Nothing worse than lazy bone idle ignorant claimants who cant be bothered to study for a degree in Theoretical Obfuscation and Practical Incomprensibility. They deserve nothing less than a smacking!
Seriously, dont these numpties realise that many poor people can hardly write and read because of the failings of the educational system? Obviously not, because they all went to Daddy's Private School. Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
And this takes immediate effect. Since when did making a mistake become an offence, albeit a civil offence?

I have just very belatedly claimed benefits to which we are entitled, two years late for one, four months late the other, I have been too exhausted to deal with the complexity of the forms for fear of making a mistake, they are only completed now because I received help with them, I hope to God that I have not made any errors otherwise I will be fined and labelled a benefit thief. This is an excellent means of deterring honest claimants from claiming their entitlements, unfortunately we do not have the excuse that so many MPs used when they were found to have abused the expenses system, i.e that we did not know or that it was simpy a mistake, we will be fined anyway.
And this takes immediate effect. Since when did making a mistake become an offence, albeit a civil offence?

I have just very belatedly claimed benefits to which we are entitled, two years late for one, four months late the other, I have been too exhausted to deal with the complexity of the forms for fear of making a mistake, they are only completed now because I received help with them, I hope to God that I have not made any errors otherwise I will be fined and labelled a benefit thief. This is an excellent means of deterring honest claimants from claiming their entitlements, unfortunately we do not have the excuse that so many MPs used when they were found to have abused the expenses system, i.e that we did not know or that it was simpy a mistake, we will be fined anyway.
Its all about how much money they can squeeze out of the poor and the current climate encouraged by some newpapers where all benefit claimants are seen as lazy scroungers, etc and probably making sure they can blame the claimant if there are any mess ups like with I think it was Working Tax Credit where lots of people were over paid- all mistakes are automatically the fault of the claimant and the claimant is therefore an offender!!!!! They should try filling in forms when you're short of sleep from spending long hours caring.
It would help if the call centres actually had staff who understand the benefits system and give the correct information.

I recently rang one service to report a change of circumstances on behalf of my husband, I asked if I needed to report it to other departments assuming that it would be passed on via the CMS and was told to ring one more, I later discovered that I should also have reported it to a third. Did my failure to report the change to the correct departments constitute the type of error for which the government is now going to impose fines or would the fact that I was incorrectly advised by the DWP exonerate me from guilt?

A cynic might suggest that for a government apparently intent on dismantling the Welfare State the imposition of civil penalties for errors would give sufficient boost to the fraud figures to give justification to further, cost-cutting reforms.
It would help if the call centres actually had staff who understand the benefits system and give the correct information.

I recently rang one service to report a change of circumstances on behalf of my husband, I asked if I needed to report it to other departments assuming that it would be passed on via the CMS and was told to ring one more, I later discovered that I should also have reported it to a third. Did my failure to report the change to the correct departments constitute the type of error for which the government is now going to impose fines or would the fact that I was incorrectly advised by the DWP exonerate me from guilt?

A cynic might suggest that for a government apparently intent on dismantling the Welfare State the imposition of civil penalties for errors would give sufficient boost to the fraud figures to give justification to further, cost-cutting reforms.
These days I admit I'm getting a bit of a cynic but it does seem like since Tony Blair at least (I'm not sure about before) governments have a tendency towards that sort of behaviour to make themselves look good to the electorate .
Frankly, many of the rules of the existing system are ridiculously obscure anyway and the forms are really hard to interpret.
For example, why do the Carers Benefit rules for earnings limit say in one place that the threshold is £100 earnings per week, in another that in the case of variable earnings they use a five week period, and that for self-employed they average the year's earnings out? ... So if I am working as -say - Santa in the department store for two and a half months and earn £4500 in wages, commission and overtime, then if I am a self-employed contractor I have lost all my carers allowance for the year, but if I am an employee I can claim CA for the other 42 weeks!

Those DLA forms are a nightmare .. endless repetition.
I hope that the fine traffic is not one way. After all, if someone receives too little benefit in error (not theirs), they should be compensated.
How about fines for Government of a similar amount every time they make "errors" concerning the Welfare system-the lies sorry errors about fraud alone would rake in a fair amount
How about fines for Government of a similar amount every time they make "errors" concerning the Welfare system-the lies sorry errors about fraud alone would rake in a fair amount
Will never happen.