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atos declared my daughter fit to carry on as a care assistant. she had fallen down some steps in town and done her knee in. she was on crutches and could not really weight bear on the leg. she was only on sickness benefit for a couple of weeks. the system to even get it was messy and the assessment ws a joke.


if we had not supported her for the month or two it took for her to heal she would have starved. her occupational health dep and her doctor and 2 consultants views were very different that the atos quack.


i had a friend with serious epilepsy and loads of other problems they declared him fit for work he appealed and won. a few months later he dropped dead in the street with a major fit.


the old system did its job. the social security doctors did a better job for a lot less.

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I find the "I am very happy to be stopped by the police at regular intervals as I know that I wouldn't have done anything wrong. No problem with that whatsoever. similarly with the council. I am a law-abiding citizen so it wouldn't cause me any concerns." bit of a white lie, to say you have never done anything which could be against criminal or civil law is bs.


You will however, strive to give the perfect answer to the situation that is created in order to justify the answer given before or to suit an ideology you have of yourself in order to justify the stance you take. Where, no doubt you will complain most virulently if you are caught because you believe, you think you are untouchable because of you belief you do not cross any line that could make you guilty of a criminal or civil offence. More worrying is it is that sort of person who has little feeling towards the care of others privately but will of course declare compassion, which will not bode with your statement. You think, I guess, if you break a rule you should be punished, regardless of any circumstance that lead you to commit to the offence.


Alas, you are part of this society that is to blame, you cannot step aside because it suits you.


In a nut shell, these tests are causing more harm to folk than good to the nation. Justify why the disabled, socially housed, benefit claimants and public sector workers should pay for the reckless gambling of other peoples money and why, if it goes wrong, it is the poorer of society who has to pay it back? Can you tell me the benefit this nation will gain when one of the residents cannot provide for a disabled adult because they were forced to give up a house designed for the disabled adult because of the additional charge placed on them yet next door a single person rattles around in a 3 bed social house on their own without having to suffer because they have the means to afford the rent. It seems it is only under occupancy by the poorer of our nation is wrong.


Oh to be as perfect as you DaveH, it would then be a simple colourless life I think.


I worked hard, from an extremely poor background in the war-damaged East End of London, to eventually qualify as an accountant. Such opportunities were/are available to everybody if they are determined enough.

I have never, ever forgotten my roots and can readily identify with what it is like to suffer from poverty. However, I have travelled to various parts of the world and the poverty seen there, where there is no welfare support whatsoever, brought about a new definition of poverty for me.


I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I have never broken any law of any sort. I have never stolen or sped along motorways. I hardly ever consume alcohol and have never taken so much as a pencil away from the offices where I worked during my career. If you choose to think that is "bs" then that is your choice to do so.


As regards being as perfect as me; you can if you put your mind to it. I can also assure you that I have a full and colourful life so you needn't worry on my behalf, thank you.


I have to say that you come across as a very cynical person and I wouldn't choose to have you on my christmas card list. If anyone disagrees with your views then you opt for personal attacks. Well, as you may have spotted, I can easily sink to that level as well if necessary.

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atos declared my daughter fit to carry on as a care assistant. she had fallen down some steps in town and done her knee in. she was on crutches and could not really weight bear on the leg. she was only on sickness benefit for a couple of weeks. the system to even get it was messy and the assessment ws a joke.


if we had not supported her for the month or two it took for her to heal she would have starved. her occupational health dep and her doctor and 2 consultants views were very different that the atos quack.


i had a friend with serious epilepsy and loads of other problems they declared him fit for work he appealed and won. a few months later he dropped dead in the street with a major fit.


the old system did its job. the social security doctors did a better job for a lot less.

Sad stories, of course.

However, I will ask you the same question as I asked before:


Are you actually suggesting that, once someone qualifies for benefits due to a disability, they should never be assessed again?

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A former police officer was paid more than £6,500 in disability living allowance – despite working as a driver and coffin bearer for a funeral director.


But Michael Clarke, 55, walked free from court yesterday after he was sentenced to a conditional discharge.


Magistrates heard Clarke, of Hemsworth near Pontefract, was medically discharged from the police force after suffering a stroke in 2004 while working as a traffic officer.


The court at Wakefield heard the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) granted him an indefinite disability living allowance in 2004, which paid for a mobility car. However, an inquiry later launched by the DWP revealed Clarke had worked for A&M Hadfield funeral directors as a driver and coffin bearer since April 2010. The court was told he had helped out at up to 48 funerals.


When interviewed by the DWP, Clarke told investigators his health had improved from 2009 onwards. Clarke, who has appealed against the DWP decision to stop his disability benefits, admitted failing to notify the DWP of a change in circumstances affecting his entitlement to benefits.


Prosecutor Rory Byrne said Clarke received a total of £6,516.55 in benefit payments which he should not have done while working for the funeral director.


Mr Byrne added: “Part of the role involved carrying coffins, and at some point lowering coffins in to the grave.â€


The court heard Clarke had £8,000 in savings and was being paid his £1,300 a month police pension while he was getting the benefit payments.

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Taken from the Oxfam "Our Economy Report" - page 28


Whose Economy? speaker estimated that £120 billion is lost in tax avoidance and tax evasion in the UK annually.


Recent research has estimated the amount last through tax evasion is £69.9 billion (this doesn’t account for legal tax ‘avoidance’), while HMRC estimate the ‘tax gap’ to be £32 billion.


Each of these figures are vastly greater than the £3.4 billion lost from the welfare system due to fraud and official error – and yet this seems to be where political and media vilification is focused.


(Isn't it strange how you never hear any of the Tory supporters mentioning the "Tax Avoidance/Evasion" words yet they are always more than happy to bring up benefit fraud which is clearly put into perspective by the above figures :?)


Full report here -



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of course there should be reviews however not by a system that is clearly run to find people fit for work. it should be either done by the dss or by a truly independent body that has no goals or targets for finding people fit.


back to my daughter she was a bank staff worker so no ssp. she had the choice of either lying and claim jsa which she was clearly not fit to do or depend on hand outs. she chose the latter.


the system does need to be tougher but in a humane way.

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From The Sun dated June 21st 2013...


Fiddler's £110k on trainers and holidays




A MUM who made £110,000 in bogus benefit claims spent the cash on holidays and designer trainers for her kids, a court heard.


Valerie Garbett, 53, fiddled the state for nine years by claiming that she and husband Philip, 57, were both jobless — when he was working full-time as an HGV driver.


Prosecutor Siobhan Collins said payments went on “better quality trainers for the children and family holidaysâ€.


Brazen mum-of-two Garbett even posted beach snaps of family breaks in Cyprus and Portugal on Facebook.


She was nicked after DWP investigators discovered that Philip was working.


Housewife Garbett, of Stourbridge, West Mids, admitted four counts of benefit fraud and was jailed for 15 months.

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A benefits cheat who used doctored and false wage slips and bank statements to fraudulently claim more than £17,800 in housing and council tax benefit over six years, has been spared an immediate jail sentence.


Kate Agbonlahor from Smethwick was given 34 weeks in prison, suspended for two years after she systematically and professionally doctored documents to claim the funds. Agbonlahor pleaded guilty to 12 counts of benefit fraud between July 2006 and February 2012 at Wolverhampton Crown court yesterday.


Mr Mark Jackson prosecuting, told the court that the 43-year-old had arrived in the UK from Nigeria in 2005 and had been receiving housing and council tax benefit claiming she was working as a part time carer. In October 2006 she told the benefits agency she was a single parent and changing jobs, but still working as a carer on a part- time basis.


He said: “Officers at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council found out from her employer, Broadening Choices for Older People she had in fact been employed on a full time basis since July 24 2006.â€


The court heard that Agbonlahor had supplied wage slips and Barclays bank statements to back up her claims, but upon analysis they were found to be false.


He said: “For example between October 16 2006 and March 5 2007 she actually worked on average 48 and half hours a week, taking home a net pay of £225 a week, what she declared, was actually considerably lower than this.â€


She was also asked to provide bank statements. The genuine bank statement found on average she would have around £1,000 in the account at the end of the month, whereas the bank statements provided would say on average it was £130.


Mr Jackson said: “You would never have known looking at the statements she had altered it, or that transactions had been deleted.â€


Mr Paul Hiatt defending, told the court that Agbonlahor had an acquaintance alter the documents she had submitted to the authorities. But the court heard she had not yet revealed who they were.


Agbonlahor of Waterloo Road was told to pay back the £17,801.88 she had falsely claimed and pay the £2355.20 in court costs. in addition to the suspended sentence she has to also complete 100 hours unpaid work, and be supervised for 12 months.


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A BENEFIT cheat falsely claimed more than £23,000 while working offshore.


Rigger Keith Brown was paid council tax support, housing benefit and income support for almost three years, despite the fact he was working.


The 45-year-old’s scam only came to light after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) noticed another Keith Brown was moving house and decided to look into his financial affairs.


In a case of mistaken identity, the investigators got the wrong man, but their bungled probe revealed that Brown was on benefits and working, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.


When interviewed about it, Brown admitted he hadn’t told the DWP after he returned to work following a hernia operation in 2008.


He pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to notify the authorities of changes in circumstances that would affect his benefits.


Angus Taylor, prosecuting on behalf of the DWP and South Tyneside Council, told the court: “They were making inquiries about a different man, a Keith Brown in Middlesbrough.


“They got the wrong man, but found that this Keith Brown was receiving wages and benefits.


“He had started off with a genuine claim, as he was out of work with a hernia.


“In reality, he was back working again within a month.


“When he was interviewed, he said he was sorry and admitted he had been caught red-handed.


“The amount of overpayments he received between 2008 and 2011 was £23,185.90.â€


The court heard that Brown, of Marine Approach, South Shields, has since started paying that cash back.


Laura Croft, defending, said: “This wasn’t done out of greed or because he wanted to live a lavish lifestyle.


“He had a very tough custody battle to get residence of his two children, and he wanted to be able to live in the house that they were used to.


“He ended up being terrified of coming clean about it. He was worried his children would be taken into care.â€


Magistrates gave Brown an eight-week prison sentence suspended for a year, and ordered him to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work.


He was also ordered to pay £120 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

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A woman who lied about her single status to fraudulently claim nearly £15,000 in benefits has been sentenced.


Ashleigh Brickwood, 24, of Raeburn Road, Northampton, repeatedly failed to report that she was living with her partner, claiming she was a lone parent from February 2010 to January 2012.


She claimed nearly £15,000 in tax credits, income support and housing and council tax benefits.


Brickwood pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court on Wednesday, May 22, and was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.


The fraud was uncovered after a joint investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions.


Adrian Farley, assistant director of investigation for HMRC, said: “Brickwood lied on a number of occasions to increase the amount of benefits she was entitled to, pocketing money needed to fund public services. This case sends out a clear and firm message that we have stringent controls in place and effective teams to investigate, and ensure this illegal activity is ended

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BENEFIT cheat gran Kay Wilson pocketed £74,769 in incapacity handouts over eight years – despite having a full-time job paying almost £20,000-a-year.


The 54-year-old was still being paid disability living allowance and severe disablement allowance when she was working between 2003 and 2011.


Her employers included Leek Golf Club, car dealer Knights North West Limited, Longton-based Rock House Training and Wrights Pies.


It meant Wilson was earning between £15,000 and £20,000-a-year at work – and then receiving more than £9,000-a-year tax-free in state handouts.


Now Wilson has been jailed for 32 weeks at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court after admitting two charges of failing to notify a change of circumstances in relation to her benefit claims between April, 2003 and December, 2011.


Jailing Wilson, Judge Paul Glenn said: "Benefit fraud costs this country millions of pounds a year – money that comes from the pockets of ordinary, honest taxpayers.


"People like you, benefit cheats, take away precious public resources which would otherwise be spent on worthy causes.


"You knew what you were doing was wrong. You did not voluntarily desist from the false claims, you were caught. You got used to that additional income which was easy money."


The court heard Wilson, of Oaklands Close, Wetley Rocks, started claiming benefits in 1993 on the basis it would take her 20 minutes to walk 10 yards with a walking stick and she was prone to falling.


And on a renewal form in 1998 she stated she had suffered three strokes in the past five years and had difficulties getting out of bed and dressing herself.


But Wilson carried on claiming the benefits when she started working at Leek Golf Club, where she lived with her husband, in November 2002.


She then moved on to other jobs before landing a job at Wrights Pies in November 2008.


In 2011, Wilson was photographed by The Sentinel with other work colleagues stripping off for a charity calendar raising money for cancer charities.


The court heard £11,108.86 of the £74,769 was written off when Wilson was declared bankrupt last year.


Jason Holt, mitigating, said Wilson suffered a severe stroke at the age of 34 and was wheelchair-bound for two years. She had further strokes and suffered depression.


Mr Holt said: "At times she was well enough to work."

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