Further information on the Improvement of Medical Assessments

Sent to wca.evidence@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
For the personal attention of Professor Malcolm Harrington

5th September 2012

Dear Professor Harrington,

I understand that you are seeking views on ways to improve the medical assessment programme for State Benefits and that like others you are about to retire from the process. I wish you well in your future endeavours.
Please refer to my detailed email of 8th September 2010, attached, as it seems that little has changed since that time.
I do not have the energy to spend much time on this and have already spent too long in preparation but I found the official form to be useless and unusable to many who need to report to you. Perhaps this was intentional?
It is clear to me that many people who have been officially medically examined in the past and whose health has not improved have had their benefits reduced or removed completely as a direct result, not of their conditions, but due entirely to current government policy that intends simply to cut the benefit bill irrespective of disability or cause and is instigating these changes simply as a means to reduce the tax paid by the most wealthy and privileged in society.

I have asked one case to report to you directly and via his Union but it seems there was a gagging clause in a compensation payment by his employer and the following important case may not be reported to you as hoped.
The man, who was employed as an agricultural worker in the home counties, was poisoned by chemicals approved by various departments of the DWP and became seriously disabled as a result.
Over a period of 12 years he was examined by benefit assessors some 11 times, declared unfit for work and was provided with the appropriate benefits, to which he was clearly entitled.
This year, as part of the reassessment programme, he was examined by a woman who claimed to be a qualified nurse. Strangely her name did not apparently appear on the register of nurses for either of their professional groups. The nurse declared that he had no health problems and all his benefits were taken away.
His GP was shocked and angry and the claimant appealed only to find that he was then put on what was termed an "off the record payment" while he awaited his appeal, which is suspicious in itself and may explain the anomalies in the official unemployment and benefit claimant numbers.
He was told that his appeal could take up to a year but the Citizen's Advice Bureau had found he qualified for 24 points without even going through the entire assessment process required for the 15 points needed under the criteria.
The appeal was held a few weeks ago and all of his benefits were re-instated and he was told that he would not require another examination for at least three years.


The Benefits Agency had other ideas and ruled that the Appeal Tribunal had acted unlawfully in stipulating a time period free of examination and the claimant would need yet another medical examination within 3 months.
The Tribunal Service stated that this was untrue.
Needless to say all involved are extremely angry at the stress caused - and the cost and waste of resources in the Government plans which are designed not to provide employment for such people, as no employer outside of government could afford the support systems necessary for him to be employed, but simply to reduce benefit payments.

The case reported above is just one of thousands who found themselves poisoned at work by chemicals approved by the various departments within the DWP and DoH and yet for decades there have been calls by honest scientists on both sides of the Atlantic to have those chemicals withdrawn because of the devastating effects on human health.
Sadly the vested interests of regulatory bodies, officials and politicians have suppressed that vital information and these cumulative and irreversible poisons are having untold effects on the population. As Government papers have stated for decades the symptoms of these toxins are common in the population - and they cause serious disability to children and adults alike, including potentially fatal cardio-respiratory problems, brain and nervous system dysfunction, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalance, vision and immune system defects, etc. All could have been avoided if action had been taken when the risks were recognised but instead the victims are left with debilitating illness, dependent upon often dangerous medication and abandoned to an eventual lingering death.
Successive governments have refused to act and now they refuse to allow these people a decent living standard free of official torment, after having ensured that those who were forced to work with the chemicals could not obtain the compensation that would have enabled them to live a life free of state support.

Oddly enough the current policies are having the opposite effect to that intended, as other benefits such as Income Support are often triggered, while the loss of full time jobs, replaced by part-time short-contract work, has a similar effect in addition to triggering increases in illnesses such as depression, with job and housing insecurity preventing even the employed on the insufficient minimum wage obtaining mortgages rents, etc.
In so many cases Housing Benefit is actually a subsidy for the wealthy property owners and the claimants are simply the scapegoats upon whom the abuse of the masses is directed.

Even more annoying is that many of the claimants will have been made disabled whilst working for the good of society but find that their benefits are repeatedly cut, with pensioner's Winter Fuel Allowances already reduced, while vital revenue that could help them is being used by the military to fight fanatics in Afghanistan who poison girls who dare to seek education - often using the same chemicals as involved in the case above. At the same time tax revenue is being used to assist and encourage similar groups in the Middle East with no apparent realisation of the potential future dangers to our own people should the unleashed fanaticism not be contained.
It is no surprise that the Chancellor and Home Secretary received poor receptions at the ParaOlympics.

Concern at the way deception is used to defraud claimants, such as in the case above, caused me to report the issue to the National Fraud Investigation Bureau, the Serious Fraud Office, and Action Fraud, the issues being particularly serious because foreign owned companies are taking vast sums of money from the UK for their disgracefully poor service.
To my surprise all refused to become involved and when challenged wrote that they were "not saying their is no crooks" [sic], that my report would not go through their "tool", and actually told me that "these people are obviously well-protected".
So it seems that despite the claims by the Prime Minister that no one is above the law in certain matters there are countless numbers of officials who believe and act as if they are - and appear to be....
In fact despite the genuine concerns frequently expressed by others the same companies have been awarded new contracts, which probably goes some way to explain why the unlawful actions reported are condoned.

Perhaps those who make these decisions should read the BBC publication "The Nazis - a warning from history" as the actions by this government in openly attacking those reliant on benefit income mirror the early years in Nazi Germany when false opinions by medical examiners were employed to defraud and even eliminate the weakest in society. Then with highly charged rhetoric against those seen to be a drain on society's finances, as we have seen here in the UK in recent years, the T4 programme was accepted by the majority German population and eventually resulted in the killing of over 200,000 disabled people with countless numbers committing suicide in despair.

Perhaps we should remember that "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power." : Benito Mussolini who. with Hitler and Franco, fooled their people into believing that they had the strength and resolve to rescue them from political and economic chaos....
This current crisis was not triggered by those on benefits....

Things change by small steps - See page 81 of "The Nazis - a warning from history"
"There then followed a period in which doctors and other medical officials drew up detailed criteria for children who were to be 'referred for treatment' under the new policy. Diseases which had to be referred included 'idiocy and mongolism...deformities of every kind, in particular the absence of limbs, spina bifida, etc'. Forms were returned to a Reich committee, from whence they were sent to three paediatricians who acted as assessors. They marked each form with a plus sign if the child were to die, or a minus sign if the child were to survive. None of the doctors who made the judgement saw any of the children: they decided on the information of the forms alone."
For "children" please read "disabled" in the current situation. The similarities are frightening.

And page 118
"we are stronger than you and if you don't do what we want, then you will be crushed. Treaties, international law, mutual policing of nations through organisations like the League of Nations - all were devices the weak employed to hide from the strong. Hitler practised not the diplomacy of Bismark but that of the bully. Up to now he had cloaked his brutal bullying in such a way that it was capable of another interpretation......but now he was to demonstrate openly the true essence of Nazi philosophy, in which the strong simply 'take over' the weak."
In the current situation the weak are made weaker by the withdrawal of the right to legal representation.

When we hear the Chancellor declare that workers "get angry when they go to work and see their neighbours behind curtains living on benefits" we see a call to denigrate the sick and injured akin to Hitler's "Useless Eaters" policy. The reality is that any one of us could be injured at work, in an accident, or through illness and find ourselves facing blatant deception intended to reduce us to poverty and despair. We also see that we must qualify for assistance through National Insurance Contributions - and spend all our savings - before we can get any state aid at all and yet benefits are freely given even to illegal immigrants who, unlike the disabled, are entitled to legal representation when challenging decisions made about them. It matters not if benefit claimants have worked hard all of their lives; never worked at all; or even if they were injured at work; or suffer from the self inflicted injuries of drug, solvent or alcohol abuse. All benefit claimants are now herded together and treated as the same "Useless Eaters".
All are accused of obtaining benefits with no medical examination when this is an obviously and blatant deception.

Let me end by saying that I worked long hard hours to help feed the world for very low pay until I was disabled by an illegal incident at work. I minded not a bit that I had to pay my taxes and NIC payments to help those in need of pensions, legal assistance, or disability benefits etc. That is what a caring society does.
Sadly and disgracefully, as so many have discovered, when it came to my own need for those very same support systems the rules were changed. The government agencies at the DWP acted dishonestly, to protect those who approved the dangerous chemicals that poison us all, and they took away our right to legal aid making it impossible to fight for rightful compensation due to gross employer negligence and unlawful actions. This forced so many into relying on benefits, which are now being taken away by even more deception, leaving them afraid that they may not even be able to maintain the roof over their heads or even heat and feed themselves when winter comes.
It is a disgrace that should never have been allowed in a civilised society.

As the song says we should remember that "There, but for fortune, go you or I, you or I....."

Yours sincerely,

Dated 05/09/2012    Updated 21/02/2016

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