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HIV charity concerned at disability allowance reforms

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  1. silly billy 22 Jun 2010, 6:01pm

    Tories through and through including and especially the not-so-liberal-democrats whose pact with the devil has enabled this. Disgusting.

  2. where are the tories love us idiots

  3. Great to see NAT raising this.

    For more of the detail .

    New testing regime is ahead for all new and existing claimants.

  4. what a surprise, the tories are cutting money for those who need it most. bastards.

  5. Do many people with HIV really need this allowance when the likes of NAT describe HIV as a “manageable illness” and the medications as supposedly keeping you healthy and fit? If this is true then what is the allowance for, assuming many HIV people lead normal, happy lives and work just like everyone else? Surely gone are the days when people contracted HIV because of the once generous benefits including housing that came part and parcel with the virus? Thanks to PC HIV campaigns many gay men today are ignorantly contracting HIV, believing it to be a treatable condition like syphilis or diabetes. But NAT’s concern clearly underlines the fact that HIV is a lot more serious and deadly than the “manageable” tag bestowed on it by the HIV charity sector. Either be consistently honest and truthful about the serious dangers HIV still poses to both health and wellbeing or continue to peddle the lie that HIV is no big deal and HIVers can lead normal, healthy lifespans. You can’t have it both ways NAT; you seriously lose credibility when you transmit such mixed messages. Perhaps that is why people are not donating to your coffers in the numbers they used to, because they are tired of the spin and deceptions peddled by the likes of NAT, THT et al on a near regular basis. Only last year the same, complacent NAT claimed that graphic HIV ads would stigmatize HIVers and deter gay men getting tested – myths that were blown apart by an independent survey conducted last autumn. Either get with the times and start saying it as it is, warts and all, or hand the baton on to those who will.

  6. Lets add a bit of balance here people! The people planning on claiming or are claiming will simply need to be assessed. There have been hundreds of stories of people faking disabilities etc over the last few years, and I think the new measures are planning on targeting them. Perhaps I’m wrong, but there is nothing said by any MP yet about cutting support for people with HIV.

  7. Patchy, the prognosis for those with HIV depends on many factors. How ill you were when you were diagnosed? Was you immune system damaged? Your genetics? inherited medical issues. How long you have had the illnesses. What therapies? How tolerant are you to therapies? etc ….

    As a general rule of thumb with more awareness of testing people who get HIV usually start treatment before damage has been done with modern medications that all other things being well lead to a good prognosis. However with many older people testing positive and usually only when they are ill and could be AIDS defining more issues need to be considered.

    So yes there are some that require additional financial assistance. Be under no illusion though. Getting any form of Disability Living Allowance requires the most rigourous of assessments. It isn’t easy and very little fraud occurs as a result.

    Also you are “fast tracked” on DLA if you are expected to die within 6 months (again needs supporting medical information from Specialists).

    I think you need to get all the information out there to people to allow them to make an informed decision. As for stigma I think that we only overcome that by being more visible and challenging. We can take lessons from “gay history” here.

    Generally the prognosis for those with the illness today is much, much better than 20 years ago.

    To repeat to you encourage to test or cause fear not to test?

    That remains the question at the heart of it.

  8. Mithos. I need to make a distinction here between Incapacity Benefit & Disability Living Allowance.

    1) In the Thatcher years to keep the unemployment figures down, many were pushed onto Incapacity Benefit to massage the figures.

    2) The new Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), in part was to address this legacy issue.

    3) The new assessment for ESA Support Allowance (the replacement for Incapacity Benefit) is the toughest in Europe.

    4) People with no limbs are being told they are fit to work under this new test – it is flawed.

    5) Disability Living Allowance is more rigourously tested. It assess your care needs and mobility needs and you have to complete more detail covering your daily and night time care. You also need to support your case with medical evidence including GP but moreover medical reports from Specialist Consultants.

    Disability Living Allowance is so difficult to get it has very little claimant Fraud.

    HIV in the UK isn’t a popular or the priority it was years ago. So of course you won’t get any MP talking about it.

    I would urge you to trust what your research tells you. And research you must. There is so much truth you miss if you rely on a politician to be honest and direct with you.

    The Devil is in the Detail . The truth and answers lie there. As I found today buried in the supplementary papers accompanying the “Red Book”.

  9. John: The reason DLA is so difficult to get is because you have to prove you are utterly incapable of looking after yourself alone ie: eating, dressing oneself, going to the lavatory etc. It is only in the small, far-gone cases of AIDS that this situation arises. Most HIV+ people are quite capable of leading normal lives, and those with more serious problems can rely on ESA, which is much easier to obtain.

  10. John: You said, “You also need to support your case with medical evidence including GP but moreover medical reports from Specialist Consultants.” This is as it should be but, unfortunately it is not. When I went for what I was told would be my last Assessment, the Doctors (there were two – one observing me from behind and who could see through the screen when I undressed) said they were not in the least bit interested in what my GP or my Specialist Orthopaedic Consultant had to say about me, THEY were going to be the judge(s) of whether or not I still qualified for DLA.

    These people are crafty – the one who was “only observing the process” was planted behind me deliberately so that he could observe my position, sitting posture and how I managed to get dressed/undressed from behind. Very sneaky! There was more but I won’t bore you with it.

  11. Well there’s a surprise. Tories stop income to disabled.
    What most people on incapacity benefit don’t realise is that they will lose their DLA long before the new DLA assessments come into force.
    Everyone who is on IB will be migrated to ESA next February and will have to endure tough new medicals carried out by ATOS (private firm paid to find nothing wrong with you and dump you on JSA) Everyone including people who have up to now been exempt will have to go through the medical.
    Less than 10% of claimants are getting into the support group and keeping their award.
    There will be no exemptions and everyone will have to undergo the medical checking that you can move a penny across the table and lift a bag of sugar.
    The very charities that should have been supporting us actually gave their backing to the governments “Help into work for everyone” spin.
    The only help you will get is your benefits cut and a bog standard ECDL being the max in terms of new training. Ten year olds have that qualification already!
    The heads of these charities are in the government’s pockets with their peerages and sweeteners.
    Many people with HIV who have been on multiple antiretroviral medications for many years suffer from a range of illnesses, depression, anxiety, heart disease, chronic fatigue, liver disease. And top that with a high number of alcohol and drug problems. Add stigma and discrimination, that the government think they can rectify with a couple of new rules to prospective employers. (fat chance)
    Many thousands haven’t a hope in hells chance of ever getting a job, and under the new strict health assessments (some carried out by midwives and none with expertise in HIV), thousands will rot in poverty, dumped onto JSA for life and even that will be stopped if you don’t do as your told by your job advisor.
    I predict many giving up on medication and even suicides in order to avoid poverty and hopelessness.

  12. Comment by Mithos -“Lets add a bit of balance here people! The people planning on claiming or are claiming will simply need to be assessed.”…………..

    Mithos. The problem is that doctors or specialists or consultants do not do the reassessment. Its done by a private firm ATOS who use people with a very limited medical experience to conduct medicals on a computer based points system.
    It really is a case of “Computer says NO”.

  13. Pumpkin Pie 23 Jun 2010, 9:27am

    Wow, I’d suspected this was worse than it sounded: typical government (especially Tory) methodology is not to carefully research who really needs their help, but to carefully research who they can get away with not helping. But, after J Cartier’s clarifications, now I see how bad the situation really is. :(

  14. vulpus_rex 23 Jun 2010, 9:41am

    Yes and once they’ve stopped all payments to anyone with a disability whatsoever, they are going to gut them and burn them at the stake.

    Stupid, stupid scaremongering from stupid, stupid people with no real interest in the welfare of the disabled but lots of interest in using them to smear their political opponents.

  15. silly billy 23 Jun 2010, 10:17am

    You are very aggressive VR, always. Let’s take, for example, housing benefit claimants getting £400 per week to pay landlords. Who benefits from this? Does this not tell you anything? Do you know when Local Authority housing was flogged off in favour of private rental? Do you know who owns private rental? Do you know therefore where benefits that many of us believe should be assisting poorer people actually end up? Lining the pockets of private landlords who can pretty arbitrarily, and certainly in cahoots with each other, set rents. I shouldn’t have to tell you that this was brought in by the last Tories who made life hell for poorer people. I wish Labour had reversed that but the Tories made it very difficult as they had done so much damage to so many things and tied the economy up with it.
    You can attempt to make caustic comments and call people stupid, but, frankly, your shouty, ignorant attitude is utterly predictable and seems utterly puerile.

  16. SB – try and get over your ridiculous, martyred posturing and resist getting so personal. It won’t make you correct but it will help you to stop looking like a self-righteous wind bag.

    Now to focus on just one of your many innacurate comments
    “certainly in cahoots with each other, set rents” – rubbish, made up on the spot nonsense that completely ruins the credibilty of the rest of your post. Why make such a ridiculous claim when other than isolated incidents this activity is hardly common place?

  17. Spanner ESA Support component is not “easy” to get. Those with HIV getting DLA usually have other disability issues as a result of many factors. HIV is only part of a medical picture and you need to look at all the issues not just HIV.

    Bex, the GP’s you had seen wouldn’t be interested in your medical evidence. They submit there report to a Decision Maker at the DWP. Many people don’t realise that YOU have to get the medical reports from your Doctors and also submit them to the Decision Maker. The Decision maker then looks at all the evidence and makes a decision. You treatment is questionable but not the worst I have heard from ATOS. I would encourage you to lodge a complaint – it is productive, the more that do, the quicker issues are put right.

    Bex can you email me, if you don’t mind, with the detail it WILL NOT BORE me I assure you. This helps build our evidence base for when we engage with politicians and submit responses to government.

    J Carter, FYI ATOS is one of the few companies that has done really well during this recession.

    Silly Billy – The changes announced to Housing Benefit will impact severely HIV+ people. For anyone loosing there job if they claim JSA there Housing benefit will be paid only for a set period of time. If you have health issues you distance yourself from the work market. Stigma also has a huge impact here. Again work and the issues are complex. I am pleased that many are able to work with HIV. But I am very concerned at the impact to there health should they become ill and/or loose there job because of not only a lack of financial support but “social” support that is also fading fast.

    Vulpus_Rex – I don’t agree with the tone or substance of your comments however you raise one point “to smear their political opponents”. Let’s be clear some of what is proposed is an extension and a more draconian approach to policy direction or implemented by the previous government. £11 billion saved on welfare with no detail on the “bank levy” or “banking bonuses” in the Red Book. Seems to me the banks can contribute £11 billion easily over the coming years also.

    I would urge people to research. No one political party is blameless and before a political smear is made be careful not to loose the history.

    Lord Freud worked on Welfare for Labour before defecting to the Tories/LibDems just to remind us all.

  18. OOps sorry Bex .. email is

  19. silly billy 24 Jun 2010, 12:41am

    “Stupid, stupid scaremongering from stupid, stupid people with no real interest in the welfare of the disabled but lots of interest in using them to smear their political opponents. ”
    Intelligent analysis there. Well done VD.

  20. this is what Tories do. forget tax avoiders like philp green and go for the most vulnerable labour supporters

  21. I DO AGREE………

  22. As a gay man who has been HIV+ for many years & has worked as an adviser at the CAB, I know that many current HIV+ people claiming DLA are faking their symptoms. In fact I have refused to complete renewal forms sometimes because clients were so obviously telling lies.
    DLA was granted initially – almost automatically – when ‘the diagnosis’ was almost a death sentence. Now that the medication is so good there is less justification for it unless the treatment is failing or there are other health issues.
    I support the Government on this issue – and I dont claim DLA!

    1. we need people like you as you said at the end people ave diffferent isssues dont care wat people like you say most jobs these days want you to declare your illness and still bigots the nite sweats the diahorrea the good days the bad as a gay man out to help people your judgeing and a country thats falling apart because of imigrants here because were easy and know the system better than we do but your probabley all for them

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