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Disability Payments Review

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  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling






  • Surely a home visit by a health professional to determine how the chap is daring would have been in order in such an allegedly severe case.

    As for any doctor signing off a person as “disabled” with predictable episodic diarrhoea only when a dairy product is consumed, well if that’s true the doctor should be struck off for failing to simply give dietary advice. Incidentally the body can often be retrained to produce lactase by slowly introducing lactose. I find some of those stories very strange to fathom.



  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling


    Post edited by Boards.ie: Paul on


  • Registered Users Posts: 8 PineappleSoup


    Thank you!

    I just had a look at the UK gov website statistics (Stat-Xplore) for the different payments, the number coming off Incapacity very closely tracks with the number moving on to ESA - perhaps many of those million claims were people submitting claims who were unlikely to get approved anyway. They don't to correlate in any significant way to numbers coming off of disability payments. It doesn't indicate what you said earlier with 1 million coming off disability payments. The vast majority who came off Incapacity moved to ESA. There were roughly 2.6million on Incapacity in 2008, in 2014 there were just under 2.6million on Incapacity and ESA combined.



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,577 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump



    While many of them are likely as you describe, there are also a cohort who are simply playing the system and know that by getting on disability they are on the pigs back insofar that they see it as perma-dole with absolutely no requirements on their behalf.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 18 15196389


    Hi. I am diagnosed with severe dibiltating anxiety. Doctor put it on my form as lasting indefinitely like forever. I have undiagnosed depression and I believe ptsd from childhood. Every day is a effort to keep going. My head is foggy a lot of the times. I'm slow. And I believe in this day and age especially in Ireland everyone needs to be fast and super speed. If you're not, you're useless. I had a job many years ago only stacking shelves in a supermarket but I was too slow couldn't cope and believe I was let go because of that. I remember now waking up shaking and being sick every morning before going in.

    I never ate lunch ever or took a break cause I had never seen inside of the lunch room. I was too nervous and shy of not knowing who would be in there at the time I had to go for lunch.

    If it was managers for example I'd just feel stupid and awkward.

    I'd go on break but hang out at the back of the store and continue working keeping out of view of managers in case someone noticed I wasn't on break. When my break was over I'd go back to the front of the store and keep working. I starved all day cause I was too scared to use the canteen.

    I was just too slow. I have zero confidence in myself and my ability. I am a v kind loving caring person. I can go about my day fine most of the time. Like others have said you can have good and bad days. You're not the same all the time.

    I am not a chancer. I am not one who just got diagnosed so I wouldn't have to work. I wouldn't have the energy to do all that just for the money.

    I am permanently exhausted. My body shakes and vibrates. This is using my energy causing exhaustion. Right now my body is vibrating. I'm in a constant state of stress.

    Before I was on disability I had to go to a social welfare appointment where they talk to you about your options and what do you want to do.

    I started crying in front of this 60yr old professional woman. I couldn't cope.

    She gave me their card if I wanted to use their service when I was able and feeling better she said. That was years ago.

    Reading through here people are very good at speaking for themselves and explaining their situation. I'm not.

    I'd go to a meeting with someone and try and explain. They think I'm just a bit tired. Next thing I'm doing a course or job I'm not able for or can't cope with.

    I'm one of those v nervous types I am terrified and feel like I'd have to say yes if offered something. Cause you can't say no.

    That's just a bit of backstory on me.

    I wanted to know others thoughts. This tier thing has me nervous.

    I would not want 265 or whatever it is. I'd be ok with my normal amount but can't cope with daily life already.

    I truly believe I should be dead. Shouldn't have been born. Waste of space. I find it hard to just have energy or motivation to wash myself.

    I have to get up the strength to wash my hair. I'm 34 by the way.

    My sister has a young child 4 year old.

    She has started back working. Has like two jobs and takes on lots of over time. I mind the child 5 days a week.

    It's more of I'm just helping her out. A week ago I was minding him from 10 in the morning till 8 at night. Five days. I was bet at the end of the week.

    I do that all the time. I'm basically her childcare so she can work. Some days would be 9 till 6. Which I consider a normal working day. Even though it's my nephew and for my sister I do feel like I've worked and done some good at the end of the day.

    I feed him take care of his needs keep him entertained.

    Other days can be random. I might not be needed till 3 but will be staying with the child till 8 at night.

    So it can vary sometimes. So I couldn't op off somewhere cause any minute I'll be needed.

    I do feel like I'm working. I don't earn money from it.

    Clearly my time is taken up.

    Would they see this as me doing something and being happy with that.

    Course if I wasn't available my sister would probably have to pay someone to mind the child.

    There is other family members but everyone has jobs or school.

    I'm just wondering would they take it seriously like ok she's doing something so that's ok. Not force me into something I can't cope with.

    For example I have to mind the child overnight soon cause she is going away. If I was given some appointment or something by them I wouldn't be able to go.

    I have to care for the child all day and night till she's home. I'm not readily available to take up something.

    Do you think like taking care of my nephew 5 days a week would be like me working to them?

    ..also I'm not good for speaking for myself or explain my situation. I know my sister would speak up for me if it came to it. Tell them how busy I am and how I suffer with my anxiety everything. It's chronic.

    Tell me your thoughts.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭Ginger83


    I know what you mean. As usual there's not enough information. I would be considered to be profoundly disabled and progressing. A reassessment would be a waste of time and resources.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭Ginger83


    I'm sorry to read about your issues. I hope I don't come across as insulting but you seem to contradict yourself.

    You say you are not able to work yet you are childminding up to 10 hours a day 5 days a week. Minding a child for free will not be considered work. Saying I can't attend won't wash with the DSP unfortunately as they will view your sister's child care needs as her concern and not yours.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,323 ✭✭✭sunbabe08


    I'm finding this a little confusing. I'm on Invalidity pension because I suffer from vertigo and Meniere's disease, as much as I would like to work I can't really because i would be a liability for employers. So where do I stand?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭TooTired123


    Really I wouldn’t worry at all about all this. It is but a suggestion right now, is likely to be shot down before it ever gets anywhere near the Dail and will be consigned to the “oh well, back to the drawing board” dustbin and forgotten about instantly.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,577 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump



    I would be reluctant to comment on any individual's scenarios as I cannot know all the details. However, I will make two points:

    1) You sister should be paying you something (you mention she would have to pay elsewhere)

    2) There should be a way you can officially get paid for intermittent ad-hoc work without the automatic removal of benefits (for example, your week doing 5 full days)


    Some conditions are treatable. Some are not. Those with treatable conditions should be offered treatment and there would need to be some monitoring. Not every day, but there should be some form of reassessment (yearly or whatever). Else people could get "stuck" in a rut. fine in the short term but not optimum for them in the medium or long term



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 PineappleSoup


    The reassessment would be good particularly if those being reassessed could be assessed by those who are knowledgeable about the conditions involved - ie. if it's mental health related then a psychiatrist for example or other relevant professional. But there needs to be a cost effective and efficient way to implement it that isn't taking up more of the valuable time of our healthcare professionals when they are so stretched as is. Maybe even a yearly sign off on disability by a person's doctor(s) with random reassessments or reassessments done where the evidence of need isn't very strong. Then if doctor(s) are seen to be signing off on it where it's entirely inappropriate, or in higher numbers than average with no reasonable explanation, that can then be investigated.

    And no unnecessary reassessment for those where treatment is not going to improve their ability to work or engage in training etc.



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,577 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump



    I would have assumed that what you are saying is a reason behind having different categories. i.e. there will be one category for which there is no reassessment, one for very occasional reassessment and one for more frequent. Maybe the latter two being 5-year and 1-year respectively. Those are just me projecting my own assumptions on how I might design a system.

    And there might be a lower level of automatic entitlement at each level, with a corresponding eligibility to work part time etc.



  • Registered Users Posts: 611 ✭✭✭hawthorne


    Actually there was (still is?) a system like that in place with the Illness Benefit sheme. The medical assessor who assessed you on behalf of the DoSP had a choice of several options to tick at the end of his standard questionnaire. The first one was "Do not refer again!"- which meant you was classified as somebody who will never be able to work again due to the severe nature of your illness. It removed you entirely from the medial re-assessment list. The other options your man could tick were "Call in again in 3 months/6 months/1 year/2 years". This system worked quite well up to a certain number of claimants. Unfortuantely, the number of claimants went up a lot- but the number of medial assessors employed by the DoSP did not. So more and more folks stayed on unchecked.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Dadtom


    Hi everyone i have a son who is on disability allowance long term. A bit of background at the end of primary school it was advised for son to be accessed for intellectual learning difficulties which was diagnosed as having and went to a special school from there. After school son was automatically given disability allowance. In sons later 20,s we were advised to get him accessed aspergers syndrome which my son was diagnosed. My son worked in a fast food outlet in the kitchen for a while one time while they did not say he was too slow for the fast paced environment they more or less implied it when he was brought into the office and told this is not working out we have to leave you go. My son has since part time volunteer work in a charity shop just sorting out donations which he likes doing as it is a no pressure work environment. Given the government proposal for disability payments depending on the level of the person's disability who is going to determine a person's disability level and how? I know for a fact my son wouldn't last or be suitable for most workplace environments. I would be dead set against moving to the uk model of dealing with disability payments.



  • Registered Users Posts: 611 ✭✭✭hawthorne


    Folks are assessed by a medical doctor who are employed by the DoSP. The medical assessment lasts for about 20 minutes and is very superficial. Claimants are asked a good few questions how their illness/disability affects their daily life. A few exercises to assess the level of mobility or damage to the body are done as well. The assessor ticks a lot of boxes on special questionaires and fills in a few remarks as well. The report is sent to the specific section of the DoSP. A case manager collects all infos and it his him/her (!) who makes the final decision. All specialists reports/documents/papers are taken into consideration for this decision.

    I noticed over the years that a big number of refusals are reversed in appeals. Judging by that, it seems to me that a refusal or an acceptance depends very much on the personality of the deciding officer. It is possible that the DoSP has a quota for the acception of claims to keep the numbers under control. In that case any application depends on luck....



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,753 ✭✭✭oceanman


    To be honest i wouldnt worry too much. Nest year all political parties will be in full election mode and none of them will want to touch this with a barge pole. it will be just business as usual.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 PineappleSoup


    Categories for reassessment aren't an issue, it already exists to some degree but could probably be improved upon. It's just that isn't what's being proposed here. The proposal is that 50% of those on disability be placed into a group that requires them to engage in training/employment - and they've come up with this off skewed data - they even acknowledge the data issue in the footnotes of the Green Paper.

    Jobpath was a disaster (we imported that from the UK too) - and didn't offer value for money to the state either - with a poor rate of helping people into sustainable employment. What's being proposed here sounds to be a very similar scheme for people with disabilities. The focus is on the study finding there are people wanting to work but are worried about losing their payment - but ignores the other issues that were found in that same study including employers being unwilling to make adjustments and discrimination faced by people with disabilities. And instead of alleviating the aforementioned worry, the plan will exacerbate it for the majority of those in receipt of a disability payment.

    I don't at all disagree with you that we need to ensure that the system isn't being abused - but we shouldn't ever do that at the expense of those who rely on that system. And we also need to consider the cost versus benefit of that too - ie. if it costs €5 million and only keeps 50 scammers out of the system, as distasteful as it may be - it isn't worth it.

    I also think we should help as many people who are able to engage in training/employment to do so, but we should do that in a proactive and supportive way, listening to the problems and concerns and addressing them ad we go. I don't think we should bring in measures that have already proven to be harmful and to not actually work.

    To those who have expressed concerns about how this may impact them or their loved ones, I suggest you go to page one of this thread for the Green Paper. It explains there how you can share your own thoughts or concerns. Even if all you have to say is that it's causing you concern it's worth doing. As others have said, hopefully it's very unlikely this will ever actually happen. It just frustrates me seeing proposals that have proven to be harmful elsewhere, particularly when I interact daily with people facing those harms.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Dadtom


    While I don't expect the proposed changes to come into effect next year. If the current coalition returned to power they can say we have being given a mandate our proposed reforms were known prior to the election.



  • Registered Users Posts: 28 towntown


    What tier would someone who is getting cared for full time by there partner who is receiving carers allowance be on?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,978 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1


    Level 1 I presume, there's no mention in the white paper about Carer's, this review going to target Those on Disability Allowance & Invalidity Pension. I'm not convinced it will affect current recipients, more likely new entrants, if it even gets passed the discussion stage.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Registered Users Posts: 530 ✭✭✭DT2016


    Person above me said level one which is €260 as I’m in the same boat as you. I care for my partner who is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Suffers for a lot of mental health problem, doesn’t sleep, taking medication etc. He has no family at all, they all left him when he came forward but it went to court and his abuser is in prison. Will he have to apply again for level 1 aka the maximum or will people already on it just be moved and new people applying have to do all this only?

    There is no mention of carers either I wonder how this will or could affect me? Carers don’t get enough IMO for the work they do. I tell you that extra €40 would seriously help heating bills etc

    Post edited by DT2016 on


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,057 ✭✭✭✭zell12


    It's just a proposal to change the scheme, that's all.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭TooTired123


    He nor you have to do absolutely nothing at this stage as this is merely a proposal, that is all, nothing else. It may never see the light of day. The widespread reporting on it has caused a lot of people a lot of distress absolutely pointlessly.

    Please carry on with what you are doing and pay no further attention to any of this as there’s nothing going to happen, if anything ever happens, for a very long time.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,813 ✭✭✭mrslancaster


    The green paper says the re-assessments would be carried out by dsp doctors - does the minister think gps/consultants are in cahoots with chancers to enable them to game the system? Its hard to see how a one-off consultation with a dsp doctor would provide more insight or information about a person's illness/condition/ability to work that the person's own doctor or consultant who is seeing the patient regularly, and prescribing medication and treatments, possibly for years.

    Imo, people who are able to work have jobs. I know someone who is on a disability payment for the past few years since getting a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (constant pain) and know of another who has severe anxiety and debilitating depression and cant leave their house or interact with others. To look at them you'd think they were both in full health and fit for work but realistically neither are even if any company would employ them. It seems cruel to submit a very vulnerable group of our citizens to additional scrutiny and bureaucracy when their own doctors have already deemed them unfit for work. Sounds like the dsp are saying they dont believe the gp/consultants diagnosis.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,776 ✭✭✭thomas 123


    You should not be dead and you are not a waste of space.

    A potential solution to your problem - write out what you want to say like you have done so here, talk with your sister, and when you have your next meeting go in armed with your sheet and your sister to back you up(If you are allowed). Your GP may also write a letter to that effect so you dont end up on any more courses.

    Take out the bit about minding your sisters child, that's nobody's business , if she chooses to give you a few quid keep that to yourself also. One thing I would say is don't over extend yourself - the little child probably gives you a boost but do make sure to set some boundaries and keep some energetic time to yourself to do what you need to do.



  • Registered Users Posts: 611 ✭✭✭hawthorne


    There has been a problem with GPs certifying patients for many years in regards to illness benefit. A lot of GPs did not examine their patients for the following certs after the first few. A receptionist handed out pre- signed certs to folks asking for them. I know a receptionist who boasted how good she was in forging any of the doctor's signatures in the medical centre. Those folks never saw their doctor after the first one or two visists. They just collected the necessary cert and sent it to the department by post.

    This has changed. The whole thing is done electronically now. The doctor does a few ticks online. This might have made matters worse- patients do not even need to turn up anymore. It can be all done via phone.

    The mistrust of the department when it comes to GPs has its origin in this carry own. A medical assessor employed by the department is a way to double check. Trust is good- but control is better. I know it is very distressful for a lot of people- but it keeps a good few chancers away who otherwise would leech on those who really need the payment.



  • Registered Users Posts: 530 ✭✭✭DT2016


    Will do but wouldn’t say no to €260 straight away hopefully in this years budget lol



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭TooTired123


    I can absolutely garuntee that you will not be getting an increase of €40 in this years budget.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Dadtom


    I just watched the dail clip where paul murphy questioned leo varadkar about the proposed reforms. paul asked leo if he seen i daniel blake. The snide remark by leo about benefits street really showed his contempt for people on any type of social welfare payments.



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