1,700,000+ “Sick” Brits Mysteriously Cured When Gov’t Implemented Medical Testing For Incapacity Benefit

It’s a MIRACLE!

… almost 900,000 have dropped their claim to the taxpayer-funded benefits rather than undergo a new medical test as part of the Coalition welfare reforms. …
Another 837,000 who did take the test were found to be fit to work immediately, and a further 367,300 were judged able to do some level of work.

Or possibly it’s responsible stewardship of public dollars. (Definition of the United Kingdom’s “incapacity benefit” here.)
Disability claims have risen steadily in the United States – even as work-related injuries have declined, by the way. (H’mmm.) This increase of s.s.d.i. claims has threatened the federal budget on both the spending and the revenue sides: by the outflow of claims payments and by the absence of the income tax that would be coming in if the recipient had gainful employment. Do you suppose if we implemented similar medical testing or, heaven forbid, tightened up the qualifying standard slightly – heck, just put it back the way it was in 1981 – we might work some “miracle” cures on our side of the pond?

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ANTHONY
ANTHONY
8 years ago

2013: 99 weeks of vacation pay runs out. Getting on disability is the cure. Psst…can still work under the table!
Now obsolete: Patient…heal thyself.

jgardner
jgardner
8 years ago

Monique, you are a heartless person. How dare you question anyone on disability. In fact, I’m sure that’s illegal in some way.
/s

Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
8 years ago

Good luck to the 1,700,000 people in finding a job, with Britain’s 13% “real” unemployment rate, it’s 23% unemployment rate for folks between 18 and 25 years old including college graduates, 40% for those 18 to 25 with no college degrees. Since disability benefits in the UK are less than most folks earn, it could be that these folks were on the dole, because they could not find a job, not that I am OK with that
The government in the UK must be flush with cash, since they wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on Cheney’s foolish and totally unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And still spend hundreds of millions annually on the Royal Family who are among the wealthiest people in the world LOL

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

I think Monique’s post assumes a desire on the part of the governors to rectify the problem. I do not think that exists, although hard times may force it on them. Just as they are prepared to throw money at inner cities to “keep them quiet”, I think they are prepared to throw money at the unemployment problem. I doubt that it matter to them whether support is provided by “general relief” or S.S.D.I. It is probably of some concern to them whether the funds are provided by the states or the federal government. I imagine there is a lot of infighting over that one.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

– Government-appointed three-doctor panels for all new applications.
– Tougher standards for what constitutes disability.
– Disability benefits scaled by percentage functionality.
– Appeals actively defended by government-contracted attorneys.
All basic and reasonable safeguards that should have been in place since day one of SSDI. None will see the light of day.

Patrick
Patrick
8 years ago

The Rhode Island answer to this? “The test is flawed. Eliminate the whole program. Status quo.”

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Dan:
“- Government-appointed three-doctor panels for all new applications.
Presently, the determination is made by a single physician.
– Tougher standards for what constitutes disability.
At the “initial stage” the restrictions are fairly tight. It is in the “appeal process” where the restrictions become easier.
– Disability benefits scaled by percentage functionality.
That is fairly common in many disability programs, Worker’s Comp, etc.
– Appeals actively defended by government-contracted attorneys.
Not a bad idea, it should be remembered that the Administrative Law Judges might not even recognize the rules of evidence. As with all ALJ’s, there is a high percentage of political hacks who “needed a job”.
As I think I have mentioned, my former wife worked in disability some years ago. The initial standards are quite high, about 80% of claimants were denied. On appeal, the numbers are almost reversed with about 80% of the appellants being granted disability.

Mike
Mike
8 years ago

Finally, incentivize people to inform on the cheats–perhaps bored private investigators can make some extra cash by seeking out the cheats who are working “on the side.”

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

“Presently, the determination is made by a single physician.”
Yes, selected by the patient. And if you are refused by one, you can select another and another until you get the answer you want. No potential for abuse there.
“At the ‘initial stage’ the restrictions are fairly tight. It is in the “appeal process” where the restrictions become easier.”
The eligibility requirements have been relaxed by Congress over time. A significant number of people do get denied the first time, but you are correct that the badly broken appeals process is what allows many of them a second grab at the ring. A multi-billion-dollar cottage industry has sprung up to get people accepted in the program in exchange for a percentage of backpayments awarded.
“Not a bad idea, it should be remembered that the Administrative Law Judges might not even recognize the rules of evidence. As with all ALJ’s, there is a high percentage of political hacks who “needed a job”.”
Aside from those issues, the format of the hearing is almost unrecognizable from the viewpoint of the traditional judicial process. At the hearing, you have the applicant, the applicant’s attorney, the judge, and nobody defending the case for government/taxpayers. It’s no wonder, as you point out, that well over half of appeals succeed. There is literally nobody at the hearing to defend a piece of paper and explain why the rejection should be upheld.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Mike: “perhaps bored private investigators can make some extra cash by seeking out the cheats who are working “on the side”.
This is regularly done by worker’s comp insurers, isn’t it?
Some friends of mine are diggers, who employ about 6 of their sons. One of the sons was injured on the job and “went out on comp”. That son stopped by the yard to visit and helped someone move a barrel. His comp was immediately cancelled on the strengh of a photo of him helping to move the barel.
A bit of humor here. Several years ago I hired a digger to remove an underground oil tank. He had formerly taught Fine Arts at Harvard, but returned to the family business for the money. His basement walls were poured with bas reliefs of Roman gladiators.

Mike
Mike
8 years ago

Appreciate the humor, Warrington. Why was the investigator (if it was an investigator) there taking pictures? Could be the whole story isn’t being told. And if the guy could move a barrel, perhaps he shouldn’t be on…
Agreed–workers comp does pay investigators. But adding a few more eyes to the system hurts how?

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Mike, there was a time when I hired a few investigators and got to know one fairly well. Most of his work was for insurance companies in various capacities. Little of it is “cloak and dagger”. He got a lot of work pretending to be an employee in “inventory shrinkage” matters. More humor, I hired him at the request of a French woman. She was having an affair with one of her married professors at MIT. She was concerned that he might be having an affair with another student and would hide in dumpster’s to spy on him. Although I never had cause to use the service, investigators would offer copies of telephone bills (back when long distance calls were itemized) and bank statements. That was pre-Internet. This must not have been difficult, the costs were nominal. I recall 35, or 45, dollars. Now they offer “background reports” at a fairly low rate. I did order one of those on an appointed official. While it did offer some interesting info on his former “roommates” it was simply pulled down from one of those Internet services that offer background info. The incident I referred to took place in the early 90’s, I am of the impression that insurers spent more time investigating claims then. It is also possible that they were “profiled”. The company was doing fairly well and could have afforded “to carry” the injured son. And, of course, he was a relative, not a “regular” employee. I know the son was legitimately injured and was only “helping” to move a 55 gallon drum. Perhaps he was only supplying balance. Had the family’s financial situation been otherwise, they might have chosen to litigate it. Why was he photographed? Insurance companies certainly “profile”. They regularly pull a credit report when a… Read more »

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