'Complicated' system making it difficult for sick people to claim benefits

October 31, 2012

Dr Dyson, a general practitioner who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, has first-hand experience of the difficulty faced with trying to claim sickness benefit. Due to her illness she has not been able to work since early July and wanted to claim employment and support allowance.

Surprised at not being given the option to complete a form online, she was forced to ring a premium rate phone number where she was forced to wait on hold for 30 minutes, followed by 40 minutes of questioning. Dr Dyson was then told that she would be sent some forms to sign whilst also being asked to produce her original birth certificate, marriage certificate and medical certificate of sickness with any details of pensions or sickness insurances, all of which had to be sent by recorded delivery.

Dr Dyson is fortunately not reliant on state benefit and does not feel ill or unwell and as such, feels she has the "strength and perseverance" to persist with her claim, but says that many of her patients do not have such luck. She also says that if anyone had a hearing loss or speech impediment the original telephone conversation would have been near "impossible".

She says it is a "scandal" that the system is so complicated and that it is likely to fail the people who are most in need of help and suspects it is a government ploy to "reduce the number of benefit claims and reduce the overall cost of welfare".

Dr Dyson concludes that what she believes is a "bureaucratic claim system" should be revealed for what it truly is: a government that is withholding funds from sick and needy people.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.