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According to a report in my local paper, not known for its rabid sensationalism, figures it obtained under FoI Act show that "930 people locally are being paid incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance where their main disabling condition is listed as alcoholism."
Now I know that raw figures quoted out of context are always open to interpretation, and that alcoholism is an illness like any other, but I can't help feeling that this is not what incapacity benefit is meant for.
alcoholics and drug addicts should not be paid incapacity or DLA as they are self inflicted, they should only get the basic unemployment on the condition they enrole and complete rehab.
if they refuse then no benefits at all.
"alcoholism is an illness like any other"
So why treat it any differently?
So are medical conditions caused by smoking or some accidents injuries such as those caused dangerous sports or pastimes.
"So why treat it any differently?"
I didn't suggest it should be.
I simply have a not very comfortable feeling about it.
The problem is 'The Gravy Train'
If you can find a way to claim for something, you are entitled to a lot of other benefits, that may be un-related to your 'Problem'.
This may be an illness, however it is not incurable,One of the main requirements for the cure is Willpower, but it is easier to keep putting your hand out, than getting off the gravy train.
I, as part the of conditions of my aircraft maintenance job, am liable to be tested for drink or drugs to enable me to carry on working.
The pay I receive is then taxed and some of those taxes go to pay the benefits of those who claim incapacity allowance.
Should they not also be tested before receiving my money?
You would have to pay twice as much tax (my estimate) to fund the 'tests' as well as the benefit payments. Catch22
My understanding is that they are "tested" in that they usually have to have a Personal Capability Assessment see click here. How vigorous it is I do not know.
However I do know that some people have legitimately struggled to get allowances. Part of the problem is that it all seems complicated (tax credits, etc). There does seem to be a minor industry in getting benefits.
that this is not what incapacity benefit is meant for."
Why - because alcoholism is 'self-inflicted'? I know you didn't say that, but your comment suggests it's what you're thinking.
Saying that alcoholism is self inflicted is to suggest that sufferers make conscious decisions to become ill, whereas the truth is a very different story. Most alcoholics absolutely detest their condition, and anyone who thinks that these people could 'snap out of it' if only they had the will power doesn't understand the first thing about alcoholism. It's a vile, debilitating condition over which the afflicted person has little or no control. Progressive societies are gradually coming to understand that alcohol abuse is just as much an addiction as any other form of substance abuse, and needs to be treated as such.
As Woolwell points out, you won't get incapacity benefit for alcoholism in isolation - it usually needs to have an attendant mental health implication. It's probably fair to say that a pretty large percentage of alcoholics do have some accompanying mental health issue - either one that develops as a result of the alcohol abuse, or one that partly precipitated or contributed to the person's descent into alcoholism in the first place.
So does that mean these alchoholics will then be eligable for Mobility and a free car (scary thought)
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