A disabling bug

May 19th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

writes in the Nelson Mail:

I had a stomach bug. That’s all it was. A bit of an upset, when I was in Bali for a friend’s wedding two years ago.

Most of us did – even the bride and groom had a couple days spent in their rooms. But when I got home . . . the pain didn’t stop.

It would come and go, but then I’d have weeks where I couldn’t get out of bed, and I didn’t know why.

I lost weight. Foods that had never been a problem made me vomit. I stopped consuming gluten, dairy, alcohol. Nothing made a difference.

Six months later, I was finally diagnosed with an intestinal bug called Dientamoeba fragilis. It’s nasty. But not as nasty as what was about to happen. …

I was in hospital for about 12 days. It should have been longer, but I discharged myself after being told that I now probably had ulcerative colitis, which is an incurable auto-immune bowel disease.

Eventually this diagnosis was revoked . . . but nothing was put in its place.

I had no proper diagnosis. I had no prognosis – no-one knew when I would get better.

I had to quit work and go through the harrowing process of applying for a sickness benefit – at a time when I couldn’t even get out of bed.

My work was everything to me. I felt empty, lost. Betrayed by my own immune system, which continued to flare out of control.

It’s now a year since I was in hospital – almost two since I first got sick.

I’ve made tiny amounts of progress. I can get around on my own, mostly.

I walk with a cane, because often I’m too weak and too sore to stand up alone. My body reacts badly to a large number of foods and, even if I can manage to eat enough, my system doesn’t extract or retain the nutrients.

I’m constantly undernourished and extremely tired. I’ve had to write this all in bits, and afterwards I’ll have to go and sit down for a while.

Frustrating isn’t the word for it. Frustrating doesn’t begin to cover the fury I’ve felt, going from being a healthy 26-year-old – to being bedridden, quitting work, losing friends.

To having a visible and debilitating disability.

Being disabled is political. It’s public, especially when it means that the world around you no longer fits your needs.

It’s not surprising to me that I have ended up using what limited energy I have to fight for disability rights – which is what my battle with Work and Income is really about.

Sarah’s story is gripping, and as you read it I guess the reaction is that this could have happened to me – it was just a bug after all.

Sarah has become an activist on welfare issues, after her frustrations with – which she wrote about here. WINZ has apologised for what happened.

But it does highlight that there is a balancing act with welfare reforms, and how WINZ implements them. And we shouldn’t assume the balance is absolutely right.

There are some on welfare who are able to work, and some of the measures introduced are necessary to target them.

But there are also many on welfare who have had horrible things happen to them, and a system which makes them prove every x months they are still unable to work needs some flexibility and judgement involved.

UPDATE: Sarah has written a sort of response to this blog, on her blog.

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51 Responses to “A disabling bug”

  1. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    Sounds like the quality of employees at Winz is a big part of her problems.
    I suppose its not a highly attractive job so doesnt get the best recruits.
    Maybe she should ring her local mp and get that office put into shape.
    Her health sounds bad enough she should move onto the invalids benefit then she wont need to do all the reapplying with medical certificaye.
    The quote she says that she has a job yet is to ill to do it suggests she may not be able to go onto the invalids until she resigns or something… apologise for the irony but more info required!

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  2. Nostalgia-NZ (4,913 comments) says:

    Great point David and also something which we should try to remember before condemning others for being bludgers or just plain lazy, over weight etc as the list goes on.

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  3. budgieboy (103 comments) says:

    Wouldnt be without income protection myself.

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  4. Scott1 (448 comments) says:

    Pity the employment market is not more efficient because she appears to have some skills that could be used – maybe for a limited period per day.

    Also maybe Winz should get the taping (that the winz visitors were suggesting in the thread) done themselves such that if anyone knows the time and day they visited they can prove they gave the winz officer whatever it is they say they gave them considering there seems to be a pretty high level of distrust there.

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  5. Scott1 (448 comments) says:

    I imagine the problem with Winz dealing with unemployed people is that they expect them to lie (in many cases), they also expect they may be litigious and they expect them to be confrontational (if they don’t get what they want) and all 3 are not unreasonable expectations (I meant they will often occur).

    As a result Winz just takes the path of least resistance and deals with them as a big bureaucracy.

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  6. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    I believe her, but expecting WINZ to just believe people is equivalent to asking us to just turn our wallets upside down and shake until empty. The only real facts in the above story are firstly, she says she weak and tired all the time, and second, doctors have not been able to diagnose the cause. That sounds like exactly the sort of fact pattern where WINZ should be extremely vigilant that our money is not being handed over unnecessarily.

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  7. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    The trouble is a large proportion of people try to con WINZ so they seem to err on the side of scepticism; the whole boy who cried wolf situation. It isn’t fair on the genuinely ill but it is understandable; I guess they need to work harder on giving each client a clean slate. One of my sister in laws has debilitating Crohns yet manages to work park time as much as 25 hours a week but gets hassled every-time she can’t work and needs help. I have another aquaintance who can’t do physical work yet manages to spend 12-16 hours a day on his computer and never gets questioned for being “unable” to work. He could easily do call centre work etc. The system doesn’t seem very balanced at times and if it is an internal problem it seems to get doubted more!

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  8. annie (537 comments) says:

    Nigel Kearney (750 comments) says:
    May 19th, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I believe her, but expecting WINZ to just believe people is equivalent to asking us to just turn our wallets upside down and shake until empty. The only real facts in the above story are firstly, she says she weak and tired all the time, and second, doctors have not been able to diagnose the cause. That sounds like exactly the sort of fact pattern where WINZ should be extremely vigilant that our money is not being handed over unnecessarily.

    In the context of the diagnosis of a systemic autoimmune disorder, suspicion isn’t necessary. Her condition as described, including onset following a possibly infectious gut episode, is entirely typical and the disability is real and probably ongoing.

    A specific diagnosis is often not possible, particularly earlier in the course of a systemic autoimmune disorder. To some extent the precise diagnosis is a rather academic consideration, though it can guide optimal drug choice. The diagnosis to date is “autoimmune condition”; that’s sufficient to account for the disability.

    The problem with these people is that they don’t look particularly unwell even though they have a significantly disabling condition. These are an example of the sort of people who are often dealt with badly by WINZ.

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  9. tas (596 comments) says:

    Although I haven’t had any experience with WINZ myself, I get the feeling that they often fail to help those generally in need (e.g. this story), while those who know the system can make a comfortable living by manipulating it (e.g. emergency payments).

    Part of the problem may be that getting a “doctor’s note” is not very objective. Many doctors will give you one just to get you to leave them alone. (Benefits aren’t their problem after all.) Maybe WINZ should employ their own specialist medical assessors who can review cases with some discretion.

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  10. Nostalgia-NZ (4,913 comments) says:

    Without facts to back it up I can’t go along with the idea of a ‘large’ number of clients trying to con WINZ or even if it were true that was reason for general scepticism. The costs of ‘natural scepticism’ probably out weighs that being the default position. Anyway, I’d say a true free saddler, would go into greater detail than feeling weak and tired or have an example of a trip they took where they fell ill.

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  11. OneTrack (2,613 comments) says:

    bigdaddynz got it in one. There are bludgers out there ( rufus payntor? ) and there appear to be too many of them. WINZ (and the general public) are simply reacting to that.

    This is bad news for the people with real issues that then have to jump through many hoops to prove their case. But can anybody come up with a better suggestion (that won’t bankrupt the government).

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  12. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    It is little wonder WINZ is sceptical given the vast number of women claiming to have some fashionable stomach disorder. For example the number of people who have problems with gluten is under 1%. But over 25% of women claim they do. Studies have confirmed the problem is psychological. Amazingly you seldom hear of men getting these strange disorders. Funny that.

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  13. JC (909 comments) says:

    My suggestion would be to join up with one of the health charities. Even though she’s relatively undiagnosed I’d suggest Multiple Schelosis which looks after a range immune disorders.

    That gives her free access to the Field Workers who can be absolute gems in fighting battles on behalf of the client, organising subsidised taxis, getting hand rails installed, attending the doctor or Winz with the client, traveling out of region to see specialists, getting home modifications and providing moral support and a friendly ear. Also, and this is important.. helping the client organise herself to achieve the greatest amount of independence over time.

    JC

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  14. MT_Tinman (2,993 comments) says:

    But there are also many on welfare who have had horrible things happen to them, and a system which makes them prove every x months they are still unable to work needs some flexibility and judgement involved.

    I disagree.

    As long as people are getting taxpayer money because of health issues the requirement that they continue to provide details of their health regularly is paramount.

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  15. hj (6,359 comments) says:

    If it is a bug fecal microbial transplant might help.
    If you have something like chron’s disease you’re like a car with an intermittent electrical problem, o.k some of the time and not o.k some of the time and after a bowel resection problems can eventually crop up like osteoporosus meaning a bad back.

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  16. Judith (7,631 comments) says:

    Well said DPF.

    Whilst there are many on welfare that could work, there are also those who receive welfare because they simply have no choice.

    Sadly it is those that have used the system – sometimes more than 2 to 3 generations of families, that have made the system much tougher for those in genuine need.

    The problem is very much about ability to work. Those that remain without work, eventually become ‘unemployable’ as they lose the ‘work ethic’. When one generation passes this on to the next generation, we end up with entire families and even communities where the work ethic is rare. Because self sufficiency and working for an income is not demonstrated in the ordinary living of the community, non-working individuals become the norm, and those that dare to work, become the ‘unusual’.

    I believe there is a need for a welfare system in any caring society. But that it should be short term assistance that has the sole purpose of assisting the person to gain whatever it takes to be able to support themselves.

    Those few that will never be able to be in paid employment due to health or disability, should be encouraged to reach their full potential in whatever means possible. Rather than just handing them a cheque to keep them alive – they can still be kept viable through targeted activities that demonstrate purpose and action.

    These people should be handled by a completely different department – and emergency welfare should never have been merged with permanent necessary assistance. The two need to be viewed by society as very different. Emerging them both under the same banner has assisted the ideology that welfare for life is an acceptable means of living.

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  17. Northland Wahine (648 comments) says:

    If you ask for proof, you’re being heartless, if you don’t ask for proof, you’re being negligent.

    I feel for this woman and in cases like this, the decision to make her jump hoops would not have been made by a case manager, but by someone in regional office who has a medical background. Case managers aren’t doctors.

    However as a case manager who on a daily basis, who sees at least 1 medical certificate a day for asthma, gout, depression, morbid obesity and drug and alcohol addiction, you can bet I’m weary of medical certificates.

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  18. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    So what is the actual medical conditon this “activist on welfare issues” has ? Medical benefits are not handed out based on anecdotes.

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  19. Judith (7,631 comments) says:

    @ MT_Tinman (2,850 comments) says:
    May 19th, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I agree with DPF on this one.

    The current requirements for people with a disability are costly – and it is us, the tax payer that foots the bill for that. Specialist reports etc, that just repeat what was said three months prior, are costly and expensive. Whilst I accept there has to be checks and accountability, there also has to be practicality. A person whose foot was amputated three months earlier is not simply going to grow another one – nor suddenly develop physical ability within a short period – there has to be adjustment within the stringent rules to allow for commonsense.

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  20. hj (6,359 comments) says:

    what about the buffoon Morgan’s idea of paying everyone a sum

    Paying universal transfers acknowledges that every individual has the same unconditional right – to a basic income sufficient for them to live in dignity. The Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) provides this.

    With this basic protection in place people are then free to add to that income through paid work if they choose. Equally, they can live on the UBI and pursue other activities – doing the unpaid work of caring for children or others in their community for example, or studying full time, or pursuing new business ventures. The UBI offers the prospect of ensuring everyone has the means to live while giving them the freedom to live their lives as they choose.
    What is the alternative to a universal transfer?

    The alternative – targeted transfers – involves discriminating between people. Some get more support than others. But on what basis should we discriminate between people? By the number of children they look after perhaps – but what about the number of dependent elderly parents they care for, or the step children that they care for when other parents also provide support? What about those who contribute a lot of time and money to their wider community, or who have high health costs? In practice it is not possible to credibly discriminate between people so many fall through the cracks of targeted transfers. As well, the very process of identifying “the needy” stigmatises people, removes the choices of those who receive help and exacerbates social divisions.

    This is what the New Zealand Royal Commission on Social Policy had to say in 1988 about universal and targeted transfers:

    “Universalism recognises that we are all members of society… being New Zealanders entitles and engages all of us, whatever our ages or circumstances, and support measures should be rights based. And those eligible for income support should not be subject to unnecessary and stigmatising procedures to establish what is theirs as a basic right.

    A system designed only to assist the poor helps perpetuate existing social and economic inequality in the longer run by reinforcing distinctions between the poor and the rest of society, and at the same time it may lock the poor into a cycle of poverty by its system of benefit abatement. A further implication is that a highly targeted system will ultimately face considerable resistance from taxpayers unwilling to support a system perceived as rewarding the improvident and providing themselves with no return for their contributions. The longer run consequences could thus be an even more targeted system that provides continually falling benefit levels.”

    http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/universal-basic-income.aspx

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  21. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    Perversely the way it seems to work is the more genuine you are and the harder you try to do everything asked of you the more hassle you get yet if you are belligerently difficult and have been a long term client you can get away with a lot more. I can understand this is a sense that they are trying to get people off welfare before they become too dependent and institutionalized. But when you have someone like my sister in law who really wants to work absolutely getting put through the ringer it seems manifestly wrong. Also the “lost” paperwork seems to happen far too regularly for it to be genuinely lost; my sister in laws paperwork always gets lost. She has literally handed it to a case manager and has been told it must have been lost in the post. She wanted to record herself handing it over but was told in no uncertain terms that was a “sure way to lose her benefit”!!

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  22. Judith (7,631 comments) says:

    budgieboy (100 comments) says:
    May 19th, 2014 at 7:39 am
    Wouldnt be without income protection myself.

    I agree. I believe the govt should recognise income protection insurance through a tax incentive. The more people that have these insurances, the less paid out in welfare.

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  23. itstricky (1,569 comments) says:

    Good post. Pleasently surprised by the comments.

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  24. jcuk (586 comments) says:

    I feel for Northland Wahine and her job as from my experience of being unemployed briefly and having a lodger who was also not working … this all 20 years ago in the ‘good old days’ …. I got the impression that it was a ‘war’ with each trying to “do” the other … heaven knows how the situation has deteriated to now.

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  25. jcuk (586 comments) says:

    Income protection or the UBI .. two ways of handling the problem … UBI is the preferable system IMO though unfortunately it would mean a Labour-Green government .

    Then there is the Piketty solution …..

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  26. anticorruptionnz (166 comments) says:

    Isn’t this a sad indictment on our society while we turn a blind eye to the corporates( many foreign ) who fleece us every day , control our government , pay no tax . Yet we begrudge those who were one minute a healthy 26 year old and then struck down by the unexpected.

    My 24 year old son got glandular fever, was admitted to hospital and discharged after 3 days less than a week later developed ear ache,saw seeing 5 doctors in 3 days but despite this went totally deaf over night

    He was fortunate , his boss covered the sick leave with annual leave and then took him off salary and put him on wages so that He could work from home and work billable hours .

    Had it been his eyes instead of his ears it may have been different as he is a software engineer . We have more weird bugs than we admit to but the health and the welfare ( and recovery ) of our people is far less important that big business (and the very rich) making big bucks .

    while some can work through recovery others cannot and perhaps the assessment of people should be made by doctors not a clerk who judges people for being fat of having gout . People can loose weight and Gout can be managed the important thing is that those being supported by the state should be on a medically approved scheme which will make them better so that they can return to work.

    The point I am making is that government could learn a lot from my sons boss.

    If the system treated people fairer, then perhaps people wouldn’t be as inclined to rip it off .

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  27. gump (1,488 comments) says:

    Some of the comments that people have left on her blog are revealing. Like this one:

    “UPDATE: Went to doctors, got Disability form signed after much argument, and her telling me she thinks I don’t have the things wrong with me, and that I am creating them, went back to winz to hand in the DA form, got told it was the wrong one, I need to get a Medical Certificate, went back to doctors, asked for med cert, have to go back in the morning to see if she has done it.”

    http://writehanded.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/fuck-winz-yes-i-said-it/#comment-630

    It’s hard to be entirely sympathetic when the patient’s doctor doesn’t think that there is something wrong with them.

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  28. RRM (9,467 comments) says:

    Has this comments thread been cleaned up by dpf?

    I read Sarah’s response before scrolling down here, and I thought there were going to be some pretty rough comments here, and I just don’t see them?

    She writes well, and I feel for her; but if she lashes out at WINZ staff like she ripped into DPF (and, by extension, us) then I’m not surprised none of them are going the extra mile for her…. just saying!

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  29. Muzza M (291 comments) says:

    What pisses me off is giving invalids and sickness benefits to people who have self imposed illnesses, ie. drug addicts and alcoholics. I dished out methadone to 70 people for seven years, only three of them had steady employment. One of them has been on a benefit and probably still is, for over 25 years.

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  30. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    It’s hard to be entirely sympathetic when the patient’s doctor doesn’t think that there is something wrong with them.

    I suspect there is more to this -disability activists- story.

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  31. Peter (1,578 comments) says:

    Saw Sarah’s response. Agree with RRM. Her over-reaction to DPFs rather helpful post, and thoughtful comments in this thread, seems rather odd.

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  32. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Peter, it only seems odd if you accept her victim story without question. I think she is playing on it and has mental health issues. That is my call, based on what little I have seen.

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  33. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    “I’m Sarah.

    I’m a writer, feminist, social justice campaigner, and poet.”

    And benefit fraudster ?

    http://www.writehanded.org/about/

    [DPF: Accusation of fraud not acceptable. 10 demerits]

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  34. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    Another lie, Kea?

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  35. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    milky, I am siding with the Doctors on this. What informs your view ?

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  36. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    The fact she is on a sickness benefit tends to confirm the view that she is, well, sick.

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  37. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    milky, yes I agree she is sick. She has issues and is highly manipulative. Go check out her site instead of mindlessly buying into the victim narrative.

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  38. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    I have checked her site. I believe she is genuinely sick. What evidence do you have that she is not?

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  39. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    First Kea believed in the doctors, then he believed in the academics, then he believed in the theologians, and then he voted for somebody who lied.

    She lost Kea’s trust by calling herself a feminist.

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  40. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    milky, so what is her problem ? She has her benny ? Sucker :lol:

    “I’m Sarah.

    I’m a writer, feminist, social justice campaigner, and poet.”

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  41. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    Her problem is a debilitating illness, in case you missed that part (I realise reading comprehension is not your strong suit).

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  42. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    milky, nah it is not. Her problem is her attitude and the chip on her shoulder. She is highly manipulative and has shamed people into giving her what she wants.

    “I’m Sarah.

    I’m a writer, feminist, social justice campaigner, and poet.”

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  43. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    RRM, Peter, no I do not agree. Someone forced into the circumstance of welfare dependency, has two choices – solidarity is one of them (the alternative is divide against others on welfare). If so, then there would be some resistance to being “patronised” as of one of the worthy “minority” on welfare.

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  44. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    So, in your view, is there something wrong with writing, feminism, social justice or poetry?

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  45. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Yes

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  46. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    And so, in your view, anyone interested in such things must have something wrong with her?

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  47. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    mikenmikd, kea is taking this thread (playing to bigotry against any feminist displaying solidarity with others on welfare/social justice) to where istricky feared it might go.

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  48. lolitasbrother (482 comments) says:

    Until you deal with WINZ there is no possibility you will understand the stupidity, and ineptitude that is there.
    Once you have been in dreadful pain, and are lost and abandoned , and not know where to go,
    well then you will find out the hell of our system of Social unwelfare.
    It does not work. WINZ needs to be ripped apart and we will start a new help system with me as CEO.
    I will provide chairs for crippled people , and sympathy to the afflicted, at the same time reduce the costs enormously.
    I will start at the top of WINZ and sack everyone down, and start again.

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  49. itstricky (1,569 comments) says:

    Her response is pretty clear really. Like SPC, with a heavy dose of empathy, it’s easy to see what she’s saying. Fair enough. Yep, and here comes Big Bird to soil it.

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  50. HC (152 comments) says:

    Thank you David Farrar to finally take note and point out, that there are serious enough cases of sickness, injury and disability, and I dare to argue, that most that were and are on those health related benefits are there for a good reasons. The former Sickness Benefit was probably abused by a few, but GPs are no fools either, and in the vast majority of cases, the persons considered too sick to work will have had their doctor assess them as such, with good expert judgment.

    There was some change to the system last year, which lumped together those former sickness beneficiaries and ordinary unemployed, and I think it was the wrong move, as the Jobseeker benefit category should be about fit and ready jobseekers, and not have an “under category” of “deferred” jobseekers, who are too sick, injured or otherwise disabled to work.

    Some of the welfare reforms may have made sense, but with all evidence I have seen, Paula Bennett and her Ministry have fallen victim to some misguided “advice”, mainly from UK “experts”, who quote “research”, which can be disputed, and which was paid for by a major health and disability insurer, funding the research institute doing the research, that was actually found guilty of illegal conduct in a number of US courts.

    One of the “advisors” was a Professor Mansel Aylward, highly controversial in the UK, despite of many accolades, there were a few others, like former ATOS employee David Beaumont, known well by some ACC clients for flawed advice, also from the UK by the way. He now “co-incidentally” heads the AFOEM of the RACP.

    There is also one Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt, who is known to have in many presentations to his “wooed” health professionals likened benefit dependence to “drug dependence”. I think there was some “advice” leading the government into the wrong direction, and MSD, WINZ and the Minister will be well advised to correct their systems, to not fall for wrong advice, but follow true science and good practice, and a holistic approach, to actually help people in need.

    The following has been read by many, perhaps not so many of readers here, but it deserves consideration:

    ‘WORK ABILITY ASSESSMENTS DONE FOR WORK AND INCOME – PARTLY FOLLOWING ACC’s APPROACH: A REVEALING FACT STUDY’

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/16092-work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-%E2%80%93-partly-following-acc%E2%80%99s-approach-a-revealing-fact-study/

    Also essential material to study is found here:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15463-designated-doctors-%e2%80%93-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc/

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15188-medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-bps-model-aimed-at-disentiteling-affected-from-welfare-benefits-and-acc-compo/

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15264-welfare-reform-the-health-and-disability-panel-msd-the-truth-behind-the-agenda/

    I believe that the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor has by now also been made aware of the bulk of critical feedback, that not only was presented in the UK, but also in New Zealand.

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  51. HC (152 comments) says:

    Kea, 09:19 am, 19 May: “So what is the actual medical conditon this “activist on welfare issues” has ? Medical benefits are not handed out based on anecdotes.”

    With all respect, it does not matter, whether a person is a “feminist”, a “chauvinist”, a “black”, “white”, “catholic”, “jewish”, or whatever kind of person, when a doctor diagnoses a person as sick and unable to work, we must accept it, as it is a doctor’s professional assessment. There may be additional examinations and assessments of kinds by specialists, or whatever, but codes of ethics, professionalism, and science must be listened to, and accepted, and no WINZ or ACC “official” should be allowed to question and overrule such medical professional diagnosis at will. It would be at their peril, but it happens, and it happens too often, in the UK it led people to commit suicide and also die too early, trying to cope with work expectations, when they were really not ready or capable to meet these.

    So perhaps reflect on your apparently rushed comment. If you would fall ill, have a serious accident, and it may not be that apparent (visibly), and a WiNZ or ACC case manager tells you to get “stuffed” or “toughen up”, I think you would not feel too respected and treated fairly yourself.

    We are here not talking about dodgers, malingerers and fakers, this is where it pays to be careful, and to listen to clients and their medical specialists, who provide the info. Even in some cases doctors are wrong, we know, but I am more worried about the government and WINZ and ACC trying to influence doctors, to perhaps compromise their code, simply to “save costs” for the government, short term or medium term.

    No you are wrong with your prejudice, it does not matter what the affected sick person is like, whether outspoken, meek, white, brown or whatever.

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