DCSIMG

DHSS launches new benefit rules

SOME people could find it harder to claim Family Income Support (FIS) from April 6.

This development comes after Tynwald approved an amendment to the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 last week.

Under the previous rules, married couples and civil partners without children, and married couples, civil partners and individuals with dependent children or who had responsibility for a disabled adult living with them could all claim.

This was as long as at least one of them worked for at least 16 hours a week, and they qualified as an Isle of Man worker or had been resident for the six months prior to the claim.

But from next month, couples without dependent children will only be eligible if one of them is 'severely disabled' or is a 'person with exceptional caring responsibilities'.

In addition, couples with dependent children will have to work at least 30 hours a week, except for the 'severely disabled' or a 'person with exceptional caring responsibilities', who will continue to have to work for at least 16 hours.

Single parents with children will also continue to have to work at least 16 hours a week to qualify.

The new rules include a provision that only Isle of Man workers will qualify, unless it can be shown that it would be exceptionally harsh or oppressive to deny applicants FIS. There will be a transition period until October 4, 2010, so that the current rules will continue to apply as long as a claim is made within 28 days of the end of each award ending.

Health and Social Security Minister Eddie Teare MHK said tightening the eligibility criteria was appropriate.

And he denied that it was just a cost-cutting exercise.

'There is no justification for funding it for non-residents, especially in the current economic climate,' he said.

He said the changes had followed wide public consultation last year.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Send your comments to newsviews@newsiom.co.im

YOUR COMMENTS

Everyone else is having to suffer during these hard time so it's about time that all these benefits people can claim are cut too. It's a shocking state of affairs the amount of money that goes out to these people some of whom shouldn't even be getting it. It's the Governments fault though. Throwing money at these people who seem to think it's their right to sit on their backsides all day, watching their relatives on the Jeremy Kyle show on a wide screen TV in a council house all subsidised by workers like me. Shocking!

MANX WORKER

Fis is for those who do work mr Manx worker! But do not earn enough, I am not sitting on my backside I work but just don't get enough to cover everything, so I receive fis, I would like to say more but I'm not allowed to swear on here but I think you should get your facts correct, people on fis are workers not lay abouts me Manx worker we are also workers.

NONE! LAY ABOUT

To Manx worker. For your information most people who claim benefits would rather not do so. They would rather be working and earning a living. If you think it is easy to live on benefits then try doing so! People only go onto benefits, because they have no choice, either through unemployment or ill-health. Both these types try to get employment and make contributions as soon as they can. I agree there will always be some who "take advantage", but the vast majority do not. It is for that very small minority that these have been tightened up, many people do not claim what they are entitled to in the first place. So please do not be insulting to honest decent people again thank you.

KEV

Did I mention FIS ? I was talking about benefits in general. Please read the post instead of shooting off. You must have enough time!

MANX WORKER

Unfortunately the few get tarred with the same brush – I wonder how many people getting FIS actually work more hours than they are claiming they work, quite a few I fancy. One of the other major issue is the number of people claiming sickness benefits. Why don't this tepid government of ours use one of the many doctors available – preferably one with military background – to cut out the malingerers and work shy. Yes there are genuine cases but they are dwarfed by the scroungers. Then while we are on a role, all those on unemployment benefits, pay them the going rate and let's get them working on community projects. The local authorities are quick to tell us there is no money available for projects so why not utilise the vast number of unemployed in these areas. You are giving them money anyway, why not get something in return.

PEEJAY

Sorry None and Kev - Manx Worker is 100 per cent correct, Let me give you just three examples i have come accross. Those on the sick or unemployed recently received the following in addition to rent cost , living expenses , etc, 550.00 tax rebate cheque (despite the fact that the state already funds their lives) 300.00 winter heating allowance, Christmas bonus, Total madness ! One guy i know got the 300.00 winter heating allowance , then goes to the Rosemount church where he receives energy vouchers from well meaning charity, grand total this winter over 100.00 Heads for the pub and sells the vouchers on for half price , then laughs his head off about it. My former neighbour - single mother , not working , etc, receives the 300.00 winter allowance, Next day i meet her boyfriend , who is working , however will not live with his partner as she would lose the majority of her benefits - who happily shows off his new 80.00 trainers - paid by for - you guessed it - his girlfriends winter heating allowance. Walk into a good number of pubs in Douglas during working hours and you will meet a large number of people so sick they are unable to work , but can somehow manage to make their way to town to get half cut. The benefits system is a justified , necessary safety net for those who are genuinely sick or lose their jobs through no fault of their own, however it is now a victim of widespread and systematic abuse. It has become a lifestyle choice for a very large number of people - not the tiny minority always quoted in the press. That this has been allowed to happen borders on a national disgrace and to be quite honest the craziest thing anyone can do on the Isle of Man is get a job,

DISGUSTED FED UP THOROUGHLY SICK TO THE BACK TEETH TAX PAYER

Disgusted - you're absolutely correct. Only this week one of my family members who works in a local pub has been telling me how a fair number of the regular daytime boozers (all on benefits) have been turning up with 600 rebate cheques from the dole office! A guy I know has just stopped working a five-day week because he found out that the FIS will make up his money if he only does a three day week. "That will be the last full weeks work I do for a long time!" he happily proclaimed. The two sisters I know who have knocked out 10 kids between them, both still in their twenties and never worked a day in their life, all provided for by the state. These lifestyles are becoming the career choice of too many people. Why the hell should I work and pay tax and get my pension at 70 just so some moron can jack school in and start getting his pension when he's 17 or 18. The Welfare State is a bankrupt social policy foisted upon us by an equally bankrupt English Government and needs to be dismantled and started from scratch to benefit only genuine claimants. Peejay is bang on in suggesting claimants should be working for benefits. They should be doing something positive for society and the community instead of, in so many cases, ruining it. Bring back the work schemes!

M

I think the main thing about benefits is that people who really need it get it. Unfortunately we have too many people who claim because it easier than going to work or claim disability although able to walk to the pub every day. We would all love to sit in the house and not have to work, but unless I win the lottery it won't be happening. We must stop people claiming any type of benefits in the Isle of Man if they have not paid tax here for at least 5 years if not born here. We all understand things happen and people become unemployment or fall sick, my father was one that fell ill and had to claim disability. He often told me that many people who also claim disability were getting cars and other extras, even though he was told that he would be eligible for a car he wouldn't as he felt it wasn't correct and bought a little secondhand car to get him to the shops. The idea of bonus payments is madness, I never knew it was called The DHSS Bank Limited. Why not give the people who need help cheaper gas and electricity rather than a cheque for alcohol!

ALAN THOMSON

There are many people out there who do need real help, both financially and in other ways, I dont think anyone would begrudge that. What has become apparent over the last decade or so is the 'if I get pregnant I'll get a council house' culture. This has been abused, mainly because the system is open to wholescale abuse. The IOM (at least at the moment) has not had the massive problems that they have on the mainland, immigration has rocketed, and those claiming housing, benefits and healthcare have not paid a penny into the system! It would seem that the EEC is not prepared to compensate those countries mostly affected by this increase either. Britain being the worse affected, why? not the weather, its beacause the benefits system is the easiest to abuse in Europe. On island the situation is not that bad(yet!) but we need to protect our borders from abuse in all ways, which we dont effectivly do at present. Prospective public housing tenants should be prioritised as Manx workers first, means tested. I have heard that there are tenants out there paying council house rents whilst having a holiday villa in Spain, Majorca or Lanzarotte. This is wrong and should be addressed. Priority should also not take into account the fact your uncle or cousin works for the Corpie and they can slip you up the list, or you yourself work there. Perhaps child benefit should be tiered like the USA are considering, so for example child benefit goes 1st child 100%, second 100%, third 75%, fourth 50%, thereafter none. Again, the US issue food stamps which are legal tender in certain outlets but are obviously not cash that can be spent on booze or drugs. There has to be something that can be done to reduce abuse that does not affect human rights too harshly.

TTTASH

To DISGUSTED FED UP THOROUGHLY SICK TO THE BACK TEETH TAX PAYER,

I would like to say that not everyone gets a tax rebate back, it depends on how much benefit you get during the tax year to if you get one or not, and it isn't always 550 per person, again it depends on how much you get to how much of the tax you get back, 550 is the MAX.

SINGLE MUM WITH 2 KIDS WISHING SHE COULD AFFORD TO LIVE AND WORK AND PUT HER KIDS INTO CHILDCARE

I agree entirely with the comments of "PEEJAY", DISGUSTED FED UP THOROUGHLY SICK TO THE BACK TEETH TAX PAYER", "M", "ALAN THOMSON" and "TTTASH". I'm sure they echo the thought of most of us. What most people have missed, however, is that until now immigrants could arrive here and after six months claim FIS, even though they couldn't claim Income Support until they'd been here for five years. So, at least there's some improvement in the system, except that the "exceptionally harsh or oppressive" rule makes Adjudication Officers reluctant to refuse benefits in countless cases. The use of that rule, which is clearly being abused, should only be exercised by Independent Appeal Tribunals. If people who choose to come here can't support themselves we should give them a boat ticket so they can get themselves back to the UK. And, no-one has picked up that immigrants from certain countries with which the IOM has outdated Reciprocal Agreements, can claim Child Benefit in the IOM for children who don't live here. For example, if a guy arrives here from one of these countries and has four kids living with their mother in his home country, we pay him 81.60 a week in Child Benefit. That's ridiculous.

MANX TAXPAYER

To Single mum with two kids, etc. etc. Sorry , but you are missing my point, If claiments already have their rent , living expenses etc, funded by the state , why in a huge number of cases should we dish out an additional 1000.00 for no particular reason, The islands population must realise that the party is over and a benefits system that is widely abused must take some pain along with those of us daft enough to have a job. As i posted earlier , i have absolutely no problem with people in genuine need claiming , but i strongly object to funding a large number of people who cannot be bothered to work.

DISGUSTED FED UP THOROUGHLY SICK TO THE BACK TEETH TAX PAYER

Oh my god - don't talk to me about benefits - The system here is a joke - I know of a female who has no children - her husband does not work, spends all day on computer or watching Sky HD on his 52" T.V. ( Why should he work when he has his dumb wife to work for him to claim FIS ) - She works 16 hrs a week - But this is only for the 4 weeks she had to ''prove'' she was doing the 16 hrs..... the other 8 weeks (where proof is not needed as they presume work will be the same) she would clock up 50+ hrs a week so they had a nice wage coming in and a FIS cheque coming in, not to mention all the bonuses they received. This made me so mad I 'reported' her to DHSS - What do you think happened? - Exactly nothing, No nothing at all - So how many years this went on for I don't know - and how much they were 'overpaid' I don't know but it had to be in the 1000's - and even when DHSS is informed they do nothing.....There are cases where FIS is justified - and I do not begrudge helping anyone who wants to help themselves - But as in this case the hubby takes the pi** out of the wife - and the wife takes the pi** out of the system - Then when the system finds out they then take the pi** out of all the non-claimers by doing nothing at all.....

ANON

 
 
 

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