Meet Bod 1024x576 - Prisoner Training & Placements

Hello,

8.36 am…

“Mate, it’s Mark. I think I ate a dodgy takeaway last night, not going to make it in today.”

Call me an old cynic if you like, but if I had a prawn cracker for every time I’ve heard the iffy takeaway excuse, well I’d be, oh I don’t know, very large!

Thing is, I happen to know that he’s just had a backdated pay-out from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP benefits) for about £3,000, so I’m just a little bit suspicious.

Don’t get me wrong, these benefits are deserved and to get this back payment the original application refusal would have been appealed successfully.

Around 60% of initial applications for support (personal care and mobility issues) payments are simply turned down. If you have the stamina, ability, determination and/or help, an appeal is lengthy but possible – very possible, around 70% are accepted.

What is the thinking behind how these large, backdated pay-outs are made? Often months or years after the initial application, cash is deposited into accounts with no regard to the individual’s current circumstances!

You won’t be surprised that most of our guys are not great at dealing with small amounts of money let alone massive windfalls.

Meet Bod…

Bod is alcoholic, we have been supporting him through his community sentence as he tries to get straight… he has the opportunity of a life changing rehab place in just 7 weeks’ time.

Bod is ill, he cannot stop using alcohol and at times in excess. Bod is unwell.

Bod tends to convert his small benefit payments into liquid assets, necks it in a few days and is dry until the next payment. Not great and not how he should detox, but it is a start and he’s no longer criminally active.

Bod suddenly got more than £10,000 in a back payment.

£10K is the total of all the monthly payments he would have initially been entitled to.

Bod was offered staggered payments, but that was still £10K spread over 6 months.

Bod is not known for his financial planning, so did nothing.

Nobody from DWP asked, or checked, or did any due diligence of any kind with Bod or with any of the support services who work with him, including LandWorks.

So, within 48 hrs of the decision, they simply administered £10K to a sick man.

Bod needed that money two years ago, paid in small appropriate amounts to help support his recovery, help get him off the street, that’s what it was meant for.

Bod’s been on a bender and now in A&E, he asked me “Couldn’t this have been different?”

‘Dubious takeaway’ Mark on the other hand, tested positive for Covid and the sickness from the previous night is almost certainly Covid related.

Err so, I’m off to find a takeaway pie of some sort… to eat humbly.

Chris

28th April 2022