/ On-line benefits

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Graeme Alderson on 26 Mar 2013
Did I just miss something on the news or did I just see that henceforth benefits claims must be done on-line. FFS what planet does the Govt live on. Live on benefits and have a computer and an internet connection. Oh they can go to libaries, shame the ****s are shutting them all down.
Edradour - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Or, to be less dramatic, job centres will have computers in, use libraries, phones or the computer that the vast majority of people have since internet access can be had for less than 5 a month. An additional benefit is that it means claimants will have to become, at least at a basic level, computer literate which is essential for the vast majority of jobs now. You will also now have to have a bank account and it will be paid monthly meaning you will have to budget. Is this a bad thing? Of course not, it's what people with jobs have to do, why should it be different if you are living on benefits?

Ever thought that it will save money, paper, staff and running costs which means there will be more to go round?

It must be incredibly frustrating for the government when every single thing they introduce, however trivial, is met with such vitriolic and unnecessary opposition.
Steve John B - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour: Yep, you can access the internet in job centres. Crisis over ;-)
EeeByGum - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour: I know it sounds mad, but in benefits land, 5 a month is pretty significant. I would imagine it will also be subject to a credit check. If you are on benefits, you are unlikely to be termed "credit worthy".
Tony Naylor on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:
> Ever thought that it will save money, paper, staff and running costs which means there will be more to go round?

A reduction in staff is probably the main motivation. The idea that savings will mean more to go around isn't very realistic.

Edradour - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:
> (In reply to Edradour)
> [...]
>
> A reduction in staff is probably the main motivation. The idea that savings will mean more to go around isn't very realistic.

Except staff need paying and money saved in the public sector can be spend elsewhere in the public sector.
tony on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to Edradour) Yep, you can access the internet in job centres. Crisis over ;-)

What about pensioners who receive benefits? Or carers? Or people who live a long way from a job centre? Not everyone receiving benefits has reason to go to a job centre.
RockAngel on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Steve John B: i personally wouldnt want to use the internet in the job centre to make a claim for benefits. Typing in your personal details and banking details on a public computer where anyone lurking can casually look over your shoulder makes it vulnerable.
Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to RockAngel:

Are you also paranoid about completing paying in slips at a bank, or writing a cheque in a shop?

If not, why not?

Neil
EeeByGum - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:

> Except staff need paying and money saved in the public sector can be spend elsewhere in the public sector.

Or more realistically, money saved can be struck off the budget in a vane attempt to cut the deficit.

What will actually happen is that money saved will make the government look good, but over the 20+ years that the private company running the very poor online system, it will end up costing much more than the old system. In the short term a few politicians look good for saving money, but in the long term, the UK is worse off financially and also held to ransom over a terribly written contract held by a private company that doesn't give a flying .....
PeterM - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:

Yeah, like the Durness Jobcentre.... There are huge areas in the Highlands and Islands that do not have these facilities and lots of people I know who don't have internet access, but you're right, geographically the majority may have relatively easy access, but there are quite a lot who don't and can't. It's a shit move to benefit the govt and not those who need it...and no doubt they shall announce after a year of operation that the ampunt of unclaimed benefits has risen...
RockAngel on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: because a computer, even if you sign out of a website, still keeps a history of activity on the internet. Anyone who knows this can go noseying at what youve filled in. Public computers are not the way to protect your bank details. I use my paying in book, filled in at home.
dissonance - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to RockAngel:
> (In reply to Neil Williams) because a computer, even if you sign out of a website, still keeps a history of activity on the internet.

ermm, no they dont. At least not that useful level of activity and can be easily cleared so unless someone is bored and has some professional level forensic tools it wont be recoverable.

Admittedly i would be cautious about physical or software keyloggers.
Nutkey on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
>
> Or, to be less dramatic, job centres will have computers in, use libraries, phones or the computer that the vast majority of people have since internet access can be had for less than 5 a month. An additional benefit is that it means claimants will have to become, at least at a basic level, computer literate which is essential for the vast majority of jobs now. You will also now have to have a bank account and it will be paid monthly meaning you will have to budget. Is this a bad thing? Of course not, it's what people with jobs have to do, why should it be different if you are living on benefits?

I have tried to teach my dad basic computer literacy, but with little succes. He has also taken lessons at the library. This has not worked that well either. He's 65, he's got poor close range eyesight, and poor fine motion control. The fine motion control might be improvable if he practiced; the eyesight, not so much. His handwriting is appalling, so he writes everything in block capitals, in order to ensure readability (for him as much as anyone else). He managed to use an iPad at a very basic level, but certainly not to type anything, or use a website. A computer is a whole world more complex to use than an iPad.

He can, and does, pay National Insurance, Income Tax, and file tax returns offline, so why should benefits not be claimable offline?

There are people out there who are housebound, and whose sole contact with the outside world is a council provided carer who comes to their house once or twice a day. How do you propose they file their claims.

> It must be incredibly frustrating for the government when every single thing they introduce, however trivial, is met with such vitriolic and unnecessary opposition.

Ministers (pretty much all of them, ever) have a long and distinguished history of shooting their mouths off saying they are going to do something without worry about the implementation details. Vitriolic opposition is a necessary way of ensuring the details are sorted out.



Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to dissonance:

Many bank websites avoid this sort of thing by using dropdowns or keypads in an arbitrary order, etc.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey:

It sounds to me like what he has is effectively a disability making computer use overly difficult. He should be allowed to file on paper or in person.

People who can't be arsed to learn how to use a computer, OTOH...

Neil
New POD - on 27 Mar 2013
I invent the : benefit app, for doleites in a hurry, only available on a an Iphone 5 and Ipad 6 . download from Itunes for 3.99

Free to use, plus your network rate for internet use
dissonance - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Many bank websites avoid this sort of thing by using dropdowns or keypads in an arbitrary order, etc.

beat the hardware key logger, wouldnt beat a software keylogger/screenshot taker etc.

Toby S - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to RockAngel:
> (In reply to Neil Williams) because a computer, even if you sign out of a website, still keeps a history of activity on the internet. Anyone who knows this can go noseying at what youve filled in. Public computers are not the way to protect your bank details. I use my paying in book, filled in at home.

I set up public access PCs within our organisation and the security settings are generally far more robust that what most people have at home. The browser cache is cleared every time the session ends or the browser is closed. The guest accounts are restricted so they can't accidentally run any dodgy .exe files that may get sent to them via email. Any docs that are downloaded are deleted at the end of each user session too.

Saying that it ain't the cheapest way to browse the internet!
Toby S - on 27 Mar 2013
I'm not defending the Government's stance on this though!
Edradour - on 27 Mar 2013
There will always be exceptions and people who cannot, genuinely, access the internet but these will be relatively few cases and will, presumably, be able to use some form of offline method.

However, these few exceptions are not a reason to forego an online system as the norm. If people can't be bothered to get to a library, job centre etc then I have no sympathy. Similarly people who are opposed just because they don't want to use a 'new' system. Benefits are a luxury that we can afford because we live in an affluent country. Those that are claiming the benefits may have to adjust their lifestyle to claim them. I have to manage my life to fit in with bank opening hours, post office timetables etc and my job will only pay my salary to a UK bank account - why should those on benefits have it any other way?
johncook - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson: When I tried to sign on last year I was told I had to do it on-line, although the full burka infront of me had an interpretor booked for her? signing on! The odd hting was she informed the staff of this in English in a very London accent (interpretor jobs were advertised at 30 an hour on the job centre machines.) Every Friday there is a queue at the Rotherham job centre for cash payments, although again I was told last January that I would have to have a bank account to receive benefits.
There sems to be some confusion in the DWP over what the rules are, how there are applied and to who!
MJ - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:

Ever thought that it will save money, paper, staff and running costs which means there will be more to go round?

Knowing how bureaucratic such places can be, they'll probably print off the whole lot, get them signed in numerous places by the claimant and various office staff, copy the whole lot again at least once and then file it numerous places only to be lost.
PeterM - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:

Ah I get it now..you're trolling!Bravo. I should've guessed that nobody could really be such an ignorant tool...
Heybaz - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:

My son lives in a village where the library closed two years ago. His mum does not have a landline due to her rural location / cost of running a line to the house and so no access to the internet. He has a licence but cannot afford to run a car or motorcyle and the job centre is 18 miles away. He rides his bike when he can but 36 miles along country lanes / A roads...?

The public transport solutions are
(1) train - 10:80 return and at least half a day in town. This is his preferred option as he can visit the job centre and walk around handing out CVs. He's been doing this for two years and not yet had a reply.
(2) Bus. 9.60 each way, One bus each way. Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

He has a handful of good GCSEs & A levels and has been in and out of employment (short-term contracts and even as an "apprentice pizza technician", I kid you not - that one involved being paid well less than minimum wage, the promise of a training course that never materialised and him operating the wash-up in a not-so-local hotel, working split shifts. Truth was that he spending more running his car to and from work than he earned; by reducing his travel costs he ended up on site for 14-16 hours each day of which he was paid for 8). Not surprisingly this young man is in a downward spiral of despair and is being treated for depression.

Yes, online benefits are clearly the way forward for him; no chance that this will push him one step too far.

Vitriolic and unnecessary opposition? Don't you get bored, talking through you a**e?
Edradour - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Heybaz:
> (In reply to Edradour)
>
> My son lives in a village where the library closed two years ago. His mum does not have a landline due to her rural location / cost of running a line to the house and so no access to the internet. He has a licence but cannot afford to run a car or motorcyle and the job centre is 18 miles away. He rides his bike when he can but 36 miles along country lanes / A roads...?
>
> The public transport solutions are
> (1) train - 10:80 return and at least half a day in town. This is his preferred option as he can visit the job centre and walk around handing out CVs. He's been doing this for two years and not yet had a reply.
> (2) Bus. 9.60 each way, One bus each way. Tuesdays and Thursdays only.
>
> He has a handful of good GCSEs & A levels and has been in and out of employment (short-term contracts and even as an "apprentice pizza technician", I kid you not - that one involved being paid well less than minimum wage, the promise of a training course that never materialised and him operating the wash-up in a not-so-local hotel, working split shifts. Truth was that he spending more running his car to and from work than he earned; by reducing his travel costs he ended up on site for 14-16 hours each day of which he was paid for 8). Not surprisingly this young man is in a downward spiral of despair and is being treated for depression.
>
> Yes, online benefits are clearly the way forward for him; no chance that this will push him one step too far.
>
> Vitriolic and unnecessary opposition? Don't you get bored, talking through you a**e?

So, an unusual exception which could be catered for in a different way? How many people on benefits are in this situation? Very few and, therefore, hardly a valid reason for not introducing an online claiming system.

I am not talking through my arse - I just have a different opinion to you.
Edradour - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to PeterM:
> (In reply to Edradour)
>
>I should've guessed that nobody could really be such an ignorant tool...

Well that's it, you've convinced me with your excellent line of argument,

Jim C - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
>
> .... An additional benefit is that it means claimants will have to become, at least at a basic level, computer literate which is essential for the vast majority of jobs now. ....>

I will ask the gravedigger I know if he applied for his online, or is able to do so.

I agree It does make a bit of sense, to an extent, but with a lot of Tory policies, it is seldom well thought through, and they usually back down. (quietly)

Watch this space, they will defend it to the hilt, and then realise that they have got to use some common sense. (Not just Tories of course)
Dauphin - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

every chav has a smartphone though innit, what are these cyber cafes of which you speak?

d
PeterM - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Edradour:

> I just have a different opinion to you.
- yes, and it's wrong. You seem to have no empathy. There are lots of'unusual exceptions'. The whole point of welfare, benefits, me paying my tax and NI is that it gets to those who need it. No exceptions.
Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Heybaz:

If he's doing this:-

"(1) train - 10:80 return and at least half a day in town. This is his preferred option as he can visit the job centre and walk around handing out CVs. He's been doing this for two years and not yet had a reply."

And is presumably required to visit the job centre to sign on anyway, to ensure he is available for work, why can't he do it then?

Ref another post: such a website can be provided in as many languages as desired, as well, so no expensive interpreters needed.

Neil
Jon Stewart - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> FFS what planet does the Govt live on. Live on benefits and have a computer and an internet connection. Oh they can go to libaries, shame the ****s are shutting them all down.

Do you think people on benefits shouldn't have telephones either?

I think that an internet connection is now a basic need for living in our society and the govt is doing the right thing by trying to get the whole the nation online and delivering services, wherever possible, online.
Graeme Alderson on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Where did I suggest that people on benefits shouldn't have a computer?
Nutkey on 27 Mar 2013
"It sounds to me like what he has is effectively a disability making computer use overly difficult. He should be allowed to file on paper or in person."

There are 8.5 million people who have never used the internet (which does not include my dad), and a further 14.5 million people who have virtually no ICT skills (source http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_227158.pdf ). My dad's main difficulty is being old.

"There will always be exceptions and people who cannot, genuinely, access the internet but these will be relatively few cases and will, presumably, be able to use some form of offline method."

"So, an unusual exception which could be catered for in a different way? How many people on benefits are in this situation? Very few and, therefore, hardly a valid reason for not introducing an online claiming system."

There is, currently, no proposed "offline method" or "different way", which is the reason that some people are, rightly, complaining. The system probably (it's a government IT project - it won't necessarily save money....) should be digitised, but failure to consider those at the margins of digital society is a totally valid reason for not introducing the system as proposed.
Bob kate bob on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey: could write loads, but boils down to 1 question:
Do you really think that 65 is to old to use a computer?
(ok slightly off topic, but I have to ask)

Oceanrower - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey:
>
> There are 8.5 million people who have never used the internet (which does not include my dad), and a further 14.5 million people who have virtually no ICT skills (source http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_227158.pdf ). My dad's main difficulty is being old.
>
I've mjust read that study twice and I can't see those figures. I must be going blind!

What page are they on?

Irk the Purist - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey:

Someone with poor sight and poor fine motor skills is ideally suited to getting much needed help from ICT. The words can be blown up to whatever size you want and letters and numbers are typed for you with one push making it easier to produce legible writing. OK, some adaptions are required to your computer, like a bespoke keyboard and a larger monitor than other people can get by with but these are minor. Computers can even read things to you out loud if you are completely blind.

I have a friend who has a guide dog, yet is quite happy using a PC.
aln - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to Edradour) Yep, you can access the internet in job centres.

You can't where I live.
jenks580 - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
I'm going to put my pennies worth into this. Applying for benefits has been online for a while now, at least the last 3 years. Yes I think that people should apply for benefits online, if they can, it however doesn't reduce paper work as the jobcentre prints it off for the claiment to sign. However there should still be the ability to claim offline if exceptions can be proven e.g a disability which means that they cannot use a computer, no access to a computer/internet i.e rural locations etc
However if this is brought in with more rigor I am sure esp knowing my local jobcentre (which by the way is 11 miles from me) will make no exceptions.
Ian
Jon Stewart - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) Where did I suggest that people on benefits shouldn't have a computer?

That was what I inferred from your post - that if you were on benefits you shouldn't be able to afford to have a computer. I think that would have been fair 20 years ago, but not today, when I think internet access is a basic for inclusion in our society.
Graeme Alderson on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Sorry, I was meaning not all on benefits can afford a computer and internet access
Heybaz - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: He only gets into town when he goes to sign on (or somebody else can take him) and yes he does access the internet via the job centre: there is no question that he's making himself available for work whether he "reports" to the job centre or not.

This week he couldn't use train or bus as there were none running due to snow (unusual I know, but hey, no matter, who needs trains when this is all do-able online?)

When he does get online at the job centre he has to wait until a computer becomes available. Have you spent much time doing this? Trust me, there are better ways of spending a few hours - looking for work (which absolutely does not happen in the job centre).

I know for a fact that staying back in order to get online has caused him to miss his return connection a good number of times and he's needed to get a family member to drive 30+ miles to take him home.

No transport of his own, extremely limited public transport and youth unemployment in the area at well over 30%. Plenty of employers - and I use the word carefully - willing to pay youngsters 20 a day to labour on building sites or as "kitchen porters" with no PPE provided, saving themselves NI and other employment costs with no tax collected for the Revenue. But let's not target these ba***rds, we'll fire up an online only benefits system to save a few quid (maybe) instead.

Nutkey on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to Nutkey)
> [...]
> I've mjust read that study twice and I can't see those figures. I must be going blind!

The figures were quoted by the Citizen's Advice Bureau as coming from that study, but I copied the source without checking - sorry.

The non-users figure is in here
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-226794
which is linked from page 6. The spreadsheet indicates that 41.26 million people (82.3% of population) have ever accessed the internet, which means 8.8 million haven't.

The only reference to ICT skills I can find is on page 5, which indicates that 21% of households (19 million) have insufficient skills to "get the internet", which isn't the same as the figure I quoted at all.

>
> What page are they on?


Nutkey on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Bob kate bob:
> (In reply to Nutkey) could write loads, but boils down to 1 question:
> Do you really think that 65 is to old to use a computer?
> (ok slightly off topic, but I have to ask)

Do you really believe I meant that? Of course I don't.

Do you think that the older you are, the more likely you are to have poor eyesight, poor fine motor skills, and more difficulty in learning new things?

Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey:

"Never stop learning" is a very good mantra. Loads of older people are choosing to take on new learning projects, e.g. OU courses.

With exceptions of those who are genuinely infirm or disabled, "I've always done it that way" or "can't be arsed" are not valid excuses.

Neil
Nutkey on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Eric the Red:
> (In reply to Nutkey)
>
> Someone with poor sight and poor fine motor skills is ideally suited to getting much needed help from ICT. The words can be blown up to whatever size you want and letters and numbers are typed for you with one push making it easier to produce legible writing. OK, some adaptions are required to your computer, like a bespoke keyboard and a larger monitor than other people can get by with but these are minor. Computers can even read things to you out loud if you are completely blind.

These things all cost money. The premise of this discussion is that people should claim benefits online. People claiming benefits are in need of money, and spending money on a bespoke keyboard is not likely to rate above spending money on essentials.

I am not arguing that people with disabilities cannot use computers, or that people claiming benefits should not do so online. I am arguing that announcing that everyone will have to claim benefits online, when there are some people who simply cannot, is a poorly thought out announcement.

> I have a friend who has a guide dog, yet is quite happy using a PC.

tony on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Nutkey)
>
> "Never stop learning" is a very good mantra. Loads of older people are choosing to take on new learning projects, e.g. OU courses.
>
> With exceptions of those who are genuinely infirm or disabled, "I've always done it that way" or "can't be arsed" are not valid excuses.
>
What about those for whom the internet offers no discernible advantages? My parents are in their 80s. They've managed fine so far without the internet. Why should they have to develop a new range of skills to get assorted benefits which are currently perfectly well administered through the Post Office?
Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey:

"I am arguing that announcing that everyone will have to claim benefits online, when there are some people who simply cannot, is a poorly thought out announcement."

Perhaps so.

Do you have a link to the original announcement, not how the Press might twist it? I expect it also said that those without access and those who for reasons of disability cannot use a computer will have arrangements made for this.

So long as it did, it seems fine to me.

Neil
Climbing Pieman on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey:
> There is, currently, no proposed "offline method" or "different way",

There are currently offline methods, and will be for future benefit applications as far as I know, but they are not widely known so that they are not misused. After all, the government has to have some other method for those that can't do it for ligit reasons. Apart from the disabled, for example registered sex offenders are often not permitted by court to use use a pc to access the web, yet can apply for benefits. The who and how for the new forthcoming benefits are still being worked on for the minority likely to be requiring offline methods. An example is that there is already provisionally in place the new PIP application in paper format which has a barcode which is unique to an individual so can't be used other than those permitted to submit offline. Anyone concerned should contact their local CAB, for help if appropriate. In Scotland the CAS through individual CAB offices are currently undertaking a survey of ability to access and use computers as one of their Social Policy investigations. The outcome will help shape who can apply by other methods of applications than online.
Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to tony:

"What about those for whom the internet offers no discernible advantages? My parents are in their 80s. They've managed fine so far without the internet. Why should they have to develop a new range of skills to get assorted benefits which are currently perfectly well administered through the Post Office?"

Because society, and the world, moves on. Tough.

Anyway who's to say they might not start gaining from the use of the Internet. How about a Kindle? Or ordering their shopping on Tesco online?

Neil
tony on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> "What about those for whom the internet offers no discernible advantages? My parents are in their 80s. They've managed fine so far without the internet. Why should they have to develop a new range of skills to get assorted benefits which are currently perfectly well administered through the Post Office?"
>
> Because society, and the world, moves on. Tough.

And that's your answer when those for whom the internet is an insumountable barrier start falling ill, or fall behind with their rents or generally drop off society's radar?
>
> Anyway who's to say they might not start gaining from the use of the Internet. How about a Kindle? Or ordering their shopping on Tesco online?

They are the ones to say that, and they've said it. A Kindle - Mum uses the library, Dad's blind and gets his audiobooks from the RNIB, who seem to manage their service without the internet. Shopping online - Mum prefers to to use the local shops. They know what's on offer - their children and grandchildren let them know. They don't need it - it doesn't fit with the way they live.

Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to tony:

"And that's your answer when those for whom the internet is an insumountable barrier start falling ill, or fall behind with their rents or generally drop off society's radar?"

The Internet is not an "insurmountable barrier" for anyone who can also understand and complete a paper form, so long as they receive assistance to learn it in the first place.

"They are the ones to say that, and they've said it."

They are the ones to say that if they are living off a private pension and therefore purchasing goods and services commercially.

If they are living off the state, the ballot box gets to decide, as the taxpayer is paying.

Neil


Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
"their children and grandchildren let them know"

Couldn't their grandchildren and children also assist them in making an Internet based benefit claim, then?

Change doesn't stop just because you get old.

Neil
Bob kate bob on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey:

yes I do really believe you meant that as you wrote:

> My dad's main difficulty is being old.

Only a hill - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
A few thoughts.

1. Age is no barrier to technology use (although age-related disabilities can be). My grandmother, who is 98, recently learned how to use a Kindle. A regular customer in my phone shop is well into his eighties and probably knows more about technology than I do.
2. Pay as you go internet access via a smartphone is VERY cheap nowadays; you can pick up a basic smartphone for as little as 40-50, and on Vodafone a 5 web pack gets you 250MB for a month (which is more than enough for basic use).
Tony Naylor on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
Significant amounts of smugness on this thread. I'VE got a job, and I'VE got a computer, and I'VE got the internet, so you should, too. No money or ill health or lack of comprehension are no excuse for not being elite like me - you're just not trying hard enough.

I suspect some people on here wear pyjamas with pictures of Margaret Thatcher on them.
Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:

"lack of comprehension"

Sorry, but a lack of willingness to learn, provided the Government is providing assistance and training and a means of access free of charge e.g. at the location where the transaction would previously be carried out face to face, is indeed not trying hard enough.

Another similar thing I'd like to see is, at large railway stations, that they would instead of having 5 ticket windows open, say, is to have 3 ticket windows plus two roving members of staff helping people with the machines. Use them a few times with assistance, and you can do it yourself next time. Less queue for everyone. London Midland do this at Milton Keynes Central.

Neil
Nutkey on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Bob kate bob:
> (In reply to Nutkey)
>
> yes I do really believe you meant that as you wrote:
>
> My dad's main difficulty is being old.

What I meant was "my dad's main difficulties are caused by old age". I wrote that with the intention of pointing out that it was not something that could be simply fixed. Even then it's not the same as "I think all old people can't use computers". I was talking about my dad. I know many old people who use computers effectively. That's not relevant.

Let me clarify. I think my dad cannot use a computer, and I do not expect that he is likely to be able to effectively use a computer without it being configured for his needs. He also isn't on benefits, and if he were, I would, of course, help him file. My point was that there are people who cannot file online, and some of them do not have people to help. I also believe that there are a good many people, often in the same bucket, who do not have the money to buy a computer or pay for ADSL, are housebound, and who need to claim benefits.

I think it is wrong to fail to consider these people when issuing a new policy, and it is right to complain about it.

Neil Williams - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey:

"I think it is wrong to fail to consider these people when issuing a new policy, and it is right to complain about it. "

Has any concrete evidence been provided that there won't be exceptions or other concessions and assistance for genuine "can't"s?

There should not, however, be any for stubborn "won't"s, other than providing access to an Internet PC and someone to tell them how to use it. Least of all for JSA and the likes rather than disability/age related benefits, because you practically can't get a job these days without computer skills, so now is the time to learn.

Neil
owlart - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams: It sounds like you've just spent more money on providing training for people than you've saved by making them use the PCs in the first place!

Do you do much IT support for the general public in your job? Trust me, telling an 80yr old "Here's the computer, here's a mouse, click here, here, here, press this and then do that" just doesn't work. Some can do it as well as anyone, but quite a few (in my experience, greater than 50%) can't, and need telling exactly the same steps each time they come to use it. I have one customer for example who phones up at least once a week because he's forgotten how to use his printer.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Toby S - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Only a hill:

Aye but filling out forms on a smartphone is still a fecking nightmare. Unless of course DWP create an 'app for that'.

I don't buy the 'I'm too old' argument, however I am sympathetic to the fact that many people find technology very intimidating. I've spent the last couple of weeks rolling out new smartphones to a particular department who are generally made up of folk 50+ and they're pretty much all very nervous about using them. There's been a lot of hand-holding and time spent with them as individuals to help them understand the new kit. So while for many of us technology is very easy to cope with for many others, regardless of age, it's an intimidating obstacle to overcome.
Nutkey on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Nutkey)
>
> "I think it is wrong to fail to consider these people when issuing a new policy, and it is right to complain about it. "
>
> Has any concrete evidence been provided that there won't be exceptions or other concessions and assistance for genuine "can't"s?

Hard to prove a negative. I have looked for anything that says there will be exceptions, and not found any.

> There should not, however, be any for stubborn "won't"s, other than providing access to an Internet PC and someone to tell them how to use it. Least of all for JSA and the likes rather than disability/age related benefits, because you practically can't get a job these days without computer skills, so now is the time to learn.

Apart from almost any and all manual labour, some of which you can get without being able to read (like one bricky I know).

RockAngel on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Nutkey: Age Concern usually offer basic computer coursrs for those over the age of 65. They are usually free too. They will be tailored to yourr dad's needs too so will take into account his vision problems & motor skills so he can learn how to use a computer
In reply to RockAngel:
> (In reply to Nutkey) Age Concern usually offer basic computer coursrs for those over the age of 65. They are usually free too. They will be tailored to yourr dad's needs too so will take into account his vision problems & motor skills so he can learn how to use a computer

Yay! How lucky he is!
Tony Naylor on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Sorry, but a lack of willingness to learn, provided the Government is providing assistance and training and a means of access free of charge e.g. at the location where the transaction would previously be carried out face to face, is indeed not trying hard enough.

More smuggery. Who said anything about lack of willingness? Not me. Some elderly people struggle badly with technology - wait until you're old and your faculties start fading. Your memory gets poorer, your mental agility can disappear, your ability to comprehend in the first place can weaken.

Bear in mind that most elderly people grew up without computers and spent most if not all of their adult lives without them. This situation will gradually fade as the contemptible old farts do the decent thing and die off, while computer-literate wunderkind like you gradually become the norm.

The politics of 'the devil take the hindmost' is ugly, brutal, uncivilized and unnecessary. Let's hope you're never on the receiving end of it, eh?
stroppygob - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Edradour) I know it sounds mad, but in benefits land, 5 a month is pretty significant. I would imagine it will also be subject to a credit check. If you are on benefits, you are unlikely to be termed "credit worthy".


My sister (46 yrs old,) has better internet capacity than I do, unlimited downloads etc. She's also never had a a job.
Graeme Alderson on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to stroppygob: Well that obviously proves everything doesn't it
Ciro - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

It's easy to underestimate the difficulties faced by people who haven't grown up with modern technology.

My father is a bright man, as a teacher he used to used a BBC micro computer to write documents and charts for the kids to fill in, before the days of wysiwyg word processing applications.

He decided to learn to use a PC a few years back, when he was still teaching, and very much had all his wits about him (and still does, he subsequently taught himself the full undergraduate physics course my brother was doing, to make sure he could help him out with tuition if needed).

You would think, given the above, that teaching him to use a PC would have been easy. In fact, it was a bloody nightmare. He'd never used a computer with a graphical user interface before, and for some reason using a mouse to navigate around windows seemed beyond him.

We got there eventually, but I still get phone calls occasionally asking if it's safe to do something online, or whether to click yes or no to a popup box.

There will be many people out there who simply won't be able to learn how to use the system, no matter how capable of learning it they appear from the outside.
stroppygob - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> (In reply to stroppygob) Well that obviously proves everything doesn't it

Never claimed it "proved everything". No more than the unsubstantiated "poor people cannot afford teh interwebz" comments "prove everything."

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.