Alcoholics claiming incapacity benefits

Hundreds of people in the Black Country are claiming benefits because they are alcoholics, figures reveal today.

Hundreds of people in the Black Country are claiming benefits because they are alcoholics, figures reveal today.

Up to 240 people in each borough have claimed either incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance due to drink dependency. Each could be picking up between £51 and £84-a-week in state handouts funded by taxpayers.

The figures, the latest available which date back to November 2007, have been rounded up to the nearest 10 and reveal there were 240 claimants in Sandwell, 200 in Wolverhampton, 190 in Dudley, 170 in Walsall and 20 in South Staffordshire.

Mark Wallace, spokesman for campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said today: “I think it is bad for taxpayers and clearly bad for addicts who are having their addictions paid for by the welfare state.

“It is very worrying for people who are struggling to pay their bills – the last thing they want to see is their hard-earned money being spent on booze by alcoholics.”

The figures, released by the Department for Work and Pensions following a request under the Freedom of Information Act, show the number of claimants where alcoholism is the main disabling condition.

To qualify for incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance, people have to undergo a medical assessment.

Since April 2001, people have not been able to make a new claim for severe disablement allowance but those who already received it were able to continue doing so.

Payments are £51.05 with additions with age of up to £17.75. Incapacity payments range from £63.75 to £84.50 a week. Ordinary jobseekers receive up to £60.50 a week Jobseekers Allowance.

The West Midlands has the third highest alcohol death rate in England, with an average of 17.1 men for every 100,000 members of the population dying from drink-related illnesses. The rate for women is 8.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Comments for: "Alcoholics claiming incapacity benefits"

Pete

Sure I was told they also get an extra tenner a day for there beer.

Reason behind it was they would resort to crime to get teh cash instead... lol (Too drunk too)

They should withold and scrap the payments if they have a drink problem.

And for all the Doo Gooders this is self inflicted illness!!

saint joe

Can a Smoking addict claim this benefit then? What a shame for these people!!

Martin Davies

Can an alcoholic go without a drink and stay out of the hospital?

saint joe

So the state benefits= pay to get drunk = stay in hospital = more NHS cash spent = government increasing licensing hours = more binge drinking = government moaning recently in the news about alcohol problems = putting more tax on alcohol to deter drinkers from buying cheap booze = paying for alcoholics drink anyway out of taxes. What a country we live in i just love it!!!

besty

WE MUST BE DRUNK TO KEEP PUTTING UP WITH THIS RUBBISH,I WORK HARD FOR MY MONEY I'LL BUY THE ODD BOTTLE OR A FEW CANS,BUT NO ONE GIVES ME A TENNER A DAY TO GET DRUNK,STOP THERE PARASITE MONEY THEN THEY'LL HAVE TO GIVE UP THE BOTTLE,WE ARE A SPINELESS COUNTRY SOONER WE SNAP OUT OF THIS PC LOONEY CULTURE THE BETTER.

Rob H

Don't give em any money at all!

It is one's own choice whether to drink or not!

BUT...they should not be getting taxpayers money for beer or be allowed to claim incapacity beneifit!

peter

its an absolute disgrace my money is going to these no good layabouts.

Anon 2

Its true! one uses my local - gets paid extra in his dole as he registered as alcoholic. sometimes I see him staggering out of the corner shop when I am on my way to work in the morning. Surely the money (we don't have any choice in giving) would be better spent helping these people rather than encouraging them?

wolvo/bilstoner

right! im off to claim!

whose with me!

Just think about it, an extra tenna a day. So make my way to West Brom on a daysaver i had last month (drivers never check) and then hit the 69p a pint pubs!

result!

and its nice weather outside!

well, you have to laugh. else its bring you to tears.

geoff

heroin addicts get payments as well money for old rope

Jim G

Alcoholism is a sickness that effects certain people in a way that they cant do without alcohol, its not a chosen lifestyle, unlike drug addiction.

Saying that doesn’t excuse the drain they are causing to the community, like all sick people they need treatment, paying to support the problem doesn’t help them one bit, it also isn’t fair on the hard working people that are having to foot the bill for this problem.

They should build enclosures out in the country, where they can be contained for a minimum of 12 months, where they have to prove they are totally free of alcohol.

Drug addicts are a different problem, theirs is a chosen lifestyle and they should be treated like criminals as soon as they are detected with drugs in their bodies, build new places where they can be contained away from society and test them on a weekly bases for drugs of any sort in their system, they should be instantly given a 2 year prison sentence, one infringement should mean a return to their original sentence.

We have got to stop treating these people as victims!!!!!

Jim of Bearwood

anon

same old story, us hard working people who enjoy the occasional glass of wine ect, get called BINGR DRINKERS and end up paying to fund the alcholoics!!!! DISGRACEFULL, WHAT NEXT

a

anon

sorri meant to read BINGE DRINKERS

Val

What happens if the proposed 50p per unit price comes in? Do the drunks get extra benefits?

Good news: White Lightning will be reduced in ABV by 2% soon. No news so far on Frosty Jack.

chris g

I AM SO SICK AND TIRED OF SCROUNGERS, I HAVE 3 OF THESE LIVING OPPOSITE ME, THEY ALL GET PAID ON DIFFERENT DAYS SO EACH OF THEM STOCKS UP ON BOOZE FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS, I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I SEE THEM GO TO THE LOCAL SHOPS AT ABOUT 8 15,AM AND STAGGER UP THE ROAD UNDER THE WEIGHT OF SEVERAL BAGS. THEY ARE NOT ILL JUST BONE BLOODY IDLE

Tipton Fox

If they are getting the higher rate (£84.70) per week, they will also be entitled to £47 pw mobility allowance, great, lets give people with a drink problem money to buy/lease a car, you couldnt make it up!

john

Alcoholism is a disease and needs treatment like any other sickness.

Nick

Very funny Val! I've said all along, these days your best off sat at home in your dwelling paid for by the council - living off benefits. It seems your penalised if you work and or/are buying your property as there are no benefits available or grants. Please note, this is not aimed at members of the public who have recently lost their jobs, who want to find work!!

brian

Sorry to disagree with some comments but all addiction comes from peoples life styles in some form or other. No one forces people to take drugs nor do they force people to take alcohol in excess. It's a persons way of life that starts their addiction. Drugs and alcohol addiction are both illnesses of a sort and are both self inflicted as is smoking. I don't agree with using public money to pay for it though.

H.wednesburybaggie

The current explosion of alcohol related illnesses should laid at the doors of the greedy brewers and the governments.alcohol is a very dangerous substance.WE once had the toughest drink laws going now look at them,pubs and supermarkets selling booze for up to 14hrs a day,every single corner shop,where i live ive got4pubs and 8 offies with in a5 to 10 min walk.im am not saying ban booze but we should look at going back to the old hours,regulate the rash of offies,supermarkets selling at a very low profit margin.IKNOW people will say this will hurt the responsible drinkers but you only have to see the wards in your local hospital filling up with younger and younger people aged in their 20s,30,s 40,s.suffering from alcohol abuse,addiction call it what you will sadly many of whom will not survive.the banning of all alcohol advertising would all so be welcomed.this is only my opinion and there are people who will disagree with it,i say to them have alook and have your eyes opened,you will see where i am coming from. P.S. i am not teatotal but do know when ive had enough...

tina

These people dont deserve any benifits at all.

I would love to go out and get drunk everyday if someone else was paying for me to go and do it.

As it is i am a hard working tax paying person.

And it looks like i am one of the many people who are paying for these louts to get drunk.

Its never right. lets campain to get these benifits stopped right now.

Jay

Alcoholism is exactly the same as any other drug addiction. It is a drug that you choose to start taking and continue taking. The money would be better spent putting all the various addicts through detox and rehab programmes then making them get jobs. I know people who were properly ill who haven't been able to claim incapacity, even though they were legitimately too ill to work. It's all just disturbing and stupid.