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  #121  
Old 07.12.2018, 10:23
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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So? Are you saying this precludes them from any kind of assistance to get them back on their feet? You think it's always their own fault because they have brought it all upon themselves and didn't plan meticulously?

The naivety on this thread is quite revealing.
Where have I said any of those things? My point is that homelessness normally isn't a failure of social security system, rather another cause.
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  #122  
Old 07.12.2018, 10:49
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Where have I said any of those things? My point is that homelessness normally isn't a failure of social security system, rather another cause.
Nobody said it was.
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  #123  
Old 07.12.2018, 10:54
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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I want my country to provide a safety net for the poor, sick, old. I don’t wont my tax money being spent on the lazy, can’t be arsed to get a job people.

So it has to be a balance between carrot and stick. In the end there will be some falling through the cracks but that is the price to pay if you don’t want the country end up on the slippery slope towards crossing the Laffer curve. This is of course brutal for the ones it happens to but life isn’t fair.

Which is far too easy to say if you're not one of the ones it happens to
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  #124  
Old 07.12.2018, 12:15
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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3. The Eastern Europeans complaining how their countries are bleeding out of talent... while leaving themselves. And if then somebody tells me that the lack of decent laws make you harder and more flexible do I not know how else to respond... How can you honestly be proud about the idea that your country might not offer decent social help? Its totally fine to be a patriot, but picking this very topic and telling us that's the way it should be is bizarre to me. I by now guess it is some knee-jerk reaction based on the communist heritage - everything social is now bad. The truth is as usual in the middle of extremes.
I personally don't agree with Gramatyka on this one. Not having an adequate or relatively efficient social help system is no reason to be "proud" of. One can be proud of other things, but not really this one...each to their own.
As for greener pastures. Well, you said something about those German companies that didn't have a good strategy re. HR at the time and now complain about qualified labour shortage....well other people have the same or similar reasons. Add in the mix the fact that many graduates don't find a job in their field because most of the relevant institutions keep cutting costs and blocking vacancies and wage growth due to austerity measures, or simply there aren't many companies left in certain fields - for instance, if you graduate from certain faculties you simply can't find a job in that field or you can't find a job soon enough as to not count on the "system"(chemical engineer, mechanical engineer, textile engineer etc etc etc). It's not always a choice or a matter of going to where you feel treated better as an employee, tax payer etc. or simply because it makes sense for your career.

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So I got up and left to a country that treated me in many ways better - Switzerland. There is no protection against getting fired, but the social net in my experience worked very well. The thing is that I am honest about it. I went to a place that offered me a good life. The one thing I really get annoyed about is the bigotry I have witnessed with expats... in different flavours.
.
Exactly. You went to a place that treated you better. I don't know how the social net works because fortunately, neither I nor OH needed it. But if I stayed in my country I would have had 2 years of payed maternity leave up to 80% of my last salary. I also enjoyed 4 or 5 weeks of payed annual holiday so I never expected things to be better than that. Had I lost my job I would have got 9 months of unemployment benefits (I didn't have 10 years of work history otherwise I would have got more). I don't have to tell you though what happens here once you start a family, after the so-called maternity leave is over....but one has to count the positive aspects and draw the line..

But you're right, I wish it was different from many points of view. Sue me and other Eastern Europeans for expressing our views (as if there's not sufficient EE bashing in general). I certainly don't feel proud of the lack of adequate social help....on the other hand I used to pay about 50% of my salary to the taxman, don't know how could I have been a better citizen... Edit: even now, because my mom is an accountant and there's no way I could forget such things - I'm up to date with my fiscal statements (i.e. I pay some taxes there too)...so there. I always have a bitter taste after having to justify myself like that, but so be it. We're used to it.

Last edited by greenmount; 08.12.2018 at 13:53. Reason: edited to make it more clear....
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  #125  
Old 07.12.2018, 14:00
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

I have a gripe with officials and system mentality in this country because I think it serves gratuitous cruelty for the heck of the system.

My favorite example from a newspaper (which I can no longer find): a pensioner claims he submitted a 1st pillar pension request according to the system, and wants it to be paid pack from the day he was eligible to receive it, and he doesn't want to send another one because that would mean he would lost the pension from the beginning until later when resubmitted.
The respective office somehow did not get the request or lost it, so decides not to pay it. And there is a deadlock and a multiyear dispute or litigation.

My real-life examples: I failed to pay for the car inspection. They not only sent the reminders with some fee for the burden, but finally revoked my license plates and out of about 50 bucks made a 500 one.

And the stories abound about how the work disability insurer offices select the medical experts assessing the health of claimants so that the only likely outcome is a rejection. So I believe every word of the OP.

The prevailing mentality is that the state is above the personal liberty, and therefore the institutions "are always right", they are "upholding better good", they are "to help".

And we, the foreigners, don't understand it. And here is the clash.

Because, to keep this state authority the state has to keep people from crossing any line, even if it is an arbitrarily stupid one for the sake of keeping the order. Maybe it makes the society more "efficient" as a whole, but I believe it drives some people suicidal by its gratuitous cruelty.
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  #126  
Old 07.12.2018, 14:51
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

There will alsways be cases in any system, that end up either lost or problamatic or just a total screw up, nobody is fallable whilst the system is so unfortunately a very few cases fall down the cracks and holes.


Sad, yes, sure it's sad, can we do anything about it, very little !
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  #127  
Old 22.12.2018, 00:34
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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And if then somebody tells me that the lack of decent laws make you harder and more flexible do I not know how else to respond... How can you honestly be proud about the idea that your country might not offer decent social help? Its totally fine to be a patriot, but picking this very topic and telling us that's the way it should be is bizarre to me. I by now guess it is some knee-jerk reaction based on the communist heritage - everything social is now bad. The truth is as usual in the middle of extremes.
Just going over the interesting discussions which I had not time to participate recently.

Treverus, I guess it's about my posts...

It's not about being proud of having a crap social system which leave you no choice but to be strong and live or just die, nothing in the middle. It's about being raised to be strong by the circumstances.

I read from time to time about psychology. My first deeper contact with the developed western world was through work in American corporation. In the USA I couldn't understand at first how people think. At first I could feel a lot of tension and desire to go up but then I started to read it as a constant fear of falling down. There's an interesting study of why does it happen Status Anxiety by Alain De Botton. I remember one interesting thesis stated in the book that low class people in a feudal society were happier than the free people in the western world. Those people took the world order as it is and enjoyed every happy moment they could have.

It's a pity that a good social setup have the opposite effect on people living in it. A child doesn't know that the system is in good or bad condition, just get it as it is, learn to live within it. I understand that people cannot cope with the situation when they suddenly fall below the minimum which they have always assumed as granted, when the system has failed upon them. I'm not proud of being born in communism. I'm rather more humble in life. I do my best and I have achieved a lot but when shit happens I don't fall into suicidal desperation because I don't assume anything as granted. I'm just always looking forward to get the best out of the situation.

I'm not against social help but I honestly see that it has a negative effect on the society. It's not only about comparing my country with the west. Believe it or not but in eastern europe we also have a generation of millennials. Their parents worked hard to give them normal childhood, better opportunities, better life than the communism crap. In return we have a generation with much lower ambition. The whole generation performed much worse throughout education and overall opting for the bare minimum education level. There's a lot of psychological problems, depression and suicide cases. Why does it happen? Why upbringing in better conditions makes people more vulnerable in life?

I hope one day psychology solves the problem. We would evolve into a world where humble, passionate, strong and ambitious people would dominate in the society despite having strong social setup (lack of direct life threatening motivation).
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  #128  
Old 22.12.2018, 14:10
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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And don't forget that you only usually hear from the people who are struggling and at their wits end.

I know of one mum who was forced to flee her violent boyfriend, who ended up in prison for his violence, she was left with nothing. The state has stepped in to support her and even take the pressure off so she can work and study (she has young children).

Her situation is the product of her ex partner's mental health issues. No fault of hers or her kids. She's on the way to standing back on her own two feet again. She would have just spiralled out of control had nobody been there.

Sometimes the state system just works.
Wow, I wish I had been so lucky after my divorce!
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  #129  
Old 11.12.2019, 00:40
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

In early posts in this thread, in December 2018, I wrote:
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I’m weary. And disillusioned.

Whereas I used to believe that Switzerland had this great thing going, providing proper protection against the blows of fate, I’ve now come up against the bitter reality, over and over, in a range of cases.

As I recently posted in another thread:
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I'm becoming increasingly convinced that it is known as a social security net because it is made mostly of air, and then a little string, tied up in knots.
It seems to me a shame when this rich, rich country leaves the weakest in the lurch – not because there is no cover, but because the route to obtaining what one needs has been made to terribly arduous, perhaps deliberately so.

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During the past four or five years, I’ve met two persons in Real Life and one online, who found the procedures unbearable. One was in the mill of the RAV/unemployment office, a second crushed by the IV/AI/disability office, and the third gripped by the realisation of growing old without help as needed. They simply couldn’t bear having to beg and plead for another several years, just to get basic needs covered and, having run out of their own resources, ended up choosing suicide, instead.

Currently, I know seven more people who are at least partially suicidal, or contemplate it from time to time, sometimes very earnestly, such that I think some of them will really choose that way out.

All of the two plus one plus the seven, said that they consider suicide as their only remaining viable option NOT because of the actual “insured event” (= whatever their problem is, for which they have applied for insurance payouts), but because of the strain of the procedures.

They say it is humiliating to be subjected to repeated rounds of scrutiny, to having to keep submitting documents which they had to obtain through a struggle with other departments/official. The report that it is demoralising to be disbelieved, and to be told by officials who ought to know better, that they should or could just “get a grip on themselves” or “put their best foot forward” or “take this as a challenge to grow” so they could just magically “become” re-employed, young, no longer in pain, etc.

I keep hearing that the coordination between the various insurers is unbearably tedious. This is severalfold as soon as more than one person in a family needs insurance cover, each for a different issue.

During the past months, three people have told me that their applications would be considered only after they had submitted over 1kg of supporting documents. And the effort of collecting those is considerable, the more so if one is ill.

Worst of all is the uncertainty, waiting for very, very long periods, until Someone Out There, with Authority and Power, finally decides on the definite outcome.
Now it's December 2019.
It is terrible. Another suicide. Before dying, this person said the choice was directly as a result of not being able to bear the weight of the disabilities themselves, plus the weight of the Disability Office's suspicions and scrutiny over years. That person said almost all their time was taken up with trying to supply the insurance's demands, and in between by seeing doctors and attempting treatments and therapies, but those latter were undermined by the Disability Office, because the precious minutes with those doctors were gobbled up by the demands of the Disability Office for yet more reports, so much so that the doctors had hardly any time left to actually do any treatment, not even to diminish the suffering. The only way out was suicide. It is a shockingly poor testimony to the system!

In another case, a person has spent 8 years being sent from pillar to post and, despite big fat files of reports of 17 operations since the severe accident, and visibly impaired functions, has now been "magically" declared 100% fit for work by an assessor paid for by the Disability Insurance. This person worked in Switzerland for 25 years, all papers in order, all taxes paid, all required insurances up-to-date, and the collegues at the former employer cannot fathom what is now happening. They knew their former colleague as a diligent worker, and they can SEE that it would be dangerous (because of the effects of the accident) to entrust work to this person. But the Disabilty Insurance doctor has waved a magic wand, and now the family will have to deplete what little savings they have left, and only then can the qualify to apply for Social Security benefits. Thanks to an assessment which which takes no cognizance of the medical and everyday reality, nor of all the doctors' reports hithertofore, the way ahead lies only in shifting a family of four into poverty from which the adults cannot escape, as one is injured and the other needs to provide the care.
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  #130  
Old 11.12.2019, 00:46
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Horrible.

So, I guess better pay for legal protection insurance once you have a family so you can have someone else fight for you.
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  #131  
Old 11.12.2019, 01:22
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Thank you.

In the above two cases:

The person who committed suicide did have legal protection insurance. Unfortunatley, it proved ineffectual against the onslaught from the Disability Office (although yes, you are right, I have heard of cases where a good lawyer has, indeed, helped).

The other person spent about Fr. 10'000 of his savings on lawyers, but Disability Office says no. They prefer to pass the buck to the Social Security office.
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  #132  
Old 18.04.2020, 21:33
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Now it's April 2020.

News has reached me of another person who has committed suicide because of the way the Disability Office worked with/against her.

She had a partial pension which was insufficient to live on. Her condition worsened and she applied for an increase.

Each stage of the process was met with months of being kept waiting by the Disability Office. They tried to discredit one of her doctors. She supplied reports from hospital and other doctors, corroberating what had been shown.

Her condition deteriorated further. She waited and waited. She was asked for more reports, which she supplied. She was hospitalised several more times, and supplied those reports each time. She was made to wait, again.

Then, after all that, she herself was accused of pretend to be ill, and the Disability Office threatened to cut the partial pension she had, unless she supplied another round of reports, which she collected and submitted, and which reports attested to all the same things as had the others over the years, only now to a considerably worse degree of disability. Again, she was made to wait.

She was sent to a formal assessment (Begutachtung). The doctors there, not wanting to bite the hand that feeds them, magically transormed her, at least on paper, into a perfectly healthy person. As she became progressively more ill, she needed more help at home, but she couldn't afford to pay for it. After several years of this, going downhill for lack of help, and from the stress, she just couldn't bear the physical pain and psychological pressure any longer, and ended her life.

Something is very seriously wrong with the process, when it can get this far, from someone who has many doctors from a range of different practices and hospitals, all reporting the same diagnoses and the same disabilities, over years of her progressive suffering, and then one Gutachten is used as sufficient grounds to cancel her pension. And that pushed her into desperation.

I am both angry and deeply sad.

Last edited by doropfiz; 18.04.2020 at 22:50.
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  #133  
Old 18.04.2020, 21:53
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Doropfiz this is heartbreaking to read. I wish I could say something that would make any sense or bring some comfort. I don't understand how the system can fail its most vulnerable on such a level.
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  #134  
Old 19.04.2020, 17:03
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Thank you for this response, and for the kind PMs I received. I see that it's necessary that I clarify: I'm not in personal grief since I did not know this woman. She is someone known by a close friend of mine. I am sore for my friend who is deeply upset, and horrified about the way the Disability Insurance goes about things.

If the tax-payers knew how much of their money was being flushed down the drain through all these investigations of plainly ill people, they’d be angry, too.
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  #135  
Old 19.04.2020, 17:09
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Thank you for this response, and for the kind PMs I received. I see that it's necessary that I clarify: I'm not in personal grief since I did not know this woman. She is someone known by a close friend of mine. I am sore for my friend who is deeply upset, and horrified about the way the Disability Insurance goes about things.

If the tax-payers knew how much of their money was being flushed down the drain through all these investigations of plainly ill people, they’d be angry, too.
Rest assured that most taxpayers are perfectly happy with money paid to investigators rather than "handing out money will-nilly" to everybody and his dog who has a pulse and can file a disability claim, so to speak.

Your friend's friend is thus just a collateral damage on the quest to keep the budget for social security growing and ensure low taxes.
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  #136  
Old 19.04.2020, 17:17
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Yes, some see a desperate suicide just a collateral damage.

The reason, I believe, that the system fails its most vulnerable, as you put it so well, 3Wishes, is political.

Several years ago, the Swiss citizens voted on a range of measures which was designed to clean up the finances of the Disability Office. At that time, Christoph Blocher coined the phase «Scheininvalide», meaning «pseudo-invalid», and there was a lot in the media about naughty people exploiting the system, feigning ailments that they did not have, and living a grand life on a disability pension, especially abroad. The sense, at the time, was that most people who claim a pension are probably lying and out to milk the system. This is illustrated so well by rainer_d's comment, above. This represented a huge shift, since up till then it was taken as more or less given that there was some sort of honour in not claiming benefits if one were able to work.

Years later, after many thousands of insured persons had been subjected to scrutiny, it was discovered that only some miniscule sub-set (I think it was 0.05% of them) had been faking.
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Old 19.04.2020, 17:34
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Well, this is the case with almost all draconian laws: the few ruining it for the many.

It's the reason why you can go to jail if you are caught speeding 30+km/h, even if it was in the middle of the night and no one was around (other than the cops).
Because some reckless people thought it was OK to go 250 on the motorway or 100 in the city. Add in some high-profile deaths of kids and innocents and you've got the perfect gateway to label everybody a potential killer who is a bit more than average over the speed limit.

Further, it also boils down to setting what is called "Key Performance Indicators", the measurements put in place to judge the performance of (in this case) civil servants.

If their job is to find crooks and "phony applications", you bet this is what they're going to do.

I just tried to find some statistical data. It looks like the number of recipients of benefits hasn't really grown or decreased significantly over the years - in ZH. Though one can argue if the numbers should have grown, given the increase and growing age of the population...

https://statistik.zh.ch/internet/jus...erich_2018.pdf
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  #138  
Old 19.04.2020, 17:42
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

I see your analogy. Doors are locked at night only because of the few who steal, whereas most people, all over, do not, in fact, steal.

However, there's a central difference in that anyone who drives can, by choice, determine whether or not they are going to drive at a speed higher than the defined limits, and anyone who sees a market stall unattended to can choose whether or not to steal. But people who are seriously ill, cannot likewise choose to not be ill.
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  #139  
Old 19.04.2020, 17:53
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Of course.

but deciding on a large scale who is really ill and who is not is really difficult.

As with any difficult decision, an administration will get as many people involved into that decision as possible so that each individual has very few options to get personally involved or attached and influence the outcome.

So that in the end even when there's a sad outcome (like in your cases), nobody needs to feel guilty or take responsibility.

It's really difficult to get out of there, unless legislation changes.
And that, I'm pretty sure, is not going to happen any time soon.
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Old 19.04.2020, 18:10
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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but deciding on a large scale who is really ill and who is not is really difficult.
The actual decision, about an individual, on whether or not he/she is able to earn their own living, or not, ought not to be a process that is allowed to drag on for years and years while the person becomes progressively more ill.
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