Apr 022011

The Guardian has been told that unemployed people are being tricked into breaching the rules so that benefits can be held back.

A whistleblower said staff at his jobcentre were given targets of three people a week to refer for sanctions, where benefits are removed for up to six months. He said it was part of a “culture change” since last summer that had led to competition between advisers, teams and regional offices.

“Suddenly you’re not helping somebody into sustainable employment, which is what you’re employed to do,” he said. “You’re looking for ways to trick your customers into ‘not looking for work’. You come up with many ways. I’ve seen dyslexic customers given written job searches, and when they don’t produce them – what a surprise – they’re sanctioned. The only target that anyone seems to care about is stopping people’s money.


The claims came as the big businesses handed contracts to get the long term jobless into worktoday said the government should privatise jobcentres so that their firms could work with people who have been jobless for less than a year.

Statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show the total number of cases where people have lost their benefits has soared since the beginning of 2010 to 75,000 in October, the latest month available. The figures also reveal the number of claimants with registered disabilities being cut off has more than doubled to almost 20,000 over the same period.

Watch the video and the full article at the Guardian.

You can read the statistics behind how jobseekers are being ‘tricked’ out of benefits to meet staff targets


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  7 Responses to “Claims that DWP staff are being told to trip people up with paperwork at Jobcentres”

  1. I have been on incapacity benefit and was tricked into not supplying another sick note. I was then taken off IB and put onto ESA. I have to keep going to Atos who are not medically qualified and do not perform tests. I have neurosensitisation and cannot sustain repetitive bimanual work. I have 2 medical reports from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who went through all my hospital notes, medical notes etc., I had to go for another assessment to Atos last Thursday and I demanded to see this mans qualifications and read the paperwork I provided but he terminated the interview without reading anything or providing proof of his qualifications. He could have come off a boat yesterday for all I know. This time round I have a sick note for a year despite being told there is no need to provide a medical certificate. I have been to no end of appeals and tribunals. The neurosensitisation is an ongoing condition and will not disappear. Unfortunately the benefits people seem to think that my condition will change.

    I would urge everyone to contact Watchdog so that they can highlight this problem with Atos on their programme and get something done about this disgusting company Atos. I have written to several papers and complained to my MP and Atos.

  2. DWP Staff have become the enemy, They no longer help us, They have targets to reach and are determined to reach them. I am told by a member of dwp staff that I know that he was threatened by suspension because he helped a claimant that was dyslectic to fill in a form. I myself have been abused by the DWP and nearly came to taking my own life. I am a disabled pensioner and was made to feel really bad when I asked for help. Though some staff are really good and would help any genuine claimant they are not allowed to do so. My friend has since left the service because it upset him to follow orders from a nasty and belligerent management. I mentioned to my friend that I intended to complain about the member of staff that abused me and upset me so much. He advised me not to do so. Were I to make a complaint it would go on my records and they would make my life hell. I will never ask for help and will just take what they give as what I am entitled to. I dare not apply for any help. Despite the fact I needed help I am determined to manage. When I find life getting too hard then I will make one of them happy ( The one that abused me ) I shall end it all. I often ask myself where is the quality of life now. Why am I just existing. Why am I trapped because of these laws and regulations. So much that I am made to live alone or risk losing benefits if anyone stays with me to help care for me. Yes I am depressed and there are many like me. Sad to say there are many that are worse off than I am and this frightens me. How many elderly or disabled people have taken their own lives because of this system we have. We are not a democracy. We are a Police State as hitler was after being rid of people like us. So are this Government aided by the dwp…

    • Anthony, it means absolutely nothing but I am truly sorry for your predicament.
      I too feel that my future is bleak to non-existant because of the pressures heaped on us.
      Personally I have mainly bad days and the occasional reasonable one. These Nazis plan to take away all my good ones.
      For me it seems like ending it all is the only truly satisfactory way out. It ends ALL the uncertainty for the future.
      The thing that has held me back until now is anger.
      WHY should I go on my own when it is partially due to some vindictive government agency?
      Now I am thinking about leaving a “legacy” instead of hurting me I am sorely tempted into sorting one of them instead. I get to mock the family and the government in court and spend the rest of my life in prison where there are no pressures from the outside world. Also medical treatment is on tap.
      Just waiting for my assessment date.

      • DPAC recognises that there is a great deal of anger and resentment towards this Government however we believe only a collective political response can offer us all a meaningful way forward. Trying to fight alone or striking out alone will serve no useful purpose and is likely to do more harm than good. We urge all individuals who feel desperate to seek support and to work within our campaign to help make a real difference.

      • Minister for the disabled?She obolvusiy has no idea what is going on. Why is she throwing away hundreds of millions of pounds on a cruel, dishonest and ineffective service’ by ATOS?Genuine people are being failed for ESA and then DLA by being tricked’ by irrelevent questions by so called Health Care Professionals that often do have not a clue. Will she hold her head down in shame for the extra suffering and deaths some of starvation, neglect or suicide that her policies lead to?Reform yesDefeat the scroungers yes yesSpend that money wasted on ATOS and get some decent, honest fraud investigators.Does she not realise that many of those who drop their claim do so, not because they are not entitled, but because they were not strong enough to endure the ATOS trial by ordeal and so dropped their claim in despair or intimidation.Do you research Maria, get the truth, and maybe you could be a decent politician and not waste your life on political spin.

  3. This is transferred from http://disabledpeopleprotest.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/dla-to-be-replaced-by-pip-from-201314/ – by Frank

    As a recipient of DLA myself and just newly being one of the 850 in Aberdeenshire to be changed from receiving Incapacity Benefit(which I initially had for LIFE in ’97 after it was obvious my conditions are progressive,very!) to the now Employment and Support Allowance, I had an appointment in Dec ’10 that id no notification of. I only knew of it when I received a letter from ATOS that “as you know!!! Your Dec ’10″ appointment had been cancelled, re-scheduled for January, I got my GP to request a domiciliary visit for me, which was granted. On the visit I again never got any notification, so on the date the Dr came, I was asleep, luckily woke to get to the door in time, I requested to have assessment in my bedroom, to which the reply was, “why, don’t you have a living room”, to which I could only go ahead and have it while perching on the arm of my settee, even though I explained my pain level just laying in bed, getting shaved, brushing my teeth!
    From having spondilolisthesis, 3 failed spinal fusions (3 screws and the 2 stefi plates are still loose!) , dx Fibromyalgia in Nov ’97 and I’m on 440mg MST plus15 diaz,20temaz and amitryptiline, doses not changed for years, I don’t wish to get on higher doses even though I am in pain even while trying to sleep, cannot sleep for pain, my mind not switching off, muscles won’t loosen, etc! I just don’t want to be doped any more than I am! Only slight successful thing was hydrotherapy, but over 49 miles away, we cannot live in water either.
    I AM ASORRY, this is about PIP, just I fear the fact DLA is getting scrapped for PIP already. I got a letter in days ago stating I’m still in ESA, with my income spread out to show no decrease in benefit , but that I’ll have to see an employment advisor to get me back into employment,not the other option down from it which is you’re not going to be able to work! I also just got another letter in the mail today with a P45 in it!
    I wish I could work, but with my condition I know its impossibe, unless there’s a job you can do from laying in bed or being able to perch for only about 30 minutes!!!
    If that’s the way things are I’ll be dead by suicide by then.

  4. this is transferred from the old website; from Frank-

    I just spent 30 minutes tapping in a lengthy reply about my condition and conditions,had IB,IS since Dec’96, long-term after Feb ’97 then first of 3 failed L5 to S1 spinal fusions on 3rd March ’97, i’d been telling my ortho that I was in pain all over from my first appointment, finally after being referred to Ruemy was dx’ed with FMS NOV 14th ’97. Long-term incap letter in ’97 stated I had it for life!
    I got low rate care in oct 98, it was for 3 years, then full mob, mid care from Dec ’99, for 4 years, then 5, the last letter was “indefinately full care&mob”.

    I just got a letter days ago following a domiciliary Assessment for ESA stating i’d still receive the same amounts, with detailed break-down of amounts IS,ESA & SDA (I never applied for attentance!!!). Another page stating id continue to receive ESA but had to see an employment advisor for support to get back to work, not the other option that I’m unable to work due to my conditions and won’t have to!
    Today I got a P45 in the mail!
    I wish I could work, but with pain even when laying still trying to sleep, not getting slept due to pain and over-tiredness and brain not switching off. What sort of job could I possibly do? When I can’t even sit at my laptop anymore? Even using my ipad is tiresome, I can’t sit without severe pain, I live in my bed. But the Dr who assessed me wouldn’t allow me to be assessed in my room when I asked, instead she said ” don’t you have a living room like?” I was taken aback so was forced to show her into my lving room with no tuned tv. I had to perch on the arm of my settee for it despite trying my best to do each test asked of me I had to shift to the arm of the next sette chair, but I rally wanted to be able to lay on my back, sweat drippibg of me, y et they think I am capable of working, if it comes to that id kill myself because I know its impossible!

    I do believe something needs to be done to root out the cheaters, those who can or are still orking yet claiming benefits lying about it. But that Dr knew nothing about me, just what she guessed, who can see pain or plates and screws inside your back that are still loose after 3 failed attempts, even without that I’ve no muscles left there, just sfar tissue, did she even lift up my top? Nope!
    I’m too tired, I hope yhis posts this time.
    F J R

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