May 272012

While there always seems to be plenty of money for some from disability sadly, the trickle-down effect never seems to reach as far as disabled people themselves. We still seem to be being exploited as cash cows for others. Below tells how charities are exploiting disabled people through the evidence of a whistleblower from one of the charities.

 Scandal of charities that bully people off benefits

by Dave Sewell

Charities and voluntary organisations that claim to be helping vulnerable people are instead enforcing government plans to throw them off benefits, Socialist Worker can reveal.

Over 270 voluntary organisations signed up to the government’s Work Programme, which pays contractors to bully unemployed people off benefits.

Sometimes this involves “workfare” schemes—herding unemployed workers into mandatory unpaid work at supermarkets, fast food restaurants and even NHS hospitals (see below).

An “employment advisor” at one of the charities spoke to Socialist Worker anonymously about the practice. “It’s disgusting,” they said. “We get letters from people who are really ill asking why their benefits have been taken away.

“I remember one client with severe psychosis. He didn’t know what day of the week it was—but he was about to lose his benefits because he had missed his appointments.”

The charities claim they are providing a service to help vulnerable people into jobs. But the jobs simply aren’t there.

Last week St Mungo’s became the latest charity to pull out of the Work Programme. It hadn’t made the revenue it expected. And it failed to put a single homeless person into work.

“Charities signed up naively,” the advisor told Socialist Worker. “They thought—we already work with vulnerable people, so why shouldn’t we do the same for a contract?”


In practice this has meant charities turning into factories designed to process unemployed claimants. And if claimants can’t jump through the government’s impossible hoops, their benefits can be removed.

“There is so much pressure to get results—either by getting people into work, or by getting their benefits sanctioned,” the advisor said.

Around one in ten of those that the charity recommends to be stripped of their benefits are later found to have been sanctioned wrongly, the advisor added.

Their caseload includes people who are claiming Employment Support Allowance and are not obliged to seek jobs, as they are not considered fit for work.

But the advisors are not trained to tell them this. Nor are they trained to help claimants who miss appointments for health reasons—and then find they have lost their benefits as a result.

The voluntary organisations involved in the Work Programme are subcontractors of private sector training firm Seetec. They include charities that work with disabled people, homeless people, single parents, young people and ex-offenders.

But the Work Programme is in a mess over its use of contractors. One prominent firm, A4e, is so mired in fraud allegations that it has had to be axed from the scheme.

And last week the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee called for payments to Work Programme contractors to be frozen. The advisor welcomed this move, saying, “It’s an obscene system. Let’s hope it falls apart soon.”

Originally posted at nice pic of DPAC protesters there too blocking the road

 see also:

 According to DWP charities involved are set out in the following table by area: find your charity here-we’ve kindly highlighted the disability ones for you- let us know if we missed any-for full excell sheet email us at

 Btw Disability Works UK includes SCOPE, Leonard Cheshire, Mind, MENCAP, Action for Blind People (or RNIB) Disability Works UK has a turnover value of £654.4 million and a surplus of £15.6 million Recession? What recession?

Work Programme Supply Chains

The information contained in the table below reflects updates and changes to the Work Programme supply chains and is correct as at 30 January 2012.
It is published in the interests of transparency. It is limited to those in supply chains delivering to prime providers as part of their tier 1 and 2 chains. Definitions of what these tiers incorporate vary from prime provider to prime provider. There are additional suppliers beyond these tiers who are largely to be called on to deliver one off, unique interventions in response to a particular participants needs and circumstances.
The Department for Work and Pensions fully anticipate that supply chains will be dynamic, with scope to flex and evolve to reflect change within the labour market and participant needs.
The Department intends to update this information at regular intervals dependant on time and resources available.
In addition to the Merlin standard, a robust process is in place for the Department to approve any supply chain changes and to ensure that the service on offer is not compromised or reduced.
Comparison between the August 2011 stock take and the January 2012 figures shows a small net increase in the overall number of organisations in the supply chains. Both the public and private sector shows slight increases, while the voluntary and community sector shows a small net decrease.
The table below illustrates these changes
Sector Number of organisations in the supply chain    
Private As at 30 January 2012 – 306 / As at 12 August 2011 – 295*  
Public As at 30 January 2012 – 137 / As at 12 August 2011 – 133*  
Voluntary or Community (VCS) As at 30 January 2012 – 412 / As at 12 August 2011 – 420*  
Totals As at 30 january 2012 – 855 / As at 12 August 2011 – 848*  
*Note  These figure have been amended due to organisations being incorrectly recorded in the earlier stock take, which has now been rectified. This included two strategic partners being listed as a tier 2 sub contractor when no contractual relationship was in place; one organisation being incorrectly categorised as voluntary sector when they were in fact from the private sector, and a voluntary sector organisation being recorded under two different names, thus decreasing the voluntary sector count and increasing the private sector.

East of England              
Papworth Trust              
Action for Blind People              
Royal Mencap Society               
East Midlands              
Disability Works (UK)              
Disability Alliance              
Action for Blind People               
Royal Mencap Society              
West London              
Acton for Blind People              
Hammersmith & Fulham MIND              
Disability Works UK              
East London              
Disability Works UK              
North East              
Action for Blind People              
North West – Merseyside, Halton, Cumbria and Lancashire              
Disability Works UK              
Eden Mencap              
Action for Blind People              
Royal Mencap Society              
North West – Greater Manchester, Cheshire & Warrington              
Disability Information Bureau              
Action for Blind People              
Leonard Cheshire Disability              
Royal Mencap Society ( Mencap )              
Action for Blind People              
Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)              
Scottish Mental Health Co-operative              
South East – Thames Valley and Hampshire and Isle of Wight              
Disability Works UK              
South East – Surrey, Sussex and Kent              
Disability Works              
Action for Blind People              
Disability Works UK              
Royal Mencap Society ( Mencap )              
South West – Devon and Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset              
South West – Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and West of England              
Shaw Trust               
Swindon Mind              
Action for Blind People              
Action for Blind People ( RNIB )              
West Midlands – Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country              
Action for Blind People              
Disability Works UK              
Birmingham Disability Consortium              
West Midlands – Coventry and Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Marches              
Shaw Trust              
West Yorkshire              
Action for Blind People              
South Yorkshire              
Disability Works UK              
Disability Works UK              
North East Yorkshire and the Humber              
Leonard Cheshire Disability              
Royal Mencap Society ( Mencap )              
The Mind Consortium              


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  6 Responses to “Disability Charities accused of bullying disabled people off benefits”

  1. because I knew the rules one charity in Wales sent me an email, it came from Dublin but the charity was in Wales, the letter and emails stated if you do not attend a meeting at our offices you will lose your benefits, this is a warning. I contacted the charity who was involved with the New Deal and pathways to work, and they stated they had the power to stop peoples benefits because and get this the Government is tired with scroungers.

    I then contacted my MP and asked her when the law had changed to force people to go to a charity for interviews, she then asked me to go to the meeting and to let her know what was said.

    When i arrived they said you have to sign this form, well the form was for them to get the payment and it had the job center signature on it, but I was already signed up to Remploy, but they said it did not matetr you can sign up to others, but they were the ones with the power to stop benefits.

    I signed it, they said I would have to attend six interviews and they would find me a job they would contact me again in a month, but they never did.

    My MP took the matter further informing the charity it could not tell people they lose benefits and that the letter was misleading and they were going to be investigated, two days later the charity which was based in Dublin yet carried a Welsh name closed.

    I was then told the charity could not make enough money through the signing on and this way they tried to get more people signing on, because your paid for each person which signs up.

    So far after five years I’ve not had a single job interview, as I use a wheelchair some of the time or crutches the jobs I’ve been sent to have been ridiculous, in a wheelchair window cleaning, painter decorator, taxi driver even thought I have a limited license, long distance lorry driver. Scafolder, bricklayer, then it returned to window cleaning again, when I said I could not do these jobs they said these are all we have.

  2. As l am chronically ill and a fulltime carer it does not surprise me that the above is happening and this and consecutive governments do so at their peril. The stress, severe chronic deep seated depression manifests itself in you looking at suicide as and a way out. The pressures and the ongoing daily turmoil is horrendous.

    My mum is dying with cancer and though terminal we both do not know the end date mum would like to go now as mum is suffering was a senior matron nursing sister for 42 years. I love mum with all my heart. sitting here this morning as l also had to end my baby kheira from old age yesterday morning may she as my little child rest in peace now a good age for an alsation. loved her dearly.fight this goverment for us all as we mean nothing to him cameron should be ashamed.

  3. This happened to me. A charity which i trusted in the west midlands did the flexible new deal scheme and their attitude if you don’t like it no ones forcing you to sign on. The woman what i saw every month for a year was rude and arrogant I hated her guts by the end of it and the charity near Blind charity near wolverhampton

  4. yes about right im alright jack attitude. to think we thought these people were supposed to help us . thre guarden should be informed they will have the guts to print the truth and show this nazi goverment up for what it truly is

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