Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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Benefits ‘Top-Up’, All Party Parliamentary Groups Urges Extension.

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Keep universal credit top-up and scrap benefits cap, says all-party committee on poverty.

The government has come under renewed pressure from Tory backbenchers to extend the £20-a-week Covid top-up to universal credit as part of a range of measures to increase the level of pandemic welfare support.

A report published on Monday by the all-party parliamentary group on poverty – co-chaired by Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake – asks for the top up, worth £1,050 a year, to be retained beyond April and for the benefit cap to be suspended.

It also urges ministers to widen the £20-a-week boost to about 2 million people on so-called legacy benefits, including hundreds of thousands of disabled claimants who have received no extra social security support during the pandemic. It warns that failure to do so will create a two-tier benefits system.

…..

Separately, a group of Tory MPs are backing a bill by fellow backbencher Paul Maynard calling for a review of council-run local welfare schemes in England, which provide food, clothes, replacement cookers, fridges and beds for people in extreme hardship, but which have withered in recent years.

London now has the highest number of Universal Credit claimants in the country.

 

Universal Credit change sees half a million claimants warned of benefits switch

Birmingham Live.

As many as 500,000 benefit claimants have been warned of changes to the Universal Credit and benefits system.

It means some are at risk of being forced on to Universal Credit.

Between January 16, 2019 and January 27, 2021 a block was put in place stopping those on Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit or Pension Credit from being moved on to Universal Credit, if they also receive a top-up called SDP (Severe Disability Premium).

This was to prevent them suffering a big drop in income.

As that transitional protection policy ended on January 27, claimants could find themselves being switched on to Universal Credit.

But do not worry, all is fine!

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 1, 2021 at 10:24 am

155 Responses

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  1. Cooper offers up a wise assessment to Church Times. Foodbanks and church projects, he said:

    …cannot be an adequate substitute for a proper safety net, which has been provided by the welfare state for more than the past 60 years. There is a real danger that we are sleepwalking towards the American model of welfare, with wholly inadequate benefit levels and the institutionalised use of food stamps, food handouts and soup kitchens.

    He concludes:

    If this becomes the norm here, it will truly set us back to Dickensian times

    xclausx

    February 1, 2021 at 11:22 am

  2. I’ve just opened a brown envelope from the DWP, a letter informing me that from the 14th April my JSA will increase by 35p per week to £74.70. Whoopee.

    trev

    February 1, 2021 at 11:53 am

    • @trev

      Wow trev! You’ve got it all going on, haven’t you. You’re on your way to the top, mate. Still, it’s better than nothing. Remember for about 4 or 5 years, we were getting bugger all.

      jj joop

      February 1, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      • I’ll try not to let it change me.

        trev

        February 1, 2021 at 12:37 pm

  3. Those on UC in London will be in a worse situation, with thier rents being so high.

    xclausx

    February 1, 2021 at 11:54 am

    • I don’t know how on earth anyone can afford to live in London. Rents should be Capped.

      trev

      February 1, 2021 at 12:40 pm

  4. I remember the all-party parliamentary group on poverty saying much the same thing when Frank Field was an MP and before that actually, for quite a while in fact: as I remember it the government of the day never took a blind bit of notice about their recommendations and ploughed ahead regardless. This time around, if the Tories want to keep all the former “working class” seat in the north of England, won as a result of Labour dropping the EU ball during the last election they will not be able to ignore the difficulties of poorer citizens as they did, throughout their existence, with brass wheels on when George Osborne was Chancellor.

    The coronavirus contagion is worse now than during the first lockdown last March, so it’s difficult to see how Boris and Co., can argue to cancel the UC “uplift” now since if it was needed by the poor and struggling before how can abolishing it be justified when things are significantly worse now and bound to get much worse when the furlough scheme eventually ends, as far as unemployment is concerned. I expect Sunak will be forced to extend the “uplift” indefinitely until some kind of “new normal” is established after 70% to 80% of the population have been vaccinated against Covid and, hopefully, the much talked about “herd immunity” is achieved and the virus dwindles and declines, assuming that most vaccinated individuals if they get Covid can’t pass it on to others as readily as the unvaccinated.

    A improved state like this, if it is achievable at all, probably couldn’t happen before the end of summer.

    Sunak will be forced to put his hand into his pocket and fork out the necessary would be my best bet.

    Aleister

    February 1, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    • I agree but also how much longer can they get away with the lie that it’s not possible to increase ‘legacy Benefits’ because of the computer system or something? It’s pure nonsense.

      trev

      February 1, 2021 at 12:52 pm

  5. Just out now,

    Labour: Tories “running out of time to do the right thing” on Universal Credit

    “Jonathan Reynolds has declared that the government is “running out of time to do the right thing” and reverse its decision to press ahead with the £20-per-week cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits.

    Following the publication of a report today by the all-party parliamentary group on poverty, chaired by Tory backbencher Kevin Hollinrake MP, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary urged the Chancellor to rethink the cut.

    Commenting this morning on the growing pressure facing Rishi Sunak to extend the uplift, Reynolds said: “Britain had the worst recession of any major economy because of the government’s incompetence and indecision.

    “Even the government’s own MPs do not support the Chancellor’s planned cut to Universal Credit, taking £1,000 a year from millions of families already struggling in this pandemic.

    “The government is running out of time to do the right thing, give certainty to families and secure our economy, by cancelling their disastrous cut to Universal Credit.”

    https://labourlist.org/2021/02/labour-tories-running-out-of-time-to-do-the-right-thing-on-universal-credit/?fbclid=IwAR2LTpqLRHpvslqTZxr7zMk2GafEI6ar5xMZ8UEMp8cr2xwcqoJbf8j1mHk

    Andrew Coates

    February 1, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    • As a recipient if JSA I look forward to receiving the £1000 increase backdated to April 2020.

      trev

      February 1, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    • It shouldn’t be left until the last day.

      xclausx

      February 1, 2021 at 1:55 pm

  6. Universal Credit is a shambles, unfit for purpose, should be scrapped.

    https://www.mylondon.news/lifestyle/universal-credit-adviser-warns-families-19728751

    trev

    February 1, 2021 at 2:49 pm

  7. UC Kickstart
    01 Feb 2021
    Group executive committee (GEC) negotiators met with senior UC Kickstart management recently and we raised a number of issues affecting PCS members.

    Movement of staff to UC Kickstart
    It is fair to say that the implementation of UC Kickstart did not get off to the best of starts. The GEC were contacted by the DWP Glasgow Branch advising that 40 AO’s working on PIP DRT Admin work at Atlantic Quay were being compulsory transferred to UC Kickstart from 23 November 2020. Those members rightly raised concerns with PCS with regards how the whole transfer had been handled. In addition, concerns were raised regarding the lack of training. All of this has caused undue stress for the members at Atlantic Quay and has not been resolved by management locally. Whilst acknowledging that this is a new scheme and that management nationally did not have a long run-in period, the situation should have been handled a lot better than it was. PCS put it to management that UC Kickstart had been set up in a haphazard manner and that the members at Atlantic Quay were understandingly angry about what had happened to them. As a result, at the request of GEC negotiators, the Deputy Delivery Director for UC Kickstart held a virtual meeting with those members on 27 January 2021. Helpfully, he has agreed to further meetings if necessary. Management have acknowledged that the setting up of UC Kickstart could have been handled better and have taken steps to improve the situation. A dedicated Grade 6 HRBP has been appointed and all staff will have a one-to-one with their Team Leader. Furthermore, it is the view of management that now thanks to the hard work of our members, they have caught up with the outstanding work and as a result the situation should settle down.

    As a result of Working Age being in an oversupply of staff at EO grade, PCS were advised on 16 December 2020 that a decision had been taken to seek approximately 77 people to move across to UC Kickstart. Following a request for volunteers, DWP stated that they had achieved the required number in all but 2 of the 16 sites on scope. The selection principles outlined in the Workforce Management Policy were to be used to determine who moved over to UC Kickstart in Bootle and Hackney from this month. required from Working Age. However, an update was provided at the meeting with the Deputy Delivery Director confirming that UC Kickstart had managed to get all the volunteers required and that there was no requirement for a selection exercise.

    DWP advised on 28 January 2021 that a decision had been taken to move further staff to support UC Kickstart. Due to a change in eligibility and increased applications, management have stated that there is an urgent requirement for additional resource in order that that they meet the demand. As a result, DWP have advised that they plan to temporarily reassign the following onto UC Kickstart:

    95 AOs (60 new entrants at Warbreck and 35 existing Case Managers at Wolverhampton) from National Services and UC Case Management
    81 EOs (75 existing staff at Washington and 6 Team Leaders at Warbreck), 7 HEO’s (Washington) and 1 SEO (Washington) from the Virtual Work Coach Hubs.
    DWP have advised that the moves will take place in tranches from 1 February 2021 and that some of the AO resource will be made up of new recruitment and they will be starting in UC Kickstart over the next few weeks. These moves are in addition to 10 AO Case Managers in Glasgow Milton SC who moved to UC Kickstart this week. Those staff are initially expected to be working on UC Kickstart until August 2021. Management have advised that this will be kept under review.

    In addition, management have advised that there are several job roles available (EO Assessment, EO Vacancy, AO Vacancy/Admin and their respective line management roles). UC Kickstart management have stated that they are putting plans in place for remote induction and upskilling. Helpfully, management have confirmed that those working from home will be able to do so during training, and upon taking up the role.

    Future consultation
    The Deputy Delivery Director has agreed that he will meet with PCS to discuss issues affecting members working on UC Kickstart on a monthly basis. The next meeting is scheduled for 5 February 2021. Therefore, PCS members working on UC Kickstart are invited to email any issues to leeds@pcs.org.uk in order that we can take forward at this and future meetings.

    superted

    February 1, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    • What a load of bollocks. All these bloody stupid employment schemes, Kickstart, Restart, etc. Scrap the bloody lot and scrap Universal Credit and scrap the entire DWP. Just pay money automatically to anyone who wants it whether they are working or not. End of problem.

      trev

      February 1, 2021 at 6:55 pm

      • And shut down the Jobcentres and sack all the staff.

        trev

        February 1, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    • They treat their own staff with the same disdain as claimants. But most of the DWP staff have one great fear, being on the other side of the desk as a claimant. And waving goodbye to their £30K jobs.

      Jeff Smith

      February 1, 2021 at 11:52 pm

  8. . UC Kickstart management have stated that they are putting plans in place for remote induction and upskilling.

    i dont like the sound of that if it is for claimants!!

    superted

    February 1, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    • So people will ‘attend’ these courses online? What if you don’t have access to broadband?

      trev

      February 1, 2021 at 7:05 pm

      • they have great expectations that everyone will have them imo esp if you made a uc claim online!

        Update January 2021:

        Following the government announcement on 4th January 2021, the majority of our face to face delivery has been moved online or postponed; we will however be opening our centre every Wednesday from 27th January for the most vulnerable within our communities, supporting them with mental health, wellbeing and digital skills.

        We don’t currently have the facility to provide IT equipment, however if you’re struggling and need some support then please contact us and we will see if we can support you.

        If you would like to join any of our remote learning courses, you will need:

        A computer, tablet or smartphone with safe and secure access to the internet
        A quiet area to engage with online teaching
        A personal email address to join the sessions

        https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/adult-education-in-gloucestershire/about-us/coronavirus-update/

        superted

        February 1, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      • “… If you would like to join…”

        Obviously these online things are voluntary or you wouldn’t be able to exercise choice indicated by the words quoted above. Besides currently the DWP cannot force anyone to use any website which plants cookies on personal PCs, so no one can be forced, currently, to waste any of their bandwidth enrolling on such things if they don’t want to… until they get round to changing the law to exempt benefit claimants from protections relating to the GDPR.

        Tim

        February 2, 2021 at 7:08 am

    • Does anyone know what age group they’re targetting? Is it just young people or claimants in general?

      jj joop

      February 1, 2021 at 7:15 pm

  9. well i wont be sent to any provider then lol 😉 same old shit different brand shovel it never changes and the same old crap over and over again!

    and tbh there wont be enough placements to go around this time no where near and imo they will go after all the new uc claimants first anyway.

    superted

    February 1, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    • You might think it would make sense to go after the new UC claimants first but for some bizarre reason the plan is to target the older long-term unemployed with Restart, people like me who are unemployable. And as ever it’s guaranteed to be a complete and utter waste of time.

      trev

      February 1, 2021 at 8:04 pm

      • if you dont want to do it then dont sign the providers contract simple as that.

        superted

        February 1, 2021 at 8:18 pm

  10. We estimate that the number of deaths actually occurring (rather than registered) in Week 2 in England and Wales was between 17,847 and 22,626.

    The number of deaths registered in the UK in the week ending 15 January 2021 was 20,019, which was 4,347 higher than the five-year average; of deaths registered in the UK in Week 2, 7,766 deaths involved COVID-19, 1,173 higher than in Week 1.

    if 1300 ppl die per day for 15 days its 19.500

    if 1600ppl die per day for 15 days its 24.000

    so if 1300 ppl died per day for 365 days the total would be 474.500

    and if 1600 ppl died per day it would be 584.000, and would be considered normal for the population of England as the avg is 1300-1600 per day.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending15january2021#comparison-of-weekly-deaths-occurrence-in-england-and-wales

    Between 1 January and 31 December 2020, 550,238 deaths occurred in England (and were registered by 9 January 2021). This was 50,882 more deaths than the five-year average (2015 to 2019) for January to December (10.2% higher). Of the 550,238 deaths that occurred, 12.9% were due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) (71,110 deaths).

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/monthlymortalityanalysisenglandandwales/december2020#death-occurrences-in-december-2020-and-year-to-date

    Where has all the influenza gone? The impact of COVID-19 on the circulation of influenza and other respiratory viruses, Australia, March to September 2020

    https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.47.2001847

    In 2019, there were 530,841 deaths registered in England and Wales, a decrease of 2.0% compared with 2018 (541,589 deaths).

    Taking into account the population size and age structure, age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) in England and Wales decreased significantly, by 3.7% for males and 4.7% for females.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/2019#:~:text=In%202019%2C%20there%20were%20530%2C841,males%20and%204.7%25%20for%20females.

    superted

    February 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm

  11. I see the private enterprise vultures are already circling, waiting to grab their share of the money for these national ‘training schemes’. There will be millions in the pot up for grabs.But just like the Work Programme, the original Restart, Community Programme, and all the rest, it won’t do any good. But it will provide the wheel on which the unemployed working -class can run like hamsters, round and round. And Universal Credit
    will disguise all this make-work as real work. And all the pointless little zero-hours jobs, as genuine employment. Smoke and mirrors, all of it. Sold to a gullible public.

    Jeff Smith

    February 2, 2021 at 12:00 am

  12. So is the Health & Work scheme being cancelled or will it still be run alongside the forthcoming Restart scheme, coming to a town near you during summer 2021, and Kickstart scheme which is also kind of running? The Restart scheme is aimed at people unemployed for a year or more and says it’s supposed to assist one million such people, for up to twelve months individually, over a three year period. Only £2.9 billion has been earmarked to fund it. A pretty small scheme, in other words, which certainly won’t be able to “help” everybody who qualifying for an “invitation” to take part.

    The Restart retread will no doubt concentrate on garbage relating to tweaking CVs and homespun “courses” designed to inspire confidence, raise spirits and such like. On the Work Program, several years ago, I remember being shown a video about a plucky individual, with no arms or legs, who made a living as an inspirational speaker showing how “handicapable” and cheerful he was, and another about a fellow who travelled tens of miles every day to on public transport, commuting to the minimum wage factory job he worked, who only slept three or four hours a day, as if that was a good thing and something admirable. Seemed kind of dumb to me. I mean: Why didn’t he just move closer to his place of work, get another job, or whatever rather than catnapping fitfully on busses for hours every day, due to lack of proper uninterrupted sleep and exhaustion relating to log days doing as manual job, which must inevitably ruin his health and shorten his life as sure as night follows day?

    There must be an upper age limit for Restart surely? What point would there be in sending anybody close to retirement onto a scheme like that for twelve months? It makes no sense to send people over sixty, say, on something like that unless they volunteer to do it for the company rather than getting a job.

    Personally I will be surprised if Restart gets going anytime during 2021 at all.

    The only thing I can be certain of is that whenever it begins it will be unadulterated and useless crap.

    Aleister

    February 2, 2021 at 7:40 am

    • Restart will need to be restarted, or rebooted, or just given the boot.

      trev

      February 2, 2021 at 9:48 am

  13. ‘Kickstart’, what does that suggest, but a kick up the backside for the idle unemployed ?

    Jeff Smith

    February 2, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    • Kickstart the mindset.

      Restart, the mindset from the beginning.

      xclausx

      February 2, 2021 at 12:55 pm

      • Oh the “mindset”. That’s a typical Tory /Neoliberal approach based upon the assumption that unemployment is the fault of the unemployed. It’s nothing to do with the fact that there are more people than jobs, it’s your mindset that’s wrong and needs changing. Nothing to do with your age, health problems, lack of transport, lack of skills, lack of recent experience, it’s your mindset. That’s what the Tory welfare reforms are based on, that very belief, hence we have the CSJ and their Nudge theory, and hence we have Universal Credit. Iain Duncan Smith’s mindset needs changing from Psychopath to Empath. Same can be said for all the Tories. One thing’s for certain, they’ll never change my fucking mindset!

        trev

        February 2, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    • Kickstart makes me think of old motorbikes. Kickstart, bump start, jump start, splutter…push…buy one with electric start.

      trev

      February 2, 2021 at 2:24 pm

  14. @superted

    I just spotted this on whatdotheyknow

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/work_coach_guidance_and_spotligh#incoming-1716241

    You may find the attachment “Spotlight on: failure to participate or comply” interesting. What’s your take on it?

    Spotlight on: failure to participate or comply

    Introduction
    This spotlight details the types of mandatory provision and circumstances in which
    a referral to a Decision Maker for fail to participate or comply maybe appropriate
    and the importance of case conferencing.
    Failure to participate or comply should be considered where a claimant:
     fails to attend a mandatory meeting with a programme or provider
     does not complete a specific work related activity set by a programme or
    provider
     does not participate in a mandatory meeting with a provider or work coach
    The sanction decision will be recorded on the service removing the need to
    complete and upload an LT54.
    In every case, we need to ensure the delivery of our work is based on principles of
    fairness, compassion, respect and dignity to ensure we are making informed and
    reasonable conclusions.
    This is particularly relevant when considering sanction referrals and decisions.
    At the same time, we need to acknowledge this is a considerable challenge,
    particularly where the signs of a customer’s need are invisible or not always
    obvious.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Types of provision
    These are examples of mandatory programmes or provisions arranged by the work
    coach that the claimant may attend:
     sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) (mandatory elements only)
     Work and Health Programme (WHP)

    Failing to participate or comply with any of these could result in a referral to a
    Decision Maker (DM).

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Examples of failure to participate or comply

    A failure to participate or comply is where a claimant fails to meet any specified
    work-related or connected requirement without good reason, such as failure to:
     take part in an interview
     be involved and engaged in the meeting or workshop
     behave appropriately whilst on a provision or during an interview, for
    example, abusive or uncooperative
     prepare an action plan
     write a CV
     take part in skills training
     attend a skills assessment
     take part in workshops
     take part in an employment scheme or training programme
     attend a meeting or workshop

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Referrals to a Decision Maker
    You should consider if a case conference is necessary before making a referral to
    the Decision Maker.
    Work and Health Programme
    WHP referrals are sent to a specialist team who attach the UC193 form to a ‘check
    provider’ to-do.
    This is allocated to the owning work coach, who should follow the ‘check provider
    referral’ ALP which may lead them to create the ‘Refer to Decision Maker (failure to
    participate or comply)’ to-do.
    Other
    A claimant’s actions with a provider may result in them making a referral

    The provider will notify the department if a claimant fails to participate or comply in:
     the provision
     an appointment arranged by the provider

    If a referral is needed, the work coach will need to create the ‘Refer to Decision
    Maker (failure to participate or comply)’ to-do.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Case conferencing
    A case conference should take place when the claimant:
     has complex needs
     is vulnerable; or
     has multiple sanctions applied in the past 12 months.
    A case conference takes place between a work coach and their team leader before
    making a referral to Decision Maker.
    Before making a decision, a case conference takes place between the Decision
    Maker and their team leader.
    The requirement to undertake a case conference applies to all labour market
    sanction types.
    A record of the case conference and the outcome must be recorded in ‘History’.

    jj joop

    February 2, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    • it is the same as it was b4 you must attend induction at providers office as that is mandatory and always was but you still dont have to sign anything ie providers contracts.

      so you are willing to participate but you are not required buy law to sign anything per dwp own rules and regs.

      the provider will need your permission to process your personnel data and for funding purposes as they are a 3rd party company for profit!

      the course will only become mandatory once you sign there contract.

      if the provider askes you to leave because you wont sign anything then they are not letting you participate so not your problem.

      superted

      February 2, 2021 at 3:23 pm

      • That’s what I thought. But I bet most people will sign, anyway.

        jj joop

        February 2, 2021 at 3:50 pm

      • they have 1 chance to con you in to signing there contract thus why it is the first things they give you to do at induction.

        but 99.9% will sign it anyway and then the provider can now also sanction you.

        superted

        February 2, 2021 at 3:55 pm

  15. How about Kickback, a course for people taking early retirement ? Or Positive Living, for people on long-term benefits ?

    Jeff Smith

    February 2, 2021 at 3:15 pm

  16. When the furlough scheme is finished, we will start to see the true reality of the employment crisis facing this country. It won’t be solved by these expensive and useless employment schemes.

    Jeff Smith

    February 2, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    • Yo Jeff – You try telling that to Therese Coffey.

      jj joop

      February 2, 2021 at 3:48 pm

  17. The same arguments explained once again:

    Universal Credit: Rishi Sunak urged to extend £20 uplift to legacy benefits – DWP review

    https://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/1392358/universal-credit-rishi-sunak-legacy-benefits-dwp

    “”Modelling carried out by Policy in Practice suggests that if the uplift was withdrawn, 683,000 households, including 824,000 children, would no longer be able to afford to meet their essential needs, with this number growing by 11 percent when the impact of the two child limit is taken into account.

    “The think tank expects the true figure to be higher as the modelling does not consider deductions from UC and other debts.”

    The APPG went on to examine how those on legacy and related benefits have coped: “Because the uplift was only applied to UC and WTC, millions of people on legacy and related benefits have not seen any increases in their income.

    “The APPG received multiple submissions calling for the extension of the uplift to legacy and related benefits.

    “This was particularly pertinent as most people claiming legacy and related benefits are disabled, carers, or have a long-term illness – the majority of whom fall in the poorest 10 percent of the population.

    Witnesses explained that people on legacy and related benefits are more likely to have been unable to work for an extended period of time, and will thus be less likely to have savings to fall back on.

    “The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) wrote that disabled people, despite not benefiting from the uplift, still face higher costs as a result of the pandemic due to increased food, fuel and phone costs; needing extra support from paid carers; and because they need to take taxis rather than public transport.

    “Respondents from DBC’s latest survey said that if the £20 was extended to legacy and related benefits, it would allow people to manage their health better and avoid having to choose between heating and medication.”

    As a result of these issues, the APPG has called on the Government to maintain the £20 uplift for Universal Credit and suspend the benefit cap.

    Additionally, they have also urged for the £20 uplift to be extended to legacy and related benefits, as their report concluded: “Again, all submissions argued for the extension of the £20 uplift to legacy and other benefits on the basis that people in receipt of these benefits are some of the most vulnerable members of society, and need to be supported during the crisis.

    “In order to avoid a two-tier social security system, the government should extend the uprating.

    “Moreover, rates of social security were already low even with the uplift in place, meaning the rates of legacy and other benefits are in great need of increasing.

    “This is consistent with general concern over the inadequacy of benefit levels from organisations like Action for Children who recommend establishing an independent body to provide advice on social security rates.”

    trev

    February 2, 2021 at 5:22 pm

  18. No extra help for the disabled during the pandemic.

    Don’t know about 2 tier class system, more like below the leprosy pit.

    The Disabled promotion to the leprosy pit seems to knock us down below the leprosy pit again.

    Tory DWP Disabled State Sponsored Murder.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 2, 2021 at 5:34 pm

  19. Another energy pro losing.

    British Gas at it just like many others out there.

    chiefs accused of ‘putting a gun to the head’ of workers in ‘fire and rehire’ scheme

    New contracts it says cut pay and increase the working week for engineers under the fire and rehire policy.

    Some 5,000 redundancies are being made.

    xclausx

    February 2, 2021 at 6:04 pm

  20. DWP message on pay
    02 Feb 2021
    Peter Schofield, the Permanent Secretary, issued a statement yesterday (1 February) in response to the earlier HMRC pay announcement.

    In his message the Permanent Secretary likens the HMRC offer to our own Employee Deal, and went on to say “When I wrote to you last November about the outcome of the Spending Review process, I made a commitment on behalf of the Executive Team to look at what else we could put in place to recognise the brilliant work you deliver.

    I want to assure you that we are actively exploring if there is more we may be able to do ahead of July’s pay award. We are engaging with the Treasury, recognising the careful consideration they will want to give to any options in light of the pay pause, which means that any pay rises in the public sector will be restrained and targeted in 2021/22.”

    Unnecessary confusion
    Unfortunately, the message has created confusion amongst a number of members and by linking it to the offer in HMRC – which delivers significant pay increases in exchange for terms and conditions as part of their 2020 pay settlement – has raised expectations with some of our members that a significant further award may be on offer in DWP shortly.

    PCS had not seen a copy of the communication before it was issued, and if we had would have urged caution against such a confused message being issued to DWP staff.

    What does it mean?
    PCS have this afternoon met DWP and can confirm that while the department are “engaging with the Treasury”, as stated in the message, there is no news at to what this means for DWP staff, what money is available, if any, or whether DWP will be offering anything else before July.

    PCS members are reminded that despite PCS opposition, our remit for pay 2020 was restricted to 2.5% and saw this paid in salaries from 1st July 2020, and currently there are no plans to re-open negotiations on 2020 pay.

    More important than ever to win on pay
    As a result of the last imposed pay offer, it is clear that DWP members have fallen further behind other government departments who had higher pay scales going in to last year’s pay round, and that members who opted out of Employee Deal, or have non-DWP contracts, have fallen further behind their DWP colleagues who opted into ED, between the grades AA-HEO.

    At this stage there is nothing further to report to our members on pay but we would urge you to continue to engage with PCS and back the union’s national pay campaign. PCS held successful pay day rallies digitally across every region and nation last Friday and will be holding further events during February and March.

    Members are urged to support these events, that will be advertised in the coming weeks, and complete the pay survey that has been issued to your personal email addresses, as we aim to build the pressure on the Government and Treasury to deliver the fair pay rise you all deserve and need.

    If there are any developments the GEC will obviously report them to members in DWP, but in the meantime the consultation and ballot that will take place in HMRC is for members in that group only and has no link to anything DWP may be discussing with the Treasury.

    superted

    February 2, 2021 at 8:28 pm

  21. Out of work older Brits should be given early access to state pension

    “People nearing state pension age but who are unable to work again should be given early access to the state pension, a charity suggests.

    A ‘perfect storm’ is on the horizon for older workers in their 50s and 60s, as the coronavirus pandemic amid a backdrop of caring responsibilities, disability and long-term joblessness spells an uncertain future for the next generation of pensioners, according to charity Age UK.

    More than 340,000 people aged 50-64 are now unemployed and with the short supply of vacancies, the pandemic could spell the end of their working lives.”

    https://www.yourmoney.com/retirement/out-of-work-older-brits-should-be-given-early-access-to-state-pension/

    trev

    February 2, 2021 at 9:22 pm

  22. trev

    February 2, 2021 at 11:53 pm

  23. Andrew Coates

    February 3, 2021 at 10:02 am

    • They’re making the mistake of thinking and behaving like their normal evil Tory selves, but this is the ‘new normal’ and we ain’t having it. Their contradictions and hypocrisy hold no sway. A two-tier Benefits system is not “levelling up”.

      trev

      February 3, 2021 at 10:17 am

  24. DWP secretary dismisses £1,000 one-off payment as replacement for universal credit increase

    Therese Coffey says one-off payment not her department’s ‘preferred approach’

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/therese-coffey-universal-credit-rishi-sunak-payment-b1796884.html

    trev

    February 3, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    • A political own-goal for the Conservatives, if they take the £20 away from nearly 6 million people.
      They might as well slap them in the face as well. Talk about the nasty party, if they do this it will be the absolute bastard party !

      Jeff Smith

      February 3, 2021 at 3:03 pm

      • Coffey is worried that if you give people a grand lump sum they’ll blow it on drugs. Bloody cheek!

        trev

        February 3, 2021 at 3:49 pm

  25. Too right JS they are bastards!

    Cloverleaf

    February 3, 2021 at 3:48 pm

  26. DWP admits ‘backlog’ and inaccurate figures in flagship Covid jobs scheme
    Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey admitted the Kickstart scheme had got off to a slow start – and the claim it had created 120,000 jobs was flat wrong

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dwp-admits-backlog-inaccurate-figures-23434796

    superted

    February 3, 2021 at 4:09 pm

  27. Parents on Universal Credit plead for £20 a week extension to avoid homelessness

    Hundreds of Universal Credit claimants have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the last 24 hours with personal appeals for him to make the £20 weekly uplift permanent

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/well-homeless-desperate-families-call-23437371

    xclausx

    February 3, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    • I might have written to him myself but being on JSA I can’t afford the stamp.

      trev

      February 3, 2021 at 5:31 pm

  28. superted

    February 3, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    • It’s surprising that the restaurants are allowed to open in New York with the Covid pandemic raging out of control, something like 45,000 deaths so far in NY.

      trev

      February 3, 2021 at 11:09 pm

      • try paying 10k a week in rent, and that is cheap yet they have built basically a shed on the pavements with snow ice cars and ebikes incs away what could possible go wrong lol.

        a trip to a and e over there is 5k with no insurance to scrape you of the road and a head scan and a ready meal.

        superted

        February 3, 2021 at 11:30 pm

      • That’s what the Tories want to do here, follow the American model, scrap the NHS and have us all paying individually for treatment. Tories hate the NHS, no matter what they may say in public. But regarding NY restaurants I don’t see how a wooden extension on the front is going to be any safer than eating inside the actual restaurant. Seems like a daft idea. Unless perhaps it’s to provide the extra space needed to safely distance customers?

        trev

        February 4, 2021 at 6:55 am

  29. YouGov polling for the Trussell Trust foodbank charity found 41% of people claiming Universal Credit – equivalent to more than 2.4 million people – feared they would be “very likely” to cut back on food for themselves if the planned cut goes ahead.

    Some 13% – equivalent to 224,000 families – warned they would be very likely to cut back on food for their children.

    The study predicts a fresh spike in demand for foodbanks’ emergency parcels among people claiming UC.

    A fifth – equivalent to nearly 1.2m people – would be very likely turn to a foodbank if they were stripped of £20-a-week.

    Some 36% – equivalent to 2.1m people – said they would cut back on heating; 63% – equivalent to 3.7m – said they would cut back on clothing; and 19% – equivalent to 1.1m people – believed they would fall behind on rent or mortgage repayments.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/families-set-cut-back-food-23435572

    xclausx

    February 4, 2021 at 1:48 am

  30. Seniors dying aster cov vaccine labeled as natural causes.

    http://stateofthenation.co/?p=51025

    Cloverleaf

    February 4, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    • Genocide of the elderly in action, when the deaths really start to ramp up they will be blamed on an even deadlier mutation of the virus…. Covid21!

      Tigerlily

      February 4, 2021 at 12:39 pm

      • Covid-21? What about Covid-20? How did coronavirus leap-frog ahead of Covid-20 for goodness sake?

        Tim

        February 4, 2021 at 4:46 pm

      • Watch the trailer for the film Songbird, this is how the “corona virus pandemic” is going to play out!

        Tigerlily

        February 4, 2021 at 6:17 pm

      • But it’s not real, it’s fictional, you’re confusing the two. We’re not living in a movie.

        trev

        February 4, 2021 at 6:28 pm

      • There is no confusion, it is called Predictive Programming!

        Tigerlily

        February 4, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      • Ohhhh riiiight, predictive programming. That’s where real life secrets such as Time travel, the NWO, and Illuminati mind control, are revealed to the public in films under the guise of fiction but only those who are ‘awake’ can see that it’s true? The mobile phone was revealed to the world in Star Trek, but no one believed it at the time, if only we’d paid more attention.

        trev

        February 4, 2021 at 7:34 pm

      • Tigerlily

        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-benefits-statistics-august-2020/dwp-benefits-statistics-august-2020

        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-benefits-statistics-february-2020/dwp-benefits-statistical-summary-february-2020

        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-benefits-statistics-august-2019/dwp-benefits-statistical-summary-august-2019

        As you can see prior to covid we see a drop of 152’000 pensions.

        If we indulge this fantasy and lets say call the above the normal drop and add this recent 110’000 and say they are all over a retired age which we know they are not, the resultant would still only be around 2.1%.

        So this ramping up would have to be astronomical so as to happen in a time frame the public/government would even notice and thus highly unlikely probability wise.

        Im sorry but this claim as yet holds no more water than trev’s assertion for the need to ban anti vax chat/protest and mandatory vaccination.
        While you both are coming from different perspectives, neither of you can substantiate your claims beyond a as yet to come to light theory.

        Im sorry but as yet official data does not support either of you but i have taken note and will monitor both propositions and without bias will when the matter comes up further down the road revisit the data and report a resultant if it comes to light that one or both of your theories are appearing to come into play.

        Until such a time, let us all concentrate on what this website is really about, namely welfare news.

        Doug

        February 5, 2021 at 8:31 am

    • Anti-vax propaganda. I’ve had the Covid vaccination and am very glad I did, with no side effects whatsoever, and would advise others to have the vaccination asap. State of the Nation is a fearmongering Rightwing website and I wouldn’t consider anything published on there to be trustworthy.

      trev

      February 4, 2021 at 2:37 pm

  31. And all because stingy governments don’t want to pay pensions, they’ll be rubbing their hands in glee at the billions £££ saved.

    Cloverleaf

    February 4, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    • All the money that should be in the pension pot which would have accumulated over the years, billions, has been stolen by the government going back to Thatchers reign!

      Tigerlily

      February 4, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    • You won’t get the ‘alleged’ truth from the bbc, they will make sure it is covered up. Just the propaganda arm of this vicious murderous ‘government’ is what they are. If you haven’t noticed by now we are in dictatorship ffs.

      Cloverleaf

      February 4, 2021 at 4:17 pm

  32. Vegan food bank.

    Cloverleaf

    February 4, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    • At my local foodbank we cater for any dietary requirements, be it vegan, vegetarian, halal, etc. Such info is ascertained in the referral process.

      trev

      February 4, 2021 at 2:40 pm

  33. Preston DWP employee fraudulently awarded himself £12,000 in Universal Credit
    A benefits worker has admitted defrauding the public purse while working as a Universal Credit service agent.

    https://www.lep.co.uk/news/crime/preston-dwp-employee-fraudulently-awarded-himself-ps12000-universal-credit-3121254

    superted

    February 4, 2021 at 2:20 pm

  34. superted

    February 4, 2021 at 3:43 pm

  35. Company implicated in benefit death of disabled mum secures ‘gold standard’ DWP award

    By John Pring on 4th February 2021 DNS

    A private sector contractor has been announced by the government as a “gold standard” employer of disabled people, just as a coroner was implicating the company in the decision of a young disabled mum to take her own life.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has told fellow members of its discredited Disability Confident scheme that the personal independence payment (PIP) section of the multinational Capita group has been awarded “Disability Confident Leader” status.

    The announcement that DWP has awarded Capita PIP membership of the highest level of its much-criticised disability employment scheme came as a coroner was ordering the company to take urgent action to prevent further deaths of PIP claimants.

    Capita bragged that its PIP business – which carries out PIP assessments on behalf of DWP – “supports hundreds of thousands of people with long-term health conditions or a disability through our work for the Department of Work and Pensions”, and that it had “inspired the rest of Capita to become a truly disability inclusive employer”.

    But last week, Gordon Clow, assistant coroner for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, concluded that Capita had helped cause the death of 27-year-old Philippa Day, from Nottingham.

    He found multiple “deficiencies in the benefit system’s ability to process PIP claims without causing unnecessary distress to claimants”, including problems with the training provided to Capita’s disability assessors.

    Philippa’s unconscious body was found by her sister and father on 8 August 2019, just days after she had been told by Capita that she would need to attend one of its assessment centres for a face-to-face appointment to decide her PIP claim.

    They found her lying on her bed at her home in Nottingham. On the pillow next to her was the letter from Capita telling her she would have to attend the appointment.

    Capita had been told of her history of significant mental distress and self-harm, mental health inpatient admissions, and that she was agoraphobic, and that she would be unable to cope with attending the assessment centre.

    But despite its role in Philippa Day’s death, the company has been claiming that its PIP business has “led the way on disability inclusivity in Capita”.

    Asked by Disability News Service (DNS) why it believed its PIP business should be held up as an example for other employers of disabled people when it had been held partially responsible by a coroner for the death of a young disabled mother, and whether it would relinquish its Disability Confident Leader status, the company refused to comment.

    Asked by DNS why it believed that Capita PIP should be held up as an example for other employers, and whether it would reconsider the Disability Confident Leader award, DWP also refused to comment.

    DWP’s website states that Disability Confident Leaders like Capita PIP are expected to support and encourage other employers and “share good practice”.

    The discredited scheme aims to encourage employers to “think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people”.

    Four years ago, DWP declared itself a Disability Confident Leader just days before being found guilty of “grave and systematic violations” of the UN disability convention.

    Last year, a BBC Panorama investigation revealed that DWP had lost more disability discrimination cases at employment tribunal than any other employer in Britain in the three years since 2016.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 4, 2021 at 7:35 pm

  36. Coffey dodges MP’s questions over death of Philippa Day

    By John Pring on 4th February 2021 DNS

    The work and pensions secretary has refused to answer questions from an MP about the death of a young disabled mother which was blamed by a coroner on flaws in the disability benefits system.

    MPs on the work and pensions committee yesterday (Wednesday) had their first opportunity to question Therese Coffey (pictured, left) about how the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) treated 27-year-old Philippa Day (right), following the end of a lengthy inquest into her death.

    The evidence session came exactly a week after the coroner highlighted 28 separate “problems” with the administration of the personal independence payment (PIP) system that helped cause her death in October 2019.

    Gordon Clow, assistant coroner for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said last week that flaws in the disability benefits system were “the predominant factor and the only acute factor” that led to her taking her own life.

    Yesterday, Labour’s Debbie Abrahams told Coffey that the coroner’s 58-page report was “absolutely scathing” about the way her department had handled Philippa Day’s benefit claim.

    But Coffey told her that, because DWP had been told the family intended to take legal action against the department, she would be unable to answer questions about the case.

    It is not the first time she has used this excuse to avoid answering questions about the death of a claimant.

    Last July, Coffey repeatedly told members of the same committee that she could not answer their questions because of ongoing legal actions being taken by the families of other claimants who have died, such as Jodey Whiting and Errol Graham.

    Meanwhile, Disability News Service has today reported yet another death of a disabled claimant linked closely to DWP’s benefits system (see separate story).

    Yesterday, Coffey made no expression of regret or apology to the family of Philippa Day, saying only that it was “a very sad situation”.

    She said the department had not yet received the coroner’s prevention of future deaths report, which DWP will have to respond to, but she told Abrahams: “I do take these matters seriously.”

    She said that was why she had taken steps to strengthen the department’s serious case panel, which first met in September 2019 while Philippa Day was lying in a coma in a Nottingham hospital.

    Coffey said: “It’s now meeting quarterly, working on themes, and those are the sort of approaches that I hope we will try and get the systemic changes and improvements on how we handle this on an ongoing basis.”

    Asked by Abrahams if the measures she had taken would “prevent other Philippas”, she said: “I think that we are seeing, through the serious case panel and some of the actions taken, definitely there are changes about improving more generally aspects of that…”

    Coffey had to ask the DWP’s permanent secretary, Peter Schofield, to provide examples of the “actions taken”.

    He said steps had been taken over the last two years to improve the way DWP identifies on its system that a claimant needs additional support and to ensure that more senior civil servants were informed before removing the benefits of someone with additional support needs, both of which were key areas highlighted by the inquest.

    Schofield also said that every disability benefits centre now has a “vulnerable customer champion, who colleagues can approach if they have concerns about a vulnerable customer”.

    He said DWP had been “talking to Capita” – the outsourcing giant also implicated in the death of Philippa Day – and Atos, which also provides PIP assessments, about changes they are making on “revisiting decisions” and how to decide if a face-to-face assessment is required, both key issues raised by the coroner.

    And he said DWP had improved its mental health training – another concern raised by the coroner – and was looking to make further changes.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 4, 2021 at 7:37 pm

  37. Pressure mounts on Tomlinson as second DPO letter raises disability strategy concerns

    By John Pring on 4th February 2021 DNS

    The minister for disabled people has been told by 10 user-led organisations of their “serious concerns and disappointment” about his efforts to engage with disabled people on the government’s proposed national disability strategy.

    The letter from 10 members of the Our Voices* group of disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) raises concerns about Justin Tomlinson’s “disjointed and somewhat chaotic approach” and the lack of time given to disabled people to influence the strategy through his new national survey.

    It will add to growing pressure on Tomlinson (pictured), following similar concerns expressed last month by other DPOs who said they were “shocked and dismayed” by the government’s failure to engage with them.

    The 10 DPOs, led by Disability Rights UK, have called on the minister to postpone the release of the strategy – currently planned for the spring – until the summer.

    They say this week in their letter that the minister’s new national disability survey is “unfocused” and asks “broad questions about the experiences of disabled people” without any reference to the broad themes used in other recent attempts at engagement.

    They say there is no possibility that the results of the survey could be translated into “meaningful insight” on what should be in the national strategy, and that it includes “no mention of the strategy at all” and “in no way supports genuine co production”.

    They also tell Tomlinson that they are reluctant to encourage their members to take part in the survey as it is “not clear how it will support the development of the strategy”.

    The letter also raises concerns about the length and accessibility of the survey and its intrusive nature.

    The Our Voices group add concerns about Tomlinson’s decision to cancel the last two meetings of his new DPO Forum, just as he was supposedly seeking the views of disabled people and their organisations to feed into the strategy.

    And they say they are concerned that Tomlinson has instead been consulting closely with large charities not run by disabled people, through the Disability Charities Consortium.

    It adds: “Our organisations truly represent disabled people and our lived experience is sadly underutilised by government.

    “We should be the first contact government make to understand the views and experiences of disabled people, with other organisations such as disability charities bringing their perspective, but not being the first port of call.”

    The letter says the deadline for survey replies to feed into the strategy – 13 February – is also a “serious issue”, and they tell Tomlinson that it is “imperative that more time is allowed”.

    They say the disability strategy must “reflect the lived experiences of disabled people” but that they have been “left with grave concerns about whether this will be achieved with the current approach being taken”.

    The Cabinet Office had not responded to a request to comment on the letter by noon today (Thursday).

    *Our Voices is a group of chief executives and policy leads of 14 DPOs – DR UK and 13 of its members – which have “come together, since the start of the pandemic, to promote the interests of disabled people and to provide mutual support to each other”.

    Lynne Turnbull, its acting chair, and chief executive of Disability Positive (the new name for Cheshire Centre for Independent Living), said: “The group has been a terrific way to collaborate with other disabled people’s organisations on issues affecting disabled people during the pandemic, as well as working together to find solutions.”

    The 10 members that signed the letter are Disability Rights UK, Disability North, Disability Peterborough, West of England Centre for Inclusive Living, Wheels for Wellbeing, Living Options Devon, Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living, Disability Sheffield, Breakthrough UK and Disability Positive

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 4, 2021 at 7:38 pm

  38. Can it get any worse for the DWP & Tory Government !!!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 4, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    • The DWP should be dismantled. PiP Assessments and WCA should be scrapped. Fit notes should be replaced by Sick Notes. Ability to work should be decided by one’s own GP.

      trev

      February 4, 2021 at 7:45 pm

      • Also getting rid of the DWP’s contractors that the DWP are hiding behind in Corporate Manslaughter rather that State Sponsored Murder with the help of the DWP contractors.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        February 4, 2021 at 7:49 pm

  39. Partner of ‘distraught’ ESA claimant says DWP drove him to his death

    By John Pring on 4th February 2021 DNS

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been blamed for causing the death of a disabled man whose partner had warned he was too ill to undergo an upcoming benefit assessment that had left him “distraught” and “devastated”.

    It is just the latest death to be linked to ongoing and widespread flaws in the benefit system, following years of concerns raised by disabled activists and grieving relatives, and has concerning similarities to the death of Philippa Day, whose high-profile inquest ended last week.

    Philip Pakree (pictured), who died on Boxing Day, had been told he probably needed a heart transplant, while he also had multiple mental health conditions, and had grown increasingly distressed as the date of the “fitness for work” re-assessment approached.

    He was already claiming employment and support allowance, in recognition of the barriers he faced due to personality disorder, depression, anxiety, borderline schizophrenia, adjustment disorder, asthma, a serious heart condition, and a long history of self-harm and suicide attempts.

    When he was first told, last October, that he would need to undergo a telephone work capability assessment (WCA), he had to be admitted to Royal Derby Hospital several days later with breathing difficulties and heart failure.

    His partner, Elizabeth Nicholson, said: “There was a distinct downturn in his health. He told me: ‘They do this to me every time.’”

    He was later told the assessment would take place on 4 December, but outsourcing giant Maximus – which carries out WCAs on behalf of the government – eventually agreed to cancel it after Nicholson sent them a letter from his consultant cardiologist that detailed his multiple health conditions.

    Maximus had also been sent a note from Nicholson, in which she warned of her “grave concerns for his physical and mental health” and of his state of confusion due to low sodium levels and which said he was not currently well enough to be assessed.

    But just 19 days later, on 9 December, Maximus sent another letter to Pakree, telling him he would have to make himself available for a WCA, again by telephone because of the pandemic, on New Year’s Eve.

    Nicholson, who lived with her partner in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, said: “Phil was nearly hysterical. It made his mental and physical health so poor it was beyond belief.

    “He was devastated, he was absolutely devastated. He said he would be better off dead.

    “He wasn’t sleeping. He was getting obsessed that people were talking about him and believed that DWP were part of the SS.”

    She said she could see him “going down and down” as 31 December approached.

    She called Maximus to beg the contractor to reconsider, but a call handler said her partner would have to take part in the assessment or it would “affect his benefits”, telling her: “It’s been delayed once, we are not delaying it again.”

    Nicholson said the attitude of the call handler was lacking in empathy and understanding and “completely and utterly disgusting”.

    They moved into a bungalow on 23 December, because the mobility problems caused by his heart condition meant he could no longer cope with the stairs in their house.

    Nicholson said it was the imminent assessment, rather than moving, that caused the stress that killed him.

    He told her on Christmas Day, the day before he died: “I hope I don’t wake up, because I don’t want this.”

    Early on Boxing Day, she found that he had died in his sleep. He was 49 years old.

    Although he is believed to have died of natural causes, she said: “As far as I am concerned, the DWP killed him.”

    Last week, similar concerns were raised about the pressure placed by the assessment system on benefit claimants with mental distress, at the end of the inquest into the death of 27-year-old Philippa Day.

    Although her death was linked by a coroner to the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment system, and not the WCA, significant concerns were raised about the process for changing where, when and how assessments are carried out, and how that information is communicated to the claimant.

    Nicholson said this week that the harassment her partner had faced over the WCA was the culmination of 18 months of problems with his disability benefits.

    In August 2019, a paramedic working for another DWP private sector contractor, Capita – which was implicated in the death of Philippa Day – had produced an inaccurate and misleading report after he had attended a face-to-face PIP assessment.

    Pakree had been receiving disability living allowance for seven or eight years, receiving the higher rate for mobility, and the middle rate for care, after being given a lifetime award.

    He described in his claim form how he experienced constant anxiety, paranoia, could not eat without support, had to stop two or three times for two or three minutes at a time to walk just 50 metres and could not use public transport “because of my fear of crowds or of misinterpreting conversations overheard which are not about me”, and how he “will not bother to eat unless encouraged to do so by someone else”.

    But the Capita assessor awarded him zero points, leading to DWP finding him ineligible for PIP, a decision that was rubber-stamped in December 2019 after a mandatory reconsideration.

    He had to wait until July last year for a tribunal to hear his appeal.

    A letter from Derbyshire County Council’s welfare rights team to the tribunal described how the “mental and physical health issues that Mr Pakree has have a debilitating effect on every aspect of his life”, how he “struggles with even the most basic tasks and needs assistance with almost all of the daily tasks required of him”, and how he had “attempted suicide on numerous occasions”.

    The tribunal found him entitled to PIP at the enhanced rate for both mobility and daily living, dismissing the findings of the Capita report and the conclusions of the DWP decision-maker, and instead awarding him 13 points for daily living and 14 points for mobility.

    Nicholson said she was appalled at the way her partner had been treated by DWP over the last 18 months of his life.

    She said: “I would like people to know that this is what is happening.

    “It is my opinion the DWP are totally responsible for this and they have robbed us of a much-loved man.”

    Maximus refused to apologise for the treatment Pakree received, or to say what changes it would make to protect other claimants.

    But a Maximus spokesperson said in a statement: “We wish to offer our sincere condolences to Mr Pakree’s family for their loss.

    “Mr Pakree was referred for reassessment by DWP and he was invited to attend a telephone assessment following a review of his case by a healthcare professional.

    “The purpose of a telephone assessment is to ensure that the correct advice is given to a DWP decision maker.

    “We rescheduled Mr Pakree’s original assessment at his request.”

    But Nicholson stressed that she had not asked in her letter for the appointment to be “rescheduled” and had instead told Maximus that she had “grave concerns” for her partner’s current state of health and that he was currently unable to cope with a telephone assessment.

    The Maximus spokesperson refused to confirm that a Maximus call handler had told Nicholson in mid-December that the assessment could not be delayed for a second time.

    He also refused to allow Disability News Service to listen to a recording of that call.

    DWP refused to apologise for the treatment Pakree received or to say if it would finally make changes to the system that would prevent other such deaths.

    But a DWP spokesperson said in a statement: “We understand this is a difficult time and our sympathies are with Mr Pakree’s family.

    “Assessments help us ensure people get the support they are entitled to.

    “Decisions are made using all the information available to us at the time and we will ask for further evidence if it’s disputed, to ensure the correct decision is made.”

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 4, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    • “””But a DWP spokesperson said in a statement: “We understand this is a difficult time and our sympathies are with Mr Pakree’s family.”””

      The DWP can’t even give a name – A DWP Spokesperson said it is not worth the paper it’s written on.

      Until we can name the DWP Spokesperson the DWP are guilty for starters.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      February 4, 2021 at 7:43 pm

  40. Can the DWP get any worse !!! Seems like it !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 4, 2021 at 7:44 pm

  41. Does furlough work cure cancer?

    Because we know work cares cancer & all medical conditions.

    Work cures the Covid 19 Virus DWP.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 4, 2021 at 7:45 pm

  42. Covid 19 is another way for the Tory Government to kill off even more disabled people. Disabled people are a threat to the DWP & Tory government is Human Rights Abuses & the Tories know it. Silence the abused.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 4, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    • Are you going to pay £173.95 for a mask superted!!

      xclausx

      February 5, 2021 at 12:19 am

      • cant afford it on jsa plus you need new filters as well half the price of the mask every 48hrs.

        superted

        February 5, 2021 at 12:28 am

      • @superted

        Who is this guy, anyway? He looks like a younger-taller version of Bradley Walsh. As for the lockdown, I thought it was going to be knocked on the head mid-March.

        jj joop

        February 5, 2021 at 8:23 am

  43. superted

    February 5, 2021 at 12:11 am

  44. Uk vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi says that lockdown restrictions won’t be lifted until everyone over the age of 50 receive the c-19 vaccine, a decision he claims *could*push the return to normality into the summer.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/uk-vaccine-minister-all-over-age-50-must-be-vaccinated-lockdown-lift-begins

    Cloverleaf

    February 5, 2021 at 10:34 am

    • This is to turn people who refuse the vax into a target group, pit the vaccinated against the unvaccinated so eventually the target group can be eliminated because they are a threat to the nations health, this is part of the 10 Stages Of Genocide!

      Tigerlily

      February 5, 2021 at 11:10 am

      • You really can’t believe this, Tiger, and must be posting all this conspiratorial nonsense to mischievously amuse yourself and treat yourself to a good long laugh when you get a reaction.

        Tim

        February 5, 2021 at 2:18 pm

  45. Anyone who refuses vaccination is a fool, and should expect public disapproval. This is a national, indeed a world-wide, health emergency. If people want to believe in conspiracy theories in their spare time, that is up to them, But there can be no justification for putting the health and lives of other people at risk.

    Jeff Smith

    February 5, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    • The president of Tanzania has said NO to the Kill Shot, someone who actually cares about his people, unlike Jackboot and his gang of Merry Murderers!

      Tigerlily

      February 5, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      • “kill shot” ? Tigerlily you are completely insane.

        trev

        February 5, 2021 at 2:26 pm

  46. FFS this has just ruined my day 😢

    Just got an email from the Jobcentre:

    “Good afternoon.

    This is a ‘heads up’, that the Job Centre, is going to start re-engaging with all our Job Seekers Allowance clients.

    Therefore over the next few weeks I will be phoning you to book a telephone appointment.

    The phone number will show as xxxxxxxxx . Please answer it, as failure to do so may result in benefit sanctions.”

    Here we go, back to normal, no “new normal”, just the same old shit. Better do some jobsearch….

    trev

    February 5, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    • Trev

      So how does it work now more people are unemployed and there are less jobs ?
      Surely they dont expect you to be able to carryout the so called estimated 35 hour job search ?

      Doug

      February 5, 2021 at 2:15 pm

      • God knows. The 35 hours jobsearch requirement doesn’t apply to me at the moment as I’m on JSA not UC, but they still expect you to be applying for as many jobs as possible and providing evidence. They will obviously still be using Sanctions against people, either literally or as a threat. Same old bullshit by the looks of things. I haven’t heard anything yet about the public library reopening so jobsearch facilities will be severely limited for many people.

        trev

        February 5, 2021 at 2:24 pm

      • @trev- Good point Trev, I know a number of people who rely on the public library for jobsearch. They also use the printing facilities to provide evidence of this. The library is closed during lockdown, so what are people without an internet connection or printer going to do ? Or are they just going to take people’s word for it over the phone that they have applied for XYZ ?

        Jeff Smith

        February 5, 2021 at 2:56 pm

      • It is a real problem, applying for UC has to be through the Net.

        BY definition people without money who need to get UC are likely not to have the Net, and I find it hard to imagine how you could do an application, which is complex through a mobile, supposing that they have one.

        Andrew Coates

        February 5, 2021 at 6:11 pm

      • The result of a Social Security system designed by clueless, out-of-touch, not to mention psychopathic, millionaires with nothing better to do with their time.

        trev

        February 5, 2021 at 6:18 pm

      • Trev

        Let us all know how that phone call goes as i would like to know what DWP expect a claimant to be able to do during these hard times.

        I can tell claimants that employers expect more than ever out of employees and are running as shoestring as possible. They pay attention to what all employees are doing, not doing and discarding any who either cant keep up or refuse to.

        A claimant does not just have to get a job anymore, they have to over perform to keep it.

        Doug

        February 6, 2021 at 7:33 am

      • I’ll let you know when I get contacted. I’m just a bit worried that I may not hear the phone, or could have just gone out to the bin or if they ring when I’m in the shower or whatever. I hate being a slave to my phone. I’m normally rather lapse where mobile phones are concerned, don’t always even take it out with me, usually no one rings me anyway. Or if it rings in my bag or in my overcoat pocket whilst walking down the road I probably won’t even hear it.

        trev

        February 6, 2021 at 8:39 am

      • The 35 hour jobsearch is unenforceable because it is left up to individuals to carry it out, as they see fit, and everybody therefore approachs it in different ways with different competences. The jobsearch requirement is not like work where the same activities are assigned to people and all people undertaking them have to complete them equally well and quickly. One person might spend twenty-minutes completing an application form while for another it takes all day: walking around an industrial estate, town or city “investigating” unadvertised vacancies can take hours if you take your time. (So every time you go shopping you can feign to clock up a few hours looking for “hidden jobs” whether you actually do so or not.) Trawling the internet can take, well, as long as you like, provided you have enough private bandwidth and don’t do it at a Jobcentre where everything you do is monitored and logged. You are not being filmed, videoed or tailed by private investigators as you go about your business and so what you tell the Jobcentre doesn’t have to be strictly accurate since there is no way available for the to contradict whatever it is that you tell them, provided you keep other out of it. Jobcentre clerks are in general just as pissed off, fed up and uninterested in the British social security system as you are and, unless you are unlucky enough to bump into a zealot, don’t enforce the system as strictly as Iain Duncan Smith and Lord David Freud originally planned because if they did every claimant would end up sanctioned.

        The truth is that if you are unemployed for more than a few weeks, unless you live in a big metropolis with a big churn of vacancies and work in the service sector, you will have applied for every advertised position you can reasonably get to and will find that the 35 hour jobseeking requirement is literally impossible to fulfil no matter how hard you try because there are not enough jobs to apply for. If there really where shit loads of paid work available Jobcentres would be filling those vacancies with people on their books and unemployment would low: I don’t know about the rest of you but the Jobcentre has NEVER helped me to find paid work, I’ve always had to do that off my own back, unaided, for myself.

        As long as you do something plausible by way of applications and write something jobsearch related down for the Jobcentre to see you should be fine. I use the Indeed site for such things because it automatically sends you an email acknowledgement as a rule, provided you don’t get redirected to an actual employer’s website, which you can print out as “evidence” of “actively seeking work” should you need to: Jobcentres haven’t got the time to actually crosscheck what you say on your jobsearch record – which you should keep paper written/printed and not using the UC Journal if you receive UC – and so if it looks kosher more than likely they do no more than glance at it. If you are even half savvy the 35 hour jobsearch shite shouldn’t present even the slightest problem. Of course if you are wide-eyed, innocent and completely honest or a little slow and backward, you could fall foul of the DWP and get sanctioned to the max. That’s the thing. Universal Credit especially makes liars of the wily and the wise, who find themselves obliged to play the system, and flattens the guileless and helpless who don’t. To survive on Universal Credit even the most saintly are compelled to lie and cheat.

        Universal Credit really is an unspeakably awful system but can be managed with very little effort.

        Aleister

        February 6, 2021 at 9:00 am

    • I would have thought that you would have escaped Jobcentre attentions while a national lockdown was still going on. If you’ve been told not to leave home except for essential purposes how the heck can you go for job interviews without breaking the law!

      Tim

      February 5, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    • Don’t worry about it, the call only lasts a few minutes. I was asked over the phone if I would like to do a online course with a provider, I politely declined and heard no more about it. The last call I got around 2 months ago coach asked if it was ok for her to forward my cv to an employer for a temporary job which I agreed to, I heard nothing from them either, waste of time talking to the nosy fckrs.

      Cloverleaf

      February 5, 2021 at 2:29 pm

  47. Universal Credit National Services – Working from Home
    04 Feb 2021
    Group Executive Committee (GEC) negotiators met with UC National Services Deputy Director on 27 January 2021 and discussed the intention of the employer to have more colleagues being able to work from home when mobile devices are rolled out before the end of March 2021. UC National Services have around 1,200 staff, across 16 sites, of which a third of them are currently working from home delivering a service to the CBOL inbox.

    UC National Services have secured 763 NGCC telephony licences to take inbound calls, which will allow every member of staff the opportunity to work from home. The main driver for this is the “Flex for All” scheme, which will enable every DWP member of staff to work more flexibly be that in the office, non-DWP premises in the community or from home. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many staff should be working from home as possible, and this development should help deliver this across UC National Services. PCS welcome this as the priority at this difficult time remains the safety of our members.

    UC National Services management have confirmed that all home workers must be fully aware of what the remote 6 Point Plan arrangements are before working from home. It is crucial that home workers make themselves aware of, and use, the 6 Point Plan as this will provide a support mechanism in the event of a customer indicating that they intend to attempt suicide or self-harm. UC National Services management have also confirmed that they will be providing all staff with a comprehensive pack to support safe working from home on national telephony.

    Working from home can reduce the risk of infection
    The GEC acknowledges that some PCS members, for a number of legitimate reasons, cannot work from home. The GEC would urge that where members have the capacity to do so, they should consider working from home, to help minimise the risk of infection, not only to themselves, but their colleagues and families.

    Guidance for members
    Understandably, some members may have concerns in UC National Services telephony with regards taking inbound calls whilst working from home. The 6 Point Plan has been in place to support home workers on telephony during the pandemic. Additionally, a comprehensive pack will be provided to support safe working from home. Members are advised, in the first place, to contact their Team Leader if they have any concerns around home working and safety. Furthermore, members who have concerns about transporting DWP equipment or have broadband issues, should also contact their Team Leader in order that any problems in this area can be resolved quickly. As always, if any issues cannot be resolved, members should contact their local PCS representative. UC National Services have agreed to meet with PCS on a regular basis at which the GEC negotiators will take issues arising out of home working forward with senior managers. Further updates will be provided in due course.

    does not look like any face to face meetings are going to happen any time soon but less jobs mean they will double down on job search and double it to 70hrs per week.

    cant see them sending me a letter to attend again anytime soon.

    superted

    February 5, 2021 at 2:28 pm

  48. PCS’s demands for Brook Street staff
    05 Feb 2021
    On 4 February negotiators from the GEC met with senior DWP managers regarding members working on outsourced work contracts in DWP, including Brook Street staff. We made it clear that we reject the current situation, where Brook Street staff doing the same work as DWP directly employed staff receive inferior terms and conditions is unacceptable.

    20% pay cuts due to Covid unacceptable
    Brook Street members currently are only paid 80% of their contractual pay when unable to work due to contracting Covid-19, when self-isolating or when an office is closed due to an outbreak. It is clear to us that this is not only unfair, it is dangerous for them, their families, and all the others in their workplace.

    In discussions we made the argument that by, in effect, fining Brook Street members 20% of their wages for following the Covid guidance and keeping everyone safer at work, they are providing a big disincentive for members struggling financially to do the right thing. We also pointed out that the Cabinet Office have told PCS in national talks that no-one should lose out financially from using the lateral flow tests being offered in some DWP offices currently. Clearly if members employed via Brook Street take these tests and they are positive they will lose out to the tune of 20% of their wages. We believe that this is indefensible.

    Permission sought for 100% pay for Covid absences
    At the meeting it became clear that the DWP have been the ones paying the 80% for these staff and that Brook Street would have been paying them even less if left to them. We argued that paying these members less puts everyone at risk. The DWP explained that the Brook Street agency workers were only contractually entitled to statutory sick pay if unable to attend work for covid related reasons and that the Department had met the additional cost to top up their salaries to 80%. DWP agreed following pressure from GEC negotiators to make a business case for 100% sick pay for members in this situation but warned that this may take some time to be completed and considered by those in charge of the purse strings. PCS will continue to put pressure on the employer to pay 100% sick pay to these members urgently.

    No paid time off for reps to represent Brook Street members
    At the meeting we also raised the question of paid time for reps to act on behalf of Brook Street members, and for them to become reps themselves. As these members are not directly employed by DWP the business responded to say that this is not permitted under current Civil Service rules. Whilst members from Brook Street will be entitled to be accompanied by a companion of their choosing, including a PCS rep, they will not permit paid time for the reps to accompany them. The Department did at least confirm that they will expect line managers to be sympathetic to request for unpaid time for reps to accompany members in these circumstances.

    It is clear from the concerns we have highlighted above, members employed via Brook Street are employed with vastly inferior employment rights and therefore have fare worse terms, conditions and pay than their colleagues directly employed by DWP. It is a serious indictment that the Department for Work and Pensions, the Government Department with responsibility for work either cannot, or chooses not to, employ its own workers directly in all cases and that as a result there are hundreds of members suffering inferior treatment.

    Permission to Convert to DWP staff to be sought
    We have therefore made a demand for all current Brook Street staff to be converted to direct employment by DWP and for all future recruitment to be direct Civil Service entrants. DWP are going to approach the Civil Service Commissioner to seek permission to convert Brook Street staff and we will continue to do everything possible to ensure that this happens.

    DWP said they are considering their staffing needs for the coming year currently and agreed to consider our arguments about bringing in all further new entrants in as directly employed staff.

    Ask non-members to join PCS
    PCS will also be seeking trade union recognition by Brook Street in the meantime, in order to be able to better argue for your interests at work. If you know a Brook Street member of staff who hasn’t joined PCS, ask them to join. They can join online. The more members we have the stronger our voice when speaking up for you at work.

    superted

    February 5, 2021 at 2:38 pm

  49. Welp, looks like that £20/week increase is going, going, gone.

    Daily Record just published the new UC rate as being £324.84 for Over 25s.

    Now it’s gonna be interesting to see if they bother with that lump sum approach or not…

    ATP

    February 5, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    • Should scrap the lot of it and give us all a Basic Income, this is the 21st Century time to create a civilized society not treat people like savages.

      trev

      February 5, 2021 at 5:15 pm

      • I agree Trev, but sadly the government don’t seem to give a rat’s arse as long as their own pockets are full and we’re footing the damn bill for it.

        ATP

        February 5, 2021 at 6:27 pm

      • That won’t happen, trev, not under any government Labour, Conservative or Coalition. Why? Because unless there is a sea change in the demographic of the country a majority of the voters that they need to win power won’t be helped by it, don’t need it and therefore don’t support it. Similarly it is likely that a conflict between the generations will occur in coming years as the number of state pensioners grows and the size of the workforce shrinks, becomes relatively younger, and starts complaining about paying too much tax to guarantee that the state pension remains adequate. It’s not too much of a leap to imagine public protests, with young workers carrying placards with things like “We pay, they play” written on them, marching through the streets and shaking their fists. At the moment most governments, especially Tory governments, butter up the elderly trying to win their support, but in the future it could be a younger constituency that politicians need to appease in order to get elected.

        Aleister

        February 6, 2021 at 9:20 am

      • Jobs are being lost at the moment due to Covid, then there’s Brexit and its after effects, and continued job losses due to technology and automation, meanwhile the population tends to grow. In the face of all that an established divisive and punitive approach to unemployment/Social Security becomes less relevant and less effective. We may eventually arrive at a position whereby the majority of people are employed but on a part time basis, with incomes being assisted via some form of Basic Income or Citizens’ Stipend. The alternative is millions living in poverty, Sanctioned, relying on foodbanks, and a minority in full time work attempting to stretch earnings to cover the costs of living, and that’s pretty much the position we’re at now, which can only worsen.

        trev

        February 6, 2021 at 10:36 am

      • The alternative you outline, i.e., systemic poverty, does appear to be acceptable to every British political party to one degree or another these days sadly. Governments in this country rule by consent and the population seems inured to homelessness and poverty, more accepting of it than shocked by it and willing to turn a blind eye to it rather than see enough money spent to abolish it, especially if direct taxation gets raised to pay for it. I seriously doubt that even a minimal Universal Basic Income for all would be considered seriously in Great Britain, by any political party as a policy, before more socially just, coherent and enlightened societies like the Nordic countries have implemented and made a success of for a significant period. Plus: We don’t know and can’t yet predict yet how much further and quickly Great Britain will decline outside of the EU bloc, as a third country assailed on all sides by more wealthier more powerful nations and ruthless competitive international economies and global corporations. Something tells me that the “sunny uplands” that the current Prime Minister claimed would be our destination are very much less sunny and so far away we may never reach them.

        Aleister

        February 6, 2021 at 11:39 am

      • Well I don’t really know either, and I might be wrong, but it just seems to me that the present system and situation is unsustainable and that some sort of fundamental change is inevitable and will happen out of necessity. Britain is never going to be the great Industrial Empire it once was, so how we survive in the future outside of the EU remains to be seen. The top 1% continue to accumulate and hoard wealth offshore and the rest struggle to survive.

        trev

        February 6, 2021 at 12:45 pm

  50. DWP Complaints procedure

    How to complain about the service you get from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or from an organisation that provides its services.

    Contents
    Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    Mandatory reconsiderations and appeals are different
    How to complain about service from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
    What happens next
    If you’re not satisfied
    Service standards
    Complain about an organisation that provides a service for DWP
    Who to contact
    DWP complaints data
    Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    DWP is taking steps to make sure we can continue to deliver essential services, while protecting the wellbeing of our staff and our customers.

    Our priority is to make sure customers continue to receive their payments and to process new benefit claims.

    Unfortunately, this may affect the delivery of some other services. This includes responding to complaints, which may take us longer than usual. In these exceptional circumstances, we ask anyone who has already submitted a complaint to be patient and we will respond to you as soon as we can.

    A complaint is defined as any expression of dissatisfaction about the service provided which is not resolved by operational staff as normal business.

    You can contact us about any aspect of the service you’ve received, including:

    mistakes that have been made
    unreasonable delays
    how you’ve been treated
    not being kept informed
    We cannot investigate complaints:

    about government policy or law
    that have already been investigated or are currently being investigated by the Independent Case Examiner or the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
    that are, or have been, subject to legal proceedings, including legal settlements
    Mandatory reconsiderations and appeals are different
    We can’t treat a complaint as a challenge to a benefit decision (a request for ‘mandatory reconsideration’) or an appeal against a benefit decision, overpayment decision, child maintenance assessment or sanction.

    Read about how to request a mandatory reconsideration of a benefits decision.

    You can’t appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal about a benefits decision until you get a response to your mandatory reconsideration request. This is called a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’. You can appeal to the tribunal if you think the decision in the mandatory reconsideration notice is wrong.

    How to complain about service from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
    If you’d like to complain about any aspect of the service you’ve received, let the office you have been dealing with know as soon as possible. We’ll do our best to put things right.

    You can contact us by phone, in person or in writing. When you contact us, please tell us:

    your National Insurance number – unless you are an employer
    your full name, address and contact numbers
    which benefit you are complaining about
    what happened, when it happened and how it affected you
    what you want to happen to put things right
    State Pension age changes
    At present, we are not investigating complaints about State Pension age changes.

    We stopped investigating these complaints on 30 November 2018 when the issue went before the High Court. Following the High Court’s judgement on 3 October 2019, the claimants applied for permission to appeal.

    If you have already complained to us, we will write again once the court proceedings have finished.

    We will continue to investigate complaints not related to State Pension age changes under the normal DWP complaints procedure.

    Who to contact
    Use the contact details at the top of any recent letters we’ve sent you or use the Who to contact details below.

    If you live in Northern Ireland, go to the Department for Communities website for more information.

    What happens next
    If we’ve made a mistake, we’ll put it right as soon as possible and apologise immediately. If you’ve experienced unfair treatment or suffered financially, we may consider making a special payment to you.

    If you’re not satisfied with our initial response, or we need to investigate further, you can ask for your complaint to go to a senior manager and be looked at by the DWP Complaints Team.

    A member of our dedicated complaints handling team will contact you, usually by phone, to talk to you about your complaint and agree how to investigate it. They will contact you within 15 working days to tell you the outcome or when you can expect a response, if it will take longer.

    If you’re not satisfied
    If you’ve been through the DWP complaints process, received our final response and still aren’t satisfied, you can ask the Independent Case Examiner to look at your complaint. You must contact them within 6 months of getting our final response and send them a copy of it.

    The Independent Case Examiner can’t look at matters of law or government policy. They won’t look at benefit or maintenance decisions, for example, because you can appeal against these.

    If they accept your complaint, they will look at what happened and what we did about it. If they think we should have done more, they will ask us to put matters right. They will act as an impartial referee and you will not be charged for their service.

    If you don’t agree with the response from the Independent Case Examiner, you can ask your MP (or any other MP) to send your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

    Service standards
    Read our customer charter.

    Complain about an organisation that provides a service for DWP
    Other organisations sometimes provide DWP services, for example Work Programme providers. If you’re not satisfied with the service you’ve received from an organisation like this, complain to them first and give them a chance to put the matter right. If you don’t agree with their response, they must tell you how you can take your complaint further.

    If you’re still not satisfied with their final response to your complaint, you can ask the Independent Case Examiner to investigate.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 5, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    • DWP Complaints Team.

      The Appeal System called matters of law or government policy which can not be appealed against on complained about.

      GOVERNMENT POLICY CAN NOT BE QUESTIONED IN HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY THE EQUALITY COMMISSION.

      DISABLED GOVERNMENT POLICY EQUALITY COMMISSION’S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES.

      All in all the Tory Government & their Departments are a dictatorship of the Disability Unit run by Justin Tomlinson the Disability Minister guilty of avoiding disability issues with Human Rights Abuses.

      Dictatorships to keep the disabled in their place of death with death threats by the DWP of death.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      February 5, 2021 at 6:54 pm

  51. Are the Tories going to take disabled death threats seriously & scrap Universal Credit which is a disabled deasth threat to the disabled. Now the DWP death threat……..

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 5, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    • The disabled DWP Death Threats are getting to much to charge me with DWP death threats you dictatorship in trouble. Tory suicide threats.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      February 5, 2021 at 6:58 pm

  52. Trev, haven’t the jokeshop given you a date and time for when one of their clowns calls you?

    Tigerlily

    February 6, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    • No date or time specified, just “over the next few weeks I will be phoning you to book a telephone appointment”. Then when that’s done I will have a specific date/time of the telephone appointment, but no idea when they will initially ring to make that appointment! I feel like throwing my phone in the canal.

      trev

      February 6, 2021 at 1:58 pm

      • Why not just give you a date and time in the first place, seems to me that you may have been set up so that if you don’t answer the call you will be sanctioned… or have your JSA claim closed down to get you onto UC!

        Tigerlily

        February 6, 2021 at 2:25 pm

      • I think it’s a case of possible Sanction if you miss a booked appointment, whether in person or a phone appointment, but you can’t be Sanctioned for missing a phone call if you don’t know when they are calling. They could have just emailed me the time for a phone appointment, but then not everyone has access to their emails at the moment. It’s all a pointless load of bollocks anyway. I don’t know why they can’t just introduce annual signing for JSA, either online or by return of a postal declaration form. Payments can be made automatically as they have been since last March/April. Come to that, there is no real purpose for the Jobcentres to exist, as I’ve been saying all along. It’s all a waste of time and a monumental waste of Taxpayers money.

        trev

        February 6, 2021 at 2:54 pm

  53. Universal Credit telephone interviews

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/universal_credit_telephone_inter

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/universal_credit_telephone_inter

    time and date of the call must be given in advance they cant just do it when they like so if they tried a sanction it would fail for this reason alone, as long as you did something about it that is!

    and they dont like being recorded so if you state the call is being recorded imo they would slam the phone down lol.

    every time i have been put on 3 months sick and had phone interviews after 2-3 calls they just dont bother as payment will be sent anyway.

    you are not required buy law to have a phone line or internet to claim any benefits but the dwp say otherwise.

    problem is there version of the law does not work in a court with a judge.

    superted

    February 6, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    • Did they ask claimants so blindly to attend physical signing on, do employers practice the same for interviews.

      Its unacceptable to threaten possible sanction on the basis of a single phone call, especially at a time visiting branches is prohibited and online/ over the phone is overwhelmed and thus causing lengthy waiting times and increased possibility of DWP error.

      The problem exists in how is it realistically addressed via the prescribed DWP process when courts have massive backlogs.

      DWP needs to do better as too many variables exist (ie loss of signal for example), for a timely answer to be guaranteed. DWP need to supply a phone number to call back on in the event of such a circumstance that isnt bundled into other instances of issues.
      No one should be sanctioned at a time they are in a position not to be able to defend themselves or achieve a result as a byproduct of in a reasonable and realistic time.

      Doug

      February 7, 2021 at 9:12 am


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