DWP To Use Fraud Staff To Harass People Off ESA In Birmingham – John D Turner

An informed source within the geographical area of DWP, wherein I used to work, recently informed me that fraud staff were being redeployed to conduct robust interviews with people claiming Employment and Support Allowance, writes John D Turner.

Yesterday, I was Tweeted a link to this website and specifically this post:

“DWP management target disabled  benefit claimants.

Over the next 24 hours DWP management will ‘invite’ close on 2,000 benefit claimants from Birmingham to attend interviews, with a goal of getting at least 10% off the benefit register.

The group of benefit claimants being targeted are in the majority waiting for assessments to decide if they are able to be deemed ‘fit for work’. (The assessment formerly and controversially run by ATOS). Those waiting assessments are often disabled or vulnerable adults.

The ‘invitation’ letter issued makes no suggestion that the attendance to these interviews is purely voluntary, indeed DWP staff in Birmingham (and Central England) have been advised verbally and by email from management to keep it to themselves that attendance to these interviews is not mandatory. One manager in a city based office was overheard saying that the way to deal with these claimants is to ‘hassle, hassle them off benefit’.

Andrew Lloyd, PCS Midlands regional secretary that represents DWP staff said, “It is outrageous that the DWP are duping the most vulnerable by issuing this letter, and then worse still setting a target to get those off benefits, it could be argued that this approach is unlawful. Our members are totally opposed to this approach but are faced with inferred disciplinary action unless they act upon these targets.”

[Press Release from PCS Union on 14th November 2014]“

Where did I use to work?  Birmingham!

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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9 thoughts on “DWP To Use Fraud Staff To Harass People Off ESA In Birmingham – John D Turner

  1. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    The obvious solution to this would be to pay GP’s for carrying out proper examinations and to accept their professional recommendations. No GP is going to deliberately encourage scrounging, and no GP is going to recommend someone unfit to work to go before insulting, degrading and probably damaging examinations by people medically unqualified. This would undoubtedly save the taxpayer and get rid of vested interests at the same time. There does not seem to be any logical reason why this method is not adopted other than an unnatural hatred of those in need of help.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      GPs are already paid to carry out proper examinations. In the case of people who are genuinely incapacitated and need to go on-benefit for extended period of time, this involves consultation with specialists and reports from them. So there isn’t even any extra expense required.
      I agree with everything else you say – especially the final sentence.

  2. daijohn

    By now PCS members should be, at least, considering strike action. After all there is much more to unionisation than pay and conditions.

  3. chris

    Happened to me last week.The DWP where actually coercing me to commit an act of fraud or at the very least criminal deception until i pointed that out to em that is…. After my last ATOS assessment and all the medical evidence that i provided them with about my chronic illness i was placed in the the ESA Support Group .This is from DWP WCA training manual Training & Development
    Revised WCA Handbook
    ESA (Amendment) Regulations 2011 and 2012)
    Version: 6 Final
    19 March 2013…”Those in the Support Group will not be required to participate in work related activity and will therefore not be subject to sanctioning procedures”……Despite these being their own rules and regulations yesterday i received a letter from them telling me i must come for an interview with them this Saturday (MANDATORY) to discuss my claim but prior to the interview i must also register on their universal job match site….The woman i spoke to was very abrupt with me when i told her i would not be attending because despite what she said it wasn’t at all mandatory for me to do so and even her own training manual states as much and when she threatened to sanction me if i refused to attend as stated in her letter i also pointed out that bit that she had conveniently forgot about.I asked her if she was recording our conversation and she said yes to which i replied good coz i am to and as if like magic her complete attitude changed i then went on to tell her that if i where to register on their universal job match site prior to my interview as the letter i received from them stated id be committing fraud when it comes to my current claim by declaring myself miraculously fit for work despite being assessed by ATOS and her own DWP department who declared me not to be when i was examined by their own assessors and my own doctors and specialist and the evidence they provided to the contrary.I then went on to say that in my opinion she along with the DWP where in effect asking me to commit an act of criminal deception at the very least and that i refused to do so until i had seeked legal advice and contacted my MP then another miracle happened and i was told i didnt need to attend the MANDATORY interview and i wouldn’t be sanctioned for not doing so.All caught on tape i might add.I wonder just how many others these souless imbeciles at the DWP are doing this to. those who just jump when they are told to because they know no different and in doing so have nothing but stress and worry piled on their plate and their illnesses compounded by these devious heartless unempathetic souless BASTARDS i personally no longer have any intentions of being treated like a performing circus animal by them they put me in an hospital bed once because of all the stress and worry they caused me and it aint ever gonna happen again that’s for dam sure coz next time they try it ill be putting some of therm in the hospital bed right beside me and ive told them as much as my sister Mandy can vouch for she was with me at my last ATOS assessment and heard me say so to QUACK who examined me.

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