Why is the DWP forcing people into work-focused activities they will NEVER be able to carry out?

This is self-explanatory, if sickening. Please read what follows and then visit the site and sign the petition.

I am making a call asking Iain Duncan Smith to create a National database of people with multi-complex disabilities who will NEVER be able to work.

My daughter, Danika, is 19 years old with profound multi-complex disabilities and is life-limited. She has the cognitive and physical ability of a 0-3 month old baby and is completely dependent upon me for all her needs.

Danika finished the special educational needs school she had been attending in July 2015. She became eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from the 1st of September 2015, the day after her entitlement to Child Benefit ceased.

In mid August, i put in a claim for Danika to receive ESA and went through a 45 minute interview over the telephone. This went through all of her personal information and disabilities. I was asked to provide a ‘Fit Note’ from her G.P stating her inability to work which i duly sent to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as asked.

On Monday 21st of September 2015, i received a letter from our local Job Centre Plus stating Danika was to attend a work-focussed interview on the 28th of September! This prompted me to write an open letter to Iain Duncan Smith on Facebook which is being shared. This must have reached the DWP because the following morning, Tuesday 22nd of September, i received  a telephone call from them saying they had cancelled her interview as it was obviously inappropriate for Danika.

Our plight reached our regional BBC news team and by the 23rd of September, Danika & I appeared on their main news program. That very same evening, the district head of the DWP rang me, profusely apologising for their mistakes in sending Danika the appointment and took responsibility for protocol not being followed.


When a child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – just before their 16th birthday, via prior arrangement, a representative from the DWP visits them at their home to assess their capability of handling their own finances.

I believe, at this point, if it is obvious that the young person is not capable of such, their names should be entered onto a national database to show they re not, and never will be able to work so they can automatically qualify for the support group of ESA the minute they are no longer eligible for Child Benefit.

This will mean cutting out needless assessments and calls to attend work-focussed interviews which not only is a waste of time when it is inevitable they will qualify for the support group, but also cuts down on the costs to the tax payer.

For all ESA claimants, regardless of ability, they enter an assessment phase which is 13 weeks in duration. For the first week of this phase, claimants are not eligible for any money. For the following 12 weeks, a reduced rate is paid fortnightly whilst enquiries are made to decide whether they are put into a work or support group. It is unquestionable that Danika and others like her will be put into the support group.

Why waste time and resources in those few weeks leading up to being put into the support group when it is blindingly obvious they will never be able to work?

Please sign and help our cause for a national database to stop other parents with profound multi-complex disabled children having to go through this rigmarole when caring responsibilities are already very difficult.

Source: Petition · Make A National Database of People With Multi-Complex Disabilities for ESA Purposes. · Change.org

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10 thoughts on “Why is the DWP forcing people into work-focused activities they will NEVER be able to carry out?

  1. Neilth

    This is just cruelty to families who already have had to fight for the support they’ve needed throughout their child’s life. It is unnecessary and callous. These young people have been assessed all their lives and there is more than enough information about their conditions for a decision to be made to provide the maximum support for these people automatically.

    DWP just likes to see the “undeserving poor” beg!

  2. A-Brightfuture

    The trouble is, ESA has to be claimed (unless you have a privileged family with money and living with a homeowner) to get your housing benefit and council tax support, also any medical prescriptions and perhaps adult equipment regarding any issues.

    Regarding the situation with this family and many others, is the woeful lack of medical knowledge regarding complex needs, the assessors and decision makers at the DWP really do need to step up and take responsibly for their ignorance, as it stands the DWP only have the knowledge to access common colds and at a push the flu, even then I would get a second opinion.

    However, I would have taken the claimant down to the jobcentre pushed her up to the counter looked them straight in the eye and said…………find her a job.

    Sometimes the shock treatment is needed, to see frontline DWP staff curl up with shame and embarrassment.
    Good luck to the family.

  3. Dora Rose

    DWP incompetence is rife but they are never held to account. On 5th October 2015 the big roll out of conversion from DLA to the new Personal Independence Payments (PIP) begins. Some claimants had been given DLA for life. Now they will have to reapply.

    The call centre work has been outsourced to Serco. The computer system isn’t finished and there are no immediate plan to remedy this. So instead of call handlers reading questions and statements from the screen in front of them, they’ll have to read some from the screen and others from a hastily prepared Microsoft Word document. How do they know when to read from the screen and when to read from the document? Well there’s another document for that. Confusing? Oh, yes.

    At this stage it isn’t known if all the necessary computer systems will even be available to Serco staff.

    Serco are transferring around 160 staff from an existing contact with the Child Support Agency. Some of those staff have been forced to transfer. Around 40 new staff have also been recruited and will start training on 28th September.

  4. David Anthony Penson

    This should come as no surprise to anybody who has had dealings with the D.W.P ,at least this time they admit their systems are not working .
    A word of advice to those who thought it a good idea to become reliant on Computers to sort everything out at the sharp end of your operations, computers are unable to reason or think for themselves hence the mess you are creating within Job Centre Plus, for Christ’s Sake stop Dehumanising society and start talking to people as you always used to.

Comments are closed.