Coronavirus: ‘Deluge’ of benefit claimants are about to learn what it’s like to deal with the DWP

This is going to be ugly.

According to The Independent, the Department for Work and Pensions is bracing itself for a ‘deluge’ of benefit claims as businesses lay off workers in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Yes – people are losing their jobs, it seems, despite assurances from the government that it will pay up to 80 per cent of employees’ wages.

It seems senior DWP officials have been told they will be sent to cover “frontline roles” to shore up services and deal with people who have lost their jobs.

So it seems to me that people who might have been told to think benefit claimants were “spongers” and “scroungers” are about to find out how it feels to be treated as that kind of person, when they’re not.

Mrs Mike reckons the DWP might tone down its treatment of benefit claimants, in the light of the current crisis.

But I don’t think that’s possible.

You see, if anybody claiming as a result of coronavirus gets preferential treatment, then that will constitute discrimination against everybody who has claimed in normal times.

It also seems that most of the new claimants are going to be steered onto Universal Credit, which means the five-week wait for the first payment, the loan if they run out of money, the grinding poverty as they spend months being forced to pay it back.

So we live in interesting times.

Either the DWP goes easy – and faces loss after loss at tribunal over discrimination… or it carries on as normal – and Mr and Mrs General Public find out what’s really been going on in our Job Centres for the last 10 years.

Or have I missed something?

Source: DWP officials sent to ‘front line’ as government prepares for flood in benefit claims – Welfare Weekly

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11 thoughts on “Coronavirus: ‘Deluge’ of benefit claimants are about to learn what it’s like to deal with the DWP

  1. Debbie Wiles

    I have a 62 year old friend, virtually housebound with gout and schizophrenia, who received her PIP reassessment forms last week! Benefit renewals and reviews need to be put on hold for the duration of the crisis. should

    1. Mark allinson

      She should not need attend because of what’s happening I put my reassessment form back in January and iam still waiting for my appointment and now they can’t call anybody in and at this moment it’s set as 3 month but it could be longer but we would only find that out of the government extend it but fill the forms in what you have and send them back.

      1. Ginny Thomson

        Surely there’s no way anybody could be expected to assemble medical evidence just now? Or for months!

  2. Dan

    This idea of the government paying “up to 80%” of employees’ wages was always going to fail, I’m afraid. British business, on the whole, resents needing staff at all and will get rid of people at the drop of a hat, even if the government were to cover 100% of wages. They will probably blame the government scheme for not being ready in time, or hard to understand, or overly bureaucratic to claim – in fairness, it’s probably going to be all of those things, it’s a government scheme dreamt up by Tories after all – but the fact of the matter is they just can’t be bothered, and are more than happy to throw people on the scrap heap.

    Now, more than ever, is the time to introduce a simple and effective Universal Basic Income for all, with the people who don’t need it simply repaying it via the tax system. All automatic, no need to claim, no Jobcentres, no snoopers and checkers, no sanctions, no assessments, no possibility of fraud and, best of all, nobody left behind.

    1. Terry

      Had my email from work sunday night telling me that there was no job available with immediate effect, 80% of wages my arse.

  3. Jo Saxton

    I really shouldn’t be smirking should I, but after working my butt off for 31 years, becoming ill and disabled I was treated as a scrounger by both DWP and some people I knew. I’m always embarrassed to say I claim benefits as people do look down their noses at you.
    I do really feel for everyone and it is terrible!
    I just hope there may be a bit more understanding and humanity at the end of all this…

  4. katythenightowl

    I’m not 100% certain, but I believe anyone claiming UC, because of the pandemic, will be paid from day 1(I know, stop laughing, peeps!)

    They are all supposed to be getting an extra £20 a week on top of the UC, until the crisis ends!

    Now, as all of us know, who have had to go cap-in-hand to the DWP – what the government says, and what it actually does, are 2 totally different things!

    I’m just hoping that there’s enough pressure from everyone to force through the Universal Basic Income for everyone – though how that’ll affect us poor buggers already claiming ESA & PIP, I dread to think😕

  5. Natalie

    Dwp are only there to help people in need Purley for a limited time only . To help people get back on there feet unless obviously you absolutely can not. Surly this deems as a crisis. Its scary times for many people !

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The DWP is there to help UK citizens for as long as they need it. Check the rules.

      The problem is that it hasn’t been performing its function properly for many years – some would say since the old Department of Social Security was dissolved and the DWP formed.

      So the issues are as described in the article. Sure, it’s a crisis – but it would be discriminatory against current claimants if the new ones were treated any differently. It’s been scary times for them for years!

  6. Borisjohnson

    Having recently clawed my way out of redundancy and back into work after 3 months on universal credit and spending 6000 of my savings to keep living, I can tell you that first payment takes upto 7 weeks and when it does come in that £317 per month is f**kall, having a mortgage and bills to pay I’ll be blunt as possible by saying if you ain’t got no money in savings then start getting some boxes ready because the dwp won’t help mortgage situations until minimum 39 weeks. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if anybody reading this has a mortgage kids and bills to pay and are living from pay check to paycheck your f***ed.

  7. miss kayleigh j Oakley

    I am already on UC, Thursday I updated my online journal due to college being suspended till September I needed to phone a number to confirm this by Saturday the 21st, 3 days after yet Saturdays they are shut, I spent all day Thursday and Friday trying to get through I spent 2hr 24min on a call then got hung up on this happened 6 times or it would just sayl line is busy beep beep beep! Sunday got a message my money had been stopped, so tryed the number again Monday, same thing!!! Luckily I left a message on my UC online account and my work coach managed to get my money reinstated, apparently they are so busy and there is no staff to take calls so I just left waiting for nearly 2 hrs every call or just straight up hung up on because of the problems they ate dealing with, just wanted to share this I know it’s frustrating and it will make you angry going through this but there just arnt enough people to take calls, hope you are all well and staying safe at home, and if your going on UC Just keep trying, but don’t give abuse as it’s not nice xxx

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