It’s not the DWP’s envelopes that need changing, but the attitude behind them

Last Updated: February 28, 2021By Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kiss of death: for benefit claimants, letters from the Department for Work and Pensions – no matter what colour the envelope in which they arrive, cause more problems than they solve. It isn’t the packaging of the letters that is the problem, it is the content – and the malice of the people writing it. [Image:]

Can you believe the Department for Work and Pensions is planning to change the colour of its envelopes from brown to white, to encourage disabled people to open its letters?

Officials have apparently discovered the existence of “brown envelope anxiety”, which is a nervous condition triggered in some people whenever they receive an envelope of that colour – denoting a communication from an official source – through the letterbox.

They have wrongly deduced – probably from the name of the condition – that merely changing the colour of the envelope will magic away the anxiety.

How stupid can they be?

As a friend posted on Facebook,

It’s not the envelopes that need changing, DWP and Tory government, it’s your inhumane assessments processes that cause untold harm and distress to many.

I have a total fear of the postie coming to my house; that’s a huge trigger for me, let alone what’s put through the door.

[It’s about] living with never knowing when the review will come up and living with constant financial insecurity and the amount being taken away and leaving you destitute and probably homeless.

To add insult to injury, DWP officials think people with brown envelope anxiety will be more likely to read their white-envelope missives immediately if they print on the front: “IMPORTANT INFORMATION INSIDE. PLEASE OPEN.”

In fact – as they would know if they had asked any experts instead of listening to the tweeting birds inside their empty heads – this is more likely to trigger an anxiety (if not a heart) attack.

Rather than reading the contents of these white envelopes and responding to the Job Centres, it is more likely that overworked doctors will be examining the recipients’ vital signs – if they manage to get to a hospital in time.

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  1. Jeffrey Davies February 28, 2021 at 7:20 am - Reply

    It looks like we ain’t going back to the days where the peasants opened their brown envelope they found a new way just to make one sick nervous or just downright frightened to death the government isn’t going to change no matter whot colour aktion t4 isn’t going to change

  2. Foggy February 28, 2021 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Colour coded terror coming to a letterbox near you !!

  3. Miss Kitty February 28, 2021 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I noticed they actually already did this a long time ago. No longer can I be sure that ANY A5 envelope is safe without opening it.

  4. El Dee February 28, 2021 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I hate being pedantic but this is not simply the DWP this is the ‘Nudge Unit’ who design envelopes and the forms for all government departments in order to ‘levy discomfort’ etc (the actual phrase used)

    These ideas are not from within the DWP but are from central government and are always implemented with their full support..

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