Search rightsnet
Search options

Where

Benefit

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction

From

to

Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Disability benefits  →  Thread

Culture of Contempt?

 < 1 2 3 > 

past caring
forum member

Welfare Rights Adviser - Southwark Law Centre, Peckham

Send message

Total Posts: 902

Joined: 25 February 2014

Sorry, but that one actually made me chuckle.

Sangeeta1
forum member

Support Services, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, London

Send message

Total Posts: 11

Joined: 18 February 2016

Stainsby - 19 March 2019 03:46 PM

I have uploaded part of the DWP response to a PIP appeal by one of my clients

You may well recognise the usual cut and paste, but this one might inadvertently expose a canteen culture of contempt among many decision makers at the DWP

I don’t know how this particular submission writer thinks they can get away with calling a claimant a “lying bitch”

How did your client feel when she read this?

That is the issue.

ClairemHodgson
forum member

Solicitor, SC Law, Harrow

Send message

Total Posts: 1222

Joined: 13 April 2016

Sangeeta1 - 21 March 2019 11:18 AM

How did your client feel when she read this?

That is the issue.

hardly

the issue is that no one in a professional office, whether that by DWP or anywhere else, should ever commit such a phrase to writing (or even vocalise it) and more especially where the person subject to the vitriol can read it. 

If one wants to comment on someone’s credibility/veracity, there are much more elegant and polite ways of so doing (which also can be nicely cutting)

which is why ones file notes should also be carefully drawn if one actually thinks that one’s client is being “economical with the verite” - or in other words, is lying.

 

Sangeeta1
forum member

Support Services, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, London

Send message

Total Posts: 11

Joined: 18 February 2016

agreed. I was trying to say (too briefly perhaps)  that the client’s reaction and impact it had on her should form the basis of any complaint.

neilbateman
forum member

Welfare Rights Author, Trainer & Consultant

Send message

Total Posts: 430

Joined: 16 June 2010

It’s an extraordinary use of language.  I have got DWP to take disciplinary action for less.

Aside from the unprofessionalism and offensiveness, the use of the word “bitch” may also trigger sex discrimination issues as it’s a gender specific word.

So a sex discrimination claim would also be in order.

neilbateman
forum member

Welfare Rights Author, Trainer & Consultant

Send message

Total Posts: 430

Joined: 16 June 2010

On refection Stainsby.  I wonder whether a complaint and any legal action should start now rather than waiting months for the Tribunal?

I can see the logic of not wanting DWP to partly revise and then having to start all over again, but to pursue an issue such as this which involves possible disciplinary and sex discrimination claims loses its impact if left and there are strict time limits for the latter.

Moreover, do we want this DWP officer carrying on harming other people in the meantime?

If they did partly revise, then presumably that’s a bit of a result anyway for the client who may be grateful for the extra money in the interim?

shawn mach
Administrator

rightsnet.org.uk

Send message

Total Posts: 2725

Joined: 14 April 2010

From the Guardian -

The Department for Work and Pensions has been criticised after one of its officials apparently submitted papers to a benefits appeal tribunal in which they called a disabled claimant a “lying bitch”.

The submission, formally rejecting an appeal by a disabled woman against the removal or downgrading of her personal independence payment (PIP) award, was made public by her outraged advice worker.

In an extract from the papers, the DWP official questions whether the claimant is genuinely entitled to carer’s allowance, a benefit for people who care for another person for at least 35 hours a week.

“In this lying bitches [sic] case she is receiving the mid-rate carers [sic] allowance component for providing day time supervision to another disabled person. The tribunal may wish to explore this further,” the official writes.

A welfare adviser posted a copy of the submission on the discussion boards of Rightsnet, a site for advice workers.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/22/dwp-document-refers-to-benefit-claimant-as-lying-bitch

Andrew Dutton
forum member

Welfare rights service - Derbyshire County Council

Send message

Total Posts: 1535

Joined: 12 October 2012

‘We do not comment on leaked documents.’

Nice try chaps, but it isn’t a leaked document is it?

MaggieB
forum member

Dorchester CAB

Send message

Total Posts: 229

Joined: 11 October 2010

Are Guardian journalists spying on Rightsnight?

ClairemHodgson
forum member

Solicitor, SC Law, Harrow

Send message

Total Posts: 1222

Joined: 13 April 2016

MaggieB - 22 March 2019 06:41 PM

Are Guardian journalists spying on Rightsnight?

seems like it.  but it’s not exactly hidden behind any secure walls - rightsnet often comes up if you’re googling e.g. a case or whatever benefits linked.  So i should have thought journalists writing on benefits etc. issues would have had it bookmarked…

Mike Hughes
forum member

Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

Send message

Total Posts: 2096

Joined: 17 June 2010

It’s the having it viewed by clients or people who want to become clients which is more of an issue.

ClairemHodgson
forum member

Solicitor, SC Law, Harrow

Send message

Total Posts: 1222

Joined: 13 April 2016

Mike Hughes - 23 March 2019 12:38 PM

It’s the having it viewed by clients or people who want to become clients which is more of an issue.

that’ll require different software, i expect…

certainly the APIL Forum does NOT show up on google searches - wholly inaccessible to non members…

Ryan Bradshaw
forum member

Leigh Day, Manchester

Send message

Total Posts: 89

Joined: 17 June 2010

Hi all,

I think this lays bare what most of us suspect to be the culture behind the decisions we see from DWP. The response is predictably risible.

I’d be happy to have a look at this from a discrimination angle if the service user wants. I’ve also attached a brief training document on discrimination in welfare benefits in case it is of assistance to anyone.

File Attachments

Daphne
Administrator

rightsnet writer / editor

Send message

Total Posts: 2407

Joined: 14 March 2014

Demos finds that the DWP will never be able to engage effectively with ill and disabled people due to lack of trust -

Pathways from Poverty: The future of the DWP

Mike Hughes
forum member

Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

Send message

Total Posts: 2096

Joined: 17 June 2010

Daphne - 26 March 2019 11:16 AM

Demos finds that the DWP will never be able to engage effectively with ill and disabled people due to lack of trust -

Pathways from Poverty: The future of the DWP

“Falls over in mock horror” :)

Bit surprised lack of basic competence doesn’t come into play though.