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It sounds like a bleak April Fool’s joke come early. In the face of increasing pressure to end the avoidable, and often unlawful, distress they inflict on claimants, the DWP have announced they are going to . . . change the colour of their envelopes.

Recent months have seen the families who have lost loved ones fighting in the courts to highlight the way that callous treatment by DWP the contributed to their deaths and to force them to make changes.

Jodey Whiting’s family are waiting for a High Court hearing to decide whether a second inquest should be held into her death, so that the part the DWP played can be properly investigated. Jodey, who had multiple physical and mental health conditions, was wrongly told to attend a work capability assessment, which she was unable to do. Jodey took her own life shortly after receiving letters telling her that her benefits would stop.

Errol Graham’s family are waiting for a High Court decision on whether the DWP’s safeguarding policies are so inadequate as to be unlawful. Errol, who was known by the DWP to be vulnerable, starved to death after his benefits were wrongly stopped when he failed to attend a work capability assessment.

The inquest into the death of Philippa Day, who took her own life after being wrongly required to attend a PIP face-to-face assessment, has ended with a prevention of future deaths report by the coroner. Philippa was found collapsed next to a letter from the DWP requiring her to attend the assessment.

The coroner has asked the DWP and its agents to improve their procedures, including the way they communicate with claimants.

Now we learn that the DWP is indeed taking action to change the way it communicates with claimants.

It has announced it will be changing the colour of its envelopes from brown to white.

But the DWP are keen to point out that it is only the colour they are changing.

Not the size of the envelope or the use of a window.

This momentous decision has already been made.

However, the DWP is consulting with professional organisations on what would be the best message to put on the outside of the envelope in order to encourage claimants to open it.

Their current favourite is:

‘Important information enclosed. Please read’.

We wonder what message readers would think appropriate.


+2 #10 Asbo 2021-03-01 15:55
Ridiculous. Atos and co use white envelopes anyway and they can put the S**ts up you anyway. have they not heard of Pavlovian responses or classical conditioning?
+5 #9 canttrusthesystem 2021-02-25 15:00
They've just stuck their middle finger up at us. As usual.
+6 #8 Beetroot21 2021-02-25 09:44
It’s not so much the brown envelope it’s the blatant untruths that are inside that affect claimants the most I would say
+5 #7 Karen Hood 2021-02-24 17:15
This just goes to prove how out of touch they really are!
+6 #6 EH 2021-02-24 15:43
Personally, I would prefer them to keep the brown envelopes so that the decision letter doesn't get overlooked. If something arrives in a brown envelope, I know that it requires immediate attention regardless of how ill I am feeling.

However, it doesn't matter what colour the envelope is. What they need to change is the unfair and dishonest system that they currently have in place.
+7 #5 discombobulated 2021-02-24 12:25
They should set up a dedicated help line for vulnerable claimants, with a much improved response time so they don't have to spend 50 minutes before getting through, and a dedicated team of call handlers trained to be aware of the client's vulnerabilities.

Also they should use special envelopes with a tear-off strip so that the claimant isn't holding a letter opener or penknife (or similar sharp object when they first encounter the latest grief the DWP is inflicting on them...

As for the message for the rest of us, how about: "NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS, THIS IS THE DWP!"? :-x

Dave 8)
+10 #4 bfoandc 2021-02-23 09:21
Well what springs into my mind is:
"Abandon hope before opening this."
+10 #3 Idonia 2021-02-23 08:06
Wow. Just... wow.

I honestly couldn't care less what colour envelopes the DWP choose to send vulnerable claimants their destitution letters in. I'd settle for being treated like a human being.
+7 #2 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2021-02-22 16:00
How about putting this message on the envelope in bold capital letter stating>>>>>>> You will never be called for any future pip/ esa assessments again.

Is that too much to ask lol.

So now we will be all syting ourselves every time a white envelope comes through our letter boxes.

You just couldn't make up if you tried.
+6 #1 denby 2021-02-21 12:33
I am so speechless at the heartlessness that I cannot begin to comment on that.
What I will comment on is that when we have got a climate crisis they are choosing to switch to a product that on the face of it would seem to be less environment friendly. Unbelievable hypocrisy.

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