The Disability News Service (DNS) has been told by a DWP whistleblower that claimants with significant mental distress are being forced to attend weekly meetings with work coaches whilst waiting for a work capability assessment.  Separately, Benefits and Work has heard from an alleged former DWP employee  who says work coaches are being named and shamed for not pushing enough claimants out of the support group of ESA and onto UC.

DNS was told by the whistleblower that  ‘DWP managers are telling work coaches that they should not have any “white spaces” in their diaries, and so should tell claimants waiting for their WCA to come into the jobcentre even if they know they will eventually be placed in the LCWRA group.’

The whistleblower is now “very concerned” that DWP’s new, even stricter, approach “might lead to more people taking their own lives”.

Separately, Benefits and Work has heard from a whistleblower who says they are a former DWP employee.  They told us that work coaches are being named and shamed for not pushing claimants off ESA and onto UC and also being bullied into sanctioning claimants.

We have not been able to independently verify these claims.

The whistleblower told us:

“At the moment, work coaches are being bullied into sanctioning and getting customers from ESA support to UC.

 “My friend, who is a work coach, was ashamed by an email sent to all her work coach team naming and shaming staff who hadn't got customers off UC and ESA(s) to UC.  The staff had valid reasons for not removing their customers from ESA support, but they were not listened to.

 “Staff dread coming into the office and many are applying and leaving for the Scottish Government.”

Benefits and Work would be very happy to hear from DWP employees on condition of strict anonymity, using our contact form

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    Lorraine · 2 months ago
    I was on ESA and in November I had a phone assessment. I was told I would be losing ESA because my medical problems varied from day to day, even though I explained they were worsening and becoming more frequent.  They told me that eventually everyone would be going over to UC eventually. 
    When I sent in my work capability assessment for UC, I was told I still needed to get a job. So I sent in an appeal and got some advice from Citizens Advice, who told me that they didn't know a anything about the change fro ESA to UC, but once you apply for UC you can never apply for ESA again, so I was basically conned into not appealing my ESA  decision. 
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    snaz · 2 months ago
    😛😕This report needs clarifying. ESA support group placement members are not required to attend a job centre . Also no requirement exists to attend a job centre during a process of assessment. A work coach can't decide placement of ESA members into UC. SO what does this article actually mean ?
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    micksville · 3 months ago
    Wording is a bit confusing on this report. As I understand it if you get through the WCA for UC and are placed in support group you don't have to attend with work coaches or work related activity. Just as it is with ordinary ESA Or is this meant in the context of those awaiting a WCA who were formerly in SG of ESA and didn't get a gp letter saying they ought to be exempt from work related activity etc whilst awaiting a WCA for UC? Furthermore, surely a work coach cannot decide if someone in SG gets to be put on oridnary UC as a job seeker, or in work related activity bracket of ESA....That's is down to a decision maker in tandem with the medical assessors surely? 

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    MJ · 3 months ago
    "work coaches are being named and shamed for not pushing enough claimants out of the support group of ESA and onto UC"


    I didn't know there was work coaches on the support group of ESA.
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    speedy101 · 3 months ago
    There use to be a letter on the MIND website you could edit n send quoting Equality Legislation for mental health issues. I've had to use it a few times to get CBT "therapists" practitioners to back the feck off and stop putting me in situations that actively harm me!

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