The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents

The DWP is sending out threatening, menacing letters to disabled parents, ordering them to do as they say or risk having their children taken into care.

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Iain Duncan Smith’s Department for Work and Pensions have plumbed new depths with reports today of threatening, menacing letters being sent out to disabled parents parents of disabled children, ordering them to do as they say or risk having their children taken into care.

Iain-Duncan-SmithThe full, shocking story is revealed by Alice Dunn in Indy Blogs this morning:

At a time when the Tory Party is desperately trying to shake off its ‘Nasty Party’ image, this turns up on our doormat – literally.

This is a letter from the DWP, the government department responsible for, among other things, benefits. It is a routine letter that was sent to my mother as a claimant of Disability Living Allowance (on behalf of my disabled brother) containing a thinly veiled threat to take my brother into care if she didn’t do as the DWP said.

The opening paragraph states that they, the DWP, “are writing to review your role. We want to ensure the appointeeship is working well and that there are no issues we need to address”. As far as we know, this disgraceful missive was sent out to the parent or guardian of every child in receipt of DLA when renewing their claim. This new letter, the ‘BF57B’, was recently introduced by the DWP and the form has to be signed and returned before the claim can move forward.

It is, in my opinion, a particularly damning indictment of the government’s attempt to demonise those on benefits, and particularly the disabled: to portray them as lazy, feckless scroungers. The letter ordered my mother to “always act in the best interests of the child”, then gave her a bullet point list of what this included, such as “manage and spend any money from Disability Living Allowance in a way that best serves [the child’s] best interests”.

Effectively, the DWP is assuming my mum would, (had she not received the letter), be spending my brother’s money on cigarettes, alcohol, and satellite TV. Is assuming the worst of a parent claiming benefits not rather insulting? It is also worth noting she has never received such a letter telling her how to spend the child tax credits received for her two children without disabilities nor was she sent it with the annual child benefit award notice.


See also:

How the public massively overestimates benefit fraud 13 Jun 2012

Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits 16 May 2012

How DWP’s incompetence cost taxpayers and disabled people 16 Apr 2012

Yes, but are you REALLY disabled? 20 Jan 2012

The government’s replacement for DLA is not fit for purpose 18 Jan 2012

Will the government take away money from disabled people on a hunch? 17 Jan 2012

Time to step forward on the Spartacus report 9 Jan 2012


Dunn adds:

Believe it or not, it gets worse. Underneath this bullet point list, is the sentence “We will review your status as an appointed person if we think that you are not acting in the best interests of the person named above.”My mother has not been ‘appointed’. She claims DLA on behalf of my younger brother because she is his mother – he is only seven so can’t receive the funds directly. In both my mother’s opinion, and my own, what they’re essentially saying is: ‘we will take your child away from you if you don’t spend this money properly’.


The DWP has assumed because my mother is claiming disability benefits on behalf of a disabled child she is going to use the DLA for herself and has been threatened by the DWP accordingly.

Does this not act as direct evidence of – at least some – demonisation toward the disabled? Research for the charity Scope found that 46% of the 500 disabled people, their carers and parents polled, said people’s attitude towards them had worsened in the last year. Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they had experienced aggression, hostility or name calling. When asked what could be contributing towards such hostility, 87% singled out people claiming disability benefits to which they are not entitled…

Perhaps the DWP could look a little closer to home whilst they are “working to change negative assumptions” about disabled people and their families and stop sending out letters that assume the parents of disabled children are lazy, feckless scroungers.

Quite. It is no coincidence that attacks on disabled people increase the more the Tory-led government and their right-wing tabloid cheerleaders demonise them – the more IDS and the DWP continue down this path of cruelty.


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60 Responses to “The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents”

  1. Anonymous

    Green issues have what to do with DLA, why not answer the question above or contact left foot forward to have your site listed.


    For me the scrounger and the work shy rhetoric is labours if the Tories steal it use it, so what.

    I suspect these letter will be sent to most people no matter which party are in power, we all know the sick and the disabled are cheats, no, well it seems that way listening to Miliband and his story about knocking on a disabled persons door, and knowing without asking what was wrong with him he could work.

    So really expecting the Tories to be different is a bit rich.

  2. Anonymous

    All this apparent Corporate Nazi attitude towards welfare and particularly the new ESA can be traced back to one man namely celebrity stock market parasite David Freud, who Gordon Brown hired to reform the benefits system. Freud left Labour in a ” hissy fit ” and defected to the Tories who welcomed him with open arms and made him Lord David Freud. Its this unelected guy who is dictating welfare policy in the UK, IDS was only a figurehead lent credibility by a study he was alleged to have undertaken. Nevertheless, its no excuse for Chris Grayling to be a wannabe Himmler, and the Labour party under Ed Miliband would appear to endorse current government policy, they are all ( including the soon to be obliterated Lib-Dem’s and growing UKIP ) just as Corporate Nazi as each other !

  3. lisaansell3

    The DWP is the department for work and pensions. Child Protection is covered by the Children Act and this is not possible. Sorry.

  4. lisaansell3

    ALthough there is a very serious issue which Labour dont want to talk about, which is the way that deleveraging has focused on childrens services at a time when poverty is being expanded deliberately, reducing childrens services to agents of control and many families will lose their children solely because of poverty and their children will suffer in a system that was just broken by cross political consensus. I know its not as good for Labour to say that, so it wont make it on here.

Comments are closed.