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’.

Concluding:

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.

    Weird.

    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.

  5. Julian

    Firstly, I’m interested to know why Dunn didn’t post a scan or a transcript of the whole letter. There is no way to know the context of the passages she quotes. As it’s in a blog post rather than a printed article, there are presumably no space constraints.

    Secondly, the phrase “review your status as appointed person” presumably refers to Dunn’s mother being appointed to receive her son’s DLA, not being appointed to be his mother. Dunn reads it as a threat to remove the child. From what she quotes I wouldn’t see it that way. Again, without the whole context, we can’t tell, unless of course we accept that anything done by the DLA under the Tories is by definition going to despicable.

  6. Anonymous

    Like the govt, you immediately suspect fraud and dishonesty.

    Do you have any evidence for these suspicions? Why not post it?

  7. nonjob

    Wrong. The DWP are state-sanctioned meddlers of the first order. Another one of their departments is the notorious CMEC (formerly known as the CSA). They claim they are independent of the DWP, but they operate in cahoots.

    The point is to keep their particular gravy train chugging along nicely, justifying their worthless existences.

    http://nonjob.tumblr.com/

  8. Lord Blagger

    Quite right.

    Labour in favour of the big state.

    This is the end result.

    That’s the party of Beveridge for you. That well know eugenicist.

  9. Jadebabe1966

    in a way i agree with this it is the childs money and of not spent on kid action should be taken you recieve extra funds for disabled child and any genuine parent of disable child will know how you so need that extra money and it so no wheree covers all extra stuff your child requires

  10. Juliefairclough

    sorry Dunn….but this assuption you made is nothing short of a load of tosh!!

  11. Noschevy

    You are making an ass out of you and of umption , whatever pills you are on you need to get them reviewed , I don’t see anything wrong or threatening in there, maybe it’s not worded as well as it could be but

  12. Barry Edwards

    I thought central government did not believe in hypothecation?

  13. Andrew Little

    http://t.co/5VV5tzoe The problem here is that some families do adsorb their children's DLA into the family coffers & not spend it on child

  14. only1united

    Frm earlier >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  15. BevR

    Frm earlier >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  16. Mr. Sensible

    The nasty party is well and truely back…

  17. Anonymous

    Oh yes, making explicit legal threats against people is the sort of thing I’m sure you do all the time. Don’t worry, it’ll have the intended effect, scaring people away from claiming DLA and depriving disabled kids of cash.

  18. Anonymous

    “Well know”. Ah yes, decades before he did something completely different. You once advocated killing people, terrorist. By your own definitions, what you say once matters forever.

  19. Anonymous

    And yet you refuse to take a stand with the left against this.

  20. Anonymous

    There’s a nasty implication here that you’re agreeing to transfer guardianship of the child over by signing the letter and that you’re only now the appointee on behalf of the Government department.

    This…sounds very much like something which requires an order from a judge, to me.

  21. andywhiles

    The nasty department: DWP threaten to take children away from disabled parents | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/IdByDTyI

  22. Alex Blue Eyes

    RT @leftfootfwd: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents http://t.co/H5eGdydX

  23. post cromwell

    RT @leftfootfwd: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents http://t.co/H5eGdydX

  24. Scott Shurpin

    The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: Iain Duncan Smith's Department f… http://t.co/FZyDa5re

  25. My Cafe

    The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: Iain Duncan Smith's Department f… http://t.co/FZyDa5re

  26. Nick Ryder

    The nasty department: DWP threaten to take children away from disabled parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  27. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents http://t.co/OCkyvlQY

  28. Celia Stanley

    Frm yest >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  29. Paul Trembath

    Frm yest >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  30. sean

    Frm yest >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  31. neil lambert

    RT @leftfootfwd: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents http://t.co/OCkyvlQY

  32. Suzy Franklin

    Frm yest >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  33. Katherine Smith

    Frm yest >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  34. TeresaMary

    Frm yest >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  35. Paul Perrin

    Frm yest >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  36. Sue Mitchell

    Shocking: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/vIlTkVYl by @ShamikDas

  37. Political Fusion

    Frm yest >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  38. keith sellick

    There may be a better way of wording it but appointeeship does need to be checked.

    There are more than 400,000 cases of appointeeship and no statutory checks on them once they have filled out the forms and been interviewed once. In fact the DWP guidance for its staff says little about the DDA or safeguarding the person who has the appointee.

    It is a similar situation to unregistered powers of attorney.

    While I am sure the huge majority of appointeees are good and honest, a system which grants such powers but does not check them is open to abuse.

    So if the DWP are actually getting around to checking then this will hopefully safeguard disabled and older people from abuse although sending out a letter to the appointee isn’t the best way to check their suitability. Better would be to interview the people concerned in private.

  39. Janet Graham

    Frm earlier >>> The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h by @ShamikDas

  40. Kidz Exhibitions

    RT @leftfootfwd: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents http://t.co/EVbTPMAj

  41. Anonymous

    It’s typically called “parental responsibility” in the West. That you’re reducing them to state-appointed caretakers for their disabled children…

  42. Jodi Bailey

    RT @leftfootfwd: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents http://t.co/z4Cf6NfS

  43. Tim Holmes

    Disabled, parents, carers blame hostility they receive on +fraud+, not demonisation. The propaganda is that widespread. http://t.co/4hzIkCMS

  44. Oxford Kevin

    Disabled, parents, carers blame hostility they receive on +fraud+, not demonisation. The propaganda is that widespread. http://t.co/4hzIkCMS

  45. spartacus303

    RT @leftfootfwd: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents http://t.co/H5eGdydX

  46. Darren Buller

    DWP review DLA to ensure everything remains in order. http://t.co/vJG3TRCu

  47. Basildon Forum

    RT @leftfootfwd: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents http://t.co/feZKK3SX Serious and Nasty!!

  48. Jay Walker

    This wk's most read: #2: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h

  49. DianeLaw

    This wk's most read: #2: The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents: http://t.co/mtQCAf8h

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