By John Pring in Disability Newsletter.
A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) whistleblower has described how a “mismanaged” and under-funded social security system is leaving many disability benefit claimants penniless and helpless.
George* works on DWP’s employment and support allowance (ESA) helpline and has told Disability News Service (DNS) that the experience has left him shocked and frustrated at the deeply flawed system.
And he also says he believes – although he does not have direct evidence of this – that DWP decision-makers do have targets for the proportion of claimants that they need to find “fit for work”, and so ineligible for ESA.
A colleague in another part of DWP, who works with a decision-maker, told him that this member of staff “hates his job” because he has to “disallow people” and had been “struggling to hit his disallowance targets”.
Although DNS has been unable to verify this claim, disabled activists have been warning for years that they believe DWP decision-makers, and the healthcare professionals who work for the government contractor Maximus, are set targets for the proportion of claimants they must find fit for work.
But DWP has continued to deny imposing any such targets and no-one has been able to provide strong evidence that they exist.
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