By John Pring on 17th March 2022 Category: Benefits and Poverty
New disturbing evidence has emerged that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has introduced harsher rules designed to force more disabled people with significant mental distress to attend frequent face-to-face jobcentre meetings.
Last week, a work coach told Disability News Service (DNS) that she and her colleagues were being “bullied and harassed” into forcing claimants with significant mental distress into attending work-related meetings.
Many have been waiting months for a work capability assessment (WCA) but in the meantime are being forced to make regular trips to the jobcentre so work coaches can meet their targets for face-to-face appointments.
After the story was published last Thursday, DNS received an anonymous phone message – apparently from another work coach – who said the harsher new approach “was definitely happening”, although DNS has been unable to confirm that they work for DWP.
The Benefits and Work website has also reported hearing from someone who claimed to be a former DWP employee and who said that work coaches were being “named and shamed” by their bosses for not pushing enough claimants out of the support group* of employment and support allowance (ESA) and onto universal credit.
They also claimed