Here is yet another story of the DWP continuing to hound vulnerable people in a twisted belief that they have been miraculously cured.
We were contacted by a family who wish to remain anonymous regarding their Autistic son who it has already been established would be a danger to himself and others if he was found fit to work.
The son, we’ll call him Brian is in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance and is in the Support Group intended for the most vulnerable people in society.
Brian was given a document called ‘ESA72’ in the middle of June 2016. ‘ESA72’ is a document intended for pharmacy staff in order to show a person is exempt from prescription charges (amongst other things). The second page of the ESA72 reveals when it is due for renewal.
Brian’s ESA72 – page one
Here you can see the issue date of 17th June 2016 (last year)
Brian’s ESA72 – page two
As you can see from this page Brian is in the ESA Support Group and the DWP have indicated it will be looked at again around August 2018. Brian was ok with this. As with many people with Autism he can cope a bit better with things if he is given advance notice of what to expect and when to expect it.
Therefore imagine the terror Brian felt when he received this letter dated 16th January 2017 telling him he must do certain things within the next four weeks or face his benefit being stopped completely! The DWP contacted him SEVENTEEN MONTHS TOO SOON!
It’s completely unacceptable for the DWP to say they will leave him alone but then change their minds and suddenly contact him seventeen months earlier than he expected with a letter full of demands and perceived threats. This is harassment.
We invited the DWP to comment on this. Stuart Woledge from the DWP ‘Professional Communications Directorate’ was initially interested and asked for a chat about it. In response we provided him with the documents you see above. Stuart Woledge didn’t wish to pass any further comment after that point, despite us affording him plenty of time to do so.