DWP threat illegal

Well having received my threatening letter from the DWP on friday i have been in touch with my MPs secretary who previously attended my PIP assessment where i was awarded 41 points although i was declined DLA, in short she was disgusted by what was sent to me and said she would speak to my MP and deal with it on my behalf. So in the meanwhile i posted on 2 legal advice forums and both came back with the same opinion, so i looked up where i was directed. The action taken by the DWP is according to them illegal. Under current legislation THEY CANNOT WITHDRAW PAYMENTS OR THREATEN SANCTIONS AGAINST A CLAIMANT IN ESA PRIORITY GROUP. They also CANNOT as they have done demand that i atrend a meeting at the job centre Nor can the threat that is on their answerphone be made or enforced. One legal advisor suggested i go to a police station and report a crime of causing harrasment, alarm and distress to me as a disabled person and give them a copy of the letter and the recording. Well i had already decided that no matter what i wasnt going. But now im going after the letter writer in person, i have seen so many cases of people being bullied and frightened that now i KNOW they are in the wrong i cannot and will not let this go until the bitter end. Watch this space.

65 Replies

  • I am left aghast at your treatment. Thank goodness you have your MP on your side. You sound angry but you also sound positive which is good. I await further news...Make sure you don't over do things and cause a flare though....x

  • Thank you Trikki, the support and concern of you chaps is wonderful and keeps me going. my anger is ever at my treatment it is for poor souls who may be more frightened than me and maybe not as tough mentally as i can be when needed. I hate bullies, i always have and i always will. The DWP can be hard and cruel when they are in the right, but to do this to people when they are in the wrong is so absolutely wrong that i will not let it go. They must be stopped from doing this again, there are people who it could cause breakdowns or even suicide.

  • Good for you Leonwp. There have been so many complaints about the manner and accuracy of the DWP's enquiry pursuit. You don't say who your MP is but a question addressed to Damian Green by Debbie Abrahams, Shadow Minister DWP could be effective. So I suggest you contact her office, lay out the history of your cause and see what response you get.

    Good luck, we're all with you in spirit.


  • Thank you Ted, my MP is Lucy Allen who is absolutely fuming, Lucy is well aware of exactly what happened to me in the past when i ended up homeless living under a bridge etc, she even sent her secretary to my PIP assessment as an independant observer and has previously offered to directly intervene for me, i have always declined because i feel it is more important for all of us for an MP to be aware of how we can be treated rather than acting for one individual, there are thousands going through whats happening to me, im all for catching benefit cheats but not mistreating genuine claimants. Like most here i worked 34 years and tried to work through this but it beat me, none of us need another beating from the DWP. It is bad enough when they are within the rules but for them to blatantly and illegally flout them is disgusting. No matter what the personal cost to me i will stop at nothing to get this particular couse of action stopped, the individual doing it must know and it cannot be a guideline policy because they are not stupid enough to do that, so he is in the wrong and his immediate boss is in the wrong because if he doesnt know what hes doing then he damn well should.

  • Hello Leonwp..What an absolutely terrible situation for you..It is difficult both physically and mentally preparing and attending these such interviews/assessments for DLA/PIP etc, without having this additional stress and worry..My heart goes out to you and you have my support.

    I can understand this is something you can certainly do without, but it sounds like you have all the information and legal angle to pursue this to a successful outcome..I sincerely wish you all the best. Good luck x

  • Thank you, im furious for the people they do this to now and in the future, this time it is ESA, but my fight over DLA nearly finished me, my GP told them they nearly killed me due to how i was surviving. The kindness and support of all of you is priceless.

  • I feel angry with you..They should not treat people like they do and get away with it!..I think your actions will make a difference to that department, but you should definitely not have to be going through this..

    Stay strong, try not to worry and look after yourself..All your preparation and legal stance will win for you I'm sure.. Get an advocate to help you.There should be one at a local disability charity..I once had to appeal re esa and I met with an advocate who did everything on my behalf.Thankfully the appeal was successful..I wish you every success and better health x

  • Thank you.my dear father left me a valuable piece of advice, he said there are 2 types of men that you should never cross, they are a man who has everything to loose and a man with nothing to loose.

    The DWP are about to find out that i am both.

  • You have absolutely got the spirit to get through this!

    It is amazing just what we can push ourselves to do when we are left with no alternative..We look back at it-when we are on the floor- and wonder how we did it..

    These are times when we reach inside for that extra reserve of determination.. and you have it for sure🙂and I am right there with you!

  • wishing you strength to continue this battle. i too have had bullying remarks from DWP even though i was claiming on behalf of my hubby when his sick pay stopped. they implied that i was well enough to work full time and should do so asap!!!! stay strong xx

  • That is disgusting, how could what he goes through not affect you? Your support is much appreciated, all of you are wonderful.

  • You have so much support here Leonwp....Wish we could help in some way, if we can let us know. I haven't had to go through all this thank goodness but I feel angry at the injustice of it all. Hang in there!

  • Go get em with both barrels. Good luck.

  • Your support is purrrrfect.

  • Morning

    I am so sorry to hear that once again it's a fight to get what we should be getting.

    I got my pip last year, and i am now waiting after sending my esa forms back before Xmas.

    I haven't heard from them yet I know they have received it as my doctor had a letter from them a couple of weeks ago.

    I just feel its one fight after another.

    Hope you get yours sorted with out to much stress to yourself, easier said than done.

    Trace xxx

  • What is a ESA priority group is it the same as a support group I do hope you find the answer to your situation it's horrendous putting people through this at a stressful time in life no one asked to be ill

  • Thank you for your good wishes and support. ESA priority group is part of esa support group but there is an additional severe disability payment for people who qualify.

  • Thank you for this information looks like I am in this group

  • So what would this highest rate be? Is it just for people who qualify for Income Support payments? Thanks.

  • Im sorry i cant answer that question ive never claimed anything in my life until 2012 and i think by then income support was being phased out. But if is for people with severe disability and where no one is claiming carers allowance.

  • Thank you Leon. I think one of the other posts explained it and because I have a Carer I am not entitled to it but thank you so much for all your help.

    Love and Hugs from

    Twinkling Star Xx

  • Thats ok but its not having a carer that would stop you getting it hun its if they are vlaiming the £53 a week carers allowance that stops you like a lot of parents or partners do. All these benefits are so confusing and soon its changing again to universal credit apparently if it doesnt get scrapped first, but that is probably only to reduce a few quid off payments anyway.


  • I have a Carer and he receives Carers Allowance for looking after me. He is not a relative, partner, or anything other than a Carer. He does live in the same property as me but is not considered to be living in the same household because of the fact that everything - finance, food, living conditions, etc are all completely separate. Just basically under the same roof at the same address.

  • Well it sounds like you have that sorted. Well done you.


  • Leonwp you have my respect, go get 'em.

  • Thank you. I really appreciate all the support.

  • All y his terrifies me Leonwp.

    I am currently off sick and I know my employer wants rid of me, I can't blame her, i'my certainly not employee of the century at the moment. I don't even know if I can return to work but hearing things like this makes you feel you have no choice but to try and keep your job. I do claim pip. I was awarded the standard rate last year but the thought of not working and living on sick benefit fills me with dread.

    Why is it you have to keep 'proving' your ill and have to be made to 'beg' for benefits. I feel my day will come sooner rather than later but I don't look forward to it

    Good luck with your crusade. You sound and amazingly strong person

    Love and light


  • Thank you Julie, i hung on to work as long as i could but it reached a point where i knew i wouldnt return to work and statutary sick pay was preventing me claiming other benefits, i couldnt afford to stay employed and on sick pay any longer. My employer was excellent and said they would make any changes they possibly could but i never reached a period of remmission sufficient to allow me back to work so in the end they gave me a deadline and asked my gp when i would be able to return to work my gp wrote "never" and that was that. Until last friday i thought all my benefits were sorted. It does take time and far more difficult if you have a mortgage rather than a tenant. Best of luck moving forward through this difficult time.


  • Well done Leonwp dont let them drag you down total respect for you!!! All the best xx

  • Thank you for your support and good wishes.


  • Hi Leonwp I admire your tenacity and your feeling of outrage. Thank goodness for people like you who see the injustice and want to put it right.

    It is true that the way you have been treated could have put others in the position where they felt they would have to give up, because "rules is rules" and if it come from the DWP, it must be right. I am so glad you picked this up and have run with it.

    I do hope your story will be published in a newspaper and on Benefit Sites so that we can all learn from it, and not accept that everything we have been told by a government agency is true.

    I wish you well and keep it up, you are doing a fantastic job.


  • Bless you Bluebell (my mothers favourite flower) quite wonderful in the dappled light of a woodland floor.

  • Your experience and the airing of it for all of us to see has both given me some confidence and fear.

    I had my ESA (priority) stopped a year ago, consequently all other benefits besides my DLA. I have been supported by my family, no-one else. Recently I discovered that our local Shelter had funding to visit people and support them with benefits.

    To cut a long story short I have that continuing process to deal with right now then at some point in the not too distant future I will need to transfer from my DLA to PIP. I'm dreading it, hopefully Shelter will be in a position to continue supporting me as there are no other 'advocates' in my area.

    Like you, I can be strong, I just don't need too much thrown at me all at once.

    Do keep us informed, a positive ending will be such good news :-)

  • It is frightening and disgusting that people can be treated as you have, i have been contacted by many people who have had goid and bad experiences, but never one that isnt grateful to have what help they do get and not even close to a single one who wants to be where we are. Whatever i need to fight this be it sword or shield i will find and use, whatever i have left over will be sent in your direction. Blessings.

  • There's nothing worst than playing with a hornets nest and I think the DWP may find they are about to get stung. I'm glad you have the support of your MP. I've been homeless in the past and it left me with nothing left to lose. I found it gave me an almost inhuman strength to battle for what's right. My MP must have a chair with my name on now. If your case goes to court and things are found in your favour keep a record of the case number then publishe it on every forum and group you can as it will be a legal ruling against the DWPs actions. Anyone else who receives such a letter in the future can use it as a legal precedence will have been set. Good luck

  • Im so sorry you have had to walk the sane lath, a few posts here have shown me how complacent i havd become due to the relative good fortune of my surroundings, i have been helping one individual fight for their rights but you are correct i must try and make this misfortune count. Blessings.

  • I count things as blessings. If I hadn't left my ex husband to become homeless I wouldn't have my son now who is 23 and just graduated. I was pregnant with his child and he wanted me to have a termination so I walked out on him and my care home business. One battle at a time eh. That's all we have the energy for 😁

  • Hi Leonwp

    I went through a very very similar experience after having worked for 34 years solid.

    My ESA claim nearly finished me off mentally after a severe trauma.

    It took 18 months an assessment and a Tribunal and then I had a letter like yours demanding that I attend the Jobcentre or else!

    My son came with me and the lady I saw was absolutely furious I had been passed fit to work but I still had to appeal to be put into the Support Group.

    I hate being on benefits. Absolutely hate it but what can I do when my body is wracked with pain day in day out.

    I admire your strength and what you are doing for others.

    Thank you so much. If only we were all strong enough to stand up for ourselves.

    Lu xx

  • Thank you Lu, but i havnt done enough to spread out the support where its needed, the posts i have received have shown me that. Blessings

  • Good luck that's disgusting you fight them all the way sending hugs xxxx

  • Thank you for your support , blessings.

  • Good luck hun you can do it sending hugs xxx

  • I admire your courage Leonwp and wish you success. I had a 2 year battle with DWP for DLA and if it wasn't for past case studies that I could refer to I would not have been able to take it to upper tribunal after being bullied at tribunal level by a judge, doctor and "so called" disability expert where they told my representative to be quiet when she tried to speak for me and they fired question after question at me without letting me answer. At upper tribunal a DWP rep attended and could see my mobility issues and I was awarded untimed high mobility and low care but I know that it won't be long before PIP change over and am already stressing about it. A year later I also lost my job through ill health so had to claim esa and thought I was going to have a fight on my hands again. I was put in support group after recorded WCA but only for 18 months so another fight due soon. I really wouldn't bother if I didn't have to. I also had the added stress of tax credit overpayment due to the tax office mistake which I have to pay back. My MP wasn't interested at all. The stress is killing isn't it?

    Good luck. Joolz.x

  • Thank you for your reply and support. My fight with DLA was 18 months but at tribunal they were on my side so different to yours, my panel was a judge a gp and a retired senior social worker and DWP were slapped down by the GP who explained to the judge what my blood tests meant and that was the end of it, the comment was "if i couldnt decide between you and the DWP the lab would win it for you hands down, but it just confirms we are right to believe you", then the judge waved my papers at the DWP and said "see this? well this has to stop". But then last may i got the dreaded 28 day notice saying "DLA finishing, apply for PIP if you wish". So i did apply, with fear, but ended up with 14 points for mobility and 41 points for care. So it can go ok so please dont give up, lets both just win my friend.


  • Hi Leonwp that's absolutely shocking my Friend, I'm so glad you have your mp helping you. I truely hope you win your battle & get your benefit you are entitled to. Pls do keep us informed.

    Peace, luv n light

    Jan x

  • Thank you Jan, the care and support here has been amazing.


  • 😉 x

  • Thank you so much for sharing this my friend, it is really interesting! I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck with the outcome and please take care of yourself.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Thank you Ken, all i have done is told it how it is, i never dreamed that it would matter so many people. We really are part of a wonderful caring community.

  • Good luck my friend.

  • Is there any way in which all this support for Leonwp can transmitted to her MP? Of course she would need to get our agreement.

  • Hi there, i have contacted my own MP Lucy Allen and she is dealing with it for me.

  • Hi edwardo Fingers crossed that his MP can sort it since he has already contacted her!

  • Leonwp Silly question but I have to ask it. Have you written to Damian Green MP?

  • Hi, i have contacted my own MP Lucy Allen who is dealiing with it for me.

  • Hi Leon,

    As I mentioned in my previous post to you and you've now discovered it's very illegal. Sadly you aren't alone in this- there have been several cases in the fibro group that I volunteer in of letters like this.

    Not nit picking at all but there is no priority group within the Support Group- it is perfectly possible to be highest priority without qualifying for Severe Disability Premium- that's what's paid to you if you have no-one claiming carers for you and live alone and you claim PIP (any rate) for instance if I lived alone I could claim it as I have no one claiming carers but as I live with my partner I am not entitled. Support Group is Support Group and as you rightly say you cannot be sanctioned or forced to go to WFI's. I'm glad your MP is good, best of luck!

  • Hi there, ive no idea where i got priority group from, i blame the drugs, but yes what i meant was the severe disability premium which i receive along with enhanced rate PIP with what seems to be the highest points score (41) ive come across, please remember that i was flat declined DLA until tribunal where after 18 months they just shook their heads and firmly told DWP "THIS HAS TO STOP".

    So that is the wreck that is me that the DWP has decided to pick on, with a score like that and who also lives in an extra care facility as i only have use of half a finger and my thumb on each hand and they want to see if i still belong in support group.

  • Am so sorry to hear about all the crap you have been through Leon. xxx

  • Thank you, but there are people who have been through worse than me and plenty who have been silenced because they have lost the courage or the will to fight. This is not about me this is about respect and obeying their own rules and peoples right to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty and not beating them down with sanctions and removing their only income only to re install it 3 or 4 months later without even an apology. The only thing my case proves is that no matter how sick you have proved you are when you have jumped through all their hoops and tocked every box they can still just click their fingers and threaten to remove or remove everything you have. I despise benefit fraud but hammering the innocent is not the answer to stopping the guilty.


  • Hiyah Leonwp.

    If you do not mind my asking (to clear away my confusion about context and content) what did the DWP actually say (which caused such great offence and distress)? I think that l got the gist that you had been assessed for PIP but we're turned down for that replacement benefit

  • Hi there, i was originally declined DLA and at mandatory consideration and at appeal and then awarded mobility and care at tribunal after 18 months, i was also then awarded ESA support group with an extra component of a severe disability payment and 1 week after the DLA award i was moved into the care facility i had been waiting to get in. So whem last year i was told my DLA was ending in 28 days and that i had to re apply for PIP i was terrified of being run ragged again and losing my home and care package. Social services had been involved the first time and salvation army because i ended up living under a flyover, my MP was also aware of whhat had previously occured and sent her secretary to my PIP assessment which all went fine and i was awarded 14 points of 12 for mobility and 41 points of 12 for care. I was then contacted again and told no more ESA assessments and that i was in support group with severe disability premium without any more reviews. Then last week i get this letter saying if i fail to turn up for an interview on 31st at 10.30 ALL my benefits WILL STOP. That is not some or maybe it is ALL WILL STOP. This is for no apparent reason i can fathom but firstly if i have to go for hospital or clinic appointments i go both ways by ambulance so there is no way i can determine i will be well enough or able to get there and secondly it is against DWPs own rules to even call me in for a forced and compulsory interview and certainly to inform me that my benefits will cease is completely wrong. Hence the uproar and outcry. Hope that clears it up for you. Thank you kindly for taking an interest.


  • When l went along to be assessed by ATOS for the WCA back in August of last year, l was kept waiting for three and a half hours for what amounted to a ten minute appointment.

    I was not asked about my mental health issues at all. The focus was entirely upon my physical disabilities and a mini stroke I'de had some years previously.

    The member of staff in the reception area in the centre was both polite and friendly, and so too were the individuals in the security office Indeed l was not expecting anything remotely friendly but was pleasantly surprised to encounter it.

  • That is ridiculous, how can your nental health NOT be considered on a WCA??. Unless you were going to work for DWP in which case you could leave your brain and concience at home. Appalling treatment.


  • As far as l know 'Severe Disability Premium' which l had for many years is now no longer paid out. Apparently according to a letter l had from the DWP in late 2016 that type of benefit has been phased out and is now officially defunct. However on reading your missive l was greatly surprised to learn that l must have been deliberately misinformed, as you were or still are receiving it!

  • I am indeed still receiving it, it is paid as an addition to ESA support group as severe disability premium to anyone who qualifies and does not have a partner claiming carers allowance. It is to pay towards extra hours of care. So if you were told no then you were indeed misinformed im afraid.

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