DWP and stress

Today I am suffering tried contacting DWP compliance officer who has asked for me to "Attend" an interview at his office to review my benefits. Well its less than a year ago I had an interview at home due to my agoraphobia and because of other medical reasons (I got maximum points and told I would not be contacted again for 5 years) Always goes to ansaphone and he has not returned my calls ! I will lose my benefits if I dont attend ? what the hell is wrong with these people? I am getting to the stage of calling time I honestly can not take much more of this inhumane nightmare I am existing in! I am not living I Breath and have feelings so I exist ! Fear is the biggest thing WHY are they harrassing me ? they know my condition ! I thought I was stronger than this but am wrong ! please dont get me wrong I am not suicidal just I feel broken pulled about by this so called "Caring" society that only looks after its own! People who are different get harrassed Buullied and torn apart! Its just not worth it ! I have lost my will to fight !

15 Replies

  • I think DWP must be reading HU posts because I just received a call from them saying they will deal with my interview over the phone! I have been panicking about this for two days so I feel so much relief now it really is like a weight removed from my shoulders! I still can not understand why we have these interviews after having been told I should not have another for 5 years ? my physical condition is degenerative without meaning to be sarcastic that means it will only ever get worse (which it has done in this last year) also Diverticular disease is always with you ,it does not go away just good days and bad days, Anklossing Spondylitus is another that does not go away,PTSD not sure about that as I have read some have complete recovery? perhaps someone can enlighten me? Agoraphobia well again I have good days and have pushed myself to go out (mostly with a carer) but bad days are more often than not ,if I do go outside then for the next few days I just sleep or cant move STRESS is the worse because it affects all my ailments whether anyone wants to believe that or not its True! I am feeling a little more at ease now but still panicky I really dislike my routine being changed and especially meeting people . sorry but if I dont write how I feel I seem to get more stressed .thankyou for reading

  • It is very stressful isn't it, and it feels like they aren't listening because they don't seem to understand that life long and degenerative means we won't be getting better any time soon!

    From their point of view, officially, they want to make sure that no one is just written off and left to rot so to speak. They want to make sure that people have the support they need to have a fulfilling life. For most people that means working.

    However how it comes across on the ground is that they are constantly judging us, accusing us of making up our conditions, or scrounging.

    I know it doesn't help, but many of the children that were giving lifetime awards in DLA were then switched to PIP and given two years awards. And by the time they had appealed and gone to tribunal, the second year was upon them. I know someone that had a letter starting the whole process again waiting for them when they got back from the tribunal that awarded them ESA!

    The system is broken, so don't take it personally. It isn't the people that are working in it, it is the system. The people working in it do become hardened to the condition of human suffering though because other wise you wouldn't be able to work in such a broken system. So don't take it personally.

    Can you can some support for this? Does your GP surgery have a Social Prescriber or a Wellbeing Coordinator? Maybe they can help or will know who in your area can help support you.

    And keep writing. There was some research that showed that writing a couple of times a week, not to a blog or forum or anything, but just for yourself, and not necessarily about your condition but just anything you want to write about, makes things easier. They found that people who write before they had surgery healed more quickly!


  • Thank you for your reply Cyberbarn, you are right writing helps me in my healing process,unfortunately there is not much help here in Brighton at least not at the surgery I use! many Dr,s dont understand Mental health problems so dont know what to do with you ! they are great with physical problems but mental health to some is like a minefield . mine understands but doesnt know how to deal with me as I can be up one minute then down the next, I try to go out and was doing well until I had a very bad anxiety attack,I really felt I was dying tbh.Life is scary but when you write things down you can see what the triggers are and try to avoid them Difficult for me as It s"People" who cause me most anxiety yet I used to be a very sociable person, I panic when I have to go out and I panic if someone I dont know comes to my home! yet if I have someone with me I can do a lot more even drive my car! which is the only enjyment I have apart from my two feathered friends the PArrots!

  • Not sure about becoming hardened to it. I worked for the DWP for a while and from what I saw most DWP staff agree that the system is wrong, but they can't say so otherwise they would lose their jobs. They do go out of their way to help when they can (most of them anyway) but their hands are tied. I would get people demanding to know my opinion and of course I couldn't say anything, or others demanding I change the system for them. I would explain patiently that I couldn't and all I could do was try and explain it using the official line.

    There is also those who like me went out on a limb for claimants and just got more abuse. After that I stopped bothering so much. We are only human you know just like everyone else.

  • In a post on the "dwp cause ptsd" I made a factual statement re my friends relative who worked for the dwp,and had a complete nervous breakdown due to the officially non existant quotas I think it proves not all DWP staff are "Hardened" some who are "Power hungry"(you get them in all jobs) relish the pain and misery caused to some claimants! Thankfully within the "Frontline" staff at the DWP there are more who would rather help than hinder! Noticibly they are being forced out becuase they refuse to comply with the unofficial quota system! I do know of a group of ex DWP employees who have set up a voluntary helpline and they have a case coming before the courts in June/July where they are hoping to bring into the Public domain the "Full official/unofficial rules/guidelines" every DWP employee has to follow whether it is detrimental to claimants or not. Apparently the government are trying to block the case? I dont know much more than that sorry. Anyone who can make not only claimants lives easier but DWP employees easier as well is ok by me! I really believe that DWP employees are having perhaps not bad in the same way as claimants but possibly worse in other ways ie job security.mental health.and invariably ending up just like us they themselves are a signature away from being claimants themselves.

    Apologies I am not good at putting my points across

  • No that's fine you made yourself very clear. Many of the staff were very good and did try to help. My sister was once a manager in one and grew concerned about a young male claimant who always came in to sign on with an older man. She realised he had learning difficulties and she went out of her way to get him officially classed as 'vulnerable' so he got more help and protection.

    The trouble is with the cut backs in council and disability services people like her had to act as unpaid, untrained social workers which isn't fair to anyone!

    I agree that some are cynical (usually those who had worked there forever) and they were a waste of space. Good for those ex-employers trying to help others and I hope they succeed.

    I worked mainly in their contact centre and it was a terrible job. I had to sit with a head set on all day taking call after call following a mandatory computer script. We had lots of targets and a killer sickness policy which meant staff had to go in sick with bad chest infections and even flu otherwise they would risk being sacked. Anyone off sick more than 7 days a year on a rolling period risked getting an official warning. They were great with one off illness like cancer or breaking a leg but not with other illnesses such as flu etc.

    I was on a final written warning and had to go in with a severe chest infection where I felt ill and could barely talk and be on the phones all day. I had 1 day of sickness left and I had to go 1 day over it and was dismissed. They sacked a lot of people. My depression came back full force and even now I can't deal with any kind of stress. I stayed because I needed the money even though I knew it was killing me. They are terrible employers and several times the union caught them breaking the law. The job was all target based even down to how many second you were on the phone a day! Ridiculous. The customers were no problem and I could deal with them fine. The management and the system was c...p...

  • see some people still have the "Compassion" the "Humanity" that we as a so called "Civilised" country appear to have lost! I believe that there is a "Higher being a God" not in the conventional sense tbh but I do believe Right will always win! Truth! is the best defence anyone has in this world and Truth as they say always comes out! I hope in all my heart that People see through the Government and its lies and Votes with their hearts ! Perhaps then all this trouble Stress can go away Claimants and employees can relax a bit ,of course there will always be those who abuse the system but as has been proven its a very small minority! again a falsehood going round that its "Illegal immigrants" who claim and get the best benefits! That really is so wrong I can imagine the scenario "MR Ignacious you want what benefits? ooer you are an illegal immigrant? well why didnt you say so heres a house a car and £1000 per week" When we all know that any illegal immigrant would be terrified of going to any official office because the first thing that would happen is Immigration /Border services would be called they would then be taken to a holding centre and kept there for how ever many months years it takes to have them kicked out the country! Myself all I want is a bit of "Humanity,Compassion" back in the people of this and every other country no more PIP tests no more Reviews unless there is a genuine reason! Perhaps one day Claimants will even understand the workers on the front line at the DWP are not the uncaring evil bStads that they think they are but I can but dream!

  • I hope you are right but I am not holding my breath. I have long since learned that people believe what they want to regardless of facts or reason. If they want to believe something then they will regardless of evidence to the contrary. They will explain it away to themselves and choose to believe the lies they are told when it suits them.

    I have found a lot of people in the world are lovely souls but there are too many idiots also. I avoid all the toxic people and just keep good people in my life.

  • Did you work as an actual civil servant? I work in DWP and we are sent home if we feel sick at all and nobody is fired at all for being sick or calling in.

  • Well it was and still is very different where I live maybe because there is a great lack of work so they can treat workers how they like?

    I worked for around 4 months in a jobcentre and 5 years at the DWP contact centre.

  • The same thing happened to me, and it was very stressful. i attended as expected and received the same amount of points, but was told why there that they had no idea why I had beencalled again, and that it was obviously some kind of error.... BUT I still had to go through the ordeal again even thoigh it was an admin error that meant I was called back a year after my initial meeting. Good luck.

  • Thank you

  • ah the DWP strikes again,did you at the time get any letters confirming the stated 5 year period of grace? And if you've rang the number on numerous occasions but got through to an answering machine these calls would be logged in (hopefully),if not it's always good practice to write the times and dates when you made the calls,and even if you've spoken to someone get there full names as just the first name doesn't really help,yes these people are not doing the compassion part of ultimately causing you upmost distress,I've always wondered if anyone has sued the DWP for their mistakes or errors or families who have lost loved ones through the terrible injustice of the wrong decision's of either the person who conducts the medical,or the person who decides on the "points" awarded,so the problem gets diluted down to nothing,so I would always go to the very top with any complaints,as these are the people who inflict the misery on the sick and weak and the vulnerable,I know you must feel like the joker in a pack of cards,but eventually if you persist you will get a full house,don't give up,get onto your local MP,as these people are OUR servants to make sure mistakes aren't made,as you are a VIP,so do not be messed around,be strong,let the people who are earning big salaries do the work for you.You will get through this but make sure you have every agency possible fighting your corner,which I find totally bemusing as ultimately this money is Central government fighting one department against another (crazy) bu TG hey that's the government wasting more money,good luck and chin up 😊

  • No No No they want you to give in ! I have just gone to appeal in court as I was given full for mobility & lower for care , but over one year later have full points & the highest rate for care , I felt like giving up , but won't let the ++++++++ get the better of me. Your GP should be able to help , or find out where your local Law Society is & ring them.. Another thing is get someone to go & post a recorded delivery --- after you have written to them , they can't say it's not been sent to them ! Support you need , in writing ask them to do a home appointment , CAB or Law centre & it's Free ................ I have a feeling that you may be bening moved from AA 2 PIP . Good luck ,

  • Well my phone interview comprised of being made aware the call was under caution or thats what I took it to mean, apparently an allegation has been made that i rent my home out (or a room in my home) I live in a one bedroom flat I have two parrots at home with me . I do have a friend who will stay and look after me when I am having a crisis whether mental or physical. I am now afraid to ask for help ,I cant ask my friend again and cant afford £120=per night for a registered carer! scared someone will find me when its too late to help!

    When you stick to the rules there is always someone trying to cause trouble! Sick of this situation I could also lose my benefits just because of an allegation thats not true! stress is killing me! perhaps giving up is the only way left! sorry for sounding bad Im not I am just upset, Just wish I could be left alone .

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