DWP - Give us a break!

I have been reading some of the posts on the ‘Work, Benefits And Money’ forum and I have noticed that the DWP always gets a very bad press on here! As a DWP employee, I would just like to say that we’re not all bad! The vast majority of us are just trying to do our best for our customers, in very difficult circumstances  -  often working in badly managed, under-staffed offices, using out-dated work practices and sub-standard IT systems.

The big decisions about benefits such as P.I.P. and E.S.A.  are made by the ‘powers that be’ who are much higher up than the likes of me. My colleagues and I just have to follow orders and process claims for these types of benefits (with minimal training)....we do our best to get it right, but I know from experience that sometimes things can go wrong.  That is unavoidable, unfortunately. But we work very hard to put things right when an error has occurred (which is quite often due to a system fault). DWP staff at my level DO care about customer satisfaction and we always strive to do our best for the customer  -  it's just that sometimes 'red tape' gets in the way!

So....next time you want to have a go at the DWP, please don’t shoot the messenger!!


Kathy  smile


Hi Kathy

Speaking from experience here i have had major problems with DWP/PIP not due to system errors but due to human error which was admitted to me by a customer service manager ,  but saying that credit where credit is due  although it took intervention from my local MP ,  i have found the DWP staff i have encountered  during the last week or so  to be nothing but helpful and actually bent over backwards to help

It is just a shame that we have to resort to getting MP's involved to get ' the powers that be to listen ' in the first place

Well what can i say to that.i have had pd for 8yrs ,also nerve pain in legs lower lumber back problems ,arhtritis two  crumbling disc ,high blood pressure,clucoma.deep brain surgery. 32 tablets a day ,reg lumber injections.Finised work last xmas was on sick pay for 28 weeks.Then filled in forms with my support worker to claim esa,two weeks after putting forms in had letter of dwp asking me to come to a work focused interview got my support worker to phone them, would have not give up work if i was still fit to work.They said sorry ,and  said fill in forms for extra money support group,filled in forms atos are meant to make a reply after 13 weeks.had to phone them now the 17th week.said they have still not made disision, NOT HARD WITH ALL THAT WHATS WRONG WITH ME.

Hi I have had  parkinsons for over 3 years now. For the past 2 years I have been receiving the. Lower component of  dissability living allowance. My medical circumstances changed somewhat in March this year when I was diagnosed with breast cancer!!!! From June I have been having chemo which was absolutely dreadful. The chemo made me extremely ill and it had a knock on effect with my parkinson meds. My walking was poor, my tremor increased quite a lot, my blood pressure was really low and I could not look after myself safely. I applied re the dissability living allowance and asked if they could review my case as my circumstances had changed. The benefit advisor from the macmillan welfare helped me with the forms. They replied back saying they were not going to increase my allowance as I did not warrant it but what they did do was to reduce my rate lower !! So now instead of getting £20 a week ,I get just over. £17 ( teach me to get a life threatening illness and dare to apply for more money.) Why do thy do this? Needless to say I have appealed . It is ongoing at present.

Thats why we give them a hard time,you  would have thought by now they could tell from med records who are false cliaming by now.Or do you need a can of beer & a dog with you still ! .ITS A JOKE,BY THE WAY HOPE YOUR APPEAL GOES OK FOR YOU.Have you signed the parkinsons petition you can find it on this page.

the link for the petition,is at top of page click on get involed then go to newsat bottom page benifits.

news at/ sorry

Have you tried filling in dla forms with your parkinsons support worker they understand your condition better.Filled my dla forms in first with citizens advice and got lower rates,filled them in with pd support worker and got high disabilty and middle care.Sorry about spelling find it hard typing but cant help myself it makes me so mad!

Thanks gus for mentioning those two things. For anyone wanting to find out more about these:


I probably shouldn't have started this, should I?!


shelly65  -  I'm glad to hear that you've found at least some of us helpful recently!

wifit   -  I'm sorry to hear about the problems that you've been having and about your breast cancer diagnosis, and I'm surprised that your DLA wasn't increased to a higher component, particularly if your MacMillan Nurse helped you fill in the form, but as far as I'm aware it really isn't possible to get less than the lower rate of £20.55. So I don't know what you mean about it being reduced to £17.00 !  You might want to check that....correct me if I'm wrong....

gus  -  "if we all stand up to them" ....who is "them"?  DWP? therefore me??  (I have divided loyalties here  -  I don't think I'd be allowed to sign the petition)


Just for the record, I actually work for the Pension Service, so hopefully I'm not really "the enemy" for too many of you on here!  (It seems like DLA and ESA are the main culprits)

Kathy  smile



Dear KATHY  i think we all like haveing a good vent off! .And dwp & pip, atos are the first in line, i think when you have a illness and you really can not work anymore, this is hard enough without being told your not entitled to any money,when you,ve worked all your life , pd uk are saying take a better look and understand people with pd better,and there condition.i  think we all know atos are employed by the goverment and for every person they get on a work programme they get money,no matter there condition,assesments need to be done fairly.take a look at medical records from pd nurses and nero consultants were not lying we really are ill and nifot going to get better,if you have pd i would advise you to sign,no matter if you work for dwp.People dont like it when there talking about takeing a little bit of there index linked pensions.Is this the same messing about with someones life. thank you & sorry again! this subject really gets me going

Hi Gus.

No need to apologise. I guess I'm lucky in that I'm still able to work, and even though I only get DLA Lower Rate Care, I can easily manage on that. I have more than enough money to live on, but I appreciate that some people don't. I also realise the importance of getting DWP and its contractors to recognise PD as a 'real' condition, along with a few other conditions which are often misunderstood.

I know that ATOS are universally hated! DWP employees also get assessed by them when we have Occupational Health Assessments for special consideration / adjustments etc at work. I was interviewed by an ATOS representative a few months ago. I personally have never had a problem  with them but I know there have been a lot of complaints about them.

As for signing the petition, I will have to check what the position is at work re that....I don't want to break any rules! But I will sign it if I can.  smile



Thats nice to here you might sign.Do you think ,only the people trying to get away with medical problems hate them  ,i suppose if you have nothing to hide ,no worrys.By the way do you have trouble sleeping looking at your times of post,or girly night out.

Girlie night out?!  I wish!  No, you were right the first time. Like so many other PWPs. I have a very erratic sleeping pattern! Which can be a bit of a pain because I'm working. But I get by  -  I've always been one of those people who can manage on not much sleep, although that has changed a bit as I've got older.

Hi Kathy

 Sorry I am a bit late replying  but definitely the DLA sent me a letter stating my new rate would be round about £17. I don't know exactly because at present my husband is decorating and I can't find the letter.I was appaulled  when I received my reply back from DLA stating they would not increase my benefits. It only took them 2weeks to make that decision, they did not contact any of the medical profession numbers that I gave them. I was a qualified nurse for nearly 40years, I have worked all my life and probably would still be working if I could and this is how I am treat , there are shirkers and workers and I was definitely not the first one.i feel I am entitled to something in return for all the years I put in to the NHS but obviously I am not disabled enough yet!! To warrant any increase. Sorry for going on I know it's not your fault but this makes me so mad.

KATHY .Have you tried amitriptyline to help with the pain,it also helps you sleep! kathy if that fells get you gp to give you zopiclone as well.worked for me changed my life 10 hours sleep all the time now & no pain at night

Hi wifit.

I'd be interested to see your DLA letter.  Like I said, I don't actually work for DLA, but I know for a fact that the current Lower Rate Care Component (which is all that I receive myself) is £20.55 and the Lower Rate Mobility Component is the same, so I don't see how they could have reduced it to any less than that!  Unless they are taking deductions from it for some reason?? I don't know....

Anyway, all the years that you've worked and paid paid NI etc make no difference to DLA, I'm afraid....it's a non-contributory benefit.However, regardless of how much it is per week, if you think their decision is wrong, it's always worth appealing. A lot of DLA customers are successful on appeal. Your local PUK Information and Support Worker (locate via this site) or PD Nurse will be able to help you with that.

Good luck anyway  -  whatever you decide to do.

Kathy  smile

Hi Gus.

No, I haven't tried Amitriptyline, although other people have recommended it to me  -  and Zopiclone too, actually. I think I'd be semi-comatose most of the time if I took both of those!

10 hours sleep every night??  If only I could afford the time for that! 

Seriously though....I do take sleeping pills sometimes (Zolpidem) and they do actually work, but I didn't want to become reliant on them (or resistant to them) so I only take them very occasionally. And I don't like taking them when I have to get up for work, because sometimes they work a bit too well!

I don't actually have too much pain at night  -  it's not really that which keeps me awake. It's more of a psychological thing  -  sometimes I keep myself awake, if you see what I mean!

Thanks for the suggestions though. What other meds are you on, if you don't mind me asking?

Kathy  smile

i tell you but its going to be a long list blood pressure -ramiprill,amlodipine   back pain -co-codomol,diclofenics nerve pain-gabapentin,,amitripyline  parkinsons-sinemet plus  clucoma-azarga,xalatan sleeping tablets-zopiclone.  then every 10=12months  lumber back injections. i think thats it ,its about 34 tablets a day.glad your  ok. kathy  winkoh omeprazole to protect my stomach.