The nazti department ~ Revealed: DWP’s implicit threats to parents of disabled children to remove them

Left Foot Forward

The nasty department: DWP threaten to take disabled children away from parents

Iain Duncan Smith’s Department for Work and Pensions have plumbed new depths with reports today of threatening, menacing letters being sent out to parents of disabled children, ordering them to do as they say or risk having their children taken into care.

Iain-Duncan-Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

The full, shocking story is revealed by Alice Dunn in Indy Blogs this morning:

At a time when the Tory Party is desperately trying to shake off its ‘Nasty Party’ image, this turns up on our doormat – literally.

This is a letter from the DWP, the government department responsible for, among other things, benefits. It is a routine letter that was sent to my mother as a claimant of Disability Living Allowance (on behalf of my disabled brother) containing a thinly veiled threat to take my brother into care if she didn’t do as the DWP said.

The opening paragraph states that they, the DWP, “are writing to review your role. We want to ensure the appointeeship is working well and that there are no issues we need to address”. As far as we know, this disgraceful missive was sent out to the parent or guardian of every child in receipt of DLA when renewing their claim. This new letter, the ‘BF57B’, was recently introduced by the DWP and the form has to be signed and returned before the claim can move forward.

It is, in my opinion, a particularly damning indictment of the government’s attempt to demonise those on benefits, and particularly the disabled: to portray them as lazy, feckless scroungers. The letter ordered my mother to “always act in the best interests of the child”, then gave her a bullet point list of what this included, such as “manage and spend any money from Disability Living Allowance in a way that best serves [the child’s] best interests”.

Effectively, the DWP is assuming my mum would, (had she not received the letter), be spending my brother’s money on cigarettes, alcohol, and satellite TV. Is assuming the worst of a parent claiming benefits not rather insulting? It is also worth noting she has never received such a letter telling her how to spend the child tax credits received for her two children without disabilities nor was she sent it with the annual child benefit award notice.

Dunn adds:

Believe it or not, it gets worse. Underneath this bullet point list, is the sentence “We will review your status as an appointed person if we think that you are not acting in the best interests of the person named above.”My mother has not been ‘appointed’. She claims DLA on behalf of my younger brother because she is his mother – he is only seven so can’t receive the funds directly. In both my mother’s opinion, and my own, what they’re essentially saying is: ‘we will take your child away from you if you don’t spend this money properly’.

Concluding:

The DWP has assumed because my mother is claiming disability benefits on behalf of a disabled child she is going to use the DLA for herself and has been threatened by the DWP accordingly.

Does this not act as direct evidence of – at least some – demonisation toward the disabled? Research for the charity Scope found that 46% of the 500 disabled people, their carers and parents polled, said people’s attitude towards them had worsened in the last year. Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they had experienced aggression, hostility or name calling. When asked what could be contributing towards such hostility, 87% singled out people claiming disability benefits to which they are not entitled…

Perhaps the DWP could look a little closer to home whilst they are “working to change negative assumptions” about disabled people and their families and stop sending out letters that assume the parents of disabled children are lazy, feckless scroungers.

Quite. It is not coincidence that attacks on disabled people increase the more the Tory-led government and their right-wing tabloid cheerleaders demonise them – the more IDS and the DWP continue down this path of cruelty. 

See also: 

• How the public massively overestimates benefit fraud 13 Jun 2012

• Now the Tories come for the blind people’s benefits 16 May 2012

• How DWP’s incompetence cost taxpayers and disabled people 16 Apr 2012

• Yes, but are you REALLY disabled? 20 Jan 2012

• The government’s replacement for DLA is not fit for purpose 18 Jan 2012

• Will the government take away money from disabled people on a hunch? 17 Jan 2012

• Time to step forward on the Spartacus report 9 Jan 2012

 

 Left Foot Forward

 

Comments
  • steph August 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I’m sorry but on this occasion I do not see what it is that the DWP have done that is so bad. The money from DLA for a child has always stated that the claim is for them. Tax credits are for the parents not the children.

    Furthermore, it is our duty to ensure that the money is there to ensure that the child affected by disability is cared for and provided for adequately.

    Is it so wrong to make sure that all the parents understand this as well? I do know of people who get DLA for their children and spend it on alcohol, fags and things for them selves. The children do not have the basic of needs met, just because someone is the parent of a disabled child doesn’t mean that they are not trying to get what they can from the system (or even claiming DLA inappropriately), obviously the opposite is also true.
    As for the comment that it ordered that the best was done for the child, unfortunately whilst for the majority of us this goes without saying, some do not understand or just don’t do this, this takes away any excuse for them.

    I didn’t take it as a threat to remove the child, more to remove the direct funds and that they will be managed by someone else, to ensure they are spent correctly.
    I also understand that DLA will be spent on living expenses, but this should be where appropriate, the money after all is the childs!

    I am not offended by a blanket letter stating that I must make sure that I do the best for my child.

  • kasbah August 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    steph
    I’m sorry but on this occasion I do not see what it is that the DWP have done that is so bad. The money from DLA for a child has always stated that the claim is for them. Tax credits are for the parents not the children.
    Furthermore, it is our duty to ensure that the money is there to ensure that the child affected by disability is cared for and provided for adequately.
    Is it so wrong to make sure that all the parents understand this as well? I do know of people who get DLA for their children and spend it on alcohol, fags and things for them selves. The children do not have the basic of needs met, just because someone is the parent of a disabled child doesn’t mean that they are not trying to get what they can from the system (or even claiming DLA inappropriately), obviously the opposite is also true.
    As for the comment that it ordered that the best was done for the child, unfortunately whilst for the majority of us this goes without saying, some do not understand or just don’t do this, this takes away any excuse for them.
    I didn’t take it as a threat to remove the child, more to remove the direct funds and that they will be managed by someone else, to ensure they are spent correctly.
    I also understand that DLA will be spent on living expenses, but this should be where appropriate, the money after all is the childs!
    I am not offended by a blanket letter stating that I must make sure that I do the best for my child.

    I think the point that makes me think it is offensive is that there is not a similar tone used in Child Benefit Letters.

  • Humanity2012 August 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    The Answer is that it is Denying in Effect the Right of Disabled People to have
    Children and is in Effect a Form of Sterilization

    Eugenics was Based upon Viciousness and Cruelty seeking to Genocidally
    Remove from Existence Disabled People and was Morally Wrong in 1922
    between 1933 to 1945 and is Morally Wrong Today

    The Simularities in Cruelty between the National Socialist Regime and the Con
    Dem Regime of ” Democratic ” Britain are Clear to All but the None so Blind
    as those who will Not See just as with the Bury the Head in the Sand ” Pretend
    it’s Not Happening that’s what we’re Doing Mentality ” in the National Socialist
    Regime Time and the Con Dem Regime Time of Today

    It is Relegating Disabled People to being Second Class Citizens as well as
    Cutting Children Off from their Parents and is thus Cruel and Vicious as Well
    as Evil

  • kasbah August 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Gill Lawton on Facebook
    I find some of the reactions to this bafffling! Wtf has eugenics got to do with it? This is a blanket letter with no threat. I back the campaign. I have medical problems & need help, so has my daughter. Unfortunately, there are people out there who do abuse there children, able & disabled & will neglect their child for their own gain so a reminder to carers of disabled children doesn’t threaten me, as I know, in my case, my child is cared for properly.

    Gill, do you not find it strange that child benefit letters do not have the same tone?

  • Joanna Terry August 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Its not so much what the letter say’s, so much as the veiled threat behind it. I also received DLA for one of my children who suffers terribly and I can assure you that every penny went on making him comfortable. However we can see from the track record of this government that what is said is never straight forward. What is exactly meant and how will people be checked up upon, to “make sure” the money is spent appropiately. I knew of no parent that spent their money inappropiately, I couldn’t even give you a some-one said about so-and-so, yet I lived on a sink estate. If there are those that mis-use the money then they would be a very small number in the sum of things, statistically so small I doubt it would hit a proper percentage, so in the light of personal knowledge I would find this offensive, I would also be wondering what is behind such a missive being sent out. Are we being readied for another round of disability bashing from the media, this time aimed at the parents, accusing them of cheating their children. For these reasons I find it a dispicable piece of propaganda and object to its tone strongly. Next it will be parents beat up in the street by the mob, just for daring to be out of the front door. How much lower does this government have to sink before we get justice.

  • Humanity2012 August 4, 2012 at 11:21 am

    The Disabled will Not have any Rights if they Allow the State to Deny them the
    Right to have Children and to just take them away

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in
%d bloggers like this: