The DWP takes a rather sinister stance on disabled and non disabled claimants. Provision of Research Lab Facilities for DWP.

Being a disabled claimant is hard enough, the whole rigmarole of trying to ensure that you get money to live on, money that you deserve is unbelievably hard. Not happy with the methods that they already use to stigmatise ill and disabled claimants they have decided to go one step further.

At first I read this and couldn’t quite believe it. In essence they have recruited an agency to take part, alongside the DWP in what can only be seen as interrogation tactics, or methods used in police stations when interviewing possible criminals.

A claimant will be told to attend an office for an interview, as we know these interviews aren’t voluntary. If you don’t attend then it gives them the option of punishing you, usually by stopping your only source of income.

From what I have read a claimant will be asked to enter a room which consists of walls where mirrored glass or the like are being used. The interview will then be watched from behind the mirrored glass in the adjacent room. It says that claimants are supposed to be informed of this happening, but do they? The DWP have been less than forgoing with their honesty and cannot be relied on for telling the truth.

Here is the link to the advertisement for the tender for the position.

To add insult to injury the winning tender has been awarded £60,000 for undertaking this work. Seems like there’s a never ending money pit to fund the ill treatment of claimants, both disabled and non disabled and their carers.
https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/3653b606-2d53-4031-ae5b-ec6e38c59f10

This is particularly disturbing. Why would they want observe claimants in this way? Claimants who are acting lawfully and whom are the most vulnerable in society?

I can only sumise that this will be used to both further intimidate and also to take notes both on body language and physical communication in such a way that can be used against them. Why hide behind a mirrored screen? Why drag claimants and their carers in for these interviews if it isn’t to try and put them off from claiming the money that they need to survive?

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We should be outraged at this, and in my eyes it is a step too far.

Please share this widely for me. Claimants should not ever be experiments in their evil DWP laboratory.

They are based in Manchester, once again in the North West of England. But of course they aren’t biased towards northern people………..
Northern Voices T/A The Talking Shop
Supplier’s address
87-89 Chapel Street
Manchester
England
M3 5DF

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44 thoughts on “The DWP takes a rather sinister stance on disabled and non disabled claimants. Provision of Research Lab Facilities for DWP.

  1. With, potentially, all those researchers, the DWP interviewer and those DWP staff behind the two-way mirror this ‘research’ must be very expensive. I wonder if the DWP interviewer acts inappropriately whether the interviewee would have access to the MP4 to support a complaint?

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  2. OK, I agree with most of this article but having gone through the tender documents and contract there’s a bit more to add. Firstly, I don’t believe the contractors are being paid 60K; the contract is worth up to that amount but I doubt that’s what they are getting. I’m basing this on the very small number of ‘participants’ the DWP wants them to recruit. The research requires an enormous sample of precisely 9 people in receipt of Carers Allowance (CA). I couldn’t find a figure for ESA claimants but it’s possibly similar. Although there are some quite rigid stipulations as to the kind of CA claimants the DWP wants included, it’s not exactly worth 60K in terms of contractor effort. My major worry is that ‘findings’ based on such a small sample will be used to justify more harassment of people on low incomes. I claim CA and at a recent interview with my JC+ ‘advisor’ I felt I was being bullied. The ‘advisor’ kept muttering that the Government was going to compel Carers to attend frequent interviews at JC+ and I’d better get used to the idea. I’ve subsequently learned that others Carers have been treated in the same way over the past few months. Call me cynical but I wonder if it has anything to do this ‘laboratory’ malarkey.

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  3. Although I could be wrong, this looks like the Nudge Unit, They have been criticised for their lack of actual qualified and registered psychology practitioners involved in their work, and it’s implementation. . They have also been criticised via the DWP for failing to have any valid evidence for their Nudge programmes for those on benefits. So it seems they are trying for some sort of “lab” based project to get evidence that could muster some scientific peer approval for design and data collection. The problem is this work may fool some, but will never be acceptable in the peer reviewed publications because none of the participants are volunteers, or free from negative financial outcomes as result of participating.

    What possible value this has must remain a moot point, given that the basis for all the DWP “reforms” are designed around a model without any objective scientific merit, (the Unum / Aylward bio-psycho-social model) I share your worries that the project seeks to use self-employed disabled benefit claimants, and those with disabled family members, as lab rats. Why are they excluding the ones who are most positively focused,(ie have an accountant or advice of one) and likely to succeed? My only conjecture here is that it is to actually provide a way of chucking them off the benefits, either because their incomes are higher than claimed (and they will not have accounted for deductions, etc without an accountant), or that they are “shamed” out of claiming, or that they are found to have “failed” the DWP / HMRC hurdle qualifying as a “Business”., and will be asked to pay back tax credits they received. To be sure, there is no reason to believe there is anything that will be for the benefit of the disabled here.

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    1. Absolutely correct, they are trying a new tactic and I think I have echoed exactly what you have said. It’s appalling that they are able to act like this in the first place, even more appalling that no one challenges it except people like ourselves. This does need to be taken further and I hope to if at all possible

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think we applied to participate in one of these trials but weren’t picked. What I think is happening is tests for ‘Digital by Default’. My partner answered a call for parents of disabled children not currently claiming child DLA; our son has epilepsy and developmental delay and the offer of a fee paid to make a claim seem worthwhile. They wanted a mix of IT competence levels including people who rarely used computers. The phone interviewer did not mention the mirrored room and I think she would have run a mile if it had been.

    So it may be legitimate IT testing and Equality Assessment (each trial asks for gender balance and disabled participants), but without actually taking part it is difficult to give the DWP the benefit of the doubt. Hope this is helpful and thank you so much for everything you do.

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      1. Ooo just thought about the detail – the interviewer was talking about doing the claim via webcam rather than in person. If this is a trial of what could become the regular process, the thought of the DWP gaining remote access to our webcam really creeps me out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Only those who can afford and have the knowledge to have separate pcs for govt interactions, using separate IP addresses will have any hope if privacy. Esp with the “internet of things” using data from appliance’s and the TV listening and watching you too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. So this is the next step? I’ve had to fight long and hard to get my problems recognised, as well as dealing with mental illness – it all seems a bit pointless now, since they’re planning new ways to bully and humiliate me! I have no hope for the future, as everything I currently have going for me is being snatched away at an alarming rate! I am also terrified about what this will mean for my autistic son in the future – will he be regularly dragged into some office to be interrogated at the whim of some fucking jobsworth as well?

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  6. We need to contact our MPs and bring this to their attention, and make sure that they know about it, as it would appear it is a breach of our human rights as research should be voluntary and with a fee being paid to the volunteer, not done on the sly and to try and catch people out.

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  7. In the process of getting all disabled people transferred from DLA to PIP they are making this as hard and challenging as possible. Just about everyone when they first apply get turned down, and only stand a decent chance via going through with an Appeal. What disabled people are up to going through this challenge by themselves? I don’t know why but I keep forgetting ‘What does MP stand for?’ ‘Members of Parliament’ or ‘MEAN PEOPLE!’?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Or a psychologist could point out that aggressive interview techniques just upset a claimant and don’t illicit the information wanted. Maybe it could lead to a better experience if the interviewer knew they were being observed. Be interesting to hear from someone who takes part.

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  9. Saw this the other day whilst bloody traingate was kicking off. Ridiculous that the Labour party are busy tearing themselves apart when we have UN reports slamming the government and DWP tenders to experiment on disabled people and their carers!
    I suppose its a foi to see what the experiment is and what ethics permission was required and sought.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. May I ask a question, I have attendance alloance and have been told I need 24 hr carer.my husband is accepted for this but has been told because he,s on a state pension he can,t be paid.his credits will allow us to go on to other benefits and eventuslly council tax rebate.was told must get pensio credit first then climb the ladder. To council tax. I rang pension credit and told me we do not qualify.so he,s got a piece of paper saying he,s a full time carer but not paid…

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  11. Unless these so called HCPs have been living under a rock for the past 6 years, they know exactly what is expected from them.
    After the initial brainwashing and rigorous reframing of seeing claimants as parasites, they can now see how it all works from behind a mirror.
    Its a win/win for the government as they have they turned weak-minded, easily manipulated HCPs into fully fledged government Stormtroopers hating everyone, probably even their own family.

    I await the day we see the wizard of oz behind his curtain.
    But I won`t hold my breath.

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