Aged 65 and hounded by the DWP to find work. Universal Credit strikes again.

Dear readers I’m back after last weeks absence. I apologise and I hope that it never happens again.

The weather was cold but sunny definitely hat and winter coat weather. My thoughts always go to those that are homeless or can’t afford to put any heating on.

As usual the food parcels went straight away which is awful in itself. A terrible indictment of how the government regards the working class.

As I was walking towards the lift to the Jobcentre I was greeted by a friend from a local town, he noted that I was walking quite quickly. I told him that I was cold and I was trying to get warm. We both laughed at that.

He then went on to tell me that they’d recently found a rough sleeper sleeping in the lift recently. I replied saying that I was surprised that it hadn’t happened sooner. Whilst I know that there’s organisations that he could go to for the night but some people either aren’t ready for that or they fall between the gaps of society. When that happens it’s not easy to find the help that they need.

The first thing that I noted and I do so every week is the complete lack of signing outside the new council building of which the Jobcentre shares. No one knows where they are going, they only know when they’ve visited once before. Tameside Council please can we have some outdoor signing upstairs on the plaza? Also the steps are very dangerous and even I struggle climbing them.

I know that it sounds petty but for anyone suffering from anxiety related conditions will panic when they can’t see where they’re going. Some won’t want to ask for help and will most likely go home in a state of panic.

We can do better than this can’t we.

I had a brief conversation with a heavily pregnant woman who was going to the Jobcentre. She had just claimed the steps and was exhausted. When I told her that there was a lift that she could use she replied saying that she didn’t know that there was one but she was glad that I told her. It’s things like this that can make a massive difference to someones life.

This week we had extra bread to hand out as well as food parcels, they were taken by anyone that needed one. Can you imagine not being able to afford a loaf of bread?

It was then that I stopped to speak to a chap that I have spoken about before. He had been promised that his first universal credit payment would be made on the last week of September. He’s still waiting for that first payment, it’s the 31st of October.

Understandably he’s furious about this but he is also upset. As I was advising him I could see tears in his eyes. Life is shit for him he said saying that he’s got absolutely nothing to look forward to because ‘That lot’ (The DWP) keep lying to him.

How on earth does the government expect people to survive on a zero income? The honest answer is that they don’t. They don’t want us to survive, they want us to disappear off the system or die.

The government doesn’t give a stuff about us and never forget this. Never forget the cruelty that they’ve inflicted upon the poorest and most vulnerable. We can never ever forget and I’ll certainly never ever forgive them either.

I had a chat with a woman who is constantly being hounded to go on the pointless, basically rubbish DWP courses. She has to sign on every week and they never miss this opportunity to tell her about another course.

Last week she was told that it would ‘be good for her’ to go on the latest course offering. When she told them that it wasn’t mandatory so therefore she wasn’t going to attend they replied saying something along the lines of ‘oh but it would have helped you’ Yep right.

I was then asked to speak to an older chap who is finding it hard to cope with the DWP.

He’s 65 years old and has been told that he has to be online for 35 hours a week looking for work.

We all know that there certainly isn’t enough jobs advertised out there to fulfil their expectations of him. He’s been told that if he doesn’t do this then he will be sanctioned.

I always take issue with this. He’s 65 years of age, who in earth is going to employ him. Its hard enough trying to find work when you’re young. There just isn’t enough jobs to go round.

Of course the DWP know this but they’ll take great pleasure in sanctioning a 65 year old man. Speaks volumes doesn’t it.

I spoke to a chap who had been told that he had been given ‘too many’ food parcels and was refused a foodbank voucher. He’d already had three foodbank vouchers.

Luckily I was there to advise him, to give him food etc.

It angers me so much when I hear of people being turned away from foodbank voucher providers because of this. Do they think that poverty ends after three food parcels?

It’s absolutely ridiculous to think so. Some people have a swinging rock in place of a beating heart.

I had a conversation with a woman who was struggling to contact the DWP via their freephone numbers.

Not all mobile phone providers regard the freephone numbers as free making it impossible to contact them.

This needs to be sorted out now.

We ended todays demo knowing that we had helped lots of people. We had given hope, solidarity, food, and a shoulder to cry on.

It’s not been easy doing a continuous demo for as long as we have but helping people makes it all worthwhile.

You might also be aware that we have a general election coming on the 12tb of December. Please can I urge you to use your vote and vote for Labour?

Labour are committed to stopping universal credit, the constant ESA and PIP examinations, sanctions and much more.

As you might hve already heard the Tory government have also got plans in place to sell the remaining parts of the NHS to firms in America.

This will leave us without an NHS and we will be forced to use an insurance based system.

I know that I certainly won’t be able to get or pay for medical insurance. Many of you won’t be able to either.

This is literally a fight for our life’s and we have to win this fight!

We have also made plans for our Christmas demonstration which will take place on Thursday the 19th of December between 10-12. It will be outside of the Jobcentre and we hope to have some speakers, some festive food on offer and hats, gloves and scarfs to hand out.

Please come and join us we would really like to meet you.

I will be making a Facebook event for it but if you don’t have Facebook then feel free to email me.

We’ll be back next week between 10-12 outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. Come and say hello!

Please read, share, email, tweet etc my blog. Please subscribe also.

A huge thank you to everyone that supports out demos and who supports my blog.

Without you I couldn’t be able to continue so thank you so much.

For anyone wishing to donate there’s a PayPal button at the top and side of this blog post. For anyone that can’t see this my PayPal address is Thank you so much in advance.

48 thoughts on “Aged 65 and hounded by the DWP to find work. Universal Credit strikes again.”

      1. Thanks Charlotte. I’m flat broke ’til Friday (Christmas eve) when I get my JSA, not even got the price of a bottle of milk. I’ll just about scrape by on what bit of food I have left. Trouble is I’m actually working at the food bank Christmas eve a.m.’ til about 1.15p.m so the only chance of doing my normal shopping (food, cat food, bog rolls etc.) will be on the way home on Christmas eve afternoon, shops will be packed! So am not looking forward to that. My Jobcentre has been closed again, not cos of Covid but apparently the heating system has broken down so they’re working from home. I don’t have an appointment again until 18th Jan. so that’s good. Going to my sister’s Christmas day, which is nice, but have been ordered to diet by the nurse at my GP’s as my blood sugar is sky high. No sweet stuff, no carbs, no beer! Can’t win 😩 . Anyway, Wishing you all the best for Christmas and let’s hope it’s a better New Year x.


  1. Hi .I am 65 years old & retire next year . I have some work as self employed . However lost work once pandemic hit as many did . However I feel utterly humiliated having to go to a job centre every two weeks . & Sitting with kids of 17 & 18 . Do they imagine a person of 65 will just walk into a job . I am so glad to be retiring soon .


  2. I’m 65 and due to retire in July my job I had had finisheduniversal credit has told me I’m in an intensive work programme to get job one job I was offered was train to be a
    Builder on construction site i m a woman and told I must find jo b at 65 in a place for about 8 weeks until I retire. This system is a joke. I’ve worked all my life and to be spoken to by people barely out of college is degrading .Sue


  3. A lot of this harassment of the 60 plus is to put them off the traditional idea of retirement. Where one day there is an end to working. Now the DWP are trying to sell the idea that people shouldn’t expect a full retirement, but still be doing part-time work etc.


    1. Yep, you’ve hit the nail on the head there Harry. IDS and his Rightwing extremist Think-tank the perversely named Centre for Social Justice have already mooted the idea that people should work until age 75 before qualifying for State Pension. They want us to work until we drop.


  4. when i got to that age , i switched to pension credit . i was no worse off , and they stopped hassling me . got to be worth a look .


    1. As far as I can make out, you can only get Pension Credit once you’ve actually reached State Pension age, so for most people now that would be at either age 66 or 67. Unless I’ve got that wrong or misunderstood ?


      1. No, you haven’t got it wrong Trev. The age for pension credit has increased in line with the state pension age. It is just one of the things women affected by the SPA increase have been campaigning about – it seems govt/DWP are determined there is no “loophole” which may save us from our misery.


      2. Damn! I thought that was the case. I feel completely trapped with no way out, too old and unhealthy to work full time, little chance of getting a suitable job, unable to get a sick note, unable to retire for several years. My only hope is to stay alive long enough to get my pension, and in the meantime hope that Labour get in and change things for the better.
        In Ireland unemployed people are exempt from doing jobsearch or attending back-to-work courses when they get to age 63, and are only required to sign on once a year from then until retirement. Why can’t they do that here? Or better still, lower State Pension age to 60 for both men and women.


  5. I’m not far off 60 myself and I am under constant pressure by the Jobcentre to apply for jobs that I wouldn’t be fit enough to do or in most cases not even able to get to and they’ve currently got me attending yet another ‘Employability’ course run by Interserve. Another man I know is 65, due to Retire next April, and they’ve got him on the Right Steps To Work course. Absolutely ludicrous. If you’re over say 55, and maybe doing a bit of part time voluntary work, they should just leave you alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. From being on child tax and widows pension to now being on this universal credit is a joke… Im 59 luckily work 13 hours but this just pays my rent. I have 85 a week to survive on. 30 electric 16 transport to work 15 water 12 phone. My next knock at the door will be tv liscence. I live on the cheapest food possible. People should not live like this…. Do we not enjoy xmas etc. No its for the rich these days.


  7. My name is mykola I no man who lives near me he struggles to make things meat he doesn’t have phone only moble Witch he tops up but to save money he Walk to local council house to use their phone that sad Mr Duncan Smith sadun me any body has Liv like this.l hope when labour party get in that everything changes straight a way and will be no more Duncan Smith who caused so much sadnesses for people who tuck ther home Life . God bless the families who have to pickup Peace’s


  8. For the second month out of three my money has been stopped this time for a sanction because I missed one phone call in oct for looking for work .This is when I have a sick note till dec 8th this is after I suffered a heart attack .I’ve worked all my life and the only other time I claimed sick was 10 years ago when my daughter died they then said I was ok to go bk to work after 6 weeks I knew I wasent mentally but they got the upper hand over us


  9. I know how that 65 year old man feels,I’m a 64 year old woman who is fed up of courses that will help me.The courses tell you the same think. My cv as been changed that many times I’ve lost count. Now the job centre as passed me to Shaw trust to help me into work,guess what they have advised me to go on another course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes to treat a person in this way is barbaric. …I questioned an expenses claim by Ian Duncan Smith once when he was in charge of the was for £500.ì got no reply if this was daily or weekly.but they said he did not need a receipt if it was under or upto £500.all mps are ripping off the public purse. …also remember the biggest fiddler of them all claimed £90.000.and the court ordered them to pay back just£5000. And that miller woman is still in office..every member of the public should refuse to go to the polling station and get rid of them all


  10. Hello Charlotte, just thought Id mention when UC claimants come to speak to you, It might be worth mentioning that the 35 hours a week Jobsearch Is the time It takes you to write your cv’s, covering letters, searches on job websites etc. There Is an excellent 35 hrs a week Jobsearch tool somebody could download at home, from the library, or wherever they can access a computer on which Is very useful, and It makes the 35 hrs a week seem achievable as It breaks activities down Into bitesize chunks. There Is also”A week In the life of a full-time jobseeker” – UC claimant AWRR group(All work related activity group) online which can be accessed via Google search at, and put In the title In the Jobsearch box. I hope this helps.


    1. With respect Antony, I think you’re missing the point. I have been on JSA, subject to these rules. It’s not just the impossibility of finding enough “stuff” to do on the computer for 35 hours a week – which in itself becomes increasingly difficult after the first few weeks when CVs, enrollment with agencies etc have all been done. It’s the fact that being on JSA, with an income of just £73.10pw is just not compatible with spending 7hours a day sitting at a computer or out at (non existent) job interviews. To expect claimants to do this is just mean and spiteful, plain and simple. Can you imagine the feelings of isolation, the depression,? It takes a lot of effort to live on such a meagre income. I know I could hardly afford to have the heating on and so spent a lot of time in bed, trying to organise how i’d pay the bills, hanging on the end of the phone to gas, electric and phone providers, council tax offices, water company and, yes, the DWP. Walking to the shops to buy another £2 top-up for the gas (at least a bath gets you warm AND clean). I am also a grandmother and so was expected – and quite reasonably so – to be available to help with the school pick-ups, drop-offs etc. as I wasn’t actually at work! I don’t believe anyone can honestly spend the amount of time being asked of them by the DWP, isolating themselves from family, neighbours, friends, and worrying about money, what to eat, how to keep warm, and the myriad other deprivations which that low level of income bestows without it having a detrimental effect to their mental and physical health. It’s soul-destroying basically.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a grandmother also and am on jsa I have osteoarthritis I am insulin diabetic and have a stomach condition I had a cyst removed from there in 2013 I am also under the hospital with my eyes as my diabetes has caused them to bleed despite being in constant pain I have to walk to the nearest library every day to do my job search and apply for jobs as I cannot afford internet or computer or bus fare I applied for ESA but was kicked off after three weeks despite hospital letters and doctor note saying I am not fit when they sent me for a medical the report said because I walked from the reception to the interview room unaided I was fit for work I am now suffering from bouts of depression and to think I have ten years of this before I retire

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The job centre claims you are ‘working” by looking for a job for 35 hours a week, this is for the payment of around £75 a week, work that pay out for an hour!!!
        For the stamp they paid me something like £13, it cost me £6 to drive there, another £1 for parking. Then then wanted me to go on a couse! I worked out in fuel, parking it would have cost my husband £60 for a.week. We couldn’t afford it and I actually feared for my life as the stress was making my chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia worse. Oh but wait they would pay the bus fair, so I could walk the 1 mile to the bus stop, then spend a day in a course by then in agony. Then wait possible y another hour for the bus, and then walk the mile back home!!!!!!


  11. I have said this time and time again. DWP and other Government Departments are run by public servants who are there for ever. They don’t want change of any kind. Governments change but they don’t. I don’t care who you vote for. It makes no difference. I have had over 35 years experience in senior health management and have fought these morons for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Fear and Loathing in Great Britain and commented:
    The government doesn’t give a stuff about us and never forget this. Never forget the cruelty that they’ve inflicted upon the poorest and most vulnerable. We can never ever forget and I’ll certainly never ever forgive them either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They should be be a shamed should a get rid of this universal credit system sick and corrupt. Making people live bare minimum. Very cruel. Like to see the government live how we live . Could they live on this with there big luxury homes and car.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes they do. Labour have committed to stopping universal credit and replacing it with a fair system. I know that they will do this because I’ve been helping them with this. Use your vote on the 12th of December and vote for Labour x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I am 60 with osteoarthritis and in pain most days and get sent on courses.debt management messed my money up and I felt like crying when trying to explain things on phone to them.was a nitemare!!it’s making my health worse.


    2. What is being done to 1950’s pensioners is evil and a direct insight into how older citizens are viewed by all political parties. At age 36,returning to work I was told I would be lucky to find anything by the job centre. I ignored that went to college and pressed on. At age 57 I found myself unemployed and struggling to find work again. My job centre advisor didn’t understand why I was so bothered as u was near pension age. I told her that I had heard we may not get our pension at sixty hence my reason for trying to find work. Her reply was “that might not happen” so even then people working at the job centre were not sure about the pension changes,much less we who had expected our pension at sixty. I got work and continued till she 64 and an now in universal credit. I can’t feed myself, keep warm and exist day to day. Shame in this country and its political leaders who not give a damn about the poor or disadvantaged.


    3. I was sent on a course recently. Sat next to was a man aged 65. He had recently been on a forklift driver course, that had no test for him at the end of it, because they thought he wasn`t good enough to pass it! I believe they don`t want people to retire.


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