Tag: DWP sanction

DWP And Other Agencies Implicated After Claimants Body Left Undiscovered


In May 2021 the body of Laura Winham was discovered after her family had visited her to inform her about the death of her father. They discovered her body after looking through her letterbox because there was no answer.

The police were called and found her mummified and skeletal body when they forced entry into her flat. They also discovered unopened bills from creditors and markings made on her calendar which stopped in November 2017.

One of her last notes read “I need help”.


Laura Winham had schizophrenia and had previously been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and as a result of her condition her family were no longer able to have contact with her as she believed that they were trying to harm her.


However the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) failed to make any checks on Laura before they cut off her payments. She subsequently died and was left undiscovered in her flat for more than three years, a pre-inquest hearing has been told.


The DWP contacted Laura in 2016 to inform her that her benefits was being transferred and therefore she had to apply for PIP or her DLA (Disability Living Payments) would cease.

Laura failed to respond to the DWP and after after several written reminders had been sent her DLA was stopped. No wellness check was made or any attempt to enquire about her situation was made despite Laura having a recorded severe mental illness. Nor did they check on her ability to take part in the transfer process either.


It is noted that although the DWP were far from the only agency that had let Laura down they are a very large and well resourced agency. They can make no excuse for stopping a very vulnerable claimants. money because they were unable and possibly unwilling to safely manage a simple transfer process.


Laura’s inquest is being held in April, please keep her and others in your thoughts.

You’d have thought that the DWP would have learnt how to deal with situations like this from previous incidents but they very clearly haven’t. Maybe it’s best to ignore their usual press statement which is usually ‘Lessons will be learnt’.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

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Thank you!

Benefit Deductions Causing Financial Hardship

Deductions from benefit payments is causing financial hardship pushing people into poverty and resulting in food bank reliance and inability to pay for everyday living costs.

A survey conducted by the Trussell Trust reveals that nearly half of those being referred to its food banks are experiencing deductions being taken from their benefit payments despite the government saying that they’ve twice cut the amount that can be deducted.

The government states “We recognise people are struggling with rising prices which why we are protecting millions of the most vulnerable families with at least £1,200 of support.” Whilst at the same time failing to address the reality that being repayment amounts are still too high proving that the ‘support’ being offered by the government being not nearly enough.

Once again making statements that portray themselves as the next saviour, whilst at the same time pushing policies and failing to address already existing policies that cause hardship.

The survey goes on to reveal that almost half of respondents reported deductions from their benefits to recover overpayments, sanctions or arrears, with the amounts already deducted from monthly payments before they arrived in the recipient’s account.

To put it in layman’s terms very few people manage to receive their full payment allowances and are drastically reduced before reaching them.

Meanwhile MPs on the parliamentary Work and Pensions Select Committee have said this practice needed to be paused during the cost of living crisis, as it was during the pandemic.

Thousands were already struggling to put food on the table each day before the cost of living crisis which has undoubtably made their situations much worse.

This is worsened by having to repay the advance payment loan whilst waiting for a universal credit claim to be processed. This debt on its own can cripple a person financially. Many would agree that the advance payments shouldn’t come in the form of loan to be repaid.

In July, the Work and Pensions Committee of MPs said the repayments, taken from more than 2 million claimants, were pushing the most vulnerable into destitution.

Sir Stephen Timms, Labour MP for East Ham and committee chair, said: “We think the problems are sufficiently acute now that they should be suspended again, it’s clearly not working.

“There was a university research report which made the point that the social security system is acting not so much as a safety net but more as a debt collector at the moment.” 

In a statement, a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson said: “We have reduced the maximum amount that can be deducted from a Universal Credit award twice in recent years. 

“We’ve also doubled the time period over which they can be repaid and claimants can contact DWP to discuss deductions if they are experiencing financial hardship.”

In conclusion the cost of living crisis and resulting job losses has left many reliant upon credit card borrowing which has reached it’s highest level in 18 years. Combined with benefit loan deductions has created a tsunami of debt and poverty which will undoubtably put pressure upon already struggling food banks and organisations.

Not forgetting that this will also cause irreparable damage to the economy resulting in increased inflation levels and an increase in the everyday cost of living.

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I’d like to wish all readers and subscribers a happy new year and I hope you enjoyed the festive period in whatever way you chose to. Here’s to another year of campaigning and blogging, love and solidarity to you all.

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Important News For Bus Fares Outside Of London

Universal Credit Call Centre Application Process Not Fit For Purpose

As I’ve reported many times in previous blogs the distinct lack of care, compassion and understanding causes great distress for many applicants and claimants. This distress starts upon applying for Universal Credit and other benefits.



As reported by Benefits and Work the appalling lack of care, concern and service given by DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) from call centres will undoubtably result in life-threatening destitution for some claimants. This will escalate to even higher levels when the forced migration from legacy benefits to UC begins.

There are many problems that occur upon applying for Universal Credit online, those of which can and will put a distinct amount of pressure upon already distressed claimants.

Claimants who are being forced to migrate have 3 months to complete the process if they’re able to complete this complicated and time consuming procedure.


Claimants who desperately need an extension of time to make their UC claim can result in losing all their legacy benefits if they are unable to get through to the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline on the phone.




The DWPs response to this is “If you cannot claim Universal Credit by the deadline date given on your letter, you should contact the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline as soon as possible.

“We can only give you more time to make a claim if you have a good reason. You must request this before the deadline date on your letter.”



If only it was this easy. Hundreds of Benefit and Work readers have told the team of their horrendous difficulties when trying to contact the existing DWP helplines quoting;


“Have been calling all week various times and after over and hour some days hour half given up but my deadline day is today really is terrible situation.”


“I have been cut off 4 times after being put on hold for about 25 mins each time trying to ask for an extension to my pip review as I can’t get an appointment with the cab to help me fill it in until after the deadline”


Many claimants that apply for or will be migrated to Universal Credit have health issues and disabilities that make completing the process very challenging forcing many to try and get a much needed time extension.

However the DWP call centre systems as they stand aren’t fit for purpose, they simply can’t and won’t be able to cope with an ever increasing need of people to use them. For these systems to be made fit for purpose will require a huge injection of new resources combined with increased staffing and a huge investment being made into the facilities offered.

Combined with the already frightening cost of living crisis it’s like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. People don’t have the resources both financial and emotionally to cope with this system, it’s cruel beyond belief.

Will this much needed investment be made? Will the DWP start treating people with the care and compassion that they deserve?

I very much doubt it.

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Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent

Vodaphone Announce New Social Broadband Tariff And Free Broadband For Small Businesses.

Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.

The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.

Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..

These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.

Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.

Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”

He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.

“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.

“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.

“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”

Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent