A disabled person who appealed a cut to their benefits was called a “lying bitch” by DWP staff.
The Department for Work and Pensions has been slammed after an official reportedly called a disabled claimant a “lying bitch” on documents submitted to an appeal tribunal.
A post on Rightsnet, a site used by advice workers, says: “I have uploaded part of the DWP response to a PIP appeal by one of my clients. You may well recognise the usual cut and paste, but this one might inadvertently expose a canteen culture of contempt among many decision makers at the DWP.
“I don’t know how this particular submission writer thinks they can get away with calling a claimant a ‘lying bitch’.”
The papers appear to show a DWP official casting doubt on the claimant’s entitlement to carer’s allowance, which is granted to members of the public who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for another person.
It reads: “In this lying bitches [sic] case she is receiving the mid-rate carers [sic] allowance component for providing day time supervision to another disabled person. The tribunal may wish to explore this further.”
Derek Stainsby, who works as a rights adviser at Plumstead Community Law Centre made the extract public. He told the Guardian the papers were included within a routine bundle of documents sent to his client by the DWP.
He told the Guardian: “It’s the sheer contempt: I have never seen it go to these depths before.”
Other welfare advisors said:“OMG that is truly shocking, even by DWP standards.” Another wrote: “Obviously intended as an internal joke that was supposed to be edited out before being sent out, but instructive as to the true mindset [of the DWP], particularly as this was clearly meant to be shared with and approved of by colleagues.”
Another speculated: “Submission writer possibly the victim of a colleague’s prank? Get up to make cup of coffee. come back and finish document without checking back.”
A spokesperson from the DWP said the document had not been verified and they would not comment directly on leaked documents.
The DWP spokesperson added: “We do not comment on leaked documents. We expect the highest level of professionalism from our staff and any behaviour like this would be completely unacceptable. We would always take action where serious or gross misconduct was proven.”