Details have emerged showing that The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has a hostile new policy regarding foodbank referrals. In an email, a Jobcentre Plus (JCP) Manager revealed that no paper referral forms will be given to claimants from now on. Instead, they’ll be sent to other agencies to get help.
The shocking new policy was first revealed exclusively by Independent News Site, Lewes Eye on February 5th.
I have previously uncovered how the DWP ban staff from keeping records of foodbank referrals or, signposting as they call it.
The guidance specifically banned record keeping for statistical purposes. This was seen as an attempt to obscure how Universal Credit is driving people to foodbanks, despite it being well known.
Now it seems they won’t even give claimants a form to take to a foodbank.
The email to Lewes District Council’s Tenant Participation Team states the DWP have advised Jobcentre staff not to give out forms or vouchers for claimants to take a foodbank.
This is a drastic change from the previous policy of simply keeping no record of it.
The Jobcentre Manager even give their solution to the issue; Send them to another agency.
Once again the DWP are placing all the expectation on the Charity sector to pick up their mess.
Citizens Advice and charities are already under intense pressure due to the issues Universal Credit has brought.
What’s more, this wild goose chase the DWP are sending claimants on will inevitably delay them getting the help they need.
Speaking from experience, accepting you need to use a foodbank takes time.
Many will be embarrassed and already starving so to send them to another agency to explain it all over again, is frankly disgusting.
As I’ve said before, Amber Rudd may be claiming she cares but in reality, it’s business as usual at the DWP.
Universal Credit is unfit for purpose and needs condescending to the scrapheap.
I have contacted the DWP for comment but received no reply at time of publishing. I will update should one be forthcoming.
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