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Department for Work and Pensions

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Overview

Government department formed in 2001 from the old Department of Social Security.

The raison d'être of the department is to lavish millions of pounds of taxpayer's cash on a significant percentage of the population who clearly don't deserve anything more than a 9mm in the back of the swede.

People who genuinely need the services of this department are given such a royal run around that they invariably give up, as the system is totally geared up for the nation's untermensch underclass and not those who've paid their stamp, kept their noses clean but fallen on hard times.

As ARRSE User TheGimp succinctly puts it:

I've paid my wack since leaving school. I've also pumped shitloads in to the system in tax... and some dysfunctional cnut behind a desk seems happier to spunk my cash dollars in to third generation fecking scumbags' pockets so they can get pissed on Aldi lager and push out more fecking wasting cnuts... who further spunk my tax!

The painful thing is the double whammy: sponging fecking leeches on society get cash to survive and pish up and [thus] use up a disproportional percentage of the services tax provides. Police run round after them, they soak up health care, prisons are filled with them, they fail to tax and insure their motors, social services wait hand and foot on them and sort out their shit.

I think he has a point!

SIGNING ON AT THE JOB CENTRE

Subsonic has compiled a very informative guide and useful list of 'Actions On' should one wish to undertake such an odyssey. This is essential reading.

GROUND

The ground will smell of stale urine and vomit, the carpets will almost certainly be infested. Some staff and clients will routinely suffer insect bites, this will be worse in spring/summer. The building may be fumigated on a periodic basis depending on local budgetary constraints.

SITUATION

FRIENDLY FORCES

There are no immediate friendly forces on this operation. Flanking formations will be able to provide support before and after this phase, but not during the initial advance to contact.

Flanking Formations

These include:

ENEMY FORCES

Staff

Job Centre Staff (JCS). Apart from being flea-bitten, working in an environment that is physically nauseating, treated like scum by the majority of clients, being poorly managed and driven by poorly defined objectives, the morale of the JCS is generally low. JCS will generally stick to their departmental processes as their only line of defence. They know that provision of security guards will not prevent their car from getting trashed in the staff car-park, or from them getting accosted by bevvied-up/spaced-out clients outside Sainsbury's or in the pub later that night.

They are poorly paid, their organisation becomes increasingly dysfunctional having been the subject of progressive efficiency drives/manning cuts by the precious Chancellor/Prime Minister. A large number of clients files are routinely lost, data security is not seen as an issue and staff stopped reporting their concerns long ago.

Apart from adherence to their process manuals, front-line JCS pay close attention to complaints/referrals made to their immediate management. Their local management pay close attention to complaints/referrals from Regional Offices - particularly enquiries from external agencies (see 'Flanking formations' above), Ministerial or Parliamentary Questions. These will equate the proportion of response: the move to DEFCON 1, the immediate deployment of the SLE advance party, or the activation of the 30 Minute Team/CH47/C130 and will (of consequence) receive full and immediate management attention.

Clients

Please do not be mistaken; clients come from all walks of life. Some are genuinely ill or can not find work, some are already in work but claim anyway, some are budding actors who are playing the part of someone else, their reward being the delivery of a good performance and not the Giro that follows. Some may be just plain lazy. Others may be drug or alcohol dependant and living rough and some may have more medals than you and I put together.

However, like Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) staff, clients should be regarded as untrustworthy at best - and hostile at worst.

MISSION

To sign on and successfully maintain a claim at the Job Centre to gain either National Insurance contributions or Job Seeker's Allowance, prior to gaining employment or retiring.

EXECUTION

General Outline. In outline this will be a four-phase operation:

  • Preparation
  • Reaction to JCS
  • Winning the claim-fight
  • Consolidation

PHASE 1

PREPARATION

Information superiority is paramount in this phase. Information is your ammunition, you are the weapon. The better an understanding you have of the information, the more effective you will be in using it to your advantage. Once JCS know you understand their rules, they will be less likely to fob you off or try and cut corners. Start here JSA website.

Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted. There is probably a particular pub in town where claimants congregate. This will be an excellent place to pick up lots of invaluable tips, especially if they understand that you are one of them (no not THEM). The environmental conditions and processes in the Job Centre will grind down staff and claimants alike, you should be prepared for this.

To reduce your own exposure in the operational environment, you may at this stage with to ring the 0800 number to book an initial appointment. You can do this from the comfort of home with a brew and the digestive biscuit of your choice. Your research should already have told you what it is you are entitled to and you should prepare your justification in advance - and be prepared to bring supporting collateral.

PHASE 2

REACTION TO JCS

You are now on a 'hearts and minds' operation. When it is your turn, shake the new Claimant Advisor by the hand if this is possible, and introduce yourself. Make sure you get their name. Once they pull out a pen and a form, ask if they mind if you take notes as you don’t want to make any mistakes with the process which is new to you.

Be as polite and pleasant as you can throughout the interview and maintain self-control at all costs. Think before you talk, make sure you give your best answer, not the first one that comes into your head: press, pause + talk.

PHASE 3

WINNING THE CLAIM FIGHT

It is vital that you bring your maximum understanding of the benefit system to bear on the JCS during this interview. This understanding is vital to maintaining the shock and awe of your assault on their system.

Do not be afraid to take as many of their leaflets in with you to support your argument. Do not be antagonised nor antagonise the interviewer. Your knowledge and your civilised conduct are critical at this stage. If there is something that you do not understand, please ask the JCS to explain this and make a note in your notebook.

PHASE 4

CONSOLIDATION

If the interview does not go your way, refer to 'Actions On' below. Otherwise at the end of the interview review any questions you asked and confirm that you have the right understanding - this will help with any disputes at a later date. Then recap with the JCS what you think is going to happen, what actions there are on you and what actions there are on them. Make sure you know how to contact them and they know how to contact you. Try email as well. Thank them for their time and help and shake their hand again.

ACTIONS ON

Incoming derogatory remarks or sarcasm

Do not respond directly, make a note in your notebook.

Failure to support your application

Ask for full explanation. If you do not agree ask to see their supervisor (who may be genuinely busy). If the supervisor is not forthcoming and you are convinced you have a case, explain that you will be raising an appeal. Make sure they understand you have a copy of this booklet: Appeals Procedure. Also have a look at the Appeals Service during Phase 1.

Before you contact the Appeals Service consult with others, such as those who have contributed to this thread and Flanking Formations above. Write to your MP and the Veterans’ Agency. You may have sufficient ammunition and momentum for a 36 Grays Lane-type campaign. This may take quite a while as not many people read these threads.

SERVICE & SUPPORT

Dress

Jacket, collar and tie or female equivalent. These items should be clean and serviceable, preferably with signs of advanced wear. Anything too new or flash will undermine your case.

Special Equipment

  • Small notebook (Banner would be best)
  • Pen and back-up pencil
  • A good book or broadsheet newspaper (to read whilst in queue)
  • Punch-bag (for when you get out of the building)