Being a customer of the DWP and various Benefits Systems, I rarely feel like a valued customer and can see a lot of room for improvement!

Fed up with ranting to people who totally get it, but are unable to do anything, I thought I would do something more productive and write to my MP with the aim of bringing awareness to a system that doesn’t seem to do what it is designed to do, and often makes matters worse, especially regarding the health and well-being of its customers.

In my letter to Mark Pawsey, below, I explain how this BS system is gaslighting the people it is meant to be helping.

Does anyone have any better ideas to help affect changes in this area??

Dear Mr Pawsey

I am a Rugby resident who is living with some challenging symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.

That doesn’t stop me wanting to make a difference in the world.

I run my own Life Coaching business, helping people take control of their own health, body, mind and soul and generally feel better about life.  When you feel better, life is more enjoyable and you are more likely to spread joy wherever you go, thereby making the world a better place, one Happy Human at a time!

I have recently won some funding from Access to Work (ATW).

ATW gives funding to help people get or stay in work if they have a physical or mental health condition or disability.  They also can give additional support for those people to start and run their own business.

The funding I have been awarded will pay for some office furniture and support worker assistance for 12 months to aid me in running my business.

This will make a massive difference, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity.

In order to pay for the items, there is an online portal where I can include the timesheets, receipts and invoices to prove that the money has been well spent.

I was really excited as I thought this must be easy, I’ve already got a Government Gateway and was already logging onto the Government website without a problem.

However, it seems that the Access to Work system doesn’t use the Government Gateway, or the other Government logins.  I had to go through the procedure of verifying my ID again.

Okay, I thought not a problem.  Mmmm 😨

ATW were insisting that you verify your ID by two of three options

  1. passport
  2. self-assessment
  3. credit history

Okay, I thought not a problem.  Mmmm 😨

  1. My passport expired in April 2023 and I hadn’t a need to replace
  2. The only piece of information they wanted from my Tax Return was the date and amount of the last time I paid tax.  I have yet to pay tax for my business.
  3. I was able to pass this one!

There were no other options and no way to get help other than to use a paper based system going through the post.

I am certain this would be time consuming and ‘faffy’, with lots of opportunity for errors.  I thought there must be a way to get around this!  Surely I could use my driving license or birth certificate?  So I picked up the phone.

I then spent 25 minutes on hold, only to speak to someone who didn’t seem to have much of a clue how the system works.

When I asked if there was any way to give feedback on the unhelpfulness of the system, I was offered an email address!

I wrote to them earlier this week and I’m waiting to receive a response.

Please can you help change this ludicrous, long winded and completely inefficient system.

Surely, if you’re disabled or even if you’re not and in the early stages of running your own business, there is a high probability that you would not be past the tax threshold, therefore not paying tax!

Also, after coming out of a pandemic, where we were not allowed to travel anywhere, the chances of disabled people having a valid  passport must be greatly reduced.

It really feels like they are giving with one hand, and then causing more stress and anguish with another.

There are so many of my clients and people in my audience that are suffering with physical and mental illness, which is highly exacerbated by stress.

The Benefits System that is meant to help, actually causes more fear and stress than is necessary.

This is just one example!

I would love to talk to you to discuss some of my experiences of going through the Benefit System and how they could be changed so much more for the better for everybody, particularly the customers.

At no point have I been made to feel like a customer who is valued and cared for.

Instead, the Benefit System is like being in a relationship with a narcissist.

On one hand, they offer to look after you, they become the rescuer.

But not without cost ….

Jump through this hoop!

No, this hoop!



You’ve jumped the wrong way!

Interesting that the acronym for Benefits System is BS!

So the BS make the rules without any consultation with their customers.  The BS is not fit for purpose!  It is open to abuse and doesn’t achieve its objectives – but only because the internal systems are nonsensical and ridiculously inefficient, therefore expensive.

This is gaslighting!

It causes the customer an aggravated amount of stress, which exacerbates their symptoms, literally making them sicker.

There must be a better way Mark!  Please can you help me make this change?

“What are the objectives of DWP 2023?

DWP ‘s vision is to improve people’s day to day lives and help them build financial resilience and a more secure and prosperous future. We will do this by helping people to move into work, and supporting those already in work to progress, with the aim of increasing overall workforce participation.”

I have included links to my social media if you would like to find out more about me and my work.

I would really appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Gina Dallison