DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION – DATA BREACH – EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
13/11/23 Disability UK Editor Stonewalled By The DWP (Timeline)
I am being stonewalled by the DWP. Regardless if I mentioned that stonewalling can impact someone’s mental health, they do not care and will purposely avoid dealing with the issue in the hope you will give up and go away. Unlike most people, I fight for my rights and do not give up easily. https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/the-impact-on-stonewalling-patients/ I have in total emailed 30 times, and phoned 6 times each call taking about an hour including waiting time getting through, trying to register a complaint.
Complaint Is: ‘How I Have Been Treated’.
My formal complaint:
- Disability Discrimination: (DWP) assumed that because I have mental health conditions, I am deemed to be able to do things of an abled body person, which is a contradiction as I suffer from OCD -germ contamination). My medical records were never accessed as the assessor was asking for dates of when I was diagnosed, she also did not know what one of the medications was and asked me to clarify. I believe I have been subject to discrimination based on my disability. Despite my entitlement to reasonable accommodations, I have faced consistent challenges in accessing services and support that are essential for my well-being. This treatment has left me feeling marginalized and disadvantaged due to my disability, which is not in line with the principles of equality and non-discrimination.
- Breach of the DWP’s Code of Conduct: (Trigger Questions – Questions about Suicidal Thoughts. The DWP’s Code of Conduct outlines the expected standards of behavior and service provision for its staff. I have experienced an incident where a PIP assessor on behalf of the DWP has acted in a manner that does not adhere to these standards. This includes a lack of empathy, respect, and professionalism when dealing with my specific needs and concerns. I was subjected to immense distress answering questions that were making me feel uncomfortable. I repeated serval times that the line of questioning was making me distressed, but the assessor persisted stating she was unaware the questions were a trigger and that she had to ask the questions. (A professional psychologist would ask on a scale of 1-10 how you are feeling and if have you ever felt low, NOT: (have you ever thought of self-harming or ever tried to commit suicide).
- Data Breach: I recently became aware of a data breach involving my personal information within the DWP. This breach has raised serious concerns about the security and confidentiality of my sensitive data, which has been mishandled, potentially exposing me to identity theft and other risks. (Lost Report sent by 2nd class Royal Mail on 12/10/23 not received– Someone has my personal information, I have also asked for a copy to be sent via email which the DWP has refused to do. This is very concerning. Data Protection Laws**: The mishandling of my personal data not only constitutes a data breach but also raises concerns about the DWP’s compliance with data protection laws. The failure to protect my sensitive information infringes on my right to privacy and data security, which is protected under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 govern the processing of personal data in the UK and the EU (If the assessor recorded the call without telling me and then went on the share the recording with DWP, she would have breached data protection laws. She would also have to release the call recording if requested by law, which I have done, multiple times, yet DWP claims to not know of a phone recording). I have just received the report that has very sensitive information and mentions this website in the report I requested this report 4 times so that means 3 copies have gone astray and God knows who has read this report and the damage to my reputation. Furthermore, the report is incorrect as the assessor lied in the report. (I have addressed this in my addendum letter).
- Emotional Distress: The cumulative impact of the aforementioned issues has resulted in significant emotional distress. The discrimination, lack of support, and the data breach have taken a toll on my mental well-being, causing anxiety, stress, and emotional suffering. (Emotional distress caused by discrimination, humiliation, and data breach has had a significant impact on my mental health and well-being. I am now struggling with my mental health and find it hard to do any work (my business has now been affected because I am struggling to work), my mental health has deteriorated as I now have intrusive thoughts and paranoia, my OCD has shot through the roof). Where I was making progress with my mental health DWP successfully damaged my wellbeing.
- Request For Correction – Information rights complaint: I am concerned that my personal information was not handled properly. I understand that before reporting my complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) I should give you the chance to deal with it. If, when I receive a response, I would still like to report my complaint to the ICO, I will give them a copy of it to consider. You can find guidance on your obligations under information rights legislation on the ICO’s website (www.ico.org.uk) as well as information on their regulatory powers and the action they can take.
1. Disability Discrimination
For obvious reasons, I am not going to go into too much detail about this, however, DWP has assumed I can do things of an abled-bodied person even though I have OCD. https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/can-you-get-pip-if-you-have-ocd/
Not once in the conversation with the assessor did she ask how I manage my OCD or the length of time it takes me to do things.
I have written a letter that I have attempted to send to DWP and no one wants to pass it on ( Can you hear alarm bells).
- Disability discrimination | EHRC (equalityhumanrights.com)
- What are human rights? | EHRC (equalityhumanrights.com)
2. Breach Of the DWP Code Of Conduct
The assessor failed to comply with the code of conduct relating to how the assessor did the assessment. I addressed my concerns in the letter that no one wants to pass on. I have the name of someone in DWP and will liaise with this individual by sending the link to this article. He already has the body content of the addendum letter dated 06/11/23 and he claims he could not open the PDF attachments because the system had flagged them. Worst-case scenario I will redact my address off all the letters from my doctor and the solicitor’s letter including sensitive data and post them here. Even the letters I have from my GP and Solicitor are not as sensitive as the content of the report. I do not hide the fact I have OCD and would not be the owner of www.ocd.cymru or www.germawareness.co.uk if I did not have a vested interest.
3. Data Breach (This Is Serious)
To date (cited 13/11/23), I have not had a response to my complaint from the DWP which is being passed from pillar to post (no pun intended), and the blame game of excuses and no concern for the seriousness of my complaint, stating “Royal Mail Have Had Delays“.
Data Breach Seriousness
The point is my sensitive data was sent in 2nd class post against ICO.org.uk guidelines, which I requested 4 times since the 23rd of October 2023 even though my assessment was on the 11th of September 2023, and according to DWP the first report was sent out 12/10/23 but did not arrive. Regardless if the reports were sent out or not it is the content of the report that is alarming to read and some of it is incorrect hence I have requested corrections but I am being stonewalled.
I aim to take my complaint further and am sick to the back teeth of writing regurgitated information, hence have decided to write this in this post for everyone to read.
According to ICO.org.uk Risk-assessing data breaches
Recital 87 of the UK GDPR says that when a security incident takes place, you should quickly establish whether a personal data breach has occurred and, if so, promptly take steps to address it, including telling the ICO if required. DWP has a laid-back attitude it is only me so it does not matter. But what about the rest of the population whose reports have gone astray (Ironically, The DWP has a responsibility under the DPA 1998 not to lose your documents, yet they send 2nd class mail knowing the content has sensitive data).
- Dwp data breach — MoneySavingExpert Forum
- DWP exposed 6,000 people’s data online for two years | ITPro
- Employee Data Breach Claims Against The DWP – EFA
- My personal data has been lost after a breach, what are my rights? – Which?
- DWP data breach — MoneySavingExpert Forum
- Department of Work & Pensions published personal data of 6,000 people claiming benefits online for two years | The Sun
- Dwp data breach – Page 3 — MoneySavingExpert Forum
- Discussion: Successful claim against DWP for breach of data protection duties – Rightsnet
- DWP ‘is using lost benefit assessment letters to cut spending’ – Disability News Service
- Fed up with DWP losing your post? — MoneySavingExpert Forum
“A personal data breach may, if not addressed in an appropriate and timely manner, result in physical, material or non-material damage to natural persons such as loss of control over their personal data or limitation of their rights, discrimination, identity theft or fraud, financial loss, unauthorised reversal of pseudonymisation, damage to reputation, loss of confidentiality of personal data protected by professional secrecy or any other significant economic or social disadvantage to the natural person concerned.Personal data breaches: a guide | ICO
This means that a breach can have a range of adverse effects on individuals, which include emotional distress, and physical and material damage. Some personal data breaches will not lead to risks beyond possible inconvenience to those who need the data to do their job. Other breaches can significantly affect individuals whose personal data has been compromised. You need to assess this case by case, looking at all relevant factors. Make a complaint | ICO
This is a breach of confidence, misuse of private information, breach of duty under the Data Protection Act 1998, and breach of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Data Protection Act 2018:
The DPA 2018 complements the GDPR in the UK and provides additional details and specifications for data protection. It includes provisions specific to the UK context and outlines the powers and functions of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is the independent regulatory authority responsible for enforcing data protection laws.
- Year Enacted: 2018
- Key Provisions:
- Outlines the framework for data protection in the UK.
- Implements GDPR standards into UK law.
- Website: Data Protection Act 2018
Human Rights Act 1998:
- Year Enacted: 1998
- Key Provisions:
- Incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.
- Website: Human Rights Act 1998
4. Emotional Distress
The amount of emotional distress this has caused me and my mental health to deteriorate is inconceivable. It therefore does not surprise me in the slightest that 82 people have taken their own lives because of the way DWP treated them.
I am worried about my data and who has got it and the lack of concern by the DWP. I could potentially have identity theft as there is enough information in this report to clone me.
The emotional distress this has caused me is inconceivable. (I am NOT feeling suicidal much to the disappointment of DWP). I am way stronger than this, but can you imagine people of the weaker mind and what this does to their mental health?
82 People Have Died Because Of DWP/PIP
- 82 benefit claimants have died after some alleged DWP activity such as termination of benefits, BBC finds | Disability Rights UK
- DWP admits investigating 60 benefit-related deaths since 2012 – Disability News Service
- Secretary of State: DWP has no legal duty to safeguard the well-being of vulnerable claimants | Disability Rights UK
- It is a pleasure to serve under…: 24 Apr 2019: Westminster Hall debates – TheyWorkForYou (Must Read)
- Deaths of people on benefits prompt inquiry call – BBC News
5. Request For Correction
The details in the report are incorrect and I have cited all my points in the letter that no one wants to pass on.
Your right to get your data corrected | ICO (Your Rights To Have Data Corrected)
(These are some of the places I plan to contact, including the editors of the publications).
- Minister warned about mental pressure of benefits system after applicant kills himself | Mental health | The Guardian (Paywall)
- Minister warned about mental pressure of benefits system after applicant kills himself (msn.com) (No Paywall)
- https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/data-protection-complaints/data-protection-complaints/ (Tool)
- Your right to get your data corrected | ICO
- Your right of access | ICO
- How to Write GDPR-Compliant Data Breach Notification Letters – Privacy Policies
- DWP accused of ‘reprehensible’ breach of the law over DNS information battle – Disability News Service
- What a subject access request is and how to make one – Hayes Connor
I first contacted Capita which then told me to contact DWP which is now telling me to contact Capita. (You could not make this up).
I attempted to escalate the complaint to the emails on the government website which all bounced.
These contact details relate to PIP (all have bounced)
- Direct Claimant: www.gov.uk/pip Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (bounced)
- Teo Cambeeiro: Complaints Resolution Manager: Email: email@example.com (bounced)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0800 731 7339 Tel: 0345 606 0265 (not tried)
These Emails Work!
Independent Case Examiner:
I also contacted the Independent Case Examiner:
Although I have gone back to the front I have emailed and phoned the Independent Case Examiner: PO Box 209 Bootle L20 7WA Email: email@example.com Tel: 0800 414 8529 (email works and so does the telephone number) How to bring a complaint to the Independent Case Examiner – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) They have responded, but because there is no record of my complaint from the DWP they cannot action my complaint. (Why does that not surprise me)? I am not holding my breath the get a response from the DWP and have given them a deadline of the 17th of November 2023 to respond.
If for one minute they think I will go away over this they have another thing coming. I have rights that have been violated and I will exercise them if I have to.
“I am not just doing this for me, I am doing this for everyone in the UK, who is being mistreated”.
I have cited Sir Charles Walker MP who is very vocal about his OCD and he proves that people with OCD can be intellectual and have a mental health disorder:
According to DWP if you have a mental illness you cannot be a carer according to the report I received (this is discrimination) https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/carers-mental-health-discrimination/ Therefore Sir Charles Walker should not be an MP if that’s the case.
I also plan to contact my connections which are advocates of mental health. I have nearly 12k connections on LinkedIn and whilst I am at it why don’t I throw my GP surgery under the bus (metaphorically speaking) for their lack of duty of care after I wrote 3 separate letters to them that were put on the system and never actioned. I complained and the practice manager responded by saying “Doctors are too busy to respond to letters and if I did not like it I should find another GP“, further stating “They are under no obligation to give me care“. Meaning if I continued to complain they would throw me out. (I am dependent on my medication) so you can imagine if I had no doctor at all, hence that is why I have collaborated with online doctors should this ever happen.
What You Should Do
If you find yourself without a response from a complaint made to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), it is crucial to take proactive steps to address the issue. Begin by checking the communication channels you used to submit your complaint, such as emails, letters, or online forms, to ensure that your submission was properly received. If possible, follow up through the same channels, politely reiterating the details of your complaint and expressing your concern about the lack of response. Additionally, explore alternative contact methods, such as calling the DWP’s helpline or visiting a local office if applicable. If all else fails, consider escalating the matter by contacting relevant ombudsman services or seeking advice from advocacy organizations that specialize in social welfare issues. Persistence and clear communication are key when navigating bureaucratic processes to ensure your concerns are addressed.
I had a response to an email that I sent this week and the person I liaised with said there is no complaint registered (It makes you laugh when he is a decision-maker).
Considering I have phoned multiple times and complained, no one is logging my complaint furthermore the person I have been dealing with did no understand the context of my complaint even though he received the link to this page as well as several regurgitated emails complaining over and over again that I wish to make a complaint.
I have a screenshot shot his email I received today and also all the emails I have sent since September 2023 trying to make a complaint.
Are they purposely trying to push people over the edge to save public spending?
Email Correspondence Timeline & Evidence
** All the above emails are my email attempts to DWP, autoresponders, and bounced messages. I did have some emails from Capita saying they had logged my complaint (contrary to what the entity today has said) and passed on my evidence.
The rest of the emails from DWP state they would not communicate with me and that I should phone them instead. But each time I phone them they tell me they are not aware of any complaint or that that anything has been passed on to them via email. I feel deflated but I am not giving up.
“How many times do I need to phone them to register a complaint? They are purposely trying to drag this out in the hope I will give up”.
“I cannot wait for this to go to court”!
The Email Today! (15/11/23)
So this entity as I do not know what I am dealing with does not know the context of my complaint even though I sent him the body of my addendum letter and have copied and pasted my complaint at the beginning of this article which I forwarded the link to him is telling me no complaint was ever logged.
For all intent and purpose, I have copied and pasted the email I received today as the images do not reflect the writing very well.
My Complaint Is How I Have Been Treated.
It is not about the money anymore it is the way I have been treated. God help everyone else who has had to deal with these people, who seem to think they can play God with people’s lives.
Here is the email body:
- Disability Discrimination – This is an assessment issue. Go directly to the assessment provider.
- Breach of the DWP Code of Conduct – I am unsure what this is linked to. Please explain on your call.
- Data Breach – We send everything second class post, this is a normal process. We are not responsible for lost mail. Please contact Royal Mail.
- Emotional Distress – You have not formally made a complaint.
- Request For Correction of Report – This can be dealt with by request on the telephone. You do not have access to email. We are not obliged to respond to any email requests.
Considering the Independent Case Examiner gave me the email to the entity I have been dealing with who said I should not correspond by email and he will no longer be returning my messages it just shows what I am up against.
I have phoned five times and tomorrow will be the sixth and have also contacted Capita by email requesting a copy of my report so in total I requested my report 4 times once by email to Capita and three times over the phone to DWP, I have only received one report. In the five phone calls, I said I wished to raise complaints and tomorrow will be the sixth time.
(Talking over the phone is going to go through one ear and out with the other). Even if I phoned 100 times they would not respond to my complaint(s). This is stonewalling at its finest.
This is against my human rights and I exercise my rights not only for me but for the good of the nation.
I will update you in due course when I get to phone them again. I will also start contacting some journalists and Charity CEO’s.
One needs permission to communicate by email apparently as cited by my call that transpired today trying to register my complaint.
The first person I spoke to told me to tell him everything and said he could see notes but they were too long to read.
The second person claimed to have registered the complaint but did not ask in detail what the complaint was over, which tells me they have all my evidence and documentation. I asked for him to read the notes of the decision maker, but he avoided my request, hence I have just sent an online for my information. I will laugh my socks off (NOT) if they send it via Royal Mail.
When I asked how long before my complaint would be dealt with he was evasive and would not give me a timeframe so I gave him a deadline of 14 days as I always do. The 14 days keep repeating every 14 days.
Frustrated at the fact that I was being swept under the carpet I demanded to know who I was liaising with (title) and it transpires he is the ‘Decision Maker’ no wonder the country is in the state it is in when they employ people that cannot read emails properly or read complaints and understand them.
I have since requested my information again but this time on the Gov website: Request your personal information from the Department for Work and Pensions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Just to be clear I did ask for the call recording and assessor notes from Capita and they replied that I would get the information in 40 days, which was on the 20th of October 2023.
Making A Complaint
I have found also this source to register a complaint:
https://makeacomplaint.dwp.gov.uk/personal-details (this link is not for DWP/PIP).
This button is for Job Seekers Allowance and Universal Credit I could not find a direct online complaint for DWP/PIP
I did however find this link Complaints procedure – Department for Work and Pensions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) but it does not have a way to complain online, I guess it is because of the sheer volume of complaints it gets their website would most probably crash.
Ministerial Correspondence Team
Address legal documents to the DWP Litigation Division.
Email the ministerial correspondence team
Send your question using the online contact form (I may contact them using this form).
Write to the ministerial correspondence team
Do not send benefit applications to this address. They will not be dealt with. Find out how to apply for benefits.
If I do not get a response from DWP I will start contacting the relevant organizations as cited in this article, plus contact all the Charity CEOs and Media to cover this. I will update you on here if I hear anything.
#dwp #pip #personalindependencepayments #stonewalling #databreach #disabilitydiscrimination #privacyviolation #gdpr #ico #ice #dataprotection #gdpr
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