Facebook reacted with astonishment yesterday after it was revealed that a 90+ year-old gran had been ordered to attend a jobcentre interview.
Mrs Campbell received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ordering her to attend a ‘service compliance interview’ at a local jobcentre office.
Grandson Colin took to Facebook to ask others why his gran was being told to attend a jobcentre interview. “On the back of the letter they wanted proof of everything, property bank accounts etc”, said Mr Campbell.
Colin said his family had kept the existence of the letter away from him for “obvious reasons”, and that now he had discovered the letter he was determined to “make a noise about this”.
People can be asked to attend a ‘local service compliance’ interview to determine whether they are receiving the correct level of state support, such as benefits and tax credits, they are entitled to. They can be chosen randomly or as a result of suspected fraud, possibly triggered by an accusation of fraud by a member of the public.
One facebook user responded to Colin’s post on Facebook saying: “Its to see if she is alive & if she is really receiving the benefits. Many people don’t inform the pensions [office] when they pass & money keeps coming and is taken by anyone with there [sic] account access”.
Adding: “that would be the only logical reason I see why they would do this”.
Another user described the letter as “systematic bullying”, adding: “compliance office really do see anyone on benefits as scum, regardless of your situation”.
“I live in a country where one half of the population is employed to make the other halfs [sic] lives a misery”, said another of Colin’s Facebook friends.
Colin phoned the DWP to ask why his grandmother had received the letter. An official admitted a “clerical error” and that “the letter should not have been sent”.