A MAN dying of cancer has received an apology from bungling civil servants who arranged a “work coach” to get him back into employment.
A letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) told Thomas Glen the coach could help him “think about the type of work he can do in the future”.
The 62-year-old’s outraged family publicly branded the DWP “bs” and begged bureaucrats to let him “enjoy his last days in peace”.
Thomas, a former joiner from Dundee, learned in October his oesophageal cancer would kill him within 18 months.
His son, also Thomas, 30, and from Dundee, took to social media on Monday to reveal the hammer blow the family had received.
He wrote: “My dad has stage 4 cancer, is literally dying a little more each day and through the door Friday was a letter from the DWP saying that he would be assigned a work coach to discuss options for going back to work!
“F fuming is an understatement! Let the man enjoy his last days in peace without having to worry about getting the little money he already gets from the same people that know about his illness!
“Look at the photo. Does he look like a man who’s fit for work? Please share so these bs know how they’re affecting people!”
The letter, dated February 14, states: “Dear Thomas, We have arranged for a work coach to contact you by telephone, they will discuss how we can help you while you’re getting Employment and Support Allowance.
“We know most people’s lives are made better if they can work, but understand that it can be hard for some people to find work or know what sort of work they might be able to do.
“Your work coach can help you think about the types of work you might be able to do at some point in the future. Your call will last up to 20 minutes.”
The letter then tells Thomas that the phone call will be made on April 1 at 5:40pm but not the name of the person assigned as the ‘work coach’.
Thomas Jnr said today: “They know he can’t work because they have had all the forms. My dad was panicking about it in case his money gets stopped. He’s not a rich man and he’s not got life insurance. It’s just a big stress.
“The forms were given to them in November. Why wasn’t it picked up internally? The system’s not very good at the moment.”
Thomas revealed his father had also been underpaid benefit despite receiving forms backdated to the start of November.
He added: “Dad’s not getting carers and me and my sister deal with most things. He’s a proud man and won’t complain about anything but now he’s very down about it and it’s hard.
“We need to help him enjoy the rest of his life. We’ve set up a Go Fund Me to help with experiences we can do with him. I’ve set a target of £500 but even £50 helps him.”
The bungle has outraged many people on social media, including Pamela Duncan who wrote: “This is really sad, the DWP really do target the wrong people.”
Lawrie Hill commented: “Shocking mate and something else your dad could do without.”
Peter Speirs wrote: “F idiots should be sacked.”
Alison Carlin said: “This is just crazy – totally shocking.”
A spokesman for the DWP said: “We are very sorry for the error. We have apologised to Mr Glen and ensured that any additional benefits due are paid immediately.”
The DWP also confirmed that Thomas will receive increased payments due to his ill health now the error has been dealt with.
The spokesman added: “We want to ensure people receive the support they are entitled to and people with a terminal illness who are receiving Employment and Support Allowance in the support group are not required to seek work.