Login FormClose

Free ESA, PIP and DLA Updates

With over 140,000 subscribers our fortnightly updates bulletin is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Get the facts about what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare.   Get your free benefits updates now.

Professional Members

We support both claimants and professionals.  These are just some of the organisations who have subscribed to Benefits and Work:

  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Spinal Injuries Association
  • Chesterfield Law Centre
  • Coventry Mind
  • Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Colchester Borough Council Welfare Rights

Read more

Phone app for benefits payments raises snooping and spending control fears

The DWP is trialling a new app based on bitcoin software as a way of paying benefits, Lord Freud has announced, raising fears that claimants spending could be closely monitored and controlled.

Blockchain is the technology which powers the virtual currency Bitcoin and it is now being incorporated into many other applications. The DWP have begun a six month, small scale trial of the system under the name GovCoin.

The trial was announced by Lord Freud, who told a technology conference:

“Claimants are using an app on their phones through which they are receiving and spending their benefit payments. With their consent, their transactions are being recorded on a distributed ledger to support their financial management.”

A former member of the Government Digital Service has told the BBC that he has serious concerns about putting highly sensitive data on a shared ledger, which can never be changed even if it is inaccurate.

He also told the BBC that the technology could be used to monitor benefit spending and force claimants to only spend their benefits on approved items.

The DWP have denied that there any plans to replace current payments systems and describe the trial as an attempt to find ways of offering budgeting help.

You can read the full story on the BBC website.

Comments  

#4 Diane G 2016-08-02 10:20
I thought bitcoins were what major criminals used to hide and launder money but then again possibly appropriate for our leaders :-* How much money do they waste on paying stupid people to come up with stupid ideas.
#3 Blackcat 2016-07-20 18:20
Hi
I have autism,Possibly it may be what I said,but not what I meant!

I have a supermarket Fast Track card. It builds up an 'algorithm' of my spending habits. It will tell them the time I shop,the order I shop,and the brands I buy. I will be given points of this that and the other on my next shop.
I might be accused of spreading hatred,which is not my intention,but out of boredom,they want to buy in some new technology.
+4 #2 Eli48 2016-07-15 11:52
Since when do the DWP give a damn about helping claimants with budgeting? I find this very suspicious and fear this is going down a route that will only mean misery to those who like a drink, a short break or who have pets........... ............ slippery slope.
+3 #1 penthesili 2016-07-14 14:30
Due to disability I'm physically incapable of using a moble phone. Never have done and will never be capable.

You need to be logged in to comment