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DWP urged to reveal algorithm that ‘targets’ Disabled people for benefit fraud

24 November 2021

A Manchester Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) has launched a legal action to make the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) explain how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to identify potential benefit fraud. 

The legal challenge argues that Disabled people are having to endure months of stressful checks and frustrating bureaucracy after being identified as potential benefit fraudsters by an algorithm the government is refusing to disclose. A legal letter has been sent to the DWP demanding details of the process which triggers such investigations.

The Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) said a “huge percentage” of the group has been affected by the system. The group says the government has a legal duty to be transparent about the algorithm.

Rick Burgess of the GMCDP said: “We’re tired of the fear of the brown envelope and tired of being repeatedly forced by DWP officials just to justify who we are”

“It’s time for the DWP to come clean about how this algorithm works and explain why so many Disabled people are flagged for investigation. Disabled people need support – not being ground down by a brutal system that assumes we are fraudulent until proven innocent.” Read more.