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Government forces benefits claimants to use Windows XP and IE6

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#1 +Frank B.

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:56

Government forces benefits claimants to use Windows XP and IE6
We can't handle your fancy Vista, Chrome, Linux or Macs around here

THE UK GOVERNMENT has shown it's at the forefront of modern technology and online services with its latest form for claiming benefits online.

Those who want to claim either Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Overseas State Pension can simply visit the Gov.UK website, where they are then pointed to the Department of Work and Pensions(DWP) website to fill out a form online.

So far, so impressive, in that the government is allowing citizens to apply for benefits over the web, rather than having to fill out forms and send them in via the post or visit offices in person.

However, it seems that many of those claimants could fall at the first hurdle due to some rather outdated stipluations about the computer systems supported by the DWP.

"This service doesn't work with some modern browsers and operating systems," the DWP notes. "We are considering how best to provide this service in future. You may want to claim in another way."

That is putting it mildly. Normally, we'd take the time to go through these system requirements and highlight only the most interesting points, but in this case we've decided to make an exception and post them here in their full glory, as we couldn't word them better than the DWP.

"The service does not work properly with Macs or other Unix-based systems even though you may be able to input information.

"You are likely to have problems if you use Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9 and 10, Windows Vista or a smartphone. Clearing temporary internet files may help but you may wish to claim in another way.

"There is also a high risk that if you use browsers not listed below, including Chrome, Safari or Firefox, the service will not display all the questions you need to answer. This is likely to prevent you from successfully completing or submitting the form. You may wish to claim in another way."

And now on to the much more restricted list of what your computer needs to be running if you actually want to claim a benefit online.

"The service was designed to work with the following operating systems and browsers. Many of these are no longer available:
  • Microsoft Windows 98: Internet Explorer versions 5.0.1, 5.5 and 6.0, Netscape 7.2
  • Microsoft Windows ME: Internet Explorer version 5.5 and 6.0, Netscape 7.2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000: Internet Explorer version 5.0.1, 5.5 and 6.0, Netscape 7.2, Firefox 1.0.3, Mozilla 1.7.7
  • Microsoft Windows XP: Internet Explorer 6.0, Netscape 7.2, Firefox 1.0.3, Mozilla 1.7.7."
For the few of you out there wanting to claim benefits online who manage to dig out some old Windows machine from a basement or loft running an old enough version of IE or Firefox, there are further obstacles to getting any money out of the government.

"This service is not available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 1.00am to 1.30am because of essential maintenance work. We apologise for any inconvenience," warns the DWP.

Perhaps that's when their hamsters change shifts - you know, the ones that run inside wheels keeping government IT systems up and running.

We often speculate here at The INQUIRER that the government favours proprietary systems, and doesn't do enough to open up bid tenders to smaller suppliers and open source outfits. On the basis of the above evidence, we're concerned that the government is taking its mission to extremes.

Source: The Inquirer


#2 n_K

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:28

Lol oh wow, and you wonder why the gov'mt just lost loads of seats to UKIP, once again no surprise.

#3 jakem1

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:48

Lol oh wow, and you wonder why the gov'mt just lost loads of seats to UKIP, once again no surprise.


I think UKIP voters would struggle with a pen and paper let alone a computer. Having said that this is just about the funniest story I've read in a long time. If they were clever enough I'd say that that this is part of some Tory plot to undermine the welfare state but it's more likely to just be another example of this government's incompetence. Well done IDS.

#4 leesmithg

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:51

Welcome to the future and fiscal spending whilst the Labour party were in power.

Trust us they said, we know we didn't listen to you, we didn't serve you and we expected you to serve us, however we will sort it all out we PROMISE.

One c0ck-up after another.

Coalition should hurry up and sort out this problem, (in the voice of Barry The Baptist) QUICK!

#5 Steven P.

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:12

Not surprising at all.. I was informed that I had to take a government national statistics survey last month, and if I didn't I could be fined up to €1000! The instructions I received asked for it to be submitted electronically using a program that can be downloaded, that supports up to Windows XP and no further :p

Anyway I have an accountant, so I just asked them to do it for me (they do it all the time I'm told).

#6 TheLegendOfMart

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:56

Welcome to the future and fiscal spending whilst the Labour party were in power.

Trust us they said, we know we didn't listen to you, we didn't serve you and we expected you to serve us, however we will sort it all out we PROMISE.

One c0ck-up after another.

Coalition should hurry up and sort out this problem, (in the voice of Barry The Baptist) QUICK!

Have you even used the abortion of a website gov.uk for job seekers now created for the current government?

Instead of filling a booklet in as to what jobs you want to sign up for you have to use a site called Universal Jobsmatch and it is AWFUL.

#7 jakem1

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 14:49

Have you even used the abortion of a website gov.uk for job seekers now created for the current government?

Instead of filling a booklet in as to what jobs you want to sign up for you have to use a site called Universal Jobsmatch and it is AWFUL.


The sad part is that their ultimate goal is to force all benefit claimants to use the website for all interactions with government, whether they have a computer and internet access or not.

#8 Hum

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 14:50

Yeah -- that'll teach 'em ! :p

#9 68k

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 14:55

Who did they get to develop the website?

This is why you choose people with a passion for technology to design websites, not those who use Internet Explorer religiously.

#10 n_K

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 15:01

Welcome to the future and fiscal spending whilst the Labour party were in power.

Trust us they said, we know we didn't listen to you, we didn't serve you and we expected you to serve us, however we will sort it all out we PROMISE.

One c0ck-up after another.

Coalition should hurry up and sort out this problem, (in the voice of Barry The Baptist) QUICK!

Yeah right, let me correct your pretty awful memory.
Labour came up with the PM petitions which worked in all browsers and was hastially closed by the tories because they don't give a **** what you think.
Tories answer is to come up with this pathetic excuse of a site?
yeh m8 better go vote for dem tories dey r wel c00l init

#11 Anibal P

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 15:03

Who did they get to develop the website?

This is why you choose people with a passion for technology to design websites, not those who use Internet Explorer religiously.


Remember lowest bidder wins!!! I'm usually surprised when ANY US Gov related site works in any modern browser and/or OS

#12 Jose_49

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 15:10

Who did they get to develop the website?

This is why you choose people with a passion for technology to design websites, not those who use Internet Explorer religiously.

Who knows how many security exploits are there ;)

Version bumps of browsers aren't simple numbers... There are many security patches involved in there as well... Pity that relative, few people understands this.

#13 MightyJordan

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 15:11

Yeah right, let me correct your pretty awful memory.
Labour came up with the PM petitions which worked in all browsers and was hastially closed by the tories because they don't give a **** what you think.
Tories answer is to come up with this pathetic excuse of a site?
yeh m8 better go vote for dem tories dey r wel c00l init

Actually, the PM petitions site is still up and running: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ - But you are right in that they don't give a **** what we think. The petitions seem to have a better chance of succeeding anyway if they're over on 38 Degrees, or Avaaz, or Change.org.

#14 +_Alexander

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 18:18

Someone post the source code for one of the pages.
We need a good laugh and/or facepalm.

#15 Azies

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 18:32

We have benefits programs that you can apply for online, but it supports up to Windows 8, OS X 10.8.X, and Linux, across Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 10... It complains when Chrome is used, but it allows it to work. This is in our local state, in the US, though, as each State in the U.S. handles benefits separately.