The government website that supports people to apply for benefits includin Disability Living Allowance does not work with most newer internet browsers, it has been revealed.
Computing, the online IT magazine, has published advice provided on the site in the 'Operating systems and browsers', which states:
"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,"
Some of the servers the site does work with, including Internet Explorer 5 and 6, Netscape 7.2, and Firefox 1.0.3, are no longer available.
Netscape stopped providing any software in 2008 and is now an internet service provider.
The news threatens the government's strategy to make all services for unemployed people 'default online', meaning in all normal circumstances jobseekers will be required to use the internet to manage their claims, look for work and apply for benefits.
Many unemployed people access the internet only through smartphones, and the inability of the site to work on these is likely to prevent thousands from using it.
The government launched its Universal Credit pilot in one area on Monday 29th October against a backdrop of accusations that its IT scheme was not ready.
The pilot was originally slated for four areas, but was reduced to one, with a Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson saying "This is the very first step. We are testing how our systems work in an online environment and how claimants in a live environment react to it. We are deliberately not doing a big bang – that is not how you do a big project sensibly."