Department of Health and Social Security
|Preceding agencies||Ministry of Health
Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance
|Superseding agency||Department of Social Security, Department of Health (United Kingdom)|
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The Department of Health and Social Security (commonly known as the DHSS) was a ministry of the British government in existence for twenty years from 1968 until 1988, and was headed by the Secretary of State for Social Services.
In 2001 the Department for Work and Pensions was formed from the Department of Social Security, absorbing the employment functions which had previously been the responsibility of the Department for Education and Employment since the dissolution of the Department of Employment in 1995.
Even two and a half decades after its abolishment, the initials 'DHSS' continued to be used by the general public to describe the Department for Work and Pensions or some of the benefits it provides (such as Income Support).
UB40 (a reggae group from Birmingham, whose first album was released in 1980) was named after the form issued by the DHSS to those claiming unemployment benefit, the full name of which was Unemployment Benefit form 40.
The initials "DHSS" are recited several times in Wham!'s 1983 hit single Wham Rap!, a tongue-in-cheek celebration of wilful unemployment. The first album by Half Man Half Biscuit (released in 1985) was called Back in the DHSS, a play on the Beatles song "Back in the U.S.S.R.".
Doris Lessing's short story "DHSS" from 1991 describes a former DHSS employee's attempt to help a young woman who has no money because of a strike at DHSS. The department is portrayed as having undergone a change of financial cuts, understaffing and a growing distance between social workers and applicants.
- "Biography". UB40 official website. United Kingdom: Box UK. Retrieved 2009-06-02. "UB40's first album was released in September 1980."
- "Ub40 Biography". BiggestStars.com. Retrieved 2009-06-02. "The name "UB40" was selected in reference to a paper form issued by the UK government's Department of Health and Social Security at the time of the band's formation for claiming unemployment benefit. The designation UB40 stood for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40."
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