WTF!- this is from the DWP website/gov website.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/appeals-process-changes-for-dwp-benefits-and-child-maintenance

We are changing the appeals process so that more DWP decisions that claimants disagree with can be resolved without being sent to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

We want to prevent disputes. But if disputes occur, we want to resolve them as simply as possible and learn from them. From April 2013, we began to introduce changes which were part of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

What are the changes?

There are 3 changes:

  • DWP will reconsider all decisions before an appeal
  • appeals must be sent directly to HMCTS
  • time limits for DWP to return responses to HMCTS

DWP will reconsider all decisions before an appeal

DWP will reconsider all decisions before an appeal. This means that if someone disputes a decision, they will need to ask DWP to reconsider the decision before they can appeal to HMCTS. This is known as ‘mandatory reconsideration’. The change aims to make sure that people understand the decision and encourage them to provide additional evidence earlier in the process. Resolving disputes without the need for an appeal should also help make sure that people receive the right decision earlier in the process.

Mandatory reconsideration will also include a new telephone call from DWPfor most benefits. For Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance, a decision maker already phones the claimant to explain certain decisions. If the decision maker’s attempt to contact the claimant by phone is unsuccessful, and the claimant disagrees with the decision, they will now phone them again to talk it through.

For other benefits, if someone disagrees with a decision, the decision maker will phone them. The new call will be an opportunity for them to talk it through. During the call, they will receive a full explanation of the decision and be asked to provide any additional evidence that may help their case.

Appeals must be sent directly to HMCTS

After DWP has reconsidered a decision, if someone still disputes the decision and wishes to appeal, they must send their appeal directly to HMCTS. This is known as ‘direct lodgement’. It brings the process for social security and child maintenance appeals into line with other major subjects handled byHMCTS.

Time limits for DWP to return responses to HMCTS

DWP has agreed to the request of the Tribunal Procedure Committee to introduce time limits for DWP to return appeal responses to HMCTSDWPhas agreed to provide an appeal response within 28 calendar days in benefits cases and within 42 calendar days in child maintenance cases.

When will these changes be introduced?

We introduced all 3 changes for Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit in April 2013. Towards the end of October 2013 we will introduce mandatory reconsideration, direct lodgement and time limits for all other DWP benefits and child maintenance cases. We will begin to report performance against the time limits from October 2014.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “WTF!- this is from the DWP website/gov website.

  1. Charles

    This change starts with (original) decisions notified from 28 October 2013. To avoid risking loosing out, claimants must apply for the mandatory reconsideration in writing and within 1 month of the date of the original decision notice. The DWP say they’ll reconsider it, and send the claimant a new written decision called a mandatory decision notice.

    I personally fear that the mandatory reconsideration will usually not change the original decision, such that this change will in practice be no more than a delaying tactic. If the DWP telephones, then the claimant should make a note of what is said, in case the DWP later falsely claims that on the phone the claimant withdrew the dispute and accepted the original decision. If this does happen, or there is no response within a month to the application for reconsideration, then the claimant should seek help from the Claimants’ Union.
    If the original decision is unchanged or the claimant disagrees with the new decision, then the claimant must send HMCTS a written appeal within one month of the date of the mandatory decision notice (and also send a copy of the mandatory decision notice with that appeal).
    Further details can be found on the DWP website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/appeals-process-changes-for-dwp-benefits-and-child-maintenance and at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/m-20-13.pdf , which refers to https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/245952/Chapter_A3_-_Revision.pdf and to https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/245955/Chapter_A5_-_Appeals_-_PIP_and_UC_only.pdf
    Charles.

  2. Charles

    When I went to my local Jobcentre today, I was told that they were awaiting copies of the new leaflet explaining this change to claimants. However there is now a Guide (“Appeal a benefit decision”) to claimants on the change at https://www.gov.uk/appeal-benefit/decisions-made-on-after-28-october-2013 . (NB that this Guide doesn’t mention the time limits: for these see my previous comment.)

    More worryingly, some of the staff had yet to hear about the change!

    The old GL24 leaflet (“If you think our decision is wrong”) is now outdated in respect of decisions made from 28 Oct 2013, and the Guide advises that, in order to appeal decisions, made on mandatory reconsideration decisions, use form SSCS1 (downloadable from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-of-appeal-against-a-decision-of-the-department-for-work-and-pensions-sscs1 ) instead of using the old GL24 form.

    Claimants, be vigilant! If in trouble then seek help from the Claimants’ Union.

    Charles.

  3. omozele

    Well good luck with an appeal coz Sparkhill Jobcentreplus and Ravenhurst have never answered any of my letters . The only letters that I had was refusing me benefit. They eventually awarded JSA and this week have put an amount that covers the amout that back dates my claim but as to whether its JSA income based or contribution based I still dont know!! My letters were registered and I know who signed for them but no response. DWP can put guideline on their website but their staff think they can go their own way and ignore them. This is probably condoned by the DWP.

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