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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

Reasons we need Implicit Consent or Signed Consent in Full Service

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shawn mach
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shawn - 05 June 2019 12:32 PM

Tweet from the Scottish Social Security Committee:

The Committee want to hear your views!

Let us know your thoughts on Universal Credit consent provisions by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by 5pm Tuesday 11 June.

https://twitter.com/SP_SocialSecur/status/1136206450131423232

Papers are out for the Committee’s meeting this week (attached) ... they include a briefing on the consent issue from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) that references this thread and Emma’s correspondence with Amber Rudd and the ICO ...

 

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Elliot Kent
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I have today been told directly that explicit consent on the UC journal is now only valid for the specific day on which it is entered. I.e. if I want to speak to them today under explicit consent, there needs to be a journal message dated 08.07.19 stating as much.

Clearly the ICO’s advice is being taken completely to heart.

Andrew Dutton
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A client of ours has been told much the same:

‘we can not take ongoing consent [Welfare Rights] can speak to us on your behalf but we will need consent each time from yourself and details of when they will be contacting us’

 

Ianb
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I see that the Welfare Rights news items today includes an item quoting Amber Rudd saying in a recent letter

“GIven the speed at which claimants can provide explicit consent, operating a system of implicit consent is no longer necessary and can no longer be justified…”

https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Social_Security/General Documents/20190723SofS_to_Convener_consent_and_UC.pdf

Missing the point completely!

Andrew Dutton
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‘operating a system of implicit consent is no longer necessary and can no longer be justified’

So Westminster MPs lose it too?

Mike Hughes
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The “speed at which claimants can provide explicit consent” is an unevidenced assertion. What is really meant is that it looks possible for a claimant to provide explicit consent at speed. In practice we know that often isn’t the case.

That aside though, it’s nothing to the point. DWP have previously refused to guarantee that a post on a UC journal will be responded to within 24 hours. Given the obvious issues with payment mess ups and suicidal clients that would be bad enough but even if a claimant gives explicit consent on a given day there appears to be no way of ensuring that it’s accepted the same day.

shawn mach
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New blog post from Victoria @ SSAC:

Consent in Universal Credit: understanding what works

Owen_Stevens
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SSAC minutes from May 2019 on topic of UC consent: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/828926/ssac-minutes-may-2019.pdf at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/social-security-advisory-committee/about/membership#minutes-of-meetings

Dan_Manville
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Whatever the noises from SSAC I’ve also been told recently that we need consent for every enquiry. Thankfully not from all staff, just the Jobsworths

Owen_Stevens
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Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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Owen_Stevens - 09 September 2020 10:13 AM

Statement from SSAC: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consent-in-universal-credit/consent-in-universal-credit

‘Department has been developing a prototype for arranging consent for UC claimants who have an online journal’.

Does anyone have any info at what stage the above is at?

Owen_Stevens
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This issue came up in the recent Work and Pensions Select Committee report on the wait for the first UC payment: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/3069/documents/28787/default/

145. Support organisations have expressed concern that DWP’s approach to data sharing and consent has had a detrimental effect on their ability to support vulnerable claimants. The Department now says it is exploring options for improving its model of explicit consent.  We urge the Department to publish more detail about how this exploration is being progressed, including when the Department expects progress to be visible to observers and experienced by claimants. We echo the Social Security Advisory Committee’s recommendation that DWP should consider applying the implicit consent model to Universal Credit, or at least consider what improvements it can make to the model of explicit consent.  More broadly,  DWP should review its approach to how it works with people and organisations that support claimants, including support workers, housing associations and local authorities. 

Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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Thanks Owen not had a chance read it yet…........

Owen_Stevens
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The response:

Recommendation 18

Support organisations have expressed concern that DWP’s approach to data sharing and consent has had a detrimental effect on their ability to support vulnerable claimants. The Department now says it is exploring options for improving its model of explicit consent. We urge the Department to publish more detail about how this exploration is being progressed, including when the Department expects progress to be visible to observers and experienced by claimants. We echo the Social Security Advisory Committee’s recommendation that DWP should consider applying the implicit consent model to UC, or at least consider what improvements it can make to the model of explicit consent. More broadly, DWP should review its approach to how it works with people and organisations that support claimants, including support workers, housing associations and local authorities.

The Department operates a policy of explicit consent to help reduce the risk of fraud by ensuring that our claimants’ data is kept safe.

This is important because the UC system is structured around an online personal account which contains all the information relevant to the claim. This includes a claimant’s bank account details, savings, capital, medical history, family relationships and address, which means that we have a responsibility to ensure that a high level of security and protection is in place, and that we take all reasonable steps to protect the position of claimants and their data which includes ensuring that consent is explicitly given to share it.

We recognise that a number of organisations have raised concerns as to whether the explicit consent rules are sufficiently flexible. The Department agreed to explore options for improving the process of explicit consent in conjunction with the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) and stakeholders. SSAC have commented that they are pleased with the work that the Department has done to develop a prototype in a positive collaboration with end users.

UC design follows the ‘data protection by design and default principle’ to ensure that appropriate technical and organisational measures have been, and continue to be developed and implemented to safeguard personal data and the rights of individuals. Like other government departments, we are obliged to demonstrate plans and actions in order to meet all legal and regulatory requirements, and the published minimum government security standards. These are drawn from international standards, combined with specific UK Government requirements and obligations.

The Department does implement controls set against ISO27001 and other international standards; with the assistance and support of the Government’s National Technical Authorities. We have an independent second line assurance function that assures against all relevant security standards – which are in place, amongst other reasons, in order to protect personal data and comply with data protection legislation, principally the GDPR.

Further assurance is provided by the Government’s independent Internal Audit Agency operating as a third line of defence.

We are confident that we have the right engagement strategy and mechanisms in place to enable stakeholders to provide feedback, develop a shared understanding of areas for improvement and have input to how UC operates and the support that is provided to our claimants.
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmworpen/1117/111702.htm

Andrew Dutton
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If anyone can sift a meaning from this slew of words, please let me know.

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Andrew Dutton - 12 January 2021 12:41 PM

If anyone can sift a meaning from this slew of words, please let me know.

It seems to be a needlessly verbose and very long-winded way of saying (in my interpretation) that they don’t feel they have to change anything. (Making it harder for claimants to get effective help was always a plus point for them).

Andrew Dutton
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‘We will continue to obstruct genuine advice services whilst allowing fraudsters to run rings round us. Thank You.’

ASH
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Arrgh.  Now I’m being told that even though they accept the consent in theory, they cannot accept my call unless I have the answer to claimant’s security questions.  One went to ask their supervisor who agreed the was the case.  Another terminated my call because I was asking him to check with the supervisor. 
I’ve had this before but I thought we were over this.

Owen_Stevens
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Owen_Stevens
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Maverick
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Apols for long post-

Work with 2 different hats on ...,,.
One hospital based role with claimants many of who will be /have been issued with a DS1500.
Other, with those with severe mental health conditions who often can neither cope with online UC management or telephone appts with anyone. Vast majority do not even have access to a phone.
Not always easy access to escalation route.as come from across London & SE and sometimes much further.

In both roles see ppl face to face if that is their need/preference .

Re UC and DS1500 disclosure we tend to be given the pt copy to allow us to make a claim for PIP/AA. Now that will include the SR1 however we cant make the claim even if the claimant is not aware and/or too ill to make the claim themselves..

At present although UC is meant to get notification re PIP/AA and the DS1500 status they often don’t.
If we are involved at start of PIP/AA claim and aware UC/advise to claim then we have taken to sending the DS 1500 via post recorded delivery direct to the manager of the local job centre.
Because apparently this is the only way a work coach will stop asking terminally ill claimants to attend.
Because then we can alert if the claimant not aware and ask for sensitivity including where entries are made on to the journal .

Common sense plus a dose of Equality Act should have dictated that if either forms are submitted to UC by whoever that implied consent should be accepted for all UC matters as it is for disability benefits in these situations.

Any way we can get this brought up with DWP please in conjunction with the highly insensitive UC approach to terminal illness?

On all claim forms from get go have been adding for some time (where applicable) reasonable adjustments under EA are required and then list what form of communication this is/may be. Including where demands for online communication or telephone appointments are not possible . Including where the support of another person is required.

With UC given client has given us usual form of written consent if cant get above on to UC journal for all the reasons ppl have listed, no qualms in sending same plus hard copy letter stating this to JCP.

If nothing else it may make them pause and try get things right . Because even though DWP argue that no safeguarding responsibility ( and some case law backs them) much harder to argue not covered by the Equality Act. Seems to be only brake on poor decision making left.

This also has been what will loosely describe as a bridging protection where claimants then lose capacity and no power of attorney or appointee etc in place . Because can then argue to DWP ‘you were told when person did have capacity that reasonable adjustments required (inc when or if xyz happens).

It is basically a last ditch attempt at preventative action so we don’t have to get to escalation point…..