Search rightsnet
Search options

Where

Benefit

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction

From

to

Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Other universal credit issues  →  Thread

FSUC and mandatory reconsideration

 

lost in Granite
forum member

Training and Appeals team, glasgow city council welfare rights

Send message

Total Posts: 32

Joined: 11 March 2015

I have been blindly assuming that in FSUC areas a claimant can ask for a mandatory reconsideration via their journal. Is that correct?

The reason for the question beyond the obvious need to know is that having just watched the DWP video on FSUC, the journal they put on screen suggests only two ways to ask. a phone call and a freepost address.

Can someone let me know?

Thanks

Lee

     
Income Max
forum member

Weymouth & Portland Citizens Advice

Send message

Total Posts: 74

Joined: 2 January 2018

I’ve noticed this too - GOV.UK used to say that you can ask for UC MR on the journal but now doesn’t mention this.

I had a MR posted on the journal completely ignored a few months ago. If it wasn’t an isolated incident then that might explain why they’re now not listing the journal as a method for MRs.

I’ve been sticking to phone or post ever since, though if using post I do put a note the journal to say that an MR letter/form has been posted (just as a precaution in case it gets lost and to keep the WC informed).

     
Jon (CHDCA)
forum member

Welfare Benefits, Craven CAB, N Yorks

Send message

Total Posts: 1143

Joined: 16 June 2010

Some relevant discussion in this thread:
https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/12532/

I’m quite sure we have done it via the journal, but post should be safer.

     
lost in Granite
forum member

Training and Appeals team, glasgow city council welfare rights

Send message

Total Posts: 32

Joined: 11 March 2015

thanks for your responses and the link to the earlier thread. Plainly the old way is still the best way.

thanks

Lee

     
Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
forum member

Citizens Advice Bridport & District

Send message

Total Posts: 341

Joined: 9 January 2017

Here’s the DWP response attached to a recent FOI on the subject of MR’s

     

File Attachments

Peter Turville
forum member

Welfare Rights Worker, Oxford Community Work Agency

Send message

Total Posts: 1228

Joined: 18 June 2010

In our experience it is still ‘hit & miss’. There are two main issues (1) how to ensure the MR is made and acknowledged (2) that DWP actually consider it and make a decision.

We have been sending MRs by post (and of course if additional evidence needs to be enclosed that is still the only available option!) and pasting a copy to the claimants journal (with a note stating copy sent by post (with X additional evience) and requesting CM confirms by a reply on the journal that the MR has been registered and forwarded to a DM for action.

If the claimnt has already made the MR by ‘phone confirm via journal entry that it has been made (on X date etc) and request confirmation it is being actioned.

We are finding that ‘routine’ MR requests such as challenging a WCA decision are dealt with. However more technical MRs such as incorrect rate of deductions are ignored.

Sometimes a reply on the journal is posted by a work coach and otherwise by a CM - wonder if who looks at the entry determines the appropriatness of the response / action taken?

The MRN is posted to the claimants journal so the other issue is whether the claimant then makes contacts for further advice at that point!

     
WillH
forum member

locum adviser CPAG Scotland

Send message

Total Posts: 161

Joined: 17 June 2010

Hi Peter (and others)

Can you confirm that you are using the Freepost address when sending MRs by post?

We are still having problems with MRs for people who have been refused & can’t upload anything to their journal.

Not helped by 45 minute waits on the helpline. We’re also sending clients in with the MR & asking for it to be uploaded by JC+....we’ve been told by partnership manager to do this & yet already have had clients sent away :-(

     
CHC
forum member

Welfare rights team, St Mungo's Broadway

Send message

Total Posts: 49

Joined: 22 June 2010

I don’t think I have had a single MR request get through using the freepost address. I have had to send client’s down to the jobcentre to hand deliver the letter and supporting evidence, along with a covering letter explaining that it had previously been posted but told not received. I also have been using the journal to request a mandatory reconsideration but sometimes you need to supply other evidence so it doesn’t work for that. When I call the UC helpline they are very open that there are postal issues and advice hand delivering letters, I know that its hit and miss to whether the jobcentre will allow the client just to turn up with it.

     
Peter Turville
forum member

Welfare Rights Worker, Oxford Community Work Agency

Send message

Total Posts: 1228

Joined: 18 June 2010

Will
We have been using the freepost address. But there is never any acknowledgment posted to the journal confirming recipt - and any subsequent MRN has made no referrence to the source of the application. There is just a silence between submitting the MR and a MRN being posted to the journal unless we phone the helpline to confirm the MR is being dealt with!

It is now possible (at least with Bristol service centre) to request a ‘to do’ is added to the journal that allows uploading of docs. However this requires a call to the helpline and hope the new telephony system connects to a CM at Bristol who can initiate the new ‘to do’ (haven’t tried making a request for the ‘to do’ by entry on a journal yet). Why it is not a permenant feature of all on line account?

     
WillH
forum member

locum adviser CPAG Scotland

Send message

Total Posts: 161

Joined: 17 June 2010

Thanks Peter - to confirm, you mean that they can initiate a ‘to do’ which allows someone to upload docs even though their UC has been refused?

     
Peter Turville
forum member

Welfare Rights Worker, Oxford Community Work Agency

Send message

Total Posts: 1228

Joined: 18 June 2010

WillH - 08 August 2018 02:05 PM

Thanks Peter - to confirm, you mean that they can initiate a ‘to do’ which allows someone to upload docs even though their UC has been refused?

Haven’t tried it for a closed case yet.

     
past caring
forum member

Welfare Rights Adviser Southwark Law Centre Peckham

Send message

Total Posts: 768

Joined: 25 February 2014

You can’t make any new entries (or uploads) with a journal once the claim is closed.

What I do is get the client to make a new UC claim, purely for the purpose of being able to request the MR via the journal (i.e. so that there is a record of it - no other method allows this) and then to be able to request the ‘to do’ to allow further evidence to be uploaded if that’s necessary.

     
Helen Rogers
forum member

Welfare Rights Officer, Stockport MBC

Send message

Total Posts: 81

Joined: 17 June 2010

Interestingly, the voice recognition software on the helpline (for live service at least) doesn’t recognise the word “reconsideration”!

     
Benny Fitzpatrick
forum member

Welfare Rights Officer, Southway Housing Trust, Manchester

Send message

Total Posts: 392

Joined: 2 June 2015

Same problems here:
- MR requests posted on journal are ignored (As appears to be the case with most information posted by Cls) It seems the work coaches are not passing the requests to the DMs at the processing centres.
-Freepost address is not reliable and you get no acknowledgement of receipt.
-No addresses to post direct to processing centres
-Excessive waiting times on helplines and frequently the adviser refuses to take MR over phone, despite guidance.

We have also resorted to sending clients to the jobcentre with a request for the MR to be scanned to the system.

Clients are having access to justice restricted by DWP incompetence and restrictive practices. This needs sorting asap. In my opinion, providing a postal address or Email for the processing centres/DMs would be the best remedy.

     
Elliot Kent
forum member

Shelter

Send message

Total Posts: 799

Joined: 14 July 2014

Attached is my most recent attempt to use the Freepost address.

Client comes into the office, 15 minutes to closing. Her UC claim has been refused and “closed” due to no RTR. No time for 90+ minutes of Vivaldi. Can’t use the journal. Typed up an MR letter.

Returned to me two days running - I think its the lack of a postcode.

I have now had to send it off to the signed for address.

     

File Attachments

Income Max
forum member

Weymouth & Portland Citizens Advice

Send message

Total Posts: 74

Joined: 2 January 2018

Just on the phone with UC helpline. Agent insisted that all MRs must be submitted by phone.

Not taking his word as gospel by any means, but the inconsistency on this topic is very frustrating.