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contacting a decision maker regarding a restricted case

 

JAS1
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Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

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Morning,

I have a client who has a ‘restricted case’, I actually have no idea what this actually means as when I call to chase up her PIP I get told that the normal agents can’t see the case and it needs to go through to someone else and I will get a call back. I am not entirely sure what job title this person would be so maybe it isn’t actually a DM but just someone with more system access.

I got a call back from someone yesterday however I was not at my desk. She called again but I was also in a meeting. So I got two messages to call ‘*NAME*’ (just a very common first name) from DWP on 0800 121 4433. That’s the generic enquiry line. She didn’t even confirm who she was calling about, I had to make an educated guess at which client it was relating to (I am not going to look stupid by calling PIP and just asking for ‘*NAME*’!). She said on the message left for me she wasn’t allowed to leave a direct line.

I have called again and been told again I will get a call back.

This could theoretically go on for ever. I am only in the office around 50% of the time as I am out seeing people so there is a high chance I miss this next call back.

Is there any possible solution to this as I can see it getting a bit silly! I am sure I have been given direct lines in the past.

Thanks

      [ Edited: 14 Sep 2018 at 10:31 am by JAS1 ]
Dan Manville
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A possible reason for this is if the claimant is transexual. Trans claimants; once they’ve got their certificate, are restricted for some arcane reason. The only other time I’ve seen a restricted case was when someone had previously been on the UN Designated Terrorist list.

As to call backs; I know your pain; I’m out visiting a lot of the time.

     
Uphill Struggle
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If the case is restricted there has been a marker set on the system, usually MP’s/MSP’s/MLA’s, members of royal household, transgender customers, VIP’s or domestic violence issues. They’re known as a “special customer record.”

Beyond that, don’t know what else to suggest, maybe get an escalation route via your local partnership manager.

     
JAS1
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That does make sense actually. I believe the client may have transitioned gender at some point. She hasn’t told me directly but a few things she, and the referer said, have suggested this to be the case. That does seem strange that they ‘restrict’ these cases though I agree! At least I know what this is likely to be next time as I’ve never come across this before. I thought it would be some huge problem that would require a load of work to sort out so at least that’s hopefully not the case

Good suggestion about partnership manager, thanks. It just seems a silly system where I have to be at my desk at the exact moment they call or else I go back in the cycle of calling the enquiry line and requesting a call back endlessly. I will bear this in mind.

Cheers

     
Helen Rogers
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The reasons for restricted access that I have come across are transgender clients and those who have worked for the DWP at any time.  I had a client who had restricted access a couple of years.  We wrote to the DWP to ask them to remove it and they did straight away.  Problem solved!

     
stevenmcavoy
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Uphill Struggle - 14 September 2018 10:34 AM

If the case is restricted there has been a marker set on the system, usually MP’s/MSP’s/MLA’s, members of royal household, transgender customers, VIP’s or domestic violence issues. They’re known as a “special customer record.”

Beyond that, don’t know what else to suggest, maybe get an escalation route via your local partnership manager.

When VIP claimants get called to a medical assessment they get to enter by walking on the 21 meter long red carpet.

 

     
ClairemHodgson
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Dan Manville - 14 September 2018 10:33 AM

A possible reason for this is if the claimant is transexual. Trans claimants; once they’ve got their certificate, are restricted for some arcane reason.

to avoid the transgender fact being known to people who don’t need to know it/to avoid abuse/discrimination because of the status/so on and so forth

nothing arcane about that

there was a case report it about it not that long ago, specifically about how the DWP deal with such things, which you’ll find useful…

https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2017/72.html

 

     
Helen Rogers
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This is interesting because with my client we had a plan to launch a legal challenge if the DWP refused to remove the restricted access.  I wasn’t aware of this case.
Given the problems and delays that it causes though, I do think DWP should let claimants know that they have restricted access and give them the opportunity to have it removed.  Claimants tend to only realise when there is a problem with their benefits which they need to get resolved quickly.
Although the policy is there for a good reason, in practice it means the claimant is given a second class service because they can’t ring the helpline about their claim and processing gets left to the bottom of the pile because of the extra bureaucracy involved.  If the DWP was committed to real equality, they could provide a special phone number and dedicated processing team.  Just putting it out there!

     
Uphill Struggle
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stevenmcavoy - 14 September 2018 11:27 AM
Uphill Struggle - 14 September 2018 10:34 AM

If the case is restricted there has been a marker set on the system, usually MP’s/MSP’s/MLA’s, members of royal household, transgender customers, VIP’s or domestic violence issues. They’re known as a “special customer record.”

Beyond that, don’t know what else to suggest, maybe get an escalation route via your local partnership manager.

When VIP claimants get called to a medical assessment they get to enter by walking on the 21 meter long red carpet.

Steven, you’ll be delighted to know that a certain HCP at our venue, who would always write “smiling and chatting appropriately” in every ESA85, is still there to greet them.

     
stevenmcavoy
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Uphill Struggle - 14 September 2018 12:07 PM
stevenmcavoy - 14 September 2018 11:27 AM
Uphill Struggle - 14 September 2018 10:34 AM

If the case is restricted there has been a marker set on the system, usually MP’s/MSP’s/MLA’s, members of royal household, transgender customers, VIP’s or domestic violence issues. They’re known as a “special customer record.”

Beyond that, don’t know what else to suggest, maybe get an escalation route via your local partnership manager.

When VIP claimants get called to a medical assessment they get to enter by walking on the 21 meter long red carpet.

Steven, you’ll be delighted to know that a certain HCP at our venue, who would always write “smiling and chatting appropriately” in every ESA85, is still there to greet them.

the best thing I seen was the visiting doctor who recorded their leaving discussion in the form of a play :D

you never really have seen it all.

     
Peter Turville
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Restricted access is nothing new. Back in the day when I worked in a Supp Ben office I took a years unpaid leave to attend an HE course. That was also in the day when students could claim during the Xmas and Easter vacations. As I lived in the same area as the office that meant I had restricted access to my own claim in the office in which I was technically still employed. As I had been the person who undertook most of the student claim calculations I then had to outline to (a colleague) how to calculate my Supp Ben award!

During initial training (in those days 13 weeks inc a residential course!) when issues of security and confidentiality etc were taught the example of a ‘restricted access’ given was that Tom Jones Supp Ben case was still ‘proudly’ displayed in the office where he had once claimed (no doubt an internal ‘urban myth’).

     
JAS1
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ClairemHodgson - 14 September 2018 11:47 AM
Dan Manville - 14 September 2018 10:33 AM

A possible reason for this is if the claimant is transexual. Trans claimants; once they’ve got their certificate, are restricted for some arcane reason.

to avoid the transgender fact being known to people who don’t need to know it/to avoid abuse/discrimination because of the status/so on and so forth

nothing arcane about that

there was a case report it about it not that long ago, specifically about how the DWP deal with such things, which you’ll find useful…

https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2017/72.html

Interesting, thanks for the info.

When I first met the client I made this post about, she was adamant that we fill out a PIP1 form instead of phoning to start her PIP claim. She was very against phoning them but didn’t say exactly why. I realise now it may be because it would reveal trans status before she was ready to reveal it herself.

     
neilbateman
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I understand that if a DWP employee attempts to access restricted access cases when they are not authorised, it flags up an alarm and they are immediately suspended and face gross misconduct disciplinary action.  It’s sort of career terminating, hence the lack of information given out to advisers.