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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Decision making and appeals  →  Thread

Disappearing Online Appeals

Dan Manville
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Mental health & welfare rights service - Wolverhampton City Council

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I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

I have one client for whom I’ve twice tried to register the appeal online but it’s vanished and CTS have niether acknowledged it nor can find it on their system.

I’m wondering whether anyone’s got an idea what’s going wrong?

[ Edited: 16 Jul 2019 at 11:50 am by Dan Manville ]
Elliot Kent
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Shelter

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No but I imagine that they will be interested in the feedback on the beta system…

Jo_Smith
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Citizens Advice Hillingdon

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I’ve had that happen to one of my clients. We have produced evidence of client receiving the SMS message, and me, as a rep an email to confirm appeal submitted online, but the appeal itself whoosh into big black hole. Resubmitted the appeal (hard copy!) and enclosed an explanatory letter and evidence to address the issue of lateness.
Guess what? Appeal thrown out because of the lateness.
Complaint submitted. Wait and see. Client not happy at all.

Martin Williams
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Welfare rights advisor - CPAG, London

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Jo_Smith - 30 April 2019 08:38 PM

I’ve had that happen to one of my clients. We have produced evidence of client receiving the SMS message, and me, as a rep an email to confirm appeal submitted online, but the appeal itself whoosh into big black hole. Resubmitted the appeal (hard copy!) and enclosed an explanatory letter and evidence to address the issue of lateness.
Guess what? Appeal thrown out because of the lateness.
Complaint submitted. Wait and see. Client not happy at all.

Jo - just to be clear you can apply for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal against a decision refusing to admit a late appeal (grounds here would obviously be that it was not in fact late….). As proceedings have not started it is not one you need a statement of reasons for first- just send the permission to appeal application in to the FtT- happy to look at papers here at the Upper Tribunal Assistance Project  division of CPAG….

Dan Manville
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Mental health & welfare rights service - Wolverhampton City Council

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The walls have ears…

The SSCS1 has barely left our organisation and; a month after I last tried to lodge it electronically, I have had the email telling me it’s lodged.

Mike Hughes
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Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

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I wonder if this is as digital in practice as UC live service was with it’s pencils; spreadsheets and much walking from office to office?

Is the acknowledgement not yet fully automated I wonder?

If only HMCTS would bother to talk to us on a regular basis!

Dan Manville
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Mike Hughes - 02 May 2019 11:10 AM

Is the acknowledgement not yet fully automated I wonder?

 

I’m using this service a lot, it changes quite frequently; good evidence of an iterative approach. I think it’s teething troubles. I was wondering whether it was me…

If only HMCTS would bother to talk to us on a regular basis!

Being close to Birmingham we’ve had a hand in the development process so I have, now, discussed it with them.  I’ve not seen many pencils in the meetings I’ve been part of :)

If there are any other teething troubles maybe best to leave them on this thread…

Paus17
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Epping Forest CAB

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I lodged an ESA appeal online on 20/6/19. I got an acknowledgement within minutes saying I am nominated as the representative but nothing since. Rang HMCTS on 1/7/19 and was told there was no trace. Call centre said they would inform Bradford but still nothing.
Meanwhile client has been told that she cannot get back on ESA pending the appeal as she cannot give them the HMCTS reference number. I hope to have solved that aspect with the help of a friendly contact at the local JCP. I forwarded the email I had received and he will forward it on to the ESA decision maker. It remains to be seen if that works!
Maybe these are teething troubles but this is a pretty fundamental weakness. The worry must be that it is a product of scaling up, in which case the problems will only get worse.

ElaineH
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Welfare Benefits Caseworker, Karbon Homes

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Jo_Smith - 30 April 2019 08:38 PM

I’ve had that happen to one of my clients. We have produced evidence of client receiving the SMS message, and me, as a rep an email to confirm appeal submitted online, but the appeal itself whoosh into big black hole. Resubmitted the appeal (hard copy!) and enclosed an explanatory letter and evidence to address the issue of lateness.
Guess what? Appeal thrown out because of the lateness.
Complaint submitted. Wait and see. Client not happy at all.

Hi, have you an update about this?

Paus17
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Epping Forest CAB

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I’ve sent the following email to one of the feedback addresses for the MoJ reform programme (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)):

“This is feedback on the online SSCS1. I hope you already know about this issue, but i haven’t seen any public acknowledgement.

I am a benefits adviser with a local charity.  I have started using the online appeal facility for both ESA and PIP appeals. With one serious exception, which I detail below, it is an improvement over the paper-based system, particularly the alerts, though I wouldn’t over-hype it: the paper system was relatively easy to use and accessible, especially compared to the Kafkaesque nightmare claimants have to endure with DWP.

The serious flaw is that some appeals are submitted online and then disappear, as if they had never existed. This has happened to me twice and I know from the Rightsnet discussion forum (which I hope you monitor regularly) that it has happened to others. Advisers will pick this up but unrepresented claimants may never realise that their appeals have not been registered.

I have raised this with the social security appeals call centre and via the feedback form on gov.uk but have had no response.

I am sure you must appreciate that this is a very serious defect. I do not know whether it is easily fixed. It doesn’t matter, in my view, if most appeals are not affected. This should not happen in any appeal and an IT system should not have this flaw. In my view you should suspend the online system until you are confident it has been fixed.”

Others may want to make the same point.

ElaineH
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Thank you for that update.
I have made a complaint about the particular PIP appeal which triggered my post (separate thread) and I am awaiting an outcome. It is currently with a Judge to decide if it can proceed.