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Misinformation by DWP staff: not worth appealing, must claim UC! Lost premiums!

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Bestwood Advice Centre, Nottingham

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Joined: 10 October 2017

Over the last few months, clients have told me that DWP staff “advised” them to claim UC rather than that they have the right to appeal against an incorrect ESA WCA decision. Today, a client with significant health problems (on morphine for pain) told me he sought help from DWP counter staff to request an MR/appeal after failing his ESA WCA. They “advised”  him that “it wasn’t worth” appealing & he would “have to” claim UC, which he did. The same client had also failed a PIP assessment which he didn’t appeal because he didn’t receive a MRN after requesting MR by phone. These are usually the more vulnerable/gullible clients, & such actions by staff must save DWP millions in lost premiums & components. Is this also happening in other areas?

Andrew Dutton
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Welfare rights service - Derbyshire County Council

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Sorry you have received no replies - but the answer to the question is quite clearly ‘yes’.

This crops up time and again - I’m sure you’ve done it, but got for late MRs and make formal complaints about the advice given in each case. I am increasingly in favour of bringing MPs in at an early stage, as they should see what they are voting for and its effects upon the vulnerable.

This is increasingly important as DWP tries to whitewash UC with its ‘myth busting’ campaign and slips back in to full optimism-bias and outright denial.

Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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Citizens Advice Bridport & District

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We have evidence to that effect from client’s too!