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Denial of appeal rights

benefitsadviser
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Sunderland West Advice Project

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Joined: 22 June 2010

If anyone has any stakeholder or DWP management meetings (or if DWP snoops are reading this)
can they ask why clients are being refused appeal rights. Is it malice, incompetence , bad training or all 3??

Client of mine wants a decision looked at again under mandatory recon, so that they can appeal it
Note on journal : we wont do a mandatory reconsideration as in our opinion there is nothing to consider. We are correct and your challenge has no merit.

I am getting client to send me a copy and ill appeal anyway, as im interpreting that as a refusal to revise despite being asked, which does trigger appeal rights

How many UC claimants will just let this sort of thing go as they don’t have access to advice workers?

We are getting a few now where MRs are requested on Universal credit and DWP are simply refusing to follow due legal process.

TIA

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Welfare Rights Officer, Southway Housing Trust, Manchester

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Worrying!

Escalate through the dispute resolution team as a matter of urgency. A legitimate MR request CANNOT be refused. Claimant must be given a decision and notified of appeal rights.

I would try to get the local MP on board and raise an enquiry with the department. Usually does the trick (and, I think, sends a warning shot across DWPs bows that we are on to them and will not tolerate unlawful practice on their part).

Further, you could threaten them with the press (never tried this, so not sure how effective it is). However, DWP are very wary of (yet more)bad publicity about UC.

If none of the above succeed. Judicial Review on grounds DWP are denying right to a decision under Article 6 ECHR.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Don’t forget the CPAG resources on JR in these situations.

Mandatory reconsideration

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

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Seen this.

No LCWRAE paid despite it being a migration claim. Requested recon and the reply came back “we can’t recon it because we haven’t done the WCA yet”, then silence despite several messages on the journal.

People can’t really hesitate in these circumstances and should start down the JR route immediately. Three months isn’t a long time plus, I suspect once the Government Legal Service receives a few Pre Action letters they will intervene and JCP will be advised how article 6 works.

KMJones
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Early Warning System, Child Poverty Action Group

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Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident and I’ve had a few cases of this in CPAG’s Early Warning System.

This has been raised with the DWP, who have asked us to provide partial postcodes so they may ascertain whether these problems relate to certain teams/ individuals on their staff.

Our next Computer Says “No” report will be covering this issue as well, which should lend some weight to the info provided so far.  The report is due to be published later this month.

I’d be very interested in receiving more case studies so we can demonstrate how prevalent this problem is, and whether it is persisting.  Do complete an EWS form to tell me about your cases! https://childpovertyactiongroup.wufoo.com/forms/m1vc0zeg1sr9zgh/