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Disappearing UC claims

Dan Manville
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Greater Manchester Law Centre

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I’m just about to make a Right of Access request which will hopefully sort this out but as it’s a quandary I thought I’d throw it to the field and gather people’s thoughts.

I’ve a client who made a UC claim; couldn’t complete to “submit” stage and it closed.  I’m now in a position where I need to challenge that decision, however the case managers can only see claims that have been submitted. I suspect details of the claim will be in the service logs, hence my RoA.

I’m curious as to how people might approach this.

Martin Williams
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1. The DWP position on this is I think that your client did not make a defective claim.

2. We have permission to argue that is wrong and that once “Make a Claim” is clicked then a defective claim has been made (case reference CUC/968/2019).

Not sure Dan if your question is about the practicalities of prising the record of what you say is a defective claim out of DWP or instead is about the merits of an argument it was a defectice claim / needed to have a decision notified etc?

Dan Manville
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Martin Williams - 16 August 2019 04:55 PM

Not sure Dan if your question is about the practicalities of prising the record of what you say is a defective claim out of DWP or instead is about the merits of an argument it was a defectice claim / needed to have a decision notified etc?

 

A bit of both I suspect. I know there are service logs that will probably reveal the defective claims; the RoA request went yesterday for those.  I was curious how people might approach the situation if they’ve seen it.

If ever you’ve received a request for the digital info held on an ESA claim it yields reams of individual entries that are quite difficult to interrogate; I’m worring I might run into that again.

I’d guess I’ll be staying any arguments behind your case. I will watch with baited breath.

 

[ Edited: 20 Aug 2019 at 10:40 am by Dan Manville ]
Dan Manville
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Hi Martin

I’ve got another case that might turn on your lead case. This time we’ve already appealed.

We’ve just had directions from the FtT.

Any news?

Thanks

Ros
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Still waiting for hearing at UT - here’s the CPAG test case page -

https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/resources/test-case/defective-claims-universal-credit-and-date-claim

Dan Manville
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Thanks Ros

It’s be really useful to know what evidence of a claim having been commenced they’ve got as I’ll be making a late appeal on the case I discussed in the OP soon. My RoA request did not come up with the service logs that I know exist.

Martin Williams
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Dan Manville - 13 December 2019 12:54 PM

Thanks Ros

It’s be really useful to know what evidence of a claim having been commenced they’ve got as I’ll be making a late appeal on the case I discussed in the OP soon. My RoA request did not come up with the service logs that I know exist.

Hi Dan,

1. Our case is now listed for oral hearing on 03/03/2020.

2. In terms of evidence of what we say is a defective claim having been made then in our case the same claim was subsequently perfected - I can see your problem if what happened was they just “ended” the initial claim your client had tried to make and then he made a new claim which was perfected- in this case then of course you can potentially argue the date of claim was the date the first defective claim made (but would need to fit it in to the provisions which is a bit tricky as SSWP needs to notify of defect and then claimant needs to claim within a month etc). Their view is presumably that in “ending” this initial claim then as it was not even a defective claim there was nothing by way of a decision etc. to do this.

3. Your client should, if they still have access to the email account they gave when they made first defective claim have two emails like this:


EMAIL 1: WHEN CREATED UC ACCOUNT:

——-Original Message——-
From: Universal Credit [mailto:donotreply@universal-credit.service.gov.uk]
Sent: 29 October 2019 11:41
To: Williams, Martin
Subject: Confirm your email address

Dear Martin Williams,

You need to enter this code to confirm your email address for your Universal Credit application.

******

This code will expire in 1 hour at 12:41pm.

If you need to request a new code, sign in to your account.

If you do not confirm your email address by 5 November 2019 you will have to start a new application.


From,

Universal Credit

Please do not reply using this Universal Credit email address as it does not accept incoming emails.

Remember, DWP will never ask you to email us any personal or confidential information such as your user name, passwords or bank account details. If you do email DWP with such information your email will be blocked or immediately deleted for security reasons.

If you need to report a change in your circumstances, please do so through your Universal Credit account.

EMAIL 2: WHICH WE SAY IS REMINDER TO PERFECT DEFECTIVE CLAIM

——-Original Message——-
From: Universal Credit [mailto:donotreply@universal-credit.service.gov.uk]
Sent: 23 November 2019 10:31
To: Williams, Martin
Subject: Your application

Dear Martin Williams,

You have not completed your application for Universal Credit.

Sign in to your account by 26 November 2019 if you still want to apply.

If you miss this deadline you will have to start a new application.


From,

Universal Credit

Please do not reply using this Universal Credit email address as it does not accept incoming emails.

Remember, DWP will never ask you to email us any personal or confidential information such as your user name, passwords or bank account details. If you do email DWP with such information your email will be blocked or immediately deleted for security reasons.

Dan Manville
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They were telephone claims but we’ve got PSNs and text messages.

I need to check I’m not missing something; I’m looking at the mechanism at reg 37 UC etc C&P regs for the ability to extend time when a claim is defective. I can’t find anything else.

That aside; we’ve made a Right of Access request for details of the defective claims but DWP, so far, have only come up with the perfected claims. They’ve made a couple of requests for further information now and I fear the system doesn’t keep details of incomplete defective claims. I am half way through an ICO complaint that I’ll finish tomorrow but would be curious as to peoples’ thoughts.

Martin Williams
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Dan Manville - 13 January 2020 04:56 PM

I need to check I’m not missing something; I’m looking at the mechanism at reg 37 UC etc C&P regs for the ability to extend time when a claim is defective. I can’t find anything else.

 

1. Reg. 37 is, in my view, only in operation when a valid claim has been made.

2. Prior to that the mechanism is contained within reg. 8(6) which requires the SSWP to treat claim as properly made in first instance if the defect is fixed within a month, or such time as SSWP considers reasonable, of being informed of the defect.

That is also why the DWP practice of “closing” a claim (ie refusing to make an award in respect of a claim) in reliance on a failure of a claimant to comply with reg. 37 is unlawful - the claim is properly constituted at that time and the reg. 37 request is a request for additional information not required to make a valid claim but needed in order to be certain of entitlement post that happening. Not having that information due to a claimant not having met their reg. 37 duty simply allows the SSWP to decide the claim on the basis of the information they have. This has the neat effect that a claimant can then at MR stage, simply provide the missing information.

[ Edited: 14 Jan 2020 at 09:46 pm by Martin Williams ]
Charles
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Martin Williams - 14 January 2020 05:41 PM

2. Prior to that the mechanism is contained within reg. 8(6) which requires the SSWP to treat claim as properly made in first instance if the defect is fixed within a month, or such time as SSWP considers reasonable, of being informed of the defect.

That is also why the DWP practice of “closing” a claim (ie refusing to make an award in respect of a claim) in reliance on a failure of a claimant to comply with reg. 37 is unlawful - the claim is properly constituted at that time and the reg. 37 request is a request for additional information not required to make a valid claim but needed in order to be certain of entitlement post that happening. Not having that information due to a claimant not having met their reg. 37 duty simply allows the SSWP to decide the claim on the basis of the information they have. This has the neat effect that a claimant can then at MR stage, simply provide the missing information.

What is your opinion on DWP’s ability to rely on Sched 2 Para 2(3)(d) to close a claim which hasn’t been submitted,and Sched 2 Para 2(3)(a) where ID has not been established online, and claimant doesn’t make/attend an interview instead?

Martin Williams
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Charles - 19 January 2020 10:50 AM
Martin Williams - 14 January 2020 05:41 PM

2. Prior to that the mechanism is contained within reg. 8(6) which requires the SSWP to treat claim as properly made in first instance if the defect is fixed within a month, or such time as SSWP considers reasonable, of being informed of the defect.

That is also why the DWP practice of “closing” a claim (ie refusing to make an award in respect of a claim) in reliance on a failure of a claimant to comply with reg. 37 is unlawful - the claim is properly constituted at that time and the reg. 37 request is a request for additional information not required to make a valid claim but needed in order to be certain of entitlement post that happening. Not having that information due to a claimant not having met their reg. 37 duty simply allows the SSWP to decide the claim on the basis of the information they have. This has the neat effect that a claimant can then at MR stage, simply provide the missing information.

What is your opinion on DWP’s ability to rely on Sched 2 Para 2(3)(d) to close a claim which hasn’t been submitted,and Sched 2 Para 2(3)(a) where ID has not been established online, and claimant doesn’t make/attend an interview instead?

Charles-

I should not go into this too much partly becasue (1) I am still thinking about it and (2) such issues are potentially relevant to our ongoing case on the issue and it is not wise to discuss our position here before submissions.

If you have a case which turns on this now happy to discuss via PM - otherwise will respond post 03/03/20.

Charles
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That’s understandable. Thanks for the reply.