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How to lodge MRs for UC claimants refused on HRT grounds?

tbidmead
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WRAMAS - Bristol City Council

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EU client claims UC. Refused on HRT grounds. As soon as decision issued, online journal is locked.

So as I understand it the only 2 ways of a client lodging a UC MR are via journal are either over the phone or in journal.

Client has limited English so cannot make MR request over phone.
Journal locked so cannot be made online. Similarly explicit consent cannot be provided this way.

As it happens, helpful colleagues at local DWP have been accepting written MRs from us with written authority though lockdown but have advised me they cannot do this for UC claims refused on HRT grounds. Clients need to make a new claim for UC and then lodge an MR via this unlocked journal, before the new claim gets refused and the journal locked again.

Any thoughts/suggestions appreciated!

From the other side
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CRU/CARF-FIFE

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I must admit that making the new UC claim was always the way that I managed this and then entered the MR on the UC journal for the new claim. Individual circumstances would apply but often I then discussed the claim with DWP and requested that no decision is made on the new claim pending MR etc and potential appeal otherwise you are on a perpetual circle. It was actually DWP who suggested this originally for a client when we were on the 3rd claim!

There were times though that I wouldn’t use the tactic of delaying the decision as I was confident (or realistically more hopeful!) that the new claim for UC would be accepted because at this point the client may well have better information/evidence (eg I would have letter from school confirming child attending) to provide the DWP as often the client would only come to me after the claim was refused and I could explain better what was required. 

tbidmead
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WRAMAS - Bristol City Council

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At the moment the workaround of making a new UC claim is just not possible (the specific client group I’m looking at atm is homeless people currently accommodated in hotels etc. so no internet access). I could refer them to the Help to Claim service to make a new claim with an interpreter over the phone but then we’re back at square one and unable to add an MR request to a journal.

There is surely no legally justifiable reason underpinning this is there? It seems to be a quirk of the UC computer system that creates an impossible to overcome barrier to exercising appeal rights.

Elliot Kent
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I don’t think it is a very good idea to make a new claim solely for the purposes of lodging an MR on the old claim (c.f. if something has changed which justifies a new claim). It usually results in admin problems and underpayments down the road when they try to reconcile the various claims.

I just send my HRT MRs to the Canterbury address usually recorded delivery and that works fine.

tbidmead
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WRAMAS - Bristol City Council

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Would you be able to private message me the Canterbury address Elliot? none of the decisions I have seen have any postal address attached.

Elliot Kent
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UCFS Post
Canterbury BC
Nutwood House
Canterbury
Kent
CT1 1ZZ

(I tried to post just the address, but I have been thwarted by the rightsnet servers which won’t let me post something which is identical to an earlier post - so this is just waffle to trick the servers.)

Ruth Knox
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RAISE Benefits Advice Team, Liverpool

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is this an address specifically for HRT issues, Elliot, like the old Wick one?  I wasn’t aware of a Canterbury address, which would be a great help if it is.

Elliot Kent
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Its just the generic for UC post which is signed for/recorded. Post sent there is significantly more likely not to be thrown in the bin by the Royal Mail due to the other address not having a postcode.

Ruth Knox
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RAISE Benefits Advice Team, Liverpool

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Thanks, Elliot. That’s really useful to know.

S2uABZ
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Money adviser - Aberdeen City Council Financial Inclusion Team

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Up North i’ve been sending to this address with no issues!
Universal Credit
UC Post Handling Site B
Wolverhampton
WV99 1AJ