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Claims closed with no decision

CA Adviser
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Recently we have seen several clients whose UC claims have been closed with no entitlement decision. This has happened with both phone and online awards. At best the client has received a text telling them that their claim has been closed, but not why. The clients have not been issued with a decision notice to enable them to challenge in the usual way, and when we’ve phoned UC with the clients, have been told that no decision is on the system. The client is then promised a call back by a case manager which never materialises.

Anyone else seeing this? The closure of claims with no challengeable decision happened a lot some time ago, but then seemed to stop.

Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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CA Adviser - 19 November 2020 12:52 PM

Recently we have seen several clients whose UC claims have been closed with no entitlement decision. This has happened with both phone and online awards. At best the client has received a text telling them that their claim has been closed, but not why. The clients have not been issued with a decision notice to enable them to challenge in the usual way, and when we’ve phoned UC with the clients, have been told that no decision is on the system. The client is then promised a call back by a case manager which never materialises.

Anyone else seeing this? The closure of claims with no challengeable decision happened a lot some time ago, but then seemed to stop.

Mercifully not for a while!!!!

But a resumption wouldn’t be a surprise!!!

CA Adviser
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What should the strategy be? MR the closure of the claim? UC saying can’t request an MR as no entitlement decision.

Daphne
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This article from CPAG is quite old now as it was written when the problem first reared its head but I think is still relevant.

How soon after the claim is made are they closing the claims? - I would be happy to raise this via the stakeholder forum too - it would be useful to have any more detail that you have.

CA Adviser
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This week’s client is an 18 year old student on a non-advanced course, estranged from parents and living with grandmother. She had been paid on her UC claim since she was thrown out of home in July. The claim was closed in October, although cl received a payment after the closure date. Getting nowhere with the DWP. There is no written decision to challenge. Do we treat the closure of the claim as the entitlement decision and request an MR?

Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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CA Adviser - 23 November 2020 11:45 AM

This week’s client is an 18 year old student on a non-advanced course, estranged from parents and living with grandmother. She had been paid on her UC claim since she was thrown out of home in July. The claim was closed in October, although cl received a payment after the closure date. Getting nowhere with the DWP. There is no written decision to challenge. Do we treat the closure of the claim as the entitlement decision and request an MR?

The last occasion (Summer 2019), a JR application (helped by PLP), with parallel approach via the MP to make sure client was paid promptly, another issue during 2018 and 2019 getting DWP to pay arrears.

PLP got it resolved at the pre-action stage very quickly!!!

See below may be of interest - :

https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/judicial-review/judicial-review-pre-action-letters/claim-closure-uc

https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/judicial-review 

https://cpag.org.uk/policy-campaigns/early-warning-system

Edit - flakiness on my part. Yes we lodged an MR further to the above.

[ Edited: 24 Nov 2020 at 03:28 pm by Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District ]
Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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Haven’t used the following in ‘claims closed with no decision’. But CUC/1389/2019 may be of interest with your case.

For expediency see excerpt from a Interlocutory wotsit sub. Rightsnet thingy on this which as you will see below I have enthusiastically plagiarised parts .

Judge Wikely held in CUC/1389/2019 (paragraphs 20 – 30).  When considering the notification of the decision, that regulation 7(1) (b) of the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment Support Allowance (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2013.

Provides that the requirement to carry out a mandatory reconsideration before a right of appeal is established only applies where the decision notice includes a statement to that effect. In Mrs Golden Cap’s case, the decision notice contained only what was written in her journal and therefore the claimant had the right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal unencumbered by the usual need to apply for a mandatory reconsideration.

See CUC/1389/2019 attached.

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Dan Manville
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Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District - 25 November 2020 02:11 PM

‘. But CUC/1389/2019 may be of interest with your case.

 

Sadly this trick doesn’t work for Tax Credits. The requirement for MR is absolute and it’s in the act as well rather that secondary legislation to it’s difficult to challenge.

Charles
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For tax credits, I have always managed to get the Tribunal to accept that an exchange of letters with HMRC about an issue (where they refuse to budge and maintain no MR is possible) as meaning a review has been carried out and notice been given about its conclusion.