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Letter of Complaint

Adam BCFU
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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Hi

Not sure if this is in the correct category but hoping for some advice.

We are having a lot of issues with one particular DWP representative - he deals with the appeals for our area I believe.

I’ve dealt with him several times for different clients and each time before the DWP’s appeal submission is submitted, he will call our client and act in a very threatening and essentially bullying manner.

He’s caused 2 of my clients to be on the verge of a mental breakdown (one has severe mental health issues who now feels suicidal). Its quite clear from his actions that any policies in place regarding appeals, safeguarding and vulnerable adults is not be followed.

I’m making a formal complaint of behalf of one client but wondered if there is anything I can do to make a complaint against him specifically on behalf of all of my clients who have dealt with him?

Having spoken to him myself, its quite clear hes a very nasty “power hungry” man!

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Adam

[ Edited: 30 Apr 2021 at 02:59 pm by Adam BCFU ]
NAI
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Unclaimed Benefits Campaign, Middlesbrough CAB

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Adam,

I’m not trying to criticise you but ...

You may not have helped your clients in this complaint by giving his name and your comments in this forum. This person may be as you describe but publishing your views here may compromise proper consideration of your complaint. What you have written may construed as publicly attacking him and make subjective and serious allegations about his character.

It might be a good idea to withdraw the post.

Adam BCFU
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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Name has been deleted

Adam BCFU
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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NAI - 30 April 2021 02:55 PM

Adam,

I’m not trying to criticise you but ...

You may not have helped your clients in this complaint by giving his name and your comments in this forum. This person may be as you describe but publishing your views here may compromise proper consideration of your complaint. What you have written may construed as publicly attacking him and make subjective and serious allegations about his character.

It might be a good idea to withdraw the post.

The name was added in case anyone else had specific comments about him so if I contacted the DWP, I could say “I have other advisers from XYZ agree with aswell”

UB40
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Debt Advice + Community Money Advice Launceston

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Notwithstanding recent events involving the Home Secretary, the DWP expects employees to abide by the Civil Service code and the Equality Act 2010.
https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/civil-service-code

You would best email your complaint to a senior DWP manager and/or, depending how approachable, your MP.
Hope this helps.

Mike Hughes
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Hmm. Why does someone call a claimant once an appeal is lodged? Are these calls offers or are they something else altogether?

Adam BCFU
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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UB40 - 30 April 2021 04:59 PM

Notwithstanding recent events involving the Home Secretary, the DWP expects employees to abide by the Civil Service code and the Equality Act 2010.
https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/civil-service-code

You would best email your complaint to a senior DWP manager and/or, depending how approachable, your MP.
Hope this helps.

Thanks for this. I will definitely be emailing our complaint to a senior DWP manager.

Adam BCFU
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Mike Hughes - 30 April 2021 05:24 PM

Hmm. Why does someone call a claimant once an appeal is lodged? Are these calls offers or are they something else altogether?

They’re definitely not call offers - I’ve dealt with them before and whilst slightly annoying that I’m not consulted on the decision, there overall not very bad calls.

They’re “disguised” by the DWP to find out more information before submitting their appeal submission. However, the ones we’ve experienced are extremely rude and can be quite threatening and upsetting for the claimant. Cynically, I would say that they are used to try and get our clients to stop appealing the decision (which would have happened in one case if not for myself and her mother’s convincing).

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Adam BCFU - 30 April 2021 03:02 PM

The name was added in case anyone else had specific comments about him so if I contacted the DWP, I could say “I have other advisers from XYZ agree with aswell”

I don’t want to derail your thread but I do want to emphasise that really isn’t a good idea in any circumstances - you’d be putting yourself at serious risk of being sued for defamation rather than building any kind of constructive case.

Stick to formal complaints routes, stick to the facts as you know that they apply to your clients, make sure you can evidence your assertions, and be clear, polite and don’t forget to say what it is you would like to happen as a result of your complaint.

Mike Hughes
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Adam BCFU - 04 May 2021 02:00 PM
Mike Hughes - 30 April 2021 05:24 PM

Hmm. Why does someone call a claimant once an appeal is lodged? Are these calls offers or are they something else altogether?

They’re definitely not call offers - I’ve dealt with them before and whilst slightly annoying that I’m not consulted on the decision, there overall not very bad calls.

They’re “disguised” by the DWP to find out more information before submitting their appeal submission. However, the ones we’ve experienced are extremely rude and can be quite threatening and upsetting for the claimant. Cynically, I would say that they are used to try and get our clients to stop appealing the decision (which would have happened in one case if not for myself and her mother’s convincing).

Could you explain this a little more? If they’re not offers then what exactly are they “disguised” as? If they’re rude or threatening then have those aspects been reported?

I’m a little cautious about upset clients. Often the upset is any unexpected contact and the upset is simple misinterpretation. So, just how clear cut is this? Do you have examples?

I am presuming that if this is not an offer then it’s evidence gathering before making an offer. If it were anything else it would begin to look adversarial and would be easy enough to knock on the head as they have pretty clear guidance as to their behaviour and also as to having to document that a review took place as part of their sub to the tribunal. If it didn’t appear in the sub I’d be addressing my sub to that (in part) for starters. However, none of this is really for appeal tribunals. These are matters to settle well before a hearing.

 

Adam BCFU
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 04 May 2021 02:31 PM
Adam BCFU - 30 April 2021 03:02 PM

The name was added in case anyone else had specific comments about him so if I contacted the DWP, I could say “I have other advisers from XYZ agree with aswell”

I don’t want to derail your thread but I do want to emphasise that really isn’t a good idea in any circumstances - you’d be putting yourself at serious risk of being sued for defamation rather than building any kind of constructive case.

Stick to formal complaints routes, stick to the facts as you know that they apply to your clients, make sure you can evidence your assertions, and be clear, polite and don’t forget to say what it is you would like to happen as a result of your complaint.

As I’ve said above, name has been removed. I wanted to know if anything specific I could do regarding a complaint against a single DWP staff member which spans across several clients.

Adam BCFU
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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Mike Hughes - 04 May 2021 03:20 PM
Adam BCFU - 04 May 2021 02:00 PM
Mike Hughes - 30 April 2021 05:24 PM

Hmm. Why does someone call a claimant once an appeal is lodged? Are these calls offers or are they something else altogether?

They’re definitely not call offers - I’ve dealt with them before and whilst slightly annoying that I’m not consulted on the decision, there overall not very bad calls.

They’re “disguised” by the DWP to find out more information before submitting their appeal submission. However, the ones we’ve experienced are extremely rude and can be quite threatening and upsetting for the claimant. Cynically, I would say that they are used to try and get our clients to stop appealing the decision (which would have happened in one case if not for myself and her mother’s convincing).

Could you explain this a little more? If they’re not offers then what exactly are they “disguised” as? If they’re rude or threatening then have those aspects been reported?

I’m a little cautious about upset clients. Often the upset is any unexpected contact and the upset is simple misinterpretation. So, just how clear cut is this? Do you have examples?

I am presuming that if this is not an offer then it’s evidence gathering before making an offer. If it were anything else it would begin to look adversarial and would be easy enough to knock on the head as they have pretty clear guidance as to their behaviour and also as to having to document that a review took place as part of their sub to the tribunal. If it didn’t appear in the sub I’d be addressing my sub to that (in part) for starters. However, none of this is really for appeal tribunals. These are matters to settle well before a hearing.

 

I think its, as you said, evidence gathering but without making an offer. The call log is in their submission and usually goes along the lines of “called claimant, no further changes and we do not feel that the claimant is entitled to the benefit”.

One example, is claimant who has severe mental health issues was contacted to discuss appeal submission. She was then told not only should she not be entitled to PIP but also should not be entitled Carer’s Allowance which she receives for her child.

With regards to her, her mother is currently in the process of becoming her appointee due to the clients high risk of suicide.

The rude and threatening behaviour has been reported verbally and we are following up with a formal complaint.  This thread was asking if there is anything specific I need to do regarding a complaint against one DWP adviser spanning multiple clients.