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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Covid-19 issues  →  Thread

DWP Guidance on working with Representatives

Bcfu
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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Hi

Sorry if this is in the wrong category!

Have the DWP changed their guidance recently (i.e. last few weeks) on working with representatives when the cl is not with the adviser?

I’ve had no issues in the past where I have given the DWP all the clients details so we can deal with the issue themselves.

For some reason over the last couple of days, the DWP have been “stone-walling” us and refusing to tell us anything specific about the clients claim unless the client either calls themselves or are with us - I’ve mentioned the DWP guidance on this but still not getting anywhere (even ringing several times to get a different staff member).

Its extremely frustrating especially when the client is vulnerable or suffers from health conditions!

Is this worth me making a formal complaint? Any other suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks

Adam

Daphne
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Hi Adam

As far as I’m aware it is still valid (other than for UC) - what benefit(s) are you having problems with - I would definitely escalate and I can raise via stakeholder forum too if you give me a bit more info about where the problem is arising

Mike Hughes
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Usually means you’re consistently being connected to one of the outsourced telephony teams rather than in house. Not that I’m making any great claims on behalf of in house but the distinction often does explain this rearing its head.

Bcfu
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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Daphne - 13 May 2021 04:34 PM

Hi Adam

As far as I’m aware it is still valid (other than for UC) - what benefit(s) are you having problems with - I would definitely escalate and I can raise via stakeholder forum too if you give me a bit more info about where the problem is arising

Thanks Daphne! It seems to be mainly JSA which I’m having problems with. I deal mainly with PIP/UC which I’ve never had a problem with.

As I’ve said on other posts, I’m quite a new adviser and our charity haven’t been involved in the intricacies of the DWP escalation etc, so if you could let me know who I should escalate this to that would be extremely helpful.

Thanks

Bcfu
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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Mike Hughes - 13 May 2021 04:38 PM

Usually means you’re consistently being connected to one of the outsourced telephony teams rather than in house. Not that I’m making any great claims on behalf of in house but the distinction often does explain this rearing its head.

Ahh that explains the sometimes hit-and-miss responses!

The last one I spoke to seemed quite shocked when I started quoting the guidance so they’ve clearly not been told/ignored DWP guidance.

Rosie W
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Sometimes the only way to deal with it is to put the phone down and try again till you get a more knowledgeable telephony person. It’s happened so many times over the years to all of us (I guess) and complaints have obviously never had any lasting impact. Some lovely examples in my experience - “I can only tell you one thing under implicit consent”, “implicit consent has to be in writing”, and best of all “I can’t tell you anything because it would be a breach of the Official Secrets Act”.

Mike Hughes
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Yup, totally agree. Had all of those too.

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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Rosie W - 14 May 2021 09:40 AM

Some lovely examples in my experience - “I can only tell you one thing under implicit consent”,

Coupled with “I can’t give you any amounts” .

nevip
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Welfare rights adviser - Sefton Council, Liverpool

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“I can’t tell you anything because it would be a breach of the Official Secrets Act”.

I’d be very worried about the person whose decision it was to hire this person

Rosie W
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nevip - 14 May 2021 10:19 AM

“I can’t tell you anything because it would be a breach of the Official Secrets Act”.

I’d be very worried about the person whose decision it was to hire this person

It was a few years ago, she sounded about 10 and I think she panicked. Just made me laugh. And put the phone down and try again.

Daphne
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Adam BCFU - 13 May 2021 05:05 PM
Daphne - 13 May 2021 04:34 PM

Hi Adam

As far as I’m aware it is still valid (other than for UC) - what benefit(s) are you having problems with - I would definitely escalate and I can raise via stakeholder forum too if you give me a bit more info about where the problem is arising

Thanks Daphne! It seems to be mainly JSA which I’m having problems with. I deal mainly with PIP/UC which I’ve never had a problem with.

As I’ve said on other posts, I’m quite a new adviser and our charity haven’t been involved in the intricacies of the DWP escalation etc, so if you could let me know who I should escalate this to that would be extremely helpful.

Thanks

Hi Adam - I’ve sent you the most recent list of escalation points and also added you to the mailing list for the future. Let me know how you get on - if you still have problems after escalating let me know and I can raise via the stakeholder forum at DWP

unhindered by talent
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Aberdeenshire Support and Advice Team

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Our team has been conference calling with DWP to get over the hurdle of not being in the same location as the client. The worker will call DWP (including UC) and patch in the client.

TJL
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Derby advice - Derby Homes

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Its reverted to what   it was   previously and will revert to what   it was previously - sometimes they are   unbelievably   helpful as well


Toby Welfare Rights Officer Derby Advice