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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Decision making and appeals  →  Thread

Refusal to conduct MR unless specific evidence is provided

Mr Finch
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Benefits adviser - Isle of Wight CAB

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UC are saying due to ‘government policy’ they are ‘unable’ to carry out a reconsideration unless prescriptive evidence the service centre demands is provided.

Until we intervened this had been going on months.

Although we’ll either now provide the evidence or go to appeal under the ‘considered and refused to revise’ line of argument, they must be doing this to other people. What is the best way to complain?

[ Edited: 12 Jul 2021 at 10:04 am by Mr Finch ]
Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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Mr Finch - 12 July 2021 09:58 AM

UC are saying due to ‘government policy’ they are ‘unable’ to carry out a reconsideration unless prescriptive evidence the service centre demands is provided.

Until we intervened this had been going on months.

Although we’ll either now provide the evidence or go to appeal under the ‘considered and refused to revise’ line of argument, they must be doing this to other people. What is the best way to complain?

It’s a really good question!!!!!!!!!!!! Parallels with Robbo’s post ‘Complaints’ and chimes with our experiences.

We resort to MP with these impasses, within our region i.e. Dorset, Wilts, Hants and IOW. They start with regional level and if necessary go higher up. JR is another option worth exploring.

UC administration is pretty much a law to it’s self and without effective engagement/liaison from the DWP at local level i.e. district and regional level addressing substantive issues, options are limited.

Daphne
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Mr Finch - 12 July 2021 09:58 AM

UC are saying due to ‘government policy’ they are ‘unable’ to carry out a reconsideration unless prescriptive evidence the service centre demands is provided.

Until we intervened this had been going on months.

Although we’ll either now provide the evidence or go to appeal under the ‘considered and refused to revise’ line of argument, they must be doing this to other people. What is the best way to complain?

If you can email/DM me a few more details I can certainly raise it via the stakeholder group

Mike Hughes
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It’s not just UC though is it. The number of MRs where the response is “no change” because there’s no “new” evidence is depressing.

Martin Williams
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Mr Finch - 12 July 2021 09:58 AM

UC are saying due to ‘government policy’ they are ‘unable’ to carry out a reconsideration unless prescriptive evidence the service centre demands is provided.

Until we intervened this had been going on months.

Although we’ll either now provide the evidence or go to appeal under the ‘considered and refused to revise’ line of argument, they must be doing this to other people. What is the best way to complain?

I think this is a misuse/misunderstanding of reg 20 of the UC etc. (D&A) Regs. That allows the SSWP to ask for further evidence and affords the claimant a month to provide it.

However, in a case where the claimant makes clear the evidence cannot be provided then I think the SSWP could just make the decision.

The purpose of reg. 20 is to allow the DM to afford the claimant a chance to provide further evidence and not to place a procedural barrier in the way of revising a decision at all. If it is being relied upon for the latter (ie extending the time to provide evidence you know you won’t get and not making a decision) then that could be challenged by threat of JR I think.

Jess would be interested to see other examples at the JR project at CPAG I am sure.

Martin

Mr Finch
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It’s a bit of an odd one as it’s an RTI dispute - employer exaggerating the pay. We had provided bank statements but UC were demanding something broken down by assessment period with the total for each assessment period already calculated - they may have now accepted this can be produced by the client/us.

It’s unclear if they’re now reconsidering or not. My confidence has been somewhat dented by learning from the CPAG JR page that there may not yet be any decisions to reconsider. It’s a financial emergency for the client.

Greg B
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Mr Finch - 21 July 2021 02:11 PM

It’s a bit of an odd one as it’s an RTI dispute - employer exaggerating the pay. We had provided bank statements but UC were demanding something broken down by assessment period with the total for each assessment period already calculated - they may have now accepted this can be produced by the client/us.

It’s unclear if they’re now reconsidering or not. My confidence has been somewhat dented by learning from the CPAG JR page that there may not yet be any decisions to reconsider. It’s a financial emergency for the client.

As per Martin’s post, SSWP can request further evidence but I don’t see any power to request something very specific, in a particular format etc. (Would they like a tea or coffee with that?)

It sounds to me like a decision maker is gatekeeping the revision probably in an effort to manage their workload.

If the client’s in crisis, is there any way you can escalate this complaint – via JCP or the local delivery centre? I’d be making noise about the decision maker’s conduct amounting to maladministration that will result in food bank visits. It’d get you heard.

Mr Finch
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Happy outcome - CPAG’s RTI pre-action letter has led to the most thorough reconsdieration I’ve ever seen.

Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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Mr Finch - 30 July 2021 11:15 AM

Happy outcome - CPAG’s RTI pre-action letter has led to the most thorough reconsdieration I’ve ever seen.

Brilliant stuff!!!!!!!!!!