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Benefit Safeguards Guidance

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Owen Stevens
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Welfare Rights Service, Greenwich Council, London

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I’ve been taking a look through the guidance secured through this FOI:
https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/11900/

Two of the chapters are new to me and seem to expand the use of home visits for UC claimants judged to have complex needs and who are at risk of sanction.  I’ve attached these.

There’s also a slight update to one of the chapters I’ve posted above which I’ve also attached.

edit 12/09/18: the guidance chapters attached to this post were not included in the recent UCFS guidance deposited in the House of Commons library, an FOI in August 18 stated that there was no other UCFS guidance to release.  An FOI for live service guidance did not include these chapters.  A colleague of mine is submitting a further FOI to try to check whether the guidance attached to this post still exists - I will be moving jobs soon so will not be here to receive the response to that email.

      [ Edited: 12 Sep 2018 at 10:04 am by Owen Stevens ]

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Owen Stevens
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Welfare Rights Service, Greenwich Council, London

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Some ESA safeguards guidance following an FOI response. 

The WCA outcomes chapter retains the same safeguarding rules but now also contains some guidance on the exemption from repeat assessments so mainly just included here for interest.

A guidance chapter on the Health and Work conversation which has a safeguarding process (2 visits, notification to 3rd party) built into it.

A chapter with nothing I’d call a safeguarding process but which says that decisions on good cause must have particular regard to MH, LD, condition affecting cognition (these conditions are the ESA safeguarding definition of vulnerability).

      [ Edited: 17 Oct 2017 at 05:59 pm by Owen Stevens ]

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WillH
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locum adviser CPAG Scotland

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Thanks Owen.  This is useful - at least I hope so!  Will definitely make use of the UC FOI results in particular.

     
Owen Stevens
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Nothing new/changed here.  I just need these documents to be online.

      [ Edited: 23 Apr 2018 at 10:19 am by Owen Stevens ]

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Owen Stevens
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Welfare Rights Service, Greenwich Council, London

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Discounted benefit safeguards training: https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/13327/

     
Owen Stevens
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Welfare Rights Service, Greenwich Council, London

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Hello all

The next few posts provide updates from FOIs received over July and August.

The attached chapter (which contains what I regard as the ‘best’ example of DWP benefit safeguarding) has been amended.

THe amendment removes the following at paragraph 7:
“These claimants must be referred for a Core Visit conducted by a DWP Visiting Officer if good cause is not shown within the time allowed.”

and replaces it with
“If contact has been made with a claimant suffering from one of the appropriate conditions above and the work coach is confident that the claimant has understood the process, make a note in LMS conversations to that effect, and that they consider a Core Visit is not required.  If the work coach has any doubt they should refer for a Core Visit.”

This introduces work coach discretion into the procedure where previously claimants falling into the definition of vulnerable all had to be referred for the safeguarding procedure.  Admittedly, the guidance states that safeguards should be applied if there is any doubt but as I’ve said previously I do not think DWP can rely on work coaches to identify vulnerability among claimants - there are numerous examples from the DWP peer reviews of them failing to do this.

     

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Owen Stevens
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The wording for the failure to attend a WCA process has been made clearer.

There have been slight updates to the core visit document.

     

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Owen_Stevens
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UC London Adviser, CPAG

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This post does not cover benefit safeguarding guidance but is related and this is as good a place to post as any…

The Universal Credit ADM has just been updated:
“G1 – added new paragraphs (G1128-30) to copy the guidance that currently exists in ESA Chapter 42 concerning repeated failure to attend a medical assessment.” (found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/754948/admg1.pdf)

This carries over some really useful paragraphs from ESA guidance (paras 42510 - 42512).

Although only guidance I have found these paragraphs really useful for escalating cases involving repeated failures to attend WCAs and for complaints.

Many thanks to Daphne for taking this issue up with OSEF