DWP Benefits: How to Appeal or Dispute a Decision from 28th October 2013

Last update: 18/11/13

Specimen, post 28/10/13, Jobcentre sanctions notifications letter: (pdf – poor quality image)
From: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sanctions_regime_letters_and_tem#incoming-446079

(1) Ten step guide to mandatory reconsiderations and appeals
(2) Disability Rights: Two new factsheets to help you challenge benefit decisions
(3) DWP: Memo DMG 20/13: Mandatory Reconsideration Prior to Appeal and Direct Lodgement of Appeals with HMCTS
(4) Links to more detail
(5) Tips on disputing a decision
(6)  DWP: ‘How to Appeal or Dispute a Decision’
(7) DWP: Explanations reconsiderations and disputes guidance

(1) Ten step guide to mandatory reconsiderations and appeals

http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/help-with-money/benefits-a-tax-credits/challenging-a-benefit-decision

(2) Disability Rights: Two new factsheets to help you challenge benefit decisions

http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2013/october/we-have-two-new-appeals-factsheets

Changes to how you challenge decisions
http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2013/october/changes-how-you-challenge-decisions

(3) DWP Memo DMG 20/13: Mandatory Reconsideration Prior to Appeal and Direct Lodgement of Appeals with HMCTS

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/m-20-13.pdf

(4) Links to more detail

Appeals process changes for DWP benefits and child maintenance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/appeals-process-changes-for-dwp-benefits-and-child-maintenance

Appeals reform http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwp-news.cfm/appeals-reform

(5) Tips on disputing a decision

If you are telephoned or spoken to face-to-face, by the DWP/Jobcentre, about about an adverse benefit decision; consider asking for a written ‘Statement of  the Reasons‘ for their decision before answering any questions as you may give information to your own disadvantage. Tell them you need the written ‘Statement of  the Reasons‘ so you can get independent advice from the likes of a  solicitor and ask them to confirm in writing that they will not stop any benefit payment until you have been given enough time to disagree in writing through evidence of ‘good reasons’ why the decision is wrong.

“Mandatory reconsideration will also include a new telephone call from DWP for most benefits”
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/appeals-process-changes-for-dwp-benefits-and-child-maintenance
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Q: How long do people have to ask for a mandatory reconsideration?
However a person chooses to ask for a mandatory reconsideration, the limit for reconsideration requests is one calendar month from the date of issue of  their decision notification. If they have asked DWP for a written statement of  the reasons for their decision then an extension to the time limit may apply. [emphasis added]
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/appeals-process-changes-for-dwp-benefits-and-child-maintenance

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Timescales for DWP Completion of Mandatory Reconsiderations

“According to the DWP lines to take, there are no plans for a statutory timescale for completion of the Mandatory Reconsideration process. The time it takes for a Decision Maker to complete a Mandatory Reconsideration will vary depending on the circumstances of the case.” [emphasis added]
http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwp-news.cfm/appeals-reform
From: PCS – Appeals Reform – 25 October 2013

(6)  DWP’s ‘How to Appeal or Dispute a Decision’

To appeal a benefit decision go to www.gov.uk/appeal-benefit

What to do when a claimant wants to appeal against a DWP benefit decision

New DWP disputes and appeals process

Appeals Reform changes were introduced in April 2013 for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Universal Credit (UC), and will roll out across all other DWP benefits on 28 October 2013. The key changes to the appeals process are:

  • Mandatory Reconsideration – The claimant must give DWP the opportunity to reconsider our decision formally before they’re able to make an appeal. We will issue the claimant with a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice (MRN) with a full explanation of the Decision Makers reasoning once this has taken place.
  • Direct lodgement – The claimant must lodge their appeal directly with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and not DWP. They must send a copy of the MRN with their appeal.
  •   Time Limits – DWP has agreed with the Tribunal Procedure Committee that these changes are a chance to introduce time limits for how long DWP has to issue a response to an individual appeal. These will be 28 days for DWP and 42 days for Child Maintenance Group (CMG). Time limits will be closely monitored from 28 October2013, and will be measured as a target from October 2014.

Dual process period – from 28 October 2013

DWP anticipates a 6-8 week period where claimants may be required to follow the old appeals process dependant on the date their benefit decision is notified.  If a claimant wants to appeal against a benefit decision and approaches you/your organisation for support, you must first ask them which benefit it is they want to appeal against, then determine the date of their decision notification (the date on the claimants’ letter)

  • Decisions notified on or after the 28 October will be subject to the ‘new’ disputes and appeals process i.e. mandatory reconsideration request, MR notice issue, direct lodgement etc.

(7) DWP: Explanations reconsiderations and disputes guidance

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/proposed_claimant_commitment_ref#incoming-450788


Notes:
Welfare rights law and DWP guidance, in particular, changes frequently.
You may find more recent information via http://refuted.org.uk/category/ or by using the website search facility (top right)

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