Work Programme mandated activity benefits sanctions: Crucial appeal tips

When a DWP Work Programme Provider considers a participant has failed to undertake a Mandatory Activity, they complete a benefit sanctions referral form WP08, on the basis that a written Mandatory Activity Notification has not been complied with.

The DWP will then send a letter asking for a ‘Good Reason(s)’ for the alleged failure. When writing any good reasons response, you should always consider writing that you found the Mandatory Activity Notification (MAN) confusing and that you consider it and the WP08 form did not comply with DWP guidance. This will then force the DWP to obtain a copy of the MAN as research shows that Provider paperwork is often “defective“.

“if the participant raises the MAN as an issue in his ‘good reasons’, then the LMDM will require a copy of the MAN”
Chapter 6 Work Programme Provider Guidance – accessed 6/3/14

Get a copy of the MAN and WP08?

You can can also consider telephoning the number given in the DWP letter, before submitting any written ‘Good Reasons’ saying you do not have a copy of the MAN and want a copy together with a copy of the WP08 completed by the Provider, saying you do not consider it fair to be required to submit ‘Good Reasons’ without first having the MAN and WP08. You should ask the person you contact, usually named in the letter as the DWP Labour Market Decision Maker (LMDM), to give you more time to submit your ‘Good Reasons’ until some time after you have received the MAN and WP08. You can then evaluate how the MAN is confusing and or why it and WP08 do not comply with DWP guidance.

To obtain the MAN and WP08 you will probably need to submit a written request, which will then be considered a Subject Access Request (SAR). You can use the DWP SAR form.

You can also tell the LMDM that form WP08 states “Please note that this form may be shown to the participant“.

Top Tip: Never ever give the Work Programme Provider any ‘Good Reasons’, as this can work against your best interests. Only provide them when requested by the DWP and only do so in writing. If you can seek independent advice from a Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Law Centre or someone you trust, before submitting any ‘Good Reasons’.

Time to show good reason

“There is no specified time constraints for a claimant to show good reason for a
failure, act or omission…longer time may be needed if the claimant
1. needs to seek information or evidence from a third party or
2. has an agent or representative or
3. has a health condition or other temporary circumstances that prevents them from replying (e.g. a pre-existing health condition that is relevant or existing
caring or parental responsibilities that may be relevant.”
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/246232/Chapter_P6_-_Good_Reason.pdf (accessed 6/3/14)

Good Reasons: DWP LMDM guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/246232/Chapter_P6_-_Good_Reason.pdf

Universal Credit
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/246193/Chapter_K2_-_Good_reason.pdf

Extensive Tips on JSA and ESA sanction appeals and claiming Hardship Payments http://refuted.org.uk/2014/01/14/sanctionsappeal/

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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