Claimants "Right of Appeal"

GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended)

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
Whilst perusing one of your several information websites, i came across this;

Mandatory reconsideration
of decisions prior to appeal – following
receipt of a decision which someone disputes, they will have to request
that DWP conducts a ‘mandatory recons
ideration’ before being able to
lodge an appeal.

Direct lodgement
of appeals with HMCTS – people wishing to appeal
following a mandatory reconsideration wi
ll submit their appeal directly
to HMCTS.

Recently you sent me this reply:

Dear Geoffrey Reynolds,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received 02 May. You asked;

PLEASE SHOW THE RULES THAT PURPORT THAT THE DM CAN REFUSE TO LET
AN APPEAL GO FORWARD.

The information you have requested does not exist. Your suggestion that the Department’s
decision makers can suppress an appeal is not correct.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
above.
Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

May i ask the following questions;

1/ You state that, my suggestion that the departments decision makers can suppress an appeal is not correct.
You state however, that the claimant must now request that the DWP DM make a mandatory reconsideration before being able to make an appeal.
This statement indicates that a request can be refused if a mandatory reconsideration is opposed by the DM.
Please clarify?

2/ Does the claimant have the right to skip the mandatory reconsideration and apply direct to the HMCTS for an appeal to go ahead without your blessing?

3/ Can a mandatory reconsideration be refused?
If so can you explain how this could happen as the right of appeal is written in statute.

4/ Claimants are informed that they have one month in which to lodge an appeal, yet mandatory reconsideration carries no time line.
Please show the law that states anyone taking longer than one month cannot appeal and also the time frame of the reconsideration period that can leave a claimant without funds to live?

5/ You have used the language of " WILL HAVE TO REQUEST", this is a forceful tone that is present in lots of your publications. Others come to mind like "CLAIMANTS MUST".
This is called "BULLYING".
When will you come of age and realise this tone is unacceptable in modern times?

Yours faithfully,

GEOFFREY REYNOLDS

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GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Another forceful tone,"THEY WILL HAVE TO".........

Gerald Jones left an annotation ()

I think that the phrase mandatory reconsideration is deliberately misleading. The existing process is that the DWP reconsiders its decision prior to forwarding the appeal paperwork to HM Courts and Tribunals Service. Tribunal Procedure Rule 24 (b) states that the time period for forwarding appeal paperwork must be no longer than is “reasonably practicable” and the ESA Regulations allow the Secretary of State to remake any decision.

As far as the DWP is concerned DM cannot suppress an appeal as its existing process is compatible with existing legislation as long as any 'delay' caused by the DWP is “reasonably practicable”.

I suspect that changing the process such that the claimant has to send the appeal paperwork to HM Courts and Tribunal Service allows it to get around Rule 24 (b). If the DWP takes too long to carry out a mandatory reconsideration then claimants might be able to take action for obstructing justice but I guess we will have to wait and see.

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Reynolds,

Please see the attached response to your Freedom of Information request.

Many thanks,

DWP Central FoI Team
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GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended)

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,
On my second question i asked you if a claimant could skip the mandatory reconsideration and appeal directly to the tribunal.

You replied;

2.
As above, it is for the Tribunal to decide whether or not an appeal meets the
requirements of the Tribunal Procedure Rules, and can be accepted.

However, the Regulations would appear to preclude this, specifically (in the case of Universal
Credit and Personal Independence Payment) Regulation 7(2) of the Universal Credit, Personal
Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance
(Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/381), which states:

(2) In a case to which this regulation applies, a person has a right of appeal under
section 12(2) of the 1998 Act in relation to the decision only if the Secretary of State has
considered on an application whether to revise the decision under section 9 of that Act.

YOU STATE, "HOWEVER, THE REGULATIONS WOULD APPEAR."

THIS IS NOT DEFINITIVE. CATEGORICALLY STATE THE CASE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER PLEASE.

Yours sincerely,

GEOFFREY REYNOLDS

GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended)

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,
You have intimated that a DM could refuse grounds for an appeal to go ahead, yet you sent me this in a recent reply;

The information you have requested does not exist. Your suggestion
that the Department’s
decision makers can suppress an appeal is not correct.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting
the reference number
above.
Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Make your mind up or tell the truth for once!

Yours sincerely,

GEOFFREY REYNOLDS

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see the attached response to your Freedom of Information review request.

Many thanks,

DWP Central FoI Team
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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