Further information about reverification of awards

The request was refused by Department for Work and Pensions.

Martin Williams

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In answer to FOI2021/15615 (available here https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/j... ), it was stated that:

"I can also confirm that when Universal Credit applications were made in the initial period of
the pandemic, customers were advised that their application was being accepted under
specific COVID 19 regulations and that the Department would contact them at a later date
and ask for evidence to support their application
We are now re-visiting those cases and are re-applying the verification standards that would
have been in place at the time, had it not been for COVID-19. If the evidence does not
support the application it will be reviewed and revised to the correct entitlement and, where
appropriate, an overpayment calculated and put into recovery."

Please disclose:

1. The "specific COVID 19 regulations" to which you refer- as far as we are aware, this easement on standards of verification was not in fact carried out under any different regulations but was simply a decision on the part of the Department to ease up on what it considered acceptable evidence to verify identity etc. As such we are not aware of any specific COVID 19 regulations.

2. Please also disclose the standard notification that was given to the group of claimants described informing them of such specific COVID 19 regulations and the future verification that would be applied.

3. Your previous response also indicates that "if the evidence does not
support the application it will be reviewed and revised to the correct entitlement and, where
appropriate, an overpayment calculated and put into recovery". I would be grateful if you could indicate under which regulation such a revision would be carried out and what the ground for revision would be?

4. Please disclose any standard wording used in making requests to reverify information as part of this programme.

5. Finally, please disclose any guidance issued to staff specifically as part of this programme on "closing" or revising awards in the event that a claimant does not respond to such requests for information.

Thanks for your help as ever,

Martin Williams

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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DWP Central FOI Team,

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Dear Martin Williams,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 26th

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team