Implementation of safeguarding guidance where claimants do not answer correspondence

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Your ESA, UC and PIP Core Visits guidance state that when claimants with mental health conditions, learning difficulties, or substance misuse issues fail to reply to correspondence or comply with obligations or conditionality, Core Visits should be scheduled, and/or the claimant's details should be referred back to the Disability Service CES Team and the original referrer for case conferencing and to consult relevant parties such as the GP, Community Psychiatric Nurse, or next of kin of the claimant.

Staff are instructed that they 'must not suspend or stop the claimant's benefit payment until further action has been taken, and further advice given.'

In the time since July 2020, please provide information as to;

- how many claimants have had their payments stopped or suspended after non-compliance, broken down per benefit if possible

- how many claimants in receipt of the Enhanced & Severe Disability Premiums have had their payments stopped or suspended after non-compliance

- how many claimants who have been deemed to have LCW/-RA due to 'substantial risk' have had their payments stopped or suspended after non-compliance

- how many cases in which a claimant would otherwise be facing such a suspension or stoppage of payments have had Core Visits scheduled

- how many cases in which a claimant would otherwise be facing a suspension or stoppage of payments due to non compliance have instead been referred back to the Disability Service CES Team

Finally, I understand the 'vulnerability' field is not automatically triggered at any point and does not carry across from one assessment to the next.

- Please provide any information or guidance you hold around how staff are to populate this field, how often these fields are reviewed, and any measures that are taken to ensure that this field is not incorrectly or incompletely populated.

Yours faithfully,

Finn Keaney

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

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FOI mailbox.
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally expect
a response within 20 working days.
 
However please be advised that due to the current situation with COVID-19
we cannot guarantee a response within this timescale.
 
Every effort is being made to respond to FOIs as we would usually but the
current situation means that available Departmental resources will be
needed on other high priority areas.
 
We kindly ask for your understanding during this unprecedented situation
and we will aim to deal with your FOI request as soon as is practically
possible.
 
Email FOI responses will be issued from [1][email address]
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
[2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Finn Keaney,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 19th
April.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Thank you for your reply, I will respond in turn.

1 to 3 - thank you for your suggestion but the information I am seeking is not specifically about sanctions.

I made this request because I am aware that the Department added lengthy safeguarding steps to their Core Visits guidance last year to be followed in cases wherein payments are due to be stopped due to non-compliance including failed attempts to make contact and ineffective visits.

As the guidance is specific to cases involving non-compliance and failed visits these cases must be being identified somehow in order that the guidance can be followed. I would also expect this information to be tracked.
I am happy to reduce the scope of these 3 requests to the below :

-- Please provide information as to how many claimants of ESA, of DLA, of PIP, and of UC, have had their payments stopped or suspended after non-compliance.

4 - Thank you for your suggestion, please do provide the data from your suggested date.

5 - I do not see how this request could take 335 hours to respond to as it does not make sense that each case must be combed through individually. Surely it is possible to run a report out of the system and filter the appropriate column/s to only show those cases wherein for example the phrases 'CES team,' 'ineffective visit' or other relevant keywords might appear. Your PIP guidance clearly indicates that this information is tracked in a specific field when it says "The CES Team will note PIPCS, within the notes section of the contact tab on the Person Home page, to state ‘Following two ineffective visits on XX and XX, please do not take any further action whilst the case is with the CES Team for consideration’."

6 – I made this request because I had read Peter Schofield’s response to the Work and Pensions Committee dated 3rd February 2021, He had stated that there was an 'additional support marker' and referenced 'pin notes.' My understanding is that this had either already been implemented or was due to be implemented that month.

I would like information about how vulnerability is identified, entered, and tracked throughout a claim (and across repeated claims).

-- If these mechanisms do exist, please provide any information or guidance you hold around how staff are to use them.

-- If not, please provide all information pertaining to the process and systems outlined by Peter Schofield on 3rd February 2021 .

-- If this system is not in place can you provide all information about it’s planned implementation.

Yours faithfully,

Finn Keaney

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

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FOI mailbox.
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally expect
a response within 20 working days.
 
However please be advised that due to the current situation with COVID-19
we cannot guarantee a response within this timescale.
 
Every effort is being made to respond to FOIs as we would usually but the
current situation means that available Departmental resources will be
needed on other high priority areas.
 
We kindly ask for your understanding during this unprecedented situation
and we will aim to deal with your FOI request as soon as is practically
possible.
 
Email FOI responses will be issued from [1][email address]
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
[2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Finn Keaney,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 6th
May.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Finn Keaney,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 6th
May.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team