Revised guidance promised to SSAC following its March 2015 report

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In respect of “The Employment and Support Allowance (Repeat Assessments and Pending Appeal Awards) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 2015 No. 437)” the Social Security Advisory Committee (“SSAC”) produced the report specified below in March 2015.

“Report by the Social Security Advisory Committee under Section 174(1) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and statement by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in accordance with Section 174(2) of that Act

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to Section 174(2) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992”

Item 17 of the SSAC report states:
17. The Committee also requested that revised guidance provided to:

• JCP advisers – in relation to claiming JSA with a fit note, and flexibilities within JSA;
• Decision Makers in relation to how to determine whether a condition has worsened; and
• Claimants – in relation to setting out the precise requirements of the worsening test – i.e. whether it relates to the significant worsening of the condition itself or of the impact of the condition, which is more in keeping with the general approach of ESA. It should also provide clarity about the specific types and sources of evidence that may be produced to support the claim, for example whether the claimant’s own evidence will suffice.

The Department’s response to point 17 is shown below:
“The Department plans to update the guidance for JCP advisers and decision makers not only for this measure but also for the JSA extended sickness provision which is coming into operation at the same time. We are planning to raise awareness of the change with relevant staff and plan to share the new decision maker guidance with the Committee before it is published. This guidance will include information about the evidence needed to demonstrate a change in a claimant’s condition since the previous assessment and who can provide that evidence such as GPs and other professionals who know the claimant well. We are changing contact centre scripts so that claimants will know at the start of their claim what evidence the Department will need to support the claim. We have already started to work with organisations which provide advice to claimants, and plan to build on this awareness so they know what evidence will be needed to support repeat claims in the future.”

RFI1 – Please disclose the revised guidance specified in point 17 of the SSAC report

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 27 February 2017 unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

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Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
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www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Revised guidance promised to SSAC following its March 2015 report'.

The Department stated that I could expect a response by 27 February 2017. It's now 14th March 2017. Does the Department have any intention of responding?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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

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please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
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Ashdown Cherone STRATEGY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, Department for Work and Pensions

Dear John Slater

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

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Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
 
 
 
 

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Revised guidance promised to SSAC following its March 2015 report'.

Thank you for the information supplied. Having read it I’m struggling to reconcile the 3 documents provided with Item 17 of the SSAC report. I remind the DWP state it stated:

17. The Committee also requested that revised guidance provided to:
• JCP advisers – in relation to claiming JSA with a fit note, and flexibilities within JSA;
• Decision Makers in relation to how to determine whether a condition has worsened; and
• Claimants – in relation to setting out the precise requirements of the worsening test – i.e. whether it relates to the significant worsening of the condition itself or of the impact of the condition, which is more in keeping with the general approach of ESA. It should also provide clarity about the specific types and sources of evidence that may be produced to support the claim, for example whether the claimant’s own evidence will suffice.

IRR Question 1
The Department hasn’t supplied of provided a link to revised Decision Makers guidance about how to determine whether a condition has worsened. The Department is required to confirm or deny of this exists. If it does exist it must disclose it or state which of the statutory exemptions it is engaging.

IRR Question 2
There is no mention of the ‘worsening test’ in the guidance issued to claimants (I assume this is the ESA40 06/15 booklet. The only mention of the word ‘worse’ is on page 15 where it states that the claimant must tell the DWP if their condition gets worse. Also there appears to be no mention of “the specific types and sources of evidence that may be produced to support the claim, for example whether the claimant’s own evidence will suffice.”

For the purposes of clarifying the DWP response is it categorically stating that the ESA40 06/15 booklet supplied satisfies the SSAC requirements set out in item 17? If so please direct me to where it is dealt with.

IRR Question 3
Please direct me to the relevant part(s) of the disclosed guidance that addresses the first bullet point of the SSAC item 17 “JCP advisers – in relation to claiming JSA with a fit note, and flexibilities within JSA” as I have been unable to locate it.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Reference: IR 140

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

 

 

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

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

DWP Strategy FoI Team

 

 

 

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