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Simple Payment account - is this option still available for new benefit claims?

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

This organisation assists new refugees in claiming benefits, principally JSA pending them finding a first job.

DWP benefits are normally paid into a bank account - but banks will often not open a bank account for refugees until refugee can produce letter from JSA benefit centre confirming JSA is in payment.

In the past claimants could obtain payments via a Simple Payment card for the first few weeks, until such time as they received JSA decision letter which they could take to the bank to open a new bank account.

However in recent months our local DWP office has been ignoring requests for payments via a Simple Payment card and has instead asked new refugees to provide sort code and account no of a 'friend' - stating that the benefit will be paid into the friend's account until such time as claimant has his own account. Can you please provide details about this new policy.

Why was the policy introduced (eg to save on DWP charges to company running Simple Payments card); on what date did this policy change - to pay initial benefit into a friend's account - take place; does the new refugee without a bank account still have the option of requesting payments via Simple Payment card; is this new policy mandatory and implemented via regulations or policy only; what payment options are available if new refugees have no local 'friends' who can provide such a service; and can you please provide a copy of the current guidance issued to staff regarding requests for Simple Payment card accounts and the use of 'friend's' bank accounts as an alternative in such situations.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Brian martin
Wakefield District City of Sanctuary

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

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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 19 December 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

 

 

From: Brian martin [mailto:[FOI #372717 email]]
Sent: 21 November 2016 11:19
To: DWP freedom-of-information-requests
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Simple Payment account - is this
option still available for new benefit claims?

 

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

 

This organisation assists new refugees in claiming benefits, principally
JSA pending them finding a first job.

 

DWP benefits are normally paid into a bank account - but banks will often
not open a bank account for refugees until refugee can produce letter from
JSA benefit centre confirming JSA is in payment.

 

In the past claimants could obtain payments via a Simple Payment card for
the first few weeks, until such time as they received JSA decision letter
which they could take to the bank to open a new bank account.

 

However in recent months our local DWP office has been ignoring requests
for payments via a Simple Payment card and has instead asked new refugees
to provide sort code and account no of a 'friend' - stating that the
benefit will be paid into the friend's account until such time as claimant
has his own account.  Can you please provide details about this new
policy.

 

Why was the policy introduced (eg to save on DWP charges to company
running Simple Payments card); on what date did this policy change - to
pay initial benefit into a friend's account - take place; does the new
refugee without a bank account still have the option of requesting
payments via Simple Payment card; is this new policy mandatory and
implemented via regulations or policy only; what payment options are
available if new refugees have no local 'friends' who can provide such a
service; and can you please provide a copy of the current guidance issued
to staff regarding requests for Simple Payment card accounts and the use
of 'friend's' bank accounts as an alternative in such situations.

 

Thank you.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Brian martin

Wakefield District City of Sanctuary

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

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[1][FOI #372717 email]

 

Is [2][DWP request email] the wrong address for
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If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
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show quoted sections

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

 

You can expect a reply by 19 December 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

 

 

From: Brian martin [[1]mailto:[FOI #372717 email]]
Sent: 21 November 2016 11:19
To: DWP freedom-of-information-requests
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Simple Payment account - is this
option still available for new benefit claims?

 

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

 

This organisation assists new refugees in claiming benefits, principally
JSA pending them finding a first job.

 

DWP benefits are normally paid into a bank account - but banks will often
not open a bank account for refugees until refugee can produce letter from
JSA benefit centre confirming JSA is in payment.

 

In the past claimants could obtain payments via a Simple Payment card for
the first few weeks, until such time as they received JSA decision letter
which they could take to the bank to open a new bank account.

 

However in recent months our local DWP office has been ignoring requests
for payments via a Simple Payment card and has instead asked new refugees
to provide sort code and account no of a 'friend' - stating that the
benefit will be paid into the friend's account until such time as claimant
has his own account.  Can you please provide details about this new
policy.

 

Why was the policy introduced (eg to save on DWP charges to company
running Simple Payments card); on what date did this policy change - to
pay initial benefit into a friend's account - take place; does the new
refugee without a bank account still have the option of requesting
payments via Simple Payment card; is this new policy mandatory and
implemented via regulations or policy only; what payment options are
available if new refugees have no local 'friends' who can provide such a
service; and can you please provide a copy of the current guidance issued
to staff regarding requests for Simple Payment card accounts and the use
of 'friend's' bank accounts as an alternative in such situations.

 

Thank you.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Brian martin

Wakefield District City of Sanctuary

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[2][FOI #372717 email]

 

Is [3][DWP request email] the wrong address for
Freedom of Information requests to Department for Work and Pensions? If
so, please contact us using this form:

[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

 

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

 

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:

[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

 

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Can you please let me know why I have no reply to my POI request; and when I may expect to receive a substantive reply.

Thanks

Yours sincerely,

Brian martin

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Reply to my foi is overdue. Can you please indicate the reasons for the delay and when a substantive reply can be expected. Thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Brian martin

DWP Finance Group PCC PQ and FOI Team, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Brian Martin
 
Please see the attached letter.
 
 
 
Official Correspondence Team
People and Communication | Please consider the environment before
printing.
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

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 'Simple Payment account - is this option still available for new benefit claims?'.

I have recently had a reply to FOI 4415 seeking information on the use of simple payment accounts and 'friends' bank accounts for payment of JSA to new refugees who do not yet have a basic bank account into which to receive their benefit.

In my request I asked for a copy of the staff guidance on these issues....but this has not been provided in your reply. Can you please provide a copy of the guidance.

In particular does the JCP guidance:-

- make clear to JCP staff that new refugees will have difficulty in opening a basic bank account prior to receiving their JSA decision letter. (ie bank guidance to bank staff says that customers should provide a benefit 'decision' letter confirming that current benefit is in payment)

- what does the JCP staff guidance say to staff about explaining to new claimants the circumstances in which a simple payment account can be made available to claimants as a temporary measure for the first few payments of JSA...which enables claimants to then take their decision letter to the bank and open a basic bank account for future benefit payments

- what does the JCP staff guidance say about the circumstances in which a friend's bank account should/must be used (ie is this only used when claimants voluntary request it...or is this option 'pushed' by JCP staff in order to avoid the cost of opening a simple payment account).

As requested in my original FOI please provide a copy of the JCP staff guidance covering the different method of payment options available to new JSA claimants who have not yet been able to open a bank account because they have not yet received a JSA 'decision' letter.

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Brian martin

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...
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP Finance Group PCC PQ and FOI Team, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Martin,
 
Please see attached letter.
 
 
Official Correspondence Team
People and Communication | Please consider the environment before
printing.
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

DWP Finance Group PCC PQ and FOI Team, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Martin
 
Please see the attached letter.
 
 
Official Correspondence Team
People and Communication | Please consider the environment before
printing.
 
 

show quoted sections

DWP Finance Group PCC PQ and FOI Team, Department for Work and Pensions

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Martin,
 
Please see attached letter.
 
 
Official Correspondence Team
People and Communication | Please consider the environment before
printing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Brian martin please sign in and let everyone know.

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