Dear Sir/Madam

Could you please provide me with the following information.

How many decision makers have been taken to small claims court under the Fraud Act 2006 for misrepresenting a client's information on a claim form?

Fraud Act 2006
2 Fraud by false representation
(1)(ii)A person is in breach of this section if he causes loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.
(2)(a) A representation is false if it is untrue or misleading, or (b) the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.
12 Liability of company officers for offences by company
(2)(a) If the offence is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer he is guilty of the offence and liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

The aforementioned employee/s can also be held financially accountable for any other loss of benefit that accompanies the original benefit ie. Severe Disability or Council Tax Rebate.
This is an English Law, however, it extends to Scotland on the ground that even though DWP employees are based in Scotland, their headquarters are in England.
So I would like you to include figures for both.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Yours sincerely
Ms C Smith

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DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Smith

Please see attached response to your FoI request.

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DWP Central FoI Team

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JGC left an annotation ()

Hi Ms Smith, I think your question was absolutely fabulous!

Just wondering what was your train of thought in requesting it?

I have previously questioned how many times DWP sued under Disability Discrimination Act, but they said that would cost too many hours/pounds to collate and they dont keep figures for it either!!

Regards

Jay

Carol S left an annotation ()

Hi Jay,

I wasn't sure how many people were aware of this law.

Basically, I made the request because I wanted people to know there is an alternative way of getting your benefits restored, providing your claim is valid.

Most people believe that going to a tribunal is their only option. So they get "corralled" down a rat run that is evidently biased towards the DWP, and they still end-up losing their case.

In my opinion, fraud is endemic within the DWP, and it must be addressed.

TURN THE TABLES ON THEM!

Instead of claimants being on the defencive, put them in the "hot-seat" and see how they like it. They don't. Ive tried it - and I've never seen them move so fast in my life! They reinstated my income support, and I had all my backdated money in my account withing 3 days. (I told them they had 3 days to reverse their decision - or I would take legal action).

IMPORTANT: I THREATENED TO SUE THE DECISION MAKER (BY NAME) - NOT THE DWP!

I suspect the reason no employee has ever been sued is because they always back-down when faced with a court case being brought against them-self as an individual, and no longer under the protection of a "faceless bureaucracy".

I included the fraud legislation in my letter to the DWP so they would know I was serious, I also detailed it in the FOI request so people would know where to find it.

It might help some people - it might not, but I thought I'd put it out there anyway.

Regards, Carol S.

Anastasia left an annotation ()

Yes I know this is 'old' bit I believe it still VERY MUCH relevent.

john left an annotation ()

Hi Carol S
could you please adivse more, as this is the second time in 12months I have to appeal to tribunal, had to wait 11 months for first one, won got my money backed dated, 3 months later, atos money stopped, now gotta wait again, in all this time I have to live on £50.00 a week, any help on what I should do would be appreciated
kindest regards
JOHN

Bret Tom O'Hawks left an annotation ()

Surely, the Magistrate's will be required to inform the Director of Public Prosecutions on considering whether to proceed with the claim. I would have thought that Crown Immunity would be invoked at that point and so bringing the claim to an end.
Maybe the DWP has backed down so far so as not to tempt fate; setting an embarrassing precedent if the claim does go ahead.

Has it been attempted?

Carol S left an annotation ()

Hi John,

The information above is freely available on the internet - Legally speaking I cannot advice anyone. I can only tell people what I did in order to get my benefits reinstated. Other than what I wrote in my request, I'm not sure what more I can tell you at this point. ATOS is a private company, and their employees are subject to the same laws as the DWP.

I have not delt directly with ATOS yet, but expect to lock-horns in the next few days. I'm awaiting a decision from them regarding my ability to work. Suffice to say, I like to lay the groundwork for my legal defence BEFORE the kick-off, so to speak - but I will refrain from posting that information just yet. I strongly believe that all the legal cronies for these companies will be monitoring sites like this to see whats coming their way. No point in giving them the advantage!

I'll post any relevant info later.

Regards, Carol S.

John Slater left an annotation ()

Hi All,

I fully agree with what Carol is saying. I did something similar but using Misconduct in Public Office (a criminal offence) which incorporates frauds and deceits. I named all decision makers that have been involved in my claim and they moved very quickly indeed.

The offence of Misconduct in Public Office is committed when a public officer acting as such wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder without reasonable excuse or justification.

Examples of behaviour that have in the past fallen within the offence include:
• wilful excesses of official authority;
• 'malicious' exercises of official authority;
• wilful neglect of a public duty;
• intentional infliction of bodily harm, imprisonment, or other injury upon a person;
• frauds and deceits.

I suspect that many people have suffered at the hands of Decision Makers where their actions fall within the points listed above. Harrington stated that DM too frequently accept Atos HCP reports without question. My own experience was that it was clear to anyone without any medical knowledge that the HCP report was fundamentally flawed and that the approved process was not followed and yet the DM simply accepted it.

The DWP also sent letters containing statements that were untrue and were clearly intended to make me believe that my appeal had failed when it hadn’t been heard. I’m sure plenty of people will have suffered far worse and the actions by the DWP DM fall within the points listed.

Perhaps if more people use the Fraud Act and the Misconduct in Public Office Offence then the DWP will start to feel very uncomfortable. I’m sure if the Police get a lot of reports of criminal activity within a Government Department then the Home Office won’t be happy either!

Lala1984 left an annotation ()

Did you send this via email or letter? If email could you provide me with the address please

Carol S left an annotation ()

Hi Lala,

It really depends on who the Decision Maker was, and which office dealt with your claim. I live in the West of Scotland, so I emailed the DM in the Greenock Office. As I recall, I had to winkle the email address out of them - so it's not a good idea to tell them why you want it, or they'll just fob you off. I couldn't get the exact address of the DM, So I sent it to the address below titled "FOR THE ATTENTION OF GREENOCK JOBCENTER PLUS[99 Dalrimple Street]" - The email itself started with "FOR THE ATTENTION OF [Name of DM and Job Title]". Judging by the results, she must have received it!

Official-corre@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Note: I believe the "gsi" part of the address stands for "government secured intranet". This was added in the last few years. I have not had any issues myself - but some people have had their emails bounced back undelivered because of it.

Regards Carol S.

Lala1984 left an annotation ()

Thanks carol. Even though I live in London I deal with the Greenock office also. Can't wait to fire off this email now lol. Again many thanks

B. Adams left an annotation ()

Every credit for that approach Carol... Many people are also doing Judicial Review as a litigant in person (on their own) as an alternative. The process is not difficult and the Administrative Court supply comprehensive guidance notes not only on applying for Judicial Review, but how to complete the claim form. Judicial review is concerned with reviewing, not the merits of a decision in respect of which the application is made, but the decision making process itself. There are statutory provisions in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 which allow for a direct application for judicial review to the Upper Tribunal. The purpose of the remedy is to ensure that any individual is given fair treatment by an authority and is designed to prevent the excess and abuse of power by public authorities. The complaints procedure must be exhausted first though and certain procedures carried out unless it is urgent, in which case you file your injunction application as ex parte (this allows you to turn up at your local Court the same day) instead of the 14 days notice etc... Similarly the problems seem to get resolved before it gets that far...

Carol S left an annotation ()

Hi B.Addams

I've been through the Judicial Review process from start to finish, and won

HOWEVER - Immediately after I won, Jobcenter Plus turned around and CUT ONE OF MY OTHER BENEFITS, which meant I would have to go through the whole exhausting process again, It was at that point I put my foot down and said NO MORE! - Someone was going to be held accountable for this harassment.

If you want any hope of winning a Judicial Review, be prepared to find citable cases to present to the Upper Tribunal. You may also have to prove there has been an 'Error in Law". Also be prepared for the Judge to rule that you get sent back to the Lower Tribunal for you to go through the Appeal from the start. Which is what happened to me.

For anyone who's interested in that merry-go-round here's the link to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007...

I made the original FOI to remind people that it is possible to circumvent (avoid) the entire Appeal & Judicial Review process. It can be achieved with as little as 2 or 3 emails - as opposed to going through months of anguish, form filling, studying case law & living on minimum benefit whilst not knowing what the final out come will be. Disabled people should not be forced to repeatedly 'Jump the Shark', when it is the DWP who is at fault. Personally I've drawn my line in the sand - and no DM is crossing it.

Regards, Carol S

Lala1984 left an annotation ()

Hi carol

How long did it take for you to recieve a reply? I've heard nothing since sending the email on the 14th, not even a confirmation that my email has been received!

Carol S left an annotation ()

Hi Lala 1984,

You really should have followed up by now. I don't know your particular circumstances, ie - if you have been in telephone contact with them, what you wrote in your email, how many days you gave them to respond, or if you had previously requested a letter from the DM stating his/her "Reasons For Their Decision".

By the time I sent them my email regarding Legal Action - JobCenter Plus knew exactly who I was and what my intentions were. I had already informed them over the phone to expect an email - and told them if they did not respond to it, there would be serious legal ramifications for both her (the DM manager) and the DM herself.

It's possible your email has just got lost in the system if they were not expecting it.

If you want to discuss this in more detail - feel free to drop me an email.

Regards Carol S

Alicia Clerk left an annotation ()

I have a major headache at the moment with Debt Management, they have accused me of not reporting an occupational pension that relates only to my husband. They refuse to provide the evidence I have requested and they refuse to respond to my letters, 3 so far. I have had no choice but to involve my MP and he sent me their response which is nothing but made up stories and lies. Short of taking them to court which is not a route I want to go down at present, how can I force them to provide all the evidence that I require. They are taking money out of my JSA but I need to get as much evidence from them as possible but their refusal is frustrating to say the least. How can I threaten them with legal action?? What information do I need to include with my correspondence? I note that the response they sent to my MP is not on headed notepaper nor is it dated!
Alicja

Sue Oakey left an annotation ()

Thank you for the information that is posted - hope its still relevant in 2016? I have been in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility and Higher Rate Care component of the DLA and I have just had my PIP result. The Mobility has stayed as enhanced but the Daily Living (Care) component has been dropped to standard. The Decision Maker made this decision based on a fictitious Face to Face Assessment that I have never had. I have spoken to the Department for Work and Pensions and they tried to pursuade me not to request a Mandatory Reconsideration and to push me into accepting this non existant Face to Face Assessment. I am shocked that they could either blatently lie or even worse, use another claimants assessment with my form. I take exception to being called a liar as they dismissed my form in favour of this so called Consultation. They telehoned me after I requested a Mandatory Reconsideration and tried to persuade me (rather bully me) not to. This was not the original DM that rang me. They now have sent the letter just taking out the face to face assessment bit and based it on the telephone call saying I was not in discomfort and had no anxiety?? This was not a Reconsideration letter just a rejigged letter. Can two people make a decision based on the non existent Face to Face. I am incensed as I know this has happened to other people. The man who telephoned said I should just accept the decision (even if it was a lie) as I might not get anything. I said it was the principle of the matter. Is the law still relevant now? As I have been told there is no recourse to this situation?

Oaktree left an annotation ()

Carol S. I applaud you! Can some one please tell me if this advice is still relevant now? I too want to 'draw a line in the sand' with my treatment by the DWP but am currently at the early stages of a PIP appeal and unsure whether to proceed with this alternative. Any up to date info would be much appreciated.

David Simpson left an annotation ()

Thanks Carol S. Once it has been proven that information used by a government department is bias or that information was with held from, or that the Decision Maker knew that there was more information to hand but chose to ignore it in making his/her decision the whole report can be thrown out in its use to make a decision in your case. There is a rule called the Bond Solon Rule Part 35 section 2 which in short terms means you supply medical fact and any report produced to give or denighed benefits MUST DO THE SAME. and must separate what is medical fact and what is opinion in the report.
information on this can be seen on dwpexamination.org I think you will find every thing you may need there.
onebigvoice.

A Sweeney left an annotation ()

Hi Everyone,
I'm going through the complaints process against DWP and HMCTS, (responsible for DWP hearings et al).
I've been subjected to horrendous behaviour, including a persistent disregard of strong indications that I would qualify under exceptional circumstances.
There is every likelihood I will need to pursue one of the various routes suggested to get a modicum of fairness and natural justice.
Does anyone know whether any disability charities are beginning to gather cases against DWP/HMCTS/the Government as I would like to be part of this, and benefit from their legal abilities, rather than cause myself further distress by being forced to fight this alone.
Thanks.

D Robinson left an annotation ()

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