Please read and share widely. If you arent angry upon reading this then I don’t know how bad it has to become before you become angry.
As we know the DWP and the government like to stitch everything up so it goes in their favour. Many thanks to the people over at Benefits And Work for all their hard work in challenging these decisions and wrongful treatment.
To put it simply, we mean nothing to the DWP. Remember that.
From benefits and Work a very reliable source of information.
Entirely unlawfully, the DWP has been blocking people from appealing if they miss the one month deadline for asking for a mandatory reconsideration. In truth, the deadline can be extended by a further year where the claimant has good cause for being late. But the DWP had decided that it was up to them to be the judge of whether the claimant had a good reason for missing the deadline and that tribunals shouldn’t be allowed any say in whether they could hear the case.
Happily, a panel of three upper tribunal judges have now said that the DWP must stop preventing claimants from exercising their lawful right to appeal. The case involved ESA, but will apply to all other benefits too.
MILLIONS SPENT ON ESA APPEALS.
The Independent, meanwhile, has managed to get the DWP to hand over details of how much they have spent on trying to stop people getting ESA. And, in particular, on fighting appeals against sanctions of sick and disabled claimants ESA.
The cost to the taxpayer has been a staggering £39 million. And that’s just the DWP’s costs. It doesn’t include to cost of the tribunals themselves.
The fact that the DWP has been losing over two thirds of these cases doesn’t discourage them in the slightest.
Far from it. According to the Independent, spending on ESA appeals has increased by 77% in 2017.
WCA REPORT BLOCKED
We also have news of the DWP refusing to accept the ruling of the Information Commissioner that they must publish a report that shows how well Maximus, and Atos before them, carry out work capability assessments.
The reason the DWP have given for the refusal?
Publication of the report could‘give a perception of under-performance’ which could ‘damage the reputation and standing of the companies involved’.
In other words, they don’t want anyone to know how bad things are, so they are trying to use commercial confidentiality as a reason for withholding the truth.
The matter will now be decided by an information tribunal.
PIP GUIDANCE WITHHELD
Then there’s the fight that Benefits and Work is having with the DWP, which is currently on its way to the Information Commissioner.
We’ve asked to see guidance and training materials used by Atos in relation to PIP assessments.
One of the things we want to discover is whether Atos and Capita are following the same procedures or whether the outcome of your assessment depends in part on what area of the country you are living in.
The DWP are fighting to withhold the documents, however.
You’ve probably guessed it: the information is, in some unexplained way, commercially confidential.
The matter is now going to the Information Commissioner and then, quite possibly, to an information tribunal.