Many peeps will be aware of my rather long standing dispute with the Department of Work of Pensions and their Incapacity reassessment teams refusing to comply with existing law.
So the natural progression in such circumstances would be to raise the matters at hand to that for a formal complaint. The DWP however has this rather unusual concept when it comes to handling complaints against itself.
- Staff will refuse to take the complaint.
- Staff will then try to accuse you of wrong doing. Often sending rather threatening letters.
- General all round unpleasantness from staff.
Eventually they may actually take your complaint, but in doing so they will hand all control of your claim to the Department of Work and Pensions Complaints Resolution Team.
At this point you may think that this may resolve matters, but in reality you are now falling into the abyss that is the DWP’s administrative black hole.
Statutory Complaints procedure, where your complaint is more important than you or you ever receiving benefit, but they will never actually deal with your complaint, they will cite policy but should you challenge that, they will state “We do not deal with complaints about policy”.
So considering they do not deal with Policy issues, the reply shown above from one Mr Julian Mitchell, Complaint Resolution Manager, JCP, Thames Valley District, Reading. Seems to contain a considerable amount of policy to try and back up his argument.
From this we may as well look at what he has stated.
Well quite simply, Section 1 and Schedule 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007 where made some what superfluous to requirements as they where created to handle the legalities of claimants being directly migrated to ESA. However the reality is that when the Coalition came in to power they overruled that and changed it to claimants being assessed before they are migrated. Which in fact is not a migration. Its a new claim.
The same somewhat applies to all of the Regulations quoted with exception of the Employment & Support Allowance Regulations 2008, regs 22 an 24.
Now as some of you will be aware, one of the issues I raised previously was that the Incapacity Benefit reassessment team where ‘refusing’ to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act, so that other claimants or I would be able to complete the ESA50 Questionnaire.
Notice the cited Reg 24 in the attached letter. This regulation states
24. The matters to be taken into account in determining whether a claimant has good cause under regulations 22 (failure to provide information in relation to limited capability for work) or 23 (failure to attend a medical examination to determine limited capability for work) include—
(a)whether the claimant was outside Great Britain at the relevant time;
(b)the claimant’s state of health at the relevant time; and
(c)the nature of any disability the claimant has.
Yep Reg 24(c) Clearly states they have to take into account “the nature of any disability the claimant has.”
Julian Mitchell’s response to this when challenged,
“I think you are just making this up as you are going along”.
He then went on to get very hostile as he realised he was being recorded. (its not like it isn’t over all of my file that all calls will be recorded)
Basically as expected the DWP complaints resolutions only response to complaints is that anything you raise is a policy matter, should you raise an issue about a specific member of staffs behaviour (which involves them ignoring the law) which is Generally most of the complaints ever raised against the DWP.
“Its a policy matter”
So Justin Mitchell, as promised here is your jobsworth name and shame page.
For the purposes of those reading the regulations above, should they actually apply those to a claim that is being migrated, the most probable outcome is….
You “do not have limited capability to work”. Your ESA is stopped, but because you are not actually in receipt of ESA the whole process has to be repeated as they have no legislation other than that of the Right of Supersession to terminate your existing award of benefit.
Of which they have ‘not’ been superseding existing awards of benefit.
So as I go into my 11th Week of my award of benefit being terminated illegally. Save a thought for these DWP Jobsworths like Julian Mitchell and their sole purpose to completely waste peeps time. For it is a hard job they do, having to make peeps lives a misery. Whilst they sit on their comfy office, with a good income, a nice home, food on the table. They have such a hard life you know.