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TOPIC: Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped!

Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 11 Sep 2017 13:32 #4174

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In an Upper Tribunal decision of 03 Aug 2017 a three judge panel concluded that the Mandatory Reconsideration stage of challenging a DWP decision amounts to an attempt by the SoS to hijack the tribunal process (probably in an attempt to prevent claimants challenging decisions) and is unlawfull. The conservative village idiot, IDS, just got his nuts flattened, again!!!
He just can't help being a complete idiot, everything he touches turns to shit and this is no exception.

The outcome of the decision means that claimants can still appeal a decision at a tribunal even if the request for the mandatory reconsideration is sent later than one month from the original decision. Claimants could have 13 months to take a decision to the First Tier Tribunal.

Thanks to CPAG

DWP bending over and taking up the jaxi
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 11 Sep 2017 13:42 #4175

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Really pleased to hear this Spanner, thanks for the links. I had to appeal my ESA last year for the first time but not before having to do a Mandatory Reconsideration, which of course I paid a lot of attention to and it was still `decision stands` after submission. All these MR are is to waste valuable time. The DWP decision makers are not medically trained and rely solely on the words of so called health care professionals who are indeed trained in their specialist jobs, but a nurse cannot (in my personal opinion) evaluate someone like me who suffers from chronic nerve pain, which is not something that you can cure or work around.

Lets hope this is the beginning of something bigger and sanctions are next on the agenda as being against human rights.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 11 Sep 2017 17:50 #4178

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Strangely, I went for a google on this and didn`t find anything new in the news headlines? Possibly due to the case being very recent or the DWP are licking their wounds ready for a counter attack? Even the Benefits & Work website hasn`t picked up on this story yet. So if the Secretary of State is being told Mandatory Reconsiderations are unlawful and will have to cease, I hope we see some clarification (DWP announcement) on it soon. In other words, anyone going through any future ESA or PIP assessments who are found fir for work or have their PIP removed or downgraded can go straight to appeal? If that`s the case, then getting your assessment right first time should avoid any appeal, but I can smell a rat. DWP will no doubt conjur up something else to block claimants from winning.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 13 Sep 2017 20:31 #4199

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Thanks for this, hopefully good timing in my case.

My latest ESA reassessment (3 years since the last one) just went in and was signed for the next day so I know they got it in Wolverhampton at least. Because of their ridiculous cowboy set up, I just have to sit and wait indefinitely with no time frame given for a response even though they gave me the relatively short time frame of a month with a reminder at the end of week 3 expressing their urgent need to see my completed questionnaire. That old fashioned fairness at play again, the fairness where one deserves whilst the other does not ;)

I share comply or die's sense of distrust. The DWP will just respond by kicking us from another angle. It is a never ending war of dirty tricks and survival tactics. This made pleasant reading all the same :)

What I would really like to see though are awards but more appropriately recognition for damages to all those people and families of the bereaved wrecked by this longlasting negligence.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 04 Jan 2018 12:54 #5541

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I was going to try and shorten this post on edit but for some might find it interesting to read my wider thoughts. I know I go on a bit sometimes but do try to keep it relevant and am sure some will identify with trying to sort out things with the DWP around this time of year.

Anyway on with it man, I had the medical in early November and at the end was told to give it 2 weeks then contact local joke centre if not heard anything by that point. I just checked my account each fortnight instead with no notification received until a few days before Christmas actually on the same day my money went in. Basically an expected time frame from medical to decision of 2 weeks was actually 5 weeks. Therefore, if I had called the JC I could have been piddling around for a further 3 weeks spending money on phone calls and climbing up the walls. Thank goodness I just got on with preparing for Christmas. Rather than be a stresser, this year Christmas helped me to focus and stay organized. As long as my money was going in I said to myself there was no point to worry and I can be a very bad worrier but finally seem to have learned with age that a lot of my stress has been unnecessarily caused by my own reactions.

The decision moved me from ESA Support Group to WRAG which at least isn't as bad as failing ESA altogether. As I have been in the support group for 3 years with not a dickie bird from them this has not come as a surprise. I am not used to this level of calmness in a potential crisis but I am liking it. Seeing that reduced rate so soon to Christmas would normally have had me hitting the roof, this time I just smiled wryly to myself muttered a few words and got straight back on with life. By my very nature and experiences I just expected to be turning into a cantanckerous old git but barring unforeseen challenges which will no doubt still threaten my equilibrium there seems to be more of a reverse going on.

One thing which helped me put things into perspective this Christmas has been reading (and seeing a little of) the increased number of people facing life as a homeless person. I was very lucky to be only homeless for a couple of weeks back in my teens or else I doubt I would still be sat here. As I am not a particularly festive type of person nor a Christian, my thoughts naturally extended beyond this period when we take our trimmings down on Twelfth Night (5th January if you are superstitous and don't like bad luck). I might not be Christian or indeed religious at all but this doesn't mean I don't have a spiritual side and had a bit of a surreal epiphany type experience whereby I was equating my period of homelessness as lasting about the same as the 12 days of Christmas. Even if people only had to endure life with no roof over their heads for this time it is still unacceptable that so many of them are going through it in such a rich and developed country as the UK. I also find it quite baffling why this seems only to be considered an issue by many at this time of year. Maybe it is because I read these boards now but I am convinced this problem has been far more widely acknowledged in 2017.

I aren't floating away on a cloud of serenity just yet and have plenty reminders to keep myself in touch with reality. Of course there will be that first job centre appointment for over 3 years to handle when it comes around any day now and I have a history of panic attacks at the prospect of going through those doors (built up over a number of unhappy and frustrating years) but I will try and stay focussed on the facts of what I need to do and (thanks to some wise people on here) what I don't have to. I am not planning on doing any more than what is mandatory and I am definitely not going to volunteer unless something really interesting crops up that might realistically lead to a job that would tolerate my issues (basically virtually non-existent and if it did exist the JC would be the last people I would expect to know about it). Any suggestion of work programmes will find me challenging the basic purpose considering I have qualifications and experience that are unlikely to be matched by what those providers have to offer. That won't necessarily get me out of it but I will try and view it as a necessary challenge and be as awkward as possible to be a thorn in the side of this government's big obsession; part of the scandalous methods to keep the job figures down and spend a small fortune in the process - ironically that could be put to more practical use such as proper training for real jobs which actually exist. As long as I don't have a job with accompanying wage then I am unemployed, it couldn't be more straightforward and that is what makes the situation so ludicrous.

With more specific regards to this topic the interesting part of the decision letter was that it mentions Mandatory Reconsideration and states you have 4 weeks to respond. This suggests that either it has not been scrapped or that the DWP are just behind with things as usual (which seems to suit them just fine although they can make a decision to sanction somebody in an instant). On the face of it would seem little has changed but I won't make any such assumption and will be looking for any updates that I can find and share.

Obviously the timing stinks. The letter took a further 6 days from date of decision reducing it to a response frame of 3 weeks and that is including getting a copy of the medical report and going through it. The man I spoke to on the phone was one of the better ones, he listened and explained things patiently and clearly. The response time has been set (over the phone) at 4 weeks from the point I received the decision and a copy of the report is apparently on its way and should arrive in plenty of time to get a response in. I listened carefully too and whilst I was focussing on replying via post he was definitely giving the impression of it being dealt with by phone although I resisted the temptation to ask for clarification. I was relieved that he confirmed that I wouldn't have to sign on once a fortnight in WRAG but they might want to see me every couple of months or so. Again there was no sense of doom, expectation of rigidly applied dictatorship. I am aware of some of the difficulties people on WRAG face from what I have read on this and other fora although that is by no means extensive and I do need to get with it. I emphasised that the main problem with having to go to the jobcentre on any kind of regular basis is affected by me not being able to go out for periods and that this affected my ability to sign on regularly the 2 periods when I was on JSA and was also the element I placed most significance on during the medical. As I have not yet the report I cannot say for definite if the nurse has recorded details accurately but he made copies of my supporting evidence which he seemed to find interesting and this had me thinking I was going to stay in the support group particularly as there had been no change in my circumstances with the exception that I am now in my 50s and less attractive to employers than I already was (not).

I mentioned about no change and my age during the phone conversation and commented on how many jobs there would be for somebody like me anyway if I was then moved from WRAG to JSA or my worst nightmare UC which just went live in my town in the same month as my medical. This guy seemed to understand perfectly and worded in such a way as seeing what the report says then if they can get the Support Group back for me. However, I have not forgotten that no matter how well a telephone conversation goes with jobcentreplus the results can be rather contrary.

The immediate change is having a considerable reduction in my benefits of around £100 per month (approx 20%) applied instantly. Again, I resisted bringing this up. Now considering how they have been banging on about listening to people with mental health problems I am just wondering what thought they have put into the impact on an individual such sudden readjustments might have. I am good to middling in my emotions at the moment but say I have one of my more serious and longer lasting relapses and was unable to get that MR request in on time, things still seem to be a bit hasty. I read the warning signs and prepare better these days but I still have to ride through however long it lasts. Why they had to set MR at 4 weeks in the first place when it covers such time relative fluctuating conditions is very questionable and in the context of their recent language this should have been immediatley and publicly changed if they actually wanted to be more convincing than mere lip service (more likely justification for the application of the Health part of the supposed new WHP which has already passed the initial roll outs). As I stated above though it could well be true that the 4 week MR has already been scrapped and keeping people informed is somebody else's priority.

As a point of interest it was the part of my long running 5 year complaint ending which ICE eventually held up where the DWP had failed to provide certain crucial information as negligent and that was hugely significant in me getting back on ESA and in the Support group (and therefore worth going through the hell albeit nowhere near the size of victory I was hoping for). Prior to that I had only been on ESA before it was split into two groups (including one successful MR which gives me realistic hope this time around). WRAG (if I stay on it after MR or subsequent appeal) is new ground for me in a new year although thankfully I am still on ESA and that should be for a minimum of one year which is usually clarified with the decision at the end of the medical report.

Incidentally having had virtually no calls through December I got 4 within 2 hours on the morning after that call. 2 left no message with the answer phone on (around 8-30ish during breakfast), the 3rd came when I had turned it off and they hung up the second I spoke and the fourth after I had checked 1471 and my messages with no number or messages then placed answer phone back on for a bit of cat and mouse could be clearly heard replacing the hand set showing it wasn't one of those automated pests. Coincidence? I doubt it.

Anyway fingers crossed.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 04 Jan 2018 13:34 #5543

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Brilliant post as always Verc and congratulations on `not` losing your ESA entitlement and at least staying in the WRAG which is, as you say, better than no award at all. In a nutshell, WRAG means not signing on and not looking for a job. So no work search requirements. But you will usually receive a letter to attend a work focussed interview every few months from your job centre which will detail what will be discussed which is usually just information and asking you what your goals are, if you have an updated CV, would you be interested in volunteering etc....

I`ve had telephone interviews recently with a nicer work coach which helps, but they move around so I`m not guaranteed to speak to the same coach again, which annoys me because it doesn`t give me a chance to bond with someone who would get to know me and what my problems actually are. I know a few of them already from my signing on stints and the one I`ve been chatting to has been a breath of fresh air, so I`m hoping they don`t name someone else on my next letter.

Your first Wi-Fi (work focussed interview) will be a chat about what they expect from you and ask you basic stuff and it gives you the chance to get across your own questions too. This new Work & Health programme seems to be gearing up to whisk us all into yet another cattle herding experience, but this is the point where you must shout about the descriptors you were awarded and why. Any programme we are asked to attend be that this new work & health thing or anything else, should be tailored to US and adjustments and flexibility should all be part of attending. The word `health` wouldn`t be in the programme title otherwise.

Will you be waiting for the ESA85 medical report Verc and then decide whether to appeal the WRAG decision if you find faults with the assessment? One thing I always read is that meeting the criteria for an award is crucial, so it`s very important to look closely at the descriptors for the Support Group, why you were awarded it previously and if nothing has changed since then, you have to argue that something was missed in their assessment of your problems. For example, they said that you got up without assistance while lying on the couch when being examined. If that didn`t happen, you explain WHY it didn`t happen because?

And that you fit descriptor X because? Provide evidence of this or look at why it was overlooked or lied about.

I too was moved and upset by the Christmas homeless numbers and the usual news coverage of their plight at this time of the year and then dropping it like a stone when everything goes back to normal. But being aware of how easy it is to become part of that world is always at the forefront of our minds, which is why we work to make sure we know our rights and how and when to use them.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 04 Jan 2018 18:06 #5545

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comply or die, your response is much appreciated and thank you for explaining the basic requirements of WRAG succinctly. It is far from a disaster but I may as well challenge it because it does move me one step closer to JSA/UC and I know there are time when I simply won't be up to it. Hopefully I will get the first one out of the way smoothly and then get put back in the support group in the meantime.

Stupid of me really to overlook what was right under my nose but now you mentioned it; that could have been a work coach trying to contact me on the phone it being so many calls around a certain time then nothing else since - suggesting maybe I am already on someone's busy rota - so I will be ready next week. They would probably have spoken the time my answerphone was off so at the moment I still have a govt snoop or 3rd party (WHP provider?) top of the list. Anyway I do hope you get to keep hold of anybody you've struck up a good rapport with, I do recognise this makes a huge difference when actually dealing with the JC. As well as making numerous complaints in the past, I have also contacted the JC to compliment how well Mr/Mrs/Miss X dealt with whatever it was. After all that is only fair and we know how highly our politicians value fairness.

To answer your question: yes I will be waiting for the medical report, not just to find faults but to identify what they consider significant in this change of decision that they didn't consider so last time. As the man on the phone said himself it seemed a little odd and will be interesting to see how they have changed their position and whether or not a mistake has been made. His attitude suggested anything but a finality which the original decision usually amounts to.

I will be asking for a MR anyway because my situation has not changed. So even if I go through everything brick by brick and miss something it puts the onus on them to provide a significant reason which I could then work on for appeal, no clear reasoning from the decision maker should go some way to helping me win again. Maybe individual descretion by Healthcare Professional comes into it but like you touched on earlier in the thread this places a rather less than qualified nurse in part of the decision making process something they seem to be at varying pains to deny is actually the case.

My responses to the questions were exactly the same, although I haven't actually checked to see if the questions were the same and this change in decision might reflect yet another sneaky shift in emphasis they like to throw in from time to time. So one year your descriptors might qualify, the next they might not be enough. The WHP might be being used to manipulate these outcomes also. As with last time, I refused to answer anything other than my basic personal details and the page where you give (yet) an(other) explanation. Nothing was made of this on the previous occasion and similarly the nurse didn't make an issue of it which I am sure will really interest some people as I know how annoying and stressful I have found filling those forms in only for the secretary of state to turn round and deny any evidence of a, b, c... effectively making us out to be liars= 0 points. Even so, I keep getting that song 'Why Must I Always Explain' by Van Morrison in my head which is about being asked the same questions over and over by music journalists.

Regardless of all of that my bottom line for the Mandatory Reconsideration remains basically unchanged ala: what provision is there for people with agorophobic/sociophobic tendencies in the Work Related Activity Group that makes ESA WRAG a suitable benefit on top of reducing what I have to live on? The way I see it is that my gaining paid employment is so unlikely that they are hardly expected to be improving my life when the only significant change is to have £100 less to live on each month. Maybe it is meant for us to fully appreciate just how lucky we are. And I do consider myself bloody lucky to have avoided Universal Credit so far, crikey the level of improvement they equate to our lives from that fix-all benefit I don't think I quite deserve it just yet ;)
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 04 Jan 2018 18:54 #5547

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Verc wrote:
It is far from a disaster but I may as well challenge it because it does move me one step closer to JSA/UC and I know there are time when I simply won't be up to it. Hopefully I will get the first one out of the way smoothly and then get put back in the support group in the meantime.

Absolutely Verc. Consider it a `win` in any case, but as you rightly pointed out, WRAG group can be a step closer to UC/JSA and the time between getting the WRAG award and the meetings we have with work coaches and information exchanged which can be used to achieve their mantra of if we can walk, we can work!

The DWP decision makers are not medically trained, nor do they want to read abuse about the healthcare professional who carried out your assessment regardless of how angry you might be to nit-pick! A decision maker will always take sides with the HCP unless new evidence comes to light, or you can disprove some of the inaccuracies they wrote. Either way, most Mandatory Reconsiderations are tick box excersizes and the faster they are out of the way, the quicker you can appeal and once the Tribunal have accepted your appeal and they write to you and you have their letter of acceptance, you go to your GP and tell him/her you are appealing the decision to place you into the WRAG group and ask the GP to provide you with fit notes until your appeal hearing is heard. THEN you can call the ESA department and ask them to re-instate your ESA assessment payments as you have the letter from the Tribunal and will be handing in appropriate fit notes and NOT claiming another benefit. Which of course is what they want us all to do. I won`t be the next time I`m re-assessed but I know I will have a bigger fight on my hands but I won`t go down without a fight. If I was fit enough to work I would take any job to get off this rollercoaster but I know I can`t.

Ask them if they also have their Tribunal notice. They won`t budge unless they and you have this letter from the Tribunal service. I called them up early last year on the advice of the CAB advisor who was helping me with my case and the woman at ESA call centre said no, you can`t ask for the assessment rate money until you have the appeals letter from the Tribunal!

Yes, the phone calls you missed could have been the job centre calling you to give you a day/time for your first Wi-Fi but they will send you a letter anyway, so don`t worry about it. I missed a call last year from a decision maker when I was waiting for my ESA decision and I had the phone off, so didn`t even know they had called. Not sure it would have changed anything anyway, but you never know. I`ll try and have the phone on next time just incase!
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 04 Jan 2018 21:41 #5549

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Wow I am slow today, must be over indulgence because I didn't think it could have been the decision maker either, they would be far more likely to withhold their telephone number. Yes it would be quick but if they spotted a serious mistake they might want to put that right asap. I just picked up on a different atmosphere, maybe it was Christmas spirit. Anyway thanks again c o d always handy to have a reminder of the correct order of procedure.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 05 Jan 2018 09:06 #5554

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No problem Verc. The goalposts keep changing so it`s wise to stay ahead of the game. I also apologise for saying you would require fit notes when you appeal. I don`t think that`s the case with you because you have already been awarded ESA, so that WRAG money due to you will be paid to you I imagine even when you appeal the decision to place you in WRAG and not the Support Group. So unless something has changed, you should just have to fill in the appeals form and any submissions you have and send it in to the Tribunal and your WRAG payments should be paid while this is ongoing. I got carried away in the conversation yesterday and forgot you already had the WRAG award! But anyone reading my reply should find it useful if they lose their ESA altogether and need to know what their next steps are.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 05 Jan 2018 22:22 #5576

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Hi Verc,

Just been reading your post.

I too always get calls from joke centre etc and to stop their fun and games and telling porkys at a later date i use this free app for recording 2 way conversation.

Its excellent and plays back crystal clear results, it maybe useful to some on here.

This is for mobiles only.
play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.enlightment.voicecallrecorder&hl=en_GB
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 06 Jan 2018 09:54 #5588

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Wish I could understand half the things my smartphone can do without having to get through multiple swipes or menus! Drives me mad sometimes. I can`t access google play store because I didn`t open or link my gmail account to my phone. I did try once (forgot to connect to wireless when doing this) and it didn`t quite go to plan. So I gave up! Reason being the gmail address I have online would also be linked to my phone and I don`t want the same email address on both devices. Sounds like a good app there jobber.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 08 Jan 2018 17:03 #5614

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Thanks Jobber. I haven't had a mobile phone for a few years now. I hardly used the last one and it didn't seem cost effective within my budget. This app might prove worth it though if I only used it for incoming (or emergencies) and gave the JC a mobile number to call instead of my landline. I know I can remove permission to my landline but not exactly practical when I am wanting them to call me back about something.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 11 Jan 2018 19:52 #5661

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The latest version of the (GovUK) regulations I could find came via a link from a local NHS Trust in December (a few months after the ruling Spanner posted). Note the term Mandatory Reconsideration is still alive and kicking:

"Before you ask for mandatory reconsideration
If you’re not sure whether to ask for mandatory reconsideration or what evidence to give, call the benefits office dealing with your claim. They’ll be able to explain the reason for your benefit decision and answer any questions.
You can still ask for mandatory reconsideration after you’ve spoken to your benefits office.
If you want an explanation in writing
You can ask for a written explanation from the benefits office dealing with your claim - known as a ‘written statement of reasons’.

You don’t need to do this for Personal Independence Payment - your decision letter will include a written statement.
You can still ask for mandatory reconsideration, but must do this within 14 days of the date on your written statement of reasons."
www.gov.uk/mandatory-reconsideration/how-to-ask-for-mandatory-reconsideration

First of all it is a good idea to make sure you have got a copy of your medical report and read it for any obvious indications contributing to the decision which is based upon it, including recommendations from the Healthcare Professional who conducted the assessment. That way when you telephone the benefit office you will be better prepared and less likely to kick off over anything they might say which upsets you.

I don't see anything on that (update?) which mentions about having up to 13 months to request a MR nor what the situation is after that period. This could leave people to be misled thinking it is more indefinite. The only part of my big 5 year I.C.E. case (culmination of a series of complaints) which was upheld was failure of DWP to provide necessary information which would have... . However the ruling of the Upper Tribunal is fairly clear and should be made available to all claimants who might find themselves needing to follow the correct procedure:

APPLYING THE UT DECISION
...If an application is made more than 13 months after notification of the original decision, DMs should consider whether the decision can be revised on the grounds of official error. If not, they should give a decision refusing to revise but this will not give a new right of appeal. DMs should consider whether theapplicationfor revision can be treated as an application for supersession.
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/649907/adm21-17.pdf

So standard procedure looks something like this:
1) Obtain copy of medical report (MR period officially begins from the date on the letter but I was told on the phone it is from date received so some clarification is required on that)
2) Ask your local benefit office for Statement of Reasons (effectively extending your MR period to up to 6 weeks)
3a) Request a MR within 1 month of decision
3b) Request a MR after 1 month providing good reason for your delay
4) If you still disagree after no change to the decision following the MR; Appeal to First tier Tribunal
5) If it is a decision saying you cannot have ESA at all then I think you will need to supply fit notes from your GP for the duration of the appeal but if you are being moved from Support Group to WRAG which has just happened to me then so far it does not look like they are required.

As I see it the gist of what has changed: previously good reason had to be provided for late requests to be granted an MR which could be refused without said good reason(s), whereas now it seems that after this landmark ruling; good reason will still have to be given but the MR can no longer be refused nor your right to appeal denied. Again as far as I understand the basic procedure has not changed and I think it is rather the purpose of providing good reason is what has particularly changed with it now going on to form part of the appeal decision instead of the right to a MR. Nobody is saying you do not have to provide that good reason.

The example of the double case(s) seems to include confirmation that the claimants had good reason AND satisfied a successful appeal, they are not the same thing, one doesn't automatically follow the other. The DWP/SoS still have the right to request the good reason as part of the procedure for MR-appeal hence they haven't had to remove it from their guidelines but imho these guidelines need to be updated more clearly as indicated.

The tribunal service appear to be saying that is up to them and not the SoS to decide what constitutes good reason from a point of independence/impartiality (to be seen as imparting justice fairly). The tribunal service may also appear to be removing the importance of the good reason required for a late MR request but I don't think it is safe to assume that is the case just yet.

The SoS previous position allowed them to block a number of claimants from going to appeal effectively as a gatekeeper after 1 month whereas I think their position at this juncture could now be described as; gatewatcher. Whether your good reason is good enough or not it should now get you a mandatory reconsideration if you request it within 13 months.

"The government’s time restrictions on access to the social security appeals system are unlawful, the Upper Tribunal has ruled.
"CPAG’s legal officer Carla Clarke said: ‘This decision ensures that even if the DWP thinks there is no good reason for their delay, it cannot prevent such individuals pursuing an appeal before an independent tribunal. To have found otherwise would have been to uphold a system where the decision maker also acts as arbiter of whether an individual could challenge their decision or not—a clear conflict of interest and an affront to justice.’ "
www.newlawjournal.co.uk/content/upper-tribunal-rules-dwp-acted-unlawfully
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 11 Jan 2018 19:57 #5662

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My suspicious mind is now asking: why that friendly and helpful sounding guy on the phone not even mention the statement of reasons. :huh:
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 12 Jan 2018 09:24 #5664

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I think the fact that no updates on Mandatory Reconsideration beyond the usual four weeks has been forthcoming by DWP I would suggest that we all stick to that timescale but keep in mind that we can argue for a longer submission if our circumstances were to mean we could not gather all the facts within this four weeks. But of course, telling them that you will be forwarding more evidence while the four week MR timeline runs over schedule, this could prolong/delay any appeal we want to persue. So it`s usually better to get a Mandatory Reconsideration done quickly because unless they have a GP looking over the paperwork (and we know it`s a DWP decision maker) then chances are the MR will be unchanged and this then gives us the chance to move to the next stage of appeal.

Looking at the Mandatory Reconsideration itself though and being told we are `fit for work` after an assessment and then accept we accept this and we don`t bother to take things further believing that things won`t change and then find our health worsens over the next six to twelve months, this is when we can challenge the fit for work decision and ask for them to `look again` at the decision they made. But obviously don`t do this alone without first involving CAB or your GP or both.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 22 Feb 2018 19:05 #6276

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I'm currently sending appeals through where the decision is over 4 months old. The claimant will get a letter from the tribunal stating that the appeal is late and that DWP have the right to request that the appeal be struck out. Now, because the one month imposition has been judged to be unlawfull (Art.6 ECHR) DWP are not challenging any of these late appeals and they are all going through without any problems.

Although decisions are still being sent with the 1 month deadline notice for Mandatory Reconsideration, DWP can not enforce it. The question then is, why are DWP allowed to continue misleading claimants, and particulalrly claimants with mental health issues into believing that they cannot challenge a decision that is over 1 month old.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 22 Feb 2018 19:42 #6278

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Spanner wrote:
I'm currently sending appeals through where the decision is over 4 months old. The claimant will get a letter from the tribunal stating that the appeal is late and that DWP have the right to request that the appeal be struck out. Now, because the one month imposition has been judged to be unlawfull (Art.6 ECHR) DWP are not challenging any of these late appeals and they are all going through without any problems.

Although decisions are still being sent with the 1 month deadline notice for Mandatory Reconsideration, DWP can not enforce it. The question then is, why are DWP allowed to continue misleading claimants, and particulalrly claimants with mental health issues into believing that they cannot challenge a decision that is over 1 month old.

Personally I do think mental health issues have any bearing on the matter, the majority of claimants are not aware of the DWP and its smoke screen practices.

Maybe they are saving on the person power required to alter the template or the astronomical ink costs involved in changing it from 1 to 13, in order to save the public purse extra costs.

One thing is for sure, the DWP never ceases to amaze me.
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 24 Feb 2018 16:19 #6296

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I personally think if dwp or jc + see a week link in the system so to speak, they will use it against any of us.

Keeping up to date with their joke matter is a must .

Spread the word to all:

Refusal to accept late mandatory reconsideration requests :) :P

www.cpag.org.uk/content/refusal-accept-late-mandatory-reconsideration-requests
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Mandatory Reconsideration Scrapped! 25 Feb 2018 11:07 #6308

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Spanner wrote:
Although decisions are still being sent with the 1 month deadline notice for Mandatory Reconsideration, DWP can not enforce it. The question then is, why are DWP allowed to continue misleading claimants, and particulalrly claimants with mental health issues into believing that they cannot challenge a decision that is over 1 month old.

Yes that was in my mailing. I'm assuming staff probably are not even aware yet anyway but as I decided I wanted the MR straight away (the real question is what if I wasn't capable of doing this at the time?), still played along with it on the telephone including asking for clarification that I had one month. Both the person I first spoke to and the woman who actually took my MR request over the phone confirmed the deadline date that I believed to be accurate.

When you consider that the 1 part out of 5 which was upheld out of my complaint to I.C.E. was over misleading or rather failing to inform me of vital information (specifically that I did not have to sign on JSA as they are still so ready to advise people even now in non UC roll out areas), I could have very well opened up another investigation at any time even outside the 13 months of this ruling if I hadn't gone this (present) route and my health had suffered as a result. I did consider doing something like that for the sheer hell of it but mature common sense got the better of me. For them to have been negligent in similar manner with the same client, and mine was a big case involving data stretching back over 4-5 years the DWP had to produce (much of it apparently deleted) I imagine there could have been a bit of a stink. Should I be in the middle of a serious relapse in such a situation (as I have in the past), I won't hesitate to come out all guns blazing as soon as I were fit and able or could get someone to do it on my behalf.

Furthermore now that we have said 13 month leeway and I have been moved into WRAG after my latest WCA to be reviewed in 12 months (oh the timing) and am experiencing a typical periodical recovery spell when no doubt the question of voluntary work will come up again, I have the avenue of being able to make an appeal at anytime within that period should roach, manager et al at joke central start to get nasty. Knowing I have this buffer makes a huge difference to my state of mind and it should help some people who have issues with anxiety that the whole process itself only serves to exacerbate. Basically if they claim to really understand mental illness then modifications of the welfare system would be made much simpler (and cheaper) through introducing a UBI in place of the utterly flawed UC which is only going to make more and more people less mentally stable. I have a feeling this ruling has taken this wider picture into consideration. I mean we could actually be close to some form of social meltdown the way UC is unravelling onto the lives of working people never mind the long term sick.

I get a strong feeling this is going to get very interesting in what is potentially the final year (or so) of ESA and/or UC or the beginning of a new nightmare phase of utter chaos if we can actually imagine it being worse than the current mess. Let's hope it is the start of turning things around for the better.
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