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Claimants are suffering months of hardship because the DWP falsely state that they have not received their claim form, Bob Doris, convener of Holyrood’s social security committee has alleged. Doris has written to Work and Pension secretary Amber Rudd, demanding urgent action.

The problem was brought to the attention of Doris by Glasgow North West Citizens Advice, according to the Daily Record. Staff there have helped claimants complete forms and sent them off in prepaid DWP envelopes, only to be told that they were not received.

In some cases the DWP suddenly “find” the form, which they then claim has only just arrived, after repeated phone calls and increasing pressure from the claimant. But this process can take anywhere from a few weeks to three months.

Doris told Rudd: “People can be waiting over 26 weeks for new claims and a mandatory reconsideration, then up to six months for appeal.

“Essentially vulnerable constituents are often left waiting a year for money they are entitled to, and have to battle a work backlog, an imperfect assessment process and the risk of forms going missing.”

The problem is undoubtedly connected the fact that DWP have cut staff by a massive 21% - a total of 19,189 job losses – since 2013, the Independent has revealed.

This means that at the same time as the department has been rolling out two massively complex changes to the system, the switch from DLA to PIP and the move from legacy benefits to universal credit, it has been cutting staff at a rate that would have made even their ordinary workload unsustainable.

No wonder then, that staff have resorted to losing claim packs.

Benefits and Work would be interested to hear readers stories of disappearing DWP documents.

Comments  

#4 Jan 2019-07-17 13:25
This is a regular occurrence for me. Two years running when asked for copies of bank statements to support annual entitlement review we were written to to say not received. 5 weeks ago a call handler agreed to send me a form to register as an appointee. Nothing received after 2 weeks so wrote a letter. Nothing received again for another 2 weeks so phoned again. Told no record of original call and no record of letter. Informed a form would be sent out but still waiting. Tried once to send something first class signed for but claimed it wasn’t received and no tracking available via Royal Mail. I’ve heard they refuse to accept ‘signed for’. Meanwhile my son’s mental health continues to deteriorates on top of his lifelong disability. My depression as only Carer gets worse and I don’t know how much longer I can continue to care for him when unable to function myself. Blatant disregard for claimants and their carers is completely unacceptable.
#3 Phillip Richards 2019-07-17 09:45
I am sorry to say this is not a new thing. I claimed in 2012 for ESA and they claimed not to have received my forms but when I called I told them it was sent by recorded delivery and signed for at the time it stated . They paused for a few minutes and said "Oh yes we have received it" When I had to send more info I sent it though the Jobcentre internal Fax system. Which meant I had to book an appointment and could show proof. They once again said they had not received util I told them how they got it? This even went to Tribunal and I won to then after 13 months with no money they put it in the wrong closed account. Even though I added my new bank details in every correspondence. When I went for PIP it was a home Visit and a full enhanced on both. I have a life limiting conditions!
#2 Rachael 2019-07-15 18:24
It's just another example of how the system is not fit for purpose. Once again the dwp will do anything to save money regardless of the hell it puts people through.
+1 #1 colinkw39 2019-07-15 18:06
My advice for claim forms is to ALWAYS send by "recorded mail" or "signed for" option at my post office I try to send my forms next day delivery..cost about £7.00 which includes an internet tracking number . Well worth the cost when you consider the above stories. The DWP cannot say they've not received the form when you have a copy of the signature, time & date. !!

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