9 July 2009

Benefits and Work is publishing a bumper crop of Decision Makers Exchanges, the confidential monthly bulletins sent out to all DLA/AA decision makers, which we have obtained using the Freedom of Information Act.

embarrassed manIssue 90 has an item on the ‘unfortunate and embarrassing’ errors in some written explanations for decisions.  This includes one in which the decision maker had selected the standard phrases:

“It is noted you have profound deafness” and
“You take no medication for this condition”.

Issue 93 and 92 both deal with the problems the DWP are facing now that tribunals have the power to hold directional hearings as well as issue directions. 

Issue 93 looks at a case where the failure by the DWP to respond to a tribunal direction led to the DWP having to provide a presenting officer to attend a directional hearing to respond in person to the judge.

Issue 92 points out that failure to follow directions issued by a tribunal, including a direction to provide a presenting officer, may lead to a refusal to allow the DWP to appeal to the upper tribunal if they are unhappy with the outcome of the hearing.

Issue 96 also includes information on problems with offices not date-stamping DLA/AA forms correctly.  In addition, there are requests for cases the DWP can take to the Upper Tribunal to try to stop tribunals making awards where:

help to perform domestic tasks has been accepted as attention.

serious deterioration in health brought about by extensive walking has been accepted to award higher rate mobility;

Lower rate mobility is awarded for nothing more than reassurance and there is no mental disability that can be associated with fear and anxiety.

Crohn’s disease, customer is anxious about getting to the toilet etc. and higher rate mobility has been awarded;

thinking/cognitive function where help has been accepted as reasonably required in circumstances where it seems entirely impractical for the claimed need for help to be met.

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 96 March 2009
Urgent Message for all Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) staff regarding renewal claims where DLA/AA previously awarded under Special Rules for 3 years
Special Rules and the Higher Rate Mobility Component
Use of Surveillance Evidence – decision made now disputed
Double Dated Claim Forms
Potential Appeals to the Upper Tribunal

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 95 February 2009
Calculating entitlement date for DLA and AA
Supersessions and Revisions
Potential Appeals to the Upper Tribunal

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 94 January 2009
Alternative Offices
Length of Award for Children
Potential Appeals to the Upper Tribunal

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 93 December 2008

Effective Dates
Past Presence Cases
Failure to obtain benefit
Directional Hearings
Thinking as a bodily function
Potential Appeals to the Upper Tribunal

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 92 November 2008

Accommodation provided under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983/Section 7 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003
Accommodation provided under the Supporting People Programme
Further information received after appeal submission sent
Tribunal Direction
DME Index
DME October 2008
Team Name Change
Potential Appeals to the Upper Tribunal

October 2008 – no edition was published

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 91 September 2008
Selly Oak Hospital
Headley Court
Latest update from DAAT
Health Care Professionals
Documents to be copied in appeal submissions

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 90 August 2008
Fluctuating needs - taking a "broad" view
Serious complaints received about the standard of ENT and Written Explanations
Evidence required for supersession requests
Effective date of supersession when LA requests repayment of care home fees
Renewal Claims
Supporting documents in appeal submission
Fraud appeal cases – completing form AT37

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 89  July 2008

Cases where customer in a Hospice which is fully funded by the Health
Potential Appeals to the Commissioner – we need your help!
Late application for revision or supersession
Lower rate mobility – help getting home
Deeming Provisions
Combined payments

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 88 June 2008
DMG Memos and Amendments
Qualifying Period not met (DLA)
Amendments to articles in Issue 87 of the DME published in May 2008
Appointee action
Numbering documents of previous decisions
Including the decision under appeal in the appeal documents

Decision Makers Exchange Issue 87  May 2008
Authority to act – Amended 16/06/08
Qualifying Period and Prospective Test (DLA)
Indefinite Leave to Remain
Hospital admission and discharge
Free Nursing Care
Health Authority backdated funding
Official Error when Local Authority/Health Authority provide inaccurate
information regarding care home funding
Decision not to revise
Lateness and 13 month absolute time limit
Date of notification on appeal submission
Vigilance with DCS Information
DLAAB request for case files

Members can download copies of Decision Makers Exchanges from this link


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