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Thread: Waiting Four Months For Mandatory Reconsideration

  1. #1
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    Waiting Four Months For Mandatory Reconsideration

    On 22 August 2017, I sent a Mandatory Reconsideration request to the Department for Work and Pensions by Recorded Delivery. This followed my third failure since 2013 to achieve the required number of points to continue receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) with Support component. In the meantime, I had enquired in August about making a claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in accordance with advice received from the DWP and was told that my circumstances prevented me from claiming JSA.

    The Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) request was received at Wolverhampton Post Handling Site on 23 August 2017. During a telephone call on 3 November 2017, the DWP confirmed that the MR request had been received on 24 August 2017 and that it should have at least been acknowledged within ten working days. A three-hour callback was arranged. When that callback had not materialised by 7 November 2017, I called again and spoke with Stratford Call Centre. I was told that, when my MR request and supporting paperwork had been scanned at Wolverhampton, it had been forwarded to the wrong team. As a result of my call on 3 November, it was forwarded later that day to Cosham Disputes Resolution Team who would probably have received it on Monday 6 November. They should at least acknowledge it within 14 days. I should have received either a call or a text to tell me about this which had also not happened.

    By 14 December 2017, nothing more had been heard so I called again and spoke with someone at Norwich Call Centre who backed up everything I was told on 7 November. The MR is with Cosham Disputes Resolution Team and it looked as if they had not taken any action on it. Again, I was told that they should have taken action within ten working days or fourteen calendar days. Norwich sent a Priority e-mail to Cosham while I was speaking on the phone and told me at 1.22pm that I would receive a call within an hour. I am still waiting for that call.

    I have an outstanding complaint with the DWP’s medical assessment contractors, Centre for Health and Disability Services (CHDA). At the time of writing, this has just reached the second stage of their complaints procedure. As a result of a complaint last year, they established that a Work Capability Assessment conducted earlier in the year had not been performed to the applicable professional standards. Amongst their comments, they said that a generally once weekly shopping trip was not an example of an activity performed on a typical day and this was partly instrumental in reversing the DWP’s earlier decision to find me fit for work. This year, they seem to be taking a completely contradictory stance and appear to be claiming that a typical day does include a once weekly shopping trip as well as visits to the barber every 5-6 weeks and less frequent walks to my GP’s surgery. This approach was criticised by a tribunal hearing into my case in May 2014 which awarded me 15 points (9 points for mobilising and 6 points for sitting and standing) as well as determining that I met Support Group criteria under Regulation 35. That tribunal also criticised the examining Healthcare Professional for not adequately considering the concepts of “repeated regularity” and “reliably and repeatedly”, two factors which I believe have not been properly considered on this occasion. My condition has worsened since 2014 and I have presented medical evidence in support of this.

    There is a lot more to this than I have said above. But my basic question is why it has taken almost four months at the time of writing for an MR request to be considered? How unusual is this? I intend to involve my MP but, obviously, nothing will really happen this side of Christmas. The disability rights organisation which has helped me through the process since 2012 is going to have a think about it. Does anyone here have any ideas on how to expedite this matter and, possibly, bring it to wider attention?

  2. #2
    As far as I’m aware, the best and quickest way to get them to pay attention is your MP. if you label the subject of your email to them as ‘URGENT, ESA’ they should get right on it.

    You could go to the press I suppose, it’s a quite big topic at the moment.

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