BENEFIT LETTERS

--------MANDATORY CONSIDERATION LETTER--------

Client name AND NINO HERE
Failure to Attend Work Capability Assessment
Decision date: DATE HERE

I am writing to request a reconsideration for the decision made by Secretary of State to terminate CLIENT NAME ‘S Employment and Support Allowance due to his failure to attend his Work Capability Assessment.
CLIENT NAME failed to attend his Work Capacity Assessment due to never receiving correspondence which would have informed him of the date and time. NAME HERE has since made an official complaint to Royal Mail on 04/06/2017 and is awaiting the result of the investigation. Had NAME HERE received the notice informing him of the date and time of the assessment, there is no doubt he would have attended.
NAME HERE has had numerous problems with receiving post from the Secretary of State which NAME HERE has reported to the Department when they also never received their ESA50. We therefore believe that NAME HERE has shown “good cause” in line with Regulation 23 of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 which provides:

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), where a claimant fails without good cause to attend for or to submit to an examination … the claimant is to be treated as not having [limited capability for work / limited capability for work-related activity]
(3) Paragraph (2) does not apply unless - (a) written notice of the date, time and place for the examination was sent to the claimant at least seven days in advance; or (b) that the claimant agreed to accept a shorter period of notice whether given in writing or otherwise.

The Secretary has failed to discharge the burden of proof to show that they sent an invitation to NAME HERE seven days in advance as no substantial evidence has been provided (CIB/721/2004) to the contrary. Furthermore NAME HERE has shown that they have had good cause for non-attendance which is in line with caselaw: Case CH/35402/2005 stated that good cause included non-receipt of a document from the relevant department. CUC/1067/2018 also went on to dictate that the notion of “good cause” does not allow a claimant who fails to attend an interview due to not receiving notification to be sanctioned.

SMALL SUMMARY OF ANY SPECIAL CIRCIMSTANCES OR HEALTH CONDITIONS TO BE CONSIDERED AT TIME OF DECISION HERE. It’s believed that the above should also be taken into consideration when determining whether NAME HERE has good cause for non-attendance.

Taking into account the above, it’s respectfully asked that this reconsideration is accepted with a view to granting NAME HERE a fresh assessment date and reinstating their claim. 


-----HOUSING BENEFIT STOPPED DUE TO ESA STOPPING REQUEST TO REINSTATE DUE TO APPEAL LETTER------

Housing Benefit Section
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
E14 2BG

Date: DATE HERE

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Request to reinstate Housing Benefit
Name:
Address:
REF:
The above named client came to us for assistance regarding their Housing and benefits. Our client has recently had their Employment and Support Allowance stopped and is therefore without any income.
Our client suffers from (insert health conditions/circumstances here). They are incapable of working and are currently challenging the decision to stop their ESA.

There has been no other change in their circumstances. It’s kindly asked that Housing Benefit is continued and (clients name)’s income is recorded as nil whilst the challenge is underway. We will update you regarding the progress of the appeal in due course.  
Yours Sincerely

(INSERT NAME HERE)
(ATTACH FOA BEFORE SENDING)


-----SAMPLE APPLICATION LETTER  FOR A DISCRETIONARY REDUCTION UNDER  SECTION 13A(1)(c)-------


To: Council Tax Department / Finance Department
     [INSERT ADDRESS OF COUNCIL]
                                                                                                               
                                                                                                        DATE…………………
                                                                                          
Dear Sir/Madam 
RE: [CLIENT NAME]
RE:  Council Tax Account Number
RE: [CLIENT ADDRESS]
RE: Application for council tax discretionary reduction under section 13A(1)(c) Local Government Finance Act 1992
I am writing on behalf of the above named client to apply for discretionary reduction in the amount of council tax under section 13(A)(1)(c) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. Please find enclosed a signed letter of authority and consent authorising us to act on their behalf in this matter.
[CLIENT NAME] is the owner / occupier of the above property and is the person liable for council tax.
This is separate to any entitlement they may have under the local council tax reduction scheme. 
Accordingly, please treat this letter as an application for a discretionary reduction on the above property on which [CLIENT NAME] pays council tax. The reasons for applying for a discretionary reduction are as follows 
 [FILL IN  / DELETE AS APPLICABLE]:
 I request that you take the following into consideration

[LIST ANY SPECIAL FACTORS RELATING TO HARDSHIP OR VULNERABILITY e.g . MEDICAL CONDITIONS, DISABILITY, EFFECT ON CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS ALSO RESIDENT IN THE PROPERTY] 

I include the following evidence I wish you to consider
[INCLUDE COPIES OF DEBTS, REPORTS, MEDICAL REPORTS, STATEMENTS OF EXPENDITURE, SAVING AND MEANS, COPIES OF LETTERS FROM OTHER PEOPLE IN SUPPORT]



Naturally, I hope that you will be agreeable to awarding a discretionary reduction in this case. 
Please note, in the event you do not accept this application [CLIENT NAME] is entitled to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal England under section 16 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as necessary.
Thank you for your consideration and attention, I look forward to hearing from you within 8 weeks of the date of this letter.  

Yours faithfully



……………………………………………………………………………..[SIGNATURE]




JUDICIAL REVIEW





DWP Legal Advisors
Government Legal Department
2nd Floor, Caxton House
Tothill Street
London
SW1H 9NA 

By post and email: legal.queries@dwp.gov.uk

Our Ref: 1
DATE
Dear Sir or Madam
Re:     Proposed claim for judicial review against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (DWP) by
We are instructed by … in relation to a claim for Universal Credit (UC).  We write in accordance with the Pre-action Protocol for judicial review. Please note that we are requesting your response as soon as possible and in any event no later than 5pm on the date at the end of this letter.
Proposed Defendant:  The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Claimant:               
NINO:                  
Address:                         
Date of Birth:                      
The details of the matter being challenged
Failure on the part of the DWP to provide a decision within a reasonable time or at all regarding X’s request for a mandatory reconsideration of the decision not to award Universal Credit (UC).
Background facts
1.             X is a single woman suffering from
2.             X disability
3.             X immigration status (if relevant)
4.             X housing
5.             X  household
6.             what has happened
7.             contacts with DWP
8.             effect on X

Grounds for Judicial Review
Ground 1: Unreasonable delay in providing a mandatory reconsideration decision
9.             The Defendant is under a duty to consider all claims for benefit within a “reasonable time” – R(C and W) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWHC 1607 (Admin).
10.         The duty to make a decision within a reasonable time applies equally toS.9 of the Social Security Act 1998 (SSA 1998) under which Secretary of State may “revise” any decision made under s.8 or s.10, as to the analogous provision at s.8 under which the Secretary of State shall “decide any claim for a relevant benefit”.
11.         What counts as a reasonable time depends on all the circumstances, including the impact on the claimant[1].
Impact on the claimant
12.         X’s mental health forced her to leave full-time education and also prevents her from working. She has no income without UC.
13.         The failure to provide a decision in response to X’s request for a mandatory reconsideration has caused X hardship.  The delay relates to a decision on UC entitlement. UC is a subsistence benefit which includes amounts for housing. Delays in UC decisions can therefore have severe consequences for the claimant, leaving them with no income to fall back on, without money for food or heating, unable to pay their rent and so at risk of homelessness and destitution.  The failure to review the decision to close X’s UC claim caused X stress and anxiety when she was already experiencing what?.
Non-complex case/all information available

14.         X is eligible for UC. She  clearly meets, and met,  the conditions of entitlement as set out in s. 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012:
                    ​  4. Basic conditions
                    (1) For the purposes of section 3, a person meets the basic conditions                                           who—
                    (a) is at least 18 years old,
                    (b) has not reached the qualifying age for state pension credit,
                    (c) is in Great Britain,
                    (d) is not receiving education,…​

15.         This is not a complex case and there is no reason for the delay. X has provided clear and compelling evidence to the effect that she was and is eligible for UC. It should be easy for the Secretary of State to re-consider whether or not her initial decision was correct.

Purpose of mandatory reconsideration process

16.         Finally, of relevance to the circumstances and therefore what constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable delay is, the statutory purpose for introducing the mandatory reconsideration process. According to the Government’s consultation paper, the stated purpose “to deliver timely, proportionate and effective justice for claimants, make the process for disputing a decision fairer and more efficient.”[2] (emphasis added). The delay in this case due to the failure to accept C’s request for a mandatory reconsideration and the consequent frustration of C’s appeal rights clearly fails to deliver on this stated purpose and is therefore unlawful.

Ground 2: Procedural irregularity
17.         It is clear that a mandatory reconsideration of an UC can be requested by telephone.

18.         This is confirmed on the Defendant’s own publicly accessible “How Benefits Work” webpages [3]:

                   “How to ask for mandatory reconsideration:
Contact the benefits office that gave you the decision. You can contact them:
by phone
The contact details are on your decision letter.”

19.         This is further confirmed by the Defendant’s own Operational Guidance[4]:

“The Mandatory Reconsideration process:
 
A claimant is able to request a Mandatory Reconsideration:
 
over the phone…”

20.         In requesting a mandatory reconsideration of the decision not to award her UC by telephone, C had a legitimate expectation that her request would be considered and a decision provided. Failure to provide a decision and to later report that ‘there was no record of her request’ breaches the rules of natural justice and frustrates her appeal rights.

The details of the action the defendant is expected to take
·         The Secretary of State should revise and award X UC from her original claim date (DATE),
·         If the Secretary of State is unable to do so, she should provide a Mandatory Reconsideration decision immediately.
·         Ensure that decision makers are adequately trained to ensure that requests made by telephone to change a decision are treated as mandatory reconsideration requests and written decisions are provided within a reasonable time.
The details of documents that are considered relevant and necessary
Please find enclosed copies of the following documents:
·         Signed form of authority.
·         Other documents available via X’s UC online journal
ADR proposals
Please confirm in your reply whether the Defendant is willing to consider alternative dispute resolution. 
The address for reply and service of court documents

Proposed reply date
We expect a reply promptly and in any event no later than 5pm on . Should we not have received a reply by this time we will issue proceedings for judicial review without further notice to you.
Yours faithfully



Enc


[1] R(C and W) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  [2015] EWHC 1607 (Admin)

[3] https://www.gov.uk/mandatory-reconsideration/how-to-ask-for-mandatory-reconsideration
[4] http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2018-0759/Mandatory_Reconsideration_v3.0.pdf

Comments

  1. These templates and many others are available at www.thcan.org.uk which is a website provided by Island Advice Centre for advisers and residents of Tower Hamlets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. great. If you want to share other templates, let me know

      Delete

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