DWP consultation on mandatory consideration before appeal
This consultation sets out how DWP (as well as HMRC and CMEC) plan to implement Section 102 Welfare Reform Act which allows them to introduce a mandatory reconsideration process before a person can exercise their right of appeal.
Our response suggests that this power should not be used at all and instead focus should be on making better use of the optional reconsideration process by improving it. Making the process mandatory is not, in our view, necessary nor is it in the best interest of claimants.
Most worrying is the potential for delays to be created at the reconsideration stage. If the process is made mandatory, at the very least a time limit should be introduced that compels the Department to respond to requests in a reasonable amount of time. We are also concerned that the power for accepting late reconsiderations would sit with DWP and that the requirement for people to positively appeal after their reconsideration decision adds an unnecessary step to the process.
The full response can be accessed via the link.
Contact: Victoria Todd (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs/)