ETDs – how do you deal with them effectively?

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    I am look for other peoples advice on how they deal with ETDs effectively.

    In my opinion, ETDs are one of the biggest causes of ‘waste’ in our processes:

    – Many of them end up being ‘actioned no change’, so are unnecessary work
    – Many are just short breaks in benefit, where the customer doesn’t sign on but has no income for the break. They would probably get full HB for the break, but it creates work for us trying to corroborate this.
    – Unlike new claims or changes the customer reports themselves, claimants are often unaware of the changes reported in the ETD, or they assume the DWP will be sorting all their benefits out for them. The customer end up being very confused, or lack motivation in providing the information we need.
    – We try phoning them, but often the number ids invalid on unanswered.
    – This means we have to send a letter. At best they end up causing work by phoning us because they don’t understand it. At worst they ignore it and we terminate the award. They don’t contact us until they get in large rent or council tax arrears. More work is then created through new claims, backdate requests, appeals, etc.

    Has anyone ever come up with a solution to all or any of these problems? If so, I am very interested to hear them (as I seem to have run out of ideas).

    If anyone would prefer to contact me direct, my email address is

    Many thanks


    Hi Sam

    We’re finding exactly the same problems. I’d also be interested to hear if anyone has a more efficient way of dealing with ETDs.



    Hi Louise,

    Based on the lack of response so far (I’ve also received none privately), I am guessing everyone else has the same problem as us, and also doesn’t really know what to do about it!

    I will let you know if I get any good ideas….


    Same problems here and would also like to add that dealing with ETD’s they day they come in causes the following problems:

    – We are advising the customer of the change before they are told by the DWP so they get really confused and argue with us.

    – In many cases a few days later we get a new ETD showing that the income related benefit has been revised and reinstated so there is no end.

    Basically by dealing with ETD’s quickly we are creating more work and problems to deal with.


    ETDs are generated whenever anyone in the DWP performs any action on the claim where indicators are set. Although that’s not infallible.

    Basically, we treat ETDs as nothing more than an indication to check CIS. If CIS doesn’t make sense, wait another 24 hours and check again before ringing.

    If they won’t answer the query, they should at the very least take your main switchboard number and extention, to ring you back and verify identity. If they don’t, then you should have escalation telephone numbers to speak to relevant benefit managers.

    The important thing to remember is no-one in the DWP ever sees ETDs when they are generated. They can’t do anything about them. The information they hold is rarely correct. They’ll often indicate JSA(IB), simply because the claim has been [i:3784f495c4]assessed[/i:3784f495c4] for (IB), even if it’s (C) that’s awarded. If a claim is clerically maintained, and being transferred off the system and rebuilt, every time they try to fix the fault will create an ETD, which will probably make no sense whatsoever. A JSA Joint Claim is a nightmare because of the various workarounds on JSAPS to link the claims and make them work, especially where JSA(C) is in payment to one or both.

    Basically, there are far too many variables for the ETDs to ever be able to give a proper indication of [i:3784f495c4]why[/i:3784f495c4] they have been produced. The only way to deal with them is to consider them as nothing more than a prompt to check CIS, and to interpret, as best as you’re able, the information on there.

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