Performance measures 18 & 19 for HB/CTB appeals

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  • #22758
    Anonymous
    Guest

    When handling appeals we sometimes find that we cannot send the appeal straight off to the Tribunals Service with a submission.
    This could be for example because we are awaiting the outcome of a DWP appeal (for eg if a claimant appeals against their income support being ended).We also sometimes find that our own fraud investigators are looking into a case to see whether it is appropriate to prosecute, and this can take time due to the nature of the enquiries.
    For these (and other reasons) it is sometimes very difficult to hit the PM18 & PM19 targets.
    For the cases where we are awaiting the outcome of a DWP appeal, we can appreciate that the time taken to resolve these will be out of our control.
    But does anyone have any thoughts on the relationship between appeals for the Tribunals Service, and ongoing investigations / prosecutions being prepared “in-house” on those same cases? Does anyone press ahead with the appeal, regardless of the fraud investigation, or do you wait until the investigation / prosecution has been finalised?

    Speaking generally, does anyone have problems hitting these PMs and do you have any tactics to ensure that you hit the targets, even if the submission itself cannot be written within 4 weeks of the appeal coming in?

    #9464
    aosulliv
    Participant

    I generally write to TS explaining the situation and the reason why I am unable to refer the submission to them.

    If they decide to insist that a submission is sent, you can ask for a SoR for their decision.

    #9465
    Anonymous
    Guest

    This is a very sore point with my appeals team! We have been put under a lot of pressure by CAB’s and solicitors to submit HB OP appeals when the claimant has an outstanding appeal with the DWP – I used to try and put them off but one was so insistant we submitted – and then got a telling off from the Chair, understandably, as she was not in a position to make a decision on the HB. I then used this as ammunition in my plea to our local TS to come up with an agreed course of action. This was that we would submit our appeal straight away but clearly marked as awaiting DWP decision – the TS would then contact DWP and instruct them to submit. Needless to say this has not worked – we had 2 hearings listed recently and it was supposed to be a joint hearing but lo and behold no submission from the DWP so the cases had to be adjourned. The Chair was v annoyed and said if the sub was not forthcoming she was minded to make a decision in claimants favour based on no evidence to support case. I raised this again at our last TUG and have now been advised to send a letter to the Regional Chair which I intend to do but I really don’t know what the answer is to this. Seems ironic that we are given targets by DWP that they then make impossible for us to meet through no fault of our own! There surely has to be some pressure on the DWP to sort this out!

    #9466
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Can I bring in another thread on this?

    If I receive an appeal in, and need further information, I give the customer 1 month to reply to my letter, as we would with a normal information request – so I can be out of my 4 weeks before I even make a decision that it needs to sent to TTS.

    Do other appeals teams give a month to provide further evidence? Am I allowed to reduce that or is it set out somewhere?

    I know that all the relevent information should be there for the decision to be made originally, but in reality that doesn’t happen

    #9467
    Anonymous
    Guest

    We were advised by the Birmingham Appeals Tribunal that we should submit appeals which were tied up with DWP appeals and to ask for the 2 appeals to be heard together.

    We were also advised to submit appeals where prosecution was pending but to make the tribunal aware of this. They said that they may decide to delay these so that the claimant didn’t get an opportunity to “dress rehearse” what he wanted to say in court

    #9468
    Anonymous
    Guest

    We do the same as you – the complexity of some of the cases means this is inevitable. I see this as similar to the BVPI targets on new claims for instance when the clock starts ticking from the receipt of the claim NOT the last piece of info needed to process it. These always seem unfair ways of targetting but I suppose it does push LA’s down the route of trying harder to get the info in – I am a big believer in getting on the phone and find this does help in getting claimants to provide what we need.

    #9469
    Anonymous
    Guest

    JUnderwood –

    You can give them as little as 14 days in which to provide further information – reg 20(6) of the DAR 2001

    #9470
    Anonymous
    Guest

    thanks andy – but does this not refer to appeals that have not been duly made that are returned to the appellant, rather than asking for further info when an appeal has been accepted as duly made?

    #9471
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I don’t think so, no. Much of the regulation is certainly to do with ‘not duly mades’, but the reference to ‘further particulars’ seems to me to cover further requests for information.

    Personally I would prefer to give them a month, but then that mucks up the stats (not that pandering to the stats should be our primary concern), so I am perfectly willing to be shown to be wrong!

    Edit: Having done some more thinking, I have now convinced myself it should be a calendar month – if the appeal is duly made, then it seems to me that a request for further information is the same as any other information request.

    #9472
    JohnH
    Participant

    Agreed Andy.
    The power to request further information comes under decisions and Appeals Regulations 4(5) and specifies one month which is the same in its terms as HBR 86.

    Going back to the start of the thread I was wondering what people do about the BVPI stats. The stats ask for the new of cases passed to TTS, but that excludes the ones that have been received but are still waiting to be dealt with. Do people simply report that number passed to the TTS?

    #9473
    markp
    Participant

    Try Reg 20 (6) of the DAR’s which seems to suggest that with appeals the extension of time granted to supply further details is only 14 days (or such longer time as may be appropriate). Reg 4 (5) deals with revision/supersession requests and that says a month is allowed for further details to be supplied.

    I am now somewhat confused by this – should I be giving a month, 14 days (or can I just think of a number?!!). Is it imperative to decide from the outset whether we have an appeal and that’s that or what if an appeal translates itself into a revision request at a stage before submission is done?

    Am I making things overcomplicated for myself (not for the first time!)?

    #9474
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Reg 20(6) is what I looked at in arriving at the 14-day figure, but I think JUnderwood is right to say that this relates to requesting information etc relating to a not-duly-made appeal. If the person has a duly made appeal, and you think to yourself “Hmm, if they gave me such-and-such information I could revise this…” and you write for that information, that is simply a request for further info and means they have a calendar month in which to reply.

    I can’t think of a scenario off the top of my head, but I suppose it is conceivable that when you receive a duly made appeal and write for the additional information, you may want to use the suspension and termination regulations if the info is not provided – in which case, again, you would have had to give one month for the provision of the information.

    Regulation 4(5) [i:3a2b4e500e]does[/i:3a2b4e500e] apply to duly made appeals – when the appeal is received, isn’t the first thing you ask yourself “If this was a request for revision, would I consider changing it?”. Obviously, if you are prepared to change the decision, then you have accepted it as a request for revision…only you may now need additional information before you can make that revision. So, one calendar month again, under reg 4(5) of the DAR.

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