Requesting information in writing

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  • #31877
    cseb175
    Participant

    Hi,

    Our LA is considering a practice whereby we do not send claimants letters requesting further information to support their claim, we will just ‘phone them and inform the customer of the one-month time limit. We previously called the customer and then followed up the call with a letter

    I have looked at HBR 86 and it does not specificy that such requests need to be in writing. I have also drawn a blank when looking into caselaw on the issue.

    Can anyone advise of any relevant law that would support/undermine this practice? Also, does anyone else do it and find it useful? I’m a bit concerned about coming across as a luddite, but can foresee ridiculous amounts of work for out appeals section

    many thanks

    #42081
    Chris Robbins
    Participant

    Darryl, I share your concerns. If you are talking about new claims then the relevant reg is HBR83(7). I suppose as long as your call to the claimant is documented you will have evidence that the info has been requested. The problem is that, as the request is not in writing any aggrieved appellant will only have to tell a Tribunal ‘I wasn’t asked for that’ and the whole process becomes a matter of one person’s word against another.
    If however you are talking about an ongoing award where you are either conducting a review or have grounds to suspect there has been a relevant change, then you can only end the award by using the provisions of Regs 11, 13 and 14 of the D&A Regs. In those cases you have to specify in writing what information the claimant is required to provide.

    #42082
    Anonymous
    Guest

    When we phone people for information, we try and get them to bring it in as soon as possible (i.e. today or tomorrow).

    If it appears they are not going to do that, or they don’t bring it in when they say they will, we send them a letter.

    We also put it down to the judgement of the person who phones them, and they decide if they think a letter is necessary, based on whether they think the person will come in.

    #42083
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Judgement calls? Autonomy in local government? A work process that isn’t directed by some baffling out-of-date spreadsheet? 😯 😉

    #89126
    cseb175
    Participant

    thanks for those replies, I’d go along with the common sense approach myself of reminders after ringing. The approach suggested was removing the letters altogether though – not something I’d advocate in the slightest!!

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