verification requirements

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    could i have your opinions on this one

    we have been chatting to the DWP and they have had a look at our processes, with regard to present, current practice with regard to verification requirements.

    we were advised that we no longer needed to request the original documents for any outstanding proofs/evidence for a claim. this seems to fly in the face of the intentions of the verification requirements which insists on original documents to combat fraudulent claims. i know there is no definite regulation as regards verification and it is only guidance, but our policy is to request original documents or ask the customer to complete our various proformas regarding rent, income etc instead.

    is everybody else doing this or has there been a change that i am not aware of

    Kevin D

    HBR 86 (+ CTB & PC-age equivalents), HBR 83, DAR 13 and DAR 20 contain the legislation for requesting evidence and information. There are also provisions in the FtT Rules. Each has a purpose dependant on the stage of the administration process.

    The DWP’s grasp of the LAW has been stunningly tenous for as long as I can remember. Ignore what the DWP says.

    In principle, there is nothing in law preventing a LA from accepting only the information on a claim form along with a claimant’s verbal statement about his/her circumstances. However, LAs have the power to ask for evidence / information that is “reasonably required” (this phrase being used in HBR 86).

    The rule of thumb is this: Is is sensible to ask for evidence? If so, it will be reasonable to do so in 99.9% of cases.

    Does the legislation mean different LAs will take different approaches? Yes. Should the law allow such inconsistency? From a professional / practioner perspective, that latter question is irrelevant – it’s a matter for the government.

    Andrew Plant
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