From Kate Belgrave‘s blog
The story below is pretty extraordinary. It’s a classic example of the DWP’s extreme dysfunction and bureaucratic tangling. It also demonstrates how very few rights of appeal disabled people really have when they apply for benefits:
I’ve posted below a letter which was received last week by Sean (named changed), a man in his 50s who has an Asperger’s diagnosis and serious depression and anxiety. (I’ve been writing about Sean’s struggle to apply for Personal Independence Payment, the benefit that is meant to replace Disability Living Allowance).
About a month ago, Sean found out that his application for PIP had been turned down. Then, bizarrely, just a few days after he received that rejection letter, Sean got a letter from the DWP which said that his Mandatory Reconsideration of his PIP rejection decision had already been carried out and the decision to reject his PIP appeal upheld. Mandatory Reconsideration is the review that PIP applicants must ask for if they want to challenge a DWP decision about their PIP application. When people request a Mandatory Reconsideration, they can ask the DWP to review the reasons why they were turned down. The problem for Sean was that the DWP carried out a Mandatory Reconsideration of its decision to deny him PIP without telling or involving him. Sean didn’t request the Mandatory Reconsideration that the DWP did and he never had the chance to contribute to it. More than that – the letter Sean received about this random Mandatory Reconsideration showed that the DWP carried it out BEFORE it made a decision about Sean’s original PIP application. Sean didn’t request that Mandatory Reconsideration, because he didn’t even know his PIP application had been rejected when it was done. He was very upset about that, with good reason.
So – Sean wrote to the DWP to complain about this Mandatory Reconsideration going on without him. He asked the DWP to run his review again – and to this time give him a chance to contribute to it. He got this letter in return – a letter which says Sean’s Mandatory Reconsideration has already been done as far as the DWP is concerned and so that is the end of that.