DWP Shambles round 3 – #Chaos Ensues

Sorry folks I am sure you are all wishing this systemic abuse will end, unfortunately that is not the case just yet and I am fuckin peeved that they cannot get a grip of the seriousness of this complaint.

I have had a reply from the operation directors office by someone with a job title of Operational Excellence Director (sic) are you bloody serious there has been no excellence what so ever and her baloney reply just adds to the mess.

I have however had a letter from HMCTS which dropped on the floor at the same time I was astonished to hear that DWP could not be arsed to reply to the directions notice sent to them but wait there is more they was sent two reminders also and could not be bothered to respond at all in a tribunal that they themselves requested without my knowledge.

I guess they was hoping the judge would drop it, but no he quite rightly wants to know why they have not responded to his directions notice and thus has transferred the matter to a court near me for a pre hearing where he has requested that a DWP presenting officer will attend.

He has also advised that I attend, to my case across as to why an out of time appeal should go ahead anyway this should be an easier task for me than it will be for DWP after all I guess he is not impressed.

 

Letter from Operational Excellence Director:

Operation Directors Letter 18-06-2014 P1 edited

 

Operation Directors Letter 18-06-2014 P2

 

Letter from HMCTS Cardiff:

HMCTS Directions Notice P1 edited

 

HMCTS Directions Notice P2

 

My reply to DWP Operational Excellence Director

 

Angela MacDonald
Director of Operational Excellence
Caxton House
Tothill Street
LONDON
SW1H 9NA

Your ref

18th June 2014

Dear Ms MacDonald

Thank you for your letter dated 16th June 2014 as evidence in this mess is now key to resolving this shambles in a tribunal, I note you are a director of Excellence however to date no excellence in resolving my complaint has happened.

It is evident that your investigation has not been as rigorous as one might expect at this stage in a complaint, indeed your letter contains many errors to which I have the evidence to prove.

I will now go right back to the date of migration from IB to ESA which was in fact the 17th September 2012 and not October 2010 as you wrongly state, the date you quoted was in fact the date ESA Migration was piloted in certain areas that did not include the South and did not fully roll out until April 2011 so how I could have been on ESA WRAG for two years since October 2010 furthermore you cannot even give a complete date the mind wonders.

You rightly state in your letter that I difficulty in in completing the DWP paperwork indeed that was one of the reasons why I had to seek a reconsideration on receiving a letter dated 25th June 2012 that my benefits had stopped due to not returning the ESA50 back in time clearly 30 days in which to return a form for someone like me with executive dysfunction is not long enough and thus is a substantial disadvantage on its own.

You then go on to say in another breath that no discrimination has been caused I beg to differ.

In my original letter seeking an anytime revision I also made reference to regulations 29 and 35 as well as reliably repeatedly and safely you appear not to addressed this important factors in your reply way is this?

I have already been compensated by complaints resolution with a special payment of £25 for giving wrong contact details so please explain why you have done the same when it is well known you reside at Caxton House SW1H 9NA so why reply with some PO BOX number and postcode that serves only to delay an important complaint that you have not grasped yet or provided a meaningful response that addresses the issues I raised.

On receiving my ESA WRAG AWARD Letter I phoned to request a statement of reasons and a copy of the ESA 85 so I could check it and see if I had recourse to appeal , however on the 1st October 2012 all I received was the statement of reasons which was very generic in nature and certainly not good enough to appeal as it contained no details of descriptors or points scored so justice was denied at a very early stage and in which I could have appealed within time and certainly within the absolute maximum time of 13 months.
I will now bullet point a catalogue of issues I want answers too and expect a reply with the same bullet points in answer too as clearly you have either mistaken me for someone else, are incompetent or just do not care.

1. It is fact with the contradicting responses I have received from DWP that no consideration of my physical or mental health has been applied and indeed it is my believe that putting me in the ESA WRAG Group was done purely to limit my claim to 365 days WHY WAS THIS?

2. When I enlisted the help of my MP David Willetts to get to the bottom of what has gone wrong you responded to him with another pack of lies as you gave him the impression that I had an assessment with a HCP which is not the case, however you did correctly state that my conditions are not expected to get better which is true as they are indeed lifelong and no further recovery from SAH/Stroke can be gained so one wonders why I was put in the WRAG Group in the first place.

3. When the time limiting ESA Contribution ran out why did you not inform me in good time and send out an ESA 3 Form after all I made it clear in my ESA 50 that I had mental health issues that included but not limited too poor memory, lack of motivation and other issues under the broader term of executive dysfunction? I know for a fact that you do send out these forms without the need to request and indeed it is a logical step you could have taken.
4. You state that I was not informed of the cessation of my benefits due to a fault with your computer systems, this I do not believe and is just a cop out as a department as big as the DWP you will have technicians and back-up systems to hand to remedy any issues.

5. Why did complaints resolution lie and say no discrimination has taken place when the Upper Tier Tribunal court case under Citation Number [2013] EWCA Civ 1565 states that those with mental health problems are placed at a disadvantage and I quote from the very judgment:

“In our judgment the present practice relating to FME, has the result that in a significant number of claims by claimants with MHP’s the existence and impact of the difficulties result in those claimants being placed at a disadvantage that is more than minor or trivial and/or suffering an unreasonably adverse experience”

I have been placed at a substantial disadvantage as no account what so ever was taken of my mental health as reported on the ESA 50 Form substantial disadvantage is discrimination and I suggest you read the court judgment in full as I have, otherwise you will be saying that the Judges lied.

6. You state that I requested to appeal against a decision to place me in the WRAG Group on the 10th January 2014? This assumption is wrong and a fabrication I requested an Anytime Revision in a letter dated the 15th December 2013 it was Yvonne Moore at the Cosham appeals team who requested the appeal without my knowledge which I found out via a direct phone call after eventually getting the contact details from complaints resolution.

7. This appeal was requested by you wilfully and in the knowledge it was out of the 13 months absolute time frame so why did you make this request knowing it had little prospect of success?

8. Why was my anytime revision which was the correct course of action not carried out? Was it because by doing so you would have to issue a decision notice of the result of my requested anytime revision even if it was one of failure to revise? I strongly believe that is the case.

9. Why have you still not answered the question above in your reply which I put to you in my complaint is it the case that you are aware that a serious wilful error has been made that’s tantamount to maladministration as well as again denying my right to appeal.

10. Is it not the case that had you sent me a decision notice it would have had appeal rights if I was not happy with the decision and thus could have made an in time appeal?

11. You are correct in that I requested an anytime revision to which I still have not received a decision notice this revision was requested on the 15th December 2013 some 6 months ago and it sighted an upper tier tribunal case in which the judgment was handed down on the 4th December 2013 and NOT the 5th October 2013 as you wrongly state, for the record a link to the final judgment is below:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/1565.html

12. This court case had two previous hearings on the 22nd and 23rd October 2013 so I do not know where you got the date of 12th December 2013 from, however the issue of discrimination has been ruled on and which they clearly state a substantial disadvantage has been caused to those with MHP’s there is no leeway there for you to deny discrimination as that was the final judgment and all that remains is for the DWP to appear at the high court on the 7th 8th and 9th July to answer how the SSWP is going to mitigate reasonable adjustments to the WCA Process so as not to disadvantage those with MHP’s

13. So the court case IS NOT ongoing legal action about the ESA process discriminating against claimants with MHP’s as that has already been proved as far back as May 2013 at the first hearings the hearings in July are all about what YOU are going to do to address the barriers we face as a group of people as per the Equalities act 2010

14. Why have you not replied to the directions notice sent to you by HMCTS Cardiff and furthermore why did you ignore two further reminders to respond to it from HMCTS? is it because on the balance of probabilities with the way my claim has been handled and the way you have denied my rights a judge may well be disgusted and grant the hearing anyway after all I get the impression they are not happy with DWP anyway wasting their time and forcing them to send you two reminders that you could not be bothered with I know I would be.

15. Sorry but you have been told to change you processes by the court so the logical step you should have taken was to hold the complaint until after the hearings in July not dismiss it as you have done and which is just another of your steps to deny me my rights

16. My anytime revision was accepted by the district manager of complaints resolutions Tim Taylor-Blake in a letter dated 17th January 2014 as meeting the required “specific Grounds” for anytime revision so what was the DM’s reason for not doing so?

17. It is clear from reading your own guidance on revision this has not been followed correctly from reading it myself with my wife and putting that guidance to my own complaint indeed it appears to us this was just thrown out and denied on a whim which to me is very unprofessional, indeed nothing you have said follows any logic and quite frankly is a disgrace however I am open to you proving me wrong

My claim has been wrong manifestly from the beginning of migration, I have been denied my right to appeal not once but twice indeed throughout this complaint I have been at pains to follow the correct guidance and procedures as given to me what a shame you cannot do the same if you had my suffering of stress and anxiety and often room pacing out of pure frustration would have ended long ago.

The DWP has made very serious errors that I cannot allow to continue you have caused financial hardship necessitating the need to stop paying my creditors as my income would not stretch that far which resulted in an attachment of earnings being sent from Portsmouth Combined Court this would not have happened if my ESA was not crawly stopped without warning as I was able to meet the arrangements I had agreed with my creditors.

Unlike you they are thankfully understanding and have shown a modicum of compassion and empathy and are willing to wait until this complaint and/or appeal is heard but that does not negate the suffering caused and if anything what you have done is worsen my health by causing depression.

Are you aware due to my hypertension and SAH Stroke I should avoid stressful situation at all costs? What a shame on the DWP and Government for their actions in dragging out this complaint instead of acting swiftly with professionalism.

I now draw your attention to:

Guidance to support the DWP 2 Tier Complaints Resolution Process.

It states at ANNEX 9 – “Substantive” holding response

That if a complaint cannot be fully resolved in 15 working days as there will be some occasions where it will take longer and clearly this is the case here due to the DWP’s next appearance in the upper tier tribunal court a holding response should be given within 15 days along with the reasons for such.

This is the process that should have happened and not thrown out of hand as you have done.

I now turn to Annex 11 – Some reminders of good practice

Whilst dealing with our customers it is always important to remember the following:

a. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s Principles:
• Getting it right
• Being customer focused
• Being open and accountable
• Acting fairly and proportionately
• Putting things right
• Seeking Continuous improvement

b. The DWP’s 5 golden rules’ of complaints resolution:

• If you’re in a hole, stop digging. Just say sorry.
• Try to put it right. Sorting out the problem is worth pages of prose
• Think about ringing before writing. Much more personal and may often be much quicker
• If you need to write, write in simple, plain English.
• If you’ve promised that something will happen, make sure it does.

c. Our commitments in the DWP Customer Charter
• Right Treatment
• Right Result
• On Time
• Easy Access
Now can you put hand on heart and say any of the above has happened? I strongly think not.

Measures to resolve

i. I now request that I am in the first instance returned to the WRAG GROUP of ESA with back payment from the time it was stopped in October 2013 so that I can pay the bills that are waiting.

ii. That this complaint is held by you until the further hearings at the upper tier court are heard and resolved as per the 3 panel of judges orders
iii. That this complaint is then looked at again and the anytime revision requested is carried out using the measures as will be decided at court and FME is gained and a decision is made as to whether I should indeed be in the Support Group of ESA

iv. That an Investigation of you gross maladministration is also carried out as is defined right here in this letter.

It is my firm believe that the measures to resolve above is what should have happened in the first instance as only that is in keeping with your ANNEXES quoted above.

It is well known and as reported on BBC NEWS on the 19th June 2014 that the DWP is in serious trouble regarding ESA delivery and that no doubt staff are being drafted from elsewhere to handle the backlog.
Because of this I have no doubt at all that this is having a direct impact in other ESA Departments and thus why my complaint is not getting the attention it should, this cannot go on and I insist it is dealt with expertly.

This letter will form part of my evidence along with my other evidence to present to the judge who will decide whether a late appeal can proceed.

I have phoned HMCTS in Cardiff who transferred the appeal to the courthouse in Havant to get the date and time of the pre hearing which is listed as next available date as I will be attending as it appears it is the only avenue left to bring this shambles to a conclusion despite the DWP having the power to end it without the need for an appeal which I NEVER requested in the first place.

They will be writing to me in due course and I trust a presenting officer from the DWP will be present as requested by Judge Sutherland Williams as I am sure he wishes why you never responded to the Directions Notice not once but three times.

I hope this is the last letter I need to send to you and that you will now move swiftly given the time of 6 months it has already taken to get this far.

Finally my apologies if my strong wording takes offence as it is not personal but I believe in typing how I feel I also realise that staff at DWP are trying to make the best of a very bad situation caused by the ministers at DWP and in particular one Iain Duncan Smith who has brought your department to its knees and chaos enshrines.

Yours Sincerely

 

I again await there reply.

 

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12 thoughts on “DWP Shambles round 3 – #Chaos Ensues

  1. Dreadful truly dreadful in the way you have been treated. my only advice is let your mp now take over as there are a few that do well however most mp’s do not do well for their constituents so you will be at the mercy of mind who may be able to help

    i say maybe because they are a very selective charity and only respond to certain areas of the UK only and should you live outside of their catchment area they will be completely useless to you

    it took me 15 months to go from IB the ESA so i know first-hand on how things move along

    Good luck and hope someone sees sense and put you where you need to be and that in the support group

  2. Jesus Leon you deserve a medal for all they are putting you through.
    You deserve everything that you have asked for in your letter along with compensation in the thousands for the disrespectful and disastrous way they have treat you and your position.
    I wish you all the very best of luck in getting this finally resolved.
    Good luck

  3. Pingback: #DWPChaos Parked on ESA WRAG for a year now out of system …….. | Diary of an SAH Stroke Survivor

  4. Pingback: Operational EXCELLENCE Director | Diary of an SAH Stroke Survivor

  5. I can only reiterate what the others have said Leon but it leaves one totally speechless at the ineptitude and lack of care that is currently ongoing due to the chaos Ian Duncan Smith has wrought on people like yourself. Their lack of humanity is as always mindboggling . The total lack of professionalism in dealing with your case, not even bothering to check facts before writing to you thus causing you more stress and huge anxiety that you do not need for health reasons is beyond criminal. It defies belief to be honest unless one has experienced the ‘generic’ letter writing of these bodies, jobsworths etc., the fact that this err ‘Director of Operational Excellence’ has blatantly lied or at least, judging from the fact her letter is pp’d not researched your case or checked her facts before sending comes across as a patronising load of bull, sadly yet hopefully another piece of evidence that one hopes will help you get what you are owed.
    This cannot be doing your health issues any good at all to put it mildly and I hope your doctor and consultant are also backing you here. I hope your MP will truly keep fighting in your corner. But I feel if it’s possible for you, that apart from this blog and forgive me if you have already done this, to highlight these issues and the distress it is causing maybe going through National Media may also help your situation? I realise legally with ongoing Court Cases this may not be possible but if you legally can I think it’s needed. I know this strain and fighting must be putting your body through hell as well as you and your wife. I admire your fighting spirit it’s just a tragedy of this shitty government you even have to do it, when by rights you are owed a duty of care. I have not experienced this particular path yet but it resonates in the 15 year fight I’m having to get the proper care through NHS, who, it seems, due my extremely rare heart condition, would it seems like me to just go away.
    Your response letter is brilliant. Try and take care too though. We are all routing for you . Karrie
    I am new to blogging but am now endeavouring to reblog this on my site.

    • Thank you Karrie It is going to appeal but first there must be a pre hearing for the judge to decide if it can go ahead due to being out of absoliute time for appeal, this I am well aware off as it was not be that requested this appeal for that very fact and is where the law breaking comes into play as I requested an Anytime Revision December 2013 due to an upper tier tribunal case that came to light and has great impact in my own claim

      They did this as a way of getting around not sending an anytime revision notice because such a document has appeal rights and thus could have appealed that decision notice if was not happy with it so you see they have denied my rights to justice which is serious in a court of law, the judge is aware of this as I have been writing to him and why he has called an oral session hell DWP could not even be bothered to reply to a directions notice the judge sent them so that shows they had no intention of defending an appeal they themselves requested.

      I am waiting a date for that pre hearing then all hell will break loose.

      Thank you for your interest xx

  6. Pingback: DWP Shambles round 3 – #Chaos Esues | karenstoneblog

  7. Pingback: Lies, Lies and more Lies just when will it end. | Diary of an SAH Stroke Survivor

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