Confused about whether to make DWP complaint — Scope | Disability forum
New to the community? Remember to read our community guidelines and our community house rules.
Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Find out how to let us know.

Confused about whether to make DWP complaint

PrincessRuby
PrincessRuby Member Posts: 35 Connected
edited September 23 in Universal Credit (UC)
Hi,

I’m hoping someone can help advise me and point me in the right direction. 
I’ll try and cut a long story short - I was receiving IR ESA for a number of years up until Nov 2020 when my husband started working. I was informed via a phone call that I was no longer eligible for any benefits and that my husband now had to financially support me, they did advice I apply for PIP. I applied the next day and after the assessment etc I now receive the enhanced rates for both elements. 
EDF passed my details to income maxx and cab, income maxx did a benefit calculator and told me I was in fact entitled to UC, but the carers element (for my husband) and the LCWRA element too, I put the claim in that day (14/09/21) and will receive my decision on the 15/10. I have provided a fit note too.
Someone phoned me to confirm my identity and he informed me that my ESA is still active but a credit only claim. 
My questions are, as I was misinformed can I lodge some sort of complaint as for almost a year we could have claimed UC for these elements but due to the bad advice given by the DWP we didn’t. 
CAB have advised me to make a complaint and to ask for compensation? 
Also, what is the likelihood of them placing the LCWRA element on from the beginning? Both income maxx and CAB have said they should, especially with a credit only claim still active, my PIP award and my fit note too. I know PIP and UC/ESA aren’t linked though. 

Hope that all makes sense and really hoping someone can advise me. 


Tagged:

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,844 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    When you ring DWP you are actually ringing a call centre. They are not benefits advisors, they simply read from a screen. They wouldn't have known anything about your circumstances, or how much your partner was earning so i'm not sure why you went to them for advice to start with.
    Usually when you transfer to UC from ESA you must do this within 1 month and then your Support Group award would transfer to UC and you would receive the LCWRA element from the start of your claim. I'm not sure whether this would be the same for you because they was a gap in your claim. Hopefully someone else will see this and give some further advice.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,039 Disability Gamechanger
    Whoever gave you that advise at the DWP was at fault for offering advice - it's not their role as DWP are not benefit advisers. You can make a complaint and seek compensation if you wish - I have no idea what chance you have of success.

    If you were still getting NI credits on the basis of having LCWRA (ESA Support Group) then the LCWRA element should be applied to your UC claim from the start. Did you make it clear to UC that you are getting NI credits on the basis of having LCWRA when you applied. (You are correct that this has nothing to do with PIP)
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • PrincessRuby
    PrincessRuby Member Posts: 35 Connected
    Hi @poppy123456

    Thanks for your reply. I didn’t actually phone the DWP for advice, I was advised of that when I phoned them to tell them my husband was starting his work. They took how much his wage etc was and told me I wasn’t entitled to anything anymore and to apply for PIP. 
    It was only Tuesday I found out my ESA claim remained active but credits only too.

    Yes that makes sense about the support group element, CAB advised if that is still active alongside the credits only claim then they should still be able to link it.



  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,844 Disability Gamechanger
    It's quite possible they were talking about your ESA rather than UC.
  • PrincessRuby
    PrincessRuby Member Posts: 35 Connected
    @calcotti thanks so much for your reply.
    I guess the chances are pretty much slim to none. I don’t know if it’s worth complaining about as I wouldn’t want it to affect the UC claim in any way. 

    I didn’t make them aware when I applied for UC about he credits only claim as I made the claim last week and only found out it was active on Tuesday when I had my biographical appointment, by chance I found out as I asked a question.
    I did inform UC when I made the claim though that I had previously been on ESA in the support group and in receipt of PIP too (although I know PIP isn’t relevant for the LCWRA element but it is for the carers element). 
  • PrincessRuby
    PrincessRuby Member Posts: 35 Connected
    It's quite possible they were talking about your ESA rather than UC.
    It’s more than likely. I know I asked if could claim anything else because I can’t work due to ill health and she said no. But like you’ve said, they’re not benefits advisors.

    I’m kicking myself I didn’t get in contact with CAB etc sooner with it all but I’m pretty clueless when it comes to the benefits system unfortunately :( 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,039 Disability Gamechanger
    PrincessRuby said:.I guess the chances are pretty much slim to none. I don’t know if it’s worth complaining about as I wouldn’t want it to affect the UC claim in any way. 
    Making a complaint should have no impact on your current UC claim.
    PrincessRuby said: I didn’t make them aware when I applied for UC about he credits only claim as I made the claim last week and only found out it was active on Tuesday when I had my biographical appointment, by chance I found out as I asked a question.
    Do you mean it wax the JobCenre person carrying out the UC interview who told you? If so that means they know and should make the link.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • PrincessRuby
    PrincessRuby Member Posts: 35 Connected
    I always get worried that things like making a complaint will “rock the boat” so to speak…but that’s anxiety for you!

    Yes it was the biographical interviewer that told me about the credit only claim as I asked if I’d have to get another fit note when the current one ends towards the end of November. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,039 Disability Gamechanger
    PrincessRuby said:..Yes it was the biographical interviewer that told me about the credit only claim as I asked if I’d have to get another fit note when the current one ends towards the end of November. 
    A few days before your payment date DWP will upload a statement to you UC journal showing how much they intend to pay you. Based on what you have said the calculation should include the LCWRA element. If it doesn't post a note in your journal stating that because you were in receipt of NI credits on the basis of LCWRA you understand the LCWRA element should be included.

    I assume that your husband has declared that he cares for you so that the carer element will be included for him.

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • PrincessRuby
    PrincessRuby Member Posts: 35 Connected
    I think that’s the 15th October and then the payments should start on the 19th. 
    Thank-you for the advice, hoping they apply it but if not I’ll write on the journal part. 
    Yes my husband has stated he cares for me. :)
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,509 Disability Gamechanger
    Hmm. You have made a phone call which ended your ESA and the next day you claimed PIP. On the balance of probabilities I’d say that it’s possible to show clearly that, rightly or not, you were advised by someone purporting to be from DWP and they essentially did half a job. On that basis you certainly have grounds for a complaint. Level of comp will depend on his clued up and aggressive your CitA adviser is. Some would assume you’re tied to the DWP compensation scheme which offers low 2 or 3 figure sums. Some would go for the whole of the UC loss. I know what I’d go for.
  • PrincessRuby
    PrincessRuby Member Posts: 35 Connected
    @mikehughescq
    Thank-you for your reply. 
    Have you any idea of how long the complaints process takes, or is it how long is a piece of string situation?
    I obviously haven’t got any evidence to prove that I was advised that, but I think it was the 11th November my ESA stopped and my PIP claim starts on the 12th. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,039 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you any idea of how long the complaints process takes, or is it how long is a piece of string situation?
    I think lengthy at the moment because dealing with complaints is being given lower priority than dealing with live claims. see
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/about/complaints-procedure
    Are CitA helping you to write the complaint?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • PrincessRuby
    PrincessRuby Member Posts: 35 Connected
    Thank-you for that link. I had a quick look at it last night but really wasn’t any the wiser.
    I’m hoping they help me to write it. The people I needed to speak to for it weren’t there yesterday late afternoon, so I’m to contact them again today. 
  • PrincessRuby
    PrincessRuby Member Posts: 35 Connected
    Just an update…I have spoken with CAB using the online chat (how I’ve been in contact with them). 
    So, she didn’t help me draft a letter but she did give me some points to make sure I include in the complaint (how it has affected my mental health etc). 
    She also advised me to put in there about a judicial review?! 

    I’m just wondering if anyone knows if that advice is correct? 
    As from a quick Google search, I’m not sure.

    So sorry to keep bothering you all but your knowledge is immense and hopefully can help me with this. 

Brightness

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.

Fancy a chat in our virtual coffee lounge?

Put the kettle on and have a chat in our coffee lounge with other members. We talk about hobbies, games and anything else you can think of!

Cerebral Palsy (CP) Online Cafe

Here's a new opportunity for people with CP or a similar disability (aged 20+) to get together and chat. The sessions are in partnership with CP Sport so you can find out more and meet people from both organisations.

Are you struggling?

Read our 'Coping with stress, low mood and isolation' support thread for a run-down of ideas on how to banish those blues and feel happier.

What do you think about the community?

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community a better space for you.

Information about COVID-19

If you have questions about the virus, please read our information and support which includes guidance on benefits, getting food and essentials and Cerebral Palsy.

Back to school this September?

Read tips on how to settle back in and handle any worries you or your children might be having this new term.