Could I make a complaint about compliance officer asking for evidence I'd already provided? — Scope | Disability forum
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Could I make a complaint about compliance officer asking for evidence I'd already provided?

Armin
Armin Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited September 30 in Start here and say hello!
Hi
I need to get help.
I have mental health disability. The compliance officer from DWP told me to provide evidence that I had not received the maintenance loan through one year of my studying, even that I called and let them know before, and offered clear evidence from student finance England. However, he still made me stressed and made me feel even more suicidal and causing my PTSD even worse.
Would I be able to take to complain and take them to court?
Thank you
Regards
Armin

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,779 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    I'm sorry that this has caused you to feel this way. If there's a student maintenance loan available to you, it affects the amount of means tested benefits you're entitled to even if you decide not to take that loan.
    I don't think there's anything to complain about here as i'm sure they were just doing their job. As for taking them to court then i'm not sure i understand the reason why.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 5,996

    Scope community team

    Hi @Armin :) Welcome to the community, it's great to have you with us. 

    I'm also really sorry to hear that this situation has triggered your PTSD and caused you to feel even more suicidal. I'm about to send you an email from [email protected], so please do keep an eye out for that. 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,285 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry it made you feel as it did, but as above I don't really see much to complain about.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,472 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 30
    Welcome to the forum. An interesting one. As the maintenance loan would impact benefits whether taken or not it does rather beg the question as to what difference the answer would have made. 

    I suspect that the question was not "have you had it" but "how much was it"? In part I suspect that because it makes more sense but also because DWP are not in the habit of asking people to prove a negative. You can't prove a negative. I can't recall the last time I came across DWP trying to do something so stupid and pointless so my suspicion is that, actually, they probably didn't and the question may have been misunderstood. 

    As regards complaining and taking them to court I think it's important to understand that they are not one thing. They are two entirely different processes. However, my suspicion is that neither will be of any assistance to you.

    There is absolutely nothing to stop you complaining. However, as @poppy123456 rightly observes, what is it you're complaining about? By your own admission you were already stressed, suicidal and had PTSD. Making any of those worse is clearly not desirable and undoubtedly not their intent but in reality how are you going to prove any of that? How could you show that other incidents around the same time weren't responsible? What would "worse" even mean in that context?

    I'm sure you could pursue a complaint and you may even get DWP to make a token apology for making those health conditions worse but ultimately what happened? They asked a question. It's not a long complex question. It's not especially difficult to answer but even if it was... it's just a question. 

    Your health conditions mean that your health would vary anyway and be triggered by potentially lots of things including strangers, friends, family, fellow students? Did you complain about them or are the DWP in your sights because they might do more than say sorry? 

    You may gather from this that whilst you could pursue a complaint I think it has little merit. On that basis alone the possibility of pursuing court action strikes me as close to nil.

    There has been no harassment. They asked a question twice. A mistake was perhaps made in doing so but so what? I would venture to suggest that even your health conditions should not worry an organisation so much they need to start being scared of asking a question twice. It may have been a mistake but, again, so what? 

    There has also, and I stand to be corrected here, been no financial loss. So, what is it you think you'd be taking them to court for?

    There also appears to have been no abuse and no maladministration for which of course you would have opportunities to challenge. Mistakenly asking a question twice is never going to stand as maladministration. 

    I think, as you say, you do need help but perhaps not the kind you think and so I suggest you start with student welfare or alternatively https://advicelocal.uk and get yourself a comprehensive benefit check to ensure that your benefits are maximised and you're not missing out on anything. If you haven't already I would do some reading around PIP. Apologies if you are already in receipt. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,779 Disability Gamechanger

    There has also, and I stand to be corrected here, been no financial loss. So, what is it you think you'd be taking them to court for?

    I think this is the first time i've ever disagreed with you but this time i have to. There would be a financial loss if there was a loan available to them which they didn't take because now they will have an overpayment of means tested benefits, which will need to be repaid back.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,472 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 30
    Depends what the compliance question was I guess. 

    If it was “we didn’t know you had access to this” then yes clearly a loss but not really because of the question.

    if it was “we have this figure for your loan and we just want to check it’s right” then possibly not. 

    We don’t as yet know but I’d guess more likely the latter simply because compliance do evidence gathering and as per the OP they already seemed to know about it but just wanted to know if paid or not.

    We shall see.

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