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How to complain to DWP?
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# 1
drew1982
Old 22-01-2013, 2:15 AM
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Default How to complain to DWP?

I have a complaint about how my jobcentre is dealing with me so I searched all the government websites and searched for hours trying to find out how to complain with no results. They just provide a fake email address contact-us@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk ALL EMAILS TO THIS ADDRESS FAIL!

This is clearly an attempt to NOT allow people to complain, what should I do?
My own jobcentre has no complaints system they only have a "Comments and Suggestion" form!
Surely this is wrong?
I thought EVERY business no matter who they are had to legally have a complaint system. Please help. Thanks
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# 2
Willing2Learn
Old 22-01-2013, 3:59 AM
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Please click here for the DWP complaints and appeals procedures and take the appropriate link for the applicable service to which you wish to make a complaint. You will also be able to view the DWP Customer Charter from that page (as you may wish to directly compare the service provided with the standards and values described within the Customer Charter when making your complaint). I strongly recommend making the complaint in writing even if the procedure for the applicable service states complaints will be accepted in person or by 'phone.

Good luck!!
I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

I love my job


Last edited by Willing2Learn; 22-01-2013 at 4:02 AM.
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# 3
iluvmarmite
Old 22-01-2013, 6:36 AM
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I can't see a link on there to complain about ESA, I don't know if I just use the JCP one or not, I know it's not the disability one but I do need to make a complaint about my ESA treatment.
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# 4
pmlindyloo
Old 22-01-2013, 9:12 AM
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Does this link help?

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/englan...vice_standards
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# 5
iluvmarmite
Old 22-01-2013, 10:07 AM
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My complaint is that they put me in the WRAG without a WCA and I'm onDLA highest rate of both componants, I would not be able to hold down a job, my JCP advisor who I saw twice said there was nothing she could do for me so put me on the work programme as they might do more than she can, my first appointment is with them tomorrow. I have appealed the WRAG decision but it won't be heard untill at least May.

I have tried explaining what I have to do to leave the house and how it's affecting me, it's a physical disability, but I was told if I didn't go they would stop my money.

I phoned first thing to ask to make a complaint and the man was very nice and said complaining is the last resort so he is getting a supervisor to ring me this afternoon to try and sort things out before it gets to the complaint stage. I guess I will just have to see what he or she says.
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# 6
sammyjammy
Old 22-01-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvmarmite View Post
I can't see a link on there to complain about ESA, I don't know if I just use the JCP one or not, I know it's not the disability one but I do need to make a complaint about my ESA treatment.
Sorry didn't read thread properly.
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# 7
sammyjammy
Old 22-01-2013, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvmarmite View Post
My complaint is that they put me in the WRAG without a WCA and I'm onDLA highest rate of both componants, I would not be able to hold down a job, my JCP advisor who I saw twice said there was nothing she could do for me so put me on the work programme as they might do more than she can, my first appointment is with them tomorrow. I have appealed the WRAG decision but it won't be heard untill at least May.

I have tried explaining what I have to do to leave the house and how it's affecting me, it's a physical disability, but I was told if I didn't go they would stop my money.

I phoned first thing to ask to make a complaint and the man was very nice and said complaining is the last resort so he is getting a supervisor to ring me this afternoon to try and sort things out before it gets to the complaint stage. I guess I will just have to see what he or she says.
Either with or without a complaint there won't be anything they can do. Your only hope is to persuade the Advisor that the referral to Work Programme was not in your best interests whilst you're under appeal. Is it a Disability Advisor or a standard one? If its not a disability advisor then ask for a referral to one.

I understand its hard and distressing for you but if you can't get them to change their mind on the referral you'll have to try and go or your money will be stopped. It maybe that you go to that first appt and don't have to attend again.
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# 8
rogerblack
Old 22-01-2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvmarmite View Post
My complaint is that they put me in the WRAG without a WCA and I'm onDLA highest rate of both componants, I would not be able to hold down a job, my JCP advisor who I saw twice said there was nothing she could do for me so put me on the work programme as they might do more than she can, my first appointment is with them tomorrow. I have appealed the WRAG decision but it won't be heard untill at least May.

I have tried explaining what I have to do to leave the house and how it's affecting me, it's a physical disability, but I was told if I didn't go they would stop my money.

I phoned first thing to ask to make a complaint and the man was very nice and said complaining is the last resort so he is getting a supervisor to ring me this afternoon to try and sort things out before it gets to the complaint stage. I guess I will just have to see what he or she says.
There are several issues here.
First, and most importantly - ESA is not granted because you are unable to work.
It's granted because you meet one or more legal tests of your ability or condition.

Any requirements under the work program, or work-related-activity have to be 'reasonable'.
But - you have to negotiate this with the provider - if you fail, then:

Secondly - if you do not go - you will indeed likely be sanctioned.
(Technically, the work program provider will request the DWP sanction you).
You then have to provide the DWP with 'good cause' for not complying - most of the sanctions requested are reconsidered by the DWP.

If you do not demonstrate 'good cause' - you will be sanctioned up to the whole amount of the basic allowance of ESA (~£70) and you can appeal this decision. Appealing the sanction decision may take a long time, during this period you may be entitled to hardship payments.


There are several things you can do - only one of which is likely to help in the short term.
Make an official complaint to ATOS about the quality of your medical - if nobody complains then they can say it's perfect.
If the medical report falls well below carelessness, then you can consider reporting the HCP to their professional standards body.
(for example, the nursing and midwifery council for nurses).

Appeal the WRAG decision, which it seems you're doing.
As has been mentioned - ask for them to reconsider the decision to put you in the work program.

If it is clear that you meet one or more of the criteria for the support group http://www.tameside.gov.uk/esa/lcwra and should have been abundantly clear on the evidence you provided, you might consider an official complaint to the DWP about their part in the process.

The only thing that is likely to help in the short term is for you to convince the work program provider that it's not appropriate for you to be required to see them.
Ask if they have had any details of your condition, and mobility needs - if not - then you should ask for a later appointment, and send in details in writing to them, so they can properly understand your mobility needs.

Last edited by rogerblack; 22-01-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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# 9
iluvmarmite
Old 22-01-2013, 3:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerblack View Post
There are several issues here.
First, and most importantly - ESA is not granted because you are unable to work.
It's granted because you meet one or more legal tests of your ability or condition.

Any requirements under the work program, or work-related-activity have to be 'reasonable'.
But - you have to negotiate this with the provider - if you fail, then:

Secondly - if you do not go - you will indeed likely be sanctioned.
(Technically, the work program provider will request the DWP sanction you).
You then have to provide the DWP with 'good cause' for not complying - most of the sanctions requested are reconsidered by the DWP.

If you do not demonstrate 'good cause' - you will be sanctioned up to the whole amount of the basic allowance of ESA (~£70) and you can appeal this decision. Appealing the sanction decision may take a long time, during this period you may be entitled to hardship payments.


There are several things you can do - only one of which is likely to help in the short term.
Make an official complaint to ATOS about the quality of your medical - if nobody complains then they can say it's perfect.
If the medical report falls well below carelessness, then you can consider reporting the HCP to their professional standards body.
(for example, the nursing and midwifery council for nurses).

Appeal the WRAG decision, which it seems you're doing.
As has been mentioned - ask for them to reconsider the decision to put you in the work program.

If it is clear that you meet one or more of the criteria for the support group http://www.tameside.gov.uk/esa/lcwra and should have been abundantly clear on the evidence you provided, you might consider an official complaint to the DWP about their part in the process.

The only thing that is likely to help in the short term is for you to convince the work program provider that it's not appropriate for you to be required to see them.
Ask if they have had any details of your condition, and mobility needs - if not - then you should ask for a later appointment, and send in details in writing to them, so they can properly understand your mobility needs.

The thing is Roger is that I was migrated from Incapacity benefit to ESA WRAG without a WCA so they have done no tests or anything.
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# 10
iluvmarmite
Old 22-01-2013, 3:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyjammy View Post
Either with or without a complaint there won't be anything they can do. Your only hope is to persuade the Advisor that the referral to Work Programme was not in your best interests whilst you're under appeal. Is it a Disability Advisor or a standard one? If its not a disability advisor then ask for a referral to one.

I understand its hard and distressing for you but if you can't get them to change their mind on the referral you'll have to try and go or your money will be stopped. It maybe that you go to that first appt and don't have to attend again.

Yes you are 100% right, the supervisor rang earlier and said they received my appeal form in November and as its taking 6 months or more for appeals to be heard there is nothing more I can do, she did say she would email them and see if they would look at a reconsideration a bit sooner but as others are in the same boat as me it's doubtful they will do that and I totally understand that.

I will have to go to the work programme but she said if I explain things to them they might say I have to go every 2 weeks instead of every week so i will see what they say tomorrow.

To leave the house I have to take 6 cocodamol or tramadol all at once to stop me shaking and it's affected my liver and kidneys so I go out as little as possible, the doc said it will cause irreparable damage if it carries on.

Oh well I guess there are lots of people in the same position as me and some worse off so I will have to grin and bear it and see what happens.
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# 11
JillyJolly
Old 22-01-2013, 3:37 PM
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A complaint really is a complete waste of time, they don't do anything.
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# 12
miduck
Old 22-01-2013, 3:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew1982 View Post
I have a complaint about how my jobcentre is dealing with me so I searched all the government websites and searched for hours trying to find out how to complain with no results. They just provide a fake email address contact-us@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk ALL EMAILS TO THIS ADDRESS FAIL!

This is clearly an attempt to NOT allow people to complain, what should I do?
My own jobcentre has no complaints system they only have a "Comments and Suggestion" form!
Surely this is wrong?
I thought EVERY business no matter who they are had to legally have a complaint system. Please help. Thanks
Just to confirm that email address is active.

Quote:
MX record about jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk exists.
Connection succeeded to cluster.gsi2.messagelabs.com SMTP.
220 server-10.tower-89.messagelabs.com ESMTP

> HELO verify-email.org
250 server-10.tower-89.messagelabs.com

> MAIL FROM: <check@verify-email.org>
=250 OK

> RCPT TO: <contact-us@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk>
=250 OK
If you wish to, you can write to the JCP area manager, they will look into your complaint for you.
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# 13
sammyjammy
Old 22-01-2013, 3:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvmarmite View Post
Yes you are 100% right, the supervisor rang earlier and said they received my appeal form in November and as its taking 6 months or more for appeals to be heard there is nothing more I can do, she did say she would email them and see if they would look at a reconsideration a bit sooner but as others are in the same boat as me it's doubtful they will do that and I totally understand that.

I will have to go to the work programme but she said if I explain things to them they might say I have to go every 2 weeks instead of every week so i will see what they say tomorrow.

To leave the house I have to take 6 cocodamol or tramadol all at once to stop me shaking and it's affected my liver and kidneys so I go out as little as possible, the doc said it will cause irreparable damage if it carries on.

Oh well I guess there are lots of people in the same position as me and some worse off so I will have to grin and bear it and see what happens.
I really feel for you, can't begin to imagine how painful and distressing it all is. If I recall correctly Nannytone is on the Work Programme through ESA, I'm sure she said that she hasn't been asked to go for months. I'll try and find the thread it might put your mind at rest. The Work Programme providers want to spend their time with those they can get back to work as that's where they make there money so don't despair.
"You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
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# 14
sammyjammy
Old 22-01-2013, 3:47 PM
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Here is the thread, not much help I'm afraid as she has meetings with her Advisor because WP not suitable.

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...ight=programme

Perhaps your Advisor is referring you out of a "can't be bothered" attitude, it might be worth a letter to their Manager to deal with it at a local level.
"You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
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# 15
drew1982
Old 22-01-2013, 11:30 PM
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No the work realted activity group rules have changed.

It use to be that you only had to go to the jobcentre once a month and do different things to try get back to work (like completing literacy and numeracy courses.)

Now that has all changed..... they force you to do things like taking college courses or doing voluntary work!!!! Even amputee soldiers with missing arms and legs on WRAG are being forced to do this. It's disgusting!!!

Even though my own GP says my mental health problems are too severe and that I am a risk to public safety (even the police agree). I am still being FORCED to go to college. If I am a risk to the public why put me around young vulnerable adults?

I tell you why...... while we are on these courses (even though we still get ESA payments) the crummy conservatives can say unemployment levels are going down. They are using people treated on sickness benefit to use to their own advantage.

Currently 60,000 ESA claimants are on FORCED college courses so that the government can say unemployment is down by 60,000 its all a ploy to make people believe they are helping unemployment.

People on ESA WRAG are treated no differently to JSA claiments. Even though they are sick!!!! There is no longer any need for ESA WRAG benefits as they are treated exactly the same as JSA claimants

Last edited by drew1982; 22-01-2013 at 11:35 PM.
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# 16
drew1982
Old 22-01-2013, 11:53 PM
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And I don't mean to be rude but all this does not answer my original question on how to complain about the jobcentre.
There is plenty of information on how to appeal a benefit decision.....But how does someone make an actual complaint about treatment.

If you are discriminiated against because of age, gender sexualy orientation or race. How would you complain?
I don't want to appeal against a decision I want to complain. Should I go to the police? I Dont't understand why you can't complain about DWP?
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# 17
rogerblack
Old 23-01-2013, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by iluvmarmite View Post
The thing is Roger is that I was migrated from Incapacity benefit to ESA WRAG without a WCA so they have done no tests or anything.
ATOS will have produced a ESA85A likely, on the basis of your papers.
Most of the above remains relevant.
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# 18
Torry Quine
Old 23-01-2013, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew1982 View Post
And I don't mean to be rude but all this does not answer my original question on how to complain about the jobcentre.
There is plenty of information on how to appeal a benefit decision.....But how does someone make an actual complaint about treatment.

If you are discriminiated against because of age, gender sexualy orientation or race. How would you complain?
I don't want to appeal against a decision I want to complain. Should I go to the police? I Dont't understand why you can't complain about DWP?
I don't know the answer to your question. However when I had my first visit to my advisor she said that as I was appealling to get into the support group that I didn't need to have come in. Since then I've had one call asking if I've heard anything but no question of having to go in.
"How many times I have desired to gather your children as a hen that gathers her chicks and you were not willing!” Luke 13:34

"When the day shall come, that we do part," he said softly, and turned to look at me, "if my last words are not 'I love you'--- ye'll ken it was because I didna have time." (Diana Gabaldon- Fiery Cross)
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# 19
satarical
Old 23-01-2013, 12:29 AM
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People on ESA WRAG are treated no differently to JSA claiments. Even though they are sick!!!! There is no longer any need for ESA WRAG benefits as they are treated exactly the same as JSA claimants
And how would you describe those that are in the Support Group? Sicker?

Being in the work group is a 'half way house' trying to motivate you, trying to get you out of the mindset of the old IB. The answer is as has been said already, you had the opportunity to submit evidence when you completed and returned the ESA50 that you qualified under the Support Group regs.

Either you didn't do that or if you did, your evidence wasn't strong enough.

Good grief when I was placed in the Support Group I volunteered to go to those meetings which were carried out by the RBL. You may well find that you have stagnated whilst on IB and have lost the drive and willpower to want to do something with your life. The courses on offer are free as is the help and advice that they give you - don't turn it down, you may never get another chance.

I know what IB was like, I was on it from 1994 to 2006 and was never tested or offered any help I was exempt from the old IB50 because I had a DLA award. I had to go looking for help - nothing was offered to me. Eventually the Shawe Trust came to my rescue and found me a voluntary job whish lasted for 3 years until I could get back into the workplace proper.
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# 20
Torry Quine
Old 23-01-2013, 12:36 AM
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And how would you describe those that are in the Support Group? Sicker?

Being in the work group is a 'half way house' trying to motivate you, trying to get you out of the mindset of the old IB. The answer is as has been said already, you had the opportunity to submit evidence when you completed and returned the ESA50 that you qualified under the Support Group regs.

Either you didn't do that or if you did, your evidence wasn't strong enough.

Good grief when I was placed in the Support Group I volunteered to go to those meetings which were carried out by the RBL. You may well find that you have stagnated whilst on IB and have lost the drive and willpower to want to do something with your life. The courses on offer are free as is the help and advice that they give you - don't turn it down, you may never get another chance.

I know what IB was like, I was on it from 1994 to 2006 and was never tested or offered any help I was exempt from the old IB50 because I had a DLA award. I had to go looking for help - nothing was offered to me. Eventually the Shawe Trust came to my rescue and found me a voluntary job whish lasted for 3 years until I could get back into the workplace proper.

I'm glad it worked for you but it isn't always that easy. I was on t IB for many years until last year when I was switched to ESA. I am also on DLA and was regularly reviewed with an IB50. Far from stagnating I would love to be able to get back into the work-place but realistically that isn't possible for someone who amongst other things sleeps till lunch-time every day. There's now way I'm volunteering for any scheme they may come up with

ETA- it isn't a half-way house for everyone. Just because you have been put into the WRAG doens't have to mean that you will ever be able to work
"How many times I have desired to gather your children as a hen that gathers her chicks and you were not willing!” Luke 13:34

"When the day shall come, that we do part," he said softly, and turned to look at me, "if my last words are not 'I love you'--- ye'll ken it was because I didna have time." (Diana Gabaldon- Fiery Cross)

Last edited by Torry Quine; 23-01-2013 at 12:41 AM.
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