delays delays delays


G

Gazz

Thought i'd got away with these delays people mention when changing
benefits.... untill we moved to notts that is.

We applied for a joint IS claim on about the 20th of febuary, telling them
we'd be living together again in our new flat from the 29th,
Filled in the HB and council tax benefit forms at the council, had
everything we needed to get the claim started except the letter saying we're
entitled to joint IS.

so we waited for the letter, and waited, and waited, phoned them up last
week, no sign of us ever handing in a form... yet lincs dwp had on file that
i had applied to come off my single claim and go back to the joint claim i
was on 3 weeks prior, notts dwp had no record.

Claimed the jobcentre we handed the forms to haddnt sent them on, job centre
claimed we never handed them in... untill we produced the reciept they had
given us, then they said sent em, dwp processing centre must have lost them.

phones dwp up again, was tild they investigate, call back in an hour.

Called back, our form had magicaly appered again, and a supervisor prommised
to process it the next day... last friday.

Monday i phoned up again, claim had been processed as prommised, just got to
wait for the post.

Today, thuresday, a brown envelope was in the letter box, woohoo i thought,
i can now go to the council and get the HB claim processed, and also take
the council tax demand i got last week with me, and get them to put on the
records that i don't have to pay... wonder if i can do that, or i will have
to somehow find the 101 quid for this months council tax because i'm not yet
in reciept of HB.

Anyhoo, read the letter and almost had a heart attack, then a noticed it was
addressed o my partner, but still shocking, her IS claim is canceled
because... she's moved in with a partner who works more than 24 hours a week
and has more than 16 grand in savings!!!

So who is he then, cos it certianly aint me, i'm lucky if i have 40 quid in
my bank account, as for working 24 hours, i aint been able to work for
years.

My partner phoned them up, and was told curtly that it must have been a
mistake, and to bin the letter.

we're keeping the letter in-case it comes back to bite us later, hope it
dosent but where the feck do they get their information from, my partner
didnt tell the dwp anything other than let them know she was going back onto
her partners joint claim which she had temporarily come off whilst living
appart.
 
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G

Gran

((Snipped stuff about delay))
Today, thuresday, a brown envelope was in the letter box, woohoo i thought,
i can now go to the council and get the HB claim processed, and also take
the council tax demand i got last week with me, and get them to put on the
records that i don't have to pay... wonder if i can do that, or i will have
to somehow find the 101 quid for this months council tax because i'm not yet
in reciept of HB.

Anyhoo, read the letter and almost had a heart attack, then a noticed it was
addressed o my partner, but still shocking, her IS claim is canceled
because... she's moved in with a partner who works more than 24 hours a week
and has more than 16 grand in savings!!!

So who is he then, cos it certianly aint me, i'm lucky if i have 40 quid in
my bank account, as for working 24 hours, i aint been able to work for
years.

My partner phoned them up, and was told curtly that it must have been a
mistake, and to bin the letter.

we're keeping the letter in-case it comes back to bite us later, hope it
dosent but where the feck do they get their information from, my partner
didnt tell the dwp anything other than let them know she was going back onto
her partners joint claim which she had temporarily come off whilst living
appart.
Hold on to the letter and make a note of where and when you phoned
and, if possible, the name of the person who you spoke to. And what
they said. Timed, dated .... the whole works.

This is not just to protect you but *if* there's a problem later on to
help identify how it happened, how to put it right and how to stop it
happening again.

"Help us to help you" ..........
 
C

Colin Wilson

Anyhoo, read the letter and almost had a heart attack, then a noticed it was
addressed o my partner, but still shocking, her IS claim is canceled
because... she's moved in with a partner who works more than 24 hours a week
and has more than 16 grand in savings!!!
It's a shame you can't do the government for breaching the Data
Protection Act (data must be accurate, timely, relevant)
My partner phoned them up, and was told curtly that it must have been a
mistake, and to bin the letter.
Time to visit your MP with your experiences :-}
 
G

Gran

It's a shame you can't do the government for breaching the Data
Protection Act (data must be accurate, timely, relevant)


Time to visit your MP with your experiences :-}
Nope - start the process properly with a well constructed letter to
the local office. There *are* channels to go down that will get you
further more quickly than the knee-jerk reaction of "I'm going to my
MP!".

MP's letters get passed down the food chain anyway - they know
doodly-squat about what goes on at ground level. The initial response
will be initiated from local JCP / JCP correspondence office anyway..
 
M

mart2306

Nope - start the process properly with a well constructed letter to
the local office. There *are* channels to go down that will get you
further more quickly than the knee-jerk reaction of "I'm going to my
MP!".

MP's letters get passed down the food chain anyway - they know
doodly-squat about what goes on at ground level. The initial response
will be initiated from local JCP / JCP correspondence office anyway..
In my experience in the civil service, MP letters slowed the process
down.
More than a few times I know of a claim ready to be finished off that
was then delayed as taken away for the person responding to the MP
letter to read claim and sort out reply to letter.
Whereas the usual channels to complain in my experience don't cause
much delay at all.

Martin <><
 
R

Robbie

In my experience in the civil service, MP letters slowed the process
down.
More than a few times I know of a claim ready to be finished off that
was then delayed as taken away for the person responding to the MP
letter to read claim and sort out reply to letter.
Whereas the usual channels to complain in my experience don't cause
much delay at all.

Martin <><
MPs letters have a high priority and have to be responded to within a
set time frame - so writing to your MP can paradoxically slow down
processing as the claim can be, as you mention, taken away to be dealt
with by someone else.
 
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N

Niteawk

Colin Wilson said:
It's a shame you can't do the government for breaching the Data
Protection Act (data must be accurate, timely, relevant)


Time to visit your MP with your experiences :-}
You dont use your MP to start off with, the CAB are the best people to get
things moving, they can ask the council and Jobcentre for your records,
investigate you your claim and act as impartial witnesses to any chicanery
that goes on.
Once you have evidence from the CAB, you can complain to your MP.
 
G

Gran

You dont use your MP to start off with, the CAB are the best people to get
things moving, they can ask the council and Jobcentre for your records,
investigate you your claim and act as impartial witnesses to any chicanery
that goes on.
Once you have evidence from the CAB, you can complain to your MP.
The CAB will *not* be provided with your records. Neither will a
solicitor unless by Court Order which will be 'considered' but does
not guarantee release of those records. (In fact I wouldn't trust the
CAB with my cat's records, let alone my own but that's neither here
nor there.)

*You* may be provided with a full copy of your DWP records if you
request them (except in certain specific circumstances) and then it's
in your hands who you hand them to.

Unless a (living) person is incapable of dealing with their own
affairs or is deceased then personal records are only released to the
Data Subject themself.
 
N

Niteawk

Gran said:
The CAB will *not* be provided with your records. Neither will a
solicitor unless by Court Order which will be 'considered' but does
not guarantee release of those records. (In fact I wouldn't trust the
CAB with my cat's records, let alone my own but that's neither here
nor there.)

*You* may be provided with a full copy of your DWP records if you
request them (except in certain specific circumstances) and then it's
in your hands who you hand them to.

Unless a (living) person is incapable of dealing with their own
affairs or is deceased then personal records are only released to the
Data Subject themself.

The CAB can look into your records, obviously you have to give permission.
When the shit hits the fan as it has for the OP, I prefer to get a third
party involved, that way you can show maladministration if needs be, having
an impartial witness etc. In my experience, they can piss you as about
forever as an individual but as soon as the CAB gets involved, nothing else
goes wrong after that, your claim is processed properly, no more mucking
about passing the buck and losing letters.
 
G

Gran

The CAB can look into your records, obviously you have to give permission.
When the shit hits the fan as it has for the OP, I prefer to get a third
party involved, that way you can show maladministration if needs be, having
an impartial witness etc. In my experience, they can piss you as about
forever as an individual but as soon as the CAB gets involved, nothing else
goes wrong after that, your claim is processed properly, no more mucking
about passing the buck and losing letters.
I will repeat, for the hard of understanding, that full records will
only be released to the individual concerned - ie - the Data Subject.

The Information Commissioner has determined that a Data Subject cannot
give up the right afforded them by the DP Act.

The CAB have no rights of access to the Data Subject's records despite
their overblown estimation of themselves and despite any little letter
of authority that appears to allow them access.
 
M

Mike

Niteawk said:
The CAB can look into your records, obviously you have to give
permission. When the shit hits the fan as it has for the OP, I prefer to
get a third party involved, that way you can show maladministration if
needs be, having an impartial witness etc. In my experience, they can
piss you as about forever as an individual but as soon as the CAB gets
involved, nothing else goes wrong after that, your claim is processed
properly, no more mucking about passing the buck and losing letters.
The quality of CAB varies greatly - I've dealt with some very
knowledgable ones and others who could not grasp even the basics of
social security law. Some are persistant advocates others send a letter
and forget.

Your CAB may be good but the OP may not be so lucky, worth talking to
other local customers, there may be a variety of welfare rights
organisations available, again some are good, others can't tie their
shoelaces.

Mike
 
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M

mart2306

The CAB can look into your records, obviously you have to give permission.
When the shit hits the fan as it has for the OP, I prefer to get a third
party involved, that way you can show maladministration if needs be, having
an impartial witness etc. In my experience, they can piss you as about
forever as an individual but as soon as the CAB gets involved, nothing else
goes wrong after that, your claim is processed properly, no more mucking
about passing the buck and losing letters.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -
Unless CAB make things worse.
They sometimes do get things wrong, and can make things a lot worse.
Their staff are only human.

Martin <><
 
M

mart2306

I will repeat, for the hard of understanding, that full records will
only be released to the individual concerned - ie - the Data Subject.

The Information Commissioner has determined that a Data Subject cannot
give up the right afforded them by the DP Act.

The CAB have no rights of access to the Data Subject's records despite
their overblown estimation of themselves and despite any little letter
of authority that appears to allow them access.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -
They can be given the right to speak and deal with the case on the
subject's behalf. Which isn't the same as being given all the records.
Easiest for the claimant to just get the records themselves and hand
them over to the CAB.

Martin <><
 
R

Robbie

Unless CAB make things worse.
They sometimes do get things wrong, and can make things a lot worse.
Their staff are only human.

Martin <><
and often volunteers helping out for a few hours a week. While they
receive training they don't necessarily have the necessary expertise.
 
G

Gazz

Right.. what's happening,

Finaly got my joint claim confirmation letter throught on Saturday the 15th,
almost a month since i told them i wanted to go back onto the joint claim
which i had temporaril come off whilst we lived appart (i do wonder if it
would have been better to keep quiet, we'd have been the ones loosing out
after all)

Anyhoo,i can now go down to the council offices tommorow and get my HB claim
started, would be nice if they did someof the work whilst they were waiting
for this final bit of paperwork,
i am also taking the council tax demand down with me, and hoping to get it
put on filethat i am applying for HB and CTB, and thus shouldent have to
somehow find the 100 quid at the end of the month for it... along with the
400 odd quid for another months rent as i don't see them getting my HB
sorted and paying within 2 weeks,

Once it's all sorted and paying, i will then see what to do about this
supposedly wrong letter they sent me, i can't believe someone can just press
a wrong button on the computer and suddenl i (or someone else) is listed on
my partners claim as working and having more than 16k in savings, but it may
be that simple,

but i have had a letter, so there must be a computer trace of it somewhere,
and if we ever get investigated in the future, this could well come back to
bite us, so i want at least another letter saying it was a mistake.

never knew i could request my DWP records, do i need to have any reason,
other than to be nosey?? would they hand over all the records, like if i was
being subject to a stasi style observation operation, or would they handily
forget to hand over those pages listing what they have been observing me
doing so far?


Reminds me of a great book i read once, Stasi Land, by anna fulder, it's
about the now defunkt east german seceret police who built up records and
profiles on every person living in the old east germany, and controlled what
they did with the info, i.e. if they werent loyal to the state, they got
refused all the good jobs... and then thrown in jail for being unemployed as
unemployment didn't 'officially' exist over there, So anyone not in work was
an enemy to the state,

i bought thebook whilst in berlin years ago (it's in english and you can get
it here), but by eck it bears so many similarities to present day england
with all the spying, camera's everywhere tracking people, gathering info on
people from every electronic transaction they do, wanting ID cards to totaly
trace where everyoe goes etc, and all in the name of national security,
where the real threat to national security is the people doing the spying.
 
G

Gran

Right.. what's happening,
never knew i could request my DWP records, do i need to have any reason,
other than to be nosey?? would they hand over all the records, like if i was
being subject to a stasi style observation operation, or would they handily
forget to hand over those pages listing what they have been observing me
doing so far?
You don't need to specify any reason at all - but you should state
that you are making your request for a copy of all the records DWP
hold about you under The Data Protection Act.

There is a laid down procedure for dealing with such requests.

Certain records *can* be exempted from release - for instance if they
refer to an ongoing investigation or they contain thrid party data.

Clelrical (paper) records are not kept forever so if you've been
claiming a long time then some of them may have been purged. Also -
there's no single box marked "Gazz's stuff". To obtain the clerical
papers can take some time as they need to be requested from remote
storage for Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, JSA etc. Likewise,
computer records may be purged periodically.

But basically - unless there is an specific exemption - yes - you are
fully entitiled to see everything. Don't get excited though - the
prints outs are not very interesting and need a higher degree in
Gobbledegook to understand. And even the clerical papers get boring.
After all - you'll have seen most of them before when you filled them
in. It's also highly unlikely that they will contain copies of
computer generated letters - that just doesn't happen as they're
issued out direct without a copy being seen locally.
 
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R

Robbie

Gran said:
You don't need to specify any reason at all - but you should state
that you are making your request for a copy of all the records DWP
hold about you under The Data Protection Act.

There is a laid down procedure for dealing with such requests.

Certain records *can* be exempted from release - for instance if they
refer to an ongoing investigation or they contain thrid party data.

Clelrical (paper) records are not kept forever so if you've been
claiming a long time then some of them may have been purged. Also -
there's no single box marked "Gazz's stuff". To obtain the clerical
papers can take some time as they need to be requested from remote
storage for Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, JSA etc. Likewise,
computer records may be purged periodically.

But basically - unless there is an specific exemption - yes - you are
fully entitiled to see everything. Don't get excited though - the
prints outs are not very interesting and need a higher degree in
Gobbledegook to understand. And even the clerical papers get boring.
After all - you'll have seen most of them before when you filled them
in. It's also highly unlikely that they will contain copies of
computer generated letters - that just doesn't happen as they're
issued out direct without a copy being seen locally.
The Data Protection Act also extends to any recordings the DWP hold of
telephone calls you have made to them, though I'm not sure how that
would work - whether they have a record somewhere of calls you have made
or whether you have to note the date, time etc you spoke to them.
 
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M

Mike

Robbie said:
The Data Protection Act also extends to any recordings the DWP hold of
telephone calls you have made to them, though I'm not sure how that
would work - whether they have a record somewhere of calls you have made
or whether you have to note the date, time etc you spoke to them.
Depends on the computer systems used.

The Pension Service records almost all calls however unless the call
links to the CAM system they can only be located if the customer is
either very specific about the time & date, by their caller ID or by the
telephone login of the person they spoke to. Even now there are 10
centres taking calls so knowing which centre they spoke to is pretty
important as it's a national 0845 no and calls can be shunted anywhere
within the network.

If the customer is making a teleclaim (i.e over the phone) each call has
an ID which is logged against their CAM record contact history so it is
quite easy to locate and listen/record a call.

That said some phones in each office are not recorded at all
(managements normally) and the VERINT system does occasionally go down
so there will be no record of calls at all during downtime.

Mike
 

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