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Reassessment of incapacity benefits

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1 Reassessment of incapacity benefits
Incapacity benefits – Changes you need to know about July 2011 In this presentation, I will be: Explaining changes that are being made to incapacity benefits and the rationale for these changes Explaining the impact of these changes on claimants and which claimants will be affected Signposting you to the additional sources of information available to support you and your claimants We will need to work in partnership with you to ensure a smooth transition for claimants. We recognise the importance of working with local groups such as you to support our claimants through this process. It is important to have open lines of communications, clear escalation routes and to receive feedback when something works, as much as when it doesn't.

2 What are the changes and when are they taking place?
The trial for the reassessment of Incapacity Benefit claimants in Aberdeen and Burnley began in October last year. Since October 2010 and through to Spring 2014 claimants who receive Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Income Support paid on the grounds of illness or disability will be assessed for Employment and Support Allowance. Those assessed fully capable of work will be invited to make a claim to Jobseeker’s Allowance, be able to claim Income Support (if they are entitled under a different condition of entitlement) or will move off benefit. Those who cannot work or have limited capability to work will move to Employment and Support Allowance. Over 1,000 claimants have now been informed of the outcome of their reassessment.  ‘Incapacity benefits’ includes both Incapacity Benefit and Income Support paid to people on the grounds of incapacity (including Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) cases. Moving people onto Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance will mean they get the right help and support to find work. At the end of this period, the intention is to have no Incapacity Benefit claimants, no Income Support claimants claiming on the grounds of incapacity, and no-one on Severe Disability Allowance (SDA). However, there will be a very small number of Severe Disability Allowance claimants over state pension age that won’t be able to be reassessed. The Trial tested a new process providing a number of additional support measures for claimants as they go through their reassessment journey. These additional support measures were welcomed by staff and claimants. We wanted to ensure that the experience gained in the trial was shared across all of the centres that will be dealing with the reassessment of Incapacity Benefit claimants before we moved to the full, national roll-out in April. So we began a limited, introductory phase in every centre carried out in the same controlled conditions as Burnley and Aberdeen. This ensured the process remained robust and we continued to learn valuable lessons as more claimants were involved in more areas across the country.       At the end of February, we began this introductory phase. Letters were sent to 1,000 claimants a week nationally, marking the commencement of their reassessment.   In April, we stepped up the implementation and increased the number of cases to around 7,000 a week.  From May we began processing the full caseload of around 11,000 cases per week. This steady ramp up of activity ensured that Jobcentre Plus and its Partners were ready and could deal with the volume of cases as they built.  claimants' reactions to the changes were closely monitored and lessons applied. 

3 How will this affect claimants?
Most claimants who receive Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Income Support paid on the grounds of illness or disability will be assessed to see if they qualify for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This change will not affect claimants if: they claim Employment and Support Allowance already; or they are due to reach State Pension age before 6 April The State Pension age for women will be between 61 years and 11 months to 62 years. For men it is age 65. As part of this reassessment the majority of incapacity benefits claimants will undergo a Work Capability Assessment to determine their future benefit entitlement.

4 How will this affect claimants?
Current incapacity benefits claimants will be referred to Atos Healthcare, our medical services provider, for consideration of a Work Capability Assessment. The assessment will concentrate on what people can do rather than only focusing on what they can’t. claimants will continue to receive their current benefit (subject to continuing to satisfy the conditions of entitlement) until a decision is made on their case upon receipt of the Work Capability Assessment outcome. Most (but not all) current incapacity benefits claimants have a Personal Capability Assessment (PCA) on a regular basis to assess how their health condition or disability affects their ability to work. Prior to these changes, all Personal Capability Assessment prompts will be automatically rescheduled to ensure volumes are smoothed out over the reassessment period. However, some claimants who are currently exempt from having a PCA will be expected to undertake a Work Capability Assessment. We will use the robust and accurate Work Capability Assessment to support this move. The assessment will concentrate on what people can do rather than only focusing on what they can’t. Professor Malcolm Harrington led an independent review of the Work Capability Assessment – the findings, alongside the Government’s response, were published on 23 November The review found that the Work Capability Assessment is the right process, but that improvements could be made. As a result we will be; improving the capability and confidence of Decision Makers in Jobcentre Plus; putting in place ‘champions’ with additional expertise in mental, cognitive and intellectual conditions in each ATOS Medical Examination Centre; and making the Work Capability Assessment a more compassionate process.

5 Why are we reassessing incapacity benefits claimants?
It has always been the intention to replace the current working age incapacity benefits, once Employment and Support Allowance was established. We are keen to phase out these benefits as it makes no sense to have several different benefits for claimants with health conditions. There are currently around 2.6 million people on incapacity benefits. We know that many of them, with the right support, could and indeed do want to work but the current system doesn't give them that option. For someone on incapacity benefits it could be a considerable length of time before they have to speak to anyone at the DWP about their condition or their work options. Moving people onto Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance will mean they get the right help and support to find work. Through the Work Programme, we will ensure that claimants who, following reassessment, are moved to ESA or claim JSA receive support to get back to work which is tailored to their particular circumstances.

6 Concentrating on what people can do rather than only focusing on what they can’t
There is strong evidence that long periods out of work can contribute to: 2 to 3 times decrease in general health 2 to 3 times increase in mental health problems 20% greater risk of mortality Source - Waddell, Burton, ‘Is Work Good for Your Health and Wellbeing?’: 2006 There is growing evidence that work can: Promote recovery from both mental and physical health problems minimise the risk of the physical, mental and social effects of long-term unemployment such as social exclusion and poverty Source - Black: Carol, ‘Working for a Healthier Tomorrow, Review of the Health of Britain’s Working Population’: 2008 Disabled people and people with long-term health conditions have a right to access a wider range of job opportunities and be better enabled to stay in work. Research confirms that the vast majority of people are better off in work and that work is good for people's health, income and well being. Labelling people on benefit as “incapable of work” is not only inappropriate, but also inaccurate. We are not forcing anybody on incapacity benefits or Employment and Support Allowance into work. We are, however, determined to remove the perverse incentives to stay on benefits within the existing Incapacity Benefit system where the longer you are out of work the more money you get. That simply does not make sense.

7 When a decision has been made – Employment and Support Allowance
Where a claimant is assessed as eligible for Employment and Support Allowance their claim will be transferred automatically. We are determined that the transition will run smoothly for all claimants. For those who transfer to Employment and Support Allowance we will ensure that benefit payments are not disrupted. No one moving from their existing benefit to Employment and Support Allowance will see a reduction in the level of their benefit entitlement at the point of change. There are two groups in Employment and Support Allowance, with different allowances and conditionality: Work Related Activity Group Support Group

8 Employment and Support Allowance – Work Related Activity Group
Those for whom we assess an eventual return to work is realistic will be placed in the Employment and Support Allowance Work-Related Activity group. If a claimant is placed in the Work Related Activity Group, they will be expected to take part in work focused interviews with their personal adviser. If a claimant is placed in the Work Related Activity Group they will get support to help them prepare for suitable work. In return, they will receive a Work Related Activity component in addition to their basic rate of benefit.  If a claimant refuses to go to the Work Focused Interviews, or to take part fully in the Work Focused Interviews, it may affect their entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance. Those for whom we assess an eventual return to work is realistic will be placed in the Employment and Support Allowance work related activity group. They will have to take part in prescribed activity in order to retain their full benefit.

9 Employment and Support Allowance – Support Group
If a claimant is placed in the Support Group because their illness or disability has a severe effect on their ability to work, they will not be expected to take part in any work related activity to receive their benefit. They can do so on a voluntary basis if they want to. The claimant will receive a support component in addition to their basic rate of benefit. If a claimant is placed in the Support Group they do not have to go to interviews, but they can ask to talk to a personal adviser if they want to. Those who are most disabled or terminally ill will not be expected to look for work and will get the extra support they need. The Work Capability Assessment identifies the most severely disabled people and those with the most severe health conditions, to be placed in the Support Group. They will not be expected to look for work or undertake work related activity unless they wish to and will get the extra support they need. We have developed additional sources of information focusing on how we will support claimants who need extra help in consultation with claimant representative groups and advisory bodies.

10 When a decision has been made – Jobseeker’s Allowance
If a claimant is found capable of work they may be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. They will be given the option to make a claim when they are informed that their claim for Employment and Support Allowance has been disallowed. There are two types of Jobseeker's Allowance: Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance Jobcentre Plus can pay this for up to 182 days. It’s based on how much National Insurance a claimant has paid. Generally, self-employed contributions will not help a claimant qualify for contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance This is based on a claimants income and savings. They may get this if they have not paid enough National Insurance contributions (NICs) (or they have only paid contributions for self-employment) and they are on a low income. Those assessed as fully capable of work will be invited to make a claim to Jobseeker’s Allowance or move off benefits and those who cannot work or have limited capability to work will move to Employment and Support Allowance. claimants who have been claiming Incapacity Benefit are likely to qualify for contributions-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. claimants who have been claiming Income Support on the grounds of illness or disability will most likely need to claim Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

11 When a decision has been made – Underlying entitlement to Income Support
Some claimants who are found capable of work will be entitled to Income Support on other grounds. For example, if they have young children. Where this is the case, and we are aware of the entitlement, the claimant will be given the option of continuing to claim Income Support. Although the amount of benefit may change. The claimant will not need to make a new claim. If we are not aware of the underlying entitlement the claimant may be able to make a new claim for Income Support.

12 Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit calculations may be affected by reassessment. claimants moving to income-related benefits will receive maximum eligible help with rent and council tax. claimants moving off benefits will be contacted by the Local Authority to review their entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. For claimants moving to contributory Employment and Support Allowance (paid without income-related ESA) from IB/SDA (paid without Income Support) any disability premium will be removed from the Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit calculation and replaced by either the work-related activity component or the support component. Where the Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit amount increases, the higher amount will be awarded immediately. Where the Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit amount decreases, a transitional addition will be awarded to protect the overall benefit income. claimants appealing a decision not to award Employment and Support Allowance who are paid contributory Employment and Support Allowance pending the appeal hearing will also have their Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit entitlement transitionally protected whilst their appeal is processed. claimants moving off benefits altogether may continue to receive Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit once the incapacity benefit ends, however, the amount of help with rent and council tax will depend on the new levels of income. The Local Authority will contact the claimant to ask for details of their new financial circumstances. From the date the contributory Employment and Support Allowance becomes payable, the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit calculation will be based on the structure of the Employment and Support Allowance. This will mean that the disability premium will be removed from the Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit calculation and replaced by the work-related activity component or the support component, depending on which of the components is awarded in Employment and Support Allowance. A transitional addition will be awarded to a claimants Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit if this award decreases. This means no one moving to contributory Employment and Support Allowance will lose benefit income at the point of change. claimants who appeal and are awarded assessment phase income-related Employment and Support pending the appeal hearing will receive maximum eligible help with their rent and council tax. If a claimant is entitled to assessment phase contributory Employment and Support Allowance, they will receive the same help with rent and council tax as if they had been awarded contributory Employment and Support Allowance, pending the appeal. This will mean that the disability premium will be removed – however a transitional addition will be awarded to protect the claimants Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit. claimant are reminded in the letters sent to them about the reassessment of their incapacity benefit that it is their responsibility to inform their council of any changes in circumstances that could affect their ongoing entitlement to Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit. However, for the purposes of the Incapacity Benefit Reassessment exercise, Jobcentre Plus will also automatically inform local authorities of the changes to claimant’s benefit entitlement. Detailed information on how reassessment will affect claimants HB/CTB can be found on DWPs housing benefit information pages:

13 Understanding our claimants
We have undertaken extensive field research with incapacity benefits claimants and Jobcentre Plus staff. Outlined below is a summary of claimant categories identified, their average length of time out of work and the proportion of reassessment population each group represent. claimant Group Average duration on incapacity benefits Proportion of reassessment population Aged with other physical conditions 7.7 years 18% Men aged 55-60 8.6 years 9% Aged with musculo-skeletal conditions 7.8 years Aged under 35 5.7 years 12% Aged with mental health conditions 24% < 5 years from state pension age 9.7 years 5% IB Youth and SDA claimants 11.7 years 15% Over 15 years on incapacity benefits 16 years 8% Our analysis led us to identify 8 key claimant groups, each with a distinctive profile and specific challenges. Our research has helped us to understand how incapacity benefits claimants differ in their attitudes, behaviours and concerns with respect to their benefits, our plans for reassessment, and in helping them move closer to work. It has helped us to address the needs of different claimant categories so that, wherever possible, it is a positive experience for them.

14 IB Reassessment journey
Someone calls me to give further information and advice, find out if I need extra help with the process Someone calls me to arrange a WCA WRAG Support Group I attend the WFI Appeals I write a letter / call to appeal* I receive a letter informing me that changes are about to commence and advising me on the next steps The Jobcentre contacts me to arrange a WFI I attend the WCA with Atos I receive a letter with my ESA award notification Atos call me to arrange & conduct a WFHRA~ ALLOWED Someone calls to gather any missing information and explain the next steps (this TP only applies to claimants with missing information) I receive a medical questionnaire to fill out I become aware about forthcoming changes to my benefits I receive a letter informing me of benefit disallowance and the WCA outcome DISALLOWED 1 2 3 4 5 6 9 11 12 13 14 15 Someone calls to inform me of the entitlement decision and advises me of my options. If I wish to claim JSA I am transferred to someone who takes my claim details 7 I receive a letter with my JSA award notification 17 *if claimant calls they will be told appeal needs to be in writing Someone calls to advise on ESA entitlement and next steps in the ESA regime Someone calls to confirm information for reconsideration^ 16 8 10 08/09/10 Version: 4.0 ~WFHRAs have been suspended for 2 years from 19/07/2010 It is crucial that third party organisations fully understand the process and the rationale for the changes as it is likely that your claimants will be affected by these changes and you will be supporting them through their individual journeys. We have undertaken a range of activities to invite third party organisations to comment on our communications products and feed into the development of future communications products. We have been testing out external communications with CRGs as part of the reassessment trials with focus groups run in Burnley and Aberdeen. A workshop at the DWP Annual Forum on 7 July, a national stakeholder event at the end of July and subsequent engagement events have been held. At workshops the claimant representative groups present were asked to provide feedback on the sorts of information and communications products they would like to see to support them during the reassessment. We have used this feedback to help inform our communications plans moving forward. A range of communications for our external stakeholders have been produced as a result of this feedback and are available on the DWP Adviser website.

15 IB Reassessment journey, explained step by step
In response to feedback/lessons learnt from the implementation of Employment and Support Allowance, we have added additional contact points to the IB Reassessment journey. Simplifying the journey for the claimant in this way, enables us to: provide further information to the claimant at each step provide the claimant with more opportunities to ask questions explain what will happen next so that they understand exactly where they are in the journey Our findings from the implementation and live running of Employment and Support Allowance have informed our business design, communications approach and plans to evaluate this process. Additional claimant contact points have been added to the IB Reassessment journey to enable further information to be provided to the claimant about what will happen next and also to provide the opportunity for the claimant to ask any questions.

16 IB Reassessment journey, explained step by step
Step 1 - claimant may become aware of forthcoming changes to their benefit via the media. Step 2 - claimant will receive a letter informing them that changes are about to commence and advising them on next steps. Step 3 – claimant will receive a call to provide further information and to find out if they need extra help. Step 1 This may prompt them to contact you for more information or advice. Step 2 The claimant first receives official notification of these changes via a letter. This will help prepare them for the change and allow them time to absorb the information, as well asking them to confirm/provide their telephone number to enable future contact. [show example of letter] Step 3 Shortly after, the claimant is called to confirm receipt of the letter, put them at ease by talking them through the process, answer any queries and to identify if they need extra support. If a claimant has speech or hearing difficulties they can contact us using a textphone/Texbox between Monday and Friday, from 8am – 6pm. In addition to this, we have identified a range of claimant requirements and potential “what if” scenarios to ensure we support claimants who need extra help through this process. These include providing access to face to face services where this is necessary, audio forms, braille, induction loop, large print, a lift or ramp, sign language, typetalk or minicom, provision of a wide doorway and so on.

17 IB Reassessment journey, explained step by step
Step 4 - claimant will receive a limited capability for work questionnaire to fill out. Step 5 - claimant will receive a call from Atos Healthcare to arrange a Work Capability Assessment. Step 6 - claimant attends the Work Capability Assessment with Atos Healthcare. Step 7 - claimant will receive a call to gather any missing information and to explain the next steps (this will only apply to claimants for whom there is missing information). Step 4 To decide if a claimant is entitled for Employment and Support Allowance we need to assess and understand how their illness or disability affects the amount and type of work they could do. We will send the claimant a questionnaire to complete and we will use the information they provide to decide if they need to attend a Work Capability Assessment. Using the information from the questionnaire, the Work Capability Assessment and any other evidence supplied, we will then decide if they are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance. Steps 5 & 6 A health care professional will assess the claimant and advise Jobcentre Plus how their illness or disability affects them in their everyday life. Atos Healthcare will contact the claimant by telephone to arrange the appointment and will also send them a letter with the appointment details and directions to the medical examination centre. It is important that they attend this assessment if they are asked to, or their benefit may be affected. We then decide if the claimant is entitled to Employment and Support Allowance. [show example of ESA50] If the claimant cannot attend the assessment, they should contact Medical Services beforehand to arrange another date. The claimant can either be accompanied to their Work Capability Assessment or it can be conducted at home if the claimant is not able to leave the house to attend an assessment. Limited capability for work questionnaire

18 IB Reassessment journey – if a claimant is entitled to Employment and Support Allowance
Step 8 – claimant will receive a call to advise on Employment and Support Allowance entitlement and next steps. Step 9 – claimant will receive an Employment and Support Allowance award notification. Step 10 – Following careful consideration, it has been decided that the Work Focused Health Related Assessment (WFHRA) element of the Work Capability Assessment will be suspended for a period of 2 years. Step 11 – claimant will be contacted to arrange a Work Focused Interview (WFI). Step 12 – claimant attends the Work Focused Interview. Step 8 No one moving from their existing benefit to Employment and Support Allowance will see a reduction in the level of their benefit entitlement at the point of change. Reassessment decisions will be given to claimants in an outbound phone call from a decision maker in a Benefit Centre. They will aim to explain the decision so that the claimant fully understands and accepts it. Despite this, we anticipate that we will need to continue to handle appeals against some decisions. We want to keep the claimant fully informed throughout the reassessment process, and we want to avoid the need for the claimant to have to contact us for an explanation when they receive their decision letter. We will not be able to guarantee when the claimant will have received the decision letter. In using this approach, we are taking the earliest possible opportunity to alert the claimant to the outcome of their reassessment, and to explain in full all the options available to them; this will include their right of appeal. Step 9 [show example of Employment and Support Allowance award notification letter] Step 10 The Work Focused Health Related Assessment (WFHRA) was introduced in October 2008 as part of the Work Capability Assessment. The WFHRA is currently undertaken with individuals in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) of ESA and performed by a healthcare professional. To date ongoing external evaluation has shown mixed results for the WFHRA. Following careful consideration, it has been decided that the WFHRA element of the Work Capability Assessment will be suspended for a period of 2 years. The WFHRA’s suspension for the next 2 years will provide an opportunity for DWP to reconsider the WFHRA’s purpose and delivery. It also improves the capacity to focus on and cope with the demands of the reassessment of existing incapacity benefit claimants. Individuals in the WRAG will retain the crucial support of their Personal Advisers who help them focus on what they can do, taking any medical condition into account. Step 11-12 This is a face-to-face interview with an adviser. The purpose is to help the claimant to identify work they could do and the steps they could take to find work.

19 IB Reassessment journey – if a claimant is not entitled to receive Employment and Support Allowance
Step 13 – A Jobcentre Plus decision maker reviews the outcome of the claimant’s Work Capability Assessment – face to face assessment, Atos Healthcare’s medical report, the contents of the limited capability for work medical questionnaire and any other available information. The Jobcentre Plus decision maker will reach a view as to whether or not the claimant will be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance on the information available. Where, on the basis of the available evidence, the decision maker does not consider that the claimant’s existing award qualifies for conversion to Employment and Support Allowance, they will, before making a final decision, phone the claimant and explain to them why they think their award does not qualify for conversion. They will also ask the claimant if they have any additional evidence which they feel the decision maker needs to be aware of. If, following this discussion, the decision maker decides that the claimant does not qualify for Employment and Support Allowance they will inform them accordingly. Step 13 If based on the available evidence the Jobcentre Plus decision maker believes the claimant is likely to be disallowed ESA they will call the claimant and explain why they think they may not be entitled. They will ask the claimant if there is any additional information that they feel has not been taken into account in making the decision. If the claimant provides additional information which could lead to the decision being changed the decision maker will ask the claimant to provide evidence to support this. The claimant will need to send in the evidence to JCP. On receiving this information a final decision will then be made. Asking for any additional information will make sure we have as much evidence as possible when making decisions. This should improve the quality of decision making. If the claimant is disallowed the Jobcentre Plus decision maker will discuss the claimant’s options and next steps. If the claimant is eligible for Employment and Support Allowance, Jobcentre Plus will telephone them and inform the claimant of their decision and explain what the claimant will need to do next. The claimant’s benefit will be transferred automatically and there will be no break in the payments they receive. We are also improving contact with claimants making new claims to ESA who are found fit for work. From the end of this year an outbound call will be made to all Employment and Support Allowance claimants who have undergone a Work Capability Assessment and been found fit for work. The outbound call for Well Enough to Work will be made by a claimant Service Officer and will focus on the claimant’s options going forward, but unlike reassessment it will not include an explanation of the decision. The call for reassessment claimants will be carried out by a Decision Maker and this will include an explanation of the decision. Step 14 [show example(s) of disallowance letter(s)] Step 17 [show example of Jobseeker’s Allowance award notification letter]

20 IB Reassessment journey – if a claimant is not entitled to receive Employment and Support Allowance
The Jobcentre Plus decision maker will then advise the claimant of their options. If they wish to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance they will be transferred to someone who will take their claim details. Step 14 – claimant will receive a letter informing them of benefit disallowance and the Work Capability Assessment outcome. Step 17 – claimant will receive a letter with their Jobseeker’s Allowance award notification. Step 13 If based on the available evidence the Jobcentre Plus decision maker believes the claimant is likely to be disallowed ESA they will call the claimant and explain why they think they may not be entitled. They will ask the claimant if there is any additional information that they feel has not been taken into account in making the decision. If the claimant provides additional information which could lead to the decision being changed the decision maker will ask the claimant to provide evidence to support this. The claimant will need to send in the evidence to JCP. On receiving this information a final decision will then be made. Asking for any additional information will make sure we have as much evidence as possible when making decisions. This should improve the quality of decision making. If the claimant is disallowed the Jobcentre Plus decision maker will discuss the claimant’s options and next steps. If the claimant is eligible for Employment and Support Allowance, Jobcentre Plus will telephone them and inform the claimant of their decision and explain what the claimant will need to do next. The claimant’s benefit will be transferred automatically and there will be no break in the payments they receive. We are also improving contact with claimants making new claims to ESA who are found fit for work. From the end of this year an outbound call will be made to all Employment and Support Allowance claimants who have undergone a Work Capability Assessment and been found fit for work. The outbound call for Well Enough to Work will be made by a claimant Service Officer and will focus on the claimant’s options going forward, but unlike reassessment it will not include an explanation of the decision. The call for reassessment claimants will be carried out by a Decision Maker and this will include an explanation of the decision. Step 14 [show example(s) of disallowance letter(s)] Step 17 [show example of Jobseeker’s Allowance award notification letter]

21 IB Reassessment journey– appealing a decision
Step 15 – claimant will write or call with a request to appeal. If a claimant appeals a decision they will continue to receive the assessment rate for Employment and Support Allowance, pending the outcome of the decision. To appeal against a decision the claimant must make the appeal in writing. Step 16 – Upon receipt of an appeal a Jobcentre Plus decision maker will undertake a reconsideration of the original decision. This will involve a call to the claimant to confirm that they have provided all of the information needed. This is to ensure that the Jobcentre Plus decision maker has all of the available information before undertaking the reconsideration. The Jobcentre Plus decision maker will then undertake the reconsideration, notify the claimant and continue with appeals process where it is appropriate to do so. Steps 15-16 If the claimant thinks the decision is wrong, they will need to get in touch with Jobcentre Plus within one calendar month from the date of issue of the decision letter. If contact is made later, then we may not be able to help. The claimant, or someone else who has the authority to act on their behalf, can: ask us to explain our decision ask us to write to the claimant with the reasons for our decision ask us to look at our decision again (the claimant may think we have overlooked some facts or they may have more information to give us which affects our decision), or appeal against our decision to an independent tribunal (but this must be in writing) The claimant can do any of these actions, or they can do all of them. If a claimant appeals we will automatically reconsider our original decision as part of the appeals process.

22 In the [enter region/country name]
Data on local IB claimant volumes/by type Local initiatives relevant to current IB claimants Locations of Atos Healthcare centres Local appeals volumes Local escalation routes within Benefit Centres for enquiries Details of provision and Work Programme providers [This is an optional free-format slide to give a local context for the changes]

23 Further information and useful contacts
[Insert partnership managers address] [Insert partnership managers telephone number] We have also developed information that our claimants and stakeholders can access direct. This includes a page on Directgov (www.direct.gov.uk/ibchanges or for Welsh speaking claimants) and information on the DWP Adviser webpage at: Insert your contact details in the above slide. Should any of your audience require this briefing pack or any other information products translated into Braille, this service is available through the PASS contract. For more information please visit: We have also developed information that our claimants and stakeholders can access directly from the DWP Adviser web page or We have communicated how we have used this consultation at various national forums and events and through our regular external stakeholder communications, InTouch and TouchBase.


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