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Hundreds of DLA claimants to be contacted under new DWP 'Correctness Programme' initiative

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Jon (not verified)
Jon's picture
Another one received

Well as above I too have just had the pooh scared out of me.. I called my neighbor who helps out and asked him wtf as I have a broken spine. All medical proof and something you cant fake! Anyway I thought what is going on here when I read the letter saying "we have recently recieved information which casts some doubt on your continuing entitlement to DLA" Then of course it goes on by saying they wont tell you what or who it came from because of the section 30 freedom of information act.

 

I just cant believe this.. I am scared out of my head.. and I phoned the guy up and he just said fill in the form.. no "customer care" so to speak.. and very grey on the phone.. I googled this and lucklily found that I am not the only one in this boat.. which makes me think its just a review and they really need to work on there wording!

 

John
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Reply to Jon.

Yes, it is causing much undue panic and disabled organisations are unhappy.

 

People should raise this issue with their MP - http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/<

Angel (not verified)
Jon's picture
http://www.nao.org.uk/publica

http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/1011/dwp_customer_error.aspx<

John, please download the full repot from here and tell us about the new anti-fraud initiatives and anything you know about  the new Benefit Intergrity Centres. I have had a letter from one and I am worried by the report mentioning that they will be contactng those deemed at high risk of fraud.  How doe th BIC's relate to the rest of the set up? What information do they share, and is a Benefits Integity Centre the  place that opeates the national fraud snitch line?

Fear of the new and unknown...

John
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Angel - Fraud in the benefits system.

The controls and checks in routine business processes can help reduce error.
 

Processing claims by telephone, for example, allows the Department to prompt
customers directly to tell them all relevant information. The Department’s two agencies,
Jobcentre Plus and the Pension, Disability and Carers Service, have both also initiated
additional measures aimed at improving customer service and reducing customer error.
Some of these interventions cover fraud and administrative error as well as customer
error. We found that Jobcentre Plus had recently rolled out one intervention specifically
targeted to identify and correct customer error in Income Support and Jobseeker’s
Allowance cases. This initiative, which started in June 2010, involves staff contacting
customers to check for undeclared changes in their circumstances. Over the next
two-to-three years the Department plans to contact the majority of existing customers
for these two benefits to ensure they are complying with benefi t requirements.

In addition to the initiatives identifi ed above, the Department has fundamentally
changed its approach to communicating with customers. The Department has
reduced the number of customer information leaflets to 47 from 245, following past
recommendations from the National Audit Offi ce and the Committee of Public Accounts,
and has made them simpler and easier to understand. The exercise was primarily aimed
at improving customer information and should also reduce the number of customer
contacts with the Department. The leaflets inform customers of their entitlements and
responsibilities. Informing customers of their responsibilities was the key focus of the
Department’s error reduction strategy, but we found little evidence that consideration
was given to assessing the impact revised leaflets would have on customer error.
The
Department commissioned independent research in 2008 to help understand how
customers use the website. The results informed improvements to website design,
particularly as content migrated to www.direct.gov.uk< as Jobcentre Plus and The
Pension Service websites closed during 2009.


The Department is also implementing a ‘Tell Us Once’ project which aims to reduce
the number of times a customer needs to report a death, birth or change of address
to different government departments. The Department is working with local authorities
and HM Revenue and Customs on the project and expects it to be completed by
March 2011. The Department is in the process of evaluating the project, which it expects
to have reduced the likelihood of customer error arising from confusion about how to
notify government departments of these three events.


The principle of better coordination and communication between different benefits
systems, which underpins the ‘Tell Us Once’ project, could have a significant beneficial
impact. The Department is implementing a project that will enable the transfer of data
on benefit entitlement between central government and local authorities responsible for
Housing Benefit. The Automated Transfers to Local Authority Systems (ATLAS) project
will potentially have a significant impact on customer error as automatic updates on
any changes in a customer’s entitlement to Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or
other benefits will have a direct impact on their entitlement to Housing Benefit. The Fraud
and Error Strategy Division are represented on the programme board and the steering
committee for the project.

The Department recognises there is the scope to do risk profiling to a greater extent


Predictive modelling is a form of statistical analysis that allows organisations to
extract information from data and to use it to predict future outcomes. More specifically,
it captures the relationships between variables in the underlying data and uses them to
predict future trends and behaviour patterns. Predictive modelling is used extensively
by organisations across the commercial sector for a broad range of purposes, such as
preventing fraud and error and identifying patterns in customer behaviour. We asked
KPMG LLP to identify best practice and lessons learnt from organisations in the private
and public sector that have implemented predictive modelling techniques.


The Department recognises there is the scope to use risk profling to a greater
extent to better target its interventions at those customers who are most likely to make
a mistake. KPMG LLP found that the level of resources required to develop predictive
models is typically low and it can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of
activities and interventions. The value of any analysis could be enhanced even further
by supplementing internally generated data with external data sets. Having undertaken
pilot testing of predictive analytics with private sector providers, the Department is
exploring the scope to use predictive modelling techniques to predict future trends in
fraud and error. This point is also recognised in the Department’s 2010 fraud and error
strategy, which focuses on preventing customer error by using a wide range of data on
customers, drawing on products available in both the public and private sectors.

Current systems do not enable the Department to understand whether certain
groups such as older people, or those suffering from ill health, are disproportionately
more likely to make errors.
The 2010 fraud and error strategy sets out the Department’s
intention to develop a new integrated risk and intelligence unit, which will be a hub for
data and intelligence on fraud, error and debt. The Department will use data matching
techniques and private sector best practice to target its preventative activities on those
cases at higher risk of fraud and error. The Department also plans to introduce a new
system enhancement between December 2010 and February 2011, termed the ‘Centric
Project’. The Centric Project is intended to put all the customer account data within one
data repository, and provide an opportunity to build customer profi les to identify cases at
unusually high risk of fraud and error at the application stage.

steve (not verified)
Jon's picture
casting doubt on claim

Hi

    I to have recently recieved one of these letters , and have completed and returned it. However i am a war veteran with arthritis on knees and spine along with prolapsed disc, I also suffer from ptsd and boy has this letter kicked that of big style, if this is just a way of reviewing claims then the sick so and so who drafted this form needs to send out written apology's to all concerned..

Jon (not verified)
Jon's picture
I completly agree, I have

I completly agree, I have filled in the form, due to be sent off. but decided to give them as much if not more information than they can handle.. a medical report ad ltr from my GP. letters supporting my claim from friends, news papper articals where I have been featured in as a avocate for disabled people. I would love to see what type of reply I get.

 

I have never suffered from stress or depression although I think I am starting to feel it... I really do feel ill!!!!! this whole process has caused me to go through a rollercoaster of emotions.

 

 

I will keep writing and let everyone know what has happened..not just drop off the face of the earth so to speak.

 

Jon (not verified)
Jon's picture
sent a msg to my mp

I have had a reply asking for my address and details.. looks like they will have a look at least and are not just flobbing me off. Considering I have been on the BBC and in local news papers with a "obvious" disability I think my MP Mr Davis might look upon this as serious.. I am hopefull to say the least.

John
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Sent a msg to my MP

Be interested in the response and how they deal with this. Please keep us up to date. Thank you.

Added note: Want to write to your MP http://www.writetothem.com/<

kevin
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6000 share ‘heartbreaking’ posts in DLA blog campaign

Organisers of an online campaign to raise awareness of the importance of disability living allowance (DLA) in the face of government cuts and reforms say they are “overwhelmed” by its success.

The One Month Before Heartbreak< “blogswarm” encouraged people to post blogs about disability over the three days from 14 January – one month before the end of the government’s consultation on its DLA reforms, on Valentine’s Day.

More than 170 blogs have been posted and read by thousands of people, although the final figures have not yet been compiled.

Kaliya Franklin, who blogs under the name Bendy Girl and helped run One Month Before Heartbreak, said: “What we are doing is reaching people who wouldn’t traditionally have engaged with disability rights, people who would not have seen themselves as disabled because they are ill.”

The posts will be used to inform an official response to the consultation, being put together by disabled campaigners from The Broken of Britain< blog.

One blogger, ‘Jimboeth’, wrote: “DLA is not allowing anyone an outlandish lifestyle (unlike say, bankers’ bonuses). It merely allows a small number of people in this country a life. It allows them to live. That’s what the ‘L’ in DLA stands for. Living. As in ‘not dying’.”

‘Latentexistence’ wrote: “Disabled people were treated badly enough by the previous government. The actions of this one in cutting benefits and making the criteria even stricter are despicable.”

Tim Rushby-Smith wrote: “It’s easy to shout loudly about benefit fraud and the ‘Nanny State’, but a small amount of scrutiny soon reveals that the majority of those affected by the cuts will be people who depend on relatively modest state support to allow them a reasonable quality of life.”

And Sue Marsh posted about “the culture of fear” created around so-called “benefits cheats” and her right to take advantage of the rare moments when she is well enough to dance, play with her children, or take a motorbike ride with her husband. 

Franklin said she was “overwhelmed by how well it went”, with almost 20,000 blog pages viewed so far, and this number rising all the time.

She said: “I don’t believe the British public want this at all. They believe that people in need will be protected.

“David Cameron should look at this and hang his head in shame. The way the students are personally angry with Nick Clegg, disabled people are angry with David Cameron.

“Disability is like an international family, it links us. Ivan (Cameron’s disabled son, who died two years ago) was very much part of that family, and there is personal betrayal felt by disabled people of all kinds of political allegiance – we all had a degree of trust in David Cameron because he was Ivan’s dad.”

http://www.dls.org.uk/rights/News/2011/January/10.html<

n/a
Jon (not verified)
Jon's picture
Recieved a ltr from my MP

I will happily scan this if you want to see but in short it states that he is unhappy with the situtation and will approach the mp in parliment who deals with dla issues... and ensures me he will reply personally again once he has a answer as to why so many people are being sent this form.. And also the wording.

John
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Recieved a ltr from my MP

Jon, I am sure we all want to pass on our thanks for this. It is important to raise it in this manner as the more MP's raise it the more the ministers have to account for it.  It is worth notiing that asking for your MP to ask a question at Work and Pensions questions gets this issue on the Public record via Hansard.

Look forward to hearing how your MP has progressed.

anonymous (not verified)
Jon's picture
medical

Been asked to go for a medical after sending in dla80 form with hospital letter and doctors comments.  has anyone been on medical?

anonymous (not verified)
Jon's picture
dla review or suspected fraud

hi there....my partner has had fybromyalgia for many years....for some time it was with a carers allowance and then that was reviewed and althought it was still deemed serious enough for the higher rate of dla in mobility we lost the middle rate part and so now get low rate care. today my partner received a letter casting doubt on his eligibility to claim and saying that info had been received. It's very frightening and as my partners disability sometimes doesn't always manifest itself as always physical we are wondering whether this has been seen and reported...however, having read many other posting on this ...I guess it makes everyone paranoid and nervous....

My partner has bad depression and this has pretty much plunged him into a spiral of dispair ...to be frank i am worried for his mental health. last year he tried to start work through the shaw trust but unfortunately due to his condition has been unable to carry on and so this week we were about to contact them and tell them that he was not going to carry on.....could this be a reason for the lettter / Also last year, we had a review and all seemed fine although we mentioned that we felt it was wrong that the carers component had been taken away given the high rate mobility....the woman reviewing it said that we would be contacted at some point maybe jan 2011 so could this be something to do with it ?she seemed completely satisfied and it was several months ago.

 So many questions and I don't know whether by filling out the form we are potentailly setting ourselves up for a fall. My partner has for example been over stretching himself physically even though he really shouldn't and this causes him so much pain and tiredness it hasn't been worth it....by us saying no he can't do this, do that etc....supposing they have seen him trying to do certain things which he shouldn't be able to do....it's not that he can do these things without pain, discomfort, tiredness etc ...it's that through the shaw trust he has tried to do things and has suffered for it thus why he is stopping the process....any ideas ?   

John
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dla review or suspected fraud

Carer' Allowance first. Entitlement here was lost as the DLA Care component was lowered to Low from Middle (middle qualified payment)<.

As your case indicates. Changes or loss of DLA can result in a loss in "passported benefits" i.e. Freedom pass, Carers allowance etc..

There is a review of DLA going on though the Secretary of State has powers to review any benefit at any time.  The "suspected fraud" issue can be a little bit of a "red herring" and is causing much distress. Best not to focus on this but the review itself.

From what you tell me you will need medical evidence to support your claim/review. Therefore I would urge your partner to return to his medical care providers so he can be assessed given the issues with his mental and physical health you mention.

The Shaw Trust works with the DWP as a paid work provider. It could be that he was deemed to be on the "work programme" and when he ceased this information would have been passed back with the reasons why, to the DWP by Shaw Trust.

To find out what has happened write to the DWP under the Data Protection Act asking for all the information held on your partner.  This will include the internal documents passed by medical asssessors employed by the DWP to Decision Makers.

The Form.  Fill in the form and information in Pencil first. Leave it a few days then review it - you will be surprised at the additional things you add and edit. When happy then complete in pen & post. Really fill this in comprehensively and use further submissions on additional pages if necessary. Cover a 24 hour period (day & NIGHT) when completing the form. Cover all the issues the partner has, any medication and side effects. List all his doctors that deal with him giving addresses for medical reports as supporting evidence. Write to these doctors, tell them the DWP will be writting to them, why and state you want to see any medical report before it is sent.  Again this is important to ensure the doctor covers all the issues comprehensively. This is important if the GP is the primary source of medical evidence as they may give a broad submission where more detail is required.

The criteria has changed and it is more difficult but if you do your homework on the form than you have limited "setting ourselves up for a fail".

If you partner is ill, he must have sick notes and be on other benefits. The sick notes will also be important.

Best of luck

John.

Jon (not verified)
Jon's picture
I recieved a letter on sat

I recieved a letter on sat saying that they are sending one of there health care professionals around to visit but I will hear from them soon.

typical when I googled it I found that this seems to be the case where they try to over rule your doctor/consultants decision..

hopefully its not all doom and gloom but will keep you posted.

this is one situation that is a nightmere if you ask me.

John
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I recieved a letter on sat - Jon

Jon, please have a friend/witness present if you can when they call.  Don't forget to ask the person they send for there name and level of medical competence i.e Doctor, Nurse Practioner.  If they are sending someone to your home than clearly the Decision Maker isn't that happy with the ATOS Origin medical assessment thus far.

Good luck with it.

 

john

Jon (not verified)
Jon's picture
I am trying to get someone

I am trying to get someone around... but its not as easy as I would have hoped.. just got a letter to say that this doctor is only going to ask a few questions and do a physical.

yes a doctor.

now how can they argue with a MRI?? this gets worst by the minute... anyway I swear I have had symptoms of a MI (heart attack) but its really just anxiety..

I dont suffer from that.

anyway will ask a friend to be present. although its kinda embarrassing.. I had being called disabled.. I feel embarressed enough.. and I would trade places with anyone in a heart beat if it meant I could go back to work as a paramedic...

life is life... will just have to see what happens.

kevin
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Response to Jon

Jon hi,

Can I suggest you also contact your local social services and request a community care assessment; this will look at the day to day support and your personnel needs, also refer you to other agencies that can help, additionally obtain medical information to help support you and your needs. 

Local Authority criteria is set by using the Dept. of Health F.A.C.T. system of critical/substantial/moderate and low and within their response this should be advised to you.

They should also be able to refer you to a local benefits advisor, OT and more, importantly I hope, support you with your DLA claim and supportive evidence.

n/a
jane (not verified)
Jon's picture
Hi john              what

Hi john

             what is ATOS medical assesment? As my husband has a degenerative illness and they have not contacted our GP, but are sending out a Doctor from their health service on Sunday.

Thanks Jane

John
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ATOS Medical Assessment

ATOS Origin are the company that undertake the medical assessments for the Department for Work & Pensions.  They will assess the claimaint against the information the DWP have, the information on the cliam form and the criteria for whatever benefit they are assessing.

The Decision Maker will be the person who requests the medical evidence from those doctors you have listed on your cliam form. This is the person at the DWP who is named on your letter and ultimately takes the medical assessment report and all the other medical information and data into account when they make the decision as to the cliam.

The ATOS medical assessor may not and ought not to know if a medical report has been recieved from your GP as it is a separate assessment.

anonymous (not verified)
Jon's picture
DLA Review

I too have received the "Review" form. I received it in Decmber, then in the middle of January recieved a letter saying they didn't have enough info and that they would contact my GP. My GP then contacted me for an appointment to discuss the form she had received. That was returned and then I received a letter to say the info wasn't conclusive and that I would be contacted by Medical services for an appointment. I have been today for my medical assesment and to be honest I can't see what they will have learnt different to whats on my forms/medicals/GP notes. Any way lets see what happens next. I don't know what else they can require!!!

John
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DLA Review

They will use the medical assessment information as part of the Decision Making process. The Decison Maker wil take the medical evidence submitted by you into account.

The move towards being medicallly assessed by the DWP is the direction of travel for all health related benefits and commonplace.

I wish you the best with your claim.

Jon (not verified)
Jon's picture
well in less than a couple of

well in less than a couple of hours I will have the assessment. I have taken advice and have a avacote with me. I have proof of everything and the support behind my Doctor. He advised me that should this assessing doctor have any questions to please call.

I must try to remember to be polite... as I am still very upset that they havnt even looked at my medical records to show I can not fake or scam this condition. However this visiting doctor cant be held responsible for the goverments lack of investigating... it would have saved them alot of money.. but no.. they want to throw it away...

anyway will post again after the assessment and let you know how I feel its gone.. then the agony of waiting.

Jon (not verified)
Jon's picture
Doctor arrived today to do

Doctor arrived today to do the medical assessment. and thankfully but not if you know what I mean.. I had a full on spasm and couldnt control my lower limbs... the doctor was actually worried and seemed concerned...

anyway the medical went ok I think.. and well there is no telling... I have to wait and see what happens.

will keep you posted as I stated before.

CharlieChuck (not verified)
Jon's picture
'Correctness Programme'

Hi John,

I posted  #14 above and have an update.

I had a phone call from a disability specialist working for ATOS who organised a home visit to assess me. I Googled his c.v and discovered him to be a part-time GP, part-time medical school lecturer, part-time occupational physician for the local health board AND a part-time ATOS medical assessor.

He had a form to fill in, asked me how I lived, did I walk anywhere, which shops did I go to, did I have a garden to look after and what support I had. I broke down as I spoke of my anxiety and depression and my ASD and let him know how that affected me. He didn't even bother to medically examine me and that  is my main qualifying reason for being in receipt of DLA !

That was one month ago now and just yesterday I received a letter form 'The Right Payment Department'  DLA Blackpool advising me I was being paid correctly so nothing would change. Great news apart from the fact my award was due to expire this December.......so as it takes them 3 months to review/process an application I will have to undergo even more of this stress in a couple of months time.

Anyway, to all others please don't worry I think they are just out to see who amongst us are genuine claimants.

John
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CharlieChuck reply .... Correctness Programme

Thank you for this.  You can also get there Medical Registration number and check them out at the General Medical Council/British Medical Assosciation.

The issue as you rightfully raise is that the DWP generally is overwhelmed by the number of appeals and tribunal cases that changes thus far have made. This is delaying all decisions.

You are right to mention the need not to worry. However the fact remains that many just claimants suffer tremendous mental torture being engaged in this review process. Some like youself facing a futher review as there entitlement comes to its natural review.

Thanks for this update.

anonymous (not verified)
Jon's picture
dla80 form

i received a dla80 form today asking for  additional  information to determine if i  am   getting the correct rate of dla but am worried that i may  have been shopped by my neighbour as we are  at logger heads with them.i spoke to a dla advisor over the phone and was told  its just a review of my circumstances could you please advise me if thats all it is as im going out my mind with worry.i suffer from degenative disc disease of the lower spine and have been on dla for just over 2 years i have it until 2013 before im supposed to reapply just need my mind put at rest many thanks

       

John
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dla80 form - anon

I know its difficult, especially given some of the statements sent out in letters by the DWP of late. But don't worry about neighbours or anything else other than yourself and your claim.

The DWP do undertake reviews for many different reasons and some can be just checking your claim.  The Secretary of State has the power to review any claim at any time. Even if your claim is for 3 years, 5 years or an "indefinate period". People assume that if they have an award of a set period they will not have a review until them and that isn't true.

Complete the form thoroughly in pencil first. Make sure you put down the details of all medical staff you have seen for the medical issues you have. If the form doesn't cover everything in the questions about your condition(s) than submit this information on additional sheets of paper but make sure your National Insurance number is on every page.

After a few days, re-read your form and the answers and make a note of anything you have missed to include it. Than complete it in ink when you are happy you have covered everything and send it off.

Good luck with it.

Please turn your worry into positive activity by completing your form. There is nothing you can do about your neighbours but there is more to be done by dealing with your claim.

jane (not verified)
Jon's picture
DLA 80

Hi I received the same form and it said we have received information that casts doubt on your husbands claim, I phoned them and was told that the letter we had received sounded suspicious and that there was nothing on there computer, I wrote to DLA and was phoned by them I then found out that the people who answer the phones do not have the information on there computers regarding vindictive calls etc and that I had to fill in the form, which I did.

Four weeks later I received a letter stating that they were sending out one of there health care representatives to give my husband a medical on the Sunday, Three weeks later I have received a letter stating that they have awarded my husband High rate Mobility for indefinate period as he is virtually unable to walk (same as he had before except it was for life) and Low Rate Care  for indefinate period as he only needs help to cook a meal for 1 ( he did get Middle Care for Life).

I have phoned the DLA and been advised to ask them for a Reconsideration as I feel there decision is wrong!  My husband has Osteo Arthritis throughout his entire body the consultant he saw last told me that his condition would never get ant better but would get worse and the only thing that could be offered is pain management, I was also told that as his pain increased his Mental Health would get worse, it has he has tried several times to commit suicide, has outbursts of temper for no reason, he cannot move without help, he has been getting DLA rates above since 1999 since he set fire to himself, and yet now he no longer needs the ammount of care he was getting according to some person that knows absolutely nothing about his conditions as they are not medically minded!

I am now waiting for DLA to send out a copy of the report they have received from there Health Care rep, once I have that I will then write to DLA telling them why I disagree with there decision.

I will keep you informed

Jane         

John
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Thanks Jane & Good Luck!!!

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