Decision Making and Appeals in the Benefits System

Decision Making and Appeals in the Benefits System

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In this report the Work and Pensions Committee reiterates its call for the establishment of a Welfare Commission to create a fairer and simpler benefits system that claimants can understand and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) can administer more accurately. The report concludes that the vast majority of decisions DWP makes are accepted by claimants and lead to the right benefits being paid on time to those who are eligible. But the level of official error in the benefits system has increased substantially since 2000-01. The level of overpayments due to official error has risen from Ap0.4 billion (0.4 per cent of benefits paid) to Ap0.8 billion (0.6 per cent of benefits paid) in 2008-09. Although the Department has made great strides in reducing fraud, this increase in error should be a cause for concern. The report also highlights a worrying lack of response to scrutiny of the decision making and appeals (DMA) system by DWP. A former President of the Appeal Tribunals, Judge Robert Martin, felt his reports were effectively ignored, and there is evidence that the Decision Making Standards Committee lacks influence. There should be a much more constructive response to scrutiny. Another area that seems not to be working as effectively or as quickly as it should is the reconsideration process - the review of decisions - and the Department should examine this urgently.We support them with error reduction teams and generate important new products and checks to ensure that ... sophisticated checking afterwards, highlighting the more complex cases or those where it is easiest for the customer or ... You may or may not be aware that when he appeared before this Committee in October of last year the Permanent Secretary said that it was Work and Pensions Committee:anbsp;...

Title:Decision Making and Appeals in the Benefits System
Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Work and Pensions Committee, Great Britain. Parliament House of Commons
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2010-02-09


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