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 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal

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PostSubject: Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal    Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:51 am

Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal

Government response to public consultation
September 2012 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response

Contents
The consultation ......................................................................................................... 3
Overview of the consultation responses ..................................................................... 4
Summary of comments made ................................................................................. 4
Question 1............................................................................................................... 4
The Government’s response................................................................................... 6
Question 2............................................................................................................... 9
The Government’s response................................................................................. 11
Question 3............................................................................................................. 14
The Government’s response................................................................................. 14
Question 4............................................................................................................. 15
The Government’s response................................................................................. 16
Impact of the comments on the legislation ............................................................... 17
Annex 1 – Organisations that responded to the consultation ................................... 18
Annex 2 – Explanation of terms................................................................................

20Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response

The consultation
Between 9 February 2012 and 4 May 2012, the Department for Work and Pensions
(DWP) undertook a 12-week public consultation exercise
1
seeking views on issues
relevant to the implementation and operation of the appeals reform provisions in the
Welfare Reform Bill. The Bill received Parliamentary approval and has now become
the Welfare Reform Act 2012.
Section 102 of the Act enables regulations to be made to require claimants and other
persons who disagree with a decision to request consideration of revision before they
may appeal against a decision.
Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal, also referred to as ‘mandatory
reconsideration’, describes the process that claimants will need to follow when they
dispute a decision on their benefit claim. Claimants will be unable to appeal until they
have asked the Department to look at the decision again.
When a claimant asks for a decision to be reconsidered, the Department will contact
the claimant to provide an explanation of the decision and to establish whether any
additional information is available that may allow the decision to be revised.
Regardless of the outcome of the process, once it is complete, claimants will be able
to appeal to the Tribunal should they wish to do so.
Alongside mandatory reconsideration, the Department, working with Her Majesty’s
Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), proposes to introduce the direct lodgement
of appeals with the tribunal. Once this change is introduced appeals will no longer be
sent to the decision maker, but will be sent direct to HMCTS. The Tribunal Procedure
Committee recently consulted on the proposed changes to the Tribunal Procedure
Rules to allow this to be implemented
2
.
The public consultation was aimed at:
• claimants of DWP benefits;
• clients of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission;
• claimant representative organisations;
• voluntary organisations;
• employees of DWP;
• Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS);
• members of the judiciary; and
• workers and the general public.
1
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/mandatory-consideration-consultation.pdf
2
http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/about/moj/advisory-groups/consultation-tribunal-procedure-
committee.pdf
3 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
The consultation asked the following questions:
1. Please give us your views on how decision making and appeals standards can
be further improved.
2. Do the proposed changes go far enough in order to deliver a fair and efficient
process?
3. Please give us your views on whether the draft regulations meet the intention as
described in the summary section of this consultation document.
4. Please let us have any specific comments about the draft regulations that you
would like us to consider.
Overview of the consultation responses
The DWP received 154 responses to the consultation from a number of
organisations, listed at Annex 1, together with comments from DWP staff, claimants
and the general public. Names of individuals who responded have not been listed.
Many respondents commented on issues outside the scope of this consultation and,
for that reason, those comments have not been represented or addressed in this
response.
The DWP acknowledged and thanked organisations and individuals for their
responses.

Summary of comments made
The responses to the four questions were wide-ranging and varied but the main
comments and issues raised are summarised below, together with the Government’s
response.
Question 1
Please give us your views on how decision making and
appeals standards can be further improved.
Background
The context for the first consultation question was that the Department, in conjunction
with the Ministry of Justice and HMCTS, has an ongoing programme aimed at
delivering improvements to the reconsideration and appeals process for social
security benefits.
This programme has delivered improvements in a number of areas, including:
4 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
Improvements to decision making
• The Jobcentre Plus Director of Benefit Centres hosts a regular conference call for
decision makers keeping them informed of initiatives to improve quality and
effectiveness.
• Jobcentre Plus has developed new learning and development packages focused
on equipping decision makers with the skills they need to consistently make good
quality decisions.
• Decision maker training reflects findings from the Harrington report
3
in relation to
the decision makers’ role in the Work Capability Assessment process.
Improvements to the reconsideration process
• Piloted, and subsequently rolled out nationally, a revised reconsideration process
for Employment Support Allowance appeals where the disputed decision is
reconsidered by a different officer to the one who made the original decision and
the outcome of the reconsideration is notified by telephone to the claimant.
Improvements to the appeal process
• The Department has worked with colleagues in HMCTS to streamline processes,
including an end to end review of the appeals process. There has also been
significant work to increase capacity to deal with more appeals and help reduce
any backlogs. This has been achieved through recruiting additional judges, medical
members and administrative staff and trialling extended daily, and Saturday

Tribunals.
The Department wishes to build on this work and sought views from respondents on
what further improvements could be made.
Responses to question 1
A number of respondents felt that decision making could be improved and there were
many suggestions as to how this could be achieved. The main concerns and
suggestions for improvements are listed below.
• decision making could be improved by introducing a time limit for reconsideration;
• the proposal to deliver the result of the reconsideration by telephone would put
vulnerable claimants under pressure;
• where a claimant requests reconsideration or makes an appeal, DWP and/or
decision makers should become involved in the evidence-gathering process;
• reconsideration is already available, but the current process rarely results in the
decision being changed;
• decision makers have insufficient knowledge of medical conditions to make
properly informed decisions. Specific training in mental health conditions, in
particular, would assist decision makers when considering evidence;
3
An Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, Professor Malcolm Harrington,
November 2010, http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wca-review-2010.pdf
5 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
• explanations of decisions to disallow Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) could be clearer. Claimants sometimes
do not understand why benefit has been disallowed and if this is remedied, there
will be fewer requests for reconsideration and fewer appeals; and
• presenting officers are essential to the appeals process and their attendance at
tribunals is necessary in order to provide explanations of decisions made.

The Government’s response
Improving standards of decision-making – general
The Department is currently working with HMCTS to improve internal decision
making and appeals processes. The Appeals Task Force, a joint initiative with
HMCTS, has focused on improving decision making and efficiency throughout the
appeals process. In 2011, DWP introduced a programme of learning for decision
makers with the aim of improving the quality of decision making and providing greater
consistency.
The Department is also working with HMCTS to improve feedback from Tribunal
hearings to enable further improvements to decision making to be made. From the
9 July new information has been added to the Decision Notice issued by HMCTS,
which will provide a helpful summary, in each case that is overturned, which will
enable the Department to assess areas that may require further improvement. This
will have a positive impact on evidence gathering and help improve standards of
decision making.
A number of changes have also been made as a result of the reviews of the Work
Capability Assessment conducted by Professor Malcolm Harrington. The
recommendations relating to decision making and appeals accepted and
implemented so far include:
• empowering and investing in decision makers so that they are able to take the right
decision, can gather and use additional information appropriately and speak to
claimants to explain their decision. This will include reviewing training and
launching a forum for best practice;
• making the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) a more compassionate process by
telephoning claimants to ensure they understand what is happening, explain their
result and explain the support that is available after the Work Capability
Assessment;
• accounting for the particular difficulties in assessing mental, intellectual and
cognitive impairment by ensuring Atos employ “mental function champions” to
spread best practice and understanding of mental, intellectual and cognitive
disabilities; and
• improving transparency of the Atos assessment by ensuring that each report
contains a personalised summary of the Atos healthcare professional’s
6 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
recommendations, sending this summary to all claimants and piloting the audio
recording of Atos assessments.
Until December 2010, the Department worked with the DWP Decision Making
Standards Committee. The Committee was a non-executive body which monitored
the standards of decision making in benefits across DWP. It reported to the Chief
Executives of Jobcentre Plus, The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers
Service.

The Committee had three key objectives:
• to provide independent advice to senior executives on whether reports on the
standard of benefit decision making are accurate;
• to identify and make recommendations on the areas where standards can be
improved; and
• to look at specific issues raised by the Agency Chief Executives that may affect the
standard of decision making.
The Committee was wound up in December 2010 following a review of public bodies.
Time limits for reconsideration
A number of respondents suggested that a time limit should be introduced for the
completion of the reconsideration of decisions. It is important to the Government that
each stage of the decision making and appeal process is carried out within
reasonable timescales and does not result in unnecessary delays for claimants.
Some cases are considerably more complex than others and will require more time,
to gather additional evidence, whereas other cases can be reconsidered very quickly.
Because of this the Government does not accept that a statutory target would be
appropriate. The Government will, however, consider making proposals for an
internal performance indicator for decision makers dealing with reconsideration which
will enable the Department to monitor performance and ensure that reconsiderations
are carried out without unreasonable delays.

Vulnerable claimants
DWP already makes special provision for vulnerable claimants. Guidance issued to
staff aims to help them identify those claimants for whom it would be more
appropriate to deliver services face to face. The guidance includes guidance specific
to numerous categories of vulnerable customer groups, and gives staff advice on
providing appropriate assistance and support. Speaking to the customer about the
original decision can often provide additional information and help establish whether
a visit or interview would be more appropriate.
Communicating the outcome of reconsideration
The consultation document contained a proposal for a process to illustrate how
mandatory reconsideration might operate in practice. It was suggested in this
7 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
process that the decision maker would telephone the claimant after carrying out the
reconsideration to discuss the outcome.
A number of respondents did not support this proposal.
The Government has considered the issues raised regarding communicating the
result of the reconsideration by telephone. It should be noted that the process
described in the consultation document was only intended to demonstrate how
mandatory reconsideration might operate. After careful consideration, however, the
Department does not propose to include a second telephone call to discuss the
reconsideration in the final version of the process. Individuals must be notified of the
reconsideration outcome and their appeal rights in writing following the completion of
the reconsideration, it was therefore felt that an additional call at this point would not
add to the information sent to claimants and would add unnecessary costs to the
process.

The Department still intends to telephone claimants who request reconsideration in
order to explain the reasons for the decision and to discuss whether the claimant
may have any additional evidence that may assist the decision maker in considering
revising the decision.
The final design of the process for Mandatory Consideration of Revision is ongoing.

Evidence gathering
Under the new reconsideration process, the Department will provide assistance to
claimants to identify additional evidence they may have that could support revision of
the decision being disputed. Claimants will still need to obtain evidence and pass it to
the decision maker. When considering revision of a decision, if a decision maker
requires additional evidence they will contact the claimant to notify them of what is
required and when they must provide it. Claimants will continue to be responsible for
gathering evidence to support their claim, or child maintenance application, and
ensuring that it is sent to the decision maker within the time limits specified in
regulations.

Change from existing process
As respondents have quite rightly highlighted reconsideration is already an option.
However, the Government believes that formalising and improving reconsideration
will result in a clearer, more efficient, process that will give claimants the opportunity
to resolve disputes through reconsideration, rather than appealing from the outset.
Mental health issues
There was concern amongst some respondents that decision makers had insufficient
knowledge about mental health issues to make informed decisions on entitlement to
benefit. A decision maker’s role does not require them to have expert knowledge of
either physical or mental health conditions. However, they can seek advice from Atos
healthcare professionals if they have concerns or questions about a particular health
8 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
condition, evidence presented in support of a claim, or related issues. For
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Incapacity Benefit (IB) reassessment
purposes, Atos Mental Function Champions have been in place from May 2011,
providing support on a regional basis to Healthcare Professionals.

Clear communications
DWP makes every effort to ensure communications are clear and will be easily
understood by claimants. Where ESA is disallowed following a WCA, the decision
maker telephones the claimant to explain the decision and the options available to
them. This will continue when mandatory reconsideration is introduced.

Presenting officers
A small number of respondents felt that presenting officers were essential to the
appeals process. DWP is looking at how to improve the quality of decision making
and appeals and is currently reviewing its approach to fielding presenting officers at
appeal hearings.

Question 2
Do the proposed changes go far enough in order to deliver
a fair and efficient process?
Background
The changes proposed by the Department will affect how individuals can dispute a
benefit claim, and when and how a appeal can be made.
The Department proposes that following implementation of the regulations claimants
who dispute a decision on their claim will be required to request revision, also called
reconsideration, before they will be able to appeal against that decision.
A request for revision can be made informally, it does not need to be in writing and
may be made by telephone. Following a request for revision the Department will try
to contact the claimant by ‘phone to discuss the decision and explain the reasons for
it, and to help the claimant identify any additional information or evidence that may
result in the decision being changed.
A written decision will be issued following completion of the reconsideration process,
which will also contain information about making a subsequent appeal.

Responses to question 2
Two areas of concern dominated the responses to this question:
• time limits should be set for reconsideration; and
9 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
• that Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) should be paid pending
reconsideration.
A fuller summary of the other issues raised is listed below:
• the Government should consider setting time limits for reconsideration. Without
clear deadlines for decision makers, cases may become protracted, which may in
turn cause stress for claimants awaiting the result of their application for
reconsideration;
• ESA should be paid pending reconsideration in the same way that ESA is currently
paid pending the outcome of an appeal. Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) could be
claimed pending appeal but an individual with a health condition may not consider
themselves available for work;
• the proposal to deliver the result of the reconsideration by telephone would put
vulnerable claimants under pressure. A written communication gives both claimant
and adviser time to consider the reasons for the decision together before taking
further action;
• information and appropriate methods of contact should be accessible to claimants
who are unable to use the usual channels of communication;
• there may be insufficient time available to gather evidence for reconsideration,
especially medical evidence, and that may impact on vulnerable claimants;
• DWP already has a process for reconsideration, which works well, and the
proposals do not change that process significantly;
• DWP should be able to achieve better use of reconsiderations within the existing
appeals process;
• giving claimants the option of requesting a written statement of reasons together
with an explanation of the original decision would result in confusion and
unnecessary delay for claimants;
• vulnerable claimants, in particular, would be adversely affected because they will
not understand the new process;
• Housing and Council Tax Benefit should be included in the proposals, Not doing so
may cause difficulties because claimants will have to negotiate different dispute
systems according to which benefit is in issue;
• conversely some respondents supported the proposal to exclude local authority
administered benefits from the proposed changes given the forthcoming changes
to housing and council tax benefit;
• under the current rules once an appeal is lodged then recovery action is frozen.
When a reconsideration is underway, any recovery action should be put on hold;
• it is important that the current DWP practice of acknowledging appeals is continued
by HMCTS under the proposed changes; and
• funding for organisations representing claimants has been cut, which will adversely
affect claimants who may not have access to representation to assist them with the
new process.
10 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
Generally, respondents were concerned about the impact of the changes on
vulnerable claimants, although one charity worker commented “I think the new
system will be fairer, in that people will not be able to accidentally end up in a
stressful appeal system. A clearer, gently escalating system of complaint is a definite
improvement.”
There were a number of comments expressing support for the proposal for appeals
to be lodged directly with HMCTS. Some concerns were raised, however, in relation
to the following: claimants receiving acknowledgement of their appeal; the process
followed when an appeal is attempted without first requesting reconsideration; and
the ability of HMCTS to identify the benefit being appealed.
These issues relate to the administrative process for dealing with appeals that is
currently being designed by HMCTS and is out of scope for this consultation.
However, the Department has made sure that HMCTS are aware of the concerns
raised.

There was some support for mandatory reconsideration, in that it was perceived to
be an improvement on the current process and would be clearer for claimants to
follow.

The Government’s response
Time limit for reconsideration
As stated above, the Government will consider making proposals for an internal
performance indicator for decision makers dealing with reconsideration which will
enable the Department to monitor performance and ensure that reconsiderations are
carried out without unreasonable delays.
Payment of benefit pending reconsideration
No decision has yet been made with regard to paying ESA pending reconsideration
but other benefits may be available to claimants where ESA has been disallowed.
Telephoning claimants following reconsideration
Following respondents’ concerns regarding the method of communicating the
reconsideration decision to claimants, it has been decided that a decision maker will
only telephone the claimant to explain the initial decision and gather additional
evidence for reconsideration where it is requested. The decision maker will not
telephone the claimant to communicate the outcome of the reconsideration decision.
Individuals must be notified of the reconsideration outcome and their appeal rights in
writing following the completion of the reconsideration, it was therefore felt that an
additional call at this point would not add to the information sent to claimants and
would add unnecessary costs to the process.
11 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response

Existing reconsideration process
The point was made that DWP already has a reconsideration process and should be
able to make better use of reconsideration within the existing appeals process.
The Department is looking to improve the way it deals with disputes. Individuals can
ask for a decision to be looked at again, i.e. reconsidered, by the decision maker
which may result in a revised decision. In practice many people do not do so and
instead make an appeal from the outset.
To resolve more disputes through the internal reconsideration process, mandatory
reconsideration will ensure that applying for a revision will become the automatic first
step in the process.

This change, alongside improved guidelines for staff, aims to ensure any additional
evidence is sought from claimants, which could lead to a successful reconsideration.
Previous figures have shown that a significant number of the decisions overturned on
appeal were a direct result of additional evidence being provided to the tribunal that
was not available to the decision-maker.
Communication with claimants
In response to concerns about clarity, timescales and methods of contact, the new
process will be communicated to claimants in decision notifications, as set out in the
consultation document. There will be no changes to the methods used to convey
information to claimants and DWP already ensures help is available for vulnerable
claimants if required. There are no plans to change the timescales for review, other
than for vaccine damage payments.

Exclusion of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
Respondents’ differing views on the exclusion of Housing Benefit (HB) and Council
Tax Benefit (CTB) from mandatory reconsideration and direct lodgement have been
noted. However the Department has no plans for these benefits to be included in the
mandatory reconsideration process for the following reasons:
• the transfer of existing claims for HB for working age and pension age claimants to
Universal Credit (from October 2013) and Pension Credit (from October 2014)
respectively;
• expected replacement of CTB with localised support from April 2013;
• complexity of implementing this change across 380 local authorities especially in
light of the changes already planned, e.g. the transition to Universal Credit; and
• the investment required to implement the change for the remaining time that HB
and CTB will be in payment cannot be justified.
12 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response

Overpayment & Recovery of benefit
The procedure for recovery of benefit under the new process will remain as it is now.
There are no plans to put on hold any recovery during the reconsideration process.
As now, any benefit incorrectly recovered will be repaid to the claimant.
Providing evidence to the decision maker
Several respondents raised concerns over timescales for gathering evidence but the
new process should not make any material difference. This is because evidence
should always be made available to the decision maker at the earliest opportunity,
rather than at the reconsideration or appeal stage. For example, form ESA50, the
questionnaire that ESA claimants are asked to complete prior to assessment, clearly
states that if the claimant has any medical reports from their doctor, consultant or
health care professional, or any other relevant information, it should be sent to DWP
with the questionnaire. The decision maker can then consider all relevant evidence
when deciding entitlement to benefit.
Acknowledgment of receipt of an appeal
The finer details of the new process are still being developed and have yet to be
decided, although the acknowledgement of receipt of appeals by HMCTS will
continue when direct lodgement is introduced.

Legal aid reform
Several respondents raised the impact of funding cuts in relation to the ability of
claimant representative groups to act on behalf of claimants for the purposes of
making an appeal. DWP does not arrange, or fund, representation for claimants
making an appeal and responsibility for setting the scope of legal aid lies
with the Ministry of Justice.
The appeal process is designed to be accessible, inquisitorial, and user-friendly. This
means that appellants can generally present their case without assistance. For
appeals to the First-tier Tribunal with respect to welfare benefits, the appellant is
required only to provide reasons for disagreeing with the decision in plain language.
13 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response

Question 3
Please give us your views on whether the draft regulations
meet the intention as described in the summary section of
this consultation document.

Background
The consultation document included a copy of draft regulations to illustrate the policy
intentions for mandatory consideration of revision.
Responses to question 3
Fewer respondents answered this question specifically, but the main points raised
are listed below:
• In relation to the amendments to the Tribunal Rules, “it would be helpful to know
what obligations will be placed upon the Secretary of State to prepare a response
and any time limit for doing so, and the powers of Tribunals to require a response
to a specific request as well as the furnishing of further evidence or information”;
• in the draft legislation, the policy intention would be better served if the words “only
if the Secretary of State has first considered an application to revise the decision”
had “and notified the person accordingly” added at the end;
• the provisions requiring a purported appeal to be treated as an application for
revision, should read “shall treat” rather than “may treat”; and
• broadly, the regulations would seem to meet the intention in the consultation paper
to introduce mandatory reconsideration.

The Government’s response
There were very few responses to this question, with respondents either having no
comments, or generally agreeing that the draft regulations met the policy intention as
described in the consultation document.
Obligations to prepare a response
The Tribunal Procedure Rules stipulate the obligation on the Department to send a
response to the appeal
4
. A proposal to amend these rules, to take into account the
changes that will be introduced as a result of mandatory reconsideration, was
recently subject to a consultation exercise. The proposals include an amendment to
the Rules that would introduce a time limit for the decision maker to provide the
Department’s response to an appeal.
4
The Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal)(Social Entitlement Chamber) Rules 2008, Rule 24
14 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
The Tribunal Procedure Committee consultation on proposed tribunal rule
amendments closed on 15 June 2012, but can still be viewed at:
http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/moj/advisory-groups/tribunal-procedure-committee/ts-
committee-closed-consultations.

Notification of the outcome of reconsideration
The Government does not consider that it is necessary for the legislation to state that
the Secretary of State has notified the person of the outcome of the reconsideration –
this is implicit. The Secretary of State will demonstrate that the reconsideration is
complete by writing to the person to inform them of the outcome – whether the
original decision stands or has been revised. The person will then be able to appeal
is they wish to dispute the decision.

Welfare Reform Act
The wording of the Welfare Reform Act it cannot be altered by the draft regulations.
Section 102 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 is intended to give powers to the
Secretary of State to make the regulations in respect of mandatory reconsideration,
the subject of the consultation.

Question 4
Please let us have any specific comments about the draft
regulations that you would like us to consider.
Background
Question 4 also concerned the draft regulations that were included as an annex to
the consultation document.
Reponses to question 4
There were a small number of comments on the draft regulations and these are
outlined below:
• we recommend neutralising the gender language in, for example, the proposed
new regulation 24A(3)(b) of the Decisions and Appeals Regulations and other
places. A missing ‘the’ in paragraph (3)(a) of that same regulation i.e. 24A;
• the proposal to introduce mandatory revisions should be accompanied by a less
rigid and more standardised approach to late applications for revisions and
appeals. The provision for admitting late applications for revision in regulation 4 of
the Decisions and Appeals Regulations should be brought into line with the
provision for admitting late appeals in rule 5(3)(a) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-
tier Tribunal) (SEC) Rules 2008. The latter gives wide discretion to admit late
15 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
appeals subject to the overall 13 month time limit, whereas the former only allows
late revisions in restricted circumstances; and
• if the DWP refuses to carry out a revision because it considers there are no
grounds, or the request was made out of time, the time limit for appealing runs
from the date of the original decision. Claimants will be denied the right of appeal if
a mandatory requirement to apply for a revision takes them beyond the time limit
for appealing and we believe that the law should be changed and clarified to
ensure that this does not happen.

The Government’s response
While there were very few responses to this question the issues raised are
addressed below.
Gender language
In response to the comment about neutralising the gender language, the regulations
are amending regulations. As such they have been drafted in the style of the
instrument being amended, none of which are drafted in a gender neutral style. The
missing word “the” has now been included in the relevant draft regulation.
Late application for revision
Where a person makes a late application for revision, the Department will be
removing the requirement that an application for revision cannot be granted unless it
has merit, and removing the regulation which requires that, in deciding whether an
extension of time is reasonable, the decision maker cannot take into account the fact
that the individual misunderstood the law or was ignorant that they could request
reconsideration.
In considering a late application for revision, the decision maker will look at whether it
is reasonable to grant the application for an extension of time, and what the
circumstances were that meant that the application could not be made within the one
month time limit.
The decision maker will still consider whether an any time revision can be made, or
whether the decision should be superseded when considering a late application for
revision as they do now.
Where a request for reconsideration is made out of time, and the decision maker
refuses the application to revise the original decision, the effect of the draft
regulations is that there can be no appeal as the Secretary of State must consider
whether to revise the decision before an appeal can be made.
16 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response

Impact of the comments on the legislation
The Government has considered whether respondents’ comments will impact on the
changes to legislation and concluded that they will not, while minor drafting changes
have been made.

17 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response

Annex 1 – Organisations that
responded to the consultation

Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC)
Advice Services Coventry (ASC)
AdviceUK
Centrepoint
Citizens Advice
Child Poverty Action Group
Derby City Council (Derby Advice)
Disability Rights UK
Diverse Cymru
Durham County Council
Harehills and Chapeltown Law Centre
Homeless Link
Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation
Kirklees Benefits Advice Services
Lancashire County Council Welfare Rights Service
Law Centre NI
Liberata
Low Incomes Tax Reform Group
Mind
MS Society
National Aids Trust (NAT)
National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (NAWRA)
Nottingham City Council
Oxfordshire Welfare Rights
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
President of Appeal Tribunals NI
Royal College of Nursing
Reading Community Welfare Rights Unit
Rethink Mental Illness
18 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
Royal National Institute of Blind People
South Lanarkshire Council
Scope
Scottish Council on Deafness
Social Fund Commissioner
South Hams CAB
Social Security Advisory Committee
Stockport Welfare Rights Service
Surrey Disabled People’s Partnership
Swansea Social Inclusion Unit
Tameside MBC
The Riverside Group Ltd
York Carers Centre
19 Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response
20

Annex 2 – Explanation of terms
Atos
Atos Healthcare carries out independent medical assessments on behalf of the DWP.
They provide impartial medical advice on how a claimant’s condition limits their
activities.
Council Tax Benefit
Council Tax Benefit is available for those people on a low income, whether or not
they are working, who may need financial help to pay their council tax bill.

Decision Maker
A decision maker is someone who takes all necessary actions on behalf of the
Secretary of State, including gathering information, making decisions on claims and
applications and dealing with administrative matters such as suspension of payment.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults to
help with extra costs they may have because they are disabled.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Employment and Support Allowance provides financial help to people who are
unable to work because of illness or disability. It also provides personalised support
to those who are able to work.
Jobseeker’s Allowance
Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is a benefit paid to eligible people who are currently
unemployed and looking for work.
Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS)
Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service is an executive agency of the Ministry of
Justice. It manages the magistrates' courts, the Crown Court, county courts, the High
Court and Court of Appeal in England and Wales. It also oversees the administration
of the main central government tribunals.

Housing Benefit
Housing Benefit is available for those people on a low income, whether or not they
are working, who may need financial help to pay all or part of their rent.
Reconsideration
Reconsideration is not referred to in legislation, but it is the process by which an
application for revision of a decision is considered, or a decision is looked at again
following an appeal.
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