Date Published: 27.01.2023
Status: Past
Type: Social Security/Equal Treatment
Outcome: No further action

Mandatory Reconsideration Notices

Summary of Information:

The IMA raised concern with the Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) at the potential inaccessible nature of the correspondence sent by the Department in the form of Mandatory Reconsideration Notices, to citizens falling within scope of the Withdrawal and Separation Agreements. This followed intelligence received and subsequent interviews with a number of citizens who provided examples of the correspondence which was technical in nature and did not always set out in a clear and understandable manner whether the citizen was entitled to benefits.

Summary of Actions and Evidence:

Following discussion with DWP, they explained that correspondence should be as clear and as easy to understand as possible, and that they strive to ensure that this is the case. The Department also explained that they have a duty to ensure that the legal basis for any decision is detailed within the letter. For those claimants who have received a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, the letter also provides details for the claimant to speak to DWP staff if they wish to clarify any points or to discuss next steps. In addition, the IMA is advised that those making a claim for Universal Credit have the opportunity to discuss this letter with their Work Coach.

Given the assurances as to support available for citizens and recognising that the legal basis for decision making needs to be clear, the IMA considers No Further Action to be the most appropriate course of action.

Summary of Decision:

On the basis of the information available at this point in time, the IMA has determined that it does not have reasonable grounds to believe that an inquiry into this issue may identify general or systemic failings in the implementation or application of Part II of the WA.  Furthermore, the IMA does not consider that it would be proportionate and / or reasonable to continue to explore this issue further by way of Inquiry at this time.

However, should the IMA receive any further information or complaints about this or related issues, these will be considered on their merits and in line with IMA’s internal processes.

Does this issue affect you?

The complaints submitted to us help build a picture of where there are common, wide-reaching, or systemic issues with how UK public bodies are implementing the Withdrawal Agreement(s) for EU and EEA EFTA citizens’ rights.