I have a client whose UC award has been badly miscalculated. They have applied the benefit cap based on his UC ‘maximum amount’ rather than his actual entitlement (which is lower due to being in receipt of SRP). This error has been made by the original DM, by the DM who carried out the MR, and by the appeals officer who has written the appeal response. The appeals officer has managed to come up with some unintelligible reasoning to explain why the reduction in the UC award due to the SRP is ignored for benefit cap purposes. My client was even told that this is a policy issue, and if he doesn’t like it he should raise it with his MP!
I am literally stunned at how such a basic error is being repeatedly made by multiple DMs and appeals officers. I think it is likely that many other claimants are wrongly seeing benefit cap deductions in this way.
So my questions are, firstly, how can I best get this sorted quickly for my client without having to wait for the appeal to be heard? And secondly, how can this issue can be raised more widely with DWP, to ensure DMs and appeals officers receive better training in this area?