12 September 2019
What: Writing in her annual report on DWP complaints, the Independent Case Examiner, Joanna Wallace, voices concern about the number of instances where DWP has not followed safeguarding procedures aimed at protecting “vulnerable” claimants. While acknowledging that many of the department’s policies and procedures recognise the need for safeguarding, she says: “Too often this year I have seen cases where those steps have not been followed. I don’t wait until my annual report to raise concerns and have been doing so during the year, particularly with regard to DWP’s services to working age people.” She says she is reassured that “real action” is being taken to make sure that safeguarding is working “effectively” and that her concerns “about meeting vulnerable customers’ needs are shared at the highest levels in DWP”. The report provides details of cases, including Mr E who successfully took DWP to a tribunal for its failure to take account of his mental health condition when arranging his WCA, and cases focused on disability benefits
Why significant: Shows that safeguarding concerns are being raised by the Independent Case Examiner, with some evidence that DWP is acting on these concerns.