July 11, 2013 | Benefits Loan | 1 Comment This week has been a very busy week for the DWP in terms of refusing Short Term Benefit Advances according to the number of requests that we have seen for help, so now is a good time to dig through the legislation and share the process that you must follow to get your negative STBA decision looked at again. As we know, Short Term Benefits Advances are basically the new name for the old Crisis Loan Alignment payments and also replace the Interim Payment facility, where by anyone making an application to Income Related Benefit can apply for a small cash advance/loan from the DWP to see them through until their claim to benefit is assessed. However, unlike the Crisis Loan system, Short Term Benefit Advances do not have the right of appeal, this means that if you are given a negative decision, you are not able to force the DWP to justify their decision in front of the Tribunal Service by way of lodging a STBA Appeal. We feel that removing the possibility of a decision being questioned by an outside body can only lead to more people being wrongly turned down by the DWP as they may feel that they are no longer going to be held accountable for shoddy/unfair decisions. Something that we have noticed as being a common theme when we have looked into the refusals that we have been told about, is the fact? that when people do disagree with? a decision given and they ask what they can do about this, the stock response from the DWP seems to be ? you cant appeal, call the council? The DWP have done a great job in banding about misinformation and causing confusion. PCS ( the Civil Service Union) think that YOU CANT ask for a recon whilst TURN2US have found that you CAN appeal a STBA decision However We have found the DWP guidance that shows that a STBA recon is possible ( thanks to RightsNet?). see PARA124.. Don?t be fobbed off- It is possible to ask for your decision to be looked at again if turned down- even if technically is not an appeal. Although not as robust as a full on appeal, you do have the right to ask for another DWP decision maker to look at the original decision and also take into account any new evidence that was not considered, or that you feel was considered incorrectly in the first place. Take the following steps if you feel that a decision is wrong. 1)?? Ask the decision maker for the GENERAL reason for refusal 2)?? Ask the decision maker what direction/legislation was applied 3)?? Look up the specific legislation ( or drop us a line) 4)?? Check to see if you agree that it was applied properly 5)?? If not, write down exactly why you disagree, making note of any inaccuracies in the reasons (i.e. they say you have money, but you say that you don?t) 6)?? Write a detailed letter explaining your points and asking for? RECONSIDERATION 7)?? SIGN, DATE and include your national insurance number 8)?? Take this to your Job Centre and ask that they fax it to the STBA section Reconsiderations are supposed to be undertaken within 48 hours, and the decision maker is supposed to call you with the outcome of the reconsideration request. If you need help with your letter, drop me a line- I will try to put together a template and will share it on this page as soon as I am able.