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Independent Case Examiner

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the average time taken for claimants to receive a decision from the Independent Case Examiner.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The table below provides details of the average time taken for complainants to receive a decision from the Independent Case Examiner’s (ICE) Office, in the current reporting year (April 2019 to February 2020).

When the ICE Office accepts a complaint for investigation, it will consider whether it can be resolved by brokering a solution between the complainant and the relevant department or supplier, without having to request evidence to inform an investigation. If the complaint can’t be resolved, the evidence will be requested and the case will await allocation to an Investigation Case Manager (ICM). Cases are dealt with by dedicated teams and are usually brought into investigation in strict date order.

Following an investigation of the evidence the complaint may be settled, if agreement can be reached on actions that satisfy the complainant. If the complaint cannot be settled, the Independent Case Examiner will issue a report detailing findings and any recommendations for redress.

The cases that reach the Independent Case Examiner are the most complex and investigations will not be compromised in order to be completed within certain timescales. We keep people updated about the timings involved with their case and the vast majority of complainants are satisfied with the service they receive.

Description

Average time in weeks

Resolution (from acceptance to case closure)

6 weeks (against a target of 8 weeks)

Time taken to allocate case to ICM (from date of acceptance)

59 weeks

Settlement (from allocation to ICM to case closure)

8 weeks (against a target of 15 weeks)

ICE Report (from allocation to ICM to case closure)

23.5 weeks (against a target of 20 weeks)

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