Section 6 - Request for a Re-determination
48. Re-determination provides a right for an individual to challenge a determination, should they disagree with it. The re-determinations approach is to focus on getting the decision right, have clearly published procedures and timescales for challenging decisions with meaningful redress as well as having processes in place for the Agency to put things right quickly where there has been an error.
49. Unlike the DWP's Mandatory Reconsideration process that just examines whether the original decision was right or not, in the Scottish system the Agency will put aside the original determination and a different officer will undertake the full process of making a new determination, which will replace the earlier determination completely.
50. The individual will be able to ask for a re-determination without having to supply further evidence, but the Agency will take into consideration any new evidence provided. If the individual is dissatisfied with the re-determination outcome, they can appeal that to the First-tier Tribunal. The Agency will, as a result of amendments made to the Bill at Stage 2, have a duty to provide an individual with the form required to initiate an appeal, and to forward the form to the Tribunals Service, along with all relevant information, should the individual take up the right to appeal.
General Questions on the Regulations
Do you think that the draft regulations (Annex A) are likely to meet the policy intent set out in this document?
Can you identify any potential unintended consequences of the regulations?
Can you identify any gaps in the regulations?
Timescales for the re-determination process
51. Our proposal is that a re-determination request relating to BSG should be made within 31 calendar days of being notified of the determination. This timescale is the same as the timescale for bringing an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.
52. If a request is not made within the 31 days allowed, a request for a re-determination can still be considered at any point up to a year after being notified of the original determination if there is a good reason for the request being made late. In the first instance the Scottish Ministers will decide whether a reason is a good one, with a right of appeal against their decision to the First-tier Tribunal.
53. We propose that, on receipt of a request for a re-determination of entitlement to BSG, Scottish Ministers should have 15 working days to make the fresh determination. This period is to be counted from the next working day after the Agency receives a re-determination request in the format required by the Agency. If there is a failure to make the re-determination within the 15 day period, the individual will be informed that they have the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against the original determination.
Question 8 (a)
We have proposed that requests for a BSG re-determination should be made within 31 calendar days of receipt of notification of the original determination. Do you think that this is an acceptable time period?
Question 8 (b)
We have proposed that a BSG re-determination should be processed within 15 working days of receipt of a request. Do you think that is an acceptable time period?