People aggrieved by government decisions about 22 different benefits are required to ask for a “mandatory reconsideration” (asking the Department for Work and Pensions to reconsider and revise its decision) within a month; failure to ask for a mandatory reconsideration bars an appeal to a tribunal.
32% of people visiting a Citizens Advice Bureau about mandatory reconsideration between April and October 2014 reported that this “extra red tape” had left them without any money. Further reading here (Citizens Advice Bureau petition).
Some statistics were published by DWP before Christmas but there is still no data about the percentage of cases that have been reconsidered but are then subsequently overturned on appeal to the tribunal. It will also be interesting in due course to see what proportion of reconsidered cases actually lead to an onward appeal.