From the glynismillward189 blog:

As some of you may know, I have real concerns about the way in which DWP try and shoehorn EVERYONE into using computers in respect of claimant jobsearches, form completion etc. I know that some of you feel the same way.

It seems we may have been right to have those concerns.

Two recent cases in the First Tier (Tax) tribunal which rules against HMRC insisting on traders filing their VAT returns on line, could well have implications for other government departments.

I think it would be a good idea for claimants to be aware of these cases and quote the relevant extracts from them when informing DWP that you cannot use a computer for any reason, such as age, disability, computer literacy and remoteness of location.

It’s helpful to note that in the second case, the judge stated that the failure to take account of a persons ability to use a computer was a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR)

I have included some useful extracts (in bold italics – with my interpretation/opinion in italics) from the two cases that a claimant can either include in a letter or indeed quote verbally to DWP.

It should be remembered that first tier tribunal decisions are what is termed “persuasive” It is only upper tier tribunal decisions that are deemed binding on the lower appellate courts.

However, HMRC have not stated that they are going to appeal these decisions, so those decisions stand.

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKFTT/TC/2013/TC02913.html

and

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKFTT/TC/2013/TC02910.html

For the author’s observations on these cases, see her blog.