Advice and Support

What is casework and how do we deal with it?

Casework covers a range of issues or complaints we may take up on your behalf.

We know the issues you need help with might be sensitive or causing you distress. We aim to deal with you in a fair and understanding way. After reviewing your case we may ask that you come in to the Hove office, or to an advice session in your local area to take the case further.

 

How do we prioritise casework?

  • Urgent casework (Dealt with as soon as practically possible). We define ‘Urgent casework’ as time critical. An example of this would be if your benefits have been incorrectly stopped.

  • Standard casework (1-10 working days). We define ‘Standard casework’ as important casework that isn’t time sensitive. An example of this could be a longstanding housing complaint.

 

Who can we help?

My office will deal with cases from all residents in the constituency regardless of how you voted, if you didn’t vote at all and even if you are not on the electoral register.

It is Parliamentary protocol that we can only accept casework from constituents living in Hove, Portslade and Hangleton.

We cannot act on behalf of residents in another constituency. You should always make contact with your own Member of Parliament.

 

What issues can we deal with?

We can help with a wide range of issues which are the responsibility of central government including dealing with the following Government departments on your behalf;

  • DWP (Department for Work and Pensions)

  • HMRC (Her Majesties Revenue and Customs)

  • Home Office

  • Foreign Office

  • Department of Health

  • Department for Education

You can view a full list of Government departments, agencies and organisations here.

 

What issues can’t we usually deal with?

If you have a problem which isn’t the responsibility of central government, such as your local council you should contact the local councillor elected to that body. If you have tried to seek support without success we may be able to look into the matter for you.

 There are some things my office cannot do, these include;

  • Give legal advice or interfere with ongoing legal proceedings

  • Offer consumer advice (such as the sale of faulty goods)

  • Offer debt advice or advice on financial services

  • Become involved in disputes with other individuals

  • I will only sign passports or official documents if I know you personally in line with the guidance issued with the application form. It isn’t enough to ‘know of you’ and MPs will usually apply a high bar of personal knowledge of the constituent before agreeing to sign official documents.

 

Tips to help us help you quicker

  • If you seeking public information or are seeking to access government services for the first time (such as advice on applying for a passport or visa) you can find a lot of information on www.gov.uk

  • Only send the email once in the first instance. You should receive an automated response on the same day. If you have not received a personal response within 10 workings days please resend your email or a copy of your letter.

  • We deal with all casework in the order it arrives regardless of how it arrives. 

  • Make sure you have provided your full home address, we cannot progress your case without it.

  • If you are acting on behalf of someone else, we need their permission to discuss the case with you. If you already have this in writing please provide it.

  • If you are seeking interventions in parliamentary debates please give as much notice as possible.

  • Don’t be tempted to send a campaign or lobbying template letter. If you care enough about the issue to write in then please tell us how it affects you personally. In return you’ll get a personalised response.

  • If you do use template letters we will usually have a template reply we will send back to you. This is to help administer the large volume of correspondence and allows more time to be spent on casework or correspondence requiring a personalised reply.

  • We do not accept casework through social media. This is to protect your privacy and to ensure we keep proper records of all communication.

  • Please don’t be rude or abusive. Treat me and my office as you would expect to be treated yourself.

 

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