About us

The Independent Case Examiner reviews complaints about certain government organisations that deal with benefits, work and financial support.

We act as an impartial referee for people who:

  • feel they have been treated unfairly
  • are unhappy with the way their complaint has been dealt with by the business or agency

We provide our service to users of:

  • the Child Support Agency
  • Jobcentre Plus (including most work provider services)
  • The Pension Service
  • the Disability and Carers Service
  • Debt Management (part of DWP)
  • the Financial Assistance Scheme
  • the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Division (Northern Ireland)
  • Northern Ireland – benefits and pensions only (Department for Communities)
  • the Independent Living Fund
  • the government’s Work Programme
  • Fit for Work (the government-funded advice service)

Who we are

Joanna Wallace is the Independent Case Examiner. She’s supported by a team in Liverpool.

Joanna is not a civil servant and is not employed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – she provides an independent view on escalated complaints. The Independent Case Examiner’s office recruits staff from DWP, other government departments and externally. The service is funded by DWP.


The Independent Case Examiner is responsible for:

  • investigating complaints made by users of certain government agencies and businesses that deal with benefits and financial support
  • raising systemic issues and recommendations with the agencies and businesses
  • share what we learn from our handling of complaints with the agencies and businesses at a senior level
  • publishing annual reports which provide statistical and case-specific information

The Independent Case Examiner’s office also provides further reviews of Budgeting Loan decisions for people who:

  • have asked Jobcentre Plus for a Budgeting Loan
  • have asked Jobcentre Plus to review it
  • are still unhappy with the decision after the Jobcentre Plus review

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