Please someone tell the jobcentre how job applications work…

protected 24-7_000002

When a business wants to hire a security guard, they want someone ready and licenced. They don’t expect to be told that their prospective employee will now go and get the requisite paperwork. But that, it seems, is precisely what one of Glasgow’s jobcentres expects to happen.

We were contacted last week by someone who has worked as a security guard in the past, and wants to renew his licence, but can’t save the money for the fee as he is surviving on JSA. This is precisely the sort of thing that the elusive Flexible Support Fund is supposed to help with, but he was told that the jobcentre would only come up with the money when he got a job offer. Our friend tried to point out to them that this would be too late, but they weren’t prepared to listen – so we have advised him to ask again with the help of his MP.

The Flexible Support Fund is designed to be used for things like training courses, or travel and clothing for interviews, at the discretion of the jobcentre. However, the DWP’s resistance to using the fund to help people – or even admitting of its existence – is well known, and Turn2us has observed that ‘the budget set aside for FSF has been under-spent in every year since it was introduced.’

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While Amber Rudd tinkers at the edges…

19-01-09

Universal Credit has been in the news a lot this week. Amber Rudd made a big deal about changing very little; and four loan mothers, supported by CPAG, won their case against the DWP in the High Court. As the minister was claiming how UC was both simpler and fairer, the court found that the rigid, automated application of the rules calculating monthly payments could result in situations that were not only unfair, but also counter to the original regulations.  There are all sorts of other situations where the accident of when the assessment period falls can result in a minefield.

Meanwhile, all sorts of errors continue to be common, as this week’s cases demonstrate.

One of our activists had received half her ESA payment early. When she contacted the DWP she was informed that this was a glitch in the system that had affected a lot of people and she would get the rest of the payment on the expected day. To the DWP, such a glitch may seem nothing to worry about, but when you are budgeting on a very low income, something like this can catch you out badly. The Mirror published a collection of worried reactions, including from people who hadn’t realised what was happening until the money was spent, leaving them short for the following month.

For John his payment seemed to be too late rather than too early. He is supposed to be being paid twice monthly, but we met him on the 9th, and according to his online journal, he wasn’t going to be paid any money until the 28th. In addition, he was also due a large back payment, as a bank error had meant that his benefit was initially paid to the wrong person. Although the money had been repaid, the DWP seemed in no hurry to transfer it to him.

Richard had waited in for a scheduled phone call from the jobcentre that never came, but the jobcentre refused to accept the error was theirs, so now he is being disciplined by having to come in every week, despite being unfit. He has just got the form to apply for a work capability assessment, and we suggested he get professional help from the Shelter drop-in.

Susan told us that she had been getting Universal Credit for some time, but when her partner also signed on and they moved to a joint claim, she found the payments were automatically transferred to his bank account. Payments for a couple are only made to one account, but you are supposed to be able to choose which. Susan has taken her case up with her MP.

For Jan, the problem was not an error, but a suggestion from her advisor that had left her shaking her head in bewilderment. She told us that her advisor hadn’t said anything about benefits, but had talked about magnetic fields and given her a leaflet about free Reiki sessions for helping with anxiety. I am sure the advisor was trying to be helpful, but this is a strange place to be promoting alternative therapy. Jan’s comment: Is she on drugs?

UC rollout delayed – with yet another pilot scheme

amber rudd

So, Amber Rudd has decided to delay the compulsory switch-over of people already on benefits to Universal Credit – but still plans to have this completed by the already-delayed deadline of 2023. And she claims that she will learn from yet another pilot – although there is little evidence of the government accepting useful lessons from anything they have done so far. Not so much really good news as ‘not so bad in the circumstances’ news:  too little too late – though it will be a huge temporary relief for many. Maybe the jobcentres could even stop trying to persuade people to change over to Universal Credit too…

Every time there is major concern about the impact of Universal Credit, the Tories try and do the minimum to make the problem move off the front pages. We need to keep up the pressure so that the serious and major issues with this disastrous system can’t be easily dismissed.

7 January: For clarification – as this announcement, like everything else to do with Universal Credit, has caused a certain amount of confusion.

Everywhere in Scotland, England and Wales is now on Universal Credit Full Service, meaning that all new claims for means-tested benefits, and all claims that involve a significant change of circumstances, must be made in the Universal Credit system. Amber Rudd’s announcement only affects people on the old system whose circumstances have not changed. We had previously been informed that this group would be moved over to Universal Credit (they call it ‘managed migration’ but what they mean is told by letter that they must re-apply within the new system) between July 2019 and 2023. What Amber Rudd has done is delay that start date, except for a guinea-pig group of 10,000 people. Anyone who has watched the history of Universal Credit will know that this is just the latest in a whole catalogue of delays; also that learning from pilots has always been supposed to be integral to the system, but the UK Government has refused to learn the increasingly obvious lessons.

Of course we mustn’t forget that the Government’s measure of success is very different from ours. If your aim is to discipline the working class through a punitive welfare system that makes everyone afraid to do anything that might risk annoying their boss, then Universal Credit will tick your boxes.

For the love of God…

Closeup of wooden Christian cross on bible

The bible is no substitute for drug counselling and proper medical care, but that is all you will get if you take up the offer of a rehab place promoted by one of Dundee’s welfare charities. Morag told me that she didn’t just experience extreme discomfort as she came down off heroin, but also ended up on an emergency ward in hospital, far away from her family. Meanwhile she had lost her ESA award as she had been in residential ‘care’. When she had recovered enough, she had applied for Universal Credit, and received an advance loan; but before she had got her first proper payment, drugs and their associated medical problems had resulted in another emergency admission. After three weeks (including Christmas) in hospital, her Universal Credit claim had been closed and she was at the jobcentre to make a new claim. She had made her application in the library, but her mobile was broken, and she had got cut off every time she tried to make her jobcentre appointment from the phone-box, so she had come to try and sort this out in person. She was visibly weak, and told us she had not eaten for three days. And, because she had left her house in an ambulance, no-one had turned the heating off and the gas metre had run down to nothing. Her rent payments had built up too. The first thing we did was arrange for her to have a food parcel, and before she left we bought her a sweet tea and a sausage roll. In between, I went with her into the jobcentre as she was worried about coping alone. When a claim is closed and restarted, the brutal five-plus weeks initial wait starts again too, and Morag had to accept another advance loan, and so double repayments off her benefits when she eventually receives them. The jobcentre staff couldn’t have been more helpful, sorting everything for her there and then, accepting her inability to work without question, and even requesting backdating of the benefit to the day she went into hospital, but there is nothing they can do about the punishing system itself.

Morag had got clean in hospital and hoped to stay that way. Ryan was more blazé about his drug habit, but was also a victim of inadequate drug addiction services and the Universal Credit wait. He told us that he was in and out of prison, and each time he came out he had had to sign on to Universal Credit afresh and take an advance loan. He had never stayed out of prison long enough to get any payments, but the loans were building up.

Getting good advice and good treatment at the jobcentre still seems to be a bit of a lucky dip. We came across yet another person who had been working for years, and had been put on Universal Credit and forced to take out an advance loan although his up-to-date National Insurance contributions made him eligible for ‘New Style’ JSA. He went back into the jobcentre after speaking to us, but it will take a while to sort this out.

Meanwhile, Robert, who had been laid off after 17 years in work, had been told that he couldn’t sign on until he got the right sort of mobile phone! We suggested he asked the welfare advisor at the Shelter drop-in to negotiate some sense into the jobcentre.

And Mark told us that he had had to take a break from work following severe mental health problems due to the stress of being self-employed, and that when he had previously sought help at the jobcentre he had found the jobcentre staff so difficult he had broken down during the interview.

Jim had been sanctioned after the DWP had ignored his response to their enquiries to his online journal; but he didn’t need our help as he had already put in for a Mandatory Reconsideration.

Ann, who was approaching 60 and palpably suffering from anxiety, was living in a homeless unit, which was taking almost all her benefit for board and lodging. She told us that she had had to leave her own home due to domestic abuse, and had been offered accommodation by a friend, but he had then changed his mind. We gave her details of Women’s Aid. She had worked in the jute and the box factory and was no stranger to hard and fiddly work, but she confessed that having to use the internet had left her totally confused.

Our cold two hours outside the jobcentre finished in time for a hot coffee at noon, but later that afternoon I got a call from a phonebox. It was Morag who had spent so long waiting for a doctor’s line she had missed her food parcel delivery. I was about to drive nearby her flat, so I dropped round an emergency tin or two.

You Wouldn’t Universal Credit it! – an end of year poem

computer-says-no

We’ve had it for over a year

They said we have nothing to fear

‘We’ll learn from the trials

It’s sure to be miles

Better than all that you hear!’

 

We’ve had it for over a year

The new penal system austere

And sanctions ensure that

You have to endure that,

While cuts keep the bogeyman near

 

We’ve had it for over a year

Pay in arrears de rigour

‘To wait’s educational

An income probational

All part of your jobsearch career.’

 

We’ve had it for over a year

And digital’s what they prefer

They’ll move you on line

There’s no chance to decline

Dyslexia just disappear…

 

We’ve had it for over a year

You’d think that the rules would be clear

But government errors

Still cause endless terrors

And clarity doesn’t seem near

 

We’ve had it for over a year

And all that we feared did appear

Money is owing

And poverty’s growing,

Despondency stalks with a sneer

 

We’ve had it for over a year

We must give them something to fear

Enough is enough

Oh away with this stuff

New Year’s revolution start here!

 

 

Don’t get ill on benefits

poor invalid

Last week we illustrated a blog about reasonable causes for missing DWP appointments/actions with a picture of a hospital. This week we met someone who had actually been sanctioned for missing an appointment when he was in hospital. Turns out that although the DWP accepted this as a ‘reasonable excuse’, they were not happy that he hadn’t informed them at the time. May be other things were on his mind… He has put in for a Mandatory Reconsideration, and we encouraged him to continue to an appeal if that fails.

This last stall before Christmas was otherwise pretty uneventful, though we talked with Rick, who had been waiting a long time for his PIP claim to be processed because the DWP had lost his application for months, and with an older woman who told us that her daughter works in the buroo and is under constant stress.

A lot of the people we meet have health problems and have difficulties getting these recognised. At the previous week’s stall we came across two cases of the DWP refusing to accept doctor’s lines. One young man had lost benefits when the DWP had refused to acknowledge his depression – a situation that could almost be relied on to make depression worse. We suggested he take his case to his MP, which also keeps the MP informed about what I happening. Another person had just been told that his doctor’s note might not be accepted so he would have to wait and see whether his benefits were paid or not. We suggested that rather than wait in fear of having no money, he should go and see the welfare advisors at Shelter.

This time of year is always hard for those on benefits, and will be especially hard for those waiting for their first Universal Credit payment. The only positive is that public awareness of what is happening is growing – though it looks as though it will still be some time before we need to find a stockist of yellow vests.

What is a ‘good reason’?

hospital

If you don’t do one of the things listed in your Claimant Commitment, such as arrive at the jobcentre on time, and you don’t want to be sanctioned, then you need to give a ‘good reason’.  The omnipotent DWP has an approved list of ‘good reasons’, so yours better be on there. The list was included in a letter from the minister, Alok Sharma, to the Work and Pensions Committee, and David Webster draws attention to it in his most recent commentary on benefit sanctions. David observes that, ‘It is notable that ordinary public transport failure is not mentioned as a ‘good reason’. This is a frequent source of grievance for claimants.’

(This letter also lists the rules about different situations that could entitle you to a temporary break in your work-search and work-preparation requirements.)

David goes on to draw attention to another letter that exemplifies the complete lack of empathy, or even common sense, in DWP thinking. He writes:

A further letter from Alok Sharma…  contains the following statement in response to the Committee’s request for him to consider exempting people who are sick or disabled from any form of conditionality and sanctions:

‘Evidence shows that when provision or support is voluntary the take up is extremely low and has had limited success. For example, the ESA Support Group has no mandatory conditionality and less than 1% move off the benefit and into work every month. As such, we believe that to impose a blanket policy which exempts all disabled people from any form of conditionality would be doing this group a great disservice.’ The Support Group are people who have been found by a WCA to be unfit for work either now or in the foreseeable future. No inference at all can be drawn from their experience about the relevance of conditionality to people who are currently unfit but may be in the future.

Never mind how sick you are, work must be your goal!

Here is David Webster’s full sanctions report: 18-11 Sanctions Stats Briefing – D.Webster

He observes that the available evidence shows that sanctions for people on UC continue to be given much more frequently than for people on JSA, though the DWP has still failed to provide any statistics for the now 86% of UC claimants in the full digital UC system.

The report includes a round-up of recent findings and research, and an explanation of the rules governing debt repayment, which shows how much more severe these are under UC than under the old system.

SNP budget deaf to our lobbying

budget 2018

Despite all the lobbying by ourselves and many others, the SNP budget has almost nothing for people hit by welfare cuts. Yes, we know that the source of those cuts is Westminster, and yes, we know that calls from Scottish Labour to spend more on mitigating the cuts sound pretty hollow when Labour ensured that welfare would stay with Westminster and not be devolved. But that doesn’t mean that the help is not desperately needed. The Scottish government has not been short of advice on how this could be done to best effect – including from ourselves. And, as we laid out in our petition, this could be funded by a bolder move towards more progressive taxation, including, in the longer run, Land Value Tax. We can only hope that negotiations to get the necessary support from other parties bring some improvement.

Ian Davidson has given us the following short summary:

The Scottish Welfare Fund Budget remains at £33m (a snub to the Holyrood Social Security Committee chaired by SNP Bob Doris, which asked for at least a 7% increase to re-instate in real terms).

Discretionary Housing Payment Bedroom Tax Mitigation is up by just over £2m, but there is no increase on the rest of the DHP Budget (Pauline McNeil raised this as a question).

Other items in Social Security relate to the devolved benefits to be administered in 2019-20 and are thus estimates of projected spending depending on actual claims.

So, from a social security/anti-poverty perspective, I would have to conclude that Scot Gov isn’t listening this time round.

 

Fighting Universal Credit

stall as on book smaller

If articles calling for the end of Universal Credit translated into resistance on the ground, then this cruel system would be history. But of course it doesn’t work like that. The fight against the attack on social security, of which UC is the flagship, does have the potential to become a rallying cry for major social change, but only if this is understood and taken up. The cuts are affecting more and more people, and, for the first time anywhere, people in low-paid work who rely on benefits to have enough to live on are becoming subject to the punitive sanctions regime. But there is no single action that claimants can take to disrupt the system in the same way as people withheld their Poll Tax, and we can’t do anything that might prevent people receiving their vital payments. The only group who could carry out concerted targeted action is the PCS, the union for DWP workers, and they have resisted all calls to intervene as this would require them to run up against Thatcher’s anti-union legislation. But that doesn’t mean we can do nothing.

As France is showing us, history can move quickly. There is a lot of anger against the current system, and we can help direct it against the architects of this politically inspired austerity and the brutal regimes they have created. We have long argued that ‘welfare’, and the need to support the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society, could and should have been taken up as a rallying cry for a new Independence campaign. Instead all politics seems to have got lost in the byways of the debate around the EU, for which there seems little sign of an imminent end point of any kind. However, those basic bread and butter issues have not gone away. The fight against the destruction of our welfare system only grows in importance, and we will continue to ensure that no-one can forget it.

We hope that all those articles – as well as personal experience – will inspire more people to take up this fight, and for those who are wondering ‘but what can we do?’, we thought it might be useful to outline, again, the approach we have been taking. All our activity can be divided into three levels.

Grassroots solidarity

Every week, for over four years, we have had a stall outside Dundee jobcentre (and for some of that time also stalls in Govan and Paisley) where we have been able to talk with folk going in to sign on. We are acting as a sort of welfare rights sans frontiers, and because most of us are, or have been, in a similar position to the people we are talking with, we also provide mutual solidarity. Unlike the professionals, we also accompany people into meetings and assessments. Over the years we have been able to give support and confidence to a great many people, but this work is about more than that. It gives us a real understanding of what is happening, and it enables us to pass this understanding on to a wider public. Our regular blog provides useful information to those struggling through the system, and it also informs others about what is going on and why it matters.

Of course we have to make sure that any advice we give is accurate. We keep up to date with the main questions that we have to deal with, and ask the experts at the Child Poverty Action Group when we get stuck. And we have a list of office-based advisors we suggest people go to for further help. Central to this is our advice leaflet, which covers the basics and which we hand out to everyone going into the jobcentre. Particularly since the introduction of Universal Credit, we have caught the DWP making a large number of damaging errors. (For anyone thinking of doing similar stalls, you can download the leaflet here, and we would be happy to give advice on how to get started.)

Although the Tory government continues to ensure that the ‘welfare’ system gets worse, and we still hear accounts of bullying and intimidation, many people who come out of Dundee Jobcentre now assure us that they have been well-treated by the people working there. This was far from the case in the past, and we feel that it cannot be a coincidence that this change of approach has coincided with four years of campaigning scrutiny.

Campaigns on specific issues

We know that, ultimately, our political and economic system needs to change, but meanwhile there are meaningful reforms that we can fight for. These can be beneficial in themselves, and they can help build a movement for further change. We have helped highlight the horrors of sanctions, and we have helped to name and shame employers who are exploiting unpaid labour – both big companies and also local charities. (When it comes to the latter we try and engage them by letter first before putting a protest outside their door.) We have also lobbied politicians and councillors, responded to public consultations, and presented a petition to the Scottish Parliament. We always make clear that we know the cuts come from Westminster, but we believe that the Scottish Parliament can and must do more to help mitigate them. Our petition calls for more help in the budget, paid for by more progressive taxation. Specifically we have suggested that they provide more money for the Scottish Welfare Fund and for Discretionary Housing Payments (both funds that can be targeted at those most in need) and we have supported the call for a top up to child benefit. The draft budget will be announced on Wednesday. I expect we will be disappointed, but we will go on pushing these issues.

Looking at the bigger picture

At the same time as fighting for small changes we try and ensure we don’t lose sight of the bigger political and economic picture. Our economic analysis and our call for a Universal Basic Income (most clearly set out in our book) are inspired by our experiences of the realities of the current system of exploitation and punishment.

 

‘My journal would be a testament to how well UC works…’

customer friendly

It is difficult to understand how a benefit that has been so many years in development can produce such a tragedy of errors.  This journal extract demonstrates how these play out in what should be a simple – because not unusual – case. Jim had been on ESA (the disability benefit), but when he went for a reassessment, he was found fit for work. He applied for a Mandatory Reconsideration of the decision, and signed onto Universal Credit. The Mandatory Reconsideration was successful, and he was put into the ‘support group’ as unfit for work or work-related activity. This should have resulted in him receiving an extra £328.32 a month, as well as not having to go to the jobcentre.

Under Universal Credit, your main method of communicating with the DWP system is through an online journal. Jim’s journal shows how long it took for the system to register this simple change and pay him the money due. Along the way he had messages from at least nine different people, as well as nonsensical action requests that were subsequently withdrawn. He had advice from a Welfare Rights officer, who helped him chase the DWP office in Clydebank and clearly state his position, but the situation was only finally resolved when his MP wrote to the DWP on his behalf.

Jim’s journal is reproduced below. We can’t include the record of payments because this was retrospectively altered to appear as though they were paid correctly at the time, which seems to be standard practice.

We will be sending a copy of this record to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into the current state of the UK’s welfare safety net.

(All names have been changed.)

The picture shows another of the notices that recently appeared in the lobby of Dundee Jobcentre. I don’t think it’s meant to be ironic…

 

28 May 2018 at 5.08pm

Following my ESA disallowance on 03.05.18, I submitted a mandatory reconsideration and a claim for UC. On 17.05.2018 I spoke to a decision maker at Clydebank who said they would revise the ESA decision in my favour and place me in the Support … Some time has passed now and I have yet to hear anything. I would be grateful if you would advise me whether you have been advised of this change and if so when I can expect the adjusted payment. Many thanks

 

29 May 2018 at 8.52am

It was a Mr Mike Hawkins from welfare rights who asked me to get in contact about these changes can you please contact me on … to let me know what I have to do next. thank you.

 

29 May 2018 at 9.04am

I have forwarded your query onto your case manager for response Jim. Angie

[Added by Angela Dundee Jobcentre Plus]

 

29 May 2018 at 9.07

thank you … i’m just a bit worried because the housing has contacted me about having to supply details of the benefits I’m receiving for my rent ..

 

29 May 2018 at 10.40am

The payments section on your account has a breakdown of your benefits Jim.

[Added by Angela Dundee Jobcentre Plus]

 

29 May 2018 at 11.46am

i can’t find a payments section anywhere on here …

 

29 May 2018 at 11.57am

Jim, It will appear after your first payment which is due on 16/6/18

[Added by Angela Dundee Jobcentre Plus]

 

29 May 2018 at 11.59am

ok

 

30 May 2018 at 3.57pm

Hi Jim, we have had no contact regarding your mandatory re-consideration. it will be sent to you first or put on your journal. please contact us once you have received it to allow us to get outstanding payment processed. regards Liam

[Added by Liam Dundee Service Centre

 

5 Jun 2018 at 10.47am

Failure to attend appointment completed

 

5 Jun 2018 at 11.01am

Liam … i have just been told i missed an appointment this morning at 10 past nine …. i had and no knowledge of this appointment or i would have attended .. welfare rights and clydebank had advised me i didn’t have to go back to the wellgate office ..

 

5 Jun 2018 at 11.02am

angela.. i have just been told i missed an appointment this morning…

 

5 Jun 2018 at 11.28am

Hi Jim.

I advised you of this appointment at our last meeting and this was also sent to you on your journal. You are required to attend appointments with me (your work coach). Can you please advise when you were advised by Clydebank that you did not have to attend further appointments and who you spoke to. Thanks Angie

[Added by Angela Dundee City Jobcentre Plus]

 

5 Jun 2018 at 11.30am

On 17.05.2018 I spoke to a decision maker at Clydebank who said they would revise the ESA decision in my favour and place me in the Support group…

 

5 Jun 2018 at 11.38am

i am waiting on an email from welfare rights that i can send you … i hope this helps

 

5 Jun 2018 at 11.48am

Thank you for alerting me to my journal this morning. I had no idea that I was due to attend a meeting this morning and apologise for this oversight. I would be grateful if you would reschedule this meeting. I have looked at my journal and am not seeing any notification of appointments and would be grateful if you would direct me to where I have missed this instruction. In discussion with Angela, my advisor, I had the impression that I wasn’t to attend again, suggesting to me that I go to my GP. I recently appealed the decision to take me off ESA. I spoke to a decision maker at Clydebank a couple of weeks ago who was very helpful and advised they were going to reinstate my ESA placing me in the Support Group (Welfare Rights also spoke to this decision maker and were of the same impression, though they questioned whether ESA could be reinstated now that a UC claim has been made). The decision maker advised me I would no longer require to submit fit-notes [DWP-speak for sick notes] and not to worry about UC as they would be in touch with you. I have yet to receive written confirmation from ESA or I would forward it to you immediately and I assume there has been no contact between ESA and yourselves. While ESA were quick to reconsider the ESA decision they don’t appear as swift in processing the change or notifying you of this event. I am very worried about the consequences of missing this meeting and a sanction would have a financially devastating effect on me. My first payment date still seems to be an eternity away for me and I would not knowingly jeopardise this… Many thanks.

 

5 Jun 2018 at 1.18pm

Hi Jim.

Your appointment was on your account under “to do” – attend your commitment review. However, this has now been removed as you did not attend. There will be no sanction applied for failure to attend. With regard your ESA, this cannot be re-instated and you are now on Universal Credit however I can see that you have been place in the support group following a review of your case. I have referred this to your Case Manager to chase up and provide the decision to you. You will not be required to attend the Job Centre at this time. You will need to “Accept your Commitments” on your account (to do) once your ESA decision has been carried over to Universal Credit. Hope this clears things up.

Angie

[Added by Angela  Dundee City Jobcentre Plus]

 

5 Jun 2018 at 1.21

thank you angela … im sorry I didnt see it or i would have came in …

 

5 Jun 2018 at 4.38pm

No problem Jim.

[Added by Angela  Dundee City Jobcentre Plus]

 

7 Jun 2018 at 12.55pm

Hi Jim, I see that Angela has already sent a message to you through your journal. Thanks

[Added by Gordon  Dundee Service Centre]

 

11 Jun 2018 at 12.13pm

Hello

You have made an online application for Universal Credit. please can you now call 0800 328 5644 to make an appointment at the jobcentre to allow us to progress your claim – Thanks

[Added by Julie  Dundee City Jobcentre Plus]

 

11 Jun 2018 at 1.04pm

angela, this just came the day in my journal […]

 

13 Jun 2018 at 8.09am

gordon, i was hoping you can help as i haven’t hear back from angela … this appeared in my journal 2 days ago. can you explain why i received this message? […]

 

14 Jun 2018 at 4.25pm

i want paid fortnightly & i want my rent to go direct to the housing …

 

14 Jun 2018 at 5.59pm

Hello Jim – this was an error with the message – please just ignore it – sorry about that – thanks

[Added by Gemma  Dundee City Jobcentre Plus]

 

14 Jun 2018 at 6.07pm

Hello Jim. I have passed your request on to the service centre and they should action this for you – they will respond to your message – Thanks

[Added by Gemma  Dundee City Jobcentre Plus]

 

15 Jun 2018 at 9.08am

i was notified that i had been placed in the support group but my payment is much less than what i received before. my journal says i only receive a standard uc payment but was told i would receive more because of the support group, why haven’t i received it?

 

17 June 2018 at 8.43am

Choose how you housing costs are paid completed

 

17 June 2018 at 8.44am

Choose how often your Universal Credit is paid completed

 

20 Jun 2018 at 1.24pm

Do you have a letter from ESA to confirm this as system has not been updated it still shows claim ended no LCW [Limited Capability for Work]. I have sent off to ESA for confirmation but that could take a week before I get a reply.

Adam

[Added by Adam  Dundee Service Centre]

 

20 Jun 2018 at 1.27pm

i don’t have any letters Adam .. i am seeing someone from welfare rights this afternoon. hopefully he can advise me

 

20 Jun 2018 at 1.30pm

whats LCW?

 

20 Jun 2018 at 3.21pm

Good afternoon Adam. I have spoken to Mike at Welfare Rights, who also got a call from the decision maker at Clydebank regarding my ESA mandatory reconsideration, and he will e-mail the customer services team tomorrow asking for a decision letter. Mike was called by Clydebank on 17.05.18 and advised that it was likely that I would be placed in the Support Group. Mike was surprised that I hadn’t received some form of written confirmation as more than a month has now passed. Looking back through my journal I had corresponded with Angela and in an entry on 05.06.2018 she was able to confirm that I had been placed in the support group after review. While I endeavour to find some form of confirmation that my MR [Mandatory Reconsideration] was successful, I would be grateful if you would double check your available systems to see if there is in fact any confirmation of me being placed in the support group. You will appreciate that I am very anxious in this matter and keen to have the matter resolved. Many thanks. Jim

 

4 Jul 2018 2018 at 8.44am

have you had a reply back from ESA yet adam??

 

13 Jul 2018 at 1.39pm

i contacted you on 20.06.18 – over 3 weeks ago & you still havent responded ?? Do u read these journals n do you ever respond back to any querys ??

 

19 Jul 2018 at7.57pm

Yes i do have a letter adam .. but nobody has responded back to me since i sent a message on 20th of June ?

 

5 Aug 2018 at 12.01pm

Hi Jim.

There does not appear to be any electronic notification in your Universal Credit account advising that you are in a different work group. Please contact the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644 to query this further. Phone using the contact number you registered with your account to get in touch with your case manager.

Thanks

[Added by Rehana]

 

6 Aug 2018 at 8.23am

ive already said i have the letter from esa here … why cant i bring it into the signing office to see my advisor ??? also i don’t know what “using the contact number i registered with” means .. what contact number ??

 

7 Aug 2018 at 9.05am

You went to your further evidence appointment

[Completed by an agent]

 

7 Aug 2018 at 4.06pm

Hi Jim.

The contact number you registered with refers to your user name and password. I can see how this information would be confusing. I see you have provided copies of letters received regarding ESA decision and your case…

[Added by Angela  Dundee City Jobcentre Plus]

 

15 Aug 2018 at 5.02am

Choose how your housing costs are paid has expired

 

15 Aug 2018 at 5.02am

Choose how often you Universal Credit is paid has expired

 

15 Aug 2018 at 9.52am

i want my rent oaid direct to my landlord & i want my payments fortnightly …

 

26 Aug 2018 at 9.11am

Please call 0800 328 5644 on Tuesday 28.8.2018 – they should be able to arrange this for you. (the office is closed Monday 27.8.2018)

[Added by Adam]

 

9 Sep 2018 at 9.40am

i presented evidence on 07.08.18 and it was confirmed in my journal that i am in the support group. yet i am still in the standard payment group.. why hasn’t this been resolved yet. how can i contact my case manager?

 

11 Sept 2018 at 4.50pm

Hi Jim

You can send a message to your Case manager by choosing Service issues option when you send a message. Alternatively you can call the Service Centre on 0800 328 5644

[Added by Angela  Dundee City Jobcentre Plus]

 

11 Sep 2018 at 6.04pm

yeah .. cos we all luv to listen to vivaldi for 38 minutes on loop ….

 

11 Sep 2018 at 6.11pm

who is my case manager and how do i contact them without waiting a month for a response?

 

12 Sep 2018 at 1.54pm

I’ve asked that your Case Manager, Liam, looks at your case and respond to any issues you may have. They will update your journal by 2pm Friday 14 September with further information.

Angie

[Added by Angela  Dundee City Jobcentre Plus]

 

14 Sep 2018 at 4.55pm

im still waiting on a response back from my case manager … you had said we will update my journal by 2pm Friday 14 September with further information.

 

17 Sep 2018 at 12.16pm

how long does yir journal entries take to appear in my journal ? STILL WAITING .. im just going to go through my welfare rights representative and my mp. Because u lie & ignore me constantly n make me more agitated than i was .. i also think my journal would be a testament to how well UC works better than the old system..

 

17 Sep 2018 at 12.29pm

I also want to query why 8 different people has responded back to me on my journal … i thought i had a case manager and an advisor ?? why is my medical condition public to Everyone ??

 

23 Sep 2018 at 10.55pm

… im still waiting for an update from th 14th from my case manager adam ?

 

23 Sep 2018 at 11.00pm

or liam

 

28 Sep 2018 at 3.03pm

Good afternoon Jim

When you made your claim to universal credit you declared that you did not have a health condition. In order for us to review your payments and ensure you are being paid the correct amounts I have created a To-do for you, This is asking for you to report your health condition as a change of circumstances, If you can enter the date effective from as 09/05/2018. Once this has been completed we can review your payment amounts. If you require any assistance with this then please do not hesitate to call us on 0800 328 5644 or you can discuss at the job centre plus.,

Kind regards UC

[Added by Harvey  Dundee Service Centre]

 

28 Sep 2018 at 4.20 pm

Report an illness or disability completed

 

28 Sep 2018 at 4.21pm

New illness or condition – declare changes cancelled

 

28 Sep 2018 at 4.24pm

i am reporting a change of circumstances about my health … i still have the same illness i had when i was receiving esa … this has not changed …

 

28 Sep 2018 at 4.32pm

this has not changed since the 09. 05. 18 …

 

28 Sep 2018 at 4.43pm

Good afternoon Jim

I understand this. in order to add any decisions we would need you to declare that you had a health condition on your universal credit claim. As universal credit and ESA are different benefits we can not add this to your claim until you have declared a health condition on universal credit

Kind regards UC

[Added by Harvey  Dundee Service Centre]

 

28 Sep 2018 at 4.47pm

Report health change

 

28 Sep 2018 at 5.26pm

please see attached

Read the attached file:…

[Added by Angela  Dundee Service Centre]

 

4 Oct 2018 at 1.12pm

Accept your commitments completed

 

5 Oct 2018 at 11.52pm

why are you now asking for a fit note ??? ive gave you all the documents you need … i will go and see my MP again because i thought this miscommunication had been resolved .. apparently not.

& why if this is so important i wasn’t notified as usual by text??

 

5 Oct 2018 at 11.55pm

Health – declare a new fit note cancelled

 

13 October 2018 at 10.36

Hi Jim

You do not need to provide a fit note since you have been found to have limited capability for work requirement. Sorry about any miscommunication or misunderstanding.

[Added by Tom]

 

15 Oct 2018 at 8.05 am

Ok thank you