Full Service - problems so far (under 2 weeks….)
This is an edited version of a note from our Libraries Service regarding support needed for UC claimants with the arrival of Full Service in two JC areas on 10/5/17.
There is plenty to worry about, especially at such an early stage:
6 UC application enquiries so far - enquiries have lasted between 1.5 and 2.5 hours each the more complex ones were from those with families and/or needing help with reading, writing, disabilities.
Contacting the Job Centre after submitting online claim to proceed with/complete UC claim - it appears that once a person has submitted their UC claim, the telephone number and instructions that they need to ring to make a Job Centre appointment appear on a claimant’s “To Do” list as the entry “Book interview at Job Centre”.
When you click on “Book interview at Job Centre” you get the telephone number and opening hours to ring to make the appointment, but it is not immediately obvious and we are quite concerned that people are going to miss this.
[and I gather their claim will be chucked out if they do miss this - AD]
Also, there will be many people who won’t have credit on their phone to make their appointment – are we able to refer them to the Job Centre in person if they need to do this? We have helped where we can with this.
Gov.uk Verify service
This has been tricky for people – indeed I don’t think anyone has been successful in being able to do this with the ID they have as the company they are directed to has usually said it has not been possible to verify their identity online.
We helped a customer who received this message from the Experian site and then they later received an email telling them that they had been successful, so this area is quite confusing.
Child Tax Credits
We have helped with enquiries from people wanting to claim Child Tax Credits but as they have 3 or more children the UC claim throws them out.
UC online will not allow people to claim UC (even if they live in the UC Full Service area) if they have 3 or more children; we have been told that the Tax Credit application process requires a letter from the UC application process to say that the person is not eligible for UC because of the number of children they have, and that when they receive this letter they can apply for Tax Credits and attach the letter to their completed claim pack to show this. The issue is how someone knows they need to get a letter and then manages to get one.
HMRC advised that that they would send out a claim pack and the customer would need to get a UC “rejection” letter.
It seems quite frustrating and customers appear to be going around in circles with this one, the lady we spoke to at the Tax Credit helpline said she had already dealt with several similar queries that day – (customers being told they are not eligible for UC so have to apply for Tax Credits but then they are told they’re not eligible for Tax Credits because they are in a UC Full Service area)
I can raise the issue on the HMRC side with the BCCG sub-group around the requirement to have a UC rejection letter as that wasn’t discussed at the last meeting with HMRC.
Do claimants get a rejection (decision) letter? Doesn’t the claim system just throw you out if you try and enter 3 children on the relevant screen?
I find it very questionable that anyone would get a rejection letter - more questions for the DWP, to which there will be total silence and perhaps a passing tumbleweed as an answer…