Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Other universal credit issues  →  Thread

Phone claims for UC

 

Daphne
Administrator

rightsnet writer / editor

Send message

Total Posts: 2021

Joined: 14 March 2014

FOI response to request from our very own Dan Manville giving guidance for accepting phone claim and in particular managing need for email address if claimant hasn’t got one -

When taking a new claim over the phone, the member of staff will use a contingency e -mail address associated with their location. This is to generate the verification code required to complete the claim. Once the contingency email address is used, the verification code will be forwarded direct to the Service Centre’s own generic inbox.

Only in these rare telephony situations will data be input on the claimant’s behalf. The information entered and its accuracy is the responsibility of the claimant.

The claim is completed by the Service Centre. All parts of the claim must be read out and confirmed including the declarations. Calls are recorded as a safeguarding measure.

     
Dan Manville
forum member

Mental health, Wolverhampton CC Welfare Rights

Send message

Total Posts: 1729

Joined: 15 October 2012

I didn’t know I was so popular ;)

I’ve done a follow up request asking whether the contingency addresses are unique or generic. It might provide some leeway for people struggling with deputy or appointee issues.

However I strongly suspect they will be unique as the verification code is generated on very little information and is probably the encryption key for the UC journal; If you put a new email address in it generates a new verification code.


Edit; they also promised updated guidance this month in the parliamentary repository. If there are as many holes in it as the last lot we might need to kick up a stink. I’ve had loads of stuff that wasn’t posted last time around.

     
Daphne
Administrator

rightsnet writer / editor

Send message

Total Posts: 2021

Joined: 14 March 2014

Dan Manville - 11 July 2018 12:19 PM

Edit; they also promised updated guidance this month in the parliamentary repository. If there are as many holes in it as the last lot we might need to kick up a stink. I’ve had loads of stuff that wasn’t posted last time around.

I wrote to Alok Sharma on 26 June asking about the follow up guidance since he said in a letter to Frank Field in February 2018 that it would be updated every six months and the last update was 14 September 2017 (apart from I see he put in an extra bit about landlords who are on the landlord portal on 27 June - https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/deposited-papers/?fd=2018-06-27&td=2018-06-27&search_term=Department+for+Work+and+Pensions&itemId=119004#toggle-635)

     
Dan Manville
forum member

Mental health, Wolverhampton CC Welfare Rights

Send message

Total Posts: 1729

Joined: 15 October 2012

I haven’t had time to check thoroughly but I always felt there was a lot of stuff disclosed here that didn’t appear in the repository.

I thought at least some of it probably should be; capacity to enter into a Claimant Committment is going to be a hot potato soon I suspect.

     
JAS1
forum member

Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

Send message

Total Posts: 124

Joined: 14 February 2017

It was a little while back when I tried a couple of times but I never even managed to get through to a claim line. Was put through to about 5 different lines and all of them either couldn’t do it for some reason or flat out out denied it was even possible to claim via phone.

Are you just calling the helpline or is there a separate line?

     
Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
forum member

Citizens Advice Bridport & District

Send message

Total Posts: 287

Joined: 9 January 2017

JAS1 - 17 July 2018 01:54 PM

It was a little while back when I tried a couple of times but I never even managed to get through to a claim line. Was put through to about 5 different lines and all of them either couldn’t do it for some reason or flat out out denied it was even possible to claim via phone.

Are you just calling the helpline or is there a separate line?

We’ve done it several times here, with one exception, we have been told pretty much the same as you, and have each time cited the relevant legislation and guidance, in some cases had to speak to supervisors. Its gruelling nonetheless.

These have been claims for client’s who are learning disabled or illiterate, or low levels of literacy.

One of my colleagues attained the holy grail and was actually successful i.e. made a full claim right there right then over the phone. 

On the other occasions we were able to get appointments via the telephony line organised for local jobcentre for them to help client make UC claim, which the jobcentre did i.e. assisted client claim UC.


 

     
JAS1
forum member

Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

Send message

Total Posts: 124

Joined: 14 February 2017

Cheers Andy, was this all done through the standard UC enquiry line initially do you know?

     
Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
forum member

Citizens Advice Bridport & District

Send message

Total Posts: 287

Joined: 9 January 2017

JAS1 - 18 July 2018 09:38 AM

Cheers Andy, was this all done through the standard UC enquiry line initially do you know?

Yes for all of them.

The other thing we have done is send client’s in the scenarios described in my earlier post (only a very small number), accompanied by their support workers to the jobcentre 400 - 500 yards away (not very good on distances) when it is open with copies of stuff relevant to their circumstances we’ve posted on Rightsnet or obtained from Rightsnet or other sources with the proviso if client’s encounter problems to come straight back to us and we will intervene.

Have attached a few examples (the complex needs and Damian Hinds and Alok Sharma’s responses to written questions we have shared with our local MP).

Would attach a letter from Esther McVey posted before on Rightsnet, but limited to 3 files.

 

 

     

File Attachments

JAS1
forum member

Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

Send message

Total Posts: 124

Joined: 14 February 2017

Thanks Andy, that’s helpful.

Unless I am misremembering I believe I have read that JC staff will do home visits too if clients are not able to get in to the JC. Have you witnessed this at all?

     
Daphne
Administrator

rightsnet writer / editor

Send message

Total Posts: 2021

Joined: 14 March 2014

They will - but I’m aware that, in some areas, resources are running tight so they can be reluctant or it can lead to delays in getting paid…

     
Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
forum member

Citizens Advice Bridport & District

Send message

Total Posts: 287

Joined: 9 January 2017

JAS1 - 19 July 2018 04:12 PM

Thanks Andy, that’s helpful.

Unless I am misremembering I believe I have read that JC staff will do home visits too if clients are not able to get in to the JC. Have you witnessed this at all?

I have witnessed many things in the 8 months we have had UC, but no home visits by JC staff. Agree with Daphne.

See attached internal guidance and FOI may be of use?

     

File Attachments

JAS1
forum member

Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

Send message

Total Posts: 124

Joined: 14 February 2017

I can certainly seeing the guidance being useful, cheers!

     
Daphne
Administrator

rightsnet writer / editor

Send message

Total Posts: 2021

Joined: 14 March 2014

Further response to Dan’s FOI stating that -

The contingency email address is unique to each individual and then discarded.

     
Dan Manville
forum member

Mental health, Wolverhampton CC Welfare Rights

Send message

Total Posts: 1729

Joined: 15 October 2012

and further to the contingency emails; they are created by a back office team and a list is passed to staff. It is incumbent on the staff to cross off the email addfresses they’ve used. If, as this morning, they have not crossed the exhausted addresses off the list it can take a few hours to sort out. Not good if you’re visiting someone in a psychiatric hospital and the support staff finish at lunch time.