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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

Citizens Advice to provide Universal Support from April 2019

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Peter Turville
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Welfare rights worker - Oxford Community Work Agency

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Mike Hughes - 29 April 2019 04:57 PM

that A is really significant

Yes! away important to distinguish the beautiful game from the version where public school boys cheat at football. Have to give some credit to the O’s - used to go to Brisbane Rd with a friend who was an O’s supporter (and there was the glorious night of 28/11/88 - watch it on you tube!).

Jon - (at least locally here) there is a number advisers can use to make appts. for clients but other claimants have to phone the national helpline number.

Jon (CHDCA)
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Welfare benefits - Craven CAB, North Yorkshire

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Peter, assuming the local number is an internal CAB number to someone like a supervisor or admin who actually puts the appointments on the system, and that the local office does have a drop-in service as well as take referrals from national helplines etc, then I don’t think that you’re disagreeing with me about how any of this works. Anyway, this seems more like a conversation you should have with your local office…

Peter Turville
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Jon (CHDCA) - 30 April 2019 03:33 PM

Peter, assuming the local number is an internal CAB number to someone like a supervisor or admin who actually puts the appointments on the system, and that the local office does have a drop-in service as well as take referrals from national helplines etc, then I don’t think that you’re disagreeing with me about how any of this works. Anyway, this seems more like a conversation you should have with your local office…

Jon - I’m not disagreeing with you! I think non CA adviser’s are simply noting how ‘clunky’ the process is for potential UC claimants who are not engaged with another agency (and that there may not be national consistency in the availability of direct access numbers for contact with individual local CA’s for agencies to make appts for their clients). Of course it would be interesting to receive a response from national CA level about the process and how it is supposed to work for prospective claimants and for other agencies.

Jo_Smith
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Citizens Advice Hillingdon

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This is how it works for me, as a person responsible for checking national referrals: client who needs face to face appt, gets referred to local CAB via special task list. I check the task list few times a day. If I get a referral, I call client to arrange an appointment. Often in the same day or the next day the latest. Tiny bit clunky, but not too bad.

KMJones
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Early Warning System, Child Poverty Action Group

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Interesting to read these posts to see how the Help to Claim service is working in practice for advisers.

CPAG is also hearing that claimants using Citizens Advice Help to Claim service are not getting their UC dated from the date their need for assistance was notified to the CAB.

Reg 10(1)(b) of UC (Claims & Payments) regs permit backdate when assistance requested from “appropriate office” of DWP.  DWP has so far refused to confirm that Citizens Advice offices are “appropriate office” despite them being contracted to provide this service on DWP’s behalf. 

They don’t seem to be having the same difficulty where Citizens Advice are based in Jobcentres although it remains unclear how the actual date of claim is communicated in UC if e.g. a claimant has to wait for a Help to Claim appointment.

If you’ve got any example cases regarding this, do let CPAG know as we’re looking at options from policy as well as legal angles.

Email me .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or complete our online form: https://childpovertyactiongroup.wufoo.com/forms/m1vc0zeg1sr9zgh/

Daphne
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Written answer yesterday breaks down how much of the funding went to Citizens Advice Scotland for Help to Claim - £2,343,378.

Mike Hughes
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They’re doing a cracking job. Client yesterday needed to do an ESA MR. Told by CA to just claim UC. Went back when the MR failed and CA helped appeal but not before they had once again advised to claim UC before doing anything else.

Peter Turville
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Welfare rights worker - Oxford Community Work Agency

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CA are coy about delivery but the local picture appears that some bureau can offer an appointment within 24 hrs but others already have as much of a 2 wk waiting time. Given this issues discussed about backdating above this must be of concern.

Jo_Smith
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Citizens Advice Hillingdon

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Mike Hughes - 21 May 2019 12:56 PM

They’re doing a cracking job. Client yesterday needed to do an ESA MR. Told by CA to just claim UC. Went back when the MR failed and CA helped appeal but not before they had once again advised to claim UC before doing anything else.

Yes, I do a lot of those. This is an option for clients who are unable to wait for money until appeal is lodged and ESA assessment rate kicks in. I always explain what would happen to the ESA if client claims UC and ESA appeal is successful. Most of my clients choose to MR/appeal ESA and claim UC,
And yes, we are doing a cracking job.

Mike Hughes
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Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

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Jo_Smith - 29 May 2019 08:58 PM
Mike Hughes - 21 May 2019 12:56 PM

They’re doing a cracking job. Client yesterday needed to do an ESA MR. Told by CA to just claim UC. Went back when the MR failed and CA helped appeal but not before they had once again advised to claim UC before doing anything else.

Yes, I do a lot of those. This is an option for clients who are unable to wait for money until appeal is lodged and ESA assessment rate kicks in. I always explain what would happen to the ESA if client claims UC and ESA appeal is successful. Most of my clients choose to MR/appeal ESA and claim UC,
And yes, we are doing a cracking job.

I fear you may have slightly misread my post. I would hope that your advice was not, at the MR stage, to simply claim UC and not do an ESA MR! An ESA MR was not presented as an option to my client by CA. They pursued an MR themselves. When that failed they returned to CA and were told once again that they needed to claim UC “first”. The fact that the same CA eventually started an ESA appeal rather glossed over the initial advice that UC was they’d only option. Client had sufficient fully disclosed income/capital to not need or want to do an ESA claim..

shawn mach
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rightsnet.org.uk

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Picked up the latest version of CitA’s factsheet today .. attached here

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bigbill
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Dumfries Welfare Rights

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