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Changing from an online claim to a telephone claim, Can it be done?


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Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council

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Joined: 3 December 2018

My client was supported by the HTC service to make a claim for UC. He has significant mental health issues and is very vulnerable. He told the advisor that he would be unable to use a computer and could not manage a claim on line. I also noted this in my referral to the HTC service and requested support to make a telehone claim.  He was advised that claim had to be on line. He has an appointment next Friday to verify his ID and sign his claimant commitment. I have asked the DWP if the claim can be changed to a telehone claim and have been advised it is not possible once an on line claim has been made.
I have looked at the regs and cant find anything specific to changing to a telehone claim from an on line claim but it is possible to ammend.
Amendment of claim -
30.—(1) A person who has made a claim for benefit may amend it at any time before a determination has been made on the claim by notice in writing received at an appropriate office, by telephone call to a telephone number specified by the Secretary of State or in such other manner as the Secretary of State may decide or accept.
(2) Any claim amended in accordance with paragraph (1) may be treated as if it had been so amended in the first instance.

Could this apply to the method of claim? Has anyone had any experience of this? or can point me to the regs/guidance?

Thank you

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Welfare Benefits, Craven CAB, N Yorks

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As is often the case with UC, when we’ve raised this issue the answer is framed in the context of what is technically possible, rather than what is legally correct.

Depending on which DWP contact we speak to, a digital claim can either:
- possibly be converted to non-digital by some fraught over-writing process, but only before the end of the first assessment period; or
- can’t be converted at all.

EqA duties and deteriorating conditions seem only to have been catered for, to the extent that DWP say they won’t ‘renege on their commitment’ to provide ongoing support to those who need help to manage an online claim.