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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

opinions on how to best make/manage a new claim where claimant has appointee with limited english

stevenmcavoy
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WRO, campaigns and policy, Enable Scotland

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client is a young adult with a profound learning disability. both parents have very limited use of english. they dont have internet access at home and have next to no digital skills.  young adult at the stage they need to make a uc claim in their own right and im just looking for opinions from anyone who might have been through similar about the best route to take to make and maintain the claim.

I know they could make a digital or telephone claim but neither is without difficulty and i have concerns about their ability to maintain the claim once made under either option.

id imagine there will be a few on here with experience i dont yet have of assisting clients where their language skills are limited, anything that can be suggested to help make sure clients get access to interpreters etc?

they have a local cab so could make use of the help to claim service but im unsure if that is the best route to take or if its better to go direct to DWP and have them make the “reasonable adjustments” to get the claim made and maintained…am i going to be surprised if people tell me in practice this isnt going as it should?

Jon (CHDCA)
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HTC advisers in England/Wales have access to Language Line, hopefully CA Scotland have something similar. I guess the problem will really be not the initial claim, but managing it going forward. Is there no suitable appointee?

Vonny
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Welfare Rights Adviser, Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea

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The UC helpline has language line.

stevenmcavoy
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Jon (CHDCA) - 29 July 2019 02:24 PM

HTC advisers in England/Wales have access to Language Line, hopefully CA Scotland have something similar. I guess the problem will really be not the initial claim, but managing it going forward. Is there no suitable appointee?

thats my fear as well the on-going maintenance.  it will be a wca claim and outside of some special decision making i expect lcfwra in the longer term but getting there is the issue.

the only other alternative appointee would be the local authority as there is no one else within the family.

 

stevenmcavoy
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Vonny - 29 July 2019 02:32 PM

The UC helpline has language line.

do you (or anyone else reading) have practical examples where this has been used?  what happened post initial claim re getting claimants access to support?

Vonny
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I have used it a couple of times now with clients with limited english, it does work quite well, but that is with using it to answer any questions that come up when I am asking about the UC claim and to get through the security questions.  I do not know how well it would work with the person with limited english being the one phoning.  My experience is only from the first two days (one day a week, second tier the rest of the week) of advising refugees to maintain their UC claims and any other benefit problems that come up, so just getting to grips with language line myself.

stevenmcavoy
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Vonny - 29 July 2019 03:14 PM

I have used it a couple of times now with clients with limited english, it does work quite well, but that is with using it to answer any questions that come up when I am asking about the UC claim and to get through the security questions.  I do not know how well it would work with the person with limited english being the one phoning.  My experience is only from the first two days (one day a week, second tier the rest of the week) of advising refugees to maintain their UC claims and any other benefit problems that come up, so just getting to grips with language line myself.

i can also see issues arising cos its a claim where the appointee has limited english.