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UC and disabled students

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Welfare Support Worker - Community Renewal Edinburgh

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Claim online? Or are you saying they are refusing to accept online claims or process them for WCAs?

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Welfare rights officer - Dunedin Canmore HA, Lothians

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WR Adviser - 15 September 2020 02:54 PM

We are now seeing gatekeeping at DWP preventing nsESA claims to be made to force WCA.  Appointees are told to telephone to make the ESA claim, DWP staff are then refusing to accept a claim when the appointee telephones.  As I see it, a pre-action letter is the only way to address these gatekeeping issues.  Unless anyone has any other suggestions?

submit claims online?

Abi Sheridan
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Universal Credit Support - Citizens Advice North & West Gloucestershire

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Elliot Kent - 04 August 2020 07:06 PM

One of the most baffling areas of UC to follow and advise on recently has been the treatment of disabled students.

And now in a further development, DWP have issued new legislation to “clarify” the regulations to give effect to the policy intent. Obviously these new Regulations - which simply “clarify” what has already apparently been the case for 5 years - are so incredibly urgent that couldn’t go through SSAC in advance and have been laid before Parliament the day before they come into effect. And no impact assessment, because of course they don’t change anything.

So we are invited to accept that a major change in policy to refuse entitlement to UC for new disabled students who do not already have an LCW assessment was decided on in 2012, but was not announced publicly, was not mentioned or discussed in the consultation document and which was not subject to an impact assessment, and which now needs to be urgently clarified five years hence because the legislation which was intended to introduce the change apparently did not do so emphatically enough.

Does anyone else cynically wonder whether the “urgency” that meant no consultancy or parliamentary oversight was them realising that most new students will begin in September, only a couple of weeks after the change? Seems suspicious (read: downright hostile) to me that this was rushed through 2 weeks before the start of term….


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Wolverhampton Welfare Rights have produced a Benefits Bulletin on Disabled Students and Universal Credit and a supplement following the legislative change at the beginning of August - attached.

Thanks to Mark Perlic for sharing these.