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Client asked to provide document to show Proof of Relationship to Mother

BHCAC
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I have a client who has recently made an application to UC and is being asked to provide an official document showing proof of relationship to your mother. I have not come across this before and am not sure what exactly UC are asking for- the client has advised they do not have Birth Certificate- they are originally from Somalia and have advised getting a replacement Birth Certificate is virtually impossible.
Will sending a copy of the passport suffice- do they want to see the passport of the claimant or the mother?
All a bit confusing

HB Anorak
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The only situation I can think of in which that might be required is if the mother is an EEA national, the claimant is a non-EEA national with pre-settled status, and the claimant is relying on the mother for a right to reside as an EEA family member.

In that case, the fact they have pre-settled status at all takes them some way towards proving the relationship - there must be an EEA national out there somewhere to whose family they have belonged.  It’s then just a question of confirming that this EEA worker is indeed this person’s mother, in order to rule out the possibility that the claimant has procured the services of a stand-in EEA national.  I’ve never seen a case where the required proof was that rigorous - normally the focus would be on establishing that the mother has a right to reside as a worker etc, and the fact that she is the claimant’s mother would tend to be taken as a given. 

Is there some reason why a person coming to the prima facie facts of this case “cold” would doubt whether the person being held out as the claimant’s mother really is their mother?

AlexJ
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We have recently had a case, about which we have lodged a complaint, in which a claimant was asked for proof of parentage.

It was a refugee family who had come to the UK in a boat. We had proof (letters from the health visitor and a social worker) that the parents were responsible for the children they were claiming for. The Home Office had accepted their (the claimants’) version of events and issued BRPs.

They were told in the local Jobcentre that they would need to get hold of some proof of parentage from their country of origin, because that ‘could have picked up any children on the boat and claimed for them’ (I know, it’s appalling, thanks for that kind of attitude Suella).

If there is proof of responsibility then that should be sufficient, parentage is irrelevant.

Cheers

Alex

HB Anorak
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Agreed, in the case of children for whom the claimant is claiming UC or Child Benefit the test of responsibility takes no account of parentage and even if they had done exactly what the Job Centre suggested they would be entitled to claim for the children.

But the OP’s case is strange, because I get the impression that the client who is being asked for proof of relationship with his/her mother is an adult claimant.

BHCAC
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Hi all

Thanks for the replies, the Child and the parent both have Swedish nationality and Pre Settled status, I presume they are looking to see if the claimant, who is an adult, has Right to Reside as a family member?

Elliot Kent
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I am somewhat uncomfortable with the process of trying to second guess why the documents might have been requested. The DWP should have explained why they are required. You have said that the claimant “is being asked to” provide the document - but in what sense? Is there a journal message or something and does it not explain what the request relates to? Is it part of a HRT assessment? Are they asking for anything else?

There are currently issues being raised about the DWP’s alleged use of potentially discriminatory algorithms to identify “high-risk” claims and to select claimants for suspensions and arbitrary document requests. We perhaps ought to be scrutinising these sorts of cases carefully in that context. https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/19931/

BHCAC
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Thanks Eliot

She was asked via a TO DO task set to her account shortly after making application- I tried to this post but it would not work.
There is no information on why they require this info or even what document they specifically require- just a highly generic message that states Please upload a document to show proof of your relation to your mother.

Thanks

AlexJ
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HB Anorak - 22 February 2024 11:39 AM

Agreed, in the case of children for whom the claimant is claiming UC or Child Benefit the test of responsibility takes no account of parentage and even if they had done exactly what the Job Centre suggested they would be entitled to claim for the children.

But the OP’s case is strange, because I get the impression that the client who is being asked for proof of relationship with his/her mother is an adult claimant.

That’ll teach me not to read the original post properly, you are of course right, the implication is that the claimant is an adult so it is quite a different scenario to the one I cited.

Cheers

Alex

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Elliot Kent - 22 February 2024 07:55 PM

I am somewhat uncomfortable with the process of trying to second guess why the documents might have been requested. The DWP should have explained why they are required.

We’ve seen a stream of recent cases, all involving non-UK nationals claiming PC, where they have been asked to provide absolutely absurd evidence about themselves but often about family members for no obvious reason whatsoever.

When the client has struggled with this, PC claims have simply been sat on, with no decision either way and no easy way for the client or adviser to find out what is going on. It seems to me that the DWP are in danger of joining the HO approach of creating a hostile environment for non-UK benefit claimants.

Elliot Kent
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BHCAC - 23 February 2024 09:51 AM

Thanks Eliot

She was asked via a TO DO task set to her account shortly after making application- I tried to this post but it would not work.
There is no information on why they require this info or even what document they specifically require- just a highly generic message that states Please upload a document to show proof of your relation to your mother.

Thanks

Perhaps the response ought to be a journal message asking “why”

juliem
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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 23 February 2024 10:20 AM
Elliot Kent - 22 February 2024 07:55 PM

I am somewhat uncomfortable with the process of trying to second guess why the documents might have been requested. The DWP should have explained why they are required.

We’ve seen a stream of recent cases, all involving non-UK nationals claiming PC, where they have been asked to provide absolutely absurd evidence about themselves but often about family members for no obvious reason whatsoever.

When the client has struggled with this, PC claims have simply been sat on, with no decision either way and no easy way for the client or adviser to find out what is going on. It seems to me that the DWP are in danger of joining the HO approach of creating a hostile environment for non-UK benefit claimants.

This may explain why my client who has applied for PC is being asked what appear to be stupid questions. Most definitely a UK national, but has been a spouse on a UK military base abroad, and worked in the shop there so PC asking unhelpful questions. Client also needs child elements on PC so is a lot of money down at the moment.

UB40
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” Do you own any pets? ” This is a mandatory question on the DWP eHRT tool. So it doesn’t take a leap of the imagination to see a request for proof of pet ownership.

Elliot Kent
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UB40 - 27 February 2024 06:08 PM

” Do you own any pets? ” This is a mandatory question on the DWP eHRT tool. So it doesn’t take a leap of the imagination to see a request for proof of pet ownership.

It may sound rather silly but it is a reasonable question on a HRT assessment. If you’ve left your cat in Australia or Brazil, you are probably not habitually resident in the UK. If you brought the cat with you, or rehomed it, then you may well be.

UB40
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Elliot Kent - 27 February 2024 09:13 PM
UB40 - 27 February 2024 06:08 PM

” Do you own any pets? ” This is a mandatory question on the DWP eHRT tool. So it doesn’t take a leap of the imagination to see a request for proof of pet ownership.

It may sound rather silly but it is a reasonable question on a HRT assessment. If you’ve left your cat in Australia or Brazil, you are probably not habitually resident in the UK. If you brought the cat with you, or rehomed it, then you may well be.

I once asked an HRT DM that very question and the response was that it could be an indicator of settled intention. If John had left his trusted collie Shep in Spain on his return to Shepherds Bush there would be a greater doubt than if he had brought Shep with him. I am not aware of the weighting given to the answers though eg dog cat hamster goldfish.

Ryan Bradshaw
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Been directed to this thread by a colleague.

Likely some form of algorithm behind this, also likely that this algorithm is discriminatory.

PLP, CPAG and Foxglove are looking at these kind of issues already. I have had a dabble myself.

If you get one that has you feeling like it is mischief rather than sensible (especially if DWP already have the info and/or the info is irrelevant) then please feel free to flag with me and we can perhaps have a run at it.

This is the thin end of the wedge with these algorithms, important that benefits advisers set out any concerns and seek to establish some boundaries now.