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Thread: Universal Credit

  1. #1

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    Default Universal Credit

    Has anyone been through this process successfully? My wife applied for credit at the beginning of May and we are still trying to get her payments sorted. It has been the most unbelievable bureaucratic phaff so far. I am not claiming myself but keep getting called in to meetings. They have all my income details but still I get asked for more documents. They wonít let me email stuff to them. They seem to make it as difficult as possible in the hope that we will just give up. My wife has to keep an online journal of everything she does, which showed she applied for 80 jobs, but still we are waiting. We donít even know how much we are likely to get. I have to log on to my own page too even though I am not claiming. As she was in college we were given a £490 loan to help out but the bills are racking up and my pension doesnít go anywhere near covering them.
    The system sucks. God knows how people cope who donít have internet access.
    Iíd be interested to know if anyone has been able to navigate the system successfully.

  2. #2

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    My daughter had the same problem. Having been told initially she qualified for UC, after going through similar situations as yourself, she was told she did not qualify. This was after she was previously claiming Working Tax Credits and Childrens Tax Credits so they previously had all her details.

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    UC is merely a larger iteration of the cock-ups that PIP and Student Loans have been. They all suffer from a lack of common sense and logic, and the idea that UC is an entirely online process, based as it is on a Government IT system, makes it very hard to decide if the resulting problems are cock-up or conspiracy, ( as in the PIP system intentionally deterring claimants ).
    Last edited by badgerx16; 17-07-2019 at 07:27 AM.

  4. #4

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    Yep.

    Not me personally but an acquaintance who is very bright and switched on had to switch to UC from the old system and had to deal with all manner of utter melts and illogical rules. In addition, there are massive delays which actually perpetuate and exacerbate problems rather than help people.

    The question of how much money people should get, is one debate. But if you're proceeding on the basis that people are entitled to something then the system for getting that something should be logical, as efficient as possible and fair. It is none of the above.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I thought I had stumbled in to Kafkaesque world but it is helpful to know that we are not the only ones struggling with the system. The film I, Daniel Blake was spot on!

  6. Default

    I am not well up on UC and hope not to make its acquaintance.
    Friend of mine, also a Saints fan, has been forced to switch from his disability benefit to UC. They have told him he is fit to return to work. He is in a wheelchair, can't walk and hasn't been able to work in 30 years, yet they say he can get an office job (he has no qualifications for office work, was in shop floor high street retail). Every pound his wife earns results in 64p in the pound removed from his benefit. She is supposed to be his carer.
    In this case, it's desperate. He has involved his MP in the hope of getting their support, but it's heartbreaking. I am thinking of forming a consortium of working friends. He needs financial support.

  7. #7

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    And there's a big difference between being deemed fit for some sort of work and actually being able to get a job. It's a competitive world out there.

    Perhaps the local government should start employing those who they deem fit. Maybe they could do the disability assessing.

  8. #8

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    Personally it was about time something changed, I was made redundant and didnít work for a few years and had to call upon government help, this was before UC, I remember my weekly meetings at the job centre, utter shambles and anyone couldíve blagged they were looking for jobs and at one point I was offered a job and the lady sat there and worked out if I was finically better off not working.

    This seemed utterly stupid.

    Sadly itís a abused system, and the minority have ruined it for the majority.


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  9. #9

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    No personal experience but makes sense to have it simplified rather than multiple allowances - they just never seem to be able to get the bureaucratic part right.
    Recent expose on how scammers were fleecing vulnerable claimants and the clerical staff could see the fraud but seemingly no process to stop it.

    Problem is this needs to be right as can be such serious situations for people, Unfortunately if same sh1t was happening to more affluent influential types Iím sure it would be addressed and resolved with significant resources allocated but to the likes of Rees-Mogg its a case of Ďlet them eat cakeí

    Also sure there is committed experienced staff in DWP who know how to fix it and saw the issues coming but would have been ignored by PWC, Deloitte or whoever took millions in consultancy for designing this so well.

    Although tbf passports, DVLA, tax stuff, is pretty slick now and got that digitally right.

  10. #10

  11. #11

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    The idea was decent, the implementation was ****ing rubbish.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by whelk View Post
    No personal experience but makes sense to have it simplified rather than multiple allowances - they just never seem to be able to get the bureaucratic part right.
    Recent expose on how scammers were fleecing vulnerable claimants and the clerical staff could see the fraud but seemingly no process to stop it.

    Problem is this needs to be right as can be such serious situations for people, Unfortunately if same sh1t was happening to more affluent influential types I’m sure it would be addressed and resolved with significant resources allocated but to the likes of Rees-Mogg its a case of ‘let them eat cake’

    Also sure there is committed experienced staff in DWP who know how to fix it and saw the issues coming but would have been ignored by PWC, Deloitte or whoever took millions in consultancy for designing this so well.

    Although tbf passports, DVLA, tax stuff, is pretty slick now and got that digitally right.
    I have just renewed my passport online and it worked brilliantly. I received a number of updates by text and it arrived exactly when they said it would. Mind you, for £75 you expect a good service, but they clearly have got this and as you say, others things right too. We are still getting nowhere fast. I am still receiving messages to log onto my page and look at messages in my “journal” even though I am not applying. Why they can’t ask my wife to provide any info they need about me I don’t know. If I don’t comply we are told that it could affect the outcome. They are doubling the amount of bureaucracy in all cases where one of the claimants is in a relationship. Fortunately my wife has now found another job but we had 5 months without a second income (she left her previous job during sick leave after being bullied by her boss and being advised to get out by her doctor) and during that time we have racked up a lot of debt. It seems the quickest you can get some money is 5 weeks. We have been waiting much longer. I don’t know how one parent families cope. The people in the centre are pleasant and try to be helpful, but the caseworkers are in other offices and you can’t get to communicate with them other than through your journal online. And what does Universal Credit even mean? At least Jobseekers Allowance did what it said on the tin.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadoldgit View Post
    I have just renewed my passport online and it worked brilliantly. I received a number of updates by text and it arrived exactly when they said it would. Mind you, for £75 you expect a good service, but they clearly have got this and as you say, others things right too. We are still getting nowhere fast. I am still receiving messages to log onto my page and look at messages in my “journal” even though I am not applying. Why they can’t ask my wife to provide any info they need about me I don’t know. If I don’t comply we are told that it could affect the outcome. They are doubling the amount of bureaucracy in all cases where one of the claimants is in a relationship. Fortunately my wife has now found another job but we had 5 months without a second income (she left her previous job during sick leave after being bullied by her boss and being advised to get out by her doctor) and during that time we have racked up a lot of debt. It seems the quickest you can get some money is 5 weeks. We have been waiting much longer. I don’t know how one parent families cope. The people in the centre are pleasant and try to be helpful, but the caseworkers are in other offices and you can’t get to communicate with them other than through your journal online. And what does Universal Credit even mean? At least Jobseekers Allowance did what it said on the tin.
    Good luck with it. I hope your wife can get some compensation for the bullying too? Sounds like a constructive dismissal?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjii View Post
    Good luck with it. I hope your wife can get some compensation for the bullying too? Sounds like a constructive dismissal?
    SOG is a pacifist but if someone was bullying my missus out of her job Iíd be looking to maim

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjii View Post
    Good luck with it. I hope your wife can get some compensation for the bullying too? Sounds like a constructive dismissal?
    Thank you. We did consider it briefly but decided it was best to put it behind us and move on. My wife had a nasty accident a couple of months ago which left her with a bad case of concussion which has only just sorted itself out so didn’t want any extra grief. The situation was made worse by the fact that there were only two other people in the business and they were in a relationship together. They also use our local and we have a number of mutual friends so it’s all been a bit messy.

    I took what is hopefully the last bit of paperwork into the office yesterday. The lady I saw was very helpful and sympathetic but once again was a barrier between us and my wife’s caseworker who works in another office miles away and who we can only communicate with via our online journal page. I know we hear lots of stories about people abusing the benefits system but given our experience so far it seems a miracle if anyone gets anything out of UC. I do have sympathy for those who have to deal with the public face to face though. Whilst most people have been well behaved during our visits to the UC office there have been a few who have kicked off. There are always two or three burly guys wondering around the office just in case, which makes for a slightly oppressive atmosphere. Hopefully we are nearly done now!

  16. #16

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    Feck! Found out today that my wife is entitled to £0. They don’t take into account your outgoings including mortgage repayments. They only help with rent payments. WTF? No one called us to explain we just found out through the online journal. What is the point of NI payments when you can’t get anything back when you need it? I get a pension but it is not enough to cover the mortgage and the bills. UC is a f***ing disgrace.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadoldgit View Post
    Feck! Found out today that my wife is entitled to £0. They don’t take into account your outgoings including mortgage repayments. They only help with rent payments. WTF? No one called us to explain we just found out through the online journal. What is the point of NI payments when you can’t get anything back when you need it? I get a pension but it is not enough to cover the mortgage and the bills. UC is a f***ing disgrace.
    because other people need free stuff.

  18. #18

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    Helpful. Hardly free if you have been paying NI contributions all of your life.

  19. #19

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    Well, let's hope he carries through on this:

    Labour's Chris Bryant asks the new prime minister to scrap the five-week wait to receive the first payment under the universal credit benefits system.

    He says this provision puts many people into debt as soon as they are moved onto the new system from the old benefits scheme.

    In reply, Boris Johnson says those migrating on to universal credit can now get a "100% advance" on future payments on day one.

    Backing the changes to the system, he says the old welfare provisions "kept people trapped on benefits".

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadoldgit View Post
    Helpful. Hardly free if you have been paying NI contributions all of your life.
    I know. But there are people less well off than you, who probably have not done a days honest work in their life, that need free stuff. Someone has to pay for it I am afraid
    Last edited by Batman; 25-07-2019 at 06:56 PM.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbelievable Jeff View Post
    Well, let's hope he carries through on this:

    Labour's Chris Bryant asks the new prime minister to scrap the five-week wait to receive the first payment under the universal credit benefits system.

    He says this provision puts many people into debt as soon as they are moved onto the new system from the old benefits scheme.

    In reply, Boris Johnson says those migrating on to universal credit can now get a "100% advance" on future payments on day one.

    Backing the changes to the system, he says the old welfare provisions "kept people trapped on benefits".
    If SOGís missus had received something she might not have had the motivation to get a job,

    Anyway SOG why havenít you retired?

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by whelk View Post
    If SOG’s missus had received something she might not have had the motivation to get a job,

    Anyway SOG why haven’t you retired?
    My wife is 53. She has always worked and wishes to continue to work. She has found another job but we are thousands of pounds in debt for the period when she was looking for work. I am retired but we cannot live on my pension alone and I am doing part time work to help pay the bills. We would have been entitled to £498 a month ( hardly a Kings ransom) but because it is income based and I have a pension we are not entitled to anything. Long gone are the days when you as a couple could live on one wage, but they don’t consider that. Nor are they interested in your mortgage repayments yet they will cover rent?

  23. #23

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    Presumably because a mortgage repayment is a luxury rather that an essential. Otherwise you'd be in a situation where you would ve entitled to higher payments simply because you pay a lot on your mortgage.

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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadoldgit View Post
    My wife is 53. She has always worked and wishes to continue to work. She has found another job but we are thousands of pounds in debt for the period when she was looking for work. I am retired but we cannot live on my pension alone and I am doing part time work to help pay the bills. We would have been entitled to £498 a month ( hardly a Kings ransom) but because it is income based and I have a pension we are not entitled to anything. Long gone are the days when you as a couple could live on one wage, but they don’t consider that. Nor are they interested in your mortgage repayments yet they will cover rent?
    Do you get a state pension as well? I would have thought that as a baby boomer of all people you should be able to live off one wage? Did you retire early?

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbelievable Jeff View Post
    Do you get a state pension as well? I would have thought that as a baby boomer of all people you should be able to live off one wage? Did you retire early?
    I get £149 per week state pension. I have a few others as well but they don’t add up to what we need. The joys of being taken to the cleaners by my first wife in the divorce settlement. Any system should be means tested. This system isn’t. I know everyone assumes that people take the benefits system for a ride, but after our experience it is hard to see how anyway gets enough to support them. It has been a sobering experience going through this process. At no time have we felt supported. It is a soulless and almost faceless process which reduces you to a bunch of numbers in a computer system. I have sat and listened to a number of people who have come into the office and it really is a tick box exercise. At least my wife is employable and has been able to find another job, but you see people coming through the doors who look less able to find work and you have to wonder how their lives will be stuck in this dreadful system.

  27. #27

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    Watching ĎI am Kirstyí. Depressing knowing it is probably reality for many,

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadoldgit View Post
    I get £149 per week state pension. I have a few others as well but they don’t add up to what we need. The joys of being taken to the cleaners by my first wife in the divorce settlement. Any system should be means tested. This system isn’t. I know everyone assumes that people take the benefits system for a ride, but after our experience it is hard to see how anyway gets enough to support them. It has been a sobering experience going through this process. At no time have we felt supported. It is a soulless and almost faceless process which reduces you to a bunch of numbers in a computer system. I have sat and listened to a number of people who have come into the office and it really is a tick box exercise. At least my wife is employable and has been able to find another job, but you see people coming through the doors who look less able to find work and you have to wonder how their lives will be stuck in this dreadful system.
    I don't think people think you can take the system for a ride anymore TBH.

  29. #29

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    To crack the nut of one-in-however-many who are cheating the system, we appear to have taken an industrial sledge hammer and we're now pushing people who need help, into poverty - and in some cases, beyond.
    When kids are going through school bins for food, should we perhaps have a look at our political direction of travel?

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