interview' for Universal Credit documents

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interview' for Universal Credit documents

Post by Admin on Sun May 21, 2017 10:10 pm

thankyou ourwelfare for these

ourwelfare wrote:I thought the group might find these documents interesting that I was given at my first 'interview' for Universal Credit. I was wondering if anyone else got the same things or if it differs from area to area?

Claimant Commitment

UC is new in my area. I applied online and waited for the phonecall. I checked 3 times before hanging up that my appointment was 11:45 yet when I arrived I was told it was 12. When I came back, I waited and was shown to a man who explained that I should have been seen at 11:45 and that he didn't know why I hadn't been brought through. The consequence was that he had less time with me before he passed me on to the person who'd be my work coach. I'm not unhappy to avoid the waffle and highly dubious PR bilge that passes for government information these days but I didn't think it was impressive. Especially if I'd been someone less clued up on what to expect. They just shortened the appointment.

They told me I'd answered "Does anyone live with you?" wrong. You answer no if you don't own or rent your home regardless of who you live with. A great start I thought. Its almost like they're trying to trip you up.

I sat down with my new 'work coach' and my claimant commitment was drawn up. I assume it was - they didn't tell me what was going on, just turned the monitor round to me and started going through some drop down menus on something called the Microsoft Dynamics CRM. First they brought up a list of names and emails. Which one's yours? they enquired. I'm not happy to give my email I said and they promised not to record it. What's your email name so I can check it's suitable? they asked. I gave them the first part and restated that I didn't want it recorded - but I didn't feel happy with their approach. I was asked if I'd signed up to a UJ. Yes I said - but I wasn't given a cookies consent sheet.

They put down 'search jobsites daily' and the rest was fairly simple - ask family and friends for vacancies and that I would 'bring in evidence of my 35 hours'. Again how much and how detailed I don't know. I questioned why I had to check my Universal Jobmatch account 5 times a week. Apparently its necessary for 'evidence' as I refused to give access.. I tried to question it further but was told we'd discuss it next week.

Initially I was to check UJ daily but I said I wasn't willing to accept cookies on my PC. Why, they asked, aren't you happy with our website? No I explained it's insecure and has duplicate out of date jobs. I got the same query when it came up on screen that I'd refused access. Oh you'll have to provide more written evidence then if you don't allow access. Fine I replied. I was told the PCs at the jobcentre were available for use - daily? I queried, yes daily they said. I pointed out they weren't open at weekends and it was changed to 5 times a week.

So how long do I have before I have to sign this? I asked. Isn't there a cooling off period? They didn't bring it up and I imagine wouldn't have if I hadn't. They printed out the CC and gave it away with me. I've got till my next appointment next Tuesday and assume I have to follow it until I sign it. We'll discuss the UJ thing again and then I imagine I'll have to send it to a review by a 'decision maker'.

What struck me the most was the way and how often they mentioned sanctions. There's a high sanction rate I was told by the first person while handing me some booklet. Yes, there's a high sanction rate said the second person, at least twice, while filling in the CC.

I didn't like my "work coach". They were smarmy and came across as untrustworthy. The fact they didn't explain about the claimant commitment before starting it, the fact I had to raise the issue of UJ cookies and the cooling off period before signing the CC just sat wrong. The suggestion that because I didn't give access to my account I 'had' to check UJ daily for 'evidence' doesn't make any sense either. I recorded the whole thing.

I didn't see much else around me. The jobcentre was quiet with only other claimants sat around looking miserable with their 'work coaches'. I asked on the way out to book a PC for my 'daily UJ search' but they're hardly ever busy I was told. If they're all in use I can just wait, apparently.

I thought about putting in an FOI request to my jobcentre to see just how high a rate of sanctioning there is.

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