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UC Fight Back started 1 July 2020 the day sanctions ban ended

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Post by UC Fight Back on Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:58 pm

The Universal Credit (UC) Fight Back: How to stop your home and devices becoming a digital workhouse and fight the UC rule to spend 35 hours a week searching for work
https://ucfightback.wordpress.com/digitalworkhouse


Regards
#ucfightback
Twitter.com/@UCfightback
https://ucfightback.wordpress.com


Last edited by UC Fight Back on Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : digital workhouse url updated #ucfightback)

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Post by Welfare-Champion on Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:16 am

Every success with your campaign #ucfightback.  Very Happy

Using Jobcentre computers to look for work is not always practical for everyone.  The number of computers in Jobcentres and libraries has reduced significantly and the cost of travelling to the jobcentre can be very expensive.   The number of Jobcentres has also declined.  Able claimants are expected to walk up to 1 hour there and back.  

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/public-computers-cut-from-libraries-jobcentres_uk_5c8a9e0ce4b0d7f6b0f0da14?guccounter=1

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-01-22/6616/

The requirements within the Claimant Commitment must be reasonable as well as achievable taking into consideration all of the claimant’s circumstances and resources.

Claimants can no longer be required to search for work on specified jobsites, which makes the work coach’s job of proving that insufficient job search activity has taken place a great deal more difficult!   There is also no requirement to record the time spent on work search, but in the event of a dispute it may be necessary to account for the work search undertaken and any extenuating circumstances.

Thanks Florence
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/613280/response/1467226/attach/html/2/IR2019%2038977%20reply.pdf.html

Consideration must also be given as to whether the 35-hour work search requirement should be reduced or lifted.

Read the full decision in CUC/1808/2017.

Judicial Summary
Universal credit - claimant commitment - medium-level sanctions imposed for non-compliance for no good reason - “all reasonable action” for purpose of work search requirement - 35 hour rule for “expected number of hours” not immutable
Published 6 December 2017

https://www.gov.uk/administrative-appeals-tribunal-decisions/rr-v-secretary-of-state-for-work-and-pensions-uc-2017-ukut-459-aac

Helpful, easy reading guidance:

Information Guide 3
https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2019-06/Information%20Guide%203%20-%20Universal%20Credit%20-%20Claimant%20Commitment%201.5.2019.pdf

Ask CPAG | Lack of commitment
https://askcpag.org.uk/content/200514/lack-of-commitment-


Last edited by Welfare-Champion on Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:53 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : added links)

Welfare-Champion

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Post by UC Fight Back on Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:27 pm

Improved Covid-19 Jobcentre Customer Facing Risk Assessment negotiated
Limiting caller numbers
The emphasis should continue to be using other channels and not face to face contact with the public and all contact with the public should be pushing telephony and digital channels. We have raised that we want this included in the CHRA and the guidance for all staff to avoid encouraging the public to call into the jobcentres. The safest place to deliver services to the public is for them to remain at home whilst we support them.
17 Jul 2020
https://www.pcs.org.uk/department-for-work-and-pensions/news/improved-covid-19-jcfra-negotiated

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Post by UC Fight Back on Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:27 pm

"Able claimants are expected to walk up to 1 hour there and back"?

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Post by Welfare-Champion on Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:07 am

I agree that it is safer to stay at home.  My library is closed.  

Can claimants without access to the internet be reasonably mandated to use Jobcentre facilites at this time for the purpose of meeting their claimant commitment?

The walking rule used to be as follows:

If no public transport is available "postal status is determined by whether or not [you] can reasonably be expected to walk from home to the Jobcentre within one hour". ES staff are told that "this will depend upon things like [your] age, health and the terrain over which [you] must walk". Whatever the circumstances you "must not be asked to walk more than 3 miles" in total (JSA Int, ch 20, para 4).

Travel expenses to attend the Jobcentre are payable in particular circumstances.

A couple of FOI requests would be helpful.

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Post by UC Fight Back on Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:01 pm

Travel expenses (Extract from UC Full Service Guidance)
Mandatory awards for travel
An award for travel expenses must be made when the claimant:-
  attends additional appointments other than the fortnightly work search reviews when they are allocated to the intensive work search regime.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/498576/response/1211953/attach/html/3/Annex%201%20UCFS%20Travel.pdf.html
Note: Pending a review of the current FSF policy to incorporate UC processes,
you must follow the existing legacy processes for undertaking the reimbursement
of travel costs for UC claimants.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/646427/response/1537058/attach/html/13/Payment%20of%20travel%20expenses.pdf.html

The Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card
This is provided to those unemployed claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit for 3-9 months (18-24 year olds) or 3-12 months (over 25s). Other benefit recipients may receive a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card from 3 months of their claim and if they are actively engaged with a Jobcentre Plus adviser. Cardholders are entitled to a 50% discount on selected rail tickets.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-to-help-with-the-cost-of-transport/support-to-help-with-the-cost-of-transport

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Post by UC Fight Back on Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:08 pm

Welfare-Champion wrote:I agree that it is safer to stay at home.  My library is closed.  

Can claimants without access to the internet be reasonably mandated to use Jobcentre facilites at this time for the purpose of meeting their claimant commitment?

The walking rule used to be as follows:

If no public transport is available "postal status is determined by whether or not [you] can reasonably be expected to walk from home to the Jobcentre within one hour". ES staff are told that "this will depend upon things like [your] age, health and the terrain over which [you] must walk". Whatever the circumstances you "must not be asked to walk more than 3 miles" in total (JSA Int, ch 20, para 4).

Travel expenses to attend the Jobcentre are payable in particular circumstances.

A couple of FOI requests would be helpful.


Keep us updated of your FOI requests.

Library closed, no home internet or library computer access, Jobcentre contact will be over the phone, with appointments auto notified via text to the UC account registered cell phone.

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Post by Welfare-Champion on Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:15 am

Universal credit postal/telephone alternative when distance to nearest JCP is unmanageable

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/universal_credit_postaltelephone

If a claimant has no access to the Internet at home or locally I think it would be reasonable to include use of JC computers within the Claimant Commitment if the person is capable and it is safe to do so. A problem arises when use of JC PC's is required more than once a week and when the claimant does not live within walking distance. Some jobseekers have been told their benefit includes jobsearch costs, but this can vary considerably.

Example of stupidity and unreasonableness
Need to sign on? You'll have to walk 24 miles to the jobcentre
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/07/need-to-sign-on-youll-have-to-walk-24-miles-to-jobcentre

Claimants must challenge all unreasonble requirements. Seek professional help if necessary. https://advicelocal.uk/


Last edited by Welfare-Champion on Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:38 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by UC Fight Back on Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:39 pm

Welfare-Champion wrote:Universal credit postal/telephone alternative when distance to nearest JCP is unmanageable

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/universal_credit_postaltelephone

If a claimant has no access to the Internet at home or locally I think it would be reasonable to include use of JC computers within the Claimant Commitment if the person is capable and it is safe to do so.  A problem arises when use of JC PC's is required more than once a week and when the claimant does not live within walking distance.   Some jobseekers have been told their benefit includes jobsearch costs, but this can vary considerably.

Example of stupidity and unreasonableness
Need to sign on? You'll have to walk 24 miles to the jobcentre
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/07/need-to-sign-on-youll-have-to-walk-24-miles-to-jobcentre

Claimants must challenge all unreasonble requirements. Seek professional help if necessary. https://advicelocal.uk/


Dear Work Coach, Please evidence in writing on my Journal, without speculation, how Travel Costs specifically for mandatory attendance at a Jobcentre to use a Internet Access Device (IAD) there, is
a reasonable Travel cost that I and other claimants are expected to cover, when the attendance appointments are not part of any other mandatory Jobcentre appointment. If you are unable to evidence, I will be making a formal complaint using https://makeacomplaint.dwp.gov.uk/ which will include a request for all UC specific policies on Travel costs reimbursement for visits to the Jobcentre you have mandated me to undertake to use Internet Access Devices there. At present I consider my Claimant Commitment to be unreasonable as you are expecting me to fund IAD related Travel costs you are imposing upon me. Please also explain how mandating me to attend a Jobcentre for regular week days indefinite IAD use does not put me, Jobcentre staff and other claimants at a greater risk of getting coronavirus? Additionally, what Personal Protective Equipment and face masks/covering will I be provided with when I visit the Jobcentre, on a mandated basis, for any reason?

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Post by Welfare-Champion on Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:57 am

Relevant to this thread

Universal Credit: Jobseekers given just 30 minutes to explain personal circumstances as ‘work coach’ interviews slashed
The Government has admitted that the ‘claimant commitment’ interview people looking for financial support has been halved
By Jenn Selby
July 19, 2020 4:55 pm
Updated July 20, 2020 8:08 am

https://inews.co.uk/news/universal-credit-jobseekers-interviews-slashed-557259

A claimant can accept the Claimant Commitment and then ask for it to be reviewed.  In these circumstances,the person will be paid UC. However, s/he will have to comply with the terms of the claimant commitment while the review is being carried out.  If the claimant does not meet the terms of the Claimant Commitment during the review, her UC may be sanctioned.

https://respectfulbenefits.forumotion.com/t2213-variation-revocation-of-a-uc-jsa-claimant-commitment?highlight=variation


Last edited by Welfare-Champion on Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by UC Fight Back on Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:23 pm

Accepting a Claimant Commitment and the seven day "cooling off period"

When the first new claim Claimant Commitment (CC) is created or subsequently reviewed, a claimant's UC account should indicate a date it must be accepted by ["seven calendar days"], a formal complaint can be made about the CC during this period and the Work Coach can be requested to amend it. You can also ask for a formal 'Second Opinion' of the first or revised CC.

Pragmatically you can within "seven calendar days" accept the CC "so that your Universal Credit claim is able to progress, but to request a review or amendment as soon as possible afterwards"
Continued/...
https://respectfulbenefits.forumotion.com/t4519-accepting-a-claimant-commitment-and-the-seven-day-cooling-off-period#12924

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Post by joblotto on Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:03 pm

UC Fight Back wrote:The Universal Credit (UC) Fight Back: How to stop your home and devices becoming a digital workhouse and fight the UC rule to spend 35 hours a week searching for work
https://ucfightback.wordpress.com/digitalworkhouse


Regards
#ucfightback
Twitter.com/@UCfightback
https://ucfightback.wordpress.com


I use a sim and email address for my UC account that have settings that let me suspend receipt of all calls, text and emails.
UC sim is only on during time period telephone calls my Journal says I must take, then off after the call.
My roach and UC do not know the other email addresses and dual sim phone number I use for my CVs, Jobsites and Job applications.

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