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  1. I'm sorry you have to deal with this, it's really unacceptable. It used to frustrate me a lot too when I was a WC. Building trust and rapport is so important from both sides.

  2. The whole dwp needs a huge rework so it's not a sack of shit lol. Get rid of those fucking job centres they are the most pointless places ever and over the pandemic we managed fine with phone only. I'm starting a care job in a couple of weeks which I managed to get all by myself zero help or support from those "work coaches". All they did was waste my time lol.

  3. I won't argue with you there! I think there is a place for something like jobcentres but the current model is just a complete mess. And even as they are, there's no need for them to be run so badly, it's truly shocking. Anyway - congratulations on your job, hope it all goes well for you!

  4. If you have a problem with the service your work coach is providing, or another aspect of Universal Credit, "Service Issue" messages are the way to go.

  5. Work coaches and case managers can see all journal messages when they look at a claimant's journal, however 'service issue' and 'payment' will only notify the CM, the rest will notify the WC. As you say, how quickly they are answered will depend on the caseload but it makes sense to try to get the message to the right person.

  6. It's hard to say for certain, but the to-do in your to-do list wouldn't cause it. Sometimes people just get missed because a WC/their manager isn't checking that everyone on their caseload has an appointment booked in. Another possibility is that you were moved from your WC's caseload and then you were never moved back to them. My jobcentre used to have a separate caseload for people who were sanctioned, so that may be what's happened here.

  7. a caseload for sanctioned claimants? thats so... weird!

  8. There was someone in service delivery who was responsible for it, and the idea was that the journal messages were monitored and appointments could be booked in quickly to end the sanction, sometimes for the same day. When I was a WC there were days where I barely looked at my journal messages due to back to back appointments. I always cleared them at the end of the day but I had colleagues who were...less efficient shall we say! So it made sense to me.

  9. Regarding tax, you would need to register as self-employed and file a self-assessment each year:

  10. I have never ever experienced that in my time on this planet. It's odd that the DWP members of staff didn't think to say, "if you're on UC, then you must have some technical knowledge" as you require an email address for UC.

  11. As a WC I came across a lot of people (of all ages) with online claims who either had no or very limited IT skills but someone else had helped them set up the account or done it for them entirely. Or they knew how to use a smartphone or tablet but not a PC. It's the sort of thing you can never assume.

  12. You don't need a job offer, FSF can also be used to help with costs for interviews, such as travel and clothing.

  13. You can report it as a change of circumstances through your online account (on the Home page).

  14. Ah, I see. Because you need to provide evidence, the appointment usually needs to be in person. Based on your situation, the jobcentre should make an adjustment for you and conduct the appointment another way but honestly it may be a bit of a battle to get that.

  15. It should be as simple as asking for it be closed via the journal.

  16. When you reported the change, did you then attend a Gateway to verify the end of your self-employment?

  17. The reality is it is not going to work. There is simply not enough resources and trained staff that can help the claimants that are in need of more support

  18. I'm sure they will (say no, that is) but whether management will listen is another story! It was not uncommon when I was a WC for us all to say 'what you are asking us to do is not realistic' and to just be told that it had come from higher up so couldn't be argued with. Of course this just ended in a lose-lose situation where the original aim was not achieved and staff became more stressed and unhappy.

  19. Thank you for this. He's just rang universal credit and they where abit stumped. Nobody could give him an answer?

  20. Unfortunately the helpline staff are not always that knowledgeable. But the key thing is whether they are living together as a couple, as others have said.

  21. You will not be sanctioned, you are allowed up to three 'good reasons' for not being to attend an appointment (such as being unwell). You have notified in advance (your WC will be able to see when you sent the message) and already have a fit note. The appointment will likely be marked as 'Failed to attend' as WCs are not usually allowed to rebook appointments on the day (as it leaves a blank space in their diary) but then it will just be rebooked.

  22. Yeah I have about 6 cases on my work load and I keep asking for them to be done and they don't, then the claimant doesn't get paid.

  23. Not included at all in my WC training in 2020! Only learnt how to do them (along with almost every to-do on the build) because of a colleague who had previously been a CM. My training was almost all theory and soft skills, we had access to the training build but were only shown the basics. I learnt everything else on the job.

  24. A Work Focused interview would usually be for someone who is not currently required to look for work - this could be because they have LCW, a child under 3 or are providing fit notes. Instead the appointment is about work but it's not a Work Search Review.

  25. Is there anyone else who would be able to attend an appointment with him? This could be helpful to advocate for him (or just be a supportive presence) and see if there is something in particular that is contributing to his anxiety. During Covid people were encouraged to attend alone to keep numbers down but now people can bring someone with them to jobcentre appointments for any reason, they don't need to be a carer.

  26. To be fair I don't think a case manager or work coach is going to be able to provide much guidance on the UC50 form or evidence. They may be able to give you some limited information (such as if a referral has been made) but because the WCA process is not carried out by DWP there's not much they can tell you. Aside from calling

  27. You can still go on holiday, officially you are still expected to keep your claimant commitment during the holiday but most work coaches should understand that this is not really realistic.

  28. Just send a journal message asking to close your claim, you do not need to provide a reason. But just make sure you're certain you want to first.

  29. The utility bill or CT statement is to prove you currently live there, so I can see why they would ask for it to be in your name, although in your situation it does make sense why it isn't. Whether your evidence is accepted can depend on who is verifying the housing costs and how strictly they interpret the guidance. However, for proof of address you can also provide a signed letter from your landlord or letting agent confirming you live there, so that might be a way round it.

  30. I'm really not comfortable with my landlord knowing that I'm on UC. Also not sure if it's the agent would be ok with it.

  31. You don't need to tell them you are on UC. You could say that you need proof of address for something (such as a bank account or a credit card, if you want to give a specific reason) and because of the situation with the bills, you don't have anything else that's suitable. It's not an unreasonable or uncommon request. The letter just needs to confirm that you live there and be signed. It's not ideal but I'm not sure of any other options unfortunately.

  32. I was a work coach for about 18 months, left during the permanency saga - the less said about that the better! It was very intense at times and definitely challenging but I did learn a lot. Plus it's a decent way to get your foot in the door.

  33. Your claim is closed after six months of nil award in a row. Otherwise, it will stay open, unless you ask to close it.

  34. They should be able to help with travel until your first pay day via the Flexible Support Fund, it's a grant so you don't have to pay it back. You will need evidence of the job offer and the travel help you need. Ask your WC about it as soon as possible as it may take a few days for it to be approved and processed.

  35. GPs will write fit notes that say you can only do limited hours, that's quite typical.

  36. Thanks. Is it better for me to get a GP fit note, or to apply for LCW immediately?

  37. You will need to provide medical evidence (such as a fit note) to start the Work Capability Assessment process. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, you will be found fit for work or awarded LCW/LCWRA.

  38. You are expected to look for any job (within reason) after the 4 week permitted period.

  39. You need to report that you are self-employed and then will need to attend a gateway meeting to verify this. You will then need to report your earnings from self-employment each month.

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