UC complaints rant — Scope | Disability forum
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UC complaints rant

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johnsmith187
johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to rant and ask if anyone thinks I'm being unreasonable here.

Long story short, when we went to our first UC meeting we were told we couldn't claim lcwra for my wife who's unfit for work while I was working. So we shouldn't provide fit notes because we were ineligible. Come to find out recently that's not true and we would have been entitled all along (obviously pending assessment).

After advice on here (thanks poppy) we decided to make a formal complaint, I sat down and wrote a very detailed complaint and sent it in. We got back a very generic letter on our journal from someone from the complaints team saying 'I have looked into your complaint and the reason you haven't been receiving lcwra is because you have not submitted sick notes' then just details of how to submit sick notes ect. 

I wrote back and said I understand that but the reason we didn't submit sick notes was because we were told not to and that this is what we were complaining about, the same person then rang me and said they were going to look into this further and would be listening to the phonecalls on the account and would get back to me in a couple of days. (I assume to see if they had it on record of someone providing me the correct advice). I then waited three weeks and heard nothing, I left a message on the journal asking if there was any updates. I then got a letter today on the journal, saying 'I have investigated this further, I can see you did tell us (my wife's name) was unfit for work and that she had the following conditions (conditions listed) the reason you have not received the lcwra element is because you did not provide sick notes, in order to get lcwra (explains process).....I honestly feel like ripping my hair out. Its like she hasn't listened to a single word I've said. Am I being unreasonable here?

Also- while I've been waiting for them to reply I decided to see if any notes where left on the system about our first meetings so I requested the information, unfortunately there were no notes left about the meetings however it seems that the day of our very first statement I rang into uc, the notes left on the system are very brief, however they say something along the lines of 'client rang in wondering why they weren't given a work allowance as one claimant unable to work, advised ie work allowance'

I feel like this phonecall might hold some information so i've requested a transcript.

Oh and just an update, we have submitted sick notes, done the forms (weirdly they were sent next day not after 29 days) and are waiting for assessment.


Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,271 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks for coming back with an update, it’s appreciated!

    If her health condition had been reported through “report a change of circumstances “ then click “health condition “ and report it this way, that would have prompted an action on her to do list to provide a fit note. She would have then been referred for a WCA. 

    However, this doesn’t mean I don’t think they are being reasonable here because I don’t. Her health condition was mentioned and she or you should have been advised to provide a fit note. Instead of that you were both ignored and her work coach didn’t do their job correctly in my opinion!!

    It used to be the work coaches were poorly trained but now I find that a terrible excuse because UC was introduced 10 years ago and that’s no longer an excuse that’s acceptable. 

    UC is not an easy benefit to understand and I know this because it’s taken me several years to understand it and I’m still learning! 

    If you get no joy going forward then you should definitely consider contacting your local MP and tell them exactly what’s happened. Don’t forget to mention the potential loss of money that could have occurred and all because your wife and yourself weren’t advised correctly! It’s really no excuse!! With the cost of living being so high for such a long time, every penny helps!  https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/

    Please do come back and let me know how you get on going forward. I’d really appreciate that! 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • johnsmith187
    johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
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    Thank you for the reply poppy! We didn't tell them about her health conditions via report a change, we filled them in on the original application. 

    I'm very curious about this phonecall, i also don't understand why she would say she's going to listen to the calls then not mention them in her reply.

    Im very undecided about contacting my MP, I've heard good things about them helping people but when I looked ours up she's a hard core conservative, I shouldn't judge but I'm worried she may be unsympathetic to us...

    I'm just so upset that the complaint lady seems to be willfully misunderstanding the complaint to fob us off.. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,271 Disability Gamechanger
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    You're welcome. Then reporting it when you first claimed is even more reason for it to have shown on her to do list, to provide a fit note. I don't know why it didn't show.

    When I claimed UC on my daughters behalf in 2021 I also reported her health condition at the start of her claim and it prompted an action on her to do list to provide a fit note. 

    Please don't be put off by contacting your local MP, regardless of who they are. Very often they are quite helpful and will contact DWP on your behalf. Which very often gets them shifted. 

    Back in 2013 when I was awarded PIP for the first time, I knew at the time I was entitled to a disability premium in my ESA that I was claiming. ESA were being extremely stubborn and were digging their heals in and taking their time about paying me what I was owed. I decided to contact my local MP at the time, who was also a Tory, I didn't really expect much at all to be honest. To my complete surprise I had a reply the same day telling me that they were in the process of contacting DWP on my behalf. The following morning I had a phone call from a decision maker from DWP to tell me that I had been awarded the disability premium and the money owed had already been paid to me. I was very grateful for the help they gave. I'm not a Tory either. 

    Maybe you should see how you get on with the complaint and then decide whether to contact them or not. 


    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • johnsmith187
    johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
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    I've just gone through our journals and the paperwork they sent me, there's nothing about fit notes being requested the only notes about health stuff is 'self-certified health condition completed' , then on our meeting it says, no commitments no appointments booked at this time due to work group (the light touch one).. That's it....

    I was told by two separate people at the jc that we couldn't claim lcwra while working so I assume they all believed it but who knows.

    That makes me feel better abt the MP, I think I'm going to see what uc say then possibly write to mp, I've asked them to refer my complaint to a manager as I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall at the moment.

    The only other evidence I have is that about a year after we first claimed they tried to get my wife to do some sort of work program and I rang in and said she can't I've already told you she's disabled and then after looking into it they said its OK she can miss it because she's in the light touch so doesn't have any work commitment, that response is on the journal but again no mention of fit notes. 
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    @johnsmith187 I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this and be the one chasing up everything! I hope the outcome is better with the manager, but I am glad to hear that you know to go to your MP if you need further support. Please keep us updated <3 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • johnsmith187
    johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
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    Thank you hannah
  • johnsmith187
    johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
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    Hey guys, I'm unsure if I'm suppose to make a new post or if you'll see this as you commented on this one but just wanted to let you know a quick update. 

    Basically after asking for it to be referred to a manager they've just completely ignored every message I've left on the journal, it's been 21 days since I've had any reply from anyone in the complaints team (which was the reply I wrote abt on this thread), everytime I ask for an update i get a message saying 'I will pass this on to the complaints team' then nothing.... Not really sure what else I can do, oh and I also approached my mps office and she's away till the 17th so I've been drafting a letter to her... Not really looking hopeful though, am still waiting for the recording/ telescript of that phone call aswell. 
  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 2,240 Scope online community team
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    Thanks for updating us @johnsmith187, sorry you're having to fight so hard to be heard, it doesn't sound like they're listening at all. I hope your MP is helpful once she's back, keeping fingers crossed for you!
    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • johnsmith187
    johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
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    Thank you Rosie, I appreciate the support. 

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