Universal Credit
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UC interview

FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
Anybody any ideas why I've been summoned out of the blue to attend an interview at my job centre re UC? Started claiming in January. They sent a pdf document not very nicely worded, makes you feel like you've done something wrong when you haven't. The interviews 4 days after my WCA so maybe to do with that? I'm anxious over the WCA so really didnt need this as well. 

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    We could only guess why you need to attend this interview. My advice is to ring and speak to your case manager and maybe they will be able to give you some idea what it could be about.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456
    I messaged her on the website asking what's going on.
    I'll have to read the pdf document again.
    Thanks Poppy. Will add something here if I find anything out or think of anything.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456
    The pdf document is too long to remember it all but it says must attend or they will stop my benefit and must bring ID plus bank statements, pay slips, savings - any money details I suppose. It mentions something about changes in circumstances.
    Could it be a regular review as I dont go in there regularly, too far away. Just talk to job coach on the phone once a month.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Sounds like a compliance interview, rather than a work focused interview because they are asking for bank statements etc. If it is then it could be just a random check, which can happen but i'm only guessing here. If you don't attend those interviews they will stop your money.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456
    No they dont mention work or job search. Cant understand why they want ID and all this stuff coz they had all this info back in January. Yes it says I must make myself available on that day or they stop the money.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    A compliance interview is my only guess but you'll need to contact your work coach and ask. A compliance interview can be done at complete random or someone has reported you for something.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456
    I've just been reading about compliance interviews online. A guy on one forum actually was a compliance interviewer for the DWP and he said these interviews are never random. Apparently the interviews are not very nice, done police style, and you are presumed guilty from the start. That bit was from another forum. Ive been going over and over trying to think who would report me and for what. For starters I hardly know anybody and very few know I'm on UC. And I haven't done anything. Given my mental health at the moment this is not good.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You should never believe everything you read online. For a start any advice given by a DWP employee should be taken with a pinch of salt. I can't tell you the amount of people that have been given incorrect advice from these people.

    I'm a community champion here on scope and i advise people on the complex benefit system and i can tell you that sometimes those compliance interviews are indeed done at complete random, infact there's been a few people on scope that have had them, at random.

    A compliance interview is definitely not done "police style". It would only be done this way if it was an interview under caution and this is not one of those because the compliance interview comes first. After this, if they have reason to believe that something still isn't right then they would send a letter for an interview under caution.

    As i advised earlier this evening i can only guess what it could be for but it doesn't sound like a work focused interview because the wouldn't ask for bank statement and pay slips. Please ring your case manager first thing tomorrow morning and ask if they know what it could be about, they maybe able to give you more information or at least find out for you. Journal messages aren't the most reliable to send because they don't always answer them.


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456
    Ok I will ring her. I know you cant believe everything online, I suppose as currently have bad anxiety anyway this coming up hasn't helped. Hope my job coach can find out what's going on. Thanks Poppy. Will post here when I get some info.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456
    Spoke to job coach, she knows nothing other then it is happening. So I am still in the dark. Cant believe anybody can have reported me for anything coz nothings happened. 
    As job coach said sometimes people just report stuff out of spite to cause situations like this.
    So I've the WCA on 6th and this compliance thing on 10th. 
    If they want to keep me ill and off work they are doing a great job of it!!
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Franstrahan, I appreciate that this will be worrying you. I hope it all goes okay and please do let us know how you get on!
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Chloe_Scope
    I will do. I dont know why they have to be so secretive and cant at least give you the reason in writing. Like what has someone said about me, for instance, then could at least prepare my defence and have my evidence and explanation, whatever, to prove it false.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I really hope there is a simple explanation @Franstrahan.
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Chloe_Scope
    Me too. Job coach says, worse case scenario - they have something on me (or think they do). Best case is it is just a random check to look at my bank statement and make sure alls in order and that's it.
    It's the not knowing that's the problem. And feeling helpless and at their mercy.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    That's completely understandable @Franstrahan, very best of luck!
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    It may not be anything other than a random check. I know it's easy to say this but if you haven't done anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about. Let us know the outcome.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456
    That's what my job coach said. But it doesnt stop me thinking about it, as in what's going on and cant they just tell you up front instead of behaving like MI5. Looking online, this is what worries most people posting on forums. Surely the DWP must realize this, and the worry they are causing people who mostly already have various health issues. Or we'd all be working and out of their hair wouldn't we?
    Will let you know if I find out more but I may have to wait till the 10th.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456
    Just thought of this this morning. I have a friend who has her mail sent here coz she lives in a caravan. Shes on PIP, has severe epilepsy. She doesnt get much mail, mostly hospital appointments. Do you think the DWP think we're living together?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    @poppy123456
    Just thought of this this morning. I have a friend who has her mail sent here coz she lives in a caravan. Shes on PIP, has severe epilepsy. She doesnt get much mail, mostly hospital appointments. Do you think the DWP think we're living together?
    Yes, that could have definitely flagged up. Where is this friend registered as living on the electoral roll? What about bank, where is that address registered at?
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    No idea on those 2 questions. Her partner lost his job in Scotland and they ended up here in the caravan site next door. She needed somewhere to have her post sent as having serious problems with epilepsy and I let her use my address. This is since April 2018. Think they probably bank online and no idea re the electoral roll.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    She had to register at the docs when they first arrived for meds. That's under my address too. All this over 18 months ago though
    @poppy123456.
    Just guessing but they're probably not on the electoral roll. They arrived here with literally nothing and the caravan site put them up in a tourer at that point and they've been here ever since.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You could potentially have problems here especially if they are also registered at the GP for your address. You need to check where their bank is registered at because even if it's online banking there will still need to be an address for them. My guess is that their name flagged up somewhere as living at your address.

    If you live on your own and you're claiming 25% single person council tax reduction then you could have problems with this too.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456
    Yes here on my own. I get the 25%, also council tax benefit because of low income. They have been here since April 2018, over 18 months. Why should it suddenly have flagged up?
    Never had a bank statement in the mail for them, very rarely get anything, just the occassional NHS appointment for her.
    The local council have never queried it. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for this information @Franstrahan, I really hope it doesn't affect things.
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Chloe_Scope
    It came to mind this morning coz I remember the local council years back getting in touch saying then I was living with somebody because (not sure of all the details) but somebody had tried to claim something and gave my address.
    There was no trouble then, I just said nobody here but me, and never heard any more. But that incident just made me think, this could be something similar.
    Only not heard from local council. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Does this person claim benefits there self? If so then are they using your address for this as well? I'm guessing they are especially since the council has asked you this very question previously.


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I've never had a letter here from the dwp for them so dont know how they are claiming. Could they be using the caravan sites address? All she said to me was for health-related stuff, hospital appts and docs at my address. Never had any mail for him, so they must be getting mail elsewhere too.
    I've never really thought about it this in depth before.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I would definitely be asking this person. Normally it wouldn't be any problem but as you're claiming benefits yourself then it could be an issue. If this person is using another address for everything else except what you mentioned then i don't know why they are using that address for everything.

    It's still just a pure guess unless you confront the person in question and that's exactly what i'd be doing if i were you,
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I'll talk to her over the weekend. They could have registered this address for benefits. Thinking about it dwp dont write to me either, it comes thru my journal. They dont claim UC, but dwp possibly contact them online. I think he may get something as her carer too, as she cant be left on her own much.
    Only thing, why it taken dwp 18 months to find this. If this is the problem.
    Thanks for all the help and advice Poppy.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome.

    If they don't claim UC then they can't be contacted online. The only other way is letter or phone call.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Its gets weirder then. Thought they'd have had a letter in 18 months.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Your guess is as good as mine, it will totally depend on what benefits they claim, if any at all.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • VOBVOB Member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    Hi if these people are living in a caravan all year round then they will be liable to pay Council tax. Also you cant register at a Doctor's from a caravan. You have to give a proper postal address for yourself. If they are giving your address then you will be liable. It will look like the people are living at your address which leaves you vulnerable because you are claiming single persons council tax discount. If the people in the caravan haven't been paying Council tax then it looks like someone had rumbled you.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @VOB
    Ok that explains why she only wanted my address for hospital and doc letters. But I've no idea if they're paying council tax or not.
  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,993 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Franstrahan, This may appear completely unrelated, but again involves the DWP. Yesterday I got a letter about my Winter Fuel Payment, which was half that I received last year, as apparently there was someone else living here that would be sharing it. Well my kitten's not old enough, & I live on my own apart from her!
    I rang the DWP, & I'll get the other half in the first 3 months of next year. I asked why had this happened, & was asked did I live in some flats, so there could be others living at the same postcode, & she went through everything else she thought might be relevant. I said I lived in a Park Home, which I had to explain was like a bungalow. However, my address does include the words, 'Caravan Park, ' so you've now got me wondering if this might be the problem. Anyway, the lady from the DWP yesterday said that sometimes the computer just randomly generates the sort of letter I got.
    Just thought I'd mention in case your letter has been just random too.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Hi @chiarieds
    Well my letter does appear like just a standard letter that I suppose just might be generated randomly. It doesnt give a specific reason as to why I have been called in. I think it's just the wording of it, makes you feel anxious anyway, and given the reputation the dwp have, any dealings to do with them is worrying!  I've read forums online, people getting the same letter I have here, and they are worried, like me, as in 'what's this all about'. 
    Just occured to me it could be my friend in the caravan site using my address for her hospital appointments. This site is a real holiday site, not a park homes one.
    Your case sounds rather strange in that they dont really seem to know themselves why the payment has been split and have come up with the letter generated randomly. And of course you now live with a kitten, which is bound to sound alarm bells somewhere within the dwp!
  • VOBVOB Member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    Hi .@Fanstarhan.

    If you live in a caravan the site has to close down for a period of time every year so you have to have a permenant address. Some sites do have 52 week licence to open, all though this is very rare.
    Where are they living when the site closes down? 
    You cannot claim housing benefit for living in a Carvan and Caravan sites fees do not come cheap at all.

    You cannot register with a Doctor while living in a caravan.

    They can't be on the electrol register so they won't be paying Council tax. 
    If someone on the site where they live is disgruntled because these people are not paying Council tax then they may well have reported them. 

    Everyone is liable to pay Council tax although some people live in caravans and when the site closes they go away for the duration of that time.

    I would get this sorted immediately because this could be classed as fraud and you doing someone else a favour may land you in bother.
    Hope you get it sorted.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @VOB
    Dont really know that much about them, only got involved when they turned up here and did her a favour by letting her use my address for the docs and hospital. Not in regular contact with them, except for the rare occasions she gets a letter, and he never does get one. Which doesnt make sense either. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Not really knowing much about them and agreeing for them to use your address is really quite scary. You need to contact them and speak to them urgently. Even if this interview has nothing to do with this, it could catch up with you in the future.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,993 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, one of the questions I was asked, I remember now, was about anybody else getting their post sent to my address.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @poppy123456 and @chiarieds
    I intend to see them this weekend. I've been thinking, know she gets PIP and he gets carers for her. They were living in a caravan before they came here, so presume you dont need a street address to claim?
    They arrived here with literally nothing 18 months ago after he lost his job. I know it took them a while to sort out their benefits coz they were penniless. They borrowed a bit from a guy at church, and were regulars at the food bank I go to. Shes quite I'll with this epilepsy. I think they're ok, just down on their luck.
  • VOBVOB Member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    There is no way on this earth that I would let anyone use my address?
    Anyway hope you get it sorted cos I can't say anything more on this subject.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Shes only getting medical (docs and hospital appts) sent here. Waiting for a hospital appointment one now. I think they're ok.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,934

    Scope community team

    Hi @Franstrahan. I'm sorry this has caused so much stress. Do you have much longer to wait until the appointment? 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Adrian_Scope
    The reason it's a problem is I have the WCA on 6th then this on the 10th. My mh is not great at the moment, counsellor said last time we spoke my anxiety levels were high then, before this lot happened.
    So not great timing for these things. I've asked my job coach to make the guy doing the interview aware. I'm not good anyway at f2f things. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,934

    Scope community team

    I know I'd really struggle having the two so close together (or at all) and I'm sorry that's what you're facing @Franstrahan. Hopefully having the weekend to recover from the WCA before the compliance meeting will help ease the pressure a little but I can imagine you're going to be thinking about both of them until it's done.
    We'll all be thinking of you so please let us know how you get on at both. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Adrian_Scope
    Thanks, yes it is a struggle because of my health. Things have been mounting up for years now but since 2016-17 it's been hard and my mh is deteriorating. It's just been one thing after another going wrong now and it's made me ill.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,934

    Scope community team

    Best of luck tomorrow @Franstrahan!
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Adrian_Scope
    Thank you. It's the WCA tomorrow and the UC interview Tuesday. But need plenty of luck for both probably. Thanks Adrian. Not looking forward to either of these.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry this didn't go ahead today @Franstrahan, I really hope your UC interview goes okay on Tuesday. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Chloe_Scope
    Thank you. I was hoping it would be one down, one to go. But it's still two.
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