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Just curious -appointee question

anisty Member Posts: 171 Pioneering
edited March 2020 in Universal Credit (UC)
Just out of curiosity really i was wondering if anyone knows why this would be: I am the appointee for my son as regards DLA and have been for 5 yrs now.

Recently, his support worker said he should also be eligible for UC. I didnt know anything about UC but the support worker was happy to support my son right through the process.

However, on their first trip to the job centre to meet the work coach they hit a problem and could not proceed as it had come up on the screen that my son has an appointee so his support worker could not continue without written permission from me.

In actual fact, they arranged someone to visit me at home and decided i should be made appointee for UC as well.

My question is this: if DLA/pip really is a completely seperate benefit from UC, why did it come up on the job centre screen that my son had an appointee and why did that prevent them going further with the UC claim anyway? Surely if it is seperate it is ok to have an appointee for one benefit and not the other?

My son had never claimed UC or any other benefit previously.

As i said, just out of interest really as they did mention several pitfalls of my son not having me as an appointee so i think it is just as well they tied it all together. 

Anyone know? It totally slipped my mind to ask the dwp man when he came to see me.  I only thought if it later!


  • Firefly123
    Firefly123 Member Posts: 525 Pioneering
    Hi. I'm the appointee for my sons once your their appointee it's for all benifits they can't see your son without you as if they have an appointee it means they they lack the mental capacity. 
  • anisty
    anisty Member Posts: 171 Pioneering
    That does make sense - i just didnt think the computer systems for dla/pip and uc were supposed to be linked up.

    This might shed light on another mystery though: initially my son got an appt for a f2f appt for UC. Then, a couple of days before it was due to take place, i got a call to say they had cancelled it as they had new evidence and could make a decision without seeing him.

    This was a puzzle to me as i hadnt sent any new evidence and no one my son sees could have done either. The only thing that had happened, during that waiting period for the UC asst, is that i had submitted my son's pip claim and i had turned up a couple of missing sheets from an old autism report stating clearly what his issues are and what he needs. So that went to pip, but not to UC

    Is it possible that evidence did somehow reach UC and their computers do link after all?
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Lack of transparency in UC is a big issue! I can't fully answer your question, except to say that it is possible UC could get evidence from PIP if they bothered to do so. However, as you know, the work capability assessment in UC and the PIP assessment are separate (though the same evidence can often be relevant to both).  

    You are not automatically an appointee for UC just because you are an appointee for other benefits, as you have discovered - you had to go through the process again.

    For you and your son it's a good thing that the DLA/PIP appointeeship showed up on the jobcentre screens, as it appears to have helped the process of both applying for UC as an appointee and (hopefully) getting the right result from the work capability assessment without your son having to attend one. It probably prevented your son having to agree a claimant commitment, too, which sounds as if it would not have been the right path for him.

    As to whether it would ever be appropriate for someone to have an appointee for one benefit and not for another - possibly, but if a claimant needed an appointee for DLA/PIP it's arguable they would need one even more for UC, where there are more responsibilities on a claimant. On the other hand you wouldn't want someone who had had an appointee in the past only because they were under 16 & on DLA to have this come up and prevent them claiming UC by themselves if that was the best thing for them.

    Some things in UC have got better over time, and it's possible that this is an example of more 'joined up' administration. I did hear recently that PIP were going to share more information with UC (in the context of terminally ill claimants), so perhaps this is part of the same thing.

    The Benefits Training Co:
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  • anisty
    anisty Member Posts: 171 Pioneering
    Thanks for this reply!  Since i wrote my question, i got the UC85A report through and it looks like they phoned my son's GP and, somehow, managed to get some extra evidence and decided he should be placed in LCWRA group. So it might not be a sharing info thing at all. The gp apparently said my son had very slow processing and is struggling in his supported employment. Surprised where that came from but hey ho.

    I was a bit shocked by the decision to put him in LCWRA group at first as we always hope there will be some paid work he might manage but, on digesting the information in the report, it does seem to describe him accurately.

    He could have applied for UC a long time ago but I had seen the film "I, Daniel Blake" and thought no chance can my son do all that work journal stuff!!! I thought he just didnt qualify.

    Not realising there were different groups. It was the support centre he attends that suggested it, explained it and offered to support him right through his claim. There are some people attending the support group that appear to be far more severe than my son. Many are older adults but none have appointees. The support worker explained that, even without an appointee,my son could be supported right through and they would go with him to the gp for fit notes and also for f2f.

    This sounded like a good idea initially as part of moving my son gradually along a bit doing something with the help of a support worker rather than parents.

    So i was all set to discuss this with the dwp visiting service but the man that came only ran over the disadvantages of my son not having an appointee. Mail addressed to him, phone calls etc.

    And he just isnt ready to do that. The dwp seemed to take one look at my son and decide there and then he still needed an appointee.  It definitely is better for him just now. Who knows what the future holds. We havent gone down the power of attorney route as we always hope he will learn more skills as he gets older. I think it is just going to take a long time.


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