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is it possible to act as agent in contact with UC on behalf of disabled relative ?

SystemSystem Posts: 574

Scope community team

edited November 2018 in Universal Credit
This discussion was created from comments split from: Universal Credit Information.


  • MagnoliabloomMagnoliabloom Member Posts: 30 Connected
    Hello,  Question for disability advisor . Disabled family member moving to Universal Credit. I have acted as" agent"
     with HMRC ( tax credits) this has been helpful as permission is given for me to phone in on her behalf with questions or change of circumstances. We were reluctant to be " Appointee " which I believe means I take over full  legal responsibility- this is not necessary and removes independence .  With UC is it possible to  act as agent in contact with UC on behalf of disabled relative ?  if so how is this organised please ?
    Cannot find any detail on DWP web site of what arrangement to support may be possible except  nominate appointee.     Thank you.
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Magnoliabloom, thanks for sharing this with us. I'm afraid I don't know the answer to this myself, but I wonder if @Zoe_Scope could advise?
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,174 Disability Gamechanger
    The claimant simply gives you explicit consent by writing full details into their UC journal. DWP staff claim this is on a per issue basis but it is not and I’ve sat next to Neil Couling, the DG of UC when he says it is not. Once they know who you are they should continue to deal with you but the whole process is a mess at present. 
  • siobhan1siobhan1 Member Posts: 77 Pioneering
    DWP have explicit consent explained above and implied consent.@mikehughescq is correct the department should continue to deal with you once consent is given. A lot of telephony agents or UC agents will try to say otherwise but you have to be persistent.

    In my experience a lot of bad habits are spread around contact centres and picked up by people who don't understand or haven't read guidance. I have put in 2 customer service complaints against the same person at Blackpool who still outright refuses to let me use explicit consent when I call for my partner, and they still haven't got the memo 😑😆 

    DWP implied consent policy is that you can call and deal with the department about anyone if you have their permission...  and are prepared to answer security questions you would only be able to answer as their representative.

    For example a wife calls to discuss her husband's benefit claim, she knows personal info about the claimant and complex info on the claim such as bank account details, amounts paid etc... very little data would be protected by refusing to deal with her regarding the claim because she already has access to the information and it is implied that she would have her husband's consent to speak on his behalf.

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,174 Disability Gamechanger
    I think we need to be clear. There is absolutely no implicit consent for UC. There is only explicit consent. DWP are only now contemplating implicit consent for UC. See https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-11-19/debates/AFFCCA46-E0A2-47C9-BD0A-FD4C2FC76D30/OralAnswersToQuestions#contribution-8C84C131-9F95-4241-99A9-959ADA71CAAE.

    One of the great confusions about this is pretty much summed up by the above post, which is incorrect. You get explicit consent for all other benefits only through written authority. In UC you only get explicit consent by the claimajt asserting it on the journal. There is no other route. Explicit consent does not involve security questions.

    DWP (and as can be seen above) and claimants get very confused about this. A claimant has to answer security questions. No-one else can. A representative or relative should be asked implied consent questions which are completely different. 
  • Firefly123Firefly123 Member Posts: 525 Pioneering
    They only way UC with deal with me on my sons behalf was if I was his appointee. Which I now am. 
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