No we won’t print off proof of Universal Credit claim for one of our courses but we will give you a telephone number instead… Universal Credit hell.

Ok first may I wish each and every one of my readers a happy new year and I hope that the new year treats you better than the previous one has. Of course I understand that this is impossible unless something drastic happens in the near future, and that isn’t likely is it.

Anyway today was our first week back after the festive period, although we didn’t have any time off, we were helping people outside the Jobcentre last week in appalling weather and that help was desperately needed.

I arrived as usual and as I did Roy was already there waiting for me in his car with the food parcels. I really do appreciate this Roy, because I do know that your health isn’t brilliant at the moment. Please get well soon!

We placed the food parcels in their usual place, and I really had no idea that they would be taken as quickly as they were. I should have known better really because Christmas and New Year payments were paid early and as a result people had spent their money on basic necessities early. Its a no win situation for them, and Christmas can put a lot of pressure on a person to spend money on presents for family members that they don’t want to let down. It’s awful being poor, awful living in poverty and giving someone a present no matter how small it is makes you feel like you still fit in with society, that you don’t feel like an outcast because of your poverty.  And you know what they say, those who have the least give the most. Basically the whole festive period can be a rotten time.

 

The food parcels were taken very quickly because of the above reasons and for other reasons that I shall list below. No one should have to live hand to mouth, but it’s now quickly becoming an acceptable way of living which disgusts myself and others.

 

The first lady whom I spoke to has had a rotten time. She has children, and had worked all her life. Due to circumstances beyond her control she became ill and has had to apply for ESA and other benefits related to her children. They have been living off bits of food given to her by her mother and also depending on her parents to provide money for gas and electric.

I spotted her looking towards the food parcels and I asked her if she would like a leaflet. She said yes and we started to chat about her situation and how she has been coping. I told her that she could take some food if she wanted to, and she said yes, she needed it but had been too proud to say so. We had a good chat and I signposted her towards other local organisations for further help. I am hoping that her ESA claim goes through in the very near future although as we know that won’t be the end of the arduous task of trying to survive and cope with the seemingly constant medicals.

 

I spoke to a man who was drenched from head to toe. He had no coat, had lost his wallet and had nothing. He asked for a food parcel, I gave him one and referred him to a place where he might find a coat. He’s a young man, about to start his life instead he is having to live like this and quite simply it’s unacceptable.

 

I spoke to a lady who is on the path to recovery and she comes to see me every week. She’s doing so well and her smile said it all. What a wonderful lady I’m very proud of her and everyone else in similar situations.

 

I spoke to a man who is waiting for his Universal Credit claim to go through. He’s been waiting a long time now, but that isn’t unusual. The six week wait is a myth, I know that I’ve said this before. The wait is much, much longer.

 

I spoke to an older lady who was also waiting for her Universal Credit payment to go through. I know that she applied not long before Christmas so she won’t receive a payment until at the very least, the last week of January. I advised her that she can get an interim payment, but she then told me “How on earth am I going to pay that back? I owe money everywhere, to friends, family and I’ve taken loans out. I can’t afford to pay anything else back.” I gave her a food parcel, and advised her to get some financial advice from a local organisation. She looked so depressed, fed up and thin. Just by looking at her I could see that she hadn’t ate for a while.

 

I spoke to a chap whom I have been speaking to for around 3 1/2 years now. That’s how long he has been looking for work and he is trying his best. He is highly skilled and has kept up to date with his his qualifications and experience. He spends a lot of time at the local library and he really can’t try any harder.

He told us that he is concerned that the agencies that advertise on the Universal Jobmatch site could be sending claimants details to junk mail organisations and outlets. This is a genuine concern, because I found myself that once I started to use Universal Jobmatch a while ago I started to receive lots of junk mail, so there’s must do also. It’s already been proven that many of these so called jobs either don’t exist or are duplicated. If applying for jobs through an agency on this site, please find out the name of the company advertising the job and contact them directly. I know not all of them will accept this, but I have heard of successful job applications when this has been done.

He also went on to say that a tougher stance needs to be taken against Universal Credit, he feels let down, not supported by any political organisation and this is a major concern.

 

I spoke to a lady whom had been forced into self employment by her Job Coach whilst claiming Universal Credit. She told me that she couldn’t cope, it has made her ill, so much so that she has to now claim the sickness element and is now handing in sick notes. She did tell her advisor that she really didn’t think that she was able to cope with self employment, but her Job Coach ignored her. Now she is ill thanks to the DWP.

 

I spoke to a young man who is new to the whole system. He had worked from leaving school, and due to no fault of his own had lost his job, so he is now having to undergo the whole Universal Credit system, which can appear impossible at best.

He told me that he had just completed a course at a local organisation after being referred there by the Jobcentre. He went on to say that he had proudly passed his exam and has now been referred for another course by the DWP. You don’t get much choice in the matter really but he told me that he enjoyed the courses.

To start this course he needs proof that he is claiming Universal Credit. A print off letter from his advisor, or anything similar that will confirm this. Now you’d think that this would be a simple enough task wouldn’t you… Well no it isn’t. His advisor refused to print off a letter, or anything to substantiate such claim, and instead handed him a telephone number and told him that he would need to telephone the number and a them instead.

It’s not the first time that I’ve encountered this issue, this happens all the time, but come on they demand that he attends the course then the pressure should be on his advisor to provide him with the relevant documents. Common sense does not prevail within the DWP though.

So he left to make the telephone call. The result of this will most likely be that they will send a fax to the Jobcentre later today to his advisor, for his advisor to do a print out that takes 10 minutes at the very most to do. Its ridiculous, and a farce that they seem to gain some kind of sick pleasure out of.

He walked away stating the obvious.. “It’s bloody ridiculous.. It wouldn’t take five minutes to do this, they want me to attend the course. The world has gone mad hasn’t it” I had to agree with him, I mean who wouldn’t?

 

 

I spoke to a gentleman that I regularly have conversations with. He had been homeless and has now been offered a flat, and he was so excited to tell me the good news. He is looking so much better and looked very smart. He nearly had me in tears when he said “Thank you for helping me, I couldn’t have done it without you. You never gave up on me, you showed me where I could go for help when I needed it and when I was ready I accessed this help. You saw me at my worst, when I was at rock bottom and never gave up. Thank you.

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Today was a tough day as usual but what else could I expect. We will be returning next week, and the week after etc. Please come and join us we will give you a warm welcome!

I want to thank all of my readers for supporting the campaign and the blog, you all cheer me up and keep me going as well as the team that is. Thank you!

I’d also like to thank my union the NUJ for the help towards the food parcels and to everyone else that has helped also. Thank you!  Big shoutout to Pauline and the gang. But most of all a massive shoutout to everyone that is having to endure this cruel system. You are all my heroes. I know exactly how hard it is and I hoe that one day it does get better.

 

Please share, tweet, and talk about my blog. Send a copy to your MP even if they are a Tory. Its very important that we keep the conversation going. Thank you!

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18 thoughts on “No we won’t print off proof of Universal Credit claim for one of our courses but we will give you a telephone number instead… Universal Credit hell.”

  1. I used to play the jobcentre at their own game, so to speak, I would ask them how many miles it was from my home address then say I take 45 minutes to cover 1 mile so that would be XX hours just getting there and back just when was I supposed to fecking sleep? They eventually got the message, even though one countered with how do you get here every fortnight, I quickly put him down with my reply of I set off 5 hours before my signing on time, catch the train then walk and rest when I feel I need too.
    I am disabled and mid 50’s but used to give them more grief than they handed out. I really made sure they made every reasonable adjustment available like signing on at 09:00 if I wanted to go somewhere when my signing on time was 15:00, I really had them where I wanted them.
    This person who wanted proof of UC should have just handed the course manager, or whoever wanted proof a copy, and I do mean a copy, of his entitlement to UC, the letter he got to say how much they got each month, and if they said it was not good enough just replied “See you in court?” The DWP has been known to only send out letters when an increase in the benefit is due, or after the rise. I have, before today, cut out the date on letters and replaced it with one about a fortnight old and they are normally accepted by the company or service provider. Be as difficult with them as they try to be with you it’s always worked for me.

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  2. It’s very true about UJM and spam emails etc. I think UJM is an insecure website, that’s why I make sure I selected ‘Private’ on my CV not ‘Public’ on my UJM account. Several JCP Advisers have questioned me on this and tried to persuade me to make my CV public but I refused as it is optional. Still, though, I do receive a lot of spam junk mail from so-called Recruitment websites that I have never heard of and have certainly not registered with. One of them wouldn’t on in the Library as the system blocked it and identified it as a possible phishing site. There is a potential risk of Identity Theft and/.or some of them are ‘Data Harvesting’, which is big business. If you think about it, they can obtain all sorts of info from a person’s CV; name(s), address, email address, phone number, personal details of work/education history. I have also received many spam phone calls too, and they can only have got my number from either UJM itself or through various job agencies selling data to third parties, or through bogus recruitment websites that are on UJM, because I do not give my number out otherwise, only members of my family have it. I have had emails from Dankybit, Candidate Point, someone called “Zoe” at Adzuna, someone also called “Zoe” at Regional Engineering Jobs, and a host of others I have never registered with. How many of these are bogus, or not, I don’t know.

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  3. I just got an £83 fine sent through the post because of prescription charges…. all due to universal credit, not running properly…. Got them on the phone, and they were okay about it, and it got cancelled…. but lots of people who are vulnerable will be getting prescriptions, and then getting fine in the post s  https://www.facebook.com/skoptaphotography/

    From: The poor side of life To: thedeletediguana@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, 4 January 2018, 14:22 Subject: [New post] No we won’t print off proof of Universal Credit claim for one of our courses but we will give you a telephone number instead… Universal Credit hell. #yiv6699584873 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6699584873 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6699584873 a.yiv6699584873primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6699584873 a.yiv6699584873primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6699584873 a.yiv6699584873primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6699584873 a.yiv6699584873primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6699584873 WordPress.com | Charlotte Hughes posted: “Ok first may I wish each and every one of my readers a happy new year and I hope that the new year treats you better than the previous one has. Of course I understand that this is impossible unless something drastic happens in the near future, and that is” | |

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  4. ( Published . Sunday . 7 Th January . 2018 ) U.C. & JOBCENTRE’S MERGING WITH LOCAL COUNCILS, SOCIAL CLEANSING & DIFFICULT TIMES AHEAD.It appears that all along , ever since the sale of council houses to corrupt housing associations such as CGHA of Preston, that local authorities no matter which party they fall under are taking the reigns on the social cleansing of the UK. CLICK . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDpQNACDxrU

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  5. Good grief. I’ve just seen Theresa May on tv talking about “building a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few”. How the lying bitch can stand there with a straight face and say that beggars belief. It’s absurd. Like something out of Monty Python, but not even funny. What planet is she on ?

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