As I’ve reported many times in previous blogs the distinct lack of care, compassion and understanding causes great distress for many applicants and claimants. This distress starts upon applying for Universal Credit and other benefits.
As reported by Benefits and Work the appalling lack of care, concern and service given by DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) from call centres will undoubtably result in life-threatening destitution for some claimants. This will escalate to even higher levels when the forced migration from legacy benefits to UC begins.
There are many problems that occur upon applying for Universal Credit online, those of which can and will put a distinct amount of pressure upon already distressed claimants.
Claimants who are being forced to migrate have 3 months to complete the process if they’re able to complete this complicated and time consuming procedure.
Claimants who desperately need an extension of time to make their UC claim can result in losing all their legacy benefits if they are unable to get through to the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline on the phone.
The DWPs response to this is “If you cannot claim Universal Credit by the deadline date given on your letter, you should contact the Universal Credit Migration Notice helpline as soon as possible.
“We can only give you more time to make a claim if you have a good reason. You must request this before the deadline date on your letter.”
If only it was this easy. Hundreds of Benefit and Work readers have told the team of their horrendous difficulties when trying to contact the existing DWP helplines quoting;
“Have been calling all week various times and after over and hour some days hour half given up but my deadline day is today really is terrible situation.”
“I have been cut off 4 times after being put on hold for about 25 mins each time trying to ask for an extension to my pip review as I can’t get an appointment with the cab to help me fill it in until after the deadline”
Many claimants that apply for or will be migrated to Universal Credit have health issues and disabilities that make completing the process very challenging forcing many to try and get a much needed time extension.
However the DWP call centre systems as they stand aren’t fit for purpose, they simply can’t and won’t be able to cope with an ever increasing need of people to use them. For these systems to be made fit for purpose will require a huge injection of new resources combined with increased staffing and a huge investment being made into the facilities offered.
Combined with the already frightening cost of living crisis it’s like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. People don’t have the resources both financial and emotionally to cope with this system, it’s cruel beyond belief.
Will this much needed investment be made? Will the DWP start treating people with the care and compassion that they deserve?
I very much doubt it.