Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

You have disclosed the guidance available to staff on how to handle a telephone claim for UC (UC114 NS Claims by phone):

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7...

'Claim by phone

The facility for claimants to make new claims by phone is available for those who are unable to complete the online service due to the following circumstances:

• being unable to make a claim online independently, perhaps due to a health condition or not having the digital skills

• not having anyone to support them to make a claim online

• being unable to claim online with in-house jobcentre support

• being unable to claim online even with support from Citizens Advice/Citizens Advice Scotland using the Help to Claim Service. (In these cases, Citizens Advice/Citizens Advice Scotland will have identified that the claimant cannot use online services and a claim by phone is appropriate

• not having access to a digital device or internet access to be able to make and
maintain a claim online'

I am interested in the forth category:

'being unable to claim online even with support from Citizens Advice/Citizens Advice Scotland using the Help to Claim Service. (In these cases, Citizens Advice/Citizens Advice Scotland will have identified that the claimant cannot use online services and a claim by phone is appropriate'

Please provide the number of claimants identified by (i) Citizens Advice and (ii) Citizens Advice Scotland in each of the past three years who could not use online services. If reasons have been provided as to why they could not use online services, please provide the number of claimants relating to each reason.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

What a telephone claim for UC means in practice:

https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/AAC...

“31. It follows, as already noted,that there are only two ways of making a claim for universal credit–either by way of an “electronic communication” (in accordance with Schedule 2 to the 2013 Claims and Payments Regulations and completed in accordance with the Secretary of State’s instructions, i.e. an online claim (regulation 8(1)) or by way of a telephone claim (regulation 8(2)).8...”

FOOTNOTE (8)

“8 This exception is more apparent than real – the DWP agent taking the claim by phone inputs the information directly onto the online UC system, so in effect this is an online claim but through an intermediary. In practice 98% of claims are made online and without a telephone intermediary: R. Foster et al.,Universal Credit Full Service Survey(DWP,Research Report 958,June 2018)p.13, para. 1.3.1; see also p.31, Figure 4.1).”

GDC v SSWP (UC)[2020] UKUT 108(AAC)

Here is a link to the request which obtained the information referred to in my own request:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

The individual who made the request made an earlier related one which was refused on cost grounds:

“Please provide me with the training materials and/or guidance used by  DWP agents when processing a claim for Universal Credit for a claimant who is applying by telephone.”

Response:

"Under Section 16 of the FoI Act, we should make information available which should help you narrow your request so that it may  all beneath the cost limit. In this case it would be to request specific products relating to applying for and maintaining a Universal Credit phone only claim, as a large amount of the information we hold relates to applications made by both telephony and online routes."

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

Some other related requests:

Request for UC migration training materials (yet to be answered as at 24/12/20):

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

Signing on electronically:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Telephone claim for UC:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Recent UT decision concerning a failure to participate in a telephone interview that some may be interested in:

KG-v-SSWP (UC) [2020] UKUT 307(AAC)

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/AAC/...

Judge Wikeley elucidates the important distinction between a 'Work Focused Interview' and a 'connected requirement'.

14. ...For example, it is not apparent from the appeal bundle whether the interview was a ‘Work Focused Interview’ requirement in accordance with section 15 of the Act and regulation 93 of the UC Regulations 2013; i.e. with a view to assessing [the Appellant]’s prospects of obtaining paid work; or to assist him in obtaining paid work; or to identify training or other activities that would assist him in obtaining paid work and so forth, or, whether the appointment was a verification appointment (a ‘connected requirement’) in accordance with section 23 of the Act in order to impose a new work-related requirement on [the Appellant], or to verify his compliance with a work-related requirement, or to assist him to comply with an existing work-related requirement

Proper notification is also considered:

14. ...Further to this, I also submit that it is not clear from the appeal bundle whether [the Appellant] was adequately informed of the consequences of any such failure to comply with the interview.'

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear J Roberts,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 23rd
December.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team