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TOPIC: Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s

Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 25 Mar 2018 08:56 #6638

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Thanks, Jobber; And If you would like to view the whole series of UC Videos, they can be found here;

www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Universal+Credit+in+Action+%E2%80%93+Your+Journal+%28Universal+Credit+full+service%29.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 25 Mar 2018 09:30 #6642

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Some good stuff here: mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/you-must-use-a-universal-credit-journal-to-provide-your-cv-or-jobsearch-record/

"If a claimant can get the Work Coach to mutually agree that they do not need to use the UC Journal to share and enable the DWP to retain a copy of their CV or Jobsearch record then this can mitigate against related sanctions. This is because it would be much more difficult for the DWP to sanction a claimant when they have not retained the evidence.

By the DWP not having a UC journal of this claimant information prevents the DWP from picking over the likes of a Jobsearch record to find spurious reasons to sanction."

So reading between the lines if we cross reference this with the current regs in that as i was saying previously ,claimants can show the search for work in any way of their choosing and the there is no doubt of that then this whole issue of HAVING to use a uc journal is all utter crap.Do have a read through the link i posted as there are some great points that may help someone being coerced into using the on line journal.


www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/321922/response/794551/attach/html/4/Annex%201%20Work%20Search%20Reviews%20KM.pdf.html
"This should not be a numerical exercise in adding up the individual hours spent on each activity,
as this will not provide an assessment of the quality of the activities undertaken or the capabilities
of individual claimants.
" So why the hell are they all constantly banging on about MUST DO 35 HOUR JOKE SEARCH ?

"Evidence shows that regular face-to-face reviews can help people move into work more quickly
than would otherwise be the case. "Love to see the evidence and exactly how that was obtained,i am guessing with an array of sanction threats,take any job get off our books :evil:
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 25 Mar 2018 09:33 #6643

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Cheers Paul, be having a good look at them later tonight.

I feel someone should put in an FOI to end this debate/farce of DO we have to use this comic of a journal.

Would do this myself but already have put in my fair share and their beady eyes are on me :) :evil:



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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 25 Mar 2018 10:08 #6644

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Quote from jobber`s link:
"This should not be a numerical exercise in adding up the individual hours spent on each activity,
as this will not provide an assessment of the quality of the activities undertaken or the capabilities
of individual claimants. " So why the hell are they all constantly banging on about MUST DO 35 HOUR JOKE SEARCH ?

Which is what I have always thought. Quality OVER quantity is the best approach and not listening to this 35 hour thing. I know in my own circumstance, if I was looking at websites and trawling through the jobs listed, it would take me the best part of two hours just to look at all the sites and then apply for some of the jobs and then copy & past links onto UJM or a UC journal and also make a paper copy for my own diary (not just solely relying on technology to save it).

I wouldn't place too much emphasis on this 35 hour nonsense at all. I would just concentrate on the job in hand and that would be taking my time to look at the jobs, their details and continue to do things MY way.

It`s very interesting that DWP serve up a lot of rhetoric about what a claimant MUST do to fulfill their requirements, yet when a few freedom of information requests are done, their response is that no, this is NOT a requirement? :huh:

So we are being told one thing but none of it is actually applicable. They use this `jobseekers direction` thing a lot and I imagine many work coaches would apply this if anyone refused to open a UJM account or comply with the `rules` they shovel out. Yet according to a lot of FOI requests, many of these demands and directions are not binding, yet the way they are delivered makes claimants FEEL that they are.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 25 Mar 2018 12:11 #6645

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So how would you tell the adviser you don't want to record jobsearch on the journal and continue with written evidence.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 25 Mar 2018 23:59 #6650

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point them to to the regs that say other wise.Search the web and you will be able to see the reg No etc which states job seekers can show evidence in anyway they choose and obviously just be brave and tell them full on as to why.Just because they feel they have their little power hat on that you have to do X just because they feel like it you can object if you choose.

.


"Yet according to a lot of FOI requests, many of these demands and directions are not binding, yet the way they are delivered makes claimants FEEL that they are."

Exactly Comply :)
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 26 Mar 2018 12:23 #6658

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I feel doing just that is the way forward jobber. Catwoman, finding the most recent Universal Credit (or JSA) regulations are key to this. It`s all about quoting regulations back to work coaches to `update or remind them` on what you can and can`t be actioned to do. Sometimes they will pull all sorts of games because they can, thinking we, as claimants, will just accept their demands. The reality is, if we back ourselves up with their OWN guidelines and DWP Freedom of Information requests, they cannot then say it`s all rubbish or not factual when DWP teams have answered the question.

It`s all about approaching this with some courtesy but at the same time, letting them know that we research their regulations, just as we would any employers terms and conditions/contractual detail. DWP ARE our employers in many ways as they pay us, but it makes good sense to be aware that we still have rights and voice.

The frustrating thing is that when people sign on or attend a meeting at their job centre, they don`t know what`s going to be said or strung on them which means we have no time to argue the case that something is not mandatory or actionable until we have had time to look at the actual guidelines and being guidelines, that means they are not written in stone, so work coaches can apply what they want, when they want thinking we won`t argue with them. It`s not a case of arguing though, it`s more about agreement and whether what they are asking us to do is reasonable or worthwhile.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 26 Mar 2018 14:41 #6660

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@CoD:"The frustrating thing is that when people sign on or attend a meeting at their job centre, they don`t know what`s going to be said or strung on them which means we have no time to argue the case that something is not mandatory or actionable until we have had time to look at the actual guidelines and being guidelines, that means they are not written in stone, so work coaches can apply what they want, when they want thinking we won`t argue with them. It`s not a case of arguing though, it`s more about agreement and whether what they are asking us to do is reasonable or worthwhile."

The is one of the reason I started this post CoD, as you can see the Roaches reply on claimant not knowing the score upon the UCJ. :sick:

Also as @Catwoman said it is not always easy for the claimant to stand up to the work-roach. However, excused the pun here. But could you send the work-roach and message via the UC-Journal service with the FOI show that you don't need to use this service... :whistle: :lol:
Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 26 Mar 2018 14:59 #6661

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I think it`s perfectly fine to site FOI requests and their replies to our work coach if we are given instruction to attend something or provide documentation that the FOI contradicts. They could view it as challenging their authority, ( would be a bit silly when it`s citing their own DWP reply!) but approaching any dispute like this has to be done with tact and courtesy. Meaning, if we did send back an email with an attachment to a FOI stating that the subject matter was non-compliant or didn`t apply, the work coach would then have to look at this and reply giving their reasons for saying otherwise. That`s why it`s vital to have the very latest terms/conditions/FOI replies to certain things and not copy & paste something that was from 2013 as Universal Credit does have different meanings from JSA in some areas. So if your query was relating to UC, I would be looking for the answer under UC and not JSA, even though both can be linked under the same guidelines sometimes. Always check first.

Edited to add: dude wrote:
But could you send the work-roach and message via the UC-Journal service with the FOI show that you don't need to use this service...

I don`t see why not if it`s there in black & white that having a UC journal is not a requirement and why/what the alternatives are. But you must be sure that you want to use other options if it means more work involved on your part.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 26 Mar 2018 15:37 #6662

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I fully understand that it can feel intimidating to some already being in a financially disadvantaged position speaking when having to deal with DWP etc.
This would be seem far worse if you have young kids and a family to think of.

But the bottom line is, if people want to at least try to stop them from being shafted by this ludicrous bureaucratic sham of a system, then they should take time to read through the regulations print them out file them and smack them on the desk of roach if and when needed. :)

There comes a time when you have to make a stand, easier said than done i know.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 26 Mar 2018 17:49 #6663

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jobber wrote:
Cheers Paul, be having a good look at them later tonight.

I feel someone should put in an FOI to end this debate/farce of DO we have to use this comic of a journal.

Would do this myself but already have put in my fair share and their beady eyes are on me :) :evil:



jobber
Jobber;
A FOI request seeking clarification on whether or not it is necessary to use the journal you speak of has actually been made several times over the past couple of years.

The most recent response dated 20th Feb 2018 can be accessed via the following link:

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/uc_job_search_evidence_format#incoming-1115310

No ifs, no buts, it is clear enough that use of the journal is not compulsory.

By the way, the use of Universal Jobmatch , providing email addresses and phone numbers, are also not compulsory. This has been discussed on this forum, and many others, many times and members who have followed the forum for some time should be aware of this by now.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 26 Mar 2018 18:00 #6664

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Quote from the FOI request above:

“DWP has been clear that there is no specific information or legal requirements that
compels all Universal Credit claimants, in every case, to use the journal. However
some claimants can have a requirement set,

No legal requirement to use the journal....but then they say, `some claimants can have a requirement set for them`....so in other words, if we refuse to use the UC journal. a work coach can set a requirement to use it if a claimant is regarded as having to use it? The twisted logic here tells me that claimants can refuse to use a UC journal or Universal Job Match, but not far behind will be the red hot poker of persuasion.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 26 Mar 2018 21:00 #6665

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comply or die wrote:
Quote from the FOI request above:

“DWP has been clear that there is no specific information or legal requirements that
compels all Universal Credit claimants, in every case, to use the journal. However
some claimants can have a requirement set,

No legal requirement to use the journal....but then they say, `some claimants can have a requirement set for them`....so in other words, if we refuse to use the UC journal. a work coach can set a requirement to use it if a claimant is regarded as having to use it? The twisted logic here tells me that claimants can refuse to use a UC journal or Universal Job Match, but not far behind will be the red hot poker of persuasion.

By selectively quoting from the DWP’s response, and interpreting the bit selected in a way that the DWP itself would admire, you have managed to cause yourself, and possibly others, distress where none should exist.

Here is the full quote:

“DWP has been clear that there is no specific information or legal requirements that compels all
Universal Credit claimants, in every case, to use the journal. However some claimants can
have a requirement set, to provide information and evidence as part of their work-related
requirement for claiming Universal Credit. This requirement can be set by a Work coach under
Section 23 of the Welfare Reforms Act 2012, Chapter 2 but it does not compel this evidence to
be supplied in a particular way, only that it must be supplied if and when requested”.

The first sentence states categorically that ”…….. there is no specific information or legal requirements that compels all Universal Credit claimants, in every case, to use the journal.”

It then goes on to confirm that “……….some claimants can have a requirement set, to provide information and evidence as part of their work-related requirement for claiming Universal Credit. This requirement can be set by a work coach under Section 23 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, Chapter 2 but it does not compel this evidence to be supplied in a particular way, only that it must be supplied if and when requested.”

No mention is made of supplying said evidence via a Journal or Universal Jobmatch or any specific way, only that it must be supplied. DWP tell us there is no legal requirement and no compulsion. Any attempt by a work coach to compel a claimant to use specific or particular ways of providing the required evidence would be illegal.

Where the claimant is not able to provide the required evidence in a way of his/her own choosing then obviously the work coach may need to make suggestions and the claimant needs to heed such suggestions.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 27 Mar 2018 10:05 #6671

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El-dudeareno wrote:
@CoD:"The frustrating thing is that when people sign on or attend a meeting at their job centre, they don`t know what`s going to be said or strung on them which means we have no time to argue the case that something is not mandatory or actionable until we have had time to look at the actual guidelines and being guidelines, that means they are not written in stone, so work coaches can apply what they want, when they want thinking we won`t argue with them. It`s not a case of arguing though, it`s more about agreement and whether what they are asking us to do is reasonable or worthwhile."

The is one of the reason I started this post CoD, as you can see the Roaches reply on claimant not knowing the score upon the UCJ. :sick:

Also as @Catwoman said it is not always easy for the claimant to stand up to the work-roach. However, excused the pun here. But could you send the work-roach and message via the UC-Journal service with the FOI show that you don't need to use this service... :whistle: :lol:

Hi El-dudeareno,

Yes its really not easy but helps if you have the most up to date regs on you, thats what i know a few people do.
I myself will only argue with them, if i feel they are unrealistically pushing me into something i know is just a bum on seat scenario; or find out what they are saying we have to do is not quite as simple as they portray :evil: .

Always can agree to jump through the hoops and argue at next time when you've looked up the legal side etc.

As for sending FOI requests or copies of any type of regs schedules etc, you can send them in any way you wish, but i would do it via letter or email personally and if by post recorded delivery :)

jobber.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 27 Mar 2018 10:26 #6672

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Benefit Bolshie wrote:
comply or die wrote:
Quote from the FOI request above:

“DWP has been clear that there is no specific information or legal requirements that
compels all Universal Credit claimants, in every case, to use the journal. However
some claimants can have a requirement set,

No legal requirement to use the journal....but then they say, `some claimants can have a requirement set for them`....so in other words, if we refuse to use the UC journal. a work coach can set a requirement to use it if a claimant is regarded as having to use it? The twisted logic here tells me that claimants can refuse to use a UC journal or Universal Job Match, but not far behind will be the red hot poker of persuasion.

By selectively quoting from the DWP’s response, and interpreting the bit selected in a way that the DWP itself would admire, you have managed to cause yourself, and possibly others, distress where none should exist.

Here is the full quote:

DWP has been clear that there is no specific information or legal requirements that compels all
Universal Credit claimants, in every case
, to use the journal. However some claimants can
have a requirement set, to provide information and evidence as part of their work-related
requirement for claiming Universal Credit. This requirement can be set by a Work coach under
Section 23 of the Welfare Reforms Act 2012, Chapter 2 but it does not compel this evidence to
be supplied in a particular way, only that it must be supplied if and when requested”.

The first sentence states categorically that ”…….. there is no specific information or legal requirements that compels all Universal Credit claimants, in every case, to use the journal.”

It then goes on to confirm that “……….some claimants can have a requirement set, to provide information and evidence as part of their work-related requirement for claiming Universal Credit. This requirement can be set by a work coach under Section 23 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, Chapter 2 but it does not compel this evidence to be supplied in a particular way, only that it must be supplied if and when requested.”

No mention is made of supplying said evidence via a Journal or Universal Jobmatch or any specific way, only that it must be supplied. DWP tell us there is no legal requirement and no compulsion. Any attempt by a work coach to compel a claimant to use specific or particular ways of providing the required evidence would be illegal.

Where the claimant is not able to provide the required evidence in a way of his/her own choosing then obviously the work coach may need to make suggestions and the claimant needs to heed such suggestions.


Thanks for all this Benefits Boshie as thats all crystal clear now and should stop others being messed around if their willing to take the bull by the horns.

Although they will like to refer to this as a all must do"Section 23 of the Welfare Reforms Act 2012, Chapter 2" we know there is other regs out there that say differently in that WE CAN show work search evidence in anyway of our choosing,our choice not numpty brigade.


This may help others:

This is supported by section 7, subsection 1 of the Jobseekers Act 1995, which can be found at
the following internet address, via the DWP Website:
www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/a11-0101.pdf

The relevant internal guidance extract below is taken from the Availability and Actively Seeking
Employment chapter of the Labour Market Conditions Guide.

188. The JSA Regulations do not specify that claimants must keep written records of their job
search.
However, encouraging a claimant to keep a written record of the steps they have taken
can help them to remember what they have done, and will help to build up a picture of the
progress the claimant is making in their efforts to find work.
189. A claimant may have set up their own records, but if their record keeping is inadequate, or
non-existent encourage them to use the Jobsearch Activity Log (ES4).

190. The evidence of jobsearch produced when they attend to have their regular reviews may
be in various forms
:

 information they have provided from their Universal Jobmatch account;
 evidence in writing from employers, employment agencies, or other organisations which
they have contacted;
 copies of letters they have sent to employers;
 the claimant’s un-corroborated written evidence, for example an ES4;
the claimant’s verbal evidence
 evidence from previous Jobsearch Reviews recorded on LMS.
In response to the question you have raised about requiring jobsearch evidence from Universal
Jobmatch. Advisers cannot mandate claimants to give them access to their Universal
Jobmatch account, nor can they force a claimant to print out screen prints of their UJ account
.
The extracts below from Chapter 3 of the Universal Jobmatch Toolkit clearly explain the
parameters when assessing what a claimant has done to look for work within Universal
Jobmatch.
Actively Seeking Employment
82. We cannot specify to a JSA claimant how they provide us with records of their jobsearch
activity and Universal Jobmatch will not change this – it is not therefore possible to require
JSA claimants to give DWP access to their Universal Jobmatch account.

83. Personal advisers and assistant advisers will continue to review jobsearch activity and
record the outcome on LMS in the usual way for JSA claimants and look at all the evidence
provided by claimants to determine if there is an ASE doubt. This may be in various forms
and these are explained in the Labour Market Conditions Guide.
84. However, Universal Jobmatch will be a key tool you can use in appropriate cases to review
whether a claimant has taken all reasonable steps to have the best prospects of finding
work.
85. How you review jobsearch activity will depend on whether the claimant is using Universal
Jobmatch and if so, has given DWP access to their account.
Reviewing jobsearch activity - claimant using Universal Jobmatch (DWP has
access to their account)
86. You will look at any number or all of the following screens/pages from the claimant’s
Universal Jobmatch account:
 Activity History.
 Application History.
 Alerts.
 Messages.
 Saved Jobs.
 Recommended Jobs.
 Saved Searches.
Reviewing jobsearch activity - claimant using Universal Jobmatch (No DWP
access to their account)
87. To help assess that a claimant is actively seeking work you may suggest that they show
you: and it goes on etc etc etc, i feel this will be ok to argue anything about showing job search evidence jsa uc whatever i hope :)
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 28 Mar 2018 01:57 #6685

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Jobber, the guidance that you have reproduced above on ‘Availability and Actively Seeking Employment’ is the DWP’s definitive description of the legal position regarding, among other things, how evidence of work search activity is to be presented or provided. I think an updated version has been published, I will check.

Other guidances and fact-sheets give the same overview of what is to be expected of claimants and how they may provide work search evidence. Subsequent responses to Freedom of Information requests confirms that the legal position is as set down in these guidance documents. They could hardly do otherwise.

Regular members/contributors will know that we have discussed/debated this particular issue several times and ought to have grasped by now what the legal position is. Plenty of links have also been provided that will explain and confirm the legal position.

The problem, as far as prospective claimants are concerned, is, and it has been mentioned already, that they are either; (a) not aware of the veracity or otherwise of what they are being told by work coaches, or; (b) not prepared to question or contradict the work coach, they just submit through ignorance or in the mistaken belief that it will lead to a quieter life.

The challenge is how to overcome those problems. Claimants don’t usually turn to forums like ours until they have already landed themselves in the du-du, or been dumped in it.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 29 Mar 2018 14:47 #6716

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Foi's are so important as you can use them to shut your advisers up.

My usual adviser wasn't in so I had a different adviser she must have been new as she was adamant that electronic signing was mandatory, the two advisers sitting either side of her even butted in to say it is mandatory. As soon as I showed them the foi saying it is not mandatory you should have seen their faces.
Then they suddenly remembered electronic signing is not mandatory, when they knew full well it isn't.

Only for I had that foi on me it shut them up good and proper.
They don't like it if you find things out for yourself,
The work coaches do not give you all of your options .They tell you what to do and expect you to go along with it without questioning it, they love telling you everyone is doing it and seem shocked when you don't agree with what wc is saying.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 29 Mar 2018 17:02 #6718

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And there lies the key Catwoman. Reminding said coaches that we do our homework and will happily do as they say as long as their guidelines don`t say otherwise. We do have choices and by finding the proper procedures and using them, all we are doing is applying our rights under them.

I think a good place to begin would be to list the demands that come up most often like:

You can only sign electronically (not true)
You must allow access to Universal Job Match (not true)
You must provide a mobile phone number (not true)

and so on and so on....and printing out the answers to all the above and having them in alphabetical order ready to show. Just make sure (doubly sure) that anything you do show is from DWP themselves and not a third party and that it is the most recent ruling/answer.
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 01 Apr 2018 10:59 #6746

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Benefit Bolshie wrote:
jobber wrote:
Cheers Paul, be having a good look at them later tonight.

I feel someone should put in an FOI to end this debate/farce of DO we have to use this comic of a journal.

Would do this myself but already have put in my fair share and their beady eyes are on me :) :evil:



jobber
Jobber;
A FOI request seeking clarification on whether or not it is necessary to use the journal you speak of has actually been made several times over the past couple of years.

The most recent response dated 20th Feb 2018 can be accessed via the following link:

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/uc_job_search_evidence_format#incoming-1115310

No ifs, no buts, it is clear enough that use of the journal is not compulsory.

By the way, the use of Universal Jobmatch , providing email addresses and phone numbers, are also not compulsory. This has been discussed on this forum, and many others, many times and members who have followed the forum for some time should be aware of this by now.


Cheers Benefits Bolshie, i am aware of what you say,just was posted it for others who may not be. :)
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Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s 06 Jul 2018 17:49 #9190

Thanks Paul
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