Caree's Universal Credit

My caree claims this benefit and I am his appointee. He is in the Limited Capacity to work and limited capacity for work related activity; he therefore doesn’t have to agree to commitments or complete his journal. Out of the blue he has been contacted (well I have) to inform him he is has a phone appointment tomorrow to agree to his commitments. I have explained on his journal that I am his appointee, that he is non-verbal etc etc and also reminded them of the support group he is in and when this was awarded … Whoever read the journal said they would contact his work coach. The work coach has still not replied. I have requested an update etc but after posting several (5) messages am no further forward. Tempting though it is to pass the phone to my caree and let the person realise he can’t understand them nor talk to them; however I expect that would be seen as non compliance and he would then lose the next payment for not agreeing to commitments he doesn’t understand …


Oh Melly
What a worry for you. I’m praying that if you get the call tomorrow, you will be able to explain yet again the situation and it will be understood. Handing the phone to S will cause his anxiety levels to go sky high, I strongly suspect, and you will be left to cope as usual. I wish I could help.

Time for a formal complaint, suggesting that staff clearly have an urgent need for further training about the Equality Act, and the duty to make reasonable adjustments???

Thanks Pet, of course I won’t give the phone to S, that’s why he has me!! He’ll find it stressful me being on the phone so will need to employ a happy tone to not cause him anxiety!

BB a complaint is something I could do without, but if necessary will happen.


I know that feeling Melly.

If you speak to them, maybe ask what reasonable adjustments they are making for a non verbal client with an appointee managing benefits?

My best friend had years of experience with DWP. They replaced her with someone with 6 weeks training on a computer system that didn’t allow for all the situations they might come across.

I realise you won’t really give the phone to S. If I can understand why it’s not possible, surely universal credit staff should!!?
Sorry if it looked like I thought you were going to.

The problem with UC is its very inflexible as it centres around a computer programme. It took involving our MP to get DWP to look at his case properly and sort it out first time round. It was new in our area and the job centre plus staff were new to the system. Since then, when various system things come up it appears on the journal and then he is disapplied. Until now.

I suspect BB you have hit the nail on the head with all the poor folk who are now redundant due to Covid, they have probably hired a load of new staff with are barely trained.

Pet, I know that, but others reading might not.

Let’s hope I get an email to say his appointment is cancelled.


Well after 48 hours of unnecessary stress and six journal entries on S’s behalf; someone at the DWP has agreed that S shouldn’t be having a phone appointment to agree to his commitments and an apology has been issued at the appointment cancelled. Thank goodness for the person who does know her job and is sorting out her colleagues ineptitude.

I think posting a link to the government UC website and including a quote about people in the limited capability for work and work related activity helped, too.


Thank goodness it’s worked out. You shouldn’t have been through all the anxiety and stress, and hope it never happens again.
Bet you are mentally exhausted. ((( Hugs)))

Well done Melly.
You will probably have helped many others, but none of this should have been necessary.

Yes, well done Melly.

My daughter’s boyfriend is on UC which tops up his wages. It has been very good overall but he could never manage it on his own. I had to go into the Job Centre with him and they agreed that I could be his appointee as he doesn’t have a computer and couldn’t use it if he had as his reading and writing skills are very poor.

On several occasions he has had to go into the Jobcentre and and they have said “go over there and use the computer.” When he says he can’t they say “well just try.” Some of the staff in there need a lot more training in working with people with special needs.

They certainly do, Penny. He is lucky to have you acting on his behalf.


It concerns me that a lot of people don’t have anybody looking out for them and I wonder how many people like this are missing out.