What are your experiences of claiming UC? Especially the role of computers in making decisions about your benefits?: "I have been on UC for some time now. I am a lone parent and in work - which is to do with supporting people to claim UC. I do know my rights. I have personal experience of my local job centre refusing to allow me to challenge a decision by way of mandatory reconsideration because they said they needed to do a technical investigation first. This was purely down to HMRC reporting incorrectly when I had been paid in to my bank account. This massively affected my UC payment. I knew I was right to challenge the decision but the job centre refused. I went on to win my appeal.
Clearly the job centre were acting just on what the HMRC computers were reporting but I showed them my physical evidence through a bank statement. They refused to act on it.
I know from working in benefits for many years that what the DWP are guided to act on is often different to what the law says.
I work with looked-after children who are currently denied by the DWP guidance to make an advance claim, something the law specifically allows. The DWP say this is because the computer system cannot cope with advance claims."