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Coping with Universal Credit

March 01 2019

All job coaches are different – not everyone’s experience is the same

All job coaches are different – not everyone’s experience is the same:

  1. On losing your job, or being moved over from traditional benefits to UC, make an immediate claim as this becomes your “claim date”. Act fast.
  2. This claim is made online, so you need an email account and a mobile phone number. Ask for help at a day centre or library. See p31.
  3. You will get a reference number on your application form – keep hold of this! Speak to an advice worker about keeping documents safe. Some day centres can provide storage space.
  4. Do not assume that the person who is interviewing you understands the system. If unsure, get independent advice from Citizens Advice or welfare rights' advisers.
  5. During your interview, you will be told you have to job search and keep a record of up to 35 hours per week. If you have no direct access to IT or a smart phone this will be almost impossible, so raise your concerns and explain why. This should be recorded in your journal.
  6. Make your job coach aware of anything that may hamper your ability to job search, e.g. illness, disability, caring responsibilities and travel.
  7. Check your online journal daily, as you will often get two days' notice of a telephone interview with your job coach.  If you miss this – without adequate excuse – you will be sanctioned for up to three weeks.
  8. You can challenge a sanction if you have a good reason. Contact an advice agency for help.