Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Universal Credit Registering Online (Gov.Uk Verify) Causes Chaos.

with 74 comments

Image result for Gov uk verify

Certifiable Company Causes Benefit Misery.

GOV.UK Verify overview

GOV.UK Verify is a secure way to prove who you are online.

It makes it safe, quick and easy to access government services like filing your tax or checking the information on your driving licence.

When you use GOV.UK Verify, you don’t need to prove your identity in person or wait for something to arrive in the post.

Despite the easy-peasy, quick and safe assertion, this happened earlier this year,

“Hundreds of thousands of benefits claimants could be unable to register for the new Universal Credit (UC) digital service because of problems using the government’s online identity system Gov.uk Verify, according to new figures that show barely a third of UC users successfully use Verify.”

Computer Weekly.


MPs point to Verify as one of universal credit problems


Committee report says slow take-up of identity assurance mechanisms is hold back the digitisation element of the DWP’s flagship programme

The GOV.UK Verify service is not being used as widely as expected in claims for universal credit and is contributing to delays in the digitisation of the process, according to a new report by the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee.

It has pointed to the problem in its latest project assessment review for universal credit, the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) flagship programme for the consolidation of state benefits.

Verify, the online identity assurance platform developed by the Government Digital Service (GDS), was identified as a possible mechanism for claimants to prove their identities in 2015 trials of the digital service. But the report says that by March of last year only 30% of claimants were able to complete the process for Verify, compared with an original projection of 80%.

DWP responded by developing an in-house system named Prove your Identity, and in July of last year said that this and Verify combined could achieve a verification success rate of 50%. A third option working to a lower assurance standard, Verify LOA 1, has also been developed with GDS, but there is still a perception that digitisation is moving too slowly.

Subsequently, the reliance on face-to-face processes to authenticate claimants’ identities is likely to continue, which in turn undermines the chances of DWP achieving its promised efficiency gains.

Additional issues

This has been one of handful of problems affecting the roll out of the digital service supporting universal credit: an assurance and action plan in March of last year also pointed to issues around automation, IT performance and management information, and said that operational targets were not being met. Subsequently, the digital service is now operating with more staff and fewer claimants than DWP had expected.

Overall, the report says there have been chronic delays and revisions in the implementation of universal credit since it was conceived in 2010, and that the digital service is being rolled out much more slowly than forecast: now at 10 Jobcentres per month rather than an earlier plan’s rate of 60.

Bryan Glick (Computer Weekly) wrote in March,

The government’s major project experts warned as early as 2015 that performance problems with the Gov.uk Verify identity assurance system would have a “material effect” on the business plan for Universal Credit.

This is on Friday: (BBC. 22nd of June)

Jenny Lewis has never owned a passport or a driving licence – and it meant she had to wait months to receive her benefit money.

The documents are needed to apply for Universal Credit online but Jenny said cars and holidays are luxuries she cannot afford.

Delays in her application left her “degraded” and looking for food.

The UK government said “arrangements are in place” to support people who cannot apply online.

“The system is terrible, it’s stupid – if you can’t afford to go abroad you’re not going to get a passport, if you can’t afford a car you’re not going to get a driving licence,” said Jenny, from Newport.

Staff at the Pobl Group, which provides care, support and housing in the Newport area, said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is wrong to believe most people will have a passport, driving licence or even access to the internet.

They believe only around a third of people are registering for Universal Credit online and it is causing a backlog for face-to-face appointments.

The article continues all too believably,

Kath Hopkins, Moneysaver Project Officer with the Pobl Group, said the “vast majority” cannot apply online.

“Most people on low incomes don’t have photographic identification,” she said.

“Why would you have a passport or driving licence – you can’t go on holiday, you can’t afford to buy a car.

“Without that you can’t go through the online process and we’re finding that as an advice organisation we haven’t been able to help one single person verify their identification online”.

She added: “Some people have been going to high cost lenders, and some people have been going to loan sharks because of this delay”.

There is concern that this delay is in addition to other delays in the Universal Credit system. It can take more than a month to receive your first payment after submitting an application.

The issue was raised recently in the House of Commons by Newport East MP Jessica Morden, who called on ministers to review and speed up the process for initial Universal Credit claims.

This is her question: Jessica Morden (Newport East) (Lab)

Constituents who cannot afford a driving licence or a passport cannot do an initial online verification of their universal credit claim, meaning that they have to wait up to two weeks in order to be seen for a personal appointment. That is driving people to see loan sharks in some cases, so will the Minister look at it?

This is the feeble reply,

Alok Sharma

I will look at it, but if the hon. Lady would come forward with specific cases, that would make it easier.

The DWP Alternative Facts Department (Artificial Intelligence Bureau)  gets space to issue a stout defence of their system.

A DWP official said it was working to ensure its Verify identity scheme is “an effective and secure means to confirm someone’s identity when they make a claim to full Universal Credit”.

They said it is expected that most people will use the Verify scheme it when they first make their online claim.

“In a minority of cases where it’s not possible for claimants to have their identity confirmed through Verify arrangements are in place to support those people,” said the DWP spokesperson.

The UK government department said a complimentary service called “Prove Your Identity” has been trialled in a number of sites, with a view to rolling out the service later in the year following a review.

The official added: “We are rolling Universal Credit out successfully across the country and we’ve made a number of improvements.

“We’ve introduced 100% advances to support people before their first payment, removed the seven waiting days and implemented two weeks’ extra housing support for claimants moving onto Universal Credit.”

Written by Andrew Coates

June 24, 2018 at 10:38 am

74 Responses

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  1. This is frightening. I have neither a driving license nor a passport – partly because when the DWP offered to pay for one they refused at the last minute (took me weeks to get a counter signature as the only person I knew who could was in the midst of his wife walking out on him). This is fucking sick

    ghost whistler

    June 24, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    • What happened with me is that I had to go into the Jobcentre and have two interviews during which I presented “legacy” documentation, e.g., birth certificate, utility bill, bank statement, tenancy agreement etc., which were copied and used for identification; I was also quizzed about some of my personal information by my interviewer. I don’t know whether this is still the case now because Universal Credit keeps changing all the time.


      June 24, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      • I had to do that too, I applied for universal crap by phone because it was easier than doing it online it cost me £7 bloody costly.


        June 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      • What sort of personal info did they want?

        This is insane!

        ghost whistler

        June 24, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      • If you have a passport or driving licence it is obviously going to be a lot easier just to type the number in on that ‘verify’ bollocks rather than attend a joke centre interrogation. But then the joke centre are going to wonder what you are doing with a passport or driving licence in the first place.

        Paula A

        June 24, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      • Just noticed ken’s comment below. Still the least the joke centre know about you the better. You wouldn’t want to be sent for some zero-hour pizza delivery job.

        Paula A

        June 24, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      • One of the questions I was asked was when my mother passed away!


        June 24, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    • I’ve got an old paper driving license but the number looks different to the new ones. Anybody know if you can use the number from an old paper driving license to apply for Universal Credit?


      June 24, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      • Yes, the Driver Number on paper and plastic are the same.

        The Driver Number follows the format:



        June 25, 2018 at 4:10 am

      • My paper driving license reads:


        The format looks different from the photocard license.


        June 25, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      • “Each licence holder in England, Scotland and Wales has a unique driver number, which is 16 characters long. The characters are constructed in the following way:

        1–5: The first five characters of the surname (padded with 9s if less than 5 characters)

        6: The decade digit from the year of birth (e.g. for 1987 it would be 8)

        7–8: The month of birth (7th character incremented by 5 if driver is female i.e. 51–62 instead of 01–12)

        9–10: The date within the month of birth

        11: The year digit from the year of birth (e.g. for 1987 it would be 7)

        12–13: The first two initials of the first names, padded with a 9 if no middle name

        14: Arbitrary digit – usually 9, but decremented to differentiate drivers with the first 13 characters in common

        15–16: Two computer check digits.

        17–18: Appended, two digits representing the licence issue, which increases by 1 for each licence issued.”

        There is a space between 16 and 17 since the licence issue doesn’t form part of the driver number. You should be aware that your date of birth is ‘hidden’ within the driver number. Some people have been caught out because of this, e.g. giving a false date of birth to employers. Not really a concern on the photocard licences since your DOB is clearly displayed.

        Piss Tonne

        June 25, 2018 at 4:57 pm

  2. Reblogged this on iaingrahamsite.


    June 24, 2018 at 1:20 pm

  3. Them lot don’t get hassled do they.


    June 24, 2018 at 2:10 pm

  4. Because someone has a driving licence doesn’t mean they have a car they are lucky to be able to afford a supermarket shop on meagre benefits.I was told not to drive so its not worth the plastic its printed on that means that even holding a licence does not mean its valid to drive let alone prove an identity.

    Its an ID for other purposes such as opening a bank account or this fiasco,it is never intended for ID purposes and there is no mention that it is the case.

    A photo ID card.

    A water or other utility bill and the hated council tax reduction letter should be adaquate.The national insurance card isn’t a form of ID.

    we’re seeing more of this expected to scan paperwork up to websites also.


    June 24, 2018 at 2:26 pm

  5. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    June 24, 2018 at 4:59 pm

  6. Vulnerable people hit hard by ‘farcical’ Universal Credit

    These delays have led to people waiting longer to get paid and more people using foodbanks, such as the Salvation Army one in Chippenham.

    “I don’t know why it takes so long to get sorted but from our point of view, the food parcel increase has soared.”



    June 24, 2018 at 8:33 pm

  7. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

    The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

    As this is a piece of EU legislation, will it still apply after we have formally left the EU next year or will it be scrapped by something more sympathetic to the British Government? Or to put it bluntly, will it be replaced by something designed to put the boot into the likes of us, I wonder?

    jj joop

    June 25, 2018 at 9:03 am

    • The transition period looks as if it might be two years or more and so I guess that EU laws relating to data privacy won’t be tampered with until 2022 at the earliest.


      June 25, 2018 at 4:10 pm

  8. Andrew Coates

    June 25, 2018 at 11:31 am

  9. Voices of millions of UK taxpayers stored by HMRC

    HMRC’s Voice ID scheme asks callers to repeat the phrase “my voice is my password”

    The voices of millions of taxpayers have been analysed and stored by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) without consent, privacy campaigners say.

    Big Brother Watch says HMRC’s Voice ID system has collected 5.1 million audio signatures and accuses the department of creating “biometric ID cards by the back door”.

    The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says it is following up complaints about the service.

    HMRC says the data is held securely.

    It also emphasised that callers could choose not to use Voice ID.

    The Voice ID scheme, which was launched last year, asks callers to repeat the phrase “my voice is my password” to register.

    Once this task is complete, they can use the phrase to confirm their identity when managing their taxes.

    ‘Very popular’

    HMRC says this process helps speed up security procedures and improves access to its digital services.

    But Big Brother Watch said taxpayers were being “railroaded into a mass ID scheme”, as they were not given the choice to opt out.

    “These voice IDs could allow ordinary citizens to be identified by government agencies across other areas of their private lives,” said Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch.

    She also called on HMRC to “delete the five million voiceprints they’ve taken in this shady scheme”.

    In response, an HMRC spokesperson said the Voice ID system was “very popular with customers”.

    HMRC sources also told the BBC that identifying details were stored separately from the voice recordings.

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force across the European Union last month, requires organisations to obtain explicit consent before they use biometric data to identify someone, including voice recordings.



    June 25, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    • And were just joshing about Artificial Intelligence/automation creeping in everywhere…

      Andrew Coates

      June 25, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    • I thought this was joke until i saw the link.

      Voice ID is flawed for logical reasons, the first being you have to be in a quiet area so as to prevent the mixing of frequencies. Then there is how the voice changes if you get an infection of the throat,loss of voice and even a common cold to name a few. Lastly there is the device you use that work at certain frequencies meaning a different device can create a different frequency of voice.

      To get around these the sensitivity of recognition would have to be lowered to a point its possible to defraud.

      Lastly whats this about only entering a driving license number, how does that prove you are who you say you are.


      June 25, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      • The photocard driving license has got a recent picture of you associated with it and so, I assume, when you visit the Jobcentre and see a Work Coach, or whatever, they can look up your picture on the DVLC database and check to see whether look the same as that picture. This is why I reckon people with the old paper driving licenses won’t be able to use them to claim Universal Credit, because there is no image of the associated driver on a central database that can be checked to ensure that the person with the driving license is the actual person it belongs to.


        June 26, 2018 at 8:18 am

      • You can get a photocard driving licence for £20. You can still keep the paper one and they are still valid. If you have a passport you can select to use your passport photo on your driving licence. (also means you will receive it in a day or two)


        June 26, 2018 at 10:55 pm

      • Exchange your paper driving licence for a photocard licence

        You must get a new licence if:

        you change your address
        your licence has been defaced, lost, stolen or destroyed
        you change your name (you must apply by post using paper form D1 or D2)
        you’re getting a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) driver qualification card (DQC)

        If none of these apply and your paper licence is still valid, you don’t need to exchange it for a photocard version.


        You need your NI Number and passport number. If you use your passport photo the process is fully automated. It is basically sent straight to the printer and posted out.


        June 26, 2018 at 11:03 pm

  10. High levels of debt due to Universal Credit in North East Lincolnshire

    6 months on from the rollout of Universal Credit in North East Lincolnshire and 70% of social housing tenants on it are in debt.



    June 25, 2018 at 2:04 pm

  11. “A standard adult first passport costs £75.50 if you apply online or £85 to apply with a paper form from the Post Office.”

    “A provisional driving license costs £34 and you need an ‘identity document’ i.e. passport in order to apply for one.

    It costs £34 to apply online. You can pay by MasterCard, Visa, Electron, Maestro or Delta debit or credit card.

    You’ll need to provide:

    an identity document unless you have a valid UK biometric passport
    addresses where you’ve lived over the last 3 years
    your National Insurance number if you know it”

    “Other types of identification

    You must send the following identity documents if you don’t have a biometric passport:

    a current and valid passport
    a biometric residence permit (BRP) – formerly known as the identity card for foreign nationals
    an European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) national identity card
    a travel document

    You must send the original document with your driving licence application.”


    June 25, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    • Huh? You need photo ID to get photo ID? WTF? Catch 22?


      June 25, 2018 at 4:06 pm

  12. Anyone else having problems loading universal jobmatch? Been trying all day for over a week but site seems to be constantly down or summat. Frustrating to say the least and what is Coachy going to think.

    Frustrated UJM User

    June 25, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    • Universal Jobmatch was taken out of service on the 16th June 2018! You’re supposed to use Find-a-Job instead even though it is, unbelievably, WORSE than UJM.


      June 25, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    • Doh! 😀 Now you tell me 😉 Anyway, thanks for the info. Will take this new Find-A-Job for a spin – NOT!

      Frustrated UJM User

      June 25, 2018 at 4:40 pm

  13. On the government site it says you can use a debit or credit card for ID in lieu of a driving license or passport.


    June 26, 2018 at 8:26 am

  14. This may or may not still represent good advice, can’t be sure because Universal Credit rules keep getting tweaked and twiddled in order to make getting the benefit harder and harder.



    June 26, 2018 at 9:00 am

  15. Data Protection and the New Law


    This is relevant to what the DWP can and cannot request and retain by way of identification and contact details etc.

    jj joop

    June 26, 2018 at 10:38 am

    • However, the Work Coach does not have the power to dictate how this evidence is presented.

      At least the “dictate” part is correct.screenshots print offs many already know these.


      June 26, 2018 at 11:15 am

  16. 2.5million people officially stuck in fuel poverty – and one group is suffering far worse than everyone else

    rip off prices, a broken energy system and a Government that doesn’t care. – the norm



    June 26, 2018 at 11:04 am

    • The Road to Wigan Pier Project

      Britain is heading back to dark days of slums and people going without food …………..



      June 26, 2018 at 11:13 am

      • In 1937, Orwell’s book about poverty in Northern England shocked the country. Now we are retracing his route – join us as we tell the stories of Austerity Britain



        June 26, 2018 at 11:27 am

      • Britain is heading back to dark days of slums and people going without food

        I thought we were already there.

        Victorian values.


        June 26, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      • True, ken. A lot of us are going to be pushed under the bus. It is called ‘collateral damage’. It is out with the old and in with the new. Universal Credit is just part of the game plan. You can’t make an egg without cracking omelettes, If you come back as a ghost in a few years you will see out the changes have panned out.

        Evening Star

        June 26, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      • ‘dark days and slums’ for the ‘invalids’ but quality housing and good days for the ‘valids’.

        Evening Star

        June 26, 2018 at 10:51 pm

  17. High street discounter Poundworld is set to launch a UK wide “closing down” sale on Thursday, despite bosses claiming stores aren’t shutting down.


    Poundworld locally have a closing down sign in the window and 20% off tools exe.expect job losses as stores close.


    June 26, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    • I don’t like the company, but like most people with not much money I use the place, so I am a bit torn on this.

      They have same sign here.

      Wonder if Poundland will follow.

      Andrew Coates

      June 26, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      • I think your right Andrew and people would agree.The problem with poundworld was the quality they cut corners so much gloves were failing and had holes straight away for example other items didn’t work.While poundland have some quality their USB chargers were seen as positive for example.Both shops have introduced items more then £1 which goes against the title.


        June 27, 2018 at 9:02 am

      • £5 knicker for a bleedin’ jar of coffee in Poundland, mate! Would you Adam and Eve it?


        June 27, 2018 at 9:56 am

  18. Number of homeless people in North Lanarkshire rockets up in just 12 months

    In the last year, the number of applications made for homelessness assistance shot up from 1,894 to 2,143, a 12 per cent jump.



    June 26, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    • Really, ken? You sure about that? Housing Associations are building houses left, right and centre. Every spare piece of land is being built on. Historic buildings are being razed to the ground to build more housing.
      Who are these ‘homeless’ you are seeing, ken. Can you give us a description?

      Evening Star

      June 26, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      • Not where I live they’re not. What historic building have been demolished to make way for housing association houses? Eh? Don’t the latest statistics show that housing associations are now building the fewest new homes for decades? Where are all these houses being built may I ask? I reckon some leg pulling is going on here.


        June 27, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      • Too right James. POUNDland wouldn’t charge a fiver for a jar of coffee for crying out loud! Not in a shop “where everything costs a pound”. Or did at least. Well, never mind….

        The Savvy Shoppers

        June 27, 2018 at 1:50 pm

  19. McVey may appeal landmark court ruling on DWP’s disability discrimination

    McVey “I am currently considering whether I will be applying to appeal on the one point that the court found against the Department”



    June 26, 2018 at 2:09 pm

  20. UNIVERSAL credit roll-out could push people into hardship, leading to rent arrears and homelessness, according to a council report.

    Glasgow is in line for the new benefit payment system in a few months, described as the biggest shake-up of the welfare state since it began.

    To help people get ready and to cope with the changes the council has agreed to make £2million available to groups across the city to help claimants.

    claimants face increased costs for either smart phones or computers as applications must be made on line with an e-mail address.

    a lack of digital skills could lead to an increased risk of benefit sanctions, people missing out on benefits they are entitled to and increased rent arrears.



    June 26, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    • Ken, you not think it strange that universal credit claimants are facing homelessness when so much new housing is being built. It a great big joke, ken! Total joke!

      Evening Star

      June 26, 2018 at 10:37 pm

      • The word is out about Universal Credit and rent arrears. Landlords are now beginning to refuse to offer tenancies to anybody on Universal Credit, or who has been on Universal Credit, or is likely to end up on Universal Credit some time in the future. Homelessness amongst UC claimants looks set to soar when the remaining NINE OUT OF TEN people on legacy benefits – 25% of the British population – get transferred to UC most of whom get Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance currently.


        June 27, 2018 at 6:28 am

    • Funny that, ken. Homelessness is through the roof in Scotchland. There are no more doorways amongst the empty shops in the big cities such as Glasgow, but Nicola Sturgeon just said the other day that she “wanted to increase the population of Scotchland”. Thought there was too many of us? An increase in population means more plastic bottles and more dolphins chocking to death in the Pacific Ocean. We are being played for fools, ken.

      Evening Star

      June 26, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    • Me daughter has been told that it will take her at least forty years to get a council house. She was told she is not a ‘priority’ whatever that means.


      June 26, 2018 at 11:09 pm

  21. *no pun intended

    Evening Star

    June 26, 2018 at 10:43 pm

  22. ;


    June 27, 2018 at 8:39 am

  23. Winchester City Council drops trialled support scheme ahead of Winchester’s Universal Credit rollout

    CIVIC chiefs have ditched proposals for a Universal Credit support scheme after a pilot showed it made little difference to Winchester claimants.

    Residents shifting onto the controversial benefit system were set to be issued with a pre-paid credit card that would allow rent money to be sectioned off in a bid to avoid financial issues.



    June 27, 2018 at 9:05 am

  24. Over 40s should pay new tax to fund creaking social care, MPs say

    Levy to pay for spiralling costs of care in old age should be paid by individuals and employers, MPs said

    The NHS, what next.

    Some future we heading for as if it isn’t bad enough.



    June 27, 2018 at 10:05 am

    • And so yet again they try to squeeze in insurance schemes.

      Cant wait for the specifics as its bond to be as full of rot as the outlandish dementia tax. Money swims up stream and then dribbles back down at less than 1% (non specific), whats hard to understand about that,really ?

      If you want the majority of the public to provide revenue then you have to make sure they have the money comfortably in their pockets to begin with which isn’t going to happen if its constantly ending up in too few hands. There is ways to deal with this but government and politicians alike need to admit there is a problem and that problem is the mechanism of capitalism (no im not advocating socialism) and asset acquisition be it personal or hidden in business practices beyond what a human needs to live well and comfortable.


      June 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm

  25. £600,000 war chest to ease the pain caused by Universal Credit

    EAST Renfrewshire Council has set aside £600,000 to deal with the fall-out from the looming “disaster” of Universal Credit.

    The UK Government’s controversial benefits reform, which has been delayed multiple times, is now due to be rolled out nationwide by the end of the year.



    June 27, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    • £600,000 won’t go far.


      June 27, 2018 at 2:34 pm

  26. Foodbank shares picture of empty crates and £2k bill in desperate plea for donations

    The basic ‘top up’ donations bill came to £2,300 alone as need for the service continues to increase



    June 27, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    • ‘Foodbanks’, ken! O’ Lord O’ Mighty! You can’t be serious! What’s happened? Have the annual sacrifices to the Sun Gods not been answered? Have the crops failed? Are the shelves empty?

      Lord and Lady Summerisle

      June 27, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    • The Wicker Man

      June 27, 2018 at 2:03 pm

  27. Rotten cow.


    June 27, 2018 at 2:54 pm

  28. Violet

    June 27, 2018 at 5:01 pm

  29. That is us downtrodden lot under the table.


    June 27, 2018 at 5:03 pm

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