Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

ID Issues Hit Universal Credit.

Universal Credit Claimants Locked Out Online Due To 'Consistent' Digital  Verification Failings | HuffPost UK

ID seems an obsession with the crew of chancers who lead this government.

Those who follow politics know that the Tories want everybody who wishes to vote to present photo ID for elections. The fact that a few million people do not have Driving Licences or Passports is a bonus for the Conservatives. It will exclude many of the poor and marginalised from the ballot box, and make local councils (a majority in Labour areas) fork out to pay for some special scheme to allow us to have the privilege to vote. Lots of people will not bother and just give up.

It has crept down to the DWP.

There was this in October,

People are being forced to submit photos of themselves holding a local daily paper outside their home in order to claim universal credit.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) verification process contains a detailed list of bizarre requests potential claimants must follow. It also includes requiring people to send in a photo taken by someone else of them holding their street sign in their right hand.

The instructions were posted in at least one person’s universal credit journal – the online platform used to manage benefit claims – by a DWP employee, according to the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC). 

The Mirror reports,

Universal Credit claimants told to pay back thousands in Covid support due to ID issues

Benefit claimants who received Covid support at the height of the pandemic are being told to repay every penny back – with some claimants describing the emergency support as a ‘loan’ not a ‘benefit’.

The Mirror has spoken to dozens of people who have received sudden bills from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the past six months, asking for all the Covid support they received back.

It follows our investigation into dad Gary Blake who had been sent a bill for an overpayment because of missing ID.

In the vast majority of cases we spoke to, claimants were told to submit ID – despite already sharing it, while others were told to repay their Covid benefits because they did not have a tenancy agreement. In many cases, shortly after providing these documents, the claimants were sent a shock bill.

The Mirror continues with first hand stories, beginning with this one:

Mirror reader Sheila Richards said she received an unexpected bill for £6,000 earlier this year after receiving help during the pandemic.

The DWP allegedly told the claimant it was because she had not submitted a photo of herself.

“I had provided photo ID at my local Job Centre Plus on the many occasions that I had been asked to visit, so I didn’t consider it to be that crucial,” Sheila, who is self-employed, told The Mirror.

She is now disputing the charges with the DWP. Sheila wrote to her constituent MP but never heard back.

Still, somebody is happy at the way things are going:

Written by Andrew Coates

November 5, 2021 at 9:03 am

20 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The problem with digital & online proof is just that problems. There is more fraud than ever at the DWP because of digital. There will be far less fraud with Legacy Benefits because it is paper not digital. The DWP are making digital into fraud, but that also works both ways. Bring back the paper format which is also a receipt unlike digital receipts are not legally binding.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    November 5, 2021 at 9:49 am

  2. The National Disability Strategy document is unlawful. See you in Court DWP.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    November 5, 2021 at 11:19 am

  3. Identification Needed For Universal Credit Claim

    Primary ID (one of the following is required)
    Current passport
    National Identity Card
    Full photo card driving licence
    Provisional photo card driving licence
    Bank or Building Society card with sort code and account number on it
    (not all banks have this information on their cards)
    Residence permit
    Permanent residence card
    Biometric Residence Permit
    Immigration Status Document
    Certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen

    Secondary ID (two of the following are required)
    Paper type driving licence
    Birth certificate
    Local Authority rent card
    Council tax documents
    Tenancy agreement for current property
    Utility/telephone bills
    Current bank statements
    Current debit/switch card
    Current charge card
    Current saving account book
    Personal cheque book
    Travel pass with photograph
    Vehicle registration/insurance documents
    Expired passport
    Marriage certificate
    Civil partnership certificate
    Divorce/annulment papers
    Dissolution of civil partnership papers
    Current/recent wage/pension slip that includes name and NINO
    Letter from employer/contract of employment
    Correspondence from HMRC
    Invoices (if self-employed)
    Life assurance/insurance policies
    Mortgage repayment policies
    NHS Medical card
    Student ID card (if a student)
    Form B79 (if recently discharged from prison)
    Bail Sheet

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    November 5, 2021 at 2:26 pm

  4. 5 November 2021
    PCS in DWP: campaigning on pay, pensions and living standards
    The DWP group executive committee (GEC) met in October and agreed a pay, pensions and living standards campaign plan.
    Over the past decade PCS members have had the pay and living standards attacked by pay freezes and 1% pay limits. Our members are now at least 10% worse off than they were before the economic crash in 2008.

    Members now face inflation of over 3% and likely to rise to 5%, massive increases in gas and electricity bills and increased national insurance payments. At the same time the Tories are robbing us of 2% of our pay every month by not adjusting our contribution to our pensions.

    Last week the Tories announced that their latest public sector pay freeze would end but details of exactly what this will mean for the Civil Service, including DWP, will probably not be known until early next year.

    Our 2022 pay increase is due next July. The GEC believe that we need to begin to campaign now and build for the action needed to win a 10% increase in 2022.

    The planned campaign will begin with Zoom meetings for PCS reps in the DWP next week. Look out for details and make sure you attend.

    These will be followed by branches holding members’ meetings with speakers in November and December and will lead into a members’ survey and petitions to demand better pay and build for 2022.


    November 5, 2021 at 2:37 pm

  5. I tried to use GOV.UK Verify to create a digital identity to use online with the Post Office. I haven’t got a passport or driving license and so thought it might be useful online to check things such as National Insurance contributions and apply for benefits and such like. Quite soon after attempting to use the process online the Post Office began to ask me a series of questions to answer to establish who I was the first one of these being: “On what date did you open your bank account?” I had no idea. Would anybody who opened their bank account decades ago remember what the day, month and year was when the opened it? How many people would ave a random fact like that on the tip of their tongue? At that point I was forced to abandon my attempt to create a digital identity for myself. Apparently I am not the only one to discover that GOV.UK Verify was unusable as the link below shows.


    Surely before a country demands photo or digital ID from citizens to access benefits and services it ought to make sure that every citizen has acceptable ID before rolling out systems that require it? Including the vital and important right to be able to vote in every election without obstacles being put in the way or people prevented or discouraged from exercising this essential democratic right by placing the onus on them to acquire acceptable ID which others already possess in respect to other purposes. Voting in a democracy should as convenient and easy as possible not made more difficult.


    November 5, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    • you can make a uc claim over the phone as classed as a non digital relationship only problem is they dont tell anyone and had to get foi requests just to get the info.


      November 5, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      • Phone Signature – that’s a joke. Technology has moved on – Voice Recognition. Can you speak clearly & say your name 5 time so the computer can get the average signature. Do I get an audio recording as a receipt !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        November 5, 2021 at 4:23 pm

      • Yep. I know that now after reading posts on sites like this but the Jobcentre doesn’t volunteer information like that as a choice when you claim. Until the DWP realised that a fully digital system was impossible they banged on and on about it being “digital by default” and trying to force claimants to do everything online. If you refused to have things that you did on their Universal Jobmatch job board logged by the system, which was your right under the law, they would punish you by making you go to the Jobcentre every weekday or similar, because IDS thought that not allowing the DWP to monitor your activities on Universal Jobmatch was a “tripwire” that only slackers deserving investigation triggered. They always make it sound as if you have to apply for UC digitally online; this “digital by default” crap is why photocard driving licenses and passports are demanded as proof of identity the details of which, including recent images of their owners, are already stored by government and available to the DWP to use to crosscheck claims. Like so much about the DWP and Jobcentres the use deception and withholding information to try to force people to do what they want them to and never give people the full story unless pressed to do so.

        The DWP is a disgraceful department of government which deliberately deceives people on a daily basis.


        November 6, 2021 at 9:03 am

    • The coronavirus lockdown risks turning the problem of digital exclusion into a catastrophe of lost education and opportunity for the UK’s poorest and most vulnerable, write researchers Hannah Holmes and Dr Gemma Burgess.

      For the past four years, the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR) at the University of Cambridge has been researching digital exclusion. While it is a well-known fact that many elderly people are not online, the Centre’s research highlights that digital exclusion is not just a generational issue.

      Digital exclusion is another facet of the deep inequalities which run through the social fabric of the UK, and is more widespread than many people are aware of. One thing is clear: the public health crisis currently gripping the UK stands to make the impacts of digital exclusion worse for the millions of people affected, and the poorest will be hit the hardest.

      Since the onset of social distancing in the UK, some semblance of normality – or at least of productivity – has been possible to maintain only because of the networks of digital technologies and platforms already in place. Lockdown has certainly served to highlight our reliance on virtual means of staying in touch. Critically, it has also thrown into sharp definition the issue of digital exclusion, which has been a reality for the 22% of the UK’s population who lack basic digital skills since long before the Covid-19 outbreak.

      As an aspect of deprivation in the UK, digital exclusion cannot be overlooked. The likelihood of having access to the internet from home increases along with income, such that only 51% of households earning between £6000-10,000 had home internet access compared with 99% of households with an income of over £40,001. The link between poverty and digital exclusion is clear: if you are poor, you have less chance of being online.


      Andrew Coates

      November 5, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      • They are creating a sub-class of people who don’t have internet access, and often don’t know how to use it Many times I’ve seen people in my local library having to get the librarian to show them how to log on to Universal Credit. How to search the agency sites etc. Often older people, sometimes people with disabilities, homeless people, and those who just find technology difficult. There are so many the internet revolution has just passed by, and left them stranded.

        Jeff Smith

        November 6, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      • Supermarkets such as Tesco are now creating facilities that rely upon customers having the latest smartphone and touch set-up on debit/credit cards, in some cases whole stores that run completely on such technology entirely and cashless, thereby excluding anyone who is lagging behind in terms of digital tech, i.e. myself and probably many unemployed people.


        November 6, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    • @Tim: So officially Tim, without a Passport or Driving Licence you don’t actually exist ?

      George M

      November 6, 2021 at 3:23 pm

      • Not these days, George. There was so much trouble in 2013 when UC was launched that the DWP gradually enlarged the list of acceptable ID so that fewer people ran into this difficulty. I don’t know what it’s like now but I had to claim online and have two separate interviews at theJobcentre, where, besides having to present a handful of documents as per proof of identity which were photocopied etc., I was asked several personal questions by a clerk like “On what date did you mother die?” to prove who I was.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System has posted the modern list of acceptable ID above.


        November 6, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    • That’s ridiculous, I have no idea what date I opened my Bank account, like you say Tim who would know that?


      November 6, 2021 at 7:00 pm

  6. And the employment agencies, who often ask for Driving Licence and Passport as proof of ID.
    Then if you don’t have these, they start getting iffy.

    George M

    November 5, 2021 at 4:33 pm

  7. Cloverleaf

    November 6, 2021 at 2:57 pm

  8. The covid passport comes into force from mid December (ID card via the back door) so you will have no problems proving who you are.


    November 6, 2021 at 4:14 pm

  9. Andrew Coates

    November 6, 2021 at 4:44 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: