Login FormClose

Free PIP, ESA & UC Updates!

Delivery Fortnightly!

Over 80,000 claimants and professionals subscribe to the UK's leading source of benefits news.

Form Heading

The DWP stand accused of having taken a lesson from ‘kidnappers’ in order to verify universal credit claimants’ addresses, by requiring them to take multiple photos of themselves, including one with them holding a copy of the current day’s local paper.

The Public Interest Law Centre have tweeted an extract from a claimant’s UC online account and suggested that ‘Point 5 is what kidnappers do, which seems appropriate’ .

The extract itself is a list of 5 demands the claimant must meet in order to have their UC claim considered:

Further to today’s phone call. I now require you to provide the following information. If you don’t provide all of the information that we’ve requested your claim will be closed.

1. A photo of your ID card or passport open on the photo page.

2. . A photo of your ID card or passport open on the photo page held next to your face.

3. A photo of you stood outside the front door (open behind you) of the property you live at. Ask someone to take this from the street so that the whole property can be seen.

4. A photo of you stood next to your street sign with you [sic] right hand holding it. Ask someone to take this photo from a few metres away so that the background can be clearly seen.

5. A photo of you holding your local newspaper for the area you live (not a national tabloid newspaper). This should be dated the same day you upload the photo.

As other posters point out there are numerous problems with this approach including: many areas don’t have a local paper anymore, you can’t put your hand on a street sign if it’s halfway up a building, you can’t take a photo of yourself in the front door of your property from the street if you live halfway up a block of flats, you may not know anyone who could take a photo of you and may be unwilling to hand your phone over to strangers.

The bizarre series of instruction appears to be a way of trying to verify a claimant’s identity and address without having them attend an interview.

But many would argue that copies of items such as utility bills and tenancy agreements are as reliable as a series of images that could quite possibly be photoshopped.

We’d be interested to hear from readers who have received unusual requests from the DWP. You can post a comment below the line or use our feedback form.

Comments  

#7 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2021-10-20 15:08
Quoting Kri:
Quoting ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar:
Plenty more to read on this disgusting practice, even Neil Couling agrees with this, he is the Director of Universal Credit, his reply "So this is a temporary process, tailored for the restrictions we are still under. Eventually we will be able to return to interviews in Jobcentres in cases of doubt about identity. So there’s nothing to worry about here for claimants, they can engage with confidence (4)

From his tweet here

mobile.twitter.com/.../...

See below for more.
mobile.twitter.com/.../...

What is it with the DWP making claimants doing all this stunts and jumping through endless hoops? This really is grinding us down, when will this persecuting stop?


"in cases of doubt about identity" - Well for those tranfering over from ESA to Universal Credit the DWP can not reasonably be in doubt as to a person's identity as they WILL ALREADY HAVE been satisfied as to person's Identity & all the details will be identical to when they have on file.


Kri,

This stance has nothing to do with claimants that are already, or still on the legacy system. They've already prove it long ago.
#6 Kri 2021-10-19 18:44
Quoting ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar:
Plenty more to read on this disgusting practice, even Neil Couling agrees with this, he is the Director of Universal Credit, his reply "So this is a temporary process, tailored for the restrictions we are still under. Eventually we will be able to return to interviews in Jobcentres in cases of doubt about identity. So there’s nothing to worry about here for claimants, they can engage with confidence (4)

From his tweet here

mobile.twitter.com/.../...

See below for more.
mobile.twitter.com/.../...

What is it with the DWP making claimants doing all this stunts and jumping through endless hoops? This really is grinding us down, when will this persecuting stop?


"in cases of doubt about identity" - Well for those tranfering over from ESA to Universal Credit the DWP can not reasonably be in doubt as to a person's identity as they WILL ALREADY HAVE been satisfied as to person's Identity & all the details will be identical to when they have on file.
+2 #5 MrFibro 2021-10-18 16:01
Hi all,

Confidence seems to be appearing quite a lot lately!

Problem is there's no one out there who is brave/ strong enough and willing to fight our corner and take on the Johnson's crew legally.


Why is it we are not seeing any of this being mentioned in the main stream news medias across the UK?

It's beggars belief.
+3 #4 denby 2021-10-17 15:31
Not only is not everybody online, they don't all have camera phones. My sister fortunately has made it off ESA onto her state pension and longterm PIP but has neither online access except via the library which is mostly shut since Covid, could only ever access it with a support worker, nor mobile phone of any sort. And why the hell should she? She lives in a city and does fine with a landline.
+3 #3 Idonia 2021-10-16 12:05
4. A photo of you stood next to your street sign with you [sic] right hand holding it. Ask someone to take this photo from a few metres away so that the background can be clearly seen.

Another issue with this would be for people who live in rural areas where roads/lanes may have names but not street signs.

Overall, what a ridiculous and frankly rather terrifying list of demands.
+2 #2 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2021-10-15 20:05
More from the Director of UC.... the mind boggles.

Further update(s) from Neil Couling:

Thanks - said I’d take a look as there have been some instances of fraudsters representing themselves as DWP officials to harvest data off claimants to use in criminal activities. But this is legitimate. I will explain in a bit more detail (1).
twitter.com/.../...

You will know that in the 1st lockdown we suspended face-to-face verification. Prior to Covid in cases where there was a doubt we used to call people into Jobcentres. Initially we used a “Trust and Protect” approach. (2)
twitter.com/.../...

We knew some would abuse that, I’ve been very open about that, but it was for the greater good. But we always said we would go back and check. And this is part of that, given restrictions mean we can’t yet use our Jobcentres to the full (3)
twitter.com/.../...

So this is a temporary process, tailored for the restrictions we are still under. Eventually we will be able to return to interviews in Jobcentres in cases of doubt about identity. So there’s nothing to worry about here for claimants, they can engage with confidence (4)
twitter.com/.../...
+2 #1 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2021-10-15 19:04
Plenty more to read on this disgusting practice, even Neil Couling agrees with this, he is the Director of Universal Credit, his reply "So this is a temporary process, tailored for the restrictions we are still under. Eventually we will be able to return to interviews in Jobcentres in cases of doubt about identity. So there’s nothing to worry about here for claimants, they can engage with confidence (4)

From his tweet here

mobile.twitter.com/.../...

See below for more.
mobile.twitter.com/.../...

What is it with the DWP making claimants doing all this stunts and jumping through endless hoops? This really is grinding us down, when will this persecuting stop?

You need to be logged in to comment

Subscribe Now

Get Instant Access to all our guides