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Universal Credit Housing Element Debacle

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Hello Guys,


Just after some advice regarding the housing element of Universal Credit. Its a complicated tale so ill just post the bare bones and if you need any more info i can certainly provide it.


I was due my payment of UC today, this was my first payment after waiting the 6 weeks odd time it takes to process ect.


No payment was received so contacted them and told they do not have a copy of tenancy agreement. (This has been an ongoing farce as its been posted twice and handed in at the job centre three times which apparently they can see on there system its been given in but they have not received it)


Adviser stated they will send payment of personal element of UC payment and housing will be by Friday paid in as long as i go to the local office and have them email it too her, notes would be left on system to say this to office staff



Went to office, told they don't do scanning, only photocopy andd post, after much back and forth agreed to email it over.


Payment of personal element of UC PAID in ac ! Halfway there! :wink:



Called back again to see if document has been received and has the housing element now or shortly be released for payment ?


Told she "could see that it had been sent again but couldn't see actual doc on system"


Quizzed adviser further as to why she couldn't see it on system and if this would effect the payment time?


Adviser went away came back and said "It could take up to ten working days to process it, she cant see it as the dept it goes to has different system, she does not deal with housing element and there is no number for claimants to call to find this out"


I now find myself in the situation of not knowing when payment will be, how much payment will be, if the relevant department has actually received copy of the requested doc and nobody at the service centre seems able to access a system that could give them the info.


Could be paid today tomorrow or any point in the next two weeks based on them not loosing the tenancy agreement AGAIN!


Has anyone had any experience with this or can point me in any place as to get some more solid info.


Thanks so much and sorry for the rather long undoubtedly tedious post.


Any more info / clarification/ what not, please just say!

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This looks like a massive cock-up full time with all the trimmings thrown in for good measure. There appears to be several people from different offices involved and one hasn't a Scooby-Doo what the other is doing.


You do not say who you contacted initially but obviously that person has some idea of what's going on.


In the meantime, and in case there is no response or specific advice here from anyone with similar experience, it might be worth preparing a formal written complaint of maladministration and addressing it to that contact outlining the details of the treatment you have had to endure so far.

PS: No need to apologise for posting your request for information or help here. After all, That is what CAG is here for, it's what it does.

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Thanks for your kind reply and sorry i have been slow in responding, i have been self employed as a taxi driver for a couple of weeks now and my, the hours are very very long, which is making delaying with UC service staff slightly more tricky.


I've taken your kind advice and registered a complaint, was amazed to see an online form and even more amazed to see I'd apparently be responded to with 2 working days of receipt! Whether this happens or not based on my previous experience I hold little hope.


I will be calling the service centre again tomorrow in the hope that someone somewhere has removed or even located the log jam.

I guess at the worst i'l get a listen to Vivaldi's 4 seasons hold music for three quarters of an hour!





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used to work in a JCP office and was part of the UC team. Items handed in via an appointment for the UC service centre were copied stamped as verified true origianals and then sent via fully tracked mail to a Mail Opening Unit where it is then uploaded on to a system called DRS (Document Repository System), there is no way of the staff in the JCP uploading this directly sorry. UC Service Centre were always very strict that we could not send anything via email and it all had to go through the official channels. The fully tracked packages were sent daily and I had known significant delays in documents being sent adn I knew they had been as I was the one who physically coped and stamped the document, put it in the fully tracked envelope, completed the booklet that the TNT delivery/collection officer completed to confirm receipt and then it was delivered the following day but delays in the Mail Opening Unit meant that it could take up to 10 working days to show. I used to get quite a lot of verbal abuse over that which is why I left that job, being accused to being incompetent, lazy or a liar is not pleasant adn then being accosted and threatened during a weekend in front of my child was the final straw.

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Hello OP,


The same thing happened with my Universal Credit claim in Autumn 2015.


The former employee at the Jobcentre already explained how things work, so sorry if I revisit what she said in my account.


When I set up my claim the benefits adviser put all the paperwork into the internal post to the Mail Opening Unit.


The call handlers are waiting for the stuff sent through the internal post to be put onto the system in order that they can process a claim.


I took my tenancy agreement into the Jobcentre 5 times. The greeter could vouch for me that I had presented it but for some reason it was not arriving at Wolverhampton - their MOU.


My theory is that when UC launched, their MOU was woefully unprepared for the amount of correspondence that would be arriving.


I was beginning to accrue a debt with my landlord so I rung the helpline whilst in the Jobcentre. The call handler told my work coach that she could scan and e-mail my tenancy details to her during the course of the telephone call.


The Jobcentre staff said they were never informed about this route - even though it is the more sensible one! The greeter told me she has had many disgruntled claimants. She misses the system where claims were handled in house due to this current confusion.


Within a week my housing element was now active.


The only problem was that the Decision Maker refused to backdate it. They held that I did not actively pursue my claim. I failed the Mandatory Reconsideration too.


I lodged an appeal with the Benefits Tribunal. Luckily for me, the greeter was prepared to write a supporting letter that I had been in the Jobcentre non-stop to query the whereabouts of my tenancy agreement.


The DWP decided not to contest the appeal and backdated my payments.


I was lucky that the greeter was prepared to help me but as a general rule I would encourage claimants to keep an audit trail of what they did or who they spoke to. The burden of proof is on you!


You did the right thing by lodging a complaint, as the mislaid documents issue will now be addressed sooner. I never thought of it at the time.


I thought their issues with the MOU and scanning documents were sorted by now. Clearly they are still facing them.


It's good the rollout of UC has been delayed. It would have been a bloodbath if they did a big bang switch over.

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