Can UC make someone sign on 4 times further than their closest job centre?

That's what's happening to my cousin atm! Any point them making a complaint? UC say it's post code locked, I know yonks ago I was able to change easily, obviously I know nothing of the benefit system.

Thanks.
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  • NedS
    NedS Posts: 3,519
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    edited 14 October 2023 at 12:30PM
    You are correct that UC job centres are assigned based on the postcode of the claimant. Have they updated their address correctly on their UC account, or is it holding an incorrect address? Seems strange that they would not be assigned to their closest jobcentre.
    When you say 4 times further, what distances are we talking? Sometimes there are more than one JCP office in a city and they may be assigned to one that they may deem less convenient, but is not excessively far away.

  • Yes I found a similar problem too, back in 2019/20.  I was assigned to one that was further away than two, possibly three others (45 mins instead of 20, so not as bad as 4 times further) due to my postcode. 

    If I'd had to attend appointments regularly I would have tried to get it changed but since I'm not well enough to be required to attend appointments (and my work coach made the first few as infrequent as possible, while we waited for the decision about fitness for work) I didn't pursue it.

    [Interestingly in the past when I was claiming JSA, c.2009, 2011/2012 they have assigned to me two of the nearer ones at different points in time despite me living in the same house.  I have no idea why it changed.]
  • tomtom256
    tomtom256 Posts: 2,200
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    NedS said:
    You are correct that UC job centres are assigned based on the postcode of the claimant. Have they updated their address correctly on their UC account, or is it holding an incorrect address? Seems strange that they would not be assigned to their closest jobcentre.
    When you say 4 times further, what distances are we talking? Sometimes there are more than one JCP office in a city and they may be assigned to one that they may deem less convenient, but is not excessively far away.


    A lot of REEP sites are further away then the normal jobcentre and these often share or have taken over some postcodes owing to the amount of claims in certain areas. Could be that is why they have to attend one further away.
  • huckster
    huckster Posts: 4,778
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    Isn't there a current exercise going on in some areas, where temporary reep sites have closed and also some existing JCP's have closed, with claimants gradually being reassigned to new JCP's.  E.g. Birmingham, Liverpool areas.

    DWP have the most Government offices and there is a current process of reducing the number of offices. And they are offering appointments by video call, where this is appropriate.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
  • TimeLord1
    TimeLord1 Posts: 113
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    Seems to me as they're looking to cut costs I guess some people will be travelling further or even more localised than they was. There was a list of closures for 2023 I know my local one was closed and now in the town hall but any correspondence I have are always another town 15+ miles away from me. 
  • NedS
    NedS Posts: 3,519
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    There is a general rule that claimants will not be expected to travel more than 90mins to reach a jobcentre, so if you cannot get there within 90mins using the travel options available to you (walking, bike, bus, train, car etc) then the jobcentre should look at alternative arrangements.
  • gbhxu
    gbhxu Posts: 320
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    It's not just the time getting to the Job Center. It's the cost too!

    When I was unemployed over 10 years ago, I knew someone that had to travel 24 miles to his designated Job Center, at that time costing about £10. This took 80 minutes and included a change of bus with a 15 minute wait. Had he been assigned his nearest Job Center he could have got there for free because his family would have combined it with shopping.  
  • NedS said:
    You are correct that UC job centres are assigned based on the postcode of the claimant. Have they updated their address correctly on their UC account, or is it holding an incorrect address? Seems strange that they would not be assigned to their closest jobcentre.
    When you say 4 times further, what distances are we talking? Sometimes there are more than one JCP office in a city and they may be assigned to one that they may deem less convenient, but is not excessively far away.

    10 minute v 40 minute walk. If she doest miss the weekly appointment will they at some point allow a transfer? They arent atm.

  • gbhxu said:
    It's not just the time getting to the Job Center. It's the cost too!

    When I was unemployed over 10 years ago, I knew someone that had to travel 24 miles to his designated Job Center, at that time costing about £10. This took 80 minutes and included a change of bus with a 15 minute wait. Had he been assigned his nearest Job Center he could have got there for free because his family would have combined it with shopping.  
    gbhxu said:
    It's not just the time getting to the Job Center. It's the cost too!

    When I was unemployed over 10 years ago, I knew someone that had to travel 24 miles to his designated Job Center, at that time costing about £10. This took 80 minutes and included a change of bus with a 15 minute wait. Had he been assigned his nearest Job Center he could have got there for free because his family would have combined it with shopping.  
    I think you can claim any and all travel costs back
  • huckster
    huckster Posts: 4,778
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    Postcode allocation is strictly applied. 40 minute walk for someone fit, is a reasonable requirement. If they used public transport it would be at the claimants cost for mandatory appointments. 
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
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