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  • FIRST POST
    • quietly_myself
    • By quietly_myself 10th Jan 19, 10:46 AM
    • 28Posts
    • 453Thanks
    quietly_myself
    Proof of Past Benefits
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 19, 10:46 AM
    Proof of Past Benefits 10th Jan 19 at 10:46 AM
    Iím having trouble getting a Proof of Benefits letter and was wondering if anyone had any ideas. In short, I came off ESA in March last year to begin a Part Time job after a lengthy layoff with illness. At the time Jobcentre Plus provided me with a letter detailing the dates of my ESA and, prior to that, my JSA.

    Iíve since been offered a new Full Time job but the new employer is also asking for a letter. They wonít accept the one dated March last year so I rang Jobcentre Plus on the 0310 helpline and asked them to issue me with a new one. Theyíve told me they can no longer do this because ďwe donít have access to your recordsĒ (!?)

    As a last resort Iíve put in an Information Access request asking for my complete file, but that can take at least a month and will obviously contain more detail than I need.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation and do you have any idea about how else to get a Proof of Benefits letter?
Page 1
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 10:53 AM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 834 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 19, 10:53 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 19, 10:53 AM
    Can you ask JobCentre to confirm in writing that they cannot provide a new letter and show that to your new employer as evidence that you have tried to get the information.

    I cannot understand why the employer is asking - I cannot see how receipt of benefits is relevant to an employer other than to fill in gaps in employment history and if you have evidence of your work since March 2018 there aren't any new gaps to explain.
    • quietly_myself
    • By quietly_myself 10th Jan 19, 12:38 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 453 Thanks
    quietly_myself
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 19, 12:38 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 19, 12:38 PM
    The new employer needs information covering the past 5 years for security reasons. They accept that Jobcentre are being difficult and have given me extra time, but they won’t let me start until I have the proof I need.
    • K80 Black
    • By K80 Black 10th Jan 19, 1:03 PM
    • 279 Posts
    • 609 Thanks
    K80 Black
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 19, 1:03 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 19, 1:03 PM
    Just to warn you, your complete file might be extremely long. Mine was over 1000 pages - and it still didn't contain the information I specifically requested (the dates certain benefits started and stopped.)
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 10th Jan 19, 7:32 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 1,899 Thanks
    tomtom256
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 19, 7:32 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 19, 7:32 PM
    If your last claim was over 6 months ago the claim data and information has more than likely been destroyed as per GDPR guidelines.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 10th Jan 19, 7:35 PM
    • 18,088 Posts
    • 46,126 Thanks
    elsien
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 19, 7:35 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 19, 7:35 PM
    How was your money paid? Would bank statements showing payments going in be acceptable?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 7:55 PM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 834 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 19, 7:55 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 19, 7:55 PM
    If your last claim was over 6 months ago the claim data and information has more than likely been destroyed as per GDPR guidelines.
    Originally posted by tomtom256
    The advice here suggests most records are kept for 14 months after claim ends.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-information-management-policies/dwp-managing-customer-records-guide

    Destroying records after 6 months would prevent the proper conduct of any late appeals within the 13 month permitted period.
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 10th Jan 19, 8:52 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 1,899 Thanks
    tomtom256
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:52 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:52 PM
    The advice here suggests most records are kept for 14 months after claim ends.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-information-management-policies/dwp-managing-customer-records-guide

    Destroying records after 6 months would prevent the proper conduct of any late appeals within the 13 month permitted period.
    Originally posted by calcotti
    That's true for supporting documents i.e. how a decision was made (LT 54's etc), evidence used to make that decision, WCA paperwork, CDHA assessments, ESA50's etc, but that data would not cover any actual award amounts or periods of any claim, as that information would not have any impact on any subsequent appeal, as you would be appealing the decision not to award benefits and as such, would in theory be ephemeral so not kept for 14 months.

    They may still have the award information, but normally that is wiped from OPSTRAT after around 6 months for legacy benefits as it's ephemeral and is not used to award or deny benefits.

    The supporting evidence as the DWP call it is held in either a physical file or electronically in DRS which is a digital repository system, award letters are not generally uploaded as they are system generated or if they are uploaded they only have the shorter retention period. Refusal letters are surprisingly uploaded though.

    Hopefully that makes sense.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 8:58 PM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 834 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:58 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:58 PM
    Thanks Tomtom, that does make sense. Makes life very difficult for someone in OPs situation.

    Of course we also see this with ongoing claims when DWP say the claim was “rebuilt” on such and such a date and they no longer have access to information about amounts paid before then. Makes it very difficult working out underpayments etc!
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 11th Jan 19, 12:51 PM
    • 9,782 Posts
    • 7,435 Thanks
    pmduk
    I cannot understand why the employer is asking - I cannot see how receipt of benefits is relevant to an employer other than to fill in gaps in employment history and if you have evidence of your work since March 2018 there aren't any new gaps to explain.
    Originally posted by calcotti
    I had the same issues in 2015, when starting a contract, the irony was I was to be working for the DWP and it was they who delayed my start-date
    • micky2phones
    • By micky2phones 13th Jan 19, 11:50 AM
    • 415 Posts
    • 313 Thanks
    micky2phones
    Just to warn you, your complete file might be extremely long. Mine was over 1000 pages - and it still didn't contain the information I specifically requested (the dates certain benefits started and stopped.)
    Originally posted by K80 Black
    Hi, Wow 1000 pages and thats my kind of luck of not having the right information sent back.
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