factchecking myths and misconceptions about universal credit

“If I put a note in my journal I should get a reply within 48 hours”

The short answer:

Not necessarily – there is no target time for replying to journal enquiries

You can leave a message in your journal by clicking on the ‘Journal’ tab on your account. There are seven options that you can make an entry on – who the message goes to depends on which option you choose –

  • A payment – this generates a to-do for the case manager to respond to;
  • A change – this redirects you to the change of circumstances page to report the change;
  • An appointment – this generates a to-do for the work coach to respond to;
  • Job applications – this redirects you to the job applications page to record this information for your own record;
  • Add a work search note – this records the information in the journal for a work coach to view;
  • A message for my work coach – this generates a to-do for the work coach to respond to;
  • Service issues – this generates a to-do for the case manager to respond to.

NB – the work coach is the person you see at the job centre and the case manager is the person who makes decisions on your claim at the processing centre. If you do not have a work coach then the message will go to the case manager instead.

If the option creates a to-do for either your work coach or your case manager you should receive a response.

However, a FOI response dated 26 May 2017 advises that there is no target time for when messages are responded to as it depends upon the complexity of the request but the aim is to have them cleared within five days, and sooner if possible.

TIP: if a message has not been responded to it is worth following it up by speaking to your work coach at the job centre or ringing your case manager. If you ring using the phone that is registered on your account you should get straight through to your own case manager or another case manager on the same team.

Official guidance:

Official guidance:

DWP have uploaded a youtube video – Your journal - that gives more information on using the journal

Need more help?

If you need help in finding out more about your rights and the options available to you, do consider contacting a local independent advice organisation. 

Enter a postcode on our advicelocal site to find details of advice organisations in your area. They will usually be able to offer free advice and support, and help to answer any questions you have.

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