Universal Credit 2 wages 1 assessment period. Help?
13 October 2019 at 8:35 pm #31523
I have recently split with my partner who has moved out. I have stayed in my (rented) house with 2 children.
I have applied for universal credit, havent had first payment yet.
I have just read loads of articles/websites that have said about the assessment period meaning that some people who work will end up with 2 wages in one assessment period meaning they are seen to earn double that month and therefore have the claim stopped!
My assessment period is between 27th and 26th of the following month.
I get paid 28th each month, but if it falls on the weekend/bank holiday and over Christmas then I am paid early – so in these months I would have my claim stopped and recieve no money, even though i havent actually earnt more the, pay day would of just been brought forward.
Does anyone have any experience of this or advice?
Everything I have read from.gov website etc just says you need to budget for these months.
Thanks14 October 2019 at 8:01 pm #31667
Usually only those who have weekly or four weekly pay are affected.
The only real way around this is when claiming to claim at a favourable time to avoid this or to cancel the claim wait six months and then restart with a more favourable period.
On the basis this is unlikely to be possible, my best advice would be to work out in how many claim periods this will occur in the year and to literally budget for this by dividing what would be the UC annual payments by twelve and then budgeting only to this amount saving above for the zero UC months.15 October 2019 at 9:30 pm #31687
Thankyou for reply,
I did ring and ask them if it would definitely affect me and they couldnt answer, they just told me to ask work to not ever pay me early and stick to the 28th.
I work for the NHS and I have asked them about it but I doubt they will be able to help. I did ask a few close colleagues that I know are on universal credit but they both said there assessment periods mean they have never had 2 payments in one period.
I get paid a week early over christmas so my first month with no money would be January – I cant see a way that I can budget in 2 months to cover myself for this one so not really sure what to do.
The next is July so hopefully in would of been able to cover myself by then.16 October 2019 at 10:03 am #31692
How much do you think you’ll be paid in uc?
I don’t know anyone personally who receives more than £200 if working. Though these aren’t claiming the housing element.
If it’s *only* £200 I would hope you could maybe managing borrowing from friends or family or overdraft? If not, you could apply for an advance now before the first payment, to cover then accepting you’ll obviously repay over a year.
You may also find that hmrc don’t return the info for the first month so that you actually get more than you should anyway initially. That would then mean they’d recoup some next months, but it may again get you through to January.
Do you have a council tax reductions? Have you applied?
It’s so hard isn’t it. I think uc for many working parents requires careful balancing.
The good news is that come April your amount should increase when the allowance increases.16 October 2019 at 11:05 am #31693
The government have been taken to the high court over this matter and lost the case. Essentially the court ruled that the DWP must base their assessment on the money that you have earned during the assessment period and not the amount that you have been paid. You can read the full ruling in this link.
<i style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; font-size: 13.3333px;”>http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2019/23.html</i><br style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; font-size: 13.3333px;” /><span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; font-size: 13.3333px;”>Cite as:  EWHC 23 (Admin</span>
It would be worth phoning the gingerbread helpline as they would have the most up to date information on wether the government has started to act on the court findings. If the government have not then then you can use this case as a base for appeal.16 October 2019 at 11:22 am #31694
Sorry but the above link doesnt work.
Google ‘High court finds DWP unlawful on Universal Credit assessments’ and it should bring up the case.17 October 2019 at 8:41 pm #31742
thanks for replies, yes I rang the helpline and no changes have been made yet.
With the housing element if I use the benefit calculators they come out as around £1000 a month! I’m not expecting to get that much it seems too high. i have already had to have an advance to pay my rent this month, the lady who did my first appointment said they wouldnt give me more than I’m likely to get a month as an advance and my advance was £800.
I cant get my head round any of it tbh and knowone I have spoken to who works there seems to actually care or want to give me any advice.
Yes I’ve applied for the council tax reduction i actually have a appointment at to take that into the job centre tomorrow, so will attempt to ask.for.some advice again17 October 2019 at 9:23 pm #31743
don’t forget to see if you are eligible for child benefit, if you qualify then this might at least help a little bit if there is a shortfall in one month. I know it isn’t much but it is something.
Also, the one thing I have found that truly surprised me is how helpful the people are at the job centre now, they seem willing to assist as much as they can, but because a lot of it happens ‘online’ it gets very confusing.
I am in the process of splitting a joint claim myself at the moment and just need to provide my own bank details to make sure my payments are on time. The one good piece of advice I was given is making your roof over your head the top priority, food can be obtained from a food bank if necessary, dignity isn’t something we can afford when it comes to feeding our children, as long as they have a roof, everything else can be sorted.
Take it one step at a time, focus only on one thing at a time, it makes the bigger picture easier to accomplish.
Good luck, and ask as many questions as possible at the job centre, they are uncharacteristically helpful now.18 October 2019 at 10:56 pm #31786
Advice for Decision makers para H3191 gives a UC DM the discrepancy to allow for your situation, in a particular assessment period.
Unfortunately RTI will report your earnings to UC and as a lot of the DMs do not understand the legislation as above, it is probable your earnings will nil your award.
my advice… ring them to notify whats going to happen… quote the regulations (they are at the bottom of each ADM para) and ask for a DM to consider your circumstances as exceptional.
Good Luck with it
C19 October 2019 at 6:37 pm #31797
I have informed them and they told me that there is nothing they can do!
Thankyou I will have a look!20 October 2019 at 9:30 am #31804
sorry I cant find the information on google do you have a link?
Thanks20 October 2019 at 9:47 am #31805
If the DM decides that ADM H3191 does not apply then a decision must be made as
to the amount of a person’s employed earnings using such information or evidence
as the DM sees fit . A person must also provide such information for the calculation
2 of earned income as the DM may require .
1 UC Regs, reg 61(4); 2 reg 61(1)
Thats the para which allows the DM discretion. Dont be fobbed off by the helpline… they have minimal training.. ask for a DM decision and make a complaint if they refuse.
C21 October 2019 at 6:56 am #31816
Thankyou so much!!