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Universal credit guide from

If you need proof of identity for you Universal Credit application, you can use a National Entitlement Card. This website gives the details.

Three or more children

The UK Government’s decision not to give extra help for third and subsequent children unless they were born as a result of rape, is so toxic that they have not yet worked out how to implement it. For now, until November 2018, larger families will claim on the old Tax Credit system. This terrible policy seems to be a cut in child tax credit which has not yet been translated into UC. (Scottish Unemployed Workers Network UC article)

Beware of self-employment on UC

Under universal credit, claimants who have been self-employed for more than a year are deemed to be earning the equivalent of the minimum wage for all the hours they are expected to have worked each month. This is known as the Minimum Income Floor (MIF). A claimant’s universal credit is assessed as if they were meeting the MIF, even if in reality they are earning a great deal less.

An advance payment of UC:

Officially known as a “Universal Credit Advance” this can be asked for while you wait for your first UC payment. It’s a loan not a grant and you pay it back once you start receiving UC. These loans are repayable at an amount of up to 40% of the total Universal Credit payments you receive each month. Negotiating a lower amount can often be difficult.

Universal Credit address

FREEPOST Universal Credit Live Service – we recommend all mail sent to the DWP for any purpose is sent ‘signed for’ as proof of delivery. You cannot do so with this FREEPOST address. This is one of the many things wrong with UC and we urge all claimants to complain to their MP, councillors and anyone else who’ll listen to get this changed and force the DWP to provide an alternative mailing address.

Scottish Universal Credit choices eligibility extended

From Wednesday 31 January, everyone in receipt of Universal Credit in full service areas will be able to choose if they want to be paid twice monthly and they will also have the option to have their housing element cost of their Universal Credit award paid directly to their landlords. This follows the introduction of Scottish Universal Credit choices for new applicants from 4 October 2017. A total of 5,800 new applicants in full Universal Credit service areas were offered the Scottish Universal Credit choices. (Inclusion Scotland E-bulletin 16 March 2018)

Transfer of Tax Credits Debts to Universal Credit

The Government has responded to the Public Accounts Committee’s concerns that vulnerable people receiving tax credits are at increased risk of financial problems as they transfer to universal credit.

It says that it has established a Joint Enquiry Team to provide assistance to claimants moving to UC, including those who need help understanding their transferred debts. Vulnerable claimants needing additional support are referred to its Enhanced Support Team. When claimants move to UC, HMRC sends them a summary of any outstanding debts, advising that these will be transferred to DWP. Importantly, the response states that debts are only transferred when they are not subject to ongoing disputes or appeals.

Tax credit claimants with outstanding overpayments should therefore ensure that they dispute recovery within three months, or request a mandatory reconsideration/appeal against the entitlement decision within one month, or if late give reasons. These should continue to be dealt with by HMRC, and the debt should not be recovered from UC while the dispute or appeal is ongoing. Read the Government response (page 12)(CPAG Tax Credits & Early Years Bulletin, April 2018)

Change of Address and Universal Credit

From SUWN: “Craig and Haley had also been told that they had to move to Universal Credit. In their case the only change in their circumstances was a change of address. We told them that this should not require them to change benefit, and that there was an article about a court case that demonstrated this (see quote below). And we advised them to get help arguing the point.”

If you need help arguing the point above, please contact us at ECAP for help.

From Leigh Day lawyers “The regulations state that a change of address within a full-service Universal Credit area can be dealt with by simply recording a change of circumstances; it does not require the recipient to make a new claim for Universal Credit.”

Benefits abolished for sick & disabled claimants:
  • severe disability premium (SDP) and enhanced disability premium (EDP)

 

 

 

[Last updated: April 2018]

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