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    • TheBlueSnail
    • By TheBlueSnail 15th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
    • 7Posts
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    TheBlueSnail
    Universal Credit and backdated pay
    • #1
    • 15th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
    Universal Credit and backdated pay 15th Sep 17 at 11:47 AM
    Hi,

    To cut a long story short...

    I was made redundant a few weeks ago and claimed Universal Credit (UC). Because I worked for a week at the beginning of the month, when I got paid at the end of August this money arrived during my first assessment period. The DWP have taken this into account and reduced my first payment to next to nothing.

    Is it correct they can reduce payments for money received from work BEFORE your claim? This seems unfair as if I was paid on the last day before I was made redundant this wouldn't have counted.

    Anyone have a similar problem?

    I have raised a dispute but the DWP keep calling this 'earnings' received during the assessment period even though these are earnings from before. This money was meant to cover my rent due this month. I am really worried.

    Help!
Page 1
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 17, 12:06 PM
    • 748 Posts
    • 1,676 Thanks
    annandale
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:06 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:06 PM
    Yes they can. If you are paid during the assessment period it counts as income for uc purposes
    • TheBlueSnail
    • By TheBlueSnail 15th Sep 17, 12:12 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    TheBlueSnail
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:12 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:12 PM
    Thanks. I cannot believe that. Well, that's me in rent arrears then. Out of interest you do not know if tax rebates are also counted as income? I submitted a P50 a few days ago.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 17, 12:25 PM
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    annandale
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:25 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:25 PM
    In some cases yes tax rebates have counted. I was once paid a wage six months late by an employer and it counted.

    Any income that falls into your assessment period counts as earnings.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 17, 12:26 PM
    • 748 Posts
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    annandale
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:26 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:26 PM
    Have you applied for an advance payment from uc?
    • TheBlueSnail
    • By TheBlueSnail 15th Sep 17, 12:39 PM
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    TheBlueSnail
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:39 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:39 PM
    Not yet because I was expecting my first payment to cover it. I have a dispute meeting on Monday and if that goes badly (which is probably the case now) I will claim an emergency payment.

    I am also affected by bedroom tax (or I call it box room tax) so waiting on a decision for the discretionary housing benefit payment from my council. Even if I get that, my rent is probably going to be late (I'll ring him on Monday).

    All in all, this leaves me about £40pw to pay for water, heating, electric, food etc. I am sure UC has been devised to just reduce benefits. Last time I was made redundant (2010) although it wasn't great, my rent was covered by the council and I got approx. £65 pw for living costs. Now I have a shortfall in my rent and getting less to support me why I am trying to find a job.

    Unrelated, but I had a job interview last week (which unfortunately I didn't get) and the company wouldn't even pay my travel expenses, so that was about £10 in petrol lost.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 17, 12:47 PM
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    annandale
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:47 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:47 PM
    You can claim expenses from the job centre but I think they prefer you to use public transport.

    You won't win your dispute if your earnings have fallen in your assessment period.

    You can claim half your first payment in an advance
    • TheBlueSnail
    • By TheBlueSnail 15th Sep 17, 12:50 PM
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    TheBlueSnail
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:50 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:50 PM
    OK thanks.

    My first payment is only £159 so half of that won't pay my £500 rent due next week.

    Think I'm in trouble.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 17, 12:58 PM
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    annandale
    • #9
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:58 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:58 PM
    A weeks wage has reduced your payment to zero and taken away all your housing element?
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 17, 12:59 PM
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    annandale
    That doesn't sound right unless it was a huge wage.
    • TheBlueSnail
    • By TheBlueSnail 15th Sep 17, 1:07 PM
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    TheBlueSnail
    Yes because the rental valuation of my postcode is also really low at £340 per month. I live in some new flats which are more expensive than the postcode is in general. So I lost £160 from my standard entitlement to cover the shortfall.

    Well I guess if you count the 31st July as part of a week in August, I finished on the 11th it is almost two weeks. I got paid £800 (which is better than normal as there was no tax to pay) and then DWP penalised me £500 from that.

    So I basically have no housing support this month (and only 2/3 next month) and my payment reduced to £159 per month (£40 pw)
    • TheBlueSnail
    • By TheBlueSnail 15th Sep 17, 1:08 PM
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    TheBlueSnail
    I got £800 for two weeks pay tax free. So I was wasn't on a huge wage.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 17, 1:12 PM
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    annandale
    You've only been awarded the lha rate for your area?
    • TheBlueSnail
    • By TheBlueSnail 15th Sep 17, 1:20 PM
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    TheBlueSnail
    Yes that's right. Every month I have a £160 shortfall in my housing benefit So I have submitted a discrectionary housing payment claim to cover the difference. Hopefully, that will come in and I can at least pay my rent once I can get over this month's problems.

    On the council's form for the discretionary claim, it talks about moving to a cheaper flat. I'd rather not because it is safe where I am (I live in Teesside and there are a lot of areas with burglaries and drugs) and I have live here a while and like my neighbours.

    That said, if they push me to move to a cheaper flat I am going to think of emigrating. I easily pass all the criteria. I have got my PhD in STEM and was working a short research project for the EU. I was thinking of training to be a teacher but need to work first to pay of some of my student loans. But if this country keeps treating me like this, I'll just be another part of the brain drain.
    • sammyjammy
    • By sammyjammy 15th Sep 17, 1:25 PM
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    sammyjammy
    What happened to the £800? Can you not use that to pay your rent this month?
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 17, 1:43 PM
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    annandale
    I assume last months rent was paid with the wage. Council and ha landlords bill rent in arrears. I pay my rent two weeks in arrears.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 15th Sep 17, 1:52 PM
    • 1,356 Posts
    • 1,199 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Yes that's right. Every month I have a £160 shortfall in my housing benefit So I have submitted a discrectionary housing payment claim to cover the difference. Hopefully, that will come in and I can at least pay my rent once I can get over this month's problems.

    On the council's form for the discretionary claim, it talks about moving to a cheaper flat. I'd rather not because it is safe where I am (I live in Teesside and there are a lot of areas with burglaries and drugs) and I have live here a while and like my neighbours.

    That said, if they push me to move to a cheaper flat I am going to think of emigrating. I easily pass all the criteria. I have got my PhD in STEM and was working a short research project for the EU. I was thinking of training to be a teacher but need to work first to pay of some of my student loans. But if this country keeps treating me like this, I'll just be another part of the brain drain.
    Originally posted by TheBlueSnail
    Don't build your hopes up in getting that DHP. You may not have any choice but to move somewhere cheaper. They don't give DHPs to everyone. £160 is a lot of extra money just because you think it's a nice area with nice neighbours, that more than likely won't work with them.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 17, 2:00 PM
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    annandale
    Some people don't have the funds to physically move even if they found a cheaper flat to rent.

    Speaking as someone who is on uc I'd advise trying to get work, even if it's zero hours. You'll lose 63p in every pound you earn if you don't get an in work allowance.

    I'm in an area where rents are low because I live in an area that's not particularly great so my rent is covered. My rent without dhp is 215, I also get dhp for bedroom tax because the councils get money from the Scottish government to pay peoples bedroom tax

    I sympathise. It's a hard benefit to be on and that's only part of it, the issue with rent arrears.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 15th Sep 17, 2:15 PM
    • 1,356 Posts
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    poppy12345
    I sympathise too and was hit by the bedroom tax last year myself. I lived in an adapted house at the time because of my disability. I applied for DHP and got refused. Working wasn't an option for me. I moved house in the end because it was still cheaper to move than to have to find the extra money every month.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 20th Sep 17, 3:03 AM
    • 748 Posts
    • 1,676 Thanks
    annandale
    You also need to sort out council tax reduction as well.
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