Another UC migration question re reporting change

Hello and sorry for another question (you have all been so helpful before) it is about reporting change. In the rules given on my journal I have to report changes in money held by me as soon as they happen but I am now confused. I have tried to find the answer but it all says you will be punished if you dont report changes.

I have under £6000 in all money I possess and in my claim gave them the amount I had at the moment of claiming and thought no more of it other than I knew I must say if it touches £6000 ( I had not got/read the bit about reporting any change in my journal rules bit). Now reading it I must report any change but my amount is does not stay the same often from day to day as I get shopping, bills go out, benefits go in, child has pocket money etc etc. this changes how much I have and I will be on my journal daily to keep reporting this - is this what you have to do? 

They have accepted that I have no requirement to work or work related activities and said they will tell me next month how much I may get on UC. So should I keep updating them each time money goes in or out of my account (debit card/benefit in/ refunds from asda home delivery etc) as it changes the total - I am so confused!

thank you for your help 

Comments

  • kaMelo
    kaMelo Posts: 2,297
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    edited 25 September 2023 at 9:29AM
    UC is calculated at the end of your assessment period. As long as you report changes at this point you will be okay, no need to do it more often than that for dday to day expenditure. Unless the change means you increase savings above £6000 there is no need to report anything.

    The usual caveats apply, should you inherit £50,000 for example then this needs reporting when it happens.

  • Newcad
    Newcad Posts: 804
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    edited 25 September 2023 at 10:47AM
    Auti said:
    Now reading it I must report any change but my amount is does not stay the same often from day to day as I get shopping, bills go out, benefits go in, child has pocket money etc etc. this changes how much I have and I will be on my journal daily to keep reporting this - is this what you have to do?
    The £6,000 limit is about savings and capital, it is savings/capital (money that you hold) that need to be reported.
    And as said above, with UC if your savings are near or above £6K so that it needs reporting that will only be once each month.
    However fluctuations like you describe there are not 'savings'.
    Some of it may be  savings, but the part that is fluctuating is normal income and outgoings and is not counted as savings.
    Generally any regular money coming in, wages, benefits, pension(s) is income and gets spent on your living costs, it only becomes saving if it is not spent before the next payment (for the same thing) comes in.
    I often advise that if your savings are near or above £6K then it can be best to seperate the two things - have a current account for your regular payments in/out, and a seperate account for your savings - it makes it a lot simpler for you (and the DWP/council) to then see which is which.
    Your current account will go up/down with payments in/out as you get money and pay bills, the savings will stay relatively stable.
    If you find you arent spending all your income and start to build up a balance in the current account then move the build up into the savings.
  • Auti
    Auti Posts: 354
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    Newcad thank you.

    The way I read all the instructions from UC is that there is no savings/current account separation it is all counted towards the £6000 including cash in your purse if over £100. I am not near the £6000 at all in the total money in my possession and have daily use money/bill money separate from emergency money but still dont understand, or can find official information, to tell me if I report changes in my total money in my possession as they occur - it is just so confusing and nowhere in black and white does it tell me what to do. Something like ‘you do not need to report financial changes if your total money in your possession is below £5500’ for example. 

    I am getting confused as to working out the benefit payment disregard for period it covers (do you pro rate that for daily rate) and taking it away from money in possession and then calculating money spent/paid in etc. I do not want to get into trouble or sanctions or anything because I have not followed the rules - I just want to know what the rules are!

    I am sorry to be not understanding.
  • Auti said:
    Newcad thank you.

    The way I read all the instructions from UC is that there is no savings/current account separation it is all counted towards the £6000 including cash in your purse if over £100. I am not near the £6000 at all in the total money in my possession and have daily use money/bill money separate from emergency money but still dont understand, or can find official information, to tell me if I report changes in my total money in my possession as they occur - it is just so confusing and nowhere in black and white does it tell me what to do. Something like ‘you do not need to report financial changes if your total money in your possession is below £5500’ for example. 

    I am getting confused as to working out the benefit payment disregard for period it covers (do you pro rate that for daily rate) and taking it away from money in possession and then calculating money spent/paid in etc. I do not want to get into trouble or sanctions or anything because I have not followed the rules - I just want to know what the rules are!

    I am sorry to be not understanding.
    This is one of many situations where their wording on the site is vague and unhelpful.

    Remember what counts are the rules, the law.  Not how they decide to word things on the website/in the journal.

    In previous threads we've said and given the source to show that income becomes savings at the end of the assessment period after you've received it.

    This is what the rules say, and this is what you need to remember about income becoming capital.  This overrides any unclear or confusing or contradictory wording in the journal:
    "When income becomes capital
    H1050 Income becomes capital if it has not been spent by the end of the assessment period after the one in which it was received."

    ADM H1 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1163111/admh1.pdf
    This Advice for Decision Makers is the official guidance based on the law and is what the decision makers use to deal with cases.
    This is where all of the ADM chapters are found, so you can reassure yourself it is official https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff-guide

    I can't remember if some money you receive to do with fostering is disregarded or not.  BUT unless your savings reach £6,000 including any of that you've not spent, then it is irrelevant anyway.

    It's shameful they word things in such a way to make people think the restrictions and requirements are more onerous than they really are.  If they'd actually put some thought into it there would be ways of wording things accurately and simply, for people to understand.
  • Auti
    Auti Posts: 354
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    Spoonie_Turtle thank you. 

    Yes it would help if they would be clear about what to do in all the areas they put information and it all agreed with each other!

    Thank you for your links it makes the rules clear and shows me exactly what they are making their decisions on. I now know what I am supposed to do to comply with their rules.

    I do have to say that when I had to phone the helpline because they would not answer in the journal about the appointment the lady I spoke to was kind and helpful and sorted it out.

    Thank you again
  • Muttleythefrog
    Muttleythefrog Posts: 19,694
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    edited 25 September 2023 at 5:20PM
    Auti said:
    Newcad thank you.

    The way I read all the instructions from UC is that there is no savings/current account separation it is all counted towards the £6000 including cash in your purse if over £100. I am not near the £6000 at all in the total money in my possession and have daily use money/bill money separate from emergency money but still dont understand, or can find official information, to tell me if I report changes in my total money in my possession as they occur - it is just so confusing and nowhere in black and white does it tell me what to do. Something like ‘you do not need to report financial changes if your total money in your possession is below £5500’ for example. 

    I am getting confused as to working out the benefit payment disregard for period it covers (do you pro rate that for daily rate) and taking it away from money in possession and then calculating money spent/paid in etc. I do not want to get into trouble or sanctions or anything because I have not followed the rules - I just want to know what the rules are!

    I am sorry to be not understanding.
    People have given good advice and direction. Unfortunately I'm not sure there is the black and white rules you want.

    So let's keep it simple.

    You are right that savings includes your cash and the monies in accounts.

    It sounds like you have less than £6k total savings by some margin so benefits won't be reduced.

    Report your savings if they ask you to do so while your savings remain below this £6k level.

    Entitlement is affected by savings between £6k and £16k and then entitlement ends above £16k.
    If your savings moves above £16k report it immediately.
    If your savings are between £6k and £16k then perhaps report the change just before each monthly assessment period ends.

    You'll not get into any problems for not reporting monies below the lower limit unless they specifically ask for this information and you refuse or fail to provide it - even then you won't have serious issues like regarding fraud as you won't have received monies you weren't entitled to.

    Forget pro rata daily rates and that nonsense. They'll look at how much they can pay you at the end of each assessment period. The end of each assessment period in effect by which time you may well have spent the monies from your previous payment - any any monies left can then be considered savings. They're not interested in day to day spending and whether you've done your Tesco shop yet. You are obsessing too much over detail that isn't even relevant to you at this time. Do you anticipate soon having more than £6k savings? If not then you'll probably end up like me only reporting savings level when they periodically ask or if special circumstances apply (like when I sold my house and bought a new place to live and so asked for a disregard of that capital).
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
  • Auti
    Auti Posts: 354
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    Muttleythefrog - thank you.

    I am a very rule based person as that is how my brain helps me understand navigating new things, which is sometimes a pain, and learning until I get used to it.

    I am very unlikely to get near £6000 in any time frame I can see. It is good that they ask sometimes rather than me having to worry about all of it. It is reassuring.

    Thank you
  • Muttleythefrog
    Muttleythefrog Posts: 19,694
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    edited 25 September 2023 at 5:46PM
    Auti said:
    Muttleythefrog - thank you.

    I am a very rule based person as that is how my brain helps me understand navigating new things, which is sometimes a pain, and learning until I get used to it.

    I am very unlikely to get near £6000 in any time frame I can see. It is good that they ask sometimes rather than me having to worry about all of it. It is reassuring.

    Thank you
    Me too..lol... so yes it can be frustrating when you can't see in writing a process or system you want to administrate with propriety. (I ended up sending several Kg of paper based evidence to support my (now) wife's first visa application as there was no documented hard and fast evidence requirement to prove a genuine relationship.)

    Recently I was sent this message in my journal "Please update your capital amounts on your account as this is due for review". I duly did that and of course have never had a response as they're probably not interested since it remains below the lower limit. Note when you do report savings you have to flag in relation to the amounts whether it falls below the lower limit or above higher limit or somewhere in between and imagine this categorisation triggers a system response as they all mean something different for a claim in terms of savings impact on benefit entitlement.

    One good thing about U/C is the journal... it does in effect mean you can leave a trace of information you have provided so if ever there is anything you think they should know you can put it on record. But repeated reporting of savings below the lower limit would be a waste of time unless they demanded it.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
  • blackstar
    blackstar Posts: 295
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    edited 21 December 2023 at 2:39AM
    Newcad said:
    Auti said:
    Now reading it I must report any change but my amount is does not stay the same often from day to day as I get shopping, bills go out, benefits go in, child has pocket money etc etc. this changes how much I have and I will be on my journal daily to keep reporting this - is this what you have to do?
    The £6,000 limit is about savings and capital, it is savings/capital (money that you hold) that need to be reported.
    And as said above, with UC if your savings are near or above £6K so that it needs reporting that will only be once each month.
    However fluctuations like you describe there are not 'savings'.
    Some of it may be  savings, but the part that is fluctuating is normal income and outgoings and is not counted as savings.
    Generally any regular money coming in, wages, benefits, pension(s) is income and gets spent on your living costs, it only becomes saving if it is not spent before the next payment (for the same thing) comes in.
    I often advise that if your savings are near or above £6K then it can be best to seperate the two things - have a current account for your regular payments in/out, and a seperate account for your savings - it makes it a lot simpler for you (and the DWP/council) to then see which is which.
    Your current account will go up/down with payments in/out as you get money and pay bills, the savings will stay relatively stable.
    If you find you arent spending all your income and start to build up a balance in the current account then move the build up into the savings.
    That's very helpful information. 
    I am been wondering what to do when we start on UC.

    At the end of the assesment stage which is monthly, you are suppose to report any changes of circumstances you have in your journal. If theres no changes ie you don't have more or less than £250 once you add up all your money compared to 1 months prior you don't have to report anything in your journal. Correct?
    Pretty much for us it will be a change of circumstances every month as we are always atleast £250 more or less that we were 1 month ago if you add everything up.

    I would like some advice please?

    We have:

    A) a current account which is where the majority of our benefits and my wife's wage goes into and what we use for most incoming and outgoings. Always different one month to the next by £250 either way. 

    B we have 3 other accounts Flex Account, Loyalty Saver and a flexclusive ISA. 

    The Flex Account a couple of my benefits go into and a couple of bills come out of and sometimes use it for shopping etc when we are running low in our main Current account. It's always different 1 month to the next by £250. The other two are always the same amount. 

    C) A NS and I account my mother set u9 for me decades ago when I was born  with like £300 in it which never changes. Suppose to have a change of winning something every week with them but never have. Don't know why I bother to have it. 

    The way we have things will this make things complicated when we switch to UC? 
    Any advice on what we could do to make things easier? 
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