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Universal Credit Closed Claim Confusion

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
12 replies 1.3K views
billy_casperbilly_casper Forumite
9 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
On the 14th of May 2019 I started in full-time employment. On the same day I registered the details of this in the 'Change of circumstances' section of my UC account.


I heard nothing from them, but when I checked my account today there have been several entries by an agent, the first being on the 21st May 2019 to inform me that my claim had been closed. The reason was stated as 'You didn't agree your commitments.'


The other entries, all dated on the 21st also, and within minutes of one another, are titled 'Accept your commitments', and two instances of 'Read about sanctions (reduced payments)'


The details of the very first entry titled 'Claim closed' states that I will not receive any more money, and yet today on the 24th a payment from DWP was deposited to my account.


Is this simply UC's roundabout way of accepting the fact I've started work, because it all sounds as though I'm being punished for something I haven't done.
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Replies

  • Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Forumite
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    Sounds more like another DWP UC error.

    I might be inclined to challenge the "'You didn't agree your commitments." decision.

    Do you expect any ongoing UC payments now you are in employment (a benefits calculator may indicate this)?
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • edited 24 May 2019 at 7:09PM
    billy_casperbilly_casper Forumite
    9 posts
    edited 24 May 2019 at 7:09PM
    Thank you for the prompt reply, Alice.

    To answer your question, no I wouldn't expect on-going payments from UC. I'm single and work 37 hrs PW for National Minimum Wage.

    One thing I will add, is that I was due to see my advisor on the 20th, but by then I had started work so couldn't attend. I didn't notify him of this personally, but the 'Change of circumstances' notification was added to my UC journal for all to see. A quick look at this would have told him why I hadn't attended.

    I will consider the challenge, but am very confused by the benefit payment today, after receiving notification on the 21st that I wouldn't receive any more benefit.

    It's almost as though I've been sanctioned, but they've forgotten to cancel my payments. Very odd.
  • calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    As payments are made in arrears the payment will have been authorised and processed before you ‘failed’ to attend.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Thanks for the reply @calcotti.


    Can I just clarify what you're saying here. Are you proposing the payment is correct, as I'm now on tenterhooks waiting for them to re-call it?
  • calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    Thanks for the reply @calcotti.

    Can I just clarify what you're saying here. Are you proposing the payment is correct, as I'm now on tenterhooks waiting for them to re-call it?

    A sanction will affect future payments rather than past payments. The payment you receive on the 21st was presumably for an assessment period ending on the 14th so is money due before your 'failure'.

    I recommend that you challenge the decision on the grounds hat you had told them you were in work and had 'good reason' for not attending. Once you were in work you would have had no work search requirements and therefore no requirement to meet a work coach.

    The importance of this is just in case your job fails and you become reliant on UC again you wouldn't want to have an unexpired sanction still in place.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • calcotti wrote: »
    A sanction will affect future payments rather than past payments. The payment you receive on the 21st was presumably for an assessment period ending on the 14th so is money due before your 'failure'.

    I recommend that you challenge the decision on the grounds hat you had told them you were in work and had 'good reason' for not attending. Once you were in work you would have had no work search requirements and therefore no requirement to meet a work coach.

    The importance of this is just in case your job fails and you become reliant on UC again you wouldn't want to have an unexpired sanction still in place.


    Thanks for such a clear and concise answer. I'll do as suggested by both you and @Alice Holt, and challenge the closure of my UC account.
  • Reporting full time work would change your commitments and these would have generated automatically for you to accept on your account. Not completing this by the deadline is a reason they can close a claim.

    This is correct and an appeal will most likely be unsuccessful, however it is also unnecessary. As long as you were previously receiving UC payments you should be able to submit a reclaim and be assessed for the next period. You can do this easily by logging into your account and the button should be on the first screen you see, below the message saying your claim is closed.

    Your payment is usually calculated and set up a week before. Sounds like the claim has been closed within that seven day window, after the end of your assessment period but before the payment date. As you've been paid for the last period and can reactivate to be assessed for the new period it doesn't sound like you've lost anything.

    You will need a commitment in place to reveive any future payments. I'm not sure if that will be there automatically for you to accept after you reclaim or not. You may need to contact them for an appointment.

    If your earnings are too high they will close the claim again next month. If you expect earnings to drop again you should be able to reclaim again within six months.

    PS. Check you account multiple times a week..
    :doh:
  • calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    Despite my earlier answer I can see that Ineededaname’s response is likely a better match to your situation. My reply focused more on your lack of attendance at the appointment but re-reading your initial post I realise that it was because you didn’t agree a revised claimant commitment that your claim has been stopped. Having an agreed claimant commitment is fundamental to UC. Although you have received information about sanctions I don’t think failing to agree the commitment gives rise to a sanction - it simply ends the claim.

    As Ineededaname says you can make a rapid reclaim if you wish - although I note that you don’t think you will have any ongoing entitlement due to your wages. If you do reclaim you will keep the same assessment period and there will effectively be no break in your claim.

    Apologies for misdirection in my previous reply.

    We are both agreed however that the money you have received should rightfully be yours to keep.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • edited 25 May 2019 at 10:48AM
    IneededanameIneededaname Forumite
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    edited 25 May 2019 at 10:48AM
    Sorry should have mentioned that. The read about sanctions thing is a standard message that goes onto everyone's claim after accepting a commitment. When the claim is closed all outstanding actions are cleared, which is why the accept your commitments and read about sanctions are all noted on the Journal. These are the actions that were on the OP's account waiting to be completed before the claim was closed.
    As you correctly said here they can't sanction the claim for not accepting commitments, but they can close it. There is a seven day deadline, which fits exactly with the dates given to us here. They also can't close a claim for not attending a work focussed appointment.

    OP is very lucky in this case, if thing's had happened a few days earlier they probably would have lost the whole payment. No 1 rule for UC - check your account!
  • hucksterhuckster Forumite
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    Agree with the above. You had 7 days to accept your revised commitments, which generated after you reported the change. If you failed to do so, the claim will be closed.

    If you think you might still qualify for UC payments in the future, because your earnings would not wipe out any entlitlement, then log in to the claim and make a reclaim. You may then have to-do actions, which you need to complete to enable the claim to continue.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
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