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  • FIRST POST
    • billy_casper
    • By billy_casper 24th May 19, 5:12 PM
    • 9Posts
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    billy_casper
    Universal Credit Closed Claim Confusion
    • #1
    • 24th May 19, 5:12 PM
    Universal Credit Closed Claim Confusion 24th May 19 at 5:12 PM
    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.
Page 1
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 24th May 19, 5:24 PM
    • 3,109 Posts
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    Alice Holt
    • #2
    • 24th May 19, 5:24 PM
    • #2
    • 24th May 19, 5:24 PM
    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.
    • billy_casper
    • By billy_casper 24th May 19, 5:49 PM
    • 9 Posts
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    billy_casper
    • #3
    • 24th May 19, 5:49 PM
    • #3
    • 24th May 19, 5:49 PM
    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.
    Last edited by billy_casper; 24-05-2019 at 6:09 PM.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 24th May 19, 7:03 PM
    • 2,600 Posts
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    calcotti
    • #4
    • 24th May 19, 7:03 PM
    • #4
    • 24th May 19, 7:03 PM
    As payments are made in arrears the payment will have been authorised and processed before you ‘failed’ to attend.
    • billy_casper
    • By billy_casper 24th May 19, 7:47 PM
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    billy_casper
    • #5
    • 24th May 19, 7:47 PM
    • #5
    • 24th May 19, 7:47 PM
    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?
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 24th May 19, 8:12 PM
    • 2,600 Posts
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    calcotti
    • #6
    • 24th May 19, 8:12 PM
    • #6
    • 24th May 19, 8:12 PM
    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?
    Originally posted by billy_casper
    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.
    • billy_casper
    • By billy_casper 24th May 19, 8:41 PM
    • 9 Posts
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    billy_casper
    • #7
    • 24th May 19, 8:41 PM
    • #7
    • 24th May 19, 8:41 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by calcotti

    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.
    • Ineededaname
    • By Ineededaname 24th May 19, 10:47 PM
    • 146 Posts
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    Ineededaname
    • #8
    • 24th May 19, 10:47 PM
    • #8
    • 24th May 19, 10:47 PM
    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..
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 25th May 19, 5:25 AM
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    calcotti
    • #9
    • 25th May 19, 5:25 AM
    • #9
    • 25th May 19, 5:25 AM
    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.
    • Ineededaname
    • By Ineededaname 25th May 19, 9:45 AM
    • 146 Posts
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    Ineededaname
    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!
    Last edited by Ineededaname; 25-05-2019 at 9:48 AM.
    • huckster
    • By huckster 25th May 19, 2:12 PM
    • 3,638 Posts
    • 1,609 Thanks
    huckster
    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.
    • billy_casper
    • By billy_casper 27th May 19, 12:27 PM
    • 9 Posts
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    billy_casper
    Thanks for all the additional help, guys. Much appreciated.

    In my defence (as per not accepting my commitments) this was the first time I didn't receive an email stating "You need to read a message in your Universal Credit journal".

    I have received that message every time an agent/UC post something to my account, except this one. Question is why?

    What's more, the 'Claim closed' entry came before the 'Accept your commitments message'. Okay, it was only by one minute, but this proves my claim was closed before the 'Accept your commitments' entry was even posted.

    Hmm, I tried to post a screenshot of my journal, but as a new member I can't post links. Anyway, the entries go as follows:

    21 May 2019 at 7:55am | Read about reduced payments (sanctions) | An agent
    21 May 2019 at 7:55am | Read about reduced payments (sanctions) | An agent
    21 May 2019 at 7:55am | Accept your commitments | An agent
    21 May 2019 at 7:54am | Claim closed | An agent
    14 May 2019 at 6:21pm | Report change of work details | Me
    14 May 2019 at 6:21pm | Work and earnings - declare changes completed | Me
    • billy_casper
    • By billy_casper 27th May 19, 12:30 PM
    • 9 Posts
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    billy_casper
    However, if a quick re-claim can be done (as has been said) should my employment come to an end for any reason, then I'm happy to let it go.
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