Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • leelask
    • By leelask 19th Oct 19, 11:00 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 0Thanks
    leelask
    Benefits suspended
    • #1
    • 19th Oct 19, 11:00 PM
    Benefits suspended 19th Oct 19 at 11:00 PM
    Hi there, I have been living in the UK for almost 15+ years now. I came here on a student visa, I studied in college and uni as an international student for 4 years, but due to health issues (developed severe autoimmune disease called lupus and arthritis) I wasn't able to continue studies and missed my extension date.

    I met my husband in uni, we were together for 10 years, and during this time I was given a spousal 10 year route visa but then I left my husband before the 10 years were up due to domestic violence issues. I was given a 3 months visa by the home office so that I could claim benefits and apply for an indefinite leave to remain and access housing and get legal aid to be able to get a divorce from him.

    That was in March my visa ran out early July and I was given 3 months benefits. Fast forward to now, they suspended it and asked to provide proof of status. The current law states that if I apply to the home office before my visa ends then the status goes on until I hear back from the home office. The people who applied on my behalf said DWP shouldn't have done it and found all the lawes that clearly state that I am still eligible. The benefits people accepted that and asked for proof that I had applied within the time period before my visa expired. I supplied the proof but now they say they will only restart once I hear back from the home office.which is clearly against the law.

    I asked for advice using citizen's advice online service, the person told me I need to first get the mandatory reconsideration, and fill out some form and send it to them. But my issue is that they never sent a letter, all of this was done through the online portal of universal credit journal, so I'm not sure where to send the letter to?

    I also read somewhere that if the benefits are suspended you can't ask for a reconsideration, only if they reject it? I am not sure what to do. Any help would be really appreciated! I do plan on going to citizen's advice on Monday and see what they say.
Page 1
    • venison
    • By venison 19th Oct 19, 11:09 PM
    • 3,896 Posts
    • 5,567 Thanks
    venison
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 19, 11:09 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 19, 11:09 PM
    This is a complex issue one probably best answered with proper legal advice.
    For the many NOT the few
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 20th Oct 19, 7:58 AM
    • 3,826 Posts
    • 2,577 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #3
    • 20th Oct 19, 7:58 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Oct 19, 7:58 AM
    You can ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration in your UC journal.
    https://www.gov.uk/mandatory-reconsideration/how-to-ask-for-mandatory-reconsideration

    You can write to
    Universal Credit, Freepost DWP, Universal Credit Full Service,

    I believe you can also use this (but the previous one is the official one)
    UCFS Post, Canterbury BC, Nutwood House, Chaucer Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 1ZZ
    Last edited by calcotti; 20-10-2019 at 8:12 AM.
    • huckster
    • By huckster 20th Oct 19, 8:14 AM
    • 3,798 Posts
    • 1,711 Thanks
    huckster
    • #4
    • 20th Oct 19, 8:14 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Oct 19, 8:14 AM
    You say it is against the law. You need to quote the law that you think applies and proof of your situation.

    So when you complete the mandatory reconsideration, it is very important that you provide comprehensive information covering everything they need to know. Please do not assume that the Decision Makers have a full understanding of all of the law that applies. You need to quote the law that you believe applies to your situation.

    https://www.gov.uk/appeal-benefit-decision/submit-appeal
    Last edited by huckster; 20-10-2019 at 8:17 AM.
    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.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 20th Oct 19, 9:54 AM
    • 3,398 Posts
    • 3,953 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #5
    • 20th Oct 19, 9:54 AM
    • #5
    • 20th Oct 19, 9:54 AM
    Are you a EEA citizen?

    The decision letter is likely to have been posted on your UC journal.

    UC payments will not resume whilst you are going through the process of challenging / appealing the decision, (unless your circumstances change and enable you to successfully reapply for UC).
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 20-10-2019 at 10:00 AM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 20th Oct 19, 10:07 AM
    • 3,826 Posts
    • 2,577 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #6
    • 20th Oct 19, 10:07 AM
    • #6
    • 20th Oct 19, 10:07 AM
    Are you a EEA citizen?
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    If OP was an EEA citizen I wouldn't have thought they would have needed the visas they describe in opening post.
    • OhWow
    • By OhWow 20th Oct 19, 11:37 AM
    • 178 Posts
    • 190 Thanks
    OhWow
    • #7
    • 20th Oct 19, 11:37 AM
    • #7
    • 20th Oct 19, 11:37 AM
    If OP was an EEA citizen I wouldn't have thought they would have needed the visas they describe in opening post.
    Originally posted by calcotti

    Correct. Plus EU rules do not have a domestic violence route that allows non EEA citizen Family Members of an EEA citizen, to stay in an EEA country.


    It's this that the OP applied for. A 3 month visa outside of UK immigration rules while they look at a DV claim to see if they will grant settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-benefits-for-visa-holder-domestic-violence Did you take legal advice before you applied for this route to remain in the UK?


    They usually allow the holder to work too on this temporary visa. Meaning the OP could continue to work in the UK, as her 10 years to settlement (4 x 30 months discretionary leave visas) had allowed her to do.



    OP, why didn't you return home and apply for a spouse visa when you lost your university sponsor and your Tier 4 (Student) visa was curtailled or expired? By doing that, you could have applied for settlement (ILR) after 5 years as a spouse?
    Last edited by OhWow; 20-10-2019 at 1:10 PM.
    • leelask
    • By leelask 21st Oct 19, 9:52 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    leelask
    • #8
    • 21st Oct 19, 9:52 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Oct 19, 9:52 PM
    I couldn't return because I don't have anyone living there, most of my family is here in the UK or Australia + Greece.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 22nd Oct 19, 6:43 AM
    • 846 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    • #9
    • 22nd Oct 19, 6:43 AM
    • #9
    • 22nd Oct 19, 6:43 AM
    This is a complex issue one probably best answered with proper legal advice.
    My apologies if I am taking the wrong approach here. You do need legal advice as this is a complex area of immigration law. As mentioned above, if you know the Act/case law you have been quoted then please indicate it.

    The cost of legal advice in this area is high as there are few specialists about and they can charge for their expertise. Citizens Advice won't have the skills but you can find one here

    https://www.gov.uk/find-an-immigration-adviser

    If you have had a quote from a IA and you are seeking free advice, you are unlikely to find it here. Try for an immigration charity close to you. Until you sort out your status, there is little progress to be made.
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.
    • leelask
    • By leelask 23rd Oct 19, 10:17 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    leelask
    It doesn't really matter how I got to this point, or what visa I held before. I was given a temporary visa so I could claim benefits and sort out my housing while they look at my visa application. And the law I am talking about in the section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971.

    "A personís leave will be extended under section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 when they submit an application for leave to remain before their previous leave expires and are still waiting for a decision from the Home Office after their leave has expired.

    When a person has 3C leave, any conditions attached to their previous leave will continue to apply until their application or appeal is concluded, for example, they may retain permission to work or recourse to public funds.

    If the leave to remain application is refused, 3C leave will only continue whilst the person is appealing this decision when:

    the application is refused after the personís leave to remain has expired; and
    the person has lodged their appeal within the given deadline.
    3C leave will stop if a person lodges an appeal after the given deadline, even if the court later accepts it as being made Ďout of timeí. When 3C leave ends and the person has not been granted another form of leave to remain then they will become an overstayer, at which point any entitlement to benefits and employment will end"

    So it should continue, any immigration lawyer whether they be with citizens advice or not, should be familiar with this law.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 23rd Oct 19, 12:03 PM
    • 3,826 Posts
    • 2,577 Thanks
    calcotti
    I suggest you request a Mandatory Reconsideration of the decision on the grounds that you are entitled to claim benefits because you have right to reside while awaiting the Home Office decision on your current application as detailed in the law you have referred to.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 23rd Oct 19, 5:31 PM
    • 846 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    I suggest you request a Mandatory Reconsideration of the decision on the grounds that you are entitled to claim benefits because you have right to reside while awaiting the Home Office decision on your current application as detailed in the law you have referred to.
    It most likely said that on your letter. Perhaps you can confirm.

    So it should continue, any immigration lawyer whether they be with citizens advice or not, should be familiar with this law.
    I think you have a misplaced assumption about how widespread the skills are about immigration law. It is a very specialist area, made even more complex by shifting parameters.

    The DWP will have specialists but if your MR is refused then you will have to go to a Tribunal which could take some time. Do you have funds to wait?

    When people quote "the law" they fail to realise just how vast it is. It is simple in its construct but very deep, wide ... and slow.
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.
    • leelask
    • By leelask 24th Oct 19, 11:03 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    leelask
    Calcotti, this is what I am going to do.

    And I am living with my sister atm, whenIam64, I don't really have a lot of funds but I can wait have no other choice really.

    Thanks for your suggestions and help guys, I really do appreciate it!
    • 11krage
    • By 11krage 25th Oct 19, 10:16 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    11krage
    When your circumstances changed you should have been referred for another habitual residence test. The decision maker would've then looked at all the evidence you provided and decided whether at that point you were eligible to receive UC. A decision letter would've then been posted on your journal saying yay or nay.

    My concerns about what you've said is you mention you received benefits months after your visa expired. Did you tell them your visa expired at that point? Did you attend a habitual residence test after your visa expired? Have you received a decision letter on your journal saying what the decision maker decided following this HRT?

    If you didn't remind them your visa expired, it's possible you're looking at an overpayment if they've decided you weren't eligible for UC following this change.

    If you have had this habitual residence test following the change, and haven't received a decision letter it's possible the decision maker is still making their decision which would be why the claim is suspended (to see if you're eligible). I'd keep checking in with it just to check they're not waiting for further evidence from yourself. And also to check it has been sent to a decision maker.

    You are able to ask for a mandatory reconsideration of a HRT decision, but you'd only be able to do this after the decision maker has made their decision so there's one to reconsider.
    Amount left to pay on house = 64,710.

    Savings buffer = 1,028.75 of 3,000

    Next large expense = 159 of 483.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 25th Oct 19, 10:44 PM
    • 3,826 Posts
    • 2,577 Thanks
    calcotti
    When your circumstances changed you should have been referred for another habitual residence test. The decision maker would've then looked at all the evidence you provided and decided whether at that point you were eligible to receive UC. A decision letter would've then been posted on your journal saying yay or nay.

    My concerns about what you've said is you mention you received benefits months after your visa expired. Did you tell them your visa expired at that point? Did you attend a habitual residence test after your visa expired? Have you received a decision letter on your journal saying what the decision maker decided following this HRT?

    If you didn't remind them your visa expired, it's possible you're looking at an overpayment if they've decided you weren't eligible for UC following this change.

    If you have had this habitual residence test following the change, and haven't received a decision letter it's possible the decision maker is still making their decision which would be why the claim is suspended (to see if you're eligible). I'd keep checking in with it just to check they're not waiting for further evidence from yourself. And also to check it has been sent to a decision maker.

    You are able to ask for a mandatory reconsideration of a HRT decision, but you'd only be able to do this after the decision maker has made their decision so there's one to reconsider.
    Originally posted by 11krage
    Iím not sure youíve picked up on everything OP has said.

    My understanding is that she has had a decision from DWP saying they will not pay UC until Home Office issue a new visa. She therefore has a decision which she can request an MR for. The OPís grounds for the MR are that she applied for a new visa before the old one expired and that by law she therefore retains the status of the old visa, even though it has expired, until a decision is made on her new visa application. See https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/immigration/problems-applications-documents/visa-delays/
    The grounds for the MR are that as she was entitled to benefits on the old visa she is still entitled while waiting for a Home Office decision, because her status has not changed, and DWP are therefore incorrect to suspend her benefits.

    All of this seems to be bureaucratic but actually relatively straightforward in principle (by which I do not mean to imply that it will be easy to sort out).
    Last edited by calcotti; 25-10-2019 at 10:50 PM.
    • 11krage
    • By 11krage 25th Oct 19, 11:53 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    11krage
    Official decisions from decision makers are usually not 'we are waiting for x evidence.' The op made no mention of a decision letter, only that they'd been asked for evidence.

    Hence why I was asking whether they'd received a decision letter. The last thing they need is to find out the work coach hasn't followed the correct process.

    I find this happens more often when one partner has only just applied for a nino which will either come in x months or not at all. The work coach will either not complete the claim while waiting for a nino (or worse suggest the eligible claimant makes a single claim!) The correct process being to refer to DM for HRT decision with or without a nino if one is not going to appear in a timely manner.

    There's nothing to stop this having happened in the claimant's case.

    Step one of this is to establish whether a HRT has taken place and whether a decision letter has been placed on the journal regarding the outcome (not just a comment from someone saying they're waiting for something).

    Only after this has been established can we talk about possible MRs.
    Amount left to pay on house = 64,710.

    Savings buffer = 1,028.75 of 3,000

    Next large expense = 159 of 483.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 26th Oct 19, 9:55 AM
    • 3,826 Posts
    • 2,577 Thanks
    calcotti
    Official decisions from decision makers are usually not 'we are waiting for x evidence.' The op made no mention of a decision letter, only that they'd been asked for evidence.
    Originally posted by 11krage
    I read this part of the opening post to mean that the evidence requested has been supplied and a decision to suspend payment made. If so that decision can be challenged.
    The benefits people ......asked for proof that I had applied within the time period before my visa expired. I supplied the proof but now they say they will only restart once I hear back from the home office.which is clearly against the law..
    Originally posted by leelask
    Either way the OP knows their situation and will hopefully have found some of the advice offered helpful.

    Unfortunately HRT decision making under UC appears to be worse than under legacy benefits. Whether or not this decision is correct I do not know.
    Last edited by calcotti; 26-10-2019 at 7:48 PM.
    • OhWow
    • By OhWow 26th Oct 19, 7:12 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 190 Thanks
    OhWow
    And the law I am talking about in the section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971.
    Originally posted by leelask

    3C is part of the UK Immigration rules. Don't those granted a 3 months Biometric Residence Permit in UK as they have claimed Domestic Violence, have something written on their BRP about being granted outside of the (immigration) rules?

    This is way above the scope of this forum and as already suggested, you might need to talk to an immigration expert?
    Last edited by OhWow; 26-10-2019 at 7:38 PM.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

49Posts Today

2,828Users online

Martin's Twitter