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  • FIRST POST
    • MarkN88
    • By MarkN88 11th Jan 19, 10:29 AM
    • 318Posts
    • 147Thanks
    MarkN88
    Single mums win UC challenge!
    • #1
    • 11th Jan 19, 10:29 AM
    Single mums win UC challenge! 11th Jan 19 at 10:29 AM
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46834533
Page 1
    • SnowMan
    • By SnowMan 11th Jan 19, 11:44 AM
    • 3,179 Posts
    • 5,914 Thanks
    SnowMan
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 19, 11:44 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 19, 11:44 AM
    This judgment is about the silly way the DWP were treating monthly paid employees where their monthly UC assessment period began at roughly the same time that they are paid.

    This can mean that two monthly salaries can be included in one UC assessment period and none in the following or preceeding assessment period, just because they are paid on a slightly different day of the month.

    As a consequence:

    a) there would be no or an an unexpectedly low universal credit payment in the months where two salaries were actually paid, with next to no warning this would happen, making budgeting almost impossible, and

    b) for those with children or limited capability for work a combined UC payment over the two months less than the combined payments for someone who had exactly one salary in each assessment period (because they would only be able to utilise one monthly work allowance not two. The work allowance is the amount that can be earned before the maximum award of UC is tapered away).

    This is obviously silly and unfair, and the DWP/Government knew about it, but deliberately chose not to do anything about it. But the High Court decided it was also contrary to the law (UC regulations). So they didn't even have to look at whether it was discriminatory or against human rights.

    Essentially the employed income to take into account in respect of an assessment period should be based on the actual salary received in that assessment period according to the regulations. The court reasonably decided that having two monthly salaries in one period because of a quirk of the dates didn't mean that someone had twice the pay 'in respect of' one of the assessment periods instead one lot of pay in respect of each of the two. And the wording 'based on' gives the flexibility/intention to readjust income that was actually paid in one period but was clearly in respect of two periods.

    Anyway the summary judgement explains it better than I can

    https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/r-on-the-application-of-johnson-and-others-v-secretary-of-state-for-work-and-pensions/


    I don't see how they can pretend to be doing 'test and learn', when something majorly wrong such as this is picked up in testing and nothing is done about it until a court tells them to. 'Crash and burn' seems to be more accurate.
    Last edited by SnowMan; 11-01-2019 at 12:39 PM.
    I came, I saw, I melted
    • woolythoughts
    • By woolythoughts 11th Jan 19, 12:36 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 114 Thanks
    woolythoughts
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 19, 12:36 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 19, 12:36 PM
    But surely if you get two wages in one period you keep the extra one to cover the period when you get less UC - its simple budgeting.

    It evens itself out over the year - only takes someone with half a brain cell to work that one out.
    • SnowMan
    • By SnowMan 11th Jan 19, 1:05 PM
    • 3,179 Posts
    • 5,914 Thanks
    SnowMan
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 19, 1:05 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 19, 1:05 PM
    But surely if you get two wages in one period you keep the extra one to cover the period when you get less UC - its simple budgeting.
    Originally posted by woolythoughts
    To be able to know what you will get, you need to know exactly on what day you will be paid, and you need to know when your salary will be reported to HMRC, and then you need to know exactly how the calculation works, which isn't at all simple.

    You then get a notification of your payment just a week before it is paid.

    If the month where you are deemed to have two salaries comes first, then you can't keep the extra UC payment to cover the next month as you are getting a lower UC payment for the first month not a higher one.

    So not simple budgeting.


    It evens itself out over the year - only takes someone with half a brain cell to work that one out.
    Except it doesn't even itself out.

    Let me give you an example of two people who have exactly the same circumstances, except for their UC assessment period being different.

    Anne, a single parent, owner occupier, UC claimant, earning 409 each month and paid at the end of the month, has an assessment period of 15th to 14th of following month. So one monthly pay in each assessment period.

    Brenda, a single parent, owner occupier, UC claimant, earning 409 each month and paid at the end of the month, has an assessment period of 30th to 29th of following month. Because of the dates her employer pays and reports her salary she may have say 6 months with 2 pay packets in the assessment period for UC purposes and 6 pay packets with none.

    Anne's pay each month comes within her work allowance so she gets the maximum UC award throughout the year.

    Brenda's pay only uses her work allowance for 6 months of the year. For the remaining 6 months, 409 x 0.63 = 257.67 is deducted from her maximum UC award. So in total she may be paid 1,546 (= 257.67*6) less UC than Anne over the year.


    Remember they are both earning 4,908pa (408pm) so getting 1,546pa less UC is a significant difference.
    Last edited by SnowMan; 11-01-2019 at 1:46 PM.
    I came, I saw, I melted
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 11th Jan 19, 1:17 PM
    • 6,438 Posts
    • 6,818 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 19, 1:17 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 19, 1:17 PM
    To be able to know what you will get, you need to know exactly on what day you will be paid, and you need to know when your salary will be reported to HMRC, and then you need to know exactly how the calculation works, which isn't at all simple.

    You then get a notification of your payment just a week before it is paid.

    If the month where you are deemed to have two salaries comes first, then you can't keep the extra one.

    So not simple budgeting.


    Except it doesn't even itself out.

    Let me give you an example of two people who have exactly the same circumstances, except for their UC assessment period being different.

    Anne, a single parent, owner occupier, UC claimant, earning 409 each month and paid at the end of the month, has an assessment period of 15th to 14th of following month. So one monthly pay in each assessment period.

    Brenda, a single parent, owner occupier, UC claimant, earning 409 each month and paid at the end of the month, has an assessment period of 30th to 29th of following month. Because of the dates her employer pays and reports her salary she may have say 6 months with 2 pay packets in the assessment period for UC purposes and 6 pay packets with none.

    Anne's pay each month comes within her work allowance so she gets the maximum UC award throughout the year.

    Brenda's pay only uses her work allowance for 6 months of the year. For the remaining 6 months, 409 x 0.63 = 257.67 is deducted from her UC award. So in total she may be paid 1,546 (= 257.67*6) less UC than Anne over the year.


    Remember they are both earning 4,908pa (408pm) so getting 1,546 less UC is a significant difference.
    Originally posted by SnowMan


    I think the comment was directed towards the state, not the applicant.


    (as an aside, how does one earn only 409 a month??)
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 11th Jan 19, 2:34 PM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 836 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 19, 2:34 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 19, 2:34 PM
    (as an aside, how does one earn only 409 a month??)
    Originally posted by Comms69
    By working 12 hours/week at NMW (more hours needed if you're under 25).
    • welshmoneylover
    • By welshmoneylover 11th Jan 19, 4:29 PM
    • 2,844 Posts
    • 3,767 Thanks
    welshmoneylover
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 19, 4:29 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 19, 4:29 PM
    By working 12 hours/week at NMW (more hours needed if you're under 25).
    Originally posted by calcotti
    Surely the answer is to increase the working hours rather than rely on the taxpayer.

    I hope the dwp wins the appeal.
    Be happy, it's the greatest wealth
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 11th Jan 19, 6:25 PM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 836 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 19, 6:25 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 19, 6:25 PM
    Surely the answer is to increase the working hours rather than rely on the taxpayer.

    I hope the dwp wins the appeal.
    Originally posted by welshmoneylover
    You’re rather missing the point which is to help people on a low income. If people are capable of more work they are expected to look for it, and to do it if available, as a condition of getting their benefits. That has nothing to do with the logically flaw UC that results in different people with the same income getting different levels of support as a result of a difference in the days they get paid on.
    Last edited by calcotti; 11-01-2019 at 7:41 PM.
    • gbhxu
    • By gbhxu 11th Jan 19, 7:40 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    gbhxu
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 19, 7:40 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 19, 7:40 PM
    Surely the answer is to increase the working hours rather than rely on the taxpayer.

    I hope the dwp wins the appeal.
    Originally posted by welshmoneylover
    If you can find it and it does not clash with your existing working hours.

    Also, there are quite a few employers that actually make it a condition of employment that you can't work in the same sector or even for anyone else!
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