If You Live With Your Partner
You can also keep getting Universal Credit during full-time education if you live with your partner and they:
- aren’t in full-time education
- are also in full-time education, but they’re entitled to Universal Credit while studying
- are also in full-time education, and one of you is responsible for a child or is a foster parent
Therese Coffey Addresses Plans For Universal Credit In Parliament
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Universal Credit became crucial for many over the last year or so as coronavirus wrecked havoc on the economy. Thousands of families found themselves dependent on Government support in 2020 but unfortunately, the chaos also brought with it rising fraud issues.
Last week, the DWP detailed it had overpaid around £5.5billion of Universal Credit in the 2020/21 year.
This, it noted, may have been fuelled by high numbers of fraudulent claims, where people would have received money they were not entitled to.
In light of these figures, Gareth Davies, the head of the National Audit Office, issued a stark warning.
Mr Davies said: I am concerned that the level of fraud and error in the benefits system continues to increase year on year, now reaching its highest level since records began.
This has a real impact on public funds and on those who face deductions to their income due to overpayments.
I recognise that the pandemic and the resulting surge in the number of claimants has increased DWPs exposure to fraud and error.
It must now review all cases that could have been subject to fraud during this time, whilst continuing to progress our past recommendations on how to reduce fraud and error.
Research Showing Impact Of Universal Credit Cut 840000 More People In Poverty
Government Covid response policy has insulated many families from poverty. In an attempt to mitigate some of the financial impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, the Government has introduced a range of financial support for families and businesses. These include a temporary increase of £20 a week to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits and the suspension of the Minimum Income Floor .
We estimate that these policies alone protected some 840,000 people from poverty in Quarter 2, 2021. In other words, without these changes, 840,000 more people would have been in poverty in Q2 2021 than was actually the case.
The Governments JRS and SEISS schemes as well as wider support for businesses and the economy, will have protected many more on top of this figure.
This September 2021 briefing presents original analysis from the Legatum Institute using the Social Metrics Commissions approach to poverty measurement to demonstrate the insulating effect that Government policy has had on poverty throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and the risks that future changes to social security poverty pose for poverty. It builds on our previous work on this issue, which provide more detailed methodological notes.
- With the £20 uplift in UC and WTC and the suspension of the Minimum Income Floor for self-employed people on UC in place and
- Assuming that the increases in UC and WTC are reversed and the MIF reinstated.
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Contact The Universal Credit Helpline If You Cant Add Your Fit Note To Your Account
Universal Credit helpline
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
If you’re ill for more than 14 days this counts as a long-term illness. You won’t need to work if you can show you have ‘limited capability for work’. You might need to fill in a questionnaire about your health and go to a medical assessment. This can take a while, so ask your work coach to suspend your work-related activities in the meantime.
Ask to change your claimant commitment if health problems mean you can’t do all your work activities. It’s worth doing even for a small change, for example if regular doctor’s appointments mean you have 2 hours fewer a week to look for work.
How To Complain About Universal Credit And Get Your Problem Sorted
If you’ve received less Universal Credit than you were expecting or your payments have been hit by unexplained deductions, then you should make a formal complaint
- 11:25, 29 Jan 2019
UNIVERSAL Credit claimants who feel there has been a mistake with their payments can make an official complaint to get the issue fixed.
The Government’s flagship benefit scheme, which rolls six payments into one, has been riddled with problems since it was launched almost six years ago.
The Sun has heard from thousands of struggling claimants whose financial hardship has been made worse by the benefits scheme, which is why we have launched a campaign calling to Make Universal Credit Work.
If you’ve received less Universal Credit than you were expecting or your payments have been hit by unexplained deductions, then you should make a complaint as soon as possible to get the error fixed.
Here’s our guide on how to make a complaint about Universal Credit and make sure you’re listened to.
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Fuel And Water Direct
You can have deductions made from your UC to pay your ongoing charge for gas, electricity and water, at the same time as repaying any debt your owe at 5% of your standard allowance. Deductions will stop when you have repaid the debt.
You can apply for fuel and/or water direct by contacting your local Jobcentre Plus or utility provider. You will need to have details of who you owe and how much, your customer reference number and your National Insurance number.
How Is Universal Credit Paid
UC is a monthly benefit and is paid monthly in arrears.
The date of your claim is generally the start date of your first assessment period. In practice, you should get your first UC payment within seven days of the end of your first assessment period, and this date of payment will continue going forward .
In reality this means that you will have to wait for one month and one week before you get your first UC payment. If you do not have enough money to last until your first UC payment you can apply for a short term advance of UC. You can see further information on short term advances here.
The housing element is normally paid directly to you and you will then need to make arrangements to pay your rent in full to your landlord. Please see here for alternative payment arrangements that may apply: Alternative Payment Arrangements – GOV.UK .
If you live in Scotland, you have the choice of being paid UC twice a month rather than monthly. You can also have your UC housing element paid directly to your landlord. You should be offered this option but do not have to take it up. You can read more about this here
If You’re Still Living With Your Ex
You should still report that you’ve split up – you should still be able to change to separate Universal Credit claims.
You’ll need to tell the DWP that you have ‘separate households’ even though you share an address. Explain how you’re no longer living as a couple – for example if you’re cooking separately, have separate finances and don’t spend time together.
The DWP might also ask why you’re still living together – for example if you can’t afford to move out.
What Happens If My Circumstances Change
If there is a change in your circumstances you must notify the DWP.
If you have an online account, you can report the change via your online journal. If you do not have an online account, you can report the change by calling the UC helpline on 0800 328 5644.
Generally, if a change of circumstances happens during an assessment period, it is treated as having happened on the first day of that assessment period.
However, a change of circumstances which means you get more UC is only treated as having happened on the first day of that assessment period if you report it before the end of that assessment period. If you miss this time limit the change applies from the start of the assessment period in which you reported it. This time limit can only be extended in exceptional circumstances.
There’s an exception to the above rule. If you are entitled to more UC because you or your partner or a member of your household are awarded a qualifying benefit, for example: Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance, the change takes effect from the date the qualifying benefit began.
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What Is A Hard Inquiry
A hard inquiry occurs any time you apply for new credit and the lender or creditor runs a credit check. It can be for a mortgage, apartment, car loan, credit card, insurance policy, cell phone, and sometimes even a job application.
Hard inquiries will typically only drop your credit score by a few points. However, if you have too many, especially in a short period of time, they can really start to add up and do some damage.
How To Report A Universal Credit Scam
Work and Pensions minister Baroness Buscombe says: “Were encouraging people to listen to their instincts. If someone offers you a low-cost loan from the Government they may be trying to steal your identity.
“Treat your personal information for benefits in the same way you would for your bank. And if you think youve been targeted, we urge you to report it urgently.”
Report any social media accounts you see promoting fake government grants using the report feature on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.
If you think you might have been a victim of a UC scam, whether you were approached or your details were used to apply for Universal Credit without your consent, you should report it. Get in touch with Action Fraud, local police, Jobcentre Plus or report it to Citizens Advice. Scammers have already been prosecuted for committing this type of fraud. Your report could stop someone else falling victim in future.
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Changes Related To Your Children
When claiming Universal Credit, you need to inform the DWP if you’re pregnant, adopt or foster a child they are not already aware of.
Children are classed as under the age of 16, or 20 if in non-advanced full-time education.
Universal Credit allows you to receive extra income for one or two children. If you have a third child, you won’t typically receive any additional payments, but you must still inform the DWP.
You should tell the DWP if any of your children:
- Are disabled.
The Sun Wants To Make Universal Credit Work
UNIVERSAL Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.
One million people are already receiving it and by the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7million will be on it.
But there are big problems with the flagship new system – it takes five weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.
And while working families can claim back up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – weve heard of families waiting up to 6 months for the money.
Working parents across the country told us theyve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.
Its time to Make Universal Credit work. We want the Government to:
Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.
Join our or email UniversalCredit@the-sun.co.uk to share your story.
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Remove Universal Credit Services From Your Report Today
In some cases, we recommend speaking with a Credit Repair professional to analyze your credit report. It’s so much less stress, hassle, and time to let professionals identify the reasons for your score drop.If you’re looking for a reputable company to increase your credit score, we recommend Credit Glory. Call them on or setup a consultation with them. They also happen to have incredible customer service.Credit Glory is a credit repair company that helps everyday Americans remove inaccurate, incomplete, unverifiable, unauthorized, or fraudulent negative items from their credit report. Their primary goal is empowering consumers with the opportunity and knowledge to reach their financial dreams in 2020 and beyond.
Your Household Earnings Are Too High
If your earnings and your partners if youre making a joint claim are high enough to mean you get no Universal Credit in a month, your claim will be closed.
This might be, for example, because you lost your job but got your final wages after you submitted your claim for Universal Credit.
If your earnings are likely to fall, restart your claim as soon as possible. This is to make sure you dont miss out on any future payments.
Restart your claim by signing in to your Universal Credit account at GOV.UK
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What To Do If You Have Problems Claiming Universal Credit
IF you’re experiencing trouble applying for your Universal Credit, or the payments just don’t cover costs, here are your options:
Apply for an advance – Claimants are able to get some cash within five days rather than waiting weeks for their first payment. But it’s a loan which means the repayments will be automatically deducted from your future Universal Credit pay out.
Alternative Payment Arrangements – If you’re falling behind on rent, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an APA which will get your payment sent directly to your landlord. You might also be able to change your payments to get them more frequently, or you can split the payments if you’re part of a couple.
Budgeting Advance – You may be able to get help from the Government to help with emergency household costs of up to £348 if you’re single, £464 if you’re part of a couple or £812 if you have children. These are only in cases such as your cooker breaking down or for help getting a job. You’ll have to repay the advance through your regular Universal Credit payments. You’ll still have to repay the loan, even if you stop claiming for Universal Credit.
Cut your council tax – You might be able to get a discount on your council tax or be entitled to discretionary housing payments if your payments aren’t enough to cover your rent.
You should also complain if you’re not happy about the way you have been treated by the system.
How To Spot A Universal Credit Scammer
Victims described being approached by someone who says they work for Jobcentre Plus. They could be smartly dressed and even have a badge or ID to prove they are acting on behalf of the Jobcentre. They promised one victim shed receive a grant from the government that didnt need to be paid back.
To apply for a Universal Credit advance on your behalf, they will ask for ID such as your driving licence or passport, your bank card or details of your accounts and could even ask to take a photo of you.
One victim reported that the first sign that she had been scammed was when her tax credits were stopped. When she called up to ask about it, she was told she couldnt claim tax credits and Universal Credit at the same time. Repayments started to be taken from her benefits as soon as her UC payments started.
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Impact On People Who Have Just Lost Their Jobs
Since Universal Credit payments are calculated based on peoples financial circumstances in the month prior to when they are paid, people stand to lose critical support at a time when they need it most just after they lose their jobs. If people apply for the benefit before they receive their last paycheck, the system will calculate their first payment as if they were still receiving their regular wages.
If you lose your job, your intuition is to apply for Universal Credit as quickly as possible, said Stephen Mitchinson, 26, a benefits adviser with Citizens Advice Bureau Newcastle. But once you apply, it triggers the monthly assessment period. If your last wages are paid within the assessment period, that is counted against the amount you receive. People may also be deemed ineligible for the benefit if their last wages are above the maximum income threshold.
An unexpected reduction in her first Universal Credit payment startled Mary G., 56, a resident of Stockton-on-Tees. She was no longer working by the time she filed her claim in September 2019, and expected to receive the standard allowance in full. However, her first payment was reduced to reflect her last paycheck, which she received during her assessment period. I felt like Ive been shortchanged a weeks money through no fault of my own, said Mary. I was angry it hadnt been explained properly that this could happen.