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Universal Credit Hardship - meeting work related requirements

 

 

Owen Stevens
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Welfare Rights Service, Greenwich Council, London

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Joined: 8 August 2012

Hello all

I’ve got a client who has been sanctioned for not meeting work related requirements.  He applied for hardship and got turned down for not meeting all the work related requirements in the 7 days before his application.

He has some literacy problems so I have asked that JCP review the claimant commitment.  They have not yet carried out this review and he has since been turned down again for hardship payments for the same reason.

In this situation for JSA I think that if he was in a vulnerable group he would be able to receive hardship payments even if he continued not to meet the jobseeking conditions as long as he was in a vulnerable group. 

As far as I can see there seems to be no equivalent to this rule in Universal Credit so that even if someone is in a vulnerable group they cannot receive hardship payments unless they meet all of their work related requirements.  Am I right or have I misunderstood something here?

If I am right then what approach would people recommend other than continuing to pursue an amended claimant commitment?

thanks

     
Andrew Dutton
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Derbyshire Welfare Rights Service

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I think that is the trap that has been set - if the claimant is incapable of meeting the CC then they get sanctioned, and then no hardship because they don’t meet the CC and round and round it goes. No vulnerable groups etc taken in to account.

I think a formal complaint is needed if they have information before them that the CC is not reasonable and is not achievable by the claimant. By their own failure to act, they are creating a vicious circle. It is a trap that will ensnare, but of course, the most vulnerable whose needs have been underestimated and those whose circumstances have changed but whose CC has not been altered to reflect this.

Para L1040 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/471279/adml1.pdf may be useful, ‘The outstanding decision should be prioritised so that if UC is reduced the hardship determination may be considered’ - ?

Possible to argue that this should apply to ALL outstanding decisions and that the ‘good cause’ MR plus CC review plus access to hardship should be considered together as a priority?

I’m making it up as i go along. But so are UC.

     
Benny Fitzpatrick
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Welfare Rights Officer, Southway Housing Trust, Manchester

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Ridiculous situation! But sadly not surprising. Totally gives the lie to all those DWP anodyne statements about “supporting people”, and “removing barriers to employment”. Instead it appears to be purposely designed to be spiteful and to cause suffering and distress. Malfeacance perhaps?

     
Owen Stevens
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Welfare Rights Service, Greenwich Council, London

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Total Posts: 142

Joined: 8 August 2012

Thanks both…