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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit migration  →  Thread

Moving from Universal Credit to Pension Credit

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chacha
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Charles - 12 June 2019 05:48 PM

So it sounds like this is a UC error. UC should have ended 05/03/2019, and been pro-rated as explained earlier in the thread.

The PC award is correct, and HB should have been backdated to 06/03/2019.

Thanks Charles, that was my conclusion, thought I had missed something there.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and Advice Resources, Age UK

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chacha - 12 June 2019 06:13 PM
Charles - 12 June 2019 05:48 PM

So it sounds like this is a UC error. UC should have ended 05/03/2019, and been pro-rated as explained earlier in the thread.

The PC award is correct, and HB should have been backdated to 06/03/2019.

Thanks Charles, that was my conclusion, thought I had missed something there.

I don’t think you’re missing anything, it’s simply the fact that there’s the regulations and the way things are meant to work but then you have to factor in the fact that UC administration seems to operate in a complete vacuum from the rest of the system and does whatever it wants regardless and leaves the claimant to try and sort out the mess.

HB Anorak
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I’m trying to see a way of making HB begin seamlessly in cases of this type, but I cannot.  I am hoping that I have overlooked some small provision somewhere that overrides the normal rules around commencement of HB in Regs 57 and 64 of the HB(SPC) Regs 2006.  The claimant cannot be entitled to HB for any period in which s/he is also entitled to UC: Reg 5 of the UC (Transitional Provisions) Regs 2014.  That means the earliest day in respect of which HB can be claimed is the day the claimant reaches SPC age, and the award will begin from the following benefit week.  There will be a gap of up to seven days between the UC housing element ending and HB beginning.  The only exception I can see would be where coincidentally the claimant becomes liable to make payments for the first time in the week in which s/he reaches SPC age.

This is also a problem for the remaining cohort receiving a UC housing element for temporary accommodation at the point when their charges are altered - there was a little bulge of these cases this April I gather.  I don’t see a way of making HB commence on the very day that the UC housing element ends.

The best possible outcome in the above cases would be where the date of reaching SPC age, or the beginning of the AP in which homeless charges increase as the case may be, is a Sunday in which case the gap will be one day only.  But if that day is a Monday, the gap is seven days.

Is there a way past this?  I cannot see it.

Charles
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HB Anorak - 14 June 2019 09:29 AM

I’m trying to see a way of making HB begin seamlessly in cases of this type, but I cannot.  I am hoping that I have overlooked some small provision somewhere that overrides the normal rules around commencement of HB in Regs 57 and 64 of the HB(SPC) Regs 2006.  The claimant cannot be entitled to HB for any period in which s/he is also entitled to UC: Reg 5 of the UC (Transitional Provisions) Regs 2014.  That means the earliest day in respect of which HB can be claimed is the day the claimant reaches SPC age, and the award will begin from the following benefit week.  There will be a gap of up to seven days between the UC housing element ending and HB beginning.  The only exception I can see would be where coincidentally the claimant becomes liable to make payments for the first time in the week in which s/he reaches SPC age.

I think you’re right. The reason why nothing has been done is probably because the eventual plan is to include a housing credit within PC.

This is also a problem for the remaining cohort receiving a UC housing element for temporary accommodation at the point when their charges are altered - there was a little bulge of these cases this April I gather.  I don’t see a way of making HB commence on the very day that the UC housing element ends.

Here at least the gap could be filled by a DHP.
A DHP is also the government’s intention in cases where a claimant moves into temporary accommodation when on UC - there could be up to a whole month of housing element lost in such cases. See paras 7.26-7.29 here.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Charles - 14 June 2019 11:55 AM
HB Anorak - 14 June 2019 09:29 AM

I’m trying to see a way of making HB begin seamlessly in cases of this type, but I cannot.  I am hoping that I have overlooked some small provision somewhere that overrides the normal rules around commencement of HB in Regs 57 and 64 of the HB(SPC) Regs 2006.  The claimant cannot be entitled to HB for any period in which s/he is also entitled to UC: Reg 5 of the UC (Transitional Provisions) Regs 2014.  That means the earliest day in respect of which HB can be claimed is the day the claimant reaches SPC age, and the award will begin from the following benefit week.  There will be a gap of up to seven days between the UC housing element ending and HB beginning.  The only exception I can see would be where coincidentally the claimant becomes liable to make payments for the first time in the week in which s/he reaches SPC age.

I think you’re right. The reason why nothing has been done is probably because the eventual plan is to include a housing credit within PC.

Yes, I think you’re right Charles, the worrying bit is, that’s probably not going to be in place until at least 2023.

Benny Fitzpatrick
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In a response to a complaint submitted re the continuing payment of UC after the client reached pension age, I received the information that the UC national computer system does not recognise a claimant reaching pension age, and therefore does not prompt either the claimant, the service centre or the work coach of the change of circs. UC therefore remains in payment, preventing claims for PC and HB, and as UC overpayments are automatically raised, triggers a UC overpayment from the date the claimant reaches pension age, to the date when (or if), a PC or HB claim is submitted.

In our case, UC staff continued to fob our client off with excuses for the continuation of UC (and conditionality) beyond his reaching pension age. Even the payment from that date of New State Pension did not ring alarm bells, they just treated it as “unearned income”. It took an MP complaint, plus the claimant uploading a copy of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (sect 4) to his online journal and inviting the service centre to comment, before UC was stopped and the claimant able to claim HB. (Although JCP are refusing to rule out trying to recover the entire sum of UC paid since his reaching pension age).

Considering managed migration is due to begin imminently, I consider it absolutely unbelievable that such fundamental flaws still exist within UC. This scenario could potentially affect thousands of claimants. Yet the DWP continue to hide behind their “good news culture” and refuse to acknowledge the fat that, after how many years? and how much taxpayer’s money?, UC is STILL not fit for purpose.