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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit migration  →  Thread

UC date of Claim

Pete at CAB
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Childrens Centre Adviser, CAB, Camborne

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Cl has considerable difficulties as the dates of their assessment periods are very close to their pay date and the slightest early payment , like paying on the Friday before the actual pay date, is causing havoc with double payments in one assessment period.

The cl. is about to get a bonus from work which will terminate the UC entitlement for that assessment period and they will have to reclaim in the next one.

Are the original dates preserved or does the reclaim start a new assessment period ( and by delaying the reclaim for a few days we could avoid the problems above?)

I found it interesting that the original claim was made with the help of the DWP who were shown details of pay days- I’m wondering if the ensuing difficulties could fairly be placed at their door, they must have a duty of care and I cannot imagine that anyone who knows about UC would have not have spotted the pay date and suggested the cl wait a few days before claiming.

Any observations gratefully received!

 

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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Any reclaim within six months preserves the original assessment periods.

Pete at CAB
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I was afraid of that, it would have been such a simple solution were it available

Ianb
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If employer was reporting correct contractual pay date to HMRC your client wouldn’t have a problem. When payment is early due to weekends, bank holidays etc employer is supposed to report the usual contractual paydate.
See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/what-payroll-information-to-report-to-hmrc#employer-information
Payment date - The date you paid them, not the date you run your payroll. Use the normal payday if it falls on a non-banking day

Va1der
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Ianb - 10 February 2020 05:01 PM

Any reclaim within six months preserves the original assessment periods.

How does this work in practice?

If I’m worried I might be made redundant, or become long-term sick, can I tailor myself an assessment period by, for instance: claiming UC on 15/02, have it closed on excess earnings, and then reclaim (within 6 months) before 14/XX to cut down the 5 week wait?

Charles
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A reclaim only keeps the original dates if there actually was entitlement to UC from the first claim.

Pete at CAB
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Ianb - 10 February 2020 06:06 PM

If employer was reporting correct contractual pay date to HMRC your client wouldn’t have a problem. When payment is early due to weekends, bank holidays etc employer is supposed to report the usual contractual paydate.
See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/what-payroll-information-to-report-to-hmrc#employer-information
Payment date - The date you paid them, not the date you run your payroll. Use the normal payday if it falls on a non-banking day

Thanks for that, unfortunately the rules allow reporting on or before the actual payday if it is a banking day and my cl’s assessment period has also fallen foul of early reporting. They are challenging in the light of the ‘johnson’ case but this will no doubt be stayed until there is an outcome for the DWP’s appeal against that decision

WillH
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Pete at CAB - 12 February 2020 10:30 AM
Ianb - 10 February 2020 06:06 PM

If employer was reporting correct contractual pay date to HMRC your client wouldn’t have a problem. When payment is early due to weekends, bank holidays etc employer is supposed to report the usual contractual paydate.
See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/what-payroll-information-to-report-to-hmrc#employer-information
Payment date - The date you paid them, not the date you run your payroll. Use the normal payday if it falls on a non-banking day

Thanks for that, unfortunately the rules allow reporting on or before the actual payday if it is a banking day and my cl’s assessment period has also fallen foul of early reporting. They are challenging in the light of the ‘johnson’ case but this will no doubt be stayed until there is an outcome for the DWP’s appeal against that decision

Yes, but isn’t the employer supposed to report the day they pay the client (unless this is not the ‘normal’ pay day, when they should put the normal pay day) regardless of whether they are reporting on or before the actual pay day? Early reporting shouldn’t cause a problem; the employer can report early but should be telling HMRC when the pay day is. Has your client tried an RTI dispute showing via pay slip/bank account that the money was actually received in in later assessment period?

Pete at CAB
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Thanks Will, yes they have raised an RTI dispute but my understanding is that these are by and large stayed until the outcome of the DWP’s appeal against the decision in the Johnson case.
I understand that my cl has in fact also been in touch with the payroll dept to get them to pull their socks up, they also reported earnings early at Christmas causing more chaos, and when shown the instruction from HMRC about early payments for Christmas denied ever having seen it!

Jon (CHDCA)
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Welfare benefits - Craven CAB, North Yorkshire

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Pete at CAB - 12 February 2020 10:30 AM
Ianb - 10 February 2020 06:06 PM

If employer was reporting correct contractual pay date to HMRC your client wouldn’t have a problem. When payment is early due to weekends, bank holidays etc employer is supposed to report the usual contractual paydate.
See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/what-payroll-information-to-report-to-hmrc#employer-information
Payment date - The date you paid them, not the date you run your payroll. Use the normal payday if it falls on a non-banking day

Thanks for that, unfortunately the rules allow reporting on or before the actual payday if it is a banking day and my cl’s assessment period has also fallen foul of early reporting. They are challenging in the light of the ‘johnson’ case but this will no doubt be stayed until there is an outcome for the DWP’s appeal against that decision

Is it really a Johnson type case? I ask, because in some scenarios where UC is nilled due to a double wages payment, the claimant actually ends up being better off overall. I think HB Anorak has posted on here previously to point out that this is different to Johnson, who was entitled to some UC in each month, and ended up being worse off because she didn’t benefit from a work allowance in at least one of the those months.

LITRG
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We wrote some fairly detailed articles about this - our understanding of the way RTI data moves across to UC is such that if employers followed the guidance posted above from HMRC then the four individual cases in the Johnson appeal wouldn’t have resulted in 2 pays in 1 assessment period.

We are exploring the RTI/HMRC of this in more detail, so very interested in hearing any other experiences. Basically the guidance says that if an employer pays early, they should still enter the contractual pay date on the FPS submission. There are some instances where this will still lead to a problem - for example if the submission is sent to HMRC after 9pm, it will go across to DWP the following day and if that coincides with the 1st day of a new assessment period there is potentially still an issue.

Victoria

Gareth Morgan
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The situation is made worse because some payroll software doesn’t allow two dates - actual and normal - to be entered.  Employers will, probably rightly, enter actual then and that’s passed into RTI.

LITRG
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Gareth Morgan - 17 February 2020 01:22 PM

The situation is made worse because some payroll software doesn’t allow two dates - actual and normal - to be entered.  Employers will, probably rightly, enter actual then and that’s passed into RTI.

We were just discussing that this morning - no doubt we will discuss when we catch up next week. We are very interested in the legislative requirements vs HMRC’s apparent easement and just how enforceable it is.

Victoria

Charles
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victoriatodd - 17 February 2020 01:29 PM

We were just discussing that this morning - no doubt we will discuss when we catch up next week. We are very interested in the legislative requirements vs HMRC’s apparent easement and just how enforceable it is.

It’s been discussed here before. I think there are two separate issues:
1. the date by which the employer has to report to HMRC, and
2. the payment date to be reported to HMRC.

The legislation (Income Tax (PAYE) Regulations 2003 r.67B and Sched. A1) only discusses the actual date of payment, and requires employers to:
1. report on or before that date, and
2. report the date the payment is made.

HMRC are therefore:
1. providing an easement on the date by which the report is required to have been made, and
2. telling employers to disregard (!) the law regarding the reporting of the date of payment.

Only point 2 is relevant to UC - the easement itself (point 1) is not.

alang
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Ianb - 10 February 2020 05:01 PM

Any reclaim within six months preserves the original assessment periods.

A simple solution, which does carry the risk of not working, is to create a new email address and therefore a new UC account. I stumbled upon this by accident for someone who couldn’t access their old email account for some reason and I had to create a new one. I have done this twice and it has worked on both occasions to get around inconvenient assessment periods upon making a reclaim.

Shouldn’t work, but it did!