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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

claiming state pension and interaction with UC

dizzymare
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hi trying to make sure we make this transition as smooth as possible and to ensure maximum gain for our client. Gentleman became SP age in July but failed to claim pension. I believe he was sent a code to claim in January and apparently, tried to do so but was told there was a backlog so to try later! UC has remained in payment. He now has a note to say that UC will terminate 15/11. This raises the question of the best time for claim and the effect of backdating.  It wont be treated as deferred claim for SP as it hasnt been more than 52 weeks.  If he claims as of tomorrow (which I think starts his new AP) he will be paid UC up to 15/11, and it seems the SP income will not effect his UC even though there will be an overlap (if I have understood this properly).  If he asks for backdating to July, he will get a nice lump sum, but im assuming this will be treated as income and then will create an overpayment of UC? If he waits for UC to end and then makes a claim for SP and asks for backdating, I guess the risk is equally there that UC will be notified and there will be an overpayment? so is it safest to not ask for backdating? not sure what to advise really on the date, but fairly sure he has lost out financially by this delay.  thank you

Ianb
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I don’t think the backdating or otherwise of SP makes any difference. Assuming he is a single claimant his entitlement to UC ended when he reached State Pension age. He would have been entitled to UC payment for the AP in which he reached pension age and any State Pension entitlement within the period of the AP is, as I understand it, ignored. All subsequent UC payments have been incorrectly paid and are recoverable.

It is absurd that UC software does not apparently identify when claimants reach SP age automatically. I wonder what has now triggered the message that UC will end on 15/11.

[ Edited: 15 Oct 2020 at 03:08 pm by Ianb ]
dizzymare
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thank you Ian. No idea - who knows what goes on within the machinations of UC! He might as well benefit from the arrears of his pension then and deal with overpayment of UC if or when it happens.  Thank you

Ianb
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dizzymare - 15 October 2020 03:17 PM

thank you Ian. No idea - who knows what goes on within the machinations of UC! He might as well benefit from the arrears of his pension then and deal with overpayment of UC if or when it happens.  Thank you

May want to wait to see whether anyone else posts and agrees with my understanding.

[ Edited: 15 Oct 2020 at 03:44 pm by Ianb ]
dizzymare
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Ianb - 15 October 2020 03:32 PM
dizzymare - 15 October 2020 03:17 PM

thank you Ian. No idea - who knows what goes on within the machinations of UC! He might as well benefit from the arrears of his pension then and deal with overpayment of UC if or when it happens.  Thank you

May want to wait to see whether anyone else posts and agrees with my understanding.

will do - though what you say does make perfect sense

Ianb
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My understanding is based on the announcement in March here https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-03-05/HCWS146

I can’t recall whether or not this has actually been enshrined in regulations yet.

In respect of recovery of UC I note that in this thread https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/15659/ there is a post in May from Paul which includes a message from pension service indicating that at that time UC overpayments in these circumstances might not be recovered. However it would seem sensible for claimant to proceed on basis that he could be required to pay it back.

[ Edited: 15 Oct 2020 at 03:53 pm by Ianb ]
dizzymare
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I dont think it has (seems to be way with this government) nothing gets followed through.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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I’d definitely recommend claiming the State Pension asap and asking for full backdating, and maybe bung in Pension Credit claim at the same time. If DWP are saying his UC is ending on 15.11.20, then hopefully there won’t be any gaps in his income. If they do try to recover any technical overpayment, then that’s a problem down the line but if he doesn’t claim anything now, he could well be left high and dry.

Ianb
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And, of course, claim Housing Benefit if he rents.

Charles
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The legislation for this has been laid, but has not yet come into effect.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/655/contents/made

dizzymare
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thanks everyone, will be doing claims for SP, PC (as he will be entitled to an SDP) and HB and asking for backdating on all of them.  If UC do decide there is an overpayment, as you say, we can deal with that, but makes perfect sense to get all backdating so if they do ask for repayment of UC, at least his pension and benefits will offset that loss. Thank you.

Ianb
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Charles - 15 October 2020 08:26 PM

The legislation for this has been laid, but has not yet come into effect.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/655/contents/made

Thanks, Charles. (Curious they they still refer to persons who have attained the SPC qualifying age. Given that there is no longer any difference between SPC and SP age they could just as easily refer to SP age.)

[ Edited: 16 Oct 2020 at 12:52 pm by Ianb ]