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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

Moving from UC onto SRP and PC issue

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Ianb
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Paul, the response you’ve had makes no sense within the rules. As Charles said SP is unearned income and should, according to the rules, be taken into account pro rata for the portion of the AP in which entitlement exists.

As I commented earlier in the thread I am not clear how this would work in practice because UC would need to know how much SP claimant is entitled to and this information may not be available if the SP claim has not been processed.

[ Edited: 15 Feb 2021 at 04:09 pm by Ianb ]
Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Fine, if you two want to argue about how to make sure claimants are less well off, I’ll leave you to it.

As I said, at the moment, things seem to be working well and I’m happy that one small piece of the benefit system is now functioning in a way that seems to help people at the sharp end.

Charles
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If this happens in practice, I’d also be happy.

Knowing DWP though, I would prefer this to be legislated for, and not just be allowed on an extra-statutory basis. It’s a slippery slope when we have to start relying on such concessions, without a legal right being put in place.

Ianb
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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 15 February 2021 04:24 PM

Fine, if you two want to argue about how to make sure claimants are less well off, I’ll leave you to it.

As I said, at the moment, things seem to be working well and I’m happy that one small piece of the benefit system is now functioning in a way that seems to help people at the sharp end.

No wish to argue, and obviously happy if claimants get a full final UC payment, nonetheless the explanation appears not to sit with the regulations and sounds like another instance of DWP making it up as they go along.

The ‘explanation’ that the SP is ignored because, in most cases, it’s paid outside the AP would surely equally apply to SPC which would be paid at the same time as the SP and yet they have specifically legislated to disregard any SPC.

I suppose what we now have to wait and see is whether the treatment is consistent.

[ Edited: 15 Feb 2021 at 08:04 pm by Ianb ]
HB Anorak
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Looking at this from a practical point of view, if the case reaches the end of the AP in which SPC age was reached and no SRP has yet been awarded, as far as UC are concerned that’s job done, close down the case and who cares about pension.  It is probably no-one’s job to organise a revision/supersession of the final UC month after it’s gone.  If the claimant keeps shtum, no-one else is bothered.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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HB Anorak - 15 February 2021 08:47 PM

Looking at this from a practical point of view, if the case reaches the end of the AP in which SPC age was reached and no SRP has yet been awarded, as far as UC are concerned that’s job done, close down the case and who cares about pension.  It is probably no-one’s job to organise a revision/supersession of the final UC month after it’s gone.  If the claimant keeps shtum, no-one else is bothered.

Exactly, its an easy and convenient way to deal with these previously tricky cases that were causing problems.

Ianb
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Paul, was your DWP contact able to provide any more information about whether UC are now automatically identifying claimants reaching pension age beyond what Amanda indicated earlier this month?

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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As Amanda said, it appears they are trying to put manual flags on people coming up to SPA so that a message is left in the journal to remind the person of the fact that the UC award is coming to an end and that they can look to claim PC if they want to. People should also receive the invitation to claim SP about four months ahead of this date.

As I said above, we’ve not seen any enquiries recently where things have gone awry and these amendments, which we’ve worked on progressing with DWP colleagues for almost two years now, appear to have had the desired effect in stopping double payments or people being left without any benefit income for up to two months.

Ianb
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Thanks, Paul.

Angela Sandford
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Ianb - 15 February 2021 03:58 PM

Paul, the response you’ve had makes no sense within the rules. As Charles said SP is unearned income and should, according to the rules, be taken into account pro rata for the portion of the AP in which entitlement exists.

As I commented earlier in the thread I am not clear how this would work in practice because UC would need to know how much SP claimant is entitled to and this information may not be available if the SP claim has not been processed.

Angela Sandford
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Hi

Can I ask what benefits was this gentleman from n before UC??

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Angela Sandford - 17 February 2021 12:51 PM

Hi

Can I ask what benefits was this gentleman from n before UC??

No-one has been affected, this is all hypothetical Angela. Its about how someone moves from UC to PC when they reach SPA.

Ianb
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I have a client who has just gone through this transition. He became pension age near the beginning of his UC AP and reports that he got a much reduced final UC payment. Unfortunately his was a phone claim so I can’t see a statement to check whether or not this is because his SRP has been taken into account.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Ianb - 24 February 2021 02:05 PM

I have a client who has just gone through this transition. He became pension age near the beginning of his UC AP and reports that he got a much reduced final UC payment. Unfortunately his was a phone claim so I can’t see a statement to check whether or not this is because his SRP has been taken into account.

As I said above, it’s entirely possible that your client did receive a payment of his State Pension in that case and if he did, it is taken into account as income for the last UC payment.

If you don’t physically receive any State Pension in the last AIP, then the last UC payment isn’t affected.

Before the regs were changed, your client wouldn’t have had any entitlement whatsoever to UC in the last AIP, unless he’d made an advance claim for Pension Credit. That’s what has been changed here.

Ianb
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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 25 February 2021 08:56 AM

...,it’s entirely possible that your client did receive a payment of his State Pension in that case and if he did, it is taken into account as income for the last UC payment.

Sorry, I didn’t make that clear. According to his narrative his first SP payment would have been after the AP ended -  but again I can’t confirm the accuracy of his narrative.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 25 February 2021 08:56 AM

Before the regs were changed, your client wouldn’t have had any entitlement whatsoever to UC in the last AIP, unless he’d made an advance claim for Pension Credit. That’s what has been changed here.

Fully understand that, it wasn’t the point at issue. Discussion was whether the SP is ignored, as you have been told (and as we hope) or whether it’s treated in accordance with normal rules for unearned income. Because it’s early days I will not be confident until we see whether there is a consistent approach.

 

BC Welfare Rights
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I’ve just seen one of these today. UC claimant, turned SPA on 11/3, UC AP was up to 18/3. Paid State Pension on 26/3 after UC claim had been terminated but state pension payment was deducted from final UC payment in full (according to message on UC account). It is quite hard to disentangle because the figures quoted for the state pension & Pension Credit on the award letter, bear no resemblance to either the payments made or the sum deducted by UC.

Ianb
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BC Welfare Rights - 07 April 2021 03:47 PM

I’ve just seen one of these today. UC claimant, turned SPA on 11/3, UC AP was up to 18/3. Paid State Pension on 26/3 after UC claim had been terminated but state pension payment was deducted from final UC payment in full (according to message on UC account). It is quite hard to disentangle because the figures quoted for the state pension & Pension Credit on the award letter, bear no resemblance to either the payments made or the sum deducted by UC.

Given the dates, logically the UC deduction for the pension should be one week (or possibly 8 days). The Pension Credit should definitely be ignored.

GCH Tenancy Sustainment
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Hi All,
I’ve just had a case in this situation. UC AP is 1st-30th, turned pension age on 14/04 and first pension payment on 22/04 (£234ish for 10 days). Final UC payment has had state pension deducted at the rate for the 17days she has been pension age within the AP (approx. £400).
Is this correct?
PC claim is still pending so no issues with that.
Thanks

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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That’s how we’ve been told it should be happening i.e. any State Pension that is actually paid to someone in their last AIP will be taken into account as income for the appropriate period of time, as seems to have happened with your client.

If you don’t receive any State Pension during the last AIP, you get a full UC payment for the last AIP, subject to normal rules for any other income except PC that overlaps.