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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit migration  →  Thread

UC migration cases - how wrong can they get it?

J Bathie
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Adviser, Money Advice Unit, Herts CC

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Total Posts: 38

Joined: 9 January 2015

Working disabled parent with disabled child. In receipt of WTC/CTC with appropriate elements relating to their PIP/DLA awards.

I assisted with UC claim and know all parts completed correctly. (Also flagged caring responsibilities for child -  no CA due to earnings - and fit note also provided for CFW assessment to be triggered).

Start the week to a flurry of emails over the weekend from extremely distressed and anxious parent who has received their UC statement for first AP: £0 entitlement. They read notice as indicating due to their earnings they don’t qualify. Due to be paid on Friday.

From screenshots I identify the child has been totally missed off the claim. This also means parent is given no work allowance. No mention of TP. (They did however manage to include the carer element so (smol) credit where (smol) credit’s due.)
Parent now has award to be paid in time (prompt response after all this uncertainty)  and we have requested details of how TP has been calculated. Advised parent who had already contacted the helpline and been promised a call back from a case manager by 6 pm yesterday what to put on journal - highlighting the OBVIOUS error.

Parent does NOT receive the call by deadline of 6pm last night.  More distressed emails. I advise of what to add to the journal as follow up.  A note is added saying they are looking to make adjustments - can already see what is missing - child and housing -  (there are NO housing costs for this case).

They will call back once adjustment made.

Decision letter received “we owe you some money” and just like those awarding arrears of elements after we MR their failure to backdate DCE/CE after award of qualifying benefit this has been treated as an original / new decision - carrying right of MR, then appeal rights - NOT as a review of the first decision. (My ongoing gripe is that this allows them to falsely represent the number of decision making errors.)

Client then receives a phone call “ha Jo he thought it was going to be quick - just “Look at your journal we’ve sent you a letter” but I said hold on hold on and said I wanted to look at it whilst he was on the phone in case it was wrong”. Parent has to ask again about UC50 I had advised to expect.

Parent now has an award to be paid in time (prompt response after all this uncertainty)  and we have requested details of how TP has been calculated.

However I am baffled how a child can be missed off a claim when properly declared.

I am also unclear why no TP was included on first decision.

Where are the checks and balances to alert that where this first decision is a computer generated calculation OR human calculation resulting in a NIL entitlement something seems wrong?

My cortisol levels will be through the roof if every migration case is this stressful.

[ Edited: 15 May 2024 at 05:56 pm by J Bathie ]
Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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Total Posts: 1434

Joined: 27 February 2019

Children not included on the claim is happening all the time. I’ve seen many cases like that. It seems to happen if they haven’t verified the children in time. Always gets sorted pretty quickly in the cases I’ve seen.
A small trick: you can work out during the first AP what has been verified and what hasn’t by checking how large an advance the client is offered (they don’t have to take it!). Only elements which have been verified are offered as an advance.

TP is also often only calculated after the first payment statement is generated, and is therefore often not included on that initial statement. If it has been calculated, but been calculated at zero, you can tell this because they include a line on the statement saying: transitional element - £0. So, if there is no mention of a transitional element, then it means they simply haven’t calculated it yet.
This will always happen if the claim is not yet fully verified, as they only calculate TP once everything is verified.

Peter Donohue
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Salford Welfare Rights

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Yes, had one of these only the other day ......had worked out that they should get around £3k…...UC payment notified on Monday - nil. Mum terrified…......both parents working and claiming CA ...4 dependent children and all 4 children on DLA!!.......NO elements whatsoever for the children included and so UC wiped out by earnings and no work allowance applied ....verification or not, UC were very quick to count the 2 x Carer allowances as income to help wipe out the UC….quick message on the journal sorted it in 24 hours, once we knew about it and £3k now paid….. but how many folk out there would know what to look for….as ever, shambolic!!

Dan Manville
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Greater Manchester Law Centre

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Joined: 22 January 2020

Quelle Surprise now they’re getting up to volume the wheels are falling off.

Whodathunkit eh?

J Bathie
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Adviser, Money Advice Unit, Herts CC

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Total Posts: 38

Joined: 9 January 2015

Yes DWP responded reasonably promptly - issued a decision on the Wednesday (award has been adjusted due to a child and TP)

However - let me get this right - routinely the statement for the first AP is issued despite not having verified all elements/calculation of TP?

This is dreadful! Effectively a statement is being sent to claimant to show entitlement (including 0) when this decision is instead what - provisional/incomplete? This is BAU for the migration?

Is there any evidence of claims being subsequently revised and in time for when claimant should be paid once verification is complete without claimant/adviser having flagged errors? Or do they require claimants bringing it to their attention?

My client was on to the helpline (as well as to me) several times a day with repeated entries on her journal - making an unnecessary amount of extra work.

The stress for claimants!

 

[ Edited: 22 May 2024 at 04:26 pm by J Bathie ]