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Universal Credit Assessment Period

Can dates/ income after entitlement to Universal Credit ceases, be used to calculate final payment?

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Can anyone advise me please? My friend turned 66 on 20th April and has claimed her state pension from that date. Prior to that she was receiving Universal Credit. The DWP had previously confirmed that she would come off Universal Credit from 20th April. She was still due one week of Universal Credit, which is paid in arrears. However, they have used the assessment period they would have used if she was still on Universal Credit. This takes the date to 10th May. As she will be receiving 3 weeks state pension in this period, they are saying she is not due any Universal Credit for her final week claim to 19th April. Surely this is wrong! If her last day of entitlement to Universal Credit is 19th April, which they have confirmed, then dates and income after her last day of entitlement should not be used in assessing her entitlement?

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By Hugo Fair
22nd May 2022 22:25

This is probably the wrong forum in which to raise this question, as there are unlikely to be (m)any UC specialists here.

But try https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/new-to-universal-credit/... ... and then reading the section on Assessment periods.

As far as I can see that sets out the process exactly as you've described DWP having applied it ... so it appears they were correct to do so.
Basically when you say "they are saying she is not due any Universal Credit for her final week claim" that will be because there's no such thing as a 'week claim' for UC ... it's whole months only of claim (based on the individual's Assessment period).

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By DKB-Sheffield
22nd May 2022 22:50

Hugo

That is my understanding of the assessment period too. However, I don't know whether the eligibilty to SP affects the position as set out by the OP.

I'll be honest, any questions I have from clients (or more accurately, their employees) regarding UC (beyond the basics of payroll reporting) generally get referred to DWP/ CAB/ Turn2Us/ EntitleTo etc. It may seem like a complete cop out (on my part) but they have people specifically trained in the myriad of benefits a person may be entitled to.

@OP I am assuming your friend has made contact with DWP through their UC account? If a question is not noted on their journal, there is a chance a phone call to DWP may prove fruitless.

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Replying to DKB-Sheffield:
By Bryan T
22nd May 2022 23:13

Thank you. She has been meticulous in keeping her journal updated as they require.She is going to appeal and will be copying the details to our local MP. If the DWP are correct in what they are saying then the system needs looking at and correcting - it shouldn't be there to punish the vulnerable, but to help and support them.

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Replying to Bryan T:
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By rmillaree
23rd May 2022 10:23

If its (UC) is based on monthly income and she has higher monthly income she should expect to get lower benefits "for that month" . Obviously its poor if communication hasnt been great but is it perhaps the case you or she has presumed they would be entitled to something its reasonably clear they are not entitled to if the principle of monthly calcs being used "is what it is". I see nothing unfair about doing things monthly - it certainly keeps things manageable.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
By Bryan T
22nd May 2022 23:05

Thank you for your response Hugo. To be honest, I did doubt if anyone on this forum would have the experience or knowledge to advise on UC. I am trying to help a dear friend who was made redundant from a charity just before the pandemic and was initially put on to job seekers allowance, and then UC. She has also had a lot of health problems. She had a hip replacement on 7th March. Two weeks before she was due to go in for the operation, a video assessment from DWP ruled she was fit for work and was told she needed to keep her journal showing she was spending 35 hours per week searching for work, despite her GP and Consultant stating she was not fit for work, and the consultant stating she could not sit that long at a computer without causing her great pain. I will read up on it through the links you have provided. UC is a cruel benefit administered by a cruel bureaucracy the DWP, it does not surprise me that things will be done backside foremost to ensure the weak suffer even further by assessing them for whatever they receive after the date of entitlement to UC ends. Only the Tories could devise such as this. Thank you again for your help, it is greatly appreciated.

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Replying to Bryan T:
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By lionofludesch
23rd May 2022 09:05

Bryan T wrote:

Thank you for your response Hugo. To be honest, I did doubt if anyone on this forum would have the experience or knowledge to advise on UC. I am trying to help a dear friend who was made redundant from a charity just before the pandemic and was initially put on to job seekers allowance, and then UC. She has also had a lot of health problems. She had a hip replacement on 7th March. Two weeks before she was due to go in for the operation, a video assessment from DWP ruled she was fit for work and was told she needed to keep her journal showing she was spending 35 hours per week searching for work, despite her GP and Consultant stating she was not fit for work, and the consultant stating she could not sit that long at a computer without causing her great pain. I will read up on it through the links you have provided. UC is a cruel benefit administered by a cruel bureaucracy the DWP, it does not surprise me that things will be done backside foremost to ensure the weak suffer even further by assessing them for whatever they receive after the date of entitlement to UC ends. Only the Tories could devise such as this. Thank you again for your help, it is greatly appreciated.

Unless your friend went to Roedean, the Tories won't be bothered about her problems. She can always make a meal for "about 30p" and wear a couple of jumpers to keep warm, not that she needs jumpers this week. These folk are completely out of touch.

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Replying to Bryan T:
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By Truthsayer
23rd May 2022 09:12

'Only the Tories could devise such as this'

What a stupid comment. Detail such as the monthly assessment system is devised by civil servants, not by MP's. All systems create winners and losers, and your friend's loss is trivial in the context of her overall claims.

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Replying to Truthsayer:
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By gillybean04
23rd May 2022 11:22

But the tories did devise it?

Universal credit was the lightbulb of Iain Duncan Smith, who first proposed it at his party's (aka Conservatives) annual conference before later submitting the white paper and the first draft bill (which included assessment periods and was supported by several of his party) to parliament, where it was debated on and passed.

Even if civil servants had a hand in it, presumably it would be the DWP which is a ministerial/executive department (and which was under the control of IDS at the time).

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Replying to gillybean04:
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By meadowsaw227
23rd May 2022 12:04

So IDS sat down and wrote out all the minutiae for UC - I don't think so

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Replying to meadowsaw227:
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By lionofludesch
23rd May 2022 12:32

meadowsaw227 wrote:

So IDS sat down and wrote out all the minutiae for UC - I don't think so

It was the Tories' idea and the rules were written under their instruction. They are accountable if not responsible, as Arlene Foster might have said.

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Replying to Truthsayer:
By Bryan T
23rd May 2022 15:32

You think my comment is stupid, you are entitled to your opinion, as am I of anyone who hides behind a pseudonym. The biggest growth area under the Tories - food banks. On £72 per week my friend used the little bit of savings she had to pay her bills and feed herself. Prior to being made redundant she had worked ever since leaving school. The Tories are patting themselves on the back, and repeating how they are helping those who need help the most (now there is a stupid comment), which includes changing the taper so UC claimants can keep more of what they earn. FOR THOSE UC CLAIMANTS WHO CANNOT WORK, AND THEIR UC IS ALL THEY HAVE, THERE IS NOTHING .

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Replying to Bryan T:
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By meadowsaw227
23rd May 2022 12:03

Much easier and more efficient for you to just give her her one weeks UC

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Replying to meadowsaw227:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd May 2022 13:28

See the above replies ... there is NO such thing as "one weeks UC".

And why do you think that it's within the remit of OP to "give her" anything ... isn't that decision upto DWP?

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Tax Dragon
23rd May 2022 14:24

DWP decides what OP can do with his cash?

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd May 2022 14:49

I'm obviously on a different planet today?

DWP decides what (how much & when) if any UC is to be paid to claimant .... who, as I understand it, is friend of OP (not the OP) ... which has nothing to do with "deciding what OP can do with his cash".

OP was complaining (I paraphrase) that it wasn't fair for said friend not to receive a week's worth of UC in an Assessment Period of 1 month during which other earnings (State Pension) are received by claimant.
I pointed out that's how the UC rules operate (i.e. fairness doesn't come into it).
@meadowsaw227 suggested it would be "Much easier and more efficient for (OP) to just give her her one weeks UC".
And I questioned why it would be within the remit of OP to "give her" anything.

What have I misunderstood?

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Tax is always taxing
23rd May 2022 15:01

I think the suggestion is for the OP to just give his friend one weeks UC payment out of his own pocket and then forget about trying to help get the money out of the DWP.

Cost vs Benefit? Suppose it depends what his time is worth.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Tax Dragon
23rd May 2022 15:12

meadowsaw227 can speak for meadowsaw227, but if someone suggested that OP would be better advised to part with cash* to the value of what the OP and his friend see as the un(der)paid UC, rather than spending hours lobbying DWP, MPs and anyone else they could find who might be interested for money that isn't due (and to ask Parliament to tinker with the system at the edges), I might be disinclined to argue with such a someone.

*By way of gift to his friend, I mean - he could "give" the money to "her".

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Tax Dragon
23rd May 2022 15:16

Seems Tax is always taxing may be just such a someone. So I can test my theory... and confirm my disinclination to dispute the suggestion.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd May 2022 15:21

Aah, thanks for that (and to @Tax is always taxing).
I was obviously in an overly literal frame-of-mind when I read @meadowsaw227's suggestion.
But totally concur that almost any cost (including such a 'gift') would be preferable to starting down the road of a joyless search for an equitable resolution.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By lionofludesch
24th May 2022 00:11

Tax Dragon wrote:

meadowsaw227 can speak for meadowsaw227, but if someone suggested that OP would be better advised to part with cash* to the value of what the OP and his friend see as the un(der)paid UC, rather than spending hours lobbying DWP, MPs and anyone else they could find who might be interested for money that isn't due (and to ask Parliament to tinker with the system at the edges), I might be disinclined to argue with such a someone.

*By way of gift to his friend, I mean - he could "give" the money to "her".

A fair point, given that rates of UC are so embarrassingly small.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Tax Dragon
24th May 2022 06:13

To be even more fair, if I was in the dear friend's situation I might not accept such a gift.

Sometimes it's easy to take cheap shots/snipe from the sidelines at other people's issues. Especially if those issues are ones you don't share.

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By lionofludesch
24th May 2022 09:34

Mhairi Black pointing out what ought to be obvious flaws in financial policy.

https://twitter.com/MhairiBlack/status/1526999103615401984?ref_src=twsrc...

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Teesside
By Teesside
24th May 2022 10:25

I think generally once you reach pensionable age within any assessment period for UC this no longer entitles you to UC and unfortunately it doesn't matter at what point in the assessment period you reached pensionable age it could right at the beginning or right at the end the result is the same.
This works for all changes of circumstances for UC for example if your monthly rent went up on the very last day of your assessment period your entitlement to rent would go up for the whole month and not just pro rata for the last day. I'm not saying it's fair but you can't legislate for every possible scenario and unfortunately
some will win and lose.

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Replying to Teesside:
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By Hugo Fair
24th May 2022 10:46

"some will win and some will lose, and some will win and lose"
Is the winning entry for the competition to create a new DWP strapline?

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