09 Mar 2015

A question about : UC Rules?

Am I right to assume that the Decision Makers' Guide applies to UC claimants?

I'm assisting a claimant with a potential appeal and/or complaint re UC/the DWP.

The claimant claimed UC online last month and whilst he was made aware that payment will take 5 weeks, he was concerned that the JCP staff appeared unable to answer most of his queries re his claim or the Claimant Commitment.

[although to be fair to the JCP staff: they didn't seem too sure of how any of this UC worked. ]

For example, does the permitted period still apply to all new JSA claimants at JCPs, whether they receive JSA(CB), JSA(IB) or UC?

He was also provided with false information by the local authority re LHA under UC (although as others have mentioned, Liverpool City Council/Lpool Direct is well known for this and indeed this local authority has still not updated its old HB/CTB claim forms to even include Universal Credit as the benefit claimed!)

Best answers:

  • There is no entitlement to HB if in receipt of UC unless it is a hostel or alike so why would a LA change their application process so quickly to accomodate less than 1% of claimants.
    LIverpool has set up a dedicated team to deal with UC claims and it seems to be working successfully.
    I take it DWP/JCP couldn't give you the answers to the LHA under UC rules so you went to the LA who don't administer payments.
    [although to be fair to the JCP staff: "they didn't seem too sure of how any of this UC worked." ]
    Berate your Local Council for a benefit being administered by someone else is like going to the Butcher asking him how much are the apples going to be in March in the fruit market, tut tut tut.
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ng-staff-guide is for UC.
  • NYM - that's what the Claimant said; but Lpool CC told him "we are not part of the DWP; we're separate and so he needs to complete our HB/CTB application form we sent him in the post."
    allen35 - there is as the claimant is still claiming. The only difference being that the JCP closed his JSA(IB) claim in error in December 2014 and then he had to claim UC online in January 2015 as he lives in the North West. JCP copied all of his docs including tenancy agreement; but then the LA asked for all of these again.
    LCC have now admitted maladministration re the misinformation and also said that they haven't printed their new HB/CTB appn forms yet!
    It's precisely because UC is meant to mean that the DWP deals with HB(LHA), that the claimant was annoyed with his LA.
    Rogerblack - thanks. Accurate as always!
  • As for his Claimant Commitment, it contained some laughable wording stating that he agrees to abide by their rules re sanctions and so on, including whatever changes they make to the regime. That's open to challenge and I'm sure the Upper Tribunal will deal with such a case this year. I realise the DWP has a penchant for retrospective legislation when they get the legislation wrong, but they can't seriously expect such wording to stand the test of time.