Backdating pension credit

The amount of Council tax support/housing benefit you may receive depends on who lives with you, the amount of money you have coming in, other benefits you receive and any savings you have.

There are going to be some exemptions, including households where someone is in work, with monthly earnings equivalent to 16 hours a week at the National Minimum Wage and those claiming either: Where a person is not receiving Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or a War Disablement Pension because they are in hospital or a care home, the exceptions will continue to apply. Claimants who have been in work for 12 months or more when they claim UC will not be subject to the cap for a period of nine months. They should not lose out at the point at which they switch over to UC as there will be ‘transitional protections’ in the form of extra payments to ensure the UC award is not less than a claimant would otherwise have received. Claims will have to be made on the internet, with claimants each having their own online account where they can report changes in circumstances.Claimants that don’t have access to the internet could be helped over the phone or, in some cases, face-to-face. In general, UC will be paid in one monthly instalment, in arrears and into a bank account.So the same reduction in your UC payment has taken place as though you had been working from 1 August, not just from 18 August. Will you be able to receive Universal Credit if you, or a member of your household, is temporarily absent from your home?Yes, though not for as long as under the old system.DWP is currently running pilot projects to identify which groups might need face-to-face support. Where a household is making a claim, one member of the household will usually receive the whole UC payment, though there are likely to be exceptions.

As people transfer onto UC, there will be the facility for advance payments so that claimants don’t see any gap in their payments.

There will also be some provision for more frequent payments for those who might struggle to manage their finances on a monthly basis. Those claimants without a mainstream bank account or Post Office card account will be able to use the new ‘Simple Payment’ system which is already in use for pensioners. Advance claims will no longer be possible under UC, with the exception of those who are leaving prison. Backdating of UC payments will only be allowed up to a maximum of a month and only in limited circumstances such as ill health, disability or if the system has failed meaning the claimant is out of pocket. How long will claimants have to wait between making a claim and receiving Universal Credit?

DWP is currently exploring access to financial products for those on low incomes and is working with providers of financial services to help people budget effectively. This involves taking a plastic card to a local Pay Point – typically found in local convenience shops and garages – where claimants will be able to access their money. The current provision for hostel residents moving on into new accommodation will not continue. New claimants should receive their first payment around five weeks after the date on which they make a claim.

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Universal Credit (UC) is the Government’s new, simplified working age welfare system, rolling several benefits and tax credits into one single household payment. This is likely to only be in some areas and with the most straightforward claims such as JSA claimants who are single and do not require assistance with their housing costs. UC will run alongside the current benefit system up until October 2017. UC will be made up of a basic amount called the standard allowance, along with additional elements for housing, disability, caring and children.