Universal Credit payments can vary from month to month because of changes to income and savings levels. On top of this, there is a limit in place which if crossed, could disqualify a claimant entirely.
- Sadiq Khan calls for triple lock rules for renters
If a person or their partner has more than £6,000 in savings or capital, the amount of Universal Credit they receive will be reduced.
If they have more than £16,000 they will not qualify at all.
These savings pots can come from many obvious places such as wages or property income but they may also come from the government.
This could catch some people off guard as they may assume any money from the government wouldn’t be counted.
Benefits payments themselves could be included in the savings limit calculation.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may pay some people back if they have been underpaid and this could come through as a lump sum.
If the amount from this reimbursement pushes the claimant over the savings limit, their future payments could be affected.
Universal Credit is not the only form of state benefit that could be affected by this.
Universal Credit: Budgeting Advances are available [ANALYSIS]
Universal Credit: Citizens Advice warns that payments may fluctuate [WARNING]
Universal Credit: Martin Lewis shares 3 options for those struggling [EXPERT]
There are various “means tested” benefits that could be altered by the claimant’s savings and income levels.
These benefits include:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
Some of those benefits are what is known as “legacy benefits”. These are eventually being replaced entirely by Universal Credit but it’s still possible for some to receive them.
Receipients of legacy payments do not need to take action to move to Universal Credit if they do not want to.
They will be moved to Universal Credit only If the DWP contacts them to organise it or they have a change in circumstances that needs to be reported.
- Universal Credit warning: Scam targeting advance payments
The government requires claimants to report changes in circumstance to ensure they’re receiving the correct amount each month.
Claims could be reduced or stopped entirely if the claimant doesn’t report these changes as soon as possible.
The government points out that these changes include the following:
- finding or finishing a job
- having a child
- moving in with a partner
- starting to care for a child or disabled person
- moving to a new address
- changing bank details
- rent going up or down
- changes to health conditions
- becoming too ill to work or meet a work coach
- changes to earnings if self-employed
There are a number of ways for claimants to report a change in circumstance.
They can go online and sign into their Universal Credit account and report it there, which is likely the quickest method available.
It will also be possible to contact an assigned work coach to inform them but this may be more difficult at the moment.
Because of coronavirus, the government has been forced to reduce the need for physical meetings for Universal Credit concerns.
All Universal Credit matters can now be handled over the phone but there have been reports of phone lines being jammed at the moment due to unprecedented demand .
Source: Read Full Article