Backdating pension credit

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.

The full amount of UC will be protected if a member of the household can be absent for: 15.

Will conditionality and sanctions change when Universal Credit is introduced? There will be more conditionality and much tougher sanctions under UC.

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.

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.

To make a claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support you should use the online application form.

This will include work-focused requirements where appropriate.

Failure to comply with a ‘Claimant Commitment’ could result in a reduction in the amount of UC the claimant receives.

The sanction amount will be up to 100 per cent of the ‘standard allowance’.

Claimants will not be able to receive more than one sanction within a two week period.

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.

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