Universal Credit
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UNBELIEVABLE! OVERPAID MONEY I NEVER RECEIVED!

JazzieJoJazzieJo Member Posts: 14 Listener
Yes! You read that right! 
I receive ONE payment from Universal Credit of £694 which was standard living allowance and rent only. It was my FIRST payment after the mandatory 5 week wait. And apparently i was OVERPAID £601.33!!

A little context here is that I moved from Supported Living from where I was receiving Housing Benefit. My support worker made sure that the housing benefit would follow me over and the council confirmed it was set up and ready to go, but sure enough I was transferred to Universal Credit as soon as my tenancy started on the 23/7/18!

So I applied for Universal Credit and my assessment period was from 1/8/18 to 30/8/18 then payment on 7/9/18.

Anyway fastfoward to 11/9/18 after my first payment, I asked to get my claim backdated from 23/7/18 previously which was awarded and the next day I get the overpayment letter where apparently I received a 'late payment' from 01/08/18 to 30/08/18 WHICH WAS DURING THE ASSESSMENT PERIOD OF £820 and I was overpaid £601.33???

HUH??? Can't believe this! Has this happened to anyone else?? How is this mess sorted??!! 

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,683 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,
    Unfortunately if another benefit like ESA and housing benefit is received within that assessment period then yes you will have an overpayment. This is because you can't receive the benefit twice.
    It's the same as when a person is working, if they are paid twice within an assessment period (and sometimes throughout the year this does happen to most people claim UC) then there UC payment will most likely be reduced to zero for that month. The following month their UC will be more because during this assessment period they would have received zero pay.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • JazzieJoJazzieJo Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Hi,
    Unfortunately if another benefit like ESA and housing benefit is received within that assessment period then yes you will have an overpayment. This is because you can't receive the benefit twice.
    It's the same as when a person is working, if they are paid twice within an assessment period (and sometimes throughout the year this does happen to most people claim UC) then there UC payment will most likely be reduced to zero for that month. The following month their UC will be more because during this assessment period they would have received zero pay.
    The problem with this is, I called ESA after attending the UC interview who couldn't supply me with any information on when my ESA will stop. ESA said I will continue to receive my ESA up until UC will take over which was by 30/8/18 at the end of my assessment period after that my claim with ESA would close. My UC payment Showed this as my disability element of UC wasn't appearing on my first statement. I called up and they said it was because of my last payments of ESA and ESA moving over. 

    I wasn't receiving any other benefits that UC affects during the 5 weeks. 
    The overpayment they are claiming I was paid is from 23/7/18 to 22/8/18. 
    My UC claim started on the 1/8/18!!! So where is this late payment coming from??? 

    The dates don't add up. 
    The money supposedly paid doesn't even make sense because it isn't even close to my money I received from ESA!! 

    Believe me I made sure that I kept track of what these people were doing, about how my ESA was transferring. I called up probably 20 times the week i got my statement, neither ESA or UC mentioned anything about overpayment due to ESA. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,683 Disability Gamechanger
    Which disability element of UC are you talking about? If you were receiving any disability premiums on ESA they aren't paid on UC.

    When was your last ESA payment and which group were in you for ESA? Did you claim Housing benefit before moving to across to UC?
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • JazzieJoJazzieJo Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Hi, 
    My last ESA payment was 30/8/18 and I was in a support group. I was receiving housing benefit before i moved address that triggered the transfer to UC. 

    But get this-I was looking at my journal, I made a request to get my UC backdated to 23/7/18 when my new tenancy started because I was constantly told my housing benefit has transferred over which delayed my UC claim. I made this backdating request at my UC interview early August. 

    They awarded it on 11/9/18 and backdated it when? 
    From 23/7/18 to 22/8/18. The award letter says I'm entitled to UC from those dates. 

    Guess when they are saying they overpaid me from? 
    23/7/18 to 22/8/18

    I can't believe this! They backdate me and then they immediately take it away!!! 
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    It seems to me that with any new or change of benefits there is always a complete mess because the people sorting it out never seem to have any real understanding of what they are dealing with or how to work it out.

    Personally I have no experience of UC and all my benefits were stopped when I received the money from mum's estate. At some point that money will drop below the upper limit and I will have to get things restarted as I do get some payment from ESA for all the years I was working which isn't affected by savings in any way. However, I dread to do this as I am certain it will turn into a complete mess, especially as I am housebound and they always want people to take proofs into their offices.

    Hope things work out and doesn't take too long.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,683 Disability Gamechanger
    JazzieJo said:

    So I applied for Universal Credit and my assessment period was from 1/8/18 to 30/8/18 then payment on 7/9/18.

    JazzieJo said:
    Hi, 
    My last ESA payment was 30/8/18 and I was in a support group.

    Your last ESA payment was 30/8/18 and your assessment period for UC was 1/8/18 to 30/8/18. This means that part of your UC payment was for the ESA you had already received and you can't be paid twice. I see it as at least some of the overpayment is because you were paid twice. Any payments received from ESA will be deducted from your UC. I don't know exactly what the figures should be because ESA is paid fortnightly while UC is paid monthly. 
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
    JazzieJo

    I hope that it's not unhelpful to say this: UC has an assessment period during which no money is paid but the person's income is assessed. UC is paid monthly in arrears.  This  means that anyone starting a  UC  claim has to serve the assessment period. I think you can't get away from either having 5 weeks with no money or having a recoverable overpayment because of that final payment of ESA.

    Perhaps you can negotiate a low rate of repayment for  the overpayment?

    UC is new and certainly I am learning as I go. Does anyone disagree with the first paragraph above?

    Sorry.

    Gill_Scope


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,683 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Gill,

    I totally agree with you here. It took me a while to work it out but the ESA payment will definitely cause an overpayment for the UC.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
    Hi Poppy

    Thanks for your post. This is a horrible benefit. So many pitfalls. 

    Gill
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,683 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Gill,

    Yes, i again i agree. However it does make sense that you can't receive a similar benefit payment twice.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • JazzieJoJazzieJo Member Posts: 14 Listener
    So update, I called up Universal credit because for some reason it takes days for them to reply on my Journal. 

    Sorry that it's so long. 

    So here's what was said. Before I applied for Universal Credit, I was receiving ESA in a support group and Housing Benefit. 

    I applied for Universal Credit on the 1/8/18 and because there was a mix up that caused my delay I asked for it to be backdated to the 23/7/18. Now this is important so remember this. 

    Anyway, apparently ESA is meant to stop immediately when you claim UC and it didn't and despite my numerous calls to both ESA and UC who both meant to be in contact with each other this wasn't done in the time it needed to be done. But instead the 6/09/15 is when my ESA claim closed. One day before I get paid my first Universal payment. 

    So because ESA was still going, they took that as earnings and deducted. So out of the £694.72 I received they over paid by £601.33. Now remember UC pays both ESA and Housing Benefit TOGETHER so they also deducted from the Housing element living £93 left for the month of August and to survive for the next assessment period till the end of September. £93. 

    Now I will be totally honest with you, here's the maths that they calculated:
    ESA for the Assessment period:
    £762.90) (2, 16, 30 of August) 
    UC Award: £93
    Total: £855.90

    Costs for August:
    Rent Arrears for Assessment Period: £817.77
    Total Remaining: £38.13
    For rent, food, electricity and everything else until the next payment at end of September. 

    Now here's the best bit! Remember the backdate request? I made that request beginning of August. It was awarded 11th September. 
    My Universal Credit payment was backdated from the 23/7/18.

    Meaning my new assessment period is now from 23/7/18 to 22/8/18. But remember UC never requested any information from ESA so I was still receiving ESA up until 30/8/18. And my next assessment period is from 23/8/18 to 22/9/18.

    So now they are reducing me TWICE! So I have to pay back £601.33 and the next payment I will receive on the 29/9/18 with have a reduction because my ESA payments. 

    So the next payment I will have a repayment and a reduction to survive on. That reduction will effect everything essential such as Rent. And I called the repayment line and they can't help until after I get my payment from Universal credit then they will help to get the repayments reduced NEXT payment. So whatever they chose to take away for the overpayment and how they calculate my payment after ESA,this month, I have to somehow survive with whatever is left. 

    My Universal Credit backdate request was accepted on the 11th of September despite being requested on 10th August. ESA closed my claim with them 6th September. My conspiracy of why they backdated my claim. I called up about it on Monday 3rd of September because my statement wasn't showing up on my account. The man said it was because I was still waiting for the decision on the backdated claim. He said I should cancel it because honestly it would be rejected anyway because it doesn't fit the criteria of backdating. Which they would only do if you were in hospital etc something that rendered you incapable to make a claim that day. So my account shouldn't of been backdated. They backdated me to take more money back after seeing the information from ESA my theory is. 

    Also my disability element should have been transferred along immediately with my first payment but some idiot put it to start after 3 months so now that is also a mess.

    I haven't received my back payment and I don't expect to- they will probably take it. This whole system is a joke, nothing gets done when it's supposed to and this has a massive impact on everything else. 

    Sorry about this rant/ramble I would love to know if anyone else has had any issues with Universal credit.
    And I hope I lowered your expectations a bit if you are new to claiming it. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,683 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2018
    Your ESA payments suggest you were also claiming the SDP because you live alone, or classed as living alone and you have either a PIP daily living award or DLA mid/high rate care, yes?

    The premiums aren't paid on UC, so you will be that much short per month also. SDP is £64.30 per week. However, DWP did announce back in June, i think that those who had to move across to UC because of a change of circumstances and lost their SDP payment in the process will eventually be paid back everything they're owed. No further announcements have been made since June and it could be sometime in Autumn that they make a further announcement. As there's many people affected by this loss then once the announcement is made then it could take a considerable amount of time before claims are looked at and backdated money paid.

    Yes, UC is terrible, especially for those transferring from ESA.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • JazzieJoJazzieJo Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Thanks for the advice about the DWP announcements. That helped me feel better. 

    It's just so frustrating and scary when every issue with UC has a direct impact on your life. That UC can screw up and you pay for it later on or they will keep it and get you later. The anxiety I get from this alone regardless of any other health problems I swear will be enough to put me back in the pysch unit. Nothing is certain now only my debt keeps chasing me. First Rent arrears,  now this. 

    Worst part is that I truly tried to make sure everything went OK. I called up so many times. Doesn't matter now. 

    Thanks again for your time. 
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