Tens of thousands of Universal Credit applicants are expected to start receiving more money starting next week.
A rule change will go into effect on Monday November 16, filling a loophole that has wrongly cost many people money.
According to the old rules, people who were paid by their employer twice a month for various reasons were punished in the system of the Ministry of Labor and Pensions. the mirror online reports.
For example, this applied to people who received late or early payment due to a public holiday, or to people who were paid on the first or last working day of the month.
Such payments are currently marked as “over-earning” in the official system.
The salaries of more than 85,000 applicants have been reduced – sometimes to nothing – to reflect the higher income deposited into their account that month.
This mistake often left vulnerable families without benefits for an entire month.
In most cases, part of the so-called “double payment” was docked from the next payment.
From Monday the loophole will be closed and those who are paid twice within a month will no longer be penalized for their subsequent payment.
The changes will benefit workers during the Christmas season who are paid early due to the Christmas holidays.
Be warned though – they only apply to employees who are paid monthly, so the reform won’t help those who are paid weekly or fortnightly.
The trend reversal follows a legal decision at the beginning of the year.
In June, four single mothers took a case to the appeals court and won.
The four mothers ran into rent arrears, defaulted on council taxes, received overdrafts, borrowed money, and even had to rely on food banks to make ends meet for wrongly punished.
One mother, Danielle, said she had experienced serious fluctuations in her benefit income due to a “conflict” between her monthly pay days and the DWP’s set monthly Universal Credit Assessment periods.
The judge concluded that the system was “irrational and unfair”, driving them into poverty and forcing them to rely on food banks.
The DWP was asked to fix the bug – hence the change from Monday.
Officials say that starting November 16, the benefit system will only register one payment for each assessment period to prevent anyone from losing.
The responsibility for manually postponing the payment day remains with Universal Credit.
However, it is recommended that the applicant inform their working coach in advance, if possible, via their online journal.
As usual, it is based on real-time information (RTI) from the employer, which means that the employee does not have to do anything extra.
Peter Tutton, Head of Policy at StepChange, welcomed the change but added: “It is also important that DWP continue to look for ways to stabilize payments for those facing similar problems, such as those who are paid weekly or bi-weekly or have an irregular income. “
Will Quince, Minister for Social Assistance, said, “Universal credit is a flexible asset and we continue to make changes and improvements to ensure people have the best experience possible.
“This change will give stability to people receiving two paychecks in a single evaluation period by ensuring that their universal loan payments stay consistent.”