In September, my son fell ill and was put into an induced coma. He was hospitalized for two weeks and he applied for Universal Credit, unable to function or begin his expected master’s degree.
Fourteen days later, when he first became eligible, he asked if the payout could be retroactive to the day he was hospitalized (September 7). His admission was exactly one month before his original argument, so on October 8, the profit could begin. Under some circumstances, including sickness, the law requires backdating by one month. This was agreed to initially. It was then informed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that the backdating could only be for one month from when the backdating request was submitted, not from when the initial request was made. This means he was short of credit for 12 days, which equates to £ 142. We asked for a mandatory review and were told within 10 days to expect a response; it’s been a month now and we haven’t heard anything yet.
I worry that the DWP misinterprets the legislation and, when they need it most, may refuse money to the poorest claimants.
I asked the DWP about a Freedom of Information request to see how many individuals could be impacted, but was told that it would cost more than the £ 600 the DWP has to investigate and deal with a single request to get the information. It appears from your son’s records that a DWP worker promised that the claim would be backdated to September 7, a month before he formally filed a claim, and then apologised for providing the wrong advice the next day and updated the date to September 20. The rules are simple.
Claimants must apply as soon as they become eligible on the first day of the term for which they are eligible.
If extraordinary circumstances prolong the filing, the claim could be backdated by a period of one month. The DWP accepted this and paid the 12 days owed.
Strangely, the letter informing you of this only acknowledged that your appeal was “partially upheld” The department declined to address how many others could have been impacted. When I asked if it had been checked that other workers had made the same misrepresentations and how many applications were affected, she declined to comment. She would also not clarify whether the case load of the counselor in question had been investigated to ensure that no other claimant had been shortchanged, noting that the output of individuals was not my position to question. According to government figures, 1.1 per cent of statements was overestimated and 0.7 per cent underestimated by the DWP. The case of your son, however, was a misunderstanding of the rules rather than a typo, and I would like to hear from someone who is part of the 0.7% and was penalized for the same cause. The gift cards that do not continue to give If you need assistance, contact [email protected]
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