An important Universal Credit update


If you work but have been paid twice in one Universal Credit assessment period and end up with no Universal Credit award for the month, there is an important update which you should be aware of.

Sometimes, your Universal Credit award is based on two month’s wages, with the next month being based on no wages at all. This happens when, for example, you get paid early because your normal pay day falls at the weekend.

A recent court case ruled that Universal Credit is expected to recognise when you have been paid twice in one assessment period and adjust their calculations to award you the Universal Credit amount that you are entitled to. This new ruling means that hopefully wages will not be lumped together and instead Universal Credit will be based on the monthly assessment period which wages would normally be paid, not when they were received.

This verdict is being appealed by Universal Credit but in the meantime, we advise you to appeal your Universal Credit award by writing in your Universal Credit online journal that you request a Mandatory Reconsideration (MT). You will not automatically get your Universal Credit payment for the month when you request an MT, BUT your appeal will be ‘held’ in a queue. We advise you to request an MT because if Universal Credit fail their court appeal, it is expected that they will have to pay this to anyone who has requested one.

For those of you with school age children, if your earnings in a monthly Universal Credit assessment period have dropped below £610, we advise you to apply for Free School Meals for your children. Once your children receive Free School Meals, they will remain entitled to them up until the end of their current level of education, even if your income increases or if you come off UC altogether in the future.

The two key takeaways from these recent developments are that when you are paid twice in one assessment period you should request a Mandatory Reconsideration and also claim Free School Meals for your children.

For more information and support, please contact our financial support team.