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Newsletters: August 2018

August 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to this month's newsletter - bringing you right up to date with useful benefit information.

In this issue find out more about:

  • The Problems for ESA claimants moving onto UC if their WCA review is overdue! - as they are wrongly being told their ESA decisions cannot transfer over to their UC claim.....
  • Only getting 50% of rent covered by UC? - then the claimant may have an 'untidy tenancy', and can get 100% of their rent covered......
  • Headline News! - Supported Housing, Challenge to UC assessment periods, Advance Payments can now be claimed online, Many missing out on 2week HB run-on...…
  • Refused Universal Credit because no bank account? - Let us know and take a look at this HB judgement which could be useful.....
  • Need UC training that will make a difference? - We're now taking bookings for 2019.
  • New video - Have you seen our new video about the Housing Systems website?
  • Success stories - helping you to help your tenants.
  • As well as:
  • Your chance to WIN £50 for your local FOOD BANK and chocolates for you!
  • This month's really useful standard letter.
  • This month's really useful tool!
Problems for
ESA claimants moving onto UC if their medical review is overdue......

We have become aware of a problem affecting some Universal Credit claimants who:

  • Have moved from Income Related ESA onto Universal Credit, due to a change in their circumstances other than being found fit for work; or
  • Are receiving Contributory ESA and have needed to claim a top up of Universal Credit.

The issue is that some claimants have found that the UC department are refusing to transfer their 'unfit for work' status to their UC claim -leaving many disabled claimants facing hardship and/or having to look for work- the reason being given by the UC Dept is that the claimant's Work Capability Assessment (ie medical) review is overdue.

We believe that this is wrong!

Click here - it's our latest Hot Topic

Claimants only getting 50% of their rent covered by UC?

If a claimant is only getting 50% of their rent covered by UC then this is likely to be because the claimant has what the DWP call an 'untidy tenancy'.

The DWP view it as 'untidy' because the names on the tenancy agreement don't match the name/s of the UC claimant/s.

The most common situation is where the tenancy was set up for a couple in joint names, but one member of the couple has since left the property -leaving the remaining tenant to make a claim for UC as a single person (or perhaps as a couple with a new partner).

We think the problem arises because the DWP computer will pick up on the fact that the claimant has a joint tenancy with a non-partner and will therefore automatically split the rent in half - assuming the other joint tenant is liable for (and paying!) the other half of the rent.

Click here for more info and letter
Have you seen our UC Booklet?

It's packed full of useful hints and tips for claimants.

We've distributed 100,000 already!

Find out how to order yours -
click here

Headline News....

HB to be kept in place for Supported Housing rents …..
The government has announced that Housing Benefit will be kept in place for those living in supported housing - they appear to have ditched their idea of creating a whole new pot of money/system.
(Although we do expect there to be limits on what help can be given.)
More on the announcement here.

Challenge to UC Monthly Assessment Periods
CPAG have been granted permission to apply for Judicial Review on a case where - due to the way UC assessment periods work - a claimant has lost out when two monthly wages were paid in one Monthly Assessment Period.

Click here for more information on the case.
Here for CPAG's recent report of how Monthly Assessment Periods are failing many claimants.
And here for more information on how wages affect a claimant's UC entitlement.

UC Advance Payments
Claimants making a new claim for UC can now apply for an Advance Payment online.

Click here for more information on UC Advance Payments.

Many tenants are missing out on HB two week run-on
Some tenants miss out on the Transition to UC two week HB run-on payment due to errors in the information held on IT systems.
Click here for HB Bulletin G7/2018

Others are missing out because awarding the run-on is not yet automated - although the DWP have announced it will be automated by March 2019.
Click here for HB Direct: July 2018

And where a claimant moves to a new LA area - the HB Office need to pay the payment directly to the tenant but may not have the tenant's bank account details to do so.

Click here for more on the Transition to UC 2 week HB run-on payment including a flow chart to work out who is entitled.

Refused UC because no bank account?
Could HB case law help?
You'll often hear people say that to get Universal Credit the claimant has to have a bank account.

But there is nothing in the Universal Credit Regulations that requires this.


If you ever come across a claimant who has been refused UC because they don't have a bank account / refuse to open a bank account - then a recent Housing Benefit case could be useful...…...

The Upper Tribunal decision was that a Local Authority has no power to terminate a HB award on the grounds that the claimant refused to provide bank account details.

They decided that matters of entitlement and method of payment are separate issues.

Could the same principles apply to other benefits? We think so!

If you know of a claimant whose UC claim was withdrawn because they refused to provide details of a bank account please get in touch: info@housingsystems.co.uk

Details of the case:

The claimant had been receiving HB by cheque, but the Local Authority made a policy decision to revert to BACS as the method for payment. The claimant failed to provide bank account details and his HB award was terminated, on the grounds that he had failed to provide the information requested.

A First Tier Tribunal (FTT) had upheld the local authority’s decision. However, the Upper Tribunal Judge decided that the FTT had mis-interpreted the regulations and its decision was wrong.

The FTT relied on the following Regulations:

Regulation 86 of the HB Regulations 2006, in Part 10 of the Regulations which deals with claims, states that a claimant must provide evidence in order that their entitlement can be determined.

The Housing Benefit (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2001: – Regulation 11(1) (power to suspend payments where an issue arises about whether the conditions of entitlement are fulfilled); Reg 13(1) (power to suspend for failure to provide information or evidence needed to determine entitlement) and Regulation 14 (termination of an award for failure to provide information / evidence).

Regulation 91 of the HB Regulations 2006 (in Part 12 of the Regulations about payments) deals with the time and manner in which the HB Office should pay HB ‘to which a person is entitled’. The Judge noted that the wording of Reg 91 indicates that ‘entitlement precedes and is separate from payment’.

The local authority and the FTT had failed to distinguish between matters relevant to entitlement and matters relating to payment – ie the bank account details were necessary to arrange payment but were not relevant to whether the claimant was entitled to an award of HB. The Judge commented,
‘The local authority was wrong to rely on provisions relating to entitlement in order to terminate the claimant’s award when what was in dispute was the method of payment’.

The award could not be terminated under Regulation 86 of the 2006 Regulations. And as Regulation 86 did not apply (ie this was an issue of payment not entitlement) then neither did Reg 11, 13 or 14 of the Decisions and Appeals Regulations.

The Judge re-made the decision – that the claimant remained entitled to HB, although the issue regarding method of payment was not within the jurisdiction of the Upper Tribunal.

NeedTraining in 2019?

When you understand Universal Credit, you can make smart decisions about what to do next!

We are now taking bookings for 2019
Please contact us asap - dates are disappearing fast!!


Pleasesee our training brochure for more details of the training we offer - we've already delivered over 200 UC courses to housing providers this year.
Our popular in-house courses cost just £895+vat for up to 16 delegates - that can work out at less than £60+vat per delegate! .

Click here for our training brochure
Have you seen our new video?

Guide to the website.

The video is a quick tour of the Housing Systems website.
Even if you are a frequent user, there may be tools or features you are not aware of....watch this new video to make sure you are not missing anything!

Click here


This month's useful
standard letter



Ever come across a UC claim that has been closed because the claimant didn't attend their ID interview?

They should be given one month from their date of claim to verify their ID.

If the claimant's UC claim is closed before the month has been given then that is wrong and can be challenged.

And they have 13 months from the date of the decision to challenge this!


UC CP8: - UC claim closed too early - not given a calendar month to verify ID.

You can find more information here and a link to theletter.



This month's

useful 'tool'




In addition to highlighting one of our standard letters in each newsletter, we thought you may find it helpful if we also remind you each month about the many tools which are at your fingertips too!

Many EEA Nationals are being refused UC when they are in fact entitled.....

Have you seen our....


EEA Nationals and UC flowchart?

Click here

You can find lots of other useful summary sheets here.



Your chance to
win £50 for your local food bank

Every month we give you the chance to win £50for your local food bank.
The winner will be selected at random and can nominate a food bank of their choice to receive a £50 cheque from us, and will receive a box of chocolates for themselves.

Well done to last month's winner - Paul from South Tyneside Homes
- a £50 cheque is making its way to his chosen food bank.

To enter this month's competition, just email the answer to the question below to us by Friday 7th September for your chance to win.

This month's quiz is about how non-dependant deductions work under Universal Credit.
Which one of these statements is false?


A. No non-dependant deduction can be made from a UC claimant's Housing Costs Element if they or their partner are getting daily living PIP or mid or high rate care component of DLA.

B. No non-dependant deduction can be made from a UC claimant's Housing Costs Element if the non-dependant is getting daily living PIP or mid or high rate care component of DLA.

C. No non-dependant deduction can be made from a UC claimant's Housing Costs Element if the non-dependant is a student.
Find your answers here.

email your answers to: info@housingsystems.co.uk

Using the links in the newsletter
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