The Department for Work and Pensions announced that it will bring changes to Universal Credit in November including a fix to the double payments issue. This affects more than 85,000 claimants. It involves payment dates for their employment changing due to weekends or bank holidays, which pushes two sets of monthly wages into the same assessment period.
Due to the taper in this month, claimants receive nothing and the full entitlement the next, this could result in claimants missing out on hundreds of pounds throughout a year. I have been contacted by several constituents who have been losing their entitlement due to this. I have raised it directly with three consecutive Secretaries of State. Each time I received a dismissive response advising constituents should simply budget around the issue. This was investigated by the Work and Pensions Committee in Parliament and a judicial review brought by four single mothers found in their favour.
While I am glad those affected will have a working solution, the Tories have allowed this to persist for years despite being obviously unfair. It should not have taken this much effort to fix the problem. The Government claim Universal Credit is meant to ‘reflect the world of work’, however it did not even account for common payment practices.