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Universal Credit: Maladministration

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 15239, tabled on 14 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have had their claim undercalculated in error after receiving two wage payments within one assessment period, since the secondary legislation laid by her Department intended to prevent those errors.

Answered on

17 June 2021

This data is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate costs.

We recognise the impact that having double earnings in an assessment period can have on individual households and their ability to manage their finances. The legislation we introduced on 16th November 2020 provides a remedy to the Court of Appeal Judgment in the case of Johnson and others and allows us to reallocate monthly earnings to another assessment period. This means that claimants affected by this issue will have one salary payment taken into account in each assessment period rather than two.

To meet the Court of Appeal Judgment as soon as was practicable, we introduced a solution based on a streamlined dispute process currently in place. This has enabled those who are affected to benefit under this regulation. Claimants simply need to tell their work coach, either in one of their regular discussions or via their journal, if they think they are affected.

We expect to automate identification of affected claimants in mid-summer 2021. This will allow us to proactively correct awards before they are paid, without the need for the claimant to raise the issue.

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