Universal Credit

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When my sons worked disappeared back in March due to the coronavirus he was owed money for work he had done, but as the companies he worked for were closed and all employees furloughed they are only now able to pay him for that work. Further - One of the companies made him redundant last week and a few days ago said they’d pay him what they owed him for work done before they closed down back in March and will pay him for 22days holiday he had not taken as he had been working flat out for them for a year. He had not taken ANY holiday.

All of this was for employment and work done before lockdown and well before he applied for UC. He is being told that any money he gets for any of that work will count as income NOW so if next month he gets say £500 for work done not paid and holiday pay - then he will lose £500 of next Months UC. This seems so staggering wrong it is unbelievable that the DWP could have set the system up to do that. Well actually it’s not but it seems shocking that this is what looks like will happen.

Does anyone know. This is so unfair it is astonishing. Surely the system should be able to recognise the difference - it’s not as if UC is generous. If he had got paid on time it would not have counted but they couldn’t as the government wouldn’t permit it to happen.

that he was eventually going to get paid for work done in February was great news as he is really struggling - and a few hundred pounds would have really helped - but it’s seems it’s all just going to disappear as if he’d never actually worked.

I’ll add that I understand why in normal circumstances this would be the way it is set up. Government wants to push people into work of UC and so UC payments levels are set to be barely sufficient to scrape through a month on. But the current unemployment circumstances are not normal - and it was government law that stopped the companies paying my son before he was anywhere near claiming UC.
 
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Lord Tyrion

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UC is there to cover you when you have no income or income below a level deemed too little to manage on. When he gets this back dated money it is classed as current income. He therefore does not need the state to support him, he can support himself. Why should the state support him, and others, when for this period he has his own money?

This is a regular complaint for you but I think you really need to take a step back and think about what UC is there to do. You need to understand it's purpose.

Incidentally, there was nothing stopping any company paying its bills during lockdown, other than a total lack of money. Even if everyone was furloughed directors were able to carry out basic functions. An organised company would also have organised payments to happen before furloughing staff. Companies have hidden behind furlough for non payment of bills. Those who have tried that with us are now finding they are having to pay upfront for any orders.
 
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pauljames87

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UC is there to cover you when you have no income or income below a level deemed too little to manage on. When he gets this back dated money it is classed as current income. He therefore does not need the state to support him, he can support himself. Why should the state support him, and others, when for this period he has his own money?

This is a regular complaint for you but I think you really need to take a step back and think about what UC is there to do. You need to understand it's purpose.
The UC system isn't fit for purpose

Constant mistakes and leaves people on the brink..

Someone we know used to work with young people (under 25) who needed help with UC etc in hostels so have heard all the stories of how their left for weeks with zero money to pay for food and the hostel until it's sorted

Friend of mine posted this on FB other day

"I lowered my hours to work around my son so now I only work 22 & half hours a week on a low income, I usually get £26 every Saturday towards housing rent, today I got paid 50 pence! 😂 🤦‍♀️"

The system is broke. The system it replaced cost more ofc but least people didn't actually suffer as bad
 

Lord Tyrion

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The UC system isn't fit for purpose

Constant mistakes and leaves people on the brink..

Someone we know used to work with young people (under 25) who needed help with UC etc in hostels so have heard all the stories of how their left for weeks with zero money to pay for food and the hostel until it's sorted

Friend of mine posted this on FB other day

"I lowered my hours to work around my son so now I only work 22 & half hours a week on a low income, I usually get £26 every Saturday towards housing rent, today I got paid 50 pence! 😂 🤦‍♀️"

The system is broke. The system it replaced cost more ofc but least people didn't actually suffer as bad
I'm not claiming it works as it should, only what the concept is. In the case of the OP it sounds as though it is working as it should, he just doesn't like it.

The delays in receiving initial payments are long established and the fact those problems are still happening is a major scandal. UC was trialled regionally for a period of years and for these issues not to be addressed is mind blowingly incompetent to me.
 

pauljames87

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I'm not claiming it works as it should, only what the concept is. In the case of the OP it sounds as though it is working as it should, he just doesn't like it.

The delays in receiving initial payments are long established and the fact those problems are still happening is a major scandal. UC was trialled regionally for a period of years and for these issues not to be addressed is mind blowingly incompetent to me.
Would be better off deferring the money if he could until off UC so it's an actual use otherwise it's just the same money but u are no longer owed any back pay

Not ideal ofc
 

Captainron

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What sort of work was your lad doing prior to lockdown?

Sounds a bit like construction to me and if that’s the case then he will be back working at full capacity in no time.

So many people being stuck at home with a reasonable income and hardly any silly spending. Looking at their homes and going. I hate that. That needs doing etc and now they can afford it. All my builder/chippie/sparky etc mates are flat out now
 
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Would be better off deferring the money if he could until off UC so it's an actual use otherwise it's just the same money but u are no longer owed any back pay

Not ideal ofc
Good idea. Though the risk is high that both companies that owe him money will go bust...

I get what @LT says about the purpose of UC - but these are extraordinary times and in such times the level of UC is such that individuals really struggle, that is OK when there is loads of work available and claimants just need to get off their backsides so won’t be struggling on UC for long - but there isn’t the work.

And don’t forget that if his company had been allowed by the government to pay him for work done then that earning would not have counted in his UC payment calc.
 
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What sort of work was your lad doing prior to lockdown?

Sounds a bit like construction to me and if that’s the case then he will be back working at full capacity in no time.

So many people being stuck at home with a reasonable income and hardly any silly spending. Looking at their homes and going. I hate that. That needs doing etc and now they can afford it. All my builder/chippie/sparky etc mates are flat out now
Performing arts, Nightclub management and DJing; Venue coordination for touring bands and other acts/artists. All gone and no idea at all when it might restart. Recent government relaxations don’t apply.

We know of one self-employed bloke who has bought himself a Porsche with money from one of the government schemes. Makes you pretty sick at the inequality in many of our systems and our society.
 
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In what way did the govt prevent him from being paid for work done?
The companies were closed and all staff furloughed so they were not allowed by law to do any work - and so not allowed to process payments to employees - especially when the employers had to first work out how much to pay him. Though you suggest that not the case. It may also have been the fact that the companies had zero income...and they generally work on very small margins.
 

pauljames87

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The companies were closed and all staff furloughed so they were not allowed by law to do any work - and so not allowed to process payments to employees - especially when the employers had to first work out how much to pay him.
Did he try and get work in Tesco or something to see him through? They were hiring loads at the time could have been helpful
 

pauljames87

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Good idea. Though the risk is high that both companies that owe him money will go bust...

I get what @LT says about the purpose of UC - but these are extraordinary times and in such times the level of UC is such that individuals really struggle, that is OK when there is loads of work available and claimants just need to get off their backsides so won’t be struggling on UC for long - but there isn’t the work.

And don’t forget that if his company had been allowed by the government to pay him for work done then that earning would not have counted in his UC payment calc.
I'd say it's zero risk tbh. If his UC is going to go and he ends up with the Same level of money then risk it and keep the money on hold .. if it goes he is in the same position
 

Lord Tyrion

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The companies were closed and all staff furloughed so they were not allowed by law to do any work - and so not allowed to process payments to employees - especially when the employers had to first work out how much to pay him.
I'm sorry but that doesn't stand up. They could easily have organised payments before closing. Directors were allowed to carry out certain duties to maintain the functioning of the company, they were not allowed to carry out work that would generate income. Paying bills, staff etc comes into that. Incidentally, when on furlough companies pay their staff and then reclaim it from the govt. The companies your son worked for have been paying their staff, no reason why they could not pay him at the same time other than to manage their own cash flow.

Delay in receiving payments is down to the firms concerned, not the govt.
 
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I'm sorry but that doesn't stand up. They could easily have organised payments before closing. Directors were allowed to carry out certain duties to maintain the functioning of the company, they were not allowed to carry out work that would generate income. Paying bills, staff etc comes into that. Incidentally, when on furlough companies pay their staff and then reclaim it from the govt. The companies your son worked for have been paying their staff, no reason why they could not pay him at the same time other than to manage their own cash flow.

Delay in receiving payments is down to the firms concerned, not the govt.
But they didn’t. For whatever reason. This was work from before he registered for UC as everyone being put in his situation by the lockdown was encouraged by the government to do - get registered immediately for UC while work closed due to lockdown. He took that advice but by not being asked by DWP when registering if he was owed money and not warned what that would mean if he got it - he is being penalised.
 
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Did he try and get work in Tesco or something to see him through? They were hiring loads at the time could have been helpful
Not quite so easy in Sheffield...but no - he didn’t - he thought that things would be getting back to normal by May...remember that? And he was chasing money he was owed that would see him through.
 

pauljames87

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Not quite so easy in Sheffield...but no - he didn’t - he thought that things would be getting back to normal by May...remember that? And he was chasing money he was owed that would see him through.
Too easy for me to say looking back but personally would have been straight down Tesco for some work until it all blew over . Even 2 months missing money would annoy me. Even though I could afford it I wouldn't like my savings to go
 

Lord Tyrion

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But they didn’t. For whatever reason. This was work from before he registered for UC as everyone being put in his situation by the lockdown was encouraged by the government to do - get registered immediately for UC while work closed due to lockdown. He took that advice but by not being asked by DWP when registering if he was owed money and not warned what that would mean if he got it - he is being penalised.
I get the annoyance but it should be directed at the companies owing him money, not the govt. It is their tardiness, I am being kind there, in not paying him that has caused the issue. They are hiding behind a poor excuse for why his payment was delayed. If they had been on time then the problem does not exist.
 

jim8flog

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Nothing has really changed under UC. I have lost my job on more the one occasion in my life and what I was paid as a final payment e.g. redundancy payment was always taken in to consideration when claiming the benefit appropriate to that time period.
 

Wolf

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UC isn't a great system granted, but in no way is it the government's fault the companies he worked for didn't pay him, likewise it isn't their fault he is getting a delayed payment from them which is having a knock effect to his benefit. UC is designed to take into account his current financial situation only not past, so if he receives £500 in the current month then that is his current situation regardless of which month it was earned in.

There are many flaws in UC granted and it needs huge areas of improvement, but the fault here lies solely with the employer not making payments as they should have and were not stopped doing so by government, furlough was put in to support companies paying staff, if the company chose not to do so then they are solely accountable. Likewise as another poster pointed out he like others would have had opportunity to seek work in tesco etc and you have acknowledged he chose not to do so, I can understand he thought it'd blow over but again that was his choice not the governments fault.

I can sympathise with his plight having been made redundant in past and being on UC, but it's purely a safety net to help until back into work and any income can and should be taken into account.
 
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