Universal Credit – monthly changes….

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    Hi all

    My manager was at a meeting yesterday where some information about UC that I had been unaware of, came out.

    The issue relates to the date that the circumstances are used in calculating the UC award.

    The example that was given was a customer living in a hostel for 4 weeks.  If he then loses the accommodation and becomes homeless but that is the date that his UC payment would be calculated, then he is deemed to have no rental liability and therefore, the UC would not include any Housing Costs.

    Both my Manager and I were not aware of this and I don't recall seeing anything in the regs but wondered if anyone else had seen anything about it?

    If true, this seems terrifying but as we are both quite avid readers on here, and no one had mentioned it, is this something new?


    I haven’t read them in depth but I seem to remember that changes of circumstances will be effective from the day they happen. Is that what you mean?


    Thanks Jerry, that was the issue and your example is much clearer.

    I had assumed that split liabilities would follow HB rules although not sure how I thought it would work but that does seem to be the current process.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply and clarify.


    Hi Sharon,

    In essence, yes, this was one of the many ‘simplifications’ i saw during my time at the DWP. Giving your example more depth:

    – Claimant makes claim at hostel on 01/03/2013. UC assessment period starts from this date
    – Claimant becomes homeless and has no ongoing rent liability from 29/03/2013.
    – UC entitlement for assessment period calculated 31/03/2013 – No housing cost element included.

    This may well have changed since i left the programme, but as the system at the time had no way of splitting out rental liabilites (or the capability of paying more than one payee etc), i doubt this has changed.

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