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1128306
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-05-22more like thismore than 2019-05-22
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of universal credit claimants who have received an advance payment have had to delay their repayment for three months. more like this
tabling member constituency Lanark and Hamilton East more like this
tabling member printed
Angela Crawley more like this
uin 257557 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.</p> more like this
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T15:11:08.45Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T15:11:08.45Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
4469
label Biography information for Angela Crawley more like this
1128322
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-05-22more like thismore than 2019-05-22
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she has taken to ensure that universal credit claimants (a) are fully aware of how the repayment of advance payments work and (b) understand that the deferment of repayments is for a maximum of three months. more like this
tabling member constituency Lanark and Hamilton East more like this
tabling member printed
Angela Crawley more like this
uin 257562 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>Applications for a Universal Credit advance payment can be made in person, by telephone or online depending on the claimant’s circumstances. Depending on the type of advance payment application, we will consider whether the claimant satisfies the eligibility conditions for receiving the advance. If the claimant is eligible we will agree the amount of the advance and the period over which the advance will be recovered from their future Universal Credit payments. If the claimant has made the application in person or by telephone, the outcome of the application is explained to the claimant face to face or over the phone and then their online journal is updated. If they have made the application online the outcome will be displayed on screen.</p><p> </p><p>The Department has taken a number of steps to ensure that advances meet the needs of claimants and that the recovery arrangements are personalised and reasonable. Affordability is managed by ensuring the recovery rate will not be more than the equivalent of 40% of the claimant’s standard allowance. The claimant is given the choice over the repayment period and it is explained to them exactly how much will be deducted each month depending on the option they choose. If the claimant is making the advance application online, these options are clearly displayed on screen for them to choose from.</p><p> </p><p>Help is available for those struggling to meet the recovery rate. In exceptional circumstances, recovery can be deferred for up to three months from the start of the recovery period. If the claimant tells us that due to unforeseen circumstances they are experiencing hardship and are having difficulty repaying the advance over the agreed recovery time, we would explain that repayment can be deferred by a maximum of three months.</p><p> </p><p>From October 2019 the maximum rate of deductions from a claimant’s standard allowance will be reduced from 40% to 30%. From October 2021 we are increasing the recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months, further supporting those in financial need.</p><p> </p><p>Information about advances is available on the Gov.uk site at:</p><p><a href="https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-advances" target="_blank">https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-advances</a></p>
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T14:31:16.91Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T14:31:16.91Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
4469
label Biography information for Angela Crawley more like this
1130135
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-06-05more like thismore than 2019-06-05
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the proportion of universal credit claimants who have had payments reduced because they had previously received advances. more like this
tabling member constituency Vale of Clwyd more like this
tabling member printed
Chris Ruane more like this
uin 260559 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>Universal Credit (UC) new claim advances provide access to a payment for those in financial need, which can be accessed on the same day, until their first UC payment is due. Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, for which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 months.</p><p> </p><p>The Department has taken a number of steps to ensure that advances meet the needs of claimants and that recovery arrangements are personalised and reasonable. From October 2019 we are reducing the maximum rate of deductions to 30 per cent and from October 2021 we are increasing the maximum recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months.</p><p> </p><p>The latest available data is for eligible claims to UC Full Service that are due a payment in February 2019. Of these claims 44% had a deduction to repay a UC advance.</p><p> </p><p>Notes:</p><p> </p><ol><li>Data has been sourced from UC Full Service.</li></ol> more like this
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T14:00:26.04Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T14:00:26.04Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
534
label Biography information for Chris Ruane more like this
1130153
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-06-05more like thismore than 2019-06-05
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit: Overpayments more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 June 2019 to Question 257458 on universal credit: overpayments, what the (a) cause and (b) reasons were for the overpayments made to the 16,260 people who submitted successful applications for a reduction in their repayment rate. more like this
tabling member constituency Birkenhead more like this
tabling member printed
Frank Field more like this
uin 260552 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>Pursuant to the answer to Question 257458, of the 16,260 Universal Credit (UC) claimants who had a UC overpayment, who were successful in having their UC overpayment repayment rate reduced in 2018/19, there were approximately 18,450 individual overpayments as a claimant can have more than 1 UC overpayment.</p><p> </p><p>To answer part (a), the table below provides the classification of those overpayments:</p><p> </p><table><tbody><tr><td><p><strong>Debt Count</strong></p></td><td><p><strong>Debt Classification</strong></p></td></tr><tr><td><p>60</p></td><td><p>Fraud</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2,620</p></td><td><p>Claimant Error</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>30</p></td><td><p>No Description</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>15,740</p></td><td><p>Official Error</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>18,450</strong></p></td><td><p> </p></td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p><p>To answer part (b), the table below provides general overpayment reasons:</p><table><tbody><tr><td><p><strong>Debt Count</strong></p></td><td><p><strong>Overpayment Reason</strong></p></td></tr><tr><td><p>9,910</p></td><td><p>UC-Other Benefit Not Taken Into account</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2,770</p></td><td><p>UC-Undeclared Earnings not reported via Real Time Information or Late Self Reporting of Earnings</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>1,840</p></td><td><p>UC-Housing Costs Not Taken Into Account Correctly/ Incorrectly Declared</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>1,130</p></td><td><p>No Description</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>760</p></td><td><p>UC-Not Entitled</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>740</p></td><td><p>UC-Other Income Not Taken Into Account</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>400</p></td><td><p>UC-Ceased Caring or Undeclared Carers Allowance</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>380</p></td><td><p>UC-Non Dependents Not Declared in Household</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>250</p></td><td><p>UC-Duplicate Payments</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>90</p></td><td><p>UC-Childcare Costs Claimed When Not entitled to All / Some</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>90</p></td><td><p>UC-Overpaid Health Premium</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>60</p></td><td><p>UC-Undeclared/incorrect Savings over Allowable Limit</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>30</p></td><td><p>UC- Living Together Not Taken Into Account</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>less than 10</p></td><td><p>Attendance Allowance/Disability Living Allowance – Severe Disability Premium Withdrawn</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>less than 10</p></td><td><p>UC-Undeclared Death Of Partner / Dependant</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>18,450 (Will not sum due to rounding)</strong></p></td><td><p> </p></td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p><p><em>*All figures in this response have been sourced from internal management information and were not intended for public release. They should therefore not be compared to any similar figures subsequently released by the Department. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.</em></p>
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T15:41:57.85Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T15:41:57.85Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
478
label Biography information for Frank Field more like this
1130165
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-06-05more like thismore than 2019-06-05
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit: Overpayments more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 June 2019 to Question 257458 on universal credit: overpayments, how her Department defines substantial financial and/or medical hardship. more like this
tabling member constituency Birkenhead more like this
tabling member printed
Frank Field more like this
uin 260553 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>The Department does not apply a strict definition as to what constitutes ‘substantial and/or medical hardship’ as these decisions are based on a claimant’s circumstances and the supporting evidence provided. Where an application for waiver is received it will be considered on its own merits, according to the principles set out in Her Majesty’s Treasury’s guidance on Managing Public Money.</p> more like this
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T15:08:49.91Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T15:08:49.91Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
478
label Biography information for Frank Field more like this
1129719
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-06-04more like thismore than 2019-06-04
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to amend the income assessment periods for universal credit for claimants with flexible incomes. more like this
tabling member constituency Croydon North more like this
tabling member printed
Mr Steve Reed more like this
uin 260013 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>Universal Credit takes earnings into account in a way that is fair and transparent. The amount of Universal Credit paid reflects, as closely as possible, the actual circumstances of a household during each monthly assessment period, including any earnings reported by the employer during the assessment period, regardless of when they were paid, or which month they relate to.</p><p>Assessment periods allow for Universal Credit awards to be adjusted on a monthly basis, ensuring that if claimants’ incomes fall, they do not have to wait several months for a rise in their Universal Credit award.</p><p>Claimants can discuss queries about how fluctuating income effects Universal Credit with their case managers and work coaches, who can also signpost to services appropriate to individual circumstances.</p><p>The Government is working with employers to ensure that they use the most appropriate payment practices and comply with RTI guidelines in order to minimise the incidence of erroneous or late reporting by employers. HMRC have updated the guidance to reiterate to employers the importance of reporting accurate dates and the impact on payment cycles.</p><p>More guidance on this is available at the following link: <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-different-earning-patterns-and-your-payments/universal-credit-different-earning-patterns-and-your-payments-payment-cycles" target="_blank">https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-different-earning-patterns-and-your-payments/universal-credit-different-earning-patterns-and-your-payments-payment-cycles</a></p>
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T14:06:38.113Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T14:06:38.113Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
4268
label Biography information for Mr Steve Reed more like this
1129994
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-06-05more like thismore than 2019-06-05
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in what circumstances the repayment period of an advance that has been agreed with a universal credit claimant can be amended. more like this
tabling member constituency Croydon North more like this
tabling member printed
Mr Steve Reed more like this
uin 260654 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>Universal Credit new claim and benefit transfer advances provide access to a payment for those in financial need, which can be accessed on the same day, until their first UC payment is due ensuring no one has to be left without means of financial support. Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 monthly instalments. In the Autumn Budget 2018, we announced that from October 2021, the repayment period for these advances will be extended to 16 monthly instalments.</p><p> </p><p>Other advances are available for where a claimant has a substantial increase in the amount of their Universal Credit payment, due to a change in their circumstances, in which case they can have an advance of up to 50% of the increase and can be repaid over up to 6 monthly instalments. Also a Budgeting advance is available for one off unexpected financial events that the claimant is unable to meet and is repayable over a period of up to 12 monthly instalments.</p><p> </p><p>We recognise that exceptional circumstances may occur to claimants that were not foreseen when the advance was taken out and if this means the claimant is facing unexpected financial hardship they can ask the Department for a deferral of the repayment of any advance they have taken out. The deferral periods are up to 3 months for a new claim, benefit transfer or change of circumstances advance and up to 6 months for a Budgeting advance.</p><p> </p><p>Where a claimant has a reduction in benefit due to a Fraud Penalty or Conditionally Sanction that equals or exceeds 40% of their Universal Credit standard allowance then no advance repayment will be taken.</p><p> </p><p>If there is insufficient Universal Credit in payment due to reductions such as earnings, other income and capital yield to take the full amount of advances repayment, a lesser amount will be taken.</p><p> </p>
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T12:55:12.507Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T12:55:12.507Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
4268
label Biography information for Mr Steve Reed more like this
1128212
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-05-22more like thismore than 2019-05-22
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have had their deductions under universal credit reduced from the maximum rate of 40 per cent of an individual's standard allowance in the last (a) month and (b) 12 months. more like this
tabling member constituency High Peak more like this
tabling member printed
Ruth George more like this
uin 257510 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.</p><p> </p><p>The Government recognises the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. Universal Credit already has procedures and regulations in place to protect claimants from excessive deductions. The maximum rate of deductions cannot normally exceed 40 per cent of the Universal Credit standard allowance, and from October 2019 this will be reduced to 30 per cent.</p> more like this
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T14:52:01.35Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T14:52:01.35Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
4662
label Biography information for Ruth George more like this
1128341
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-05-22more like thismore than 2019-05-22
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit: Overpayments more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, (a) how many and (b) what percentage of universal credit claimants had funds deducted for a universal credit overpayment in the most recent month for which data is available. more like this
tabling member constituency High Peak more like this
tabling member printed
Ruth George more like this
uin 257575 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>Internal Management information shows that in April 2019, 80,000 payments of Universal Credit (UC) had a deduction applied to repay a UC overpayment (this figure does not include UC Advances and has been rounded to the nearest 10,000).</p><p> </p><p>It is not possible to show this figure as a percentage as the latest UC caseload data is only available as of 14<sup>th</sup> February 19. However, for context as of 14<sup>th</sup> February 19, 1.4m households received payments of UC.</p><p /><p>The Department ensures that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect claimants who have deductions from their benefit to repay overpayments. There are maximum rates of deduction that are set out in legislation, and if a claimant is struggling they can contact the Department’s Debt Management Team to discuss lowering their repayment rate.</p> more like this
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T15:03:56.973Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T15:03:56.973Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
4662
label Biography information for Ruth George more like this
1128342
registered interest false more like this
date less than 2019-05-22more like thismore than 2019-05-22
answering body
Department for Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept id 29 more like this
answering dept short name Work and Pensions more like this
answering dept sort name Work and Pensions more like this
hansard heading Universal Credit more like this
house id 1 more like this
legislature
25259
pref label House of Commons more like this
question text To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 February 2019 to Question 218205 on Universal Credit, which regulations referred to in that Answer protect claimants from excessive deductions. more like this
tabling member constituency High Peak more like this
tabling member printed
Ruth George more like this
uin 257576 more like this
answer
answer
is ministerial correction false more like this
date of answer remove filter
answer text <p>The Government recognises the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. Under Universal Credit there is a structured approach to deductions from benefit, which simplifies the current complex arrangements. Claimants can view their Universal credit statement online and easily understand both how their award is calculated and what debts are being repaid, supporting them to manage their financial obligations.</p><p> </p><p>The aim of the deductions policy in Universal Credit is to protect vulnerable claimants by providing a last resort repayment method for arrears of essential services. The policy also enables social obligations to be enforced when other repayment methods have failed, or are not cost effective, and ensures that benefit debt is recovered in a cost effective manner.</p><p> </p><p>Regulations protect claimants from excessive deductions, which could lead to financial difficulty.</p><p> </p><p>Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance plus any additional elements that apply, for example a housing element or child element. The overall maximum amount that can be deducted for debt repayments from a claimant’s Universal Credit each month is an amount equal to 40 per cent of their Universal Credit standard allowance.</p><p> </p><p>Where requested deductions exceed the 40 per cent maximum, or there is insufficient Universal Credit in payment for all deductions to be made, a priority order is applied, which determines the order in which items should be deducted. ‘Last resort’ deductions, such as rent or fuel costs, are at the top of the priority order, ensuring that claimant welfare is prioritised, followed by social obligation deductions, such as fines and child maintenance, and finally benefit debt, such as Social Fund loans and benefit overpayments.</p><p> </p><p>There are two exceptions to the overall maximum deduction rate. The first is deductions for current consumption of gas, electricity and water, which do not count towards the overall maximum amount. The second is where a Conditionality Sanction or Fraud Penalty is being applied or an Advance is being recovered, ‘last resort deductions’ (that is arrears of rent, service charges, gas or electricity) continue to be taken, even if it means that more than 40 per cent is deducted. This is to protect vulnerable claimants from being made homeless or having their fuel disconnected.</p><p> </p><p>The Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013(S.I, 2013/380) and specifically Regulation 60 and Schedule 6, paragraph 4 explains how claimants are protected from excessive deductions. These regulations are available at <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/380/contents/made" target="_blank">http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/380/contents/made</a>.</p><p> </p>
answering member constituency Reading West more like this
answering member printed Alok Sharma remove filter
question first answered
less than 2019-06-10T11:23:39.323Zmore like thismore than 2019-06-10T11:23:39.323Z
answering member
4014
label Biography information for Alok Sharma more like this
tabling member
4662
label Biography information for Ruth George more like this