I have just been informed that I will not be entitled to CA for the next month as my salary for April is over £530. However this is because this salary covers a 5 week period from mid-March to mid-April.
Over 5 weeks my salary still works out at just under £120 per week. Even allowing for 50% of my pension contributions I am still just over the monthly threshold.
I am paid on the last working day of each month which means over the year I am going to have some payslips covering 4 weeks and 5 week periods. I believe this is fairly common.
I have sent the CA unit this info and they still say i’m ineligible.
Is there any way I can challenge this, I really cannot afford to lose this payment for 4 weeks and can’t believe they can just cut this at a moments notice without examining the situation, which even a cursory look would be evident what the issue is?
My immediate thought … Carers Unit at the DWP :
Telephone: 0800 731 0297
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0297
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm >
Strange … usually monthly payments are averaged out so that the 5 week period is taken into account.
( Eg. Last 3 months … 4 / 4 / 5 weeks … divide by 13 … still under £ 123 net per week ( Adjusted as 2 weekly allowance
limits if done now … £ 120 / £ 123 … ? )
I know that through working with the local food bank and the numerous problems associated with Universal Credit ,
especially irregular earnings no thanks to zero hour contracts.
I would hit them with the " Averaging out " bit … and see what their response is.
If necessary , kick it higher up within said Unit.
Be most " Odd " if the Carers Unit are using a different method to the UC Unit ???
Take it you have this in writing? Should offer you right to mandatory reconsideration?
Seems clear DWP aren’t going change mind without going through formal process.
Hello again thanks for the responses.
It was the CA unit that told me this and I called them on the above no to confirm. I got the person I was speaking to go to the gov.uk site, read the eligibility criteria to me, then directed them to the payslip I’d sent in which shows the period my payslip covers and explain to me how I was being paid more than £120 a week, which they couldn’t do and just kept repeating that I was over the limit for the month. Then asked for their definition of a month (4 weeks) at which point I was just shut down, couldn’t speak to a manager so had to request a call back.
I can’t be the only person affected by this, In effect being penalised for not being paid weekly or 4 weekly.
Anyway I’ve now logged a formal complaint as I’ve been previously advised this wouldn’t be an issue. Logged a dispute/mandatory reconsideration but am not going to hear anything for several weeks presumably.
In the short term I may be able to make Increased payments to my pension from this month which may take me under the threshold, hopefully that might sort it but next two weeks is going to be horrendous.
Just an update to this.
Citizens advice have been in touch off the back of a few cases raised due to the increase in living wage which is now taking people over the earnings limit which wouldn’t affect me but now does when I’m paid for a 5 week period.
Anyhow it seems DWP arent applying their own criteria for eligibility when calculating monthly earnings.
Weekly one should earn no more than £123 a week. For the monthly calculation DWP multiply this figure by 52 then divide by 12 = £533 a month.
This would allow someone, such as myself, to work 14 hours a week on minimum living wage, £115 approx.
I get paid monthly last working day of the month but for 4 months of the year, because 52 weeks doesn’t divide equally into 12, I get paid for a 5 week period rather than 4. DWP look at this as a monthly earning of £575 and stop the CA.
Of course what they should be doing is taking the weekly figure of £115 x 52 div that by 12 which equates to £498, well under the earnings threshold. So I have been advised by CAB to provide this figure for net earnings.
I’m going through a reconsideration so probably makes no difference to my current predicament but thought this might be useful info if others are having similar issues.
Yep … exactly my point earlier … the UC unit do precisely that , why not the CA unit ?
How all those relying on the current benefit system love it ?