Good morning

DWP recently published the above-mentioned document, which is designed to provide, Social & Private landlords, with helpful information and points of contact, where queries exist, including dedicated phone numbers and email addresses, covering such things as:

  1. Alternative Payment Arrangements
  2. Templates for use when you change your bank details or would like to request or query payments on monthly payment schedules
  3. Raise questions or provide comment re SRS Portal issues
  4. Private Landlords raising issues about serious rent arrears; duplicate payments; relating payments to particular tenants where originally no or ambiguous information was provided.
  5. Debt Management and UC Overpayment recoveries

Annual Verification of claims

DWP is also now carrying out an annual “review” of claims where the tenant(s) are required to make, at least some level of “claimant commitment”. This applies to tenants who have been in receipt of Universal Credit continuously for 12 assessment periods.

Claimants are sent a “Review your details to-do” via their “online journal”. It will ask claimants to re-declare their circumstances. If any of the claim details are no longer correct, it will ask the tenant to report the date of the change in their circumstances. They will be given 14 days (or longer, where appropriate) to complete the action and validate any associated changes via their journal or by notifying their Work Coach.

The worrying thing is, if they fail to respond, a reminder will be issued, providing, in most cases, a further 2 weeks to respond. But, if no response is received, DWP will almost certainly suspend or cancel part or the whole UC award, including any “housing element”.

Both tenants & landlords need to be alert to this process, and endeavour to ensure the necessary response is provided on time or ask for an extension where required. When things go wrong, tenants need to act swiflty to have their entitlement restored, hopefully, without the need for a “new claim” as this would create a gap in entitlement. Cancellations can be challenged, but it’s always best to act, as suggested above, to prevent the need for this.

If you require any assistance with this or any other aspect of Universal Credit, please get in touch via email bill@ucadvice.co.uk.

Bill Irvine

UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd

Phone 01698 424301 or 07733 080 389