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Hi, my name is Matt785! Looking for advice on LCWRA underpayment from UC

Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
edited April 14 in Universal Credit
Hi I'm new to the site and looking for some advice on LCWRA underpayment from UC

Replies

  • Sandy_123Sandy_123 Member Posts: 1,541 Pioneering
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome 

    If you can give  more information we can try and help you hopefully 


  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,187

    Scope community team

    Hello @Matt785 and welcome to the online community :) 

    What sort of advice are you looking for specifically?
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  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,522 Disability Gamechanger
    @Matt785 how much are they paying you and how much do you think they should be paying?and welcome to scope.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi Ross, I have been awarded LCWRA which was confirmed in a letter to me on the 11th of March. In the letter it also confirms that it has generated an underpayment to me and gives the figure which I'm owed. It then just says it will pay it into my bank account.
    UC then put a note in my journal saying that the amount would be paid to me over a 7 month period starting on the 15th of March, then payments every 7th of the month which is my usual payment date.
    I have asked why I now having been awarded it have to wait 7 months to have it paid in full, the journal entry just said it was company policy. Is this right?
  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi the amount is correct and it is quite significant, its been backdated 2 years. Its the manner in which they are repaying it, I thought if you were awarded backdated payments they should be made in full to you?
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,235 Pioneering
    If you are due arrears it would normally be paid to you in one go. Obviously future payments will include an extra amount every month but this is your ongoing entitlement.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    @calcotti that's what I thought but when I have asked for a reason why they have said it is company policy to pay it back over the 7 months to me. I have left messages in my journal but have had no reply and rang twice but just got told it is the case manager I need to talk to and they will send a message to them as you can't contact them directly. Where can I go from here to get the money paid back to me in one go?
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    When you put a note in your journal put it as a payment query this should then go to your case manager 

    I agree it is normally paid as a lump sum and is money owed so keep trying to get it resolved 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,002

    Scope community team

    Hello @Matt785. Underpayments of LCWRA should be paid to you in one go, not spread over 7 months. Is is possible your Case Manager or person you've spoken to has confused the suggested award length with the payment schedule?
    As @janer1967 mentioned, putting your query in the sections 'about a payment' and 'service issues' should have them sent directly to your Case Manager and it can help to open it with 'Dear Case Manager'.
    I would ask for the guidance stating it will be paid over 7 months as it may at least help clear up where the confusion has come in. 
    Let us know how you get on and fingers crossed for a quick resolution. :)
    Community Manager
    Scope
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,522 Disability Gamechanger
    @Matt785 I'm puzzled that they would use the phrase "company policy" I have never heard the DWP use such a phrase as they are not a company. As others have said if you are due a payment for underpayment it will always be made in a one off payment. Are we missing something here?
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,235 Pioneering
    The only occasion i can think of when DWP might possibly spread out an arrears payment is if they have reason to think that paying it in one go could cause some financial risk to a vulnerable claimant. I can't reference that but have a vague recollection of reading it somewhere.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,522 Disability Gamechanger
    @calcotti that would make sense, although it would be unusual, its this phrase "company" that bothers me.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,235 Pioneering
    woodbine said:
    @calcotti that would make sense, although it would be unusual, its this phrase "company" that bothers me.
    I assumed it was a phrase Matt was using rather than something DWP had said - but perhaps I'm wrong.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,002

    Scope community team

    calcotti said:
    The only occasion i can think of when DWP might possibly spread out an arrears payment is if they have reason to think that paying it in one go could cause some financial risk to a vulnerable claimant. I can't reference that but have a vague recollection of reading it somewhere.
    This is true and I believe it applies if the arrears are over £3,000 and they have reason to think a claimant is vulnerable. 
    However, I'm fairly certain the guidance also stipulates that if a claimant requests the amount in full, instead of spread out, they have to pay it out in one go. So if they're using that guidance a claimant is well within their rights to request it in one payment and they shouldn't be able to refuse.

    Please let us know how you get on @Matt785
    Community Manager
    Scope
  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi everyone sorry for the delay in coming back to you. The company policy statement was made by someone in my journal from the Blackpool service centre. It appeared the same day as the official letter, this message was just written out as a journal entry and confirmed the amount due back to me and then began with 'Due to company policy we will be paying this back to you over a 7 month period' and then went on to list the dates and amounts etc. 
    I knew that couldn't be right as you say UC aren't a company, so I sent a message back last Thursday and still had no response yet and other messages sent this week have gone unanswered. I took your advice though and sent a message about a payment yesterday afternoon and haven't heard anything as yet.  
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Give it a bit of time and hopefully you should hear 

    If not try calling and ask to speak to your case manager or request them to call back 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,235 Pioneering
    Matt785 said:
    ...this message was just written out as a journal entry and confirmed the amount due back to me and then began with 'Due to company policy we will be paying this back to you over a 7 month period' and then went on to list the dates and amounts etc. 
    That is bizarre. 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Thanks guys still nothing back but as said I will give it a bit more time and be patient - I will post any update though thank you all for your advice and help much appreciated
  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    edited March 27

    Hi everyone, I have had a response yesterday and at least he is speaking to his line manager!
    I will update when I know more on Monday hopefully!
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,039

    Scope community team

    Hi @Matt785.

    Just to let you know: I've edited your screenshot to remove your surname, as we don't allow personal details such as full names to be posted on the community. This is for your privacy and safety. I've also removed the name of the UC employee for their privacy. If you could redact these details from any screenshots in the future, that would be great! You can read our community guidelines here

    Please do keep us updated :)
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  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi Tori, sorry about that I didn't even think, noted for the future though thank you!!
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,039

    Scope community team

    No worries @Matt785 :) Thanks for understanding. It's easily done!
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  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Morning everyone, still no response from UC on the underpayment issue. I have asked and been told that they are trying to sort it out. Then I have asked what it is that needs sorting out but had no reply to any messages, not including the shut down over bank holiday obviously. Really don't know where to go from here now as it was awarded nearly a month ago and I keep getting ignored via my journal.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Try not to worry about the time it is taking a month isnt that long for dwp to sort out an issue 

    They will probably only reply in your journal once there is something to say , there is no point to them just saying we are trying to sort it 

    They do have huge backlogs and the bank holiday will have impacted as well 
  • erin2490erin2490 Member Posts: 43 Connected
    It took me weeks to get things sorted with them. i find managing to get in contact with universal credit really frustrating and getting a response so hard work... aswell as been told different things by different workers. ive recentally been backpayed 2800 all in one go after weeks of messages too and from my case manager trying to get it sorted.
    I was never told i would get it over a 7 month period but from what someone has said above it might be because of how much it is? I hope you get it sorted soon..
  • Caz_AlumniCaz_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 626 Pioneering
    Just wanted to stop by and hi @Matt785 :)

    Sorry to hear that you're not getting anywhere fast on this. 

    Hopefully though, the comments from our community members have helped to put your mind at rest that some delay is (very unfortunately) often a part of the process at the moment.

    Fingers crossed you hear something soon. Keep us posted :)
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  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Morning everyone, so yesterday I was paid a part payment in line with what I was originally told - That my underpayment would be paid back to me in installments over 7 months on my regular UC payment dates. It does look like that I will be paid in installments over 7 months now as I haven't had any response from UC.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    At least you have something 

    They may still be looking at your request for full payment don't give up if you think you should be paid a lump sum 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,002

    Scope community team

    Hi @Matt785. Even if they've scheduled it in instalments you are still within your rights to request the full amount paid to you in one go. If you want it paid this way then please try talking to them again. Have you had any contact at all since your last message?
    Community Manager
    Scope
  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi @Adrian_Scope I have requested it paid in full a number of times, the only response I had was on the 26th of March to say that the UC contact was talking to his line manager about it and he would have an update 'soon'. That was two weeks ago and I have had no response to messages sent since then. I have been polite not bombarded them but still ignored. At a bit of a loss what to do next now?
  • Matt785Matt785 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi everyone, still no resolution to the problem, and no response to my messages. Is it worth me ringing the DWP or is that just the same as UC?
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,637 Disability Gamechanger
    The only thing which will move them now is a letter before action. Take one of these and adapt accordingly. 

    It will upset a few important people - see https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/use-of-template-pre-action-protocol-letters-invites-an-abuse-of-judicial-review-process - but I wouldn’t let that worry you. If they don’t act on a pre action protocol letter then go see a solicitor and issue. 

    Suspect you’ll then get your money 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,235 Pioneering
    Matt785 said:
    Hi everyone, still no resolution to the problem, and no response to my messages. Is it worth me ringing the DWP or is that just the same as UC?
    UC is part of DWP.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • SarahUCESarahUCE Member Posts: 22 Pioneering
    I find this interesting as I’ve seen an increase in claimants facing similar struggles this past month. The cynic in me would assume a training or mail-out in early March reminded staff that paying this way was possible and many case managers have jumped on it.

    That aside, @Matt785 I would try sending a final message under both “about a payment” AND “service issues” along the lines of:

    Dear Case Manager,
    I’ve sought advice and been informed that if a claimant requests their arrears of benefit in full rather than instalments, you must adhere to this and pay it as soon as possible. 
    As my requests have thus far been ignored, could you provide me with the details of your official complaints procedure as I’d like to make a formal complaint.
  • SarahUCESarahUCE Member Posts: 22 Pioneering
    I forgot to add, you don’t need them to explain the complaints procedure, it’s just something that usually prompts some action. 
    If you don’t receive a reply within 2 working days of the above message, I’d either go along the lines of a formal complaint or ask your MP to intervene. 
    If you choose to, you can make a complaint here:
    https://makeacomplaint.dwp.gov.uk/
  • Missjones89Missjones89 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi could I ask how far back did they award your lcwra element I. Have been asking for a wca since 2019 at final stages now but prev work coach or current would not except non of medical pip awards for this to trigger as I work part time in receipt of PIP continuously MP now involved aswell CAB

    Thanks
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,235 Pioneering
    edited June 19
    Deleted - realised covered in another thread.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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