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“Special circumstances do not apply” decision?

jingle
jingle Member Posts: 20 Listener
edited November 24 in Universal Credit (UC)
I’ve sent a few posts before about my situation but to recap it seems I was being underpaid by 2 child elements, 2 disabled child elements and the carer element since I joined UC in Feb 2019 and when I asked about it and said how much I’d been struggling and that my dad had been helping pay my rent they suspended my claim and I didn’t receive my due payment.

Today I received my payment and it’s more than usual but they have also put a decision letter saying that I reported a change of circumstances outside of my assessment period and that a decision maker has reviewed and decided special circumstances do not apply for late reporting. Does that mean they won’t be backdating my claim? It isn’t clear.

I’m also not sure they’re paying me right still. My statement shows 
standard element
3x child element
housing element
3x lower disabled child element
carer element  

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,749 Disability Gamechanger
    The elements they've paid you still don't seem correct to me. According to this thread here. https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/85905/do-you-need-to-get-the-child-element-for-a-child-to-get-the-disabled-child-element-for-them/p1 Calcotti advised this..
    I think you should be getting
    • four child elements.
    • Higher disabled child element for your 15 year old
    • higher disabled child element for both triplets who are certified blind, and
    • either the higher or lower disabled child rate for the third triplet depending on whether they get middle or lower rate DLA Care
    It doesn't seem like they are backdating you any money but are paying you the extra going forward.
    I'd advise you to request the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) for this.
    I'm sure calcotti will also reply when they see this.



  • jingle
    jingle Member Posts: 20 Listener
    I don’t understand it as if a not a change I’m reporting it’s been my situation from the start of my claim and what I told them. I tried phoning them but they were quite rude and said it looked correct to them and I should be grateful because I already receive a lot, not trying to find ways to get more. It made me feel like such a scrounger. Trust me I’d much rather have my fiancé back and not be claiming 
  • SarahUCE
    SarahUCE Member Posts: 28 Pioneering
    Has a CM reported a change on your behalf @jingle? Take a look at your journal and see if there are any notifications there.
    Does the letter indicate at all which “change” it is a decision on? They’re never the clearest. 
    With the child element does it say you receive this for only 3 out of 4 children or are only 3 of your children on the claim? 
    If you look back at previous statements have any of them changed? 

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,749 Disability Gamechanger
    SarahUCE said:

    With the child element does it say you receive this for only 3 out of 4 children or are only 3 of your children on the claim? 
    If you look back at previous statements have any of them changed? 

    In the thread linked above the OP has said they have triplets and a 15 year old.

  • SarahUCE
    SarahUCE Member Posts: 28 Pioneering
    SarahUCE said:

    With the child element does it say you receive this for only 3 out of 4 children or are only 3 of your children on the claim? 
    If you look back at previous statements have any of them changed? 

    In the thread linked above the OP has said they have triplets and a 15 year old.

    Ah forgive me, I wasn’t clear. I read through the other posts and can see the OP has four children. My question was to determine whether they are only receiving three child elements because a child is missing from their claim or whether it is because the exemption hasn’t been applied to one of them.

    The wording on a statement is different depending which it is. If their statement says “you get support for 3 children” one is missing from their claim, if it says “you get support for 3 of your 4 children” then an exemption hasn’t been applied to one of them. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 24
    I think you should be getting
    • four child elements.
    • Higher disabled child element for your 15 year old
    • higher disabled child element for both triplets who are certified blind, and
    • either the higher or lower disabled child rate for the third triplet depending on whether they get middle or lower rate DLA Care
    That was my conclusion from previous information.

    I think they have likely missed off the 15 year old because, from the previous threads, they said he was not a QYP due to not being in education. As discussed in previous thread this is nonsense because he's a child (under 16) and therefore QYP rules are irrelevant. 

    Tring, I think you raised a request for a Mandatory Reconsideration on this point. Have you had a specific response to that? If not you may want to post a note asking if they are still considering that.

    The child element and disabled child element for him will be lost after he turns 16.

    You definitely need to challenge the level of disabled child element for your blind triplets.
    -----------
    Glad to see the carer element is now included also.

    -----------
    Jingle, have they now sorted out your housing element and accepted your dad is not a joint tenant?
    -----------

    Turning to the 'special circumstances' not applying. They are treating this as if you have reported a change of circumstances and are then saying that you should have reported it all sooner so they will not back date. As you correctly say, that isn't the situation. From what you have previously said you reported all of this when you claimed and, following our previous exchanges, you requested an any time revision of your claim. This means that they can go back to the start of the claim and correct their errors.

    I suggest the response is along the lines of - 
    You say that special circumstances do not apply to the late reporting of a change of circumstances. I have not reported a change of circumstances. All of the facts were provided to you when I first claimed UC. I have requested an any time revision of the decision not to pay me elements of UC to which I was entitled from the start of the claim. I request that you now backdate all of these elements that should have been in payment.

    I also request that you review the appropriate disabled child element for my two triplets who are certified blind. It is my understanding that this entitled them to the higher disabled child element (UC Regs 2013 regulation 24 (2) (b) (ii)).
    ----------
    Although it's frustrating that there are still outstanding issues it's a jump forward and a hope the extra money will help you manage your very challenging circumstances.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • jingle
    jingle Member Posts: 20 Listener
    It’s says support for 3 children and my 15 year old isn’t on the claim still 
    I’ve put your message calcotti hopefully they reply soon. They haven’t said anything about the housing they just lifted the suspension so I assume they knew they made a mistake. It’s horrible they can do this to people and get it so wrong. If you’re right it means they have been paying me over £1000 a month less than they should be since I first claimed, it explains why I struggle so much 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 24
    jingle said:..If you’re right it means they have been paying me over £1000 a month less than they should be since I first claimed, it explains why I struggle so much 
    And if you had been getting that your dad wouldn’t have needed to help you with the rent.

    Apart from the message about the ‘special circumstances’ and the blind triplets have you also queried whether they are still looking at your MR regarding your 15 year old?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • jingle
    jingle Member Posts: 20 Listener
    I asked about it again calcotti and they’re refusing to send it to a decision maker they replied this morning saying “this can’t be sent to a decision maker because it is the policy and law that they need to be in education to receive the child element”. If I can’t have it sent for a decision on it what do I do now? I can’t keep fighting them. I know I do receive a large amount from Universal each month and I am very very grateful we receive help at all but my rent alone is £1850 a month so it isn’t really much once rent has gone 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,749 Disability Gamechanger
    You simply request the Mandatory Reconsideration, which they can't refuse.
  • jingle
    jingle Member Posts: 20 Listener
    edited November 25
    That’s what I did but they said that they can’t 



    [Moderator note: I have edited your screenshot to remove personal data such as names and other identifiers]
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,749 Disability Gamechanger
    Your son is still only 15 and in full time education isn't that correct? If so then they have got this incorrect and a MR can't be refused.
  • jingle
    jingle Member Posts: 20 Listener
    He’s home educated now and our LA provide a tutor part time. 
    I’m not sure if you can see the photo but they are refusing to do a MR. I really can’t deal with this any more I have too much on to spend so much time fighting them, why do they make it so hard?
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,355 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 25
    As previously discussed the rules around education apply to Qualifying Young Persons. Anyone under 16 is not a QYP, they are a child, and the education rules are therefore irrelevant.

    Try posting:
    I have raised this issue because I believe you have misinterpreted the law. The rules around education apply to Qualifying Young Persons. Regulation 5 clearly states that "A person who has reached the age of 16 but not the age of 20 is a qualifying young person" and then goes on to set out the education rules. Anyone under 16 is therefore not a QYP, they are a child, and the education rules for QYPs are therefore not relevant. Please reconsider.

    If they refuse again you can lodge an appeal with the tribunal service. Because this is a simple matter it is likely that someone at DWP will identify the error and correct it before the matter actually gets to tribunal. If this doesn't happen there would be no reason to attend a tribunal. The case for an error in law simply needs to be set out clearly. 
    jingle said:
    .. why do they make it so hard?
    It is shocking how badly your claim has been handled. You would be none the wiser had you not come on this forum.

    I think that if you cannot get any further resolving the outstanding matters involving your MP may be a way forward (depending on the quality of your MP and their office).

    To see if I have it clear in my mind, the outstanding points are:
    • getting the child element and disabled child element back into place for your 15 year old (until he reaches 16)
    • backdating of two child and two disabled child elements to the start of your claim
    • getting the correct disabled child element for the two blind triplets
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • SarahUCE
    SarahUCE Member Posts: 28 Pioneering
    I’ve sent you a PM @jingle.

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