Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
I have some questions relating to 3rd party deductions under UC, where there appear to be differences between guidance and regs, and/or differences from the 'legacy benefits' section, and/or confusing wording.
1. Under the legacy benefit rules, deductions can be made in respect of 'hostel charges' where the amount equivalent to the ineligible service charges such as fuel and meals can be deducted from the claimant's IS, JSA, or ESA and paid directly to the hostel provider.
This rule does not exist under UC, but will continue to exist under PC.
Just wondering if there were any plans to bring this rule under UC regs?
2. Under existing legacy benefit rules a debt of income tax arising from self-assessment can be paid to HMR&C by deductions from benefit with the claimant's written consent.
This rule does not appear to exist under UC: just wondering if there were any plans to bring this rule under UC regs?
3. Where the claimant has a sanction equivalent to 100% or 40% of their standard allowance we understand that the only third party deductions that may be made are for housing costs, rent and service charges and fuel. Can you confirm what happens if the claimant was having deductions for hardship payments and /or a new claim advance, and / or a budgeting advance, and/or Child Support Maintenance before the sanction was imposed? - ie can these deductions continue if there is enough Universal Credit awarded or does the overriding 40% maximum rule apply, in which cases these deductions are suspended during the period of the sanction?
4. What is the maximum someone could have deducted from their UC award for hardship payments and /or a new claim advance, and / or a budgeting advance, and/or Child Support Maintenance assuming no other deductions / sanctions are being made and there is enough Universal Credit in payment?
5. The guidance on 3rd party deductions for rent arrears specifies that there must be 2 months' arrears before this can be implemented (putting landlords in a more difficult position than under the legacy benefit rules of 4 weeks' arrears where full rent not paid on 8 occasions). And it also contradicts the regs which do not specify an amount of arrears but leave it to the decision makers' discretion.
Please could you confirm if either the regs or the guidance are to be altered, or if not, explain how tie 2 can work together?
Thank you for your help.
This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct.
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
Dear Glenys Harriman,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. Please find enclosed our acknowledgment of its receipt.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.
DWP Central FoI Team
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act
If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk
Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request
DWP Strategy FoI team
Dear Talbot Gina DWP FLDM MCT,
Your reply to my FOI request 3rd party deductions under Universal Credit is overdue.
Please could you reply. Thank you.
This reply was sent to you on 18 December 2013 and is attached for ease of reference
DWP Strategy FoI team
We work to defend the right to FOI for everyone
Help us protect your right to hold public authorities to account. Donate and support our work.Donate Now