3rd party deductions under Universal Credit

Glenys Harriman made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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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.

Glenys Harriman
Housing Systems

Yours faithfully,

Glenys Harriman

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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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.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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Talbot Gina DWP FLDM MCT, Department for Work and Pensions

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Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI team

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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.

Yours sincerely,

Glenys Harriman

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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This reply was sent to you on 18 December 2013 and is attached for ease of reference

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI team

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