DWP Central Freedom of
6-12 Tothil Street
Charles El inson
Our Ref: FOI2023/44491
4 July 2023
Dear Charles Ellinson,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 9 June. You wrote:
“I am writing regarding your response to my recent FoI request, which has been
Your reference is FOI2023/39446
You have provided some relevant links to existing information, however, they do not
answer the specific queries I had. I apologise if my initial request was not clear enough.
Please see below the specific queries I was hoping would be clarified.
1. The auto-reclaim process provided for by Reg. 32A of the Claims and Payments Regs
is expressed in a non-mandatory way, and the regulations also al ow the Secretary of
State to make conditions as to when it is applied. Can you provide any information which
clarifies if auto-reclaims are ALWAYS treated as made and whether any conditions have
been made by the Secretary of State.
In particular, wil the claimant be treated as making a reclaim even where earnings in the
new Assessment Period are at a level where there would be no entitlement?
2. A 'regular' claim for UC can be withdrawn before a decision is made on it (see Reg 31
of the above regulations). Wil the same be true of a claim treated as made under Re.
We confirm that we do hold the information you have requested. A copy of the information is
1. The Department has routinely treated claims as made, to ensure that we check to see if a
claimant has become entitled to Universal Credit in the fol owing assessment period
fol owing the ending of entitlement because of earnings, without the need for them to any
action. This is because without a claim the assessment of entitlement would not take
Since May 2020, SI 2020/ 522,
has al owed the Secretary of State to treat a claimant as
having made a claim for a further 5 assessment periods (reg 32A of the Universal Credit
(Coronavirus) (Self-employed Claimants and Reclaims) (Amendment) Regulations 2020;
Claims and Payments Regulations 2013), where the end of the award occurs because the
financial condition is not met but the claimant continues to satisfy the other basic
conditions of entitlement.
Regulation 32A defines that the Secretary of State, may treat the claimant as making a
new claim on the first day of each subsequent month, which gives the Secretary of State
the discretion to exercise that power; for example, where there is no entitlement due to
excess income in any of the fol owing 5 assessment periods, there is no reason to
exercise that power. Where a claimant’s income means that entitlement is re-established,
Regulation 32A provides a way for the Universal Credit system to quickly re-establish an
award of Universal Credit without the claimant having to take any action. Please see link
The Universal Credit (Coronavirus) (Self-employed Claimants and Reclaims)
(Amendment) Regulations 2020 (legislation.gov.uk)
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact us quoting the reference number
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Department for Work and Pensions
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
or by writing to: DWP Central FoI Team, Caxton
House, 6-12 Tothil Street, London, SW1H 9NA.
Any request for an internal review must be received by us within 40 working days of the date
of this letter. Please note we are not obliged to provide a review if it is requested after more
than 40 working days.
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. General y, 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.
Website: ICO FOI and EIR complaints
or telephone 0303 123 1113