Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

A number of schemes exist which allow employees to access funds before their payday. Such schemes are described in a number of ways, including Earned Wage Access and Flexiwage. Providers of these schemes include Earnd, Wagestream. Hastee and others.

These schemes allow employees to receive a payment linked to the notional earnings accrued since the last payment of earnings. This is then deducted, with a charge, from the earnings due on the normal payday.

Wagestream states on its website that “…it is not an advance. According to the Financial Conduct Authority, EWA is not a loan and should not be considered a form of credit.”

Hastee states on its website “Access your pay immediately. No credit check. No debt. It's your earned day. No interest. This isn't a loan.”.

How is this payment taken into account for means-tested benefits? Specifically:
1) Is this payment treated for benefit purposes as earnings, income or capital?
2) Is it considered to be a loan or an advance of earnings?
3) On what date is this payment taken into account?
4) For Universal Credit, is the date the payment is made the relevant date for the assessment period?
5) Is this payment included in the RTI data received from HMRC for the date the payment is made?

Yours faithfully,

Gareth Morgan

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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DWP Central FOI Team,

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Dear Gareth Morgan,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 23rd
April.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Treatment of early access to pay for benefit purposes'.

Thank you for your response.

This does not provide the information that I asked for. The references to the regulations are unhelpful as it is the interpretation by those regulations of these payments that I am seeking.

You say in your response "If you ask a question, rather than requesting recorded information, we will provide you with the recorded information that best answers the question. Once we have provided the
recorded information, we have met our obligations under the Act; interpreting the information
provided is up to you."

You have not included any guidance to DWP staff about these payments which would fall under the description of recorded information. Please provide all guidance referring to these payments which is issued by the department.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

Yours faithfully,

Gareth Morgan

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FOI mailbox.
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally expect
a response within 20 working days.
 
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we cannot guarantee a response within this timescale.
 
Every effort is being made to respond to FOIs as we would usually but the
current situation means that available Departmental resources will be
needed on other high priority areas.
 
We kindly ask for your understanding during this unprecedented situation
and we will aim to deal with your FOI request as soon as is practically
possible.
 
Email FOI responses will be issued from [1][email address]
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
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please contact us.
 
[2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

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DWP Central FOI Team,

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Dear Gareth Morgan,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 10th
May.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team