Window of Opportunity
The DWP have confirmed that the 7 waiting days will be abolished for all new Universal Credit claims made on or after 14th February 2018.
This gives some claimants looking to make a new claim for UC in the coming week an opportunity to:
- Have their UC claim started sooner
- Receive their first UC payment earlier than they would have otherwise done
- Receive UC that they would not otherwise have been entitled to.
Those claimants who can take advantage of this window of opportunity are those who are not excluded from the waiting days – and are looking to make a new claim for Universal Credit between 8th and 13th February.
These claimants could delay making their new UC claim until 14th February 2018 and so avoid the 7 waiting days.
Note 1: Many claimants are excluded from the waiting days – these claimants should NOT delay making their UC claim. The main group is anyone who was the claimant of IB-JSA, IR-ESA, Income Support, Housing Benefit, or Tax Credits at any point in the month prior to their new claim for Universal Credit. But there are plenty more PLEASE click here for the full list.
Note 2: Where the claimant is due to receive their final wages shortly after finishing work, it may be beneficial for them to delay making the UC claim until after they have received this payment - click here for more information.
Sandie’s last day of work is Friday 9th February and she receives her final wages that day. She makes a claim for New-Style JSA based on her NI contributions online – but also needs help paying her rent.
So she contacts her Local Authority on 12thFebruary who advise her that she needs to claim UC as she lives in a Full / Digital UC service areas which she does.
As she has made her UC claim on 12th February and is not excluded from the waiting days, her UC claim would start 7 days later ie on 19th February, her first Monthly Assessment Period would run from 19th February to 18th March, and her first payment would be made on 25th March.
Had Sandie waited until 14th February before making her claim – she would have received her UC payment on 21st March and it will include UC for the period 14th – 18th February that she would not otherwise have received. As she is entitled to £585 a month, delaying her UC claim has meant that she gets £104.46 UC she would not otherwise have received.