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Resident Falls Foul of Universal Credit Error

Housingdayarticle3A longstanding Accent resident was initially dependent on Universal Credit to support his living costs. When he entered into a temporary employment contract it meant his claim would cease until the contract ended. Unfortunately, the employer continued to pay the resident for a further two months in error. This resulted in Universal Credit suspending the resident’s claim putting him in immediate financial hardship.

With a court order already in place, the suspended credit placed him at high risk of eviction from his home. For almost 4 months he was without any living allowance or housing element which resulted in rent arrears of almost £3,000. This and other debts left the resident with no option but to rely on food banks to make ends meet.

When he explained the situation to our Income Recovery team, it was clear that he had submitted proof to Universal Credit and returned the money to his previous employer.

An Income Recovery team member attempted to contact Universal Credit and despite having implicit consent to communicate on his behalf, could not glean any further information. The resident assured them that he had submitted a letter to Universal Credit from his previous employer, which proved that the funds had been returned after they had paid him in error.

Struggling to communicate with Universal Credit made the situation extremely difficult to resolve and so the issue was escalated to management level. On the 9th of May Universal Credit finally located the resident’s letter on their system which had been sent to them by the resident in March.

As a result, £1,223 was paid out by Universal Credit as back pay for his rent account and he personally received a backdated living allowance payment of £762.78.

Relieved to be holding onto his home the resident was grateful for the support he received.

"Thank you so much for your patience and dedication in helping me to get this sorted. Without you this would have dragged on for ages, thank you so much!"

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