So you may have seem the news recently about the governments latest benefit system, which was launched or more rightly being launched a few years ago and still ongoing. The benefit is known as Universal Credit.
What is the problem?
The biggest issue currently with the new system is during roll out, I have spoke to people who have been left short of money after being left for months without any benefits at all. There are two big issues with this.
- Firstly the transition from one benefit to another should be straight forward, this is where the lovely government tries to save money. By employing the wrong people for this job. Instead of rolling it out in stages amd making sure it is fully working without any issues (such as people being wrongly assessed or left short of money) the DWP has rolled it out even knowing there are issues.
- Claimants left with no money, with this there are errors on both sides of the fence for this. One side people who receipt their benefits can be really bad with money management. the fact is in reality they are receiving the same amount of money just at a different time. Plus the Universal Credit system allows you to loan part of your upcoming payments to cover any shortfall you may have. Although this will in future be repaid directly from your benefit. Far too often I speak to benefit claimants who have have already spent their benefit money with a week and sometimes days of receiving it. This being said if the DWP spent more time testing and rolling out Universal Credit correctly these issues would not be there in the first place.
You said Universal Credit was ‘Not All Bad’ !
The thing is Universal Credit as an idea and a benefit is sound, replacing several benefits with a single payment. Meaning you only deal with one department for your benefits, yes sadly this is the DWP. But you get my point, plus being able to do some form of work is easier than it was on Job Seekers Allowance.
So if the DWP did proper testing and GAP analysis before rolling out Universal Credit, it would not be having the problems it is. Meaning it would be a step forward in helping people instead of hurting them.
However the government does what it does best,and tries to save money instead of using the Right People for the job.
I will end with one major issue I have come across with Universal Credit, and it has to do with any money you owe to the benefits systems, such as HMRC, DWP, Housing Benefit, etc. Since the change to Universal Credit is is now easier for the government to reclaim any money they ‘claim’ you may owe them. Where as before the debt management team would be passed the debt to deal with, it is now passed straight to Universal Credit. This means your debt is no longer checked for validity before you get a deduction. Although you can contact them after a deduction to discuss it and possibly alter a repayment amount. However no matter how much you dispute the amount owed to Universal Credit, the will continue to take a deduction until told otherwise from the department that claimed you owe them money. So in short they will take money off you even if you dont owe any.