We have potential learners coming to us who were on an unemployed benefit (JSA for example) and are in the process of switching to Universal Credit. I have been informed that there is a 6 week window where the learner is no longer receiving JSA until they start to receive benefits under Universal Credit.
My opinion is that the learner is still eligible for funding during this 6 week window as they are still on an unemployment benefit even though there is a period of time where they may not actually be receiving money, is this correct?
I don’t know exactly how all of the benefit system works so any advice is greatly appreciated…
SteveNovember 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm #211307
Yes, even though they’re not receiving the money they are “on” the benefit for that time as far as I’m aware.
I would certainly be happy for these learners to tick the “universal credit” tick box on my self-declaration form.November 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm #211322
Thanks for the response Steve, that’s what I thought. I have also sent the question to the Data Service so will post their response just so we all have a record incase it’s queried again 🙂November 2, 2017 at 3:32 pm #211324
Logically they must still be eligible. You can’t exactly say they are “in employment”!
CasparNovember 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm #211356
Just to confirm, the Data Service gave this response:
“Learners in the process of switching to Universal Credit would be funded; however, I suggest that for audit purposes they supply some form of evidence of their situation. Even if there is a window where the learner is no longer receiving JSA, they will still be registered as claiming Universal Credit.
The learner should still be eligible for funding during the 6 week window, as they are still on benefits, as per Para 142-143 of the AEB guidance – even though there is a period of time where they may not actually be receiving money.”
What is your opinion where learners have applied for Universal Credit but don’t have a ‘confirmation letter’ yet? We sometimes have Job Centre advisors assuring us that the claim “should go through” but at the point the learner has been referred to us by the Job Centre, we have no evidence the learner has actually been ‘accepted’ onto Universal Credit.
Would you also agree that these learners are eligible for the funding, seeing as they have been referred to us by the Job Centre?
SteveNovember 10, 2017 at 8:23 am #213159
The problem with the scenario that you describe is that although the Job Centre may be acting with good intent, the individual’s claim for Universal Credit might get rejected on some technicality in the small print and then what would you do?
CasparNovember 10, 2017 at 10:33 am #213185
All benefits are done on a Self-Declaration basis, there DEFINITELY shouldn’t be “evidence” beyond a learner ticking a box. If that’s what the service desk is implying they’re about to get (yet another) strongly-worded email…
Caspar, it’s up to the learner to tell us about their change in circumstances (or at lest it is if you’ve worded your learner agreement properly!), so if they don’t get UC, then they tell us and we change them to co-funded, don’t see what the problem is?November 10, 2017 at 10:52 am #213191
No need to panic!
The normal self-declaration for this could include ‘I am in receipt of Universal Credit’ tick box on the enrolment form. What the service desk are implying is that you may need alternative evidence where the learner is in the period between JSA and UC. I would think a similar self-declaration for this would be appropriate and meet the audit requirement.
HTHNovember 10, 2017 at 11:25 am #213204
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