Posted: Mon 3rd Feb 2020

Mark Tami MP Takes Action to Help Pensioners Being Pushed into Poverty

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 3rd, 2020

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AN MP is taking action to help pensioners who are being pushed into poverty by delays to Universal Credit payments. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament to help pensioners who are being left without income for up to nine weeks. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The EDM was tabled after Citizens Advice Flintshire asked Mr Tami to help people who face delays between their Universal Credit (UC) ending and their state pension payments starting. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I’ve tabled this EDM and am writing to all my fellow MPs urging them to support it,” said Mark Tami MP. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“It’s not right that some pension-age people have to go nine weeks with no income. This affects many of my constituents, causing them stress and worry and pushing them into poverty.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Government has acted to mitigate the five week wait time at the start of a claim after campaigns by Citizens Advice and MPs including Mr Tami. However the less-publicised wait at the end of a claim is having serious consequences for people approaching pension age. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

A claimant whose Universal Credit is ending because they are reaching state pension age, and who will be eligible for Pension Credit (PC), has their last UC assessment period and award paid on a pro-rata basis. That means if there are 20 days in a 30-day month between their last payday and their first day of state pension, they will only receive two thirds of their monthly UC award. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

If a claimant is reaching state pension age but won’t be eligible for PC, the last UC award is not payable. For people whose state pension day falls at the end of their UC assessment period, that means 30 days without any income payable. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

After that up to 30-day period before state pension day, the claimant will then have to wait five weeks for their first payment of state pension. That can be a wait of up to nine weeks without money, at the end of which only four weeks’ worth of money will actually be payable. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Mr Tami added: “The Government can easily fix this situation by extending the rules on pro-rata UC payments for people transitioning to Pension Credit to also apply to people transitioning to State Pension without Pension Credit.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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