Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister for Communities whether Universal Credit staff have been applying Regulation 25 of the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Job Seekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations (NI) 2016 to allow decision makers to extend the time for claiming Universal Credit and ensure there is no gap between the Employment Support Allowance or Jobseekers Allowance claim and entitlement to Universal Credit; and, in instances when these regulations were not applied, what measures her Department will take to remunerate people who have been disadvantaged as a consequence. [Priority Written]
Minister for Communities: Regulation 25 of the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 allows the Department to backdate a claim for Universal Credit for up to a month in a limited number of circumstances. This is to protect the most vulnerable who may be delayed in claiming through no fault of their own.
Once an application is made and it is accepted that the provisions of this regulation apply, backdating is always granted.
My Department is fully aware of this provision, applies it and will continue to do so as appropriate.