For EU nationals, making claims to Universal Credit can be complicated and it’s clear that sometimes DWP decision makers can’t or won’t apply the rules properly. Without the support of NMAP, this can leave families without money, falling into rent arrears.
Jekatarina came to Scotland to work and study seven years ago. In October 2018, when her younger son started at school her Income Support stopped and she tried to claim Universal Credit (UC). She came to us for help when her claim was refused and she couldn’t get an explanation from her UC Journal or the Jobcentre.
We called the Universal Credit helpline and spoke to an adviser who insisted Jekatarina couldn’t get UC because she had never had three months of Jobseekers Allowance but wouldn’t explain any further. We asked him to post the decision on her journal instead.
The decision maker had correctly identified that Jekatarina had the Right to Reside as the carer of a child of an EEA worker in education. Unfortunately, they had then decided to invent an additional rule that she needed to have claimed 3 months of jobseeker allowance before she could have this right to reside. We made a Mandatory Reconsideration of this decision, getting her Universal Credit backdated to her date of claim. Unfortunately, it took until after Christmas for the money to arrive.
It was difficult depending on my friends and family, especially over Christmas. Without NMAP’s help, I would have lost my flat. I didn’t know how to argue with the Jobcentre or what to do next. Thanks for all your effort.