A Whistle-Blower Has Called Out the “Flawed Universal Credit System”

- by Natalie Stone

The credit universal system is in shambles a whistle-blower has said and calls for the flawed universal credit system to be fixed. Cashfloat looks at the statistics.

woman confused by flawed universal credit system - cashfloat
This article is about the flawed universal credit system. We’ll examine:
  • What universal credit is?
  • The Universal Credit System Criticised
  • Why people are stuggling with Universal Credit?
  • Simplifying the process for claimants

The universal credit system is full of faults and flaws that need to be fixed, a whistleblower has said. Together with late payments, the complicated system is slowing down the process of swapping over to universal credit and is allowing debt to grip the very people who need the benefits to survive. Cashfloat, a bad credit loans lender explores the complaints.

What Makes Universal Credit Flawed?

The new benefits system, universal credit was introduced in October 2013. By March 2022 it will have completely replaced the old benefits system. The benefits in the past were made up of 6 different benefits and tax credits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal credit, on the other hand, is a combination of these six benefits in 1 payment monthly. However, changing to the Universal credit system is a process. Unfortunately, it has caused some people a lot of uncertainty, leading them to lose out on the money that keeps them out of debt.

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The ‘Flawed Universal Credit System’ Criticised

A whistle-blower working with the flawed universal credit system claims it not sophisticated enough to take on the extensive process of swapping people over to the new system. The process to switch to universal credit happens in 10 stages, some of which are time sensitive.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice claims that the universal credit system is working for the majority of people. The evidence suggests that only a few are really struggling to navigate the system. However, the system needs to be easy and simple to minimise the number of people getting confused.

The government claim to have improved the universal credit system since getting complaints but even the staff working for the universal credit don’t perceive it that way. They say that the universal credit system is flawed. The culture when answering the phone to confused claimants, it is more about getting them off the phone as opposed to helping them with the issue. As you can imagine, this is very frustrating for the claimants.

flawed universal credit tops up your earnings

One frontline charity claims that the system was not built with the user in mind. This is not a first-time discovery. Citizens Advice charities says it has left more than a third of people they support struggling to provide the evidence they need to change to the new system. Without these necessary benefits, these people are plunging headfirst into debt. And debt is a downward spiral and a vicious circle. It may just end up backfiring on the government.

What sort of evidence are these people finding difficult to find?

According to Citizens Advice, it’s all kinds across the board. As many as 48% are finding difficulties providing evidence for health conditions. 40% and 35% respectively find it difficult to provide evidence for housing and childcare.

flawed universal credit - cashfloat

So much of the 10 stage flawed universal credit claim include time-sensitive deadlines and is fraught with failures and second tries, unfortunately, if any deadline is missed the claim must be restarted. This creates a delay, confusion and utter chaos for the people changing over to universal credit.

Late payment

Besides for all the red tape with the new system of claims, thousands more suffer from an entirely under-estimated detrimental effect, namely that of late payments. Despite Universal Credit boasting about its efficiency and neat changes, it has caused many people to wait for the monthly universal credit payment. Anyone relying on these payments for basic financial survival will no doubt found it very difficult to cope. Chances of claimants sinking into a swamp of debt from just their 1st delayed payment rise to 23% aside from the despairing 60% who resorted to borrowing money like best payday loans.

Unfortunately, many of the claimants helped by Citizens advice fell prey to late payments of the flawed universal system with a quarter spending more than a week completing their complicated claims.

Simplifying the Process for Claimants

Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, said, “while people are already forced to wait a prescribed five weeks as a matter of course, any further delays risk significantly jeopardising peoples financial security.”. She made a point of stressing the “top of the government’s list” must be simplifying this flawed universal credit process for the uninitiated, saving people from the brink.

A DWP spokesperson welcomed her expert opinion with a try-as-you-might approach while recognising the upside of the new system. He is quoted as saying “The vast majority of Universal Credit claimants are paid in full and on time, with fast-tracking engaged for the customers in need.”. Consequently, he ensures that the DWP are looking forward to collaborating with Citizens Advice to secure all those who seek help in making their claims with access to that help.

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About The Author
Natalie Stone
Natalie Stone is an accomplished writer. In her 'spare time' she paints in watercolour and acrylic. Her favourite scenes are of sunset over the sea, or of poisonous snakes in the rainforest. She wishes you success with your financial pursuits!
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