Working Family Payment

SuperS

New Member
Messages
3
So, Im receiving WFP but to juggle childcare as a (newly/recent) lone parent I ran out of annual leave and had to take parental leave during the last 52 weeks since WFP began. I'm concerned that I wont qualify for WFP for the next 52 weeks because of this. Is this the case? Advice greatly appreciated.
 

lughildanach

Registered User
Messages
119
So, Im receiving WFP but to juggle childcare as a (newly/recent) lone parent I ran out of annual leave and had to take parental leave during the last 52 weeks since WFP began. I'm concerned that I wont qualify for WFP for the next 52 weeks because of this. Is this the case? Advice greatly appreciated.
This is actually a huge problem, and has been for years. If you take any unpaid leave that brings your hours to below 19 in any one week, if the Department become aware of this, they will ask for the money back for that week. If your average over the year drops to below 19 per week, they may ask for all the money back for the year and refuse your new claim. There are arguments to say that this is not in accordance with the legislation, and also they often make mistakes in the calculations. The Appeals Office are much more sympathetic and flexible in their approach. If you have a decision made against you, you should appeal.

It is further complicated by the COVID situation, where lack of access to childcare due to COVID is considered by the Department to be equal to lay-off and therefore does not affect WFP entitlement.
 

lughildanach

Registered User
Messages
119
I don't think this is correct. I wouldn't overthink it. I don't think you'll have any problem with renewal.
I see this happen all the time. If the P60 shows a drop in the average below 19 hours per week, they will assess an overpayment. Depending on the reason for the drop, these decisions can be appealed.
 

michaelm

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,771
No doubt they might look to reclaim over-payment where hours drop below 19/week but I don't see how they could extend that to '"ask for all the money back for the year". The P60 says nothing about hours. The employer completes the renewal form stating current average weekly hours and confirming that the job is likely to last for at least 3 months. SuperS' story sounds like a blip to me and I expect renewal won't be a huge problem for them . . you may have insider knowledge of the workings in FIS section, which would trump my layman's assessment.
 
Last edited:

SuperS

New Member
Messages
3
This is actually a huge problem, and has been for years. If you take any unpaid leave that brings your hours to below 19 in any one week, if the Department become aware of this, they will ask for the money back for that week. If your average over the year drops to below 19 per week, they may ask for all the money back for the year and refuse your new claim. There are arguments to say that this is not in accordance with the legislation, and also they often make mistakes in the calculations. The Appeals Office are much more sympathetic and flexible in their approach. If you have a decision made against you, you should appeal.

It is further complicated by the COVID situation, where lack of access to childcare due to COVID is considered by the Department to be equal to lay-off and therefore does not affect WFP entitlement.
Thank you so much for your reply. The worry has been keeping me awake at night. I've kept my hours above a minimum of 30/wk during even the hardest of times so it sounds like ill be okay. Ill update here after a decision is made because, apart from ringing the dept and identifying myself, it is quite difficult to find a straight answer to this elsewhere.
 

lughildanach

Registered User
Messages
119
Thank you so much for your reply. The worry has been keeping me awake at night. I've kept my hours above a minimum of 30/wk during even the hardest of times so it sounds like ill be okay. Ill update here after a decision is made because, apart from ringing the dept and identifying myself, it is quite difficult to find a straight answer to this elsewhere.
It is usually not a problem until the renewal application is submitted. When is your renewal due? If you want someone to have a look over your figures/documents before you submit your renewal, PM me.
 
Top