Benefit assessment delays due to coronavirus has cost a couple thousands as they wait for their claim to be finalised.

The couple has lost more than £500 a month after they were told to apply for universal credit almost six months ago.

The husband and wife, from the south west of Glasgow, received tax credits due to the mum working part time for the NHS.

She received more than £500 in Limited Capability to Work payments through tax credits.

However, the family said due to a change in household circumstances in January they were to be put on universal credit instead and the payments stopped.

They have been told they are not entitled to universal credit as it is income dependent but say the limited capability to work payment has not yet been taken into account.

The couple did not get an assessment due to delays and then when lockdown was introduced face to face assessments were suspended and they have not been assessed.

They had submitted a joint claim for universal credit and were told that when the Limited Capability to Work element was taken into account their income could not change. But they needed an assessment.

The husband said: “There are no face to face assessments to clarify my wife’s disability so the claim is not being progressed properly.

“There is a doctor’s letter as supporting evidence.”

He said the loss of income has put them into hardship

He added: “We have had to miss gas, electric and council tax payments and have also been to a food bank.”

The couple’s MP said they are “in limbo and missing out potentially on hundred of pounds a month.”

Chris Stephens, Glasgow South West SNP MP, has written to Therese Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, stating they have not has a Work Capability assessment due to Covid 19 but could have it done via telephone or a paper assessment,

He said: “Delays meant that this did not take place before the outbreak of the pandemic and they have now gone over three months without a decision, meaning they could have potentially missed out on hundreds of pounds in Limited Capability for Work payments if this element was added on their UC claim.

Glasgow Times: Chris StephensChris Stephens

He added: “Whilst I understand the significant strain that has been place on DWP and assessment services by the pandemic, I am sure you can appreciate the concern of my constituents and other claimants of ill health and disability benefits that extensive delays could be costing them social security entitlements which they might be due if assessments could proceed as normal.”

A DWP spokesman said the couple are not entitled to Universal Credit as it is income based.

He said: “Household income is taken into account when determining eligibility for Universal Credit and, on that basis, (the couple) are not entitled.

“They continue to receive support through the Personal Independence Payment.”

The DWP said there is no backlog resulting from the coronavirus pandemic but it has suspended face-to-face assessments.

It said that it is looking at the couple’s situation in terms of any limited capability for work, and it will contact them directly.