A GRIEVING Inverclyde family were forced to pay their loved one’s rent for three weeks after his death as a result of Universal Credit rules.

Inverclyde MP Ronnie Cowan felt moved to speak out in parliament about the case and shocking treatment of his constituents.

The Department for Work and Pensions dictate that a Universal Credit claimant is classed as having died from the start of their four week assessment, which can result in families being liable for their rent payment.

Mr Cowan said: “Once again, we witness the callous nature of the Department for Work and Pensions, which classes a person as dead from the beginning of their assessment period, even if they die towards the end of that period.

“This means that family members had to meet the cost of the housing rent for a period of three weeks as the payment was stopped from the beginning of the assessment period.

“This is fundamentally wrong and highlights the cruel nature of the current system which is not fit for purpose.”

Mr Cowan now wants to know how many more families have been affected in this way.

These latest concerns come following a recent report from the National Audit Office slating Universal Credit and questioning its value for money.

Employment minister Alok Sharma wrote a letter to Mr Cowan offering his sympathies to the family involved and explained the system they use.

Mr Cowan says all social security powers should be passed to the Scottish Government so that a more compassionate system can be put in place.

He added: “This is something which is clearly lacking from this UK Government.

“I will be writing to the minister to ask that they sort out this issue.”