Guide discussion: Universal credit

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Former_MSE_Sam_M
Former_MSE_Sam_M Posts: 346 Forumite
edited 27 September 2017 at 1:57PM in Benefits & tax credits

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  • enchantedforest
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    Hi, thanks for the guide. Please could you explore the indications for self-employed people please? I've read somewhere that there will be a minimum income floor and if you don't hit one month, you get nothing. Also something about having to pay yourself the minimum wage for every hour worked. Obviously,lots of us who are self-employed have good months and bad months - I am worried that because I will have to submit my income every month, some months I won't hit the minimum floor and other months I will earn too much, so either way I will be struggling and Universal credit will be no help at all.
  • clouty
    clouty Posts: 118 Forumite
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    A very useful table of what triggers a claim for UC, what counts as a 'change of circumstances' that means you move (natural migration, no transitional protection) to UC from a legacy benefit and etc.
    https://www.welfare-benefits-unit.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/What-triggers-a-claim-for-Universal-Credit-in-a-full-service-area.pdf
    may your good days grow
  • clouty
    clouty Posts: 118 Forumite
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    Hi, thanks for the guide. Please could you explore the indications for self-employed people please? I've read somewhere that there will be a minimum income floor and if you don't hit one month, you get nothing. Also something about having to pay yourself the minimum wage for every hour worked. Obviously,lots of us who are self-employed have good months and bad months - I am worried that because I will have to submit my income every month, some months I won't hit the minimum floor and other months I will earn too much, so either way I will be struggling and Universal credit will be no help at all.
    This is one of the less-known Universal Credit flaws. But, the minimum income floor doesn't apply for the first 12 months of self-employment. This is the CAB guide to self employed claims for Universal Credit
    ...which I hope will be of help. Good luck. Martin's best advice is to get your tax credits and housing benefits claims in before UC rolls out in your area :cool:
    may your good days grow
  • IAmWales
    IAmWales Posts: 2,024 Forumite
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    I can't see any mention of the loss of the severe disability premium.

    Also your detail on transitional protection does not state that you don't get it if you are subject to natural migration (or at least I don't think it does, there's lots of information there). This is a really important point.

    As someone with cognitive difficulties I find the guide very difficult to follow, it's a mass of text. It is a complex area, but it would be better to break it down with links to separate fact sheets for different circumstances. Even the gov guidance is easier to follow, and that's saying something!
  • clouty
    clouty Posts: 118 Forumite
    edited 8 November 2017 at 11:52AM
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    If you mean that table I posted, IAm, yes, it's designed for advisors really. Sorry. We're all trying to develop user friendly material, that's a source really. If the table says you need to make a new claim for UC, then that's without transitional protection.

    There are no disability premiums on UC, instead the LCRWA (equivalent of the Support Group of ESA) element is £318.76 a month = £73.56 pw... instead of the old £36.55 SG component plus £15.90 Enhanced DP on ESA income-related. If you were also eligible for the Severe Disability Premium (because of a PIP daily living or DLA mid or high care award) you should avoid natural migration - where a change of circs means you have to make a new claim for UC - if you possibly can.

    Even with managed migration, which starts in 2019 so they say at the mo, and should end in 2022 the transitional protection will erode as inflation increases the value of UC payments, while yours stay fixed until the old rate is met and overtaken by inflated UC rates...

    But, bear in mind that (for example) DLA to PIP transfers started in 2013. In August this year there were still 2.2 million DLA awards in payment. PIP awards to that date total 1.4 million. After four years...

    The more I learn about UC the worse it gets.
    may your good days grow
  • Ames
    Ames Posts: 18,459 Forumite
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    clouty wrote: »
    A very useful table of what triggers a claim for UC, what counts as a 'change of circumstances' that means you move (natural migration, no transitional protection) to UC from a legacy benefit and etc.
    https://www.welfare-benefits-unit.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/What-triggers-a-claim-for-Universal-Credit-in-a-full-service-area.pdf

    As I suspected, failing a WCA means loss of transitional protection. Presumably that would also apply after managed migration. Am I being too cynical to think that there will be a lot of 'wrong' decisions made which lose people the SDP even if ESA is reinstated?

    I really wish the opposition parties had concentrated their arguments against UC on these rules, not just the phone charges. Not only in the hope of change, but because a lot of claimants are going to have a shock.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
  • JarkayColt
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    Reading this guide has made me aware that - despite the government stating "no one will be worse off" - certain people such as myself may in fact lose their benefit entitlement in the changeover (unless I've missed something.)

    I currently claim working tax credit (with the disability element) which, as far as I remember, is means-tested largely on income and only factors in savings indirectly (it accounts for money earnt from interest but only if this is over £500 a year.) Although my income before benefits is only 4 figures, I've been sensible and have saved over the £16k threshold that would now apply to Universal Credit claimants, which presumably means I'd lose the full amount (because somehow I doubt this would form part of the "transitional" arrangement.)

    So, I imagine this would adversely affect those claiming either working or child tax credits who - despite being on a low income - have large rainy day funds (say, for a deposit). It all seems kind of unfair to me, especially since everything nowadays seems only to punish those who save. I was once told by the DWP that the assumption with the other benefits (JSA/ESA etc) is that people with savings will draw an income from that. Surely, for those on a low income, that completely defeats the purpose of having savings.

    Tl;dr If tax credits work differently then why lump them in with everything else under one system?
  • IAmWales
    IAmWales Posts: 2,024 Forumite
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    If you mean that table I posted, IAm, yes, it's designed for advisors really

    No, I was referring to the MSE guide. I am already aware of your link and it is far more user friendly than the MSE stuff, which is far too wordy.

    (I understand about the various premiums, but am concerned about those that do not, and the lack of accessible information. Many aren't even aware of a change until they receive their new award.)
  • Ames
    Ames Posts: 18,459 Forumite
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    IAmWales wrote: »
    No, I was referring to the MSE guide. I am already aware of your link and it is far more user friendly than the MSE stuff, which is far too wordy.

    (I understand about the various premiums, but am concerned about those that do not, and the lack of accessible information. Many aren't even aware of a change until they receive their new award.)

    It's one of the reasons the government were happy to back down on tax credit changes a couple of years ago - they got lots of good press for that, but hardly anyone noticed that the changes were kept for UC so would eventually apply to everyone anyway.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
  • [Deleted User]
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    Its worth remembering that transitional relief will only come into play when they start "managed" migrations thats not expected until 2019 at the earliest.
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