First time UC claim for Disabled child/Carer

Hi there,

I was wondering if anybody would know, but I've had to reduce my working hours several times to help manage my son's Autism, and it's left us looking at alternative help to manage especially whilst things are so expensive and his speech therapy and other costs are flying up. 

We came across carers allowance, which we were approved for on and off (as my pay cut offs change monthly, some months were just over the limit and others were way under), but we've only had 1 payment since April so it's really not viable (we're apparently due 2 payments but they're with decision makers and have been since July, I really don't think it's viable relying on money that you have to wait 3 months + for). 

We spoke to someone and they mentioned that the carers element of UC and severely disabled child element may available to us, but we've never claimed UC before and my partners income would take us just over the usual threshold to claim UC, so does anyone know if both of these would still be available to us even if the joint income is too high to receive standard UC?

TLDR - If income is too high for UC, can someone still receive severely disabled child and carer element?

Any responses are much appreciated x

Comments

  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 17,750
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    You can't just claim certain elements of UC as an individual payment because it doesn't work like that. UC is one payment made up of many different elements.

    As you're living with a partner then you'll need to claim as a couple and your joint circumstances will be taken into consideration. There's no "usual" threshold for claiming UC as each individual person will have different circumstances.

    If you haven't usued a benefit calculator to check entitlement then you should do that. https://www.entitledto.co.uk/benefits-calculator

    If you have savings/capital of more than £16,000 you're excluded from claiming.

  • If you have irregular earnings, carers allowance should be able to take this into account rather than stopping and starting the payments. Have you looked into this? 
  • If benefits calculators show you may be entitled to UC - you should do a few different calculations with your varying wage amounts - it automatically responds to fluctuating wages so could be more reliable than CA in the present circumstances.

    If you keep your CA claim open (and there may be some benefit to doing that, with NI credits and it relaxing one of the contributions requirements should you ever need to claim ESA) then it would be deducted from your UC in full.  It could be messy if they keep making you wait around for payments of CA though, with having to retrospectively adjust UC calculations and ending up with overpayments to pay back.
  • Thank you all for the comments, we've done the calculator (thank you Poppy) and it says we should be able to get those elements of UC which is fantastic, hopefully it can create a little bit of stability for us. 

    Housebuyer - when they added us as an irregular earner they gave us a threshold that we can earn to and said if we're under the threshold, call up and they'll make a payment within 2 days. However when we called up they said it needed to go to a decision maker again and it's been around 12 weeks since it was sent there (like the original attempt to claim) and the 2 months after that have also been approved but not yet paid, it all seems to be such a convoluted process.

    Spoonie - The calculator said that we'd only be entitled to the disabled child element and carers element (so none of the means tested elements) but it also listed carers, meaning you're right it would probably be beneficial to keep it on and get it as and when we qualify, but I think it's something we definitely can't rely on.
  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 17,750
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    edited 26 September 2023 at 7:48AM

    The calculator said that we'd only be entitled to the disabled child element and carers element (so none of the means tested elements) but it also listed carers, meaning you're right it would probably be beneficial to keep it on and get it as and when we qualify, but I think it's something we definitely can't rely on.
    That’s not correct. UC is all means tested and not just parts of it.  As I advised UC is one benefit made up of many different elements. Therefore your maximum entitlement will include the couples standard allowance, (over 25) carers element, child element, disabled child element, plus any other elements you maybe entitled to such as housing element. (if you rent your home)

    As you have a child on your claim then you’ll be entitled to the work allowance. If you claim for help with the rent it will be £379/month, if you don’t it will be £631/month. Any earnings above this that you and your partner receive each month will reduce your whole UC entitlement by 55%. 

    The carers allowance will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement. 


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