Universal Credit help

Hi I am brand new to claiming benefits and am about to apply for UC  . I am single , no rent and have 4 children all born before 2017 some with disabilities and earn above the required amount to be in the light touch group so believe I will be entitled to a large amount of UC . After reading lots of negatives about this I am very nervous and unsure about how this all works in terms of reviews being done, and deprivation of capital along with whats allowed in general and on children’s savings accounts ( I currently have no savings of any kind for me or kids but once I start getting UC I would like to put small amounts monthly away for my children in their own names and save up for the future). I have never been allowed any control over the household finances before so I am trying to work my way around all of this which is very daunting. I am terrified of applying and then doing something wrong it is an awful feeling as I cannot buy food or pay bills without applying now I am on my own so I need to apply this week.

Could anyone help me understand what you are “allowed” to spend your money on monthly after bills? That might sound stupid but it seems so unclear to me. I understand the rules of if you have over 16k in savings you cannot claim, and anything over 6k has reductions but its more around what can money be spent on that’s ok on a monthly basis. I need a car, once I can afford this can I lease a car ? If I pay for things in cash do I need to keep receipts for everything the whole time I am claiming? Will I get into trouble if I get something they think is too expensive e.g. a large family car for 5 people and a dog etc. Can I go on holiday? How much can I spend on food? Can I give my friend a birthday present? Doing anything with 4 children is very expensive going out for a meal or to the cinema are these allowed? I feel its quite overwhelming if I am entitled to claim x amount but then I don’t know what it can be spent on after paying bills obviously but then what bills are deemed reasonable. I have spoken to CAB but they just seem focused on what I can apply for rather than how the money is then used. I am looking into play therapy and animal therapy but apart from those I am unsure.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated I am going through a terrible divorce at the moment and am struggling to cope so please be kind . Thank you for reading my rambling post and apologies is is so long and likely daft .


Comments

  • peteuk
    peteuk Posts: 1,224
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    Have you tried a benefit calculator?

    UC dont care what’s in your bank account as long as its under £6K and certainly under £16K, its usually around these areas that deprivation is looked out.  For example should your car break down then its reasonable to get it fixed/buy a new one.  But if you buy a top of the range car to bring your savings down to less than £16K when a cheaper version is available then it would raise questions.  

    General household expenditure is not looked at.
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  • marcia_
    marcia_ Posts: 1,497
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    edited 24 October 2023 at 3:47PM
      When you receive your payment its yours to do with what you want. You can spend it, save it or waste it on anything of your choice. No need for receipts or anything like that. 

     Do you get DLA for any of your children? That can help pay for therapies although not a rule that it must be spent on such 
  • Thank you yes I have used the calculator which shows a fairly high amount . I have no car so thats one thing that confuses me if I can afford a good car and need a large one once I have money coming in each month then who makes the decision on how much I spend on that? If I have no savings or under the 6k amount for example it just seems so overwhelming and I dont want to do anything wrong. 
  • marcia_ said:
      When you receive your payment its yours to do with what you want. You can spend it, save it or waste it on anything of your choice. No need for receipts or anything like that. 

     Do you get DLA for any of your children? That can help pay for therapies although not a rule that it must be spent on such 
    I have applied for 2 of them as they needed renewed and had ran out so hopefully that will help too thank you
  • Sam_55 said:
    … once I have money coming in each month then who makes the decision on how much I spend on that? 
    Nobody, only you.

    It's only if you start using up savings above £6,000 that they might want to know why.  But your income, the money you get each month, completely up to you.  They do not care.
  • Alice_Holt
    Alice_Holt Posts: 5,855
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    When applying for UC try https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/help-to-claim/

    You can spend your money as you see fit. 

    Deprivation of capital relates to people who deliberately spend money with the intention of retaining / increasing their means testing benefits. An example might be giving money away to a relative to stay under the £16k limit 

    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • marcia_
    marcia_ Posts: 1,497
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    Sam_55 said:
    marcia_ said:
      When you receive your payment its yours to do with what you want. You can spend it, save it or waste it on anything of your choice. No need for receipts or anything like that. 

     Do you get DLA for any of your children? That can help pay for therapies although not a rule that it must be spent on such 
    I have applied for 2 of them as they needed renewed and had ran out so hopefully that will help too thank you
     If any of them get high rate mobility you might consider a motability car 
  • marcia_
    marcia_ Posts: 1,497
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    edited 24 October 2023 at 5:22PM
     You might want to discuss being newly single and responsible for money for the first time. You might get some initial support here on the family board https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/categories/marriage-relationships-families
  • powerspowers
    powerspowers Posts: 1,100
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    It’s your money, you can spend it on what you like. 
    I’m sorry you are finding things overwhelming, it can be hard working out budgets etc yourself but you’ll get there x
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