Migrating to UC problems


Am on CTC and ESA (cont) in support group. Was medically accessed for the latter as I have stage four cancer, on indefinite chemo. 

I work a tiny bit of self employment under permitted work: probably on average 2 hours per week. I like it as it’s my hobby and keeps me busy, but it doesn’t really make any money. Can’t work more hours due to health. 

Being migrated to UC. No change of circumstances. I ticked the boxes saying self employed and permitted work. 

In the journal I wrote to them saying communication can’t be by phone as I struggle too much as a result of chemo side effects. Happy to communicate via email, journal or post. They confirmed receipt. 

Earlier today I was in bed feeling shocking. Got a phone call from the job centre saying he wanted to discuss my self employment. I explained that I had requested no phone calls as I was not well enough, and that today I was ill, recovering from chemo and asked he communicate via email or message as requested. He pressed me to continue with the call. I again said that I was not well enough due to having had chemotherapy for cancer treatment. He again said it was in my benefit to continue the call. My head was spinning and I said to him politely that I was not well enough to do so and asked him to communicate another way, and said goodbye. 

I’ve now received three messages in the journal saying that as I “declined the call”, he has established that I am “not in gainful employment” and that I will therefore be expected to seek work, keep a full journal of how I am doing so, and all receipts and income to be reported each month. 

I am simply not well enough to do this. I am not well enough to work more than a few hours per week and nobody is going to employ anyone who has to have every 2 out of three 3 weeks off for chemo recovery + other random days! This is the whole reason why I do permitted work. 

I would appreciate any advice as currently I feel like giving up with the claim.
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  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,099
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 4:55PM

    Am on CTC and ESA (cont) in support group. Was medically accessed for the latter as I have stage four cancer, on indefinite chemo. 

    I work a tiny bit of self employment under permitted work: probably on average 2 hours per week. I like it as it’s my hobby and keeps me busy, but it doesn’t really make any money. Can’t work more hours due to health. 

    Being migrated to UC. No change of circumstances. I ticked the boxes saying self employed and permitted work. 

    In the journal I wrote to them saying communication can’t be by phone as I struggle too much as a result of chemo side effects. Happy to communicate via email, journal or post. They confirmed receipt. 

    Earlier today I was in bed feeling shocking. Got a phone call from the job centre saying he wanted to discuss my self employment. I explained that I had requested no phone calls as I was not well enough, and that today I was ill, recovering from chemo and asked he communicate via email or message as requested. He pressed me to continue with the call. I again said that I was not well enough due to having had chemotherapy for cancer treatment. He again said it was in my benefit to continue the call. My head was spinning and I said to him politely that I was not well enough to do so and asked him to communicate another way, and said goodbye. 

    I’ve now received three messages in the journal saying that as I “declined the call”, he has established that I am “not in gainful employment” and that I will therefore be expected to seek work, keep a full journal of how I am doing so, and all receipts and income to be reported each month. 

    I am simply not well enough to do this. I am not well enough to work more than a few hours per week and nobody is going to employ anyone who has to have every 2 out of three 3 weeks off for chemo recovery + other random days! This is the whole reason why I do permitted work. 

    I would appreciate any advice as currently I feel like giving up with the claim.
    As you moved from ESA support Group to UC you should be put in LCWRA so no work related activities.
    I  would leave a note into your journal stating that fact. (what you do next depends on their reply).

    Under UC  there isn't permitted work as such. you are free to work as little or a much (within the limits of earnings) as you want with no work requirements.

    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,191
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 4:57PM
    Your ESA support group should transfer over to UC as LCWRA which means you will have no work requirements.  I don't think you can be deemed gainfully self-employed if you have LCWRA either so they shouldn't have tried to assess you as such.

    What do your commitments (in your journal) say?

    When exactly did you start your UC claim?  Have you had a statement (for payment) yet?  If so then you can check whether it includes the LCWRA element. 

    If not, I'm not sure where you would find out but if there isn't anything obvious to say about it, leave a message on your journal to say you're already in the Support Group (I assume it's been more then 3 months since your assessment?), are entitled to the LCWRA element from the start, and that your claimant commitment should be appropriate for your severe health limitations.

    Just to double check, you did fill in the bit about your health when you first applied, and what does it say under 'other benefits' in the list on your journal?
  • Thank you for your reply.

    Does this mean that I cannot claim ESA standalone anymore? Does it become part of UC?
    Do I have to continue with my UC claim in order to continue getting a payment equivalent to ESA?


  • Muttleythefrog
    Muttleythefrog Posts: 19,691
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 5:05PM
    As above... yes I would state you are classified as having LCWRA (ESA Support Group) and should therefore have no work related requirements. And (I imagine I'd be restraining my anger here) politely point out you took the call but have already explained that due to chemo you cannot realistically communicate via phone but are happy to use other methods. A classic case of them failing to update systems and automated nonsense with drone like personnel who simply do not listen or provide poor advice. I've had similar experience when my wife needed to be classified as a carer... drone on phone 'so I'll put down your first job type for work search as carer'.."NOOOOO.. I am not seeking work and do not need to.. how do I get you to update your system"!

    Hopefully once LCWRA is transferred over any appointments will be cancelled, stopped.

    One good thing about UC is the Journal... a trace of exactly what you've said and done... and you will get this resolved.. so stick with it...it is just unfortunate they're causing you unnecessary initial distress. And my best wishes in regard to your health.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,099
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 5:03PM
    Sorry I just read migrating,  your ESA (cont) remain but you should still be moved to LCWRA.
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • Thank you for your reply.

    Does this mean that I cannot claim ESA standalone anymore? Does it become part of UC?
    Do I have to continue with my UC claim in order to continue getting a payment equivalent to ESA?


    How long have you been claiming ESA?

    If it's new-style (since 2017/2018) then you will keep receiving it alongside UC, it'll be deducted in full from your UC.

    However you should continue claiming UC to get the rest of the financial help, and passported help.  I appreciate that your experience with it so far has not been good but honestly once it's established you have LCWRA, they'll leave you alone.  You will still have to fill out income and expenses every month to declare your work but if it's a small amount (below £379/month if you rent, or £631 of you don't) it won't even affect your payments.
  • Thank you all. I am already losing the will to live and feel like discontinuing with the UC claim. I was under the impression that I would lose my CTC if I did so but would continue with the ESA (cont) payment. Have I got this wrong? Would I actually lose both if I don’t continue with the claim?

    Also I have over £16k of savings… is my understanding correct that I won’t receive full UC as a result and that in 12 months it will stop completely, once transitory protection comes to an end? 
  • Your ESA support group should transfer over to UC as LCWRA which means you will have no work requirements.  I don't think you can be deemed gainfully self-employed if you have LCWRA either so they shouldn't have tried to assess you as such.

    What do your commitments (in your journal) say?

    When exactly did you start your UC claim?  Have you had a statement (for payment) yet?  If so then you can check whether it includes the LCWRA element. 

    If not, I'm not sure where you would find out but if there isn't anything obvious to say about it, leave a message on your journal to say you're already in the Support Group (I assume it's been more then 3 months since your assessment?), are entitled to the LCWRA element from the start, and that your claimant commitment should be appropriate for your severe health limitations.

    Just to double check, you did fill in the bit about your health when you first applied, and what does it say under 'other benefits' in the list on your journal?
    Journal message I am not gainfully employed, will be required to seek work and required to tell them all income and expenses every month. 

    Yes I told them about my health when I applied included stage four cancer on indefinite chemotherapy. 

    I applied a week ago and am currently being bombarded with messages and don’t feel well enough to comply 


  • Thank you for your reply.

    Does this mean that I cannot claim ESA standalone anymore? Does it become part of UC?
    Do I have to continue with my UC claim in order to continue getting a payment equivalent to ESA?


    How long have you been claiming ESA?

    If it's new-style (since 2017/2018) then you will keep receiving it alongside UC, it'll be deducted in full from your UC.

    However you should continue claiming UC to get the rest of the financial help, and passported help.  I appreciate that your experience with it so far has not been good but honestly once it's established you have LCWRA, they'll leave you alone.  You will still have to fill out income and expenses every month to declare your work but if it's a small amount (below £379/month if you rent, or £631 of you don't) it won't even affect your payments.
    I think it says ESA cont on the paperwork I have. I seem to recall it’s not new style. Claimed from about 2017. 
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,191
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 5:41PM
    Thank you for your reply.

    Does this mean that I cannot claim ESA standalone anymore? Does it become part of UC?
    Do I have to continue with my UC claim in order to continue getting a payment equivalent to ESA?


    How long have you been claiming ESA?

    If it's new-style (since 2017/2018) then you will keep receiving it alongside UC, it'll be deducted in full from your UC.

    However you should continue claiming UC to get the rest of the financial help, and passported help.  I appreciate that your experience with it so far has not been good but honestly once it's established you have LCWRA, they'll leave you alone.  You will still have to fill out income and expenses every month to declare your work but if it's a small amount (below £379/month if you rent, or £631 of you don't) it won't even affect your payments.
    I think it says ESA cont on the paperwork I have. I seem to recall it’s not new style. Claimed from about 2017. 
    If it's definitely contributions-based then it'll continue as well.

    Right now just ignore the messages and state, firmly, that you have LCWRA and your commitments/requirements should reflect that.

    Truly, with LCWRA you will have no work-related requirements.  I hate that they're distressing you like this and they are completely wrong anyway.

    Then when you're feeling more up to it, deal with the messages if need be but state each time that you have LCWRA. 

    Please try not to worry too much about it.  Sorting it might be a pain at first but once it is sorted they should leave you alone.  It'll be worth it for 12 months of extra financial help and anything else you can get for being on UC.
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