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Terrified of Universal Credit

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
17 replies 1.3K views
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  • yksiyksi
    277 posts
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    Certain new or changed claims require you to move over to UC.
    £3 a Day January £96/93 woohoo!
    £2020 in 2020 £96/2020
  • edited 15 January at 12:21PM
    Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle
    467 posts
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    edited 15 January at 12:21PM
    A personal experience here, with the usual disclaimer that of course it's no guarantee you'll have a similar experience and of course our situations are not the same, but:

    I lost my job last year on the grounds of ill health after being off for 9 months due to ME/CFS, had to apply for UC* and apart from work messing up my notice period pay and having to fight for my first UC payment, it's been fine so far.

    My work coach is brilliant, only calling me in when absolutely necessary - i.e. to hand in a new fit note, every 3 months so far, and turned off all work-related requirements. The only thing I have to do is check my online journal, and attend those bare minimum appointments. They're usually about 5 mins long (though I was assigned to a Jobcentre 45 mins away due to our postcode, despite having two closer - however because I only have to go occasionally and I have such a good work coach it wasn't worth trying to plead for going to one closer).

    The UC50 form applying for LCW/RA was in the same vein as a PIP form (but obviously with different criteria and descriptors). I've just had my face-to-face assessment this morning where I was so exhausted by having to sit waiting I ended up in tears before I even got in to the appointment; the assessor told me several times that if the DWP had read my form they shouldn't have called me in and that she was curtailing it because I was evidently very unwell and that it was inappropriate I was even there, let alone to have a full-length assessment.

    Of course, I have heard stories of assessors being really nice and then writing all sorts of rubbish on the report, so I'm not rejoicing just yet - however if I don't get the right decision, at least it will have been without having to waste an hour struggling to string sentences together, not explaining myself properly, making me feel even more rubbish than I already was. (Does that make any sense?)

    *actually my NI record was intact so I may have been eligible for new-style ESA at the time, but I didn't think I had any kind of NI record until I checked a few weeks ago - it was treated as paid as I earned enough for that, but not enough to actually pay.


    For you, ultimately they have to make reasonable adjustments for your disability, whatever those adjustments might be. If you are found fit for work and have to appeal, in the meantime they still have an obligation to make those reasonable adjustments.

    The guidance is that work coaches have discretion to accommodate individual circumstances too.

    Does your child with SEN receive DLA?

    As for studying part time (something like OU I guess?) I don't think it would be a problem as long as it doesn't contradict the reasons for applying for LCW/RA. So if you were studying all day every day for a few weeks but put in your form/application that you couldn't ever concentrate or learn new things, that would certainly be investigated. However, if the majority of the time you can't concentrate or learn and you truthfully explain that *and* how you are the rest of the time, and you use the small bursts of brainpower you have for the minority of the time in order to study, that would not be a contradiction.
  • Thank you all so much for all of the advice. I’m feeling a lot more positive about it now . Even if I have to fight for it , I’ll hopefully get there in the end .
  • poppy12345poppy12345
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    yksi wrote: »
    Certain new or changed claims require you to move over to UC.
    No, not for everyone. It will depend on what the change of circumstances are.
  • calcotticalcotti
    4.7K posts
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    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Posts
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    As suggested previously please get a benefits check done before making a claim for UC. One thing that has not been mentioned yet is that if you have sufficient NI contributions between April 2017 and March 2019 you could claim new style ESA. Unlike UC this would not end your existing Tax Credits claim.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • yksiyksi
    277 posts
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    poppy12345 wrote: »
    No, not for everyone. It will depend on what the change of circumstances are.
    Well I didn't say everyone. I said certain claims! Sheesh
    £3 a Day January £96/93 woohoo!
    £2020 in 2020 £96/2020
  • CyclamenCyclamen
    544 posts
    Forumite ✭✭
    The turn2us website benefits checker is worth exploring.

    The MEassociation, Action for ME and a coupe of the other charities also have guides that can help. The latter had a phone line for benefits.

    The MS society (although not your condition) has some great leaflets too that are free.

    Look for local facebook groups, support groups etc.

    Good luck with it all
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