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  • FIRST POST
    • Harrybrown100121
    • By Harrybrown100121 9th Nov 19, 7:35 PM
    • 26Posts
    • 24Thanks
    Harrybrown100121
    Living on benefits
    • #1
    • 9th Nov 19, 7:35 PM
    Living on benefits 9th Nov 19 at 7:35 PM
    How do people survive on benefits? I just looked and I will receive just over 400 pounds a month. I still have to pay rent, council tax, service charge, car insurance, car tax, heating, gas. I donít know how I would cope.
Page 2
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 10th Nov 19, 4:56 PM
    • 7,178 Posts
    • 5,467 Thanks
    sheramber
    Do you have a source of reference for that information or have you made it up? I have been searching for the answer to that question for a number of months, and I could not find any information to say that.

    I hope that you are correct, however as I have not seen it officially myself while searching for that information, I prefer to air on the side of caution, until I know something is fact and that it is black and white from an official source.
    Originally posted by Mark Norville

    Google has the answer
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Universal-Credit-Sanctions/How-much-will-a-Universal-Credit-sanction-be
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Nov 19, 5:02 PM
    • 4,397 Posts
    • 2,988 Thanks
    calcotti
    I think the way this content is worded is misleading

    It says "If you get additional elements for Universal Credit, you will carry on getting them". I think it should say "If you get additional elements for Universal Credit, you will carry on getting them included in your maximum entitlement". As explained in my earlier post a sanction can, I believe, erode these other elements if the UC payable has already been reduced by earnings etc (or indeed other deductions).

    This page is quite useful https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-debt-and-deductions-that-can-be-taken-from-payments#what-is-a-conditionality-sanction-or-fraud-penalty
    See in particular
    How much can be taken from Universal Credit payments?
    There is an overall maximum percentage rate for all debts and deductions that can be taken from a Universal Credit payment. The maximum amount that can be deducted is an amount equivalent to 30% of the claimantís Universal Credit standard allowance.

    There are 2 exceptions to this rule, Last Resort Deductions (arrears of housing and fuel) and ongoing monthly costs for utilities (gas, electricity and water) where there are also arrears being taken for them.
    Last edited by calcotti; 10-11-2019 at 5:12 PM.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Nov 19, 5:15 PM
    • 4,397 Posts
    • 2,988 Thanks
    calcotti
    Just remembered this which directly addresses the question of sanctions and how they can affect the housing element https://universalcreditinfo.net/myths/they-cant-take-away-my-rent-money-if-im-sanctioned
    Why can housing costs be used to pay for sanctions?

    If you receive less than the standard allowance in addition to your housing costs - for example because you have other income that reduces your entitlement, or the DWP are making deductions from your benefit such as for advance payments or utility arrears payments - some of your entitlement to housing costs will be withheld to cover the sanction amount that cannot be covered by what is left of your standard allowance.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 10th Nov 19, 5:24 PM
    • 6,419 Posts
    • 5,917 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Just remembered this which directly addresses the question of sanctions and how they can affect the housing element https://universalcreditinfo.net/myths/they-cant-take-away-my-rent-money-if-im-sanctioned
    Why can housing costs be used to pay for sanctions?

    If you receive less than the standard allowance in addition to your housing costs - for example because you have other income that reduces your entitlement, or the DWP are making deductions from your benefit such as for advance payments or utility arrears payments - some of your entitlement to housing costs will be withheld to cover the sanction amount that cannot be covered by what is left of your standard allowance.
    Originally posted by calcotti
    Thanks for that! Happy to be proved wrong by you. It didn't help this afternoon when your brain is completely fried by a troll.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Nov 19, 5:43 PM
    • 4,397 Posts
    • 2,988 Thanks
    calcotti
    Thanks for that! Happy to be proved wrong by you. It didn't help this afternoon when your brain is completely fried by a troll.
    Originally posted by poppy12345
    I think it helps to think of the calculation of the maximum possible UC entitlement made up of the various elements as one exercise. Once that amount has been determined it is one lump of money to which the various deductions are applied.
    • Harrybrown100121
    • By Harrybrown100121 10th Nov 19, 8:04 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    Harrybrown100121
    Hi all

    Sorry to be misleading, correct I am employed but I was worried that if I ever lost my job, how would I afford to live. I worked out that I would receive 111 pounds a week. I would not be able to afford my rent, council tax, energy bills, service charge. I would probably not be able to eat. I thought the benefit system was in place to help people if they lost their job not penalised them.
    • 11krage
    • By 11krage 10th Nov 19, 8:28 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    11krage
    Could you post a breakdown of what the benefit calculator says so we can help explain things? (Assuming you're discussing UC) how much does the calculator say for standard allowance, how much for housing, etc.

    If you're single, under 35, no kids, and have private rent it will only pay the shared room rate which is quite low.

    Regarding your particular circumstances it's always best to build a buffer before thinking about anything like pensions. Build at least enough to cover your expenses for a few months, then claim benefits once you receive your last paycheck for the job you lose. The buffer can be used to cover the difference in rent while you apply for jobs (if your rent is more than they're able to pay).

    UC doesn't take into account anything up to 6k, and then doesn't deduct much for savings over that to the point of 16k when you'd no longer qualify for any UC. So build yourself as big a buffer as you can if you are at risk of losing your job.
    Amount left to pay on house = 64,400.

    Savings buffer = 1,028.75 of 2415.

    Next large expense = 159 of 483.
    • 11krage
    • By 11krage 10th Nov 19, 8:35 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    11krage
    Oh, and do not expect to be able to keep up your current standard of living. This is what catches people out. UC caseworkers have a lot of conversations with people who receive no UC as they've received 2k earnings within the assessment period, and then the person will try to argue that it's not enough to live on (to add further absurdity to this conversation the most a UC casemanager will take home monthly is around 1.35k, and most are on a lot less than this, and most also have children to support.)

    If you notice your outgoings are a lot, I'd start recording them now so you know what places you can cut or look for cheaper alternatives if your income were to decrease.
    Amount left to pay on house = 64,400.

    Savings buffer = 1,028.75 of 2415.

    Next large expense = 159 of 483.
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 10th Nov 19, 8:43 PM
    • 3,931 Posts
    • 2,077 Thanks
    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    How do people survive on benefits? I just looked and I will receive just over 400 pounds a month. I still have to pay rent, council tax, service charge, car insurance, car tax, heating, gas. I donít know how I would cope.
    Originally posted by Harrybrown100121
    Unless youíve no aspirations, you arenít meant to survive on it for months and years. (if in good health) best thinking of it as animal charity capturing, rehabilitation and then release back).

    I remember being called on the day I decided to pack my job in (but I knew I wanted to and would get back out there) as I burst into tears at the only person I could that day, they left me alone for a bit.
    Rich if I ever meet the right employer
    • undetterred
    • By undetterred 10th Nov 19, 9:07 PM
    • 576 Posts
    • 750 Thanks
    undetterred
    Hi all

    Sorry to be misleading, correct I am employed but I was worried that if I ever lost my job, how would I afford to live. I worked out that I would receive 111 pounds a week. I would not be able to afford my rent, council tax, energy bills, service charge. I would probably not be able to eat. I thought the benefit system was in place to help people if they lost their job not penalised them.
    Originally posted by Harrybrown100121

    Its a safety net, not means to keeping a standard of living that a working wage normally provides.
    • Davy Jones II
    • By Davy Jones II 10th Nov 19, 11:34 PM
    • 458 Posts
    • 888 Thanks
    Davy Jones II
    Hi all

    Sorry to be misleading, correct I am employed but I was worried that if I ever lost my job, how would I afford to live. I worked out that I would receive 111 pounds a week. I would not be able to afford my rent, council tax, energy bills, service charge. I would probably not be able to eat. I thought the benefit system was in place to help people if they lost their job not penalised them.
    Originally posted by Harrybrown100121
    Giving someone money to help them out is not penalising them.

    Whatís happened to make you so relentlessly miserable?
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 11th Nov 19, 2:12 AM
    • 25,732 Posts
    • 13,912 Thanks
    lisyloo
    Hi all

    Sorry to be misleading, correct I am employed but I was worried that if I ever lost my job, how would I afford to live. I worked out that I would receive 111 pounds a week. I would not be able to afford my rent, council tax, energy bills, service charge. I would probably not be able to eat. I thought the benefit system was in place to help people if they lost their job not penalised them.
    Originally posted by Harrybrown100121

    The benefits system is a safety for people who have fallen on hard times or people who haven’t planned financially.
    As you’ve worked out it’s subsistence level only and not meant to keep you in the style to which you become accustomed :-)

    If you are working you should be able to put some financial planning in place for a better outcome.
    One method is to have savings.
    Another is to get insurance. This can be for death, sickness, accident, redundancy etc.
    The best combination is to have some level of savings and some level of insurance but what is best for you individually will depend on your circumstances for example if you have no dependents you might not need to worry about what happens after death.
    If your employer had great sickness cover (both short and long term) you might not need to worry about that.
    So you need to start with looking at what your employer offers e.g. how long does their sick pay last (if it’s until retirement then that’s great).

    The primary responsibility for quite foreseeable events (like death, sickness, accident, redudancy) is yours and unless you’re on the breadline you should be able to put something aside.
    Savings are useful for less foreseeable or uninsurable events (like your roof needing repair although property repairs of some sort are not unforeseen ld).
    Last edited by lisyloo; 11-11-2019 at 2:16 AM.
    • Nullboris
    • By Nullboris 11th Nov 19, 3:54 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    Nullboris
    "Survive on Benefits Mr Bond? No, I expect you to die"



    Survival on benefits .. Reduce luxury outgoings to zero
    reduce esssential outgoings to 40% or less

    Take stock of pensions, assets cars other belongings ... sell all.
    Prepare to starve and to have to sell your house

    When you're at rock bottom ? get prepared for a Kick in the teeth ... there will be some minor thing you forgot, therefore you will have to pay a fine and have your benefits sanctioned.
    • Mrs Soup
    • By Mrs Soup 11th Nov 19, 4:01 PM
    • 630 Posts
    • 1,151 Thanks
    Mrs Soup
    Oh, and do not expect to be able to keep up your current standard of living. This is what catches people out. UC caseworkers have a lot of conversations with people who receive no UC as they've received 2k earnings within the assessment period, and then the person will try to argue that it's not enough to live on (to add further absurdity to this conversation the most a UC casemanager will take home monthly is around 1.35k, and most are on a lot less than this, and most also have children to support.)

    If you notice your outgoings are a lot, I'd start recording them now so you know what places you can cut or look for cheaper alternatives if your income were to decrease.
    Originally posted by 11krage

    This. You wouldn't run a car, you might have to change where you live if on benefits for any length of time, you have a basic phone instead of an iphone, you get rid of sky etc. It is also why people in employment are advised to save an emergency fund of 3-6 months worth of outgoings as that would then help tide you over until you can find new employment.
    • Harrybrown100121
    • By Harrybrown100121 11th Nov 19, 6:39 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    Harrybrown100121
    Thanks many help for your suggestions, I am just quite depressed about life in general. I did one of them benefits calculations. I worked out my rent, service charge, council tax, energy and I would have no money for anything else. I get the benefit systems should not be enough to live on but more and more people are becoming homeless/ using food banks.

    How much is insurance?
    • Davy Jones II
    • By Davy Jones II 11th Nov 19, 6:52 PM
    • 458 Posts
    • 888 Thanks
    Davy Jones II
    Thanks many help for your suggestions, I am just quite depressed about life in general. I did one of them benefits calculations. I worked out my rent, service charge, council tax, energy and I would have no money for anything else. I get the benefit systems should not be enough to live on but more and more people are becoming homeless/ using food banks.

    How much is insurance?
    Originally posted by Harrybrown100121
    Come on, this is ludicrous now. Call up and get a quote.

    You are in a job that itís virtually impossible to get fired from, no matter how unpleasant or unpopular, and which youíll likely be able to stay in until you retire, so stop feeling sorry for yourself.
    • MarkN88
    • By MarkN88 11th Nov 19, 8:04 PM
    • 1,125 Posts
    • 671 Thanks
    MarkN88
    So what were the calculations that you were given?
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Nov 19, 8:32 PM
    • 24,460 Posts
    • 65,809 Thanks
    Pollycat
    So what were the calculations that you were given?
    Originally posted by MarkN88
    Isn't all this hypothetical anyway because the OP doesn't need benefits because he still has a job...
    It's all 'what-ifs'.
    • sparker123
    • By sparker123 12th Nov 19, 5:51 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sparker123
    the thing is there are people working 40 hours weeks who are perpetually skint just trying to feed their kids etc so why bother any way ? UC has done nothing for single people who missed out on tax credits and has made things generally worse IMHO. It's not even saved any money since £3.5B extra is being handed out to people who couldn't even be bothered to claim it before.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 12th Nov 19, 6:27 PM
    • 7,525 Posts
    • 8,055 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    Come on, this is ludicrous now. Call up and get a quote.

    You are in a job that itís virtually impossible to get fired from, no matter how unpleasant or unpopular, and which youíll likely be able to stay in until you retire, so stop feeling sorry for yourself.
    Originally posted by Davy Jones II

    No such job exists any more. If you are suggesting that a job in the Civil Service is a job for life you are very mistaken. I worked in a comparatively small DWP office and there was at least one enforced departure every year. That number was increasing toward the end of my time there. In fact the person who was probably the most popular manager there was forced to leave, in part we believe, because she did care about her staff.
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