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    • UKParliament
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    • By UKParliament Verified User verified user 4th Jul 18, 9:40 AM
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    UKParliament
    Universal credit: Frank Field MP wants to hear your experiences
    • #1
    • 4th Jul 18, 9:40 AM
    Universal credit: Frank Field MP wants to hear your experiences 4th Jul 18 at 9:40 AM

    Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, is leading a Westminster Hall debate on universal credit and the use of food banks on Wednesday 11 July. He wants to hear your views and experiences.

    He would like to know:
    • What has been your experience of claiming universal credit?
    • What have been the best and worst features of universal credit?
    • How simple and manageable has it been to set up and manage your universal credit claim?
    • Do you feel as though universal credit has made you better or worse off?

    Your responses will help to inform his speech. Any information or opinions you provide may be used in a Parliamentary debate, which will be on the record and available on Parliament TV and Hansard. Please let us know if you do not want your username to be referred in either the briefing shared with Frank or in his speech.

    Please comment below with your experiences by 4pm on Tuesday 10 July.
    Official Organisation Representative
    I’m the official organisation rep for the House of Commons. I do not work for or represent the government. I am politically impartial and cannot comment on government policy. Find out more in DOT's Mission Statement.

    MSE has given permission for me to post letting you know about relevant and useful info. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. If you believe I've broken the Forum Rules please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. This does NOT imply any form of approval of my organisation by MSE
Page 2
    • UKParliament
      Verified User verified user
    • By UKParliament Verified User verified user 10th Jul 18, 11:59 AM
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    UKParliament
    Hi everyone,

    We have a message from Frank Field MP:
    “After I secured my Westminster Hall debate, it was announced that an Opposition Day debate would take place on the same subject at the same time on the floor of the House. I therefore withdrew my debate, but will instead be delivering my speech in the Opposition Day debate.”
    The Westminster Hall debate will now not be taking place tomorrow but there will be a debate on Universal Credit in the main Chamber. You can watch this on Parliament TV.

    Please continue to post your comments until 4pm today and we will share them with Frank Field.
    Official Organisation Representative
    I’m the official organisation rep for the House of Commons. I do not work for or represent the government. I am politically impartial and cannot comment on government policy. Find out more in DOT's Mission Statement.

    MSE has given permission for me to post letting you know about relevant and useful info. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. If you believe I've broken the Forum Rules please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. This does NOT imply any form of approval of my organisation by MSE
    • Weary soul
    • By Weary soul 10th Jul 18, 12:14 PM
    • 264 Posts
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    Weary soul
    Mr Field only has to look at the advisors posts on Righstnet to see what a bloody disaster UC is causing. Take your pick there's tons of cases/examples on there.

    https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/

    If trained advisors are pulling their hair out over the implantation of this how are the general public meant to cope?

    Also imo this is a disgrace. Is Mr Field aware of this?

    https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/charities-fail-to-tell-mps-about-clauses-that-prevent-them-attacking-mcvey-and-dwp/

    Representatives of disability charities have given evidence to MPs about the impact of government social security reforms on disabled people, without disclosing that they signed contracts preventing them from attacking work and pensions secretary Esther McVey.

    Senior figures from Shaw Trust and the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) both answered questions from members of the Commons work and pensions select committee yesterday (Thursday) about universal credit and the governments new Work and Health Programme.

    But neither of them made any attempt to place on the public record that the contracts could be seen as preventing them criticising McVey or her Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the evidence session.

    And the committee's chair, Frank Field, failed to ask the two witnesses to place on the record the existence of the contractual agreements, even though Disability News Service alerted the committee to the concerns two days before the evidence session.
    Last edited by Weary soul; 10-07-2018 at 12:25 PM.
    “Lord Thomas of Gresford: My Lords, one of the three great universal lies is, “I am from the Government and I am here to help you”. ”
    • fredandwilma
    • By fredandwilma 10th Jul 18, 2:01 PM
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    fredandwilma
    Mr Field only has to look at the advisors posts on Righstnet to see what a bloody disaster UC is causing. Take your pick there's tons of cases/examples on there.

    https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/

    If trained advisors are pulling their hair out over the implantation of this how are the general public meant to cope?

    Also imo this is a disgrace. Is Mr Field aware of this?

    https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/charities-fail-to-tell-mps-about-clauses-that-prevent-them-attacking-mcvey-and-dwp/
    Originally posted by Weary soul
    I was going to post the above links myself.

    Representatives of disability charities have given evidence to MPs about the impact of government social security reforms on disabled people, without disclosing that they signed contracts preventing them from attacking work and pensions secretary Esther McVey.
    Mr Field is aware of this:

    And the committee!!!8217;s chair, Frank Field, failed to ask the two witnesses to place on the record the existence of the contractual agreements, even though Disability News Service alerted the committee to the concerns two days before the evidence session.
    That's the point at which i realised this whole thread is a waste of time and therefore, a waste of my time..............

    A word beginning with W and ending with H, comes to mind.

    It's not only Welfare Rights Advisors, add DWP staff to the list.

    Interestingly, I can't find anywhere on rightsnet to indicate they have dealt with case like those recently publicised in the media.

    Yes, It looks as though there will be winners and losers with those who are able to work, the winners?

    The losers are still arguably the most 'vulnerable' sector of society, people who live alone, with severe disabilities, and all the associated costs which arise from this.

    It may come as a surprise to those who think that everyone has some capability to do some kind of work, but there are some people in soceity who genuinely are too ill to work, for various reasons, as much as they themselves, would like to work.


    Edited to add - The answer to my question is - Who knows?

    Esther McVey said that the changes will be made by the Universal Credit Managed Migration and Transitional Protection Regulations which they intend to bring forward, in the Autumn, so it seems that it will be a good while until clients who've already lost the sdp can claim any compensation?

    Too late for me. I will have already had to naturally migrate. Any compensation is little compensation for the merry go round i'm about to board..............

    It's ironic given i've no change in my health conditions, other than getting worse.
    Last edited by fredandwilma; 11-07-2018 at 7:41 AM.
    Fred - Where's your get up and go?

    Barney - It just got up and went.



    Carpe diem
    • fredandwilma
    • By fredandwilma 10th Jul 18, 2:36 PM
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    fredandwilma
    Question for Frank Field
    Question for Frank Field

    Why did you fail to ask the two witnesses to place on the record, the existence of the contractual agreements?:

    https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/charities-fail-to-tell-mps-about-clauses-that-prevent-them-attacking-mcvey-and-dwp/

    Charities have signed agreements with the main contractors that say they must have “regard to the standing and reputation” of DWP, must do nothing to bring McVey and her department into disrepute in delivering those contracts, and must not “attract adverse publicity” to them.
    MP's should be accountable for their actions?


    Like i say, a word beginning with W and ending with H, comes to mind.
    Fred - Where's your get up and go?

    Barney - It just got up and went.



    Carpe diem
    • UKParliament
      Verified User verified user
    • By UKParliament Verified User verified user 11th Jul 18, 11:10 AM
    • 713 Posts
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    UKParliament
    Thank you for taking the time to post your experiences. The debate on the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions' handling of universal credit is expected to start at around 2pm today. You can watch live on Parliament TV or catch up what was said later with Hansard.
    Official Organisation Representative
    I’m the official organisation rep for the House of Commons. I do not work for or represent the government. I am politically impartial and cannot comment on government policy. Find out more in DOT's Mission Statement.

    MSE has given permission for me to post letting you know about relevant and useful info. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. If you believe I've broken the Forum Rules please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. This does NOT imply any form of approval of my organisation by MSE
    • fredandwilma
    • By fredandwilma 11th Jul 18, 5:24 PM
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    fredandwilma
    Wow, that was underwhelming.

    Did i miss something?

    It's clear the government has no understanding or compassion for the most vulnerable in soceity. It's all about getting people in to work, work, work, with no support for the most vulnerable in soceity.

    I found it strangely uncomfortable watching F F 'grovel' to E MV, if not also amusing, given i have been participating in this thread.

    One wonders, what was the purpose of this thread?

    At least i know where i stand and i am at least entering my plight with both eyes open. For that, I must need my head testing. Why upset stability?

    I'll give you my views and experiences of food banks, in due course, when i don't have the income to pay for the 'essentials' in life, associated with having a roof over your head.

    I hope you have a fabulous summer holiday, I hope your arm recovers soon, and i trust you may never need to use the services proved by the DWP, such as PIP and Universal Credit.

    Ta-ra for now as i have a legal battle to fight,

    Warm regards,

    f&w
    Last edited by fredandwilma; 11-07-2018 at 5:33 PM. Reason: edited names for legal purposes
    Fred - Where's your get up and go?

    Barney - It just got up and went.



    Carpe diem
    • fredandwilma
    • By fredandwilma 12th Aug 18, 9:04 PM
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    fredandwilma
    Update
    Just an update on this thread although i doubt Frank Field or E MV are remotely interested.

    The change to Universal Credit is even worse than i anticipated.

    I am now receiving half the income i was on legacy benefits. Uc covers my 'housing benefit' costs (which aren't extortionate,) and little else.

    Frequent visits to the Job Centre, frequent visits to my UC Journal and frequent job search updates / work coach updates.

    No transitional protection, no automatic transfer from the 'Support Group' it would appear. No support at all to be ill. In fact, all the stress means i don't have chance to 'look after' my health and I'm likely to end up in hospital again. I did tell my work coach i wouldn't be able to access my online journal when i'm in hospital.

    Yes, I will be using food banks to supplement my halved income.

    My advice to anyone in a similar position. Don't believe the government when say no one will be worse off under Universal Credit. They have always said they aimed to cut the Severe Disability premium. They didn't say your income would be halved. Whilst there may be some who are better off under UC, it was never going to be the most vulnerable in soceity.

    If you value your health and your sanity, keep away from UC for as long as you can.
    Fred - Where's your get up and go?

    Barney - It just got up and went.



    Carpe diem
    • Ames
    • By Ames 12th Aug 18, 10:20 PM
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    Ames
    Just an update on this thread although i doubt Frank Field or E MV are remotely interested.

    The change to Universal Credit is even worse than i anticipated.

    I am now receiving half the income i was on legacy benefits. Uc covers my 'housing benefit' costs (which aren't extortionate,) and little else.

    Frequent visits to the Job Centre, frequent visits to my UC Journal and frequent job search updates / work coach updates.

    No transitional protection, no automatic transfer from the 'Support Group' it would appear. No support at all to be ill. In fact, all the stress means i don't have chance to 'look after' my health and I'm likely to end up in hospital again. I did tell my work coach i wouldn't be able to access my online journal when i'm in hospital.

    Yes, I will be using food banks to supplement my halved income.

    My advice to anyone in a similar position. Don't believe the government when say no one will be worse off under Universal Credit. They have always said they aimed to cut the Severe Disability premium. They didn't say your income would be halved. Whilst there may be some who are better off under UC, it was never going to be the most vulnerable in soceity.

    If you value your health and your sanity, keep away from UC for as long as you can.
    Originally posted by fredandwilma
    Were you getting the SDP before moving to UC? If so, the government are planning to reinstate it so that anyone who lost it on transition gets it back. It will take time though as they need to pass it in parliament and they're on the summer break now.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 12th Aug 18, 10:43 PM
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    calcotti
    If you were in the ESA support group you are supposed to be treated in the same way on UC. If that has not happened you should challenge it. You should get the LCWRA element of £328.32/month added to your UC amount. You then also get a work allowance which means that if you have earnings some of them are ignored when calculating your UC payment.

    You should be able to get the LCWRA element backdated to the start of your UC claim.

    Obviously it is difficult to know what has happened because you have not said what caused you to change from a legacy benefit to UC.
    Last edited by calcotti; 12-08-2018 at 11:01 PM.
    • fredandwilma
    • By fredandwilma 13th Aug 18, 9:03 AM
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    fredandwilma
    To be honest, the JCP staff didn't seem to know what they were doing and i heard them say, just enter it as a new claim. I haven't filled in the assessment form but it does look as though i have lost either the 'support' component or housing benefit. Coupled with the loss of the SDP, I've had a drop in income of six hundred pounds a month. I'd expected 200 but 600 means i can just about meet housing costs but there's little left to pay bills let alone eat, (there's always foodbanks)? or meet the extra costs which come with being 'disabled'.

    I've little choice but to comply with my work coach or risk being sanctioned. They don't seem to understand the logistics of income, in any case. It's not their job. Their job is to make sure you are spending 35 hours a week searching for work.

    I 'naturally migrated' to UC.

    Would i take the same step again?

    No

    Regardless of whether all this is sorted out some time in a future i may not have, it's the impact in the here and now all this stress is having on my health.
    Fred - Where's your get up and go?

    Barney - It just got up and went.



    Carpe diem
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 13th Aug 18, 9:16 AM
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    poppy12345
    [QUOTE=fredandwilma;74652256]does look as though i have lost either the 'support' component or housing benefit. Coupled with the loss of the SDP, /QUOTE]
    It seems like you're not sure which element you've lost. When you first claimed did you send a copy of your tenancy agreement? This will be needed to claim the housing element.



    See post #28 regarding future plans for those that lost their SDP when moving to UC.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 13th Aug 18, 9:47 AM
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    calcotti
    To be honest, the JCP staff didn't seem to know what they were doing
    Originally posted by fredandwilma
    Sadly all too common.

    I haven't filled in the assessment form
    Originally posted by fredandwilma
    Not clear what assessment form you are referring too.

    Their job is to make sure you are spending 35 hours a week searching for work.
    Originally posted by fredandwilma
    It is also their job to adjust the work search requirements to suit the claimant's circumstances.

    Regardless of whether all this is sorted out some time in a future i may not have, it's the impact in the here and now all this stress is having on my health.
    Originally posted by fredandwilma
    Understood.
    As per previous posts:
    1) if you were in ESA support group at time of migration you are entitled to receive LCWRA from the start of your UC claim (Regulation 19 of The Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014) and
    2) to get the housing element you will need to have provided a copy of your tenancy agreement.
    Last edited by calcotti; 13-08-2018 at 9:52 AM.
    • fredandwilma
    • By fredandwilma 13th Aug 18, 6:13 PM
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    fredandwilma
    Sadly all too common.


    Not clear what assessment form you are referring too.

    The UC 50



    It is also their job to adjust the work search requirements to suit the claimant's circumstances.


    Understood.
    As per previous posts:
    1) if you were in ESA support group at time of migration you are entitled to receive LCWRA from the start of your UC claim (Regulation 19 of The Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014) and
    2) to get the housing element you will need to have provided a copy of your tenancy agreement.
    Originally posted by calcotti
    1) Yes, I was in the ESA support group at the time of 'natural' migration, but this seems to have been totally disregarded.

    2) A copy of the tenancy agreement has been provided at the first interview.

    I have to keep submitting 'fit notes'. To all intents and purposes, I have been treated as a new claimant who is temporarily unable to work.

    I know this is an old news article, but to all intents and purposes this is happening to me. My automatic transfer is lost in space.

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2017/05/25/shock-as-universal-credit-rules-treat-sick-as-fit-for-all-work-related-activity-against-gps-explicit-orders/

    You still have to interact with your work coach and your UC journal, it doesn't matter how ill you are. I was treated like a piece of poo at the JCP today when i had to hand in another 'fit note'.

    They haven't a clue.

    It just goes to show the problems which arise and are going unseen from those rare cases of severley disabled natural migration. It is still a very small minority of overall benefits claimants.

    Who cares?

    No one.

    Certainly not JCP staff, although i have to say, the security guards genuinely seem upset.
    Fred - Where's your get up and go?

    Barney - It just got up and went.



    Carpe diem
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 13th Aug 18, 7:07 PM
    • 451 Posts
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    calcotti
    Please try telling your work coach, either face to face or through your online journal. that you have been told that you are entitled to the LCWRA element from the start of your claim because of being in the ESA support group at the point of migration. By all means do the"I have been told but do not know if it is right" approach if you are more comfortable with that. Specifically mention Regulation 19 of The Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014. which I believe is the applicable legislation:

    "Transition from old style ESA19;
    (1) This regulation applies where;
    (a) an award of universal credit is made to a claimant who was entitled to old style ESA on the date on which the claim for universal credit was made or treated as made (!!!8220;the relevant date!!!8221; and
    (b) on or before the relevant date it had been determined that the claimant was entitled to the work-related activity component or to the support component.
    . . .
    (4) Where, on or before the relevant date, it had been determined that the claimant was entitled to the support component!!!8212;
    (a) regulation 27(3) of the Universal Credit Regulations does not apply; and
    (b) the claimant is to be treated as having limited capability for work and work-related activity for the purposes of regulation 27(1)(b) of those Regulations and section 19(2)(a) of the Act."

    You should be paid the LCWRA element. You should not have to provide Fit Notes. You should not be required to look for work. You should not be put forward for another Work Capability Asessment as a result of the migration (although the DWP can review your status periodically).
    Last edited by calcotti; 13-08-2018 at 7:26 PM.
    • Ineededaname
    • By Ineededaname 13th Aug 18, 8:56 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Ineededaname
    When did you move over to UC and what caused the change? Something must have changed with your circumstances for you to have to claim UC, I'm assuming from what you have said this is something to do with housing?

    You need to review your payment statement and find out which elements you are actually receiving. Is your housing amount on there and correct?

    As long as there was no gap between your claims, you should be getting the LCWRA element of UC. Nothing you can do about the SDP at the moment, but hopefully parliment will sort that out eventually.

    It's important there was no gap. There shouldn't be, unless you closed down the ESA before claiming UC? Normally you would just leave the ESA open and it will close when UC notifies them and they sort everything out. UC would be notified of your ESA status and should update your UC claim so you get the correct elements and do not have to look for work. This can take some time to be done.

    Can you confirm there was no gap between your claims?

    I've little choice but to comply with my work coach or risk being sanctioned. They don't seem to understand the logistics of income, in any case. It's not their job. Their job is to make sure you are spending 35 hours a week searching for work.
    While they don't directly deal with payments, it is part of their job to ensure your claim is correct. If they know it isn't they shouldn't be merrily going about business as usual, they should be helping you get the issue resolved. It is also their job to make sure your circumstances are taken into account on your commitments, and being asked to regularly attend the office and look for work(?) when you were in ESA support group does not sound like they have done so.

    Having said that it really is the case manager who should resolve this for you. Try phoning and seeing if you can speak to your own case manager or direct your journal messages about this to 'payments',
    • fredandwilma
    • By fredandwilma 14th Aug 18, 5:14 PM
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    fredandwilma
    Thanks for the info, everyone. I'm not familiar with jobcentres or protocol, I didn't know i had a case manager.

    I have to attend a work search review with my work coach, to check I'm doing everything i can to find a job or earn more, (even though I've submitted another 'fit' note).

    Maybe i'll be sanctioned for not doing everything i can to find a job? In fact, I'm not doing anything to find a job.

    No - I haven't closed my ESA claim at any point. TGFT.

    It's getting to me now. What's the point?
    Fred - Where's your get up and go?

    Barney - It just got up and went.



    Carpe diem
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 14th Aug 18, 7:37 PM
    • 451 Posts
    • 279 Thanks
    calcotti
    If you have the strength please raise the points covered in this thread with the work coach. They should be able to get your award looked at again.
    Unfortunately there are numerous reports of incorrect transfer from ESA to UC but the rules are clear as detailed in earlier replies.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 14th Aug 18, 9:09 PM
    • 17,558 Posts
    • 30,945 Thanks
    Ames
    It does sound as though there's been some 'miscommunication' somewhere along the line and your case hasn't been properly transferred as a move from ESA rather than a completely new claim.

    I think I remember similar cases on here though, sadly the rollout is going anything but smoothly.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • fredandwilma
    • By fredandwilma 16th Aug 18, 10:38 AM
    • 1,206 Posts
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    fredandwilma
    Update on Universal Credit
    It does appear indeed, there has been no communication between departments.

    One department of ESA say I'm still in receipt of ESA, another ESA dept says I'm now claiming UC, UC says I'm claiming UC and i have to go for a WCA as they haven't heard otherwise from ESA. I've just had another re assessment for ESA (last year,) now i have to go for a WCA for UC.

    I've lost all my Disability Premiums and increments and I'm now currently on the basic 73.10 a week plus 'some' Housing Benefit.

    How do i challenge this in law? I know about all the regulations, but if they make me go for a WCA, I've no other option?

    How do you 'make' departments communicate?

    I'd advise anyone to think twice before 'naturally migrating' from legacy benefits to UC. It's definitely having a negative impact on my health.
    Fred - Where's your get up and go?

    Barney - It just got up and went.



    Carpe diem
    • Ineededaname
    • By Ineededaname 17th Aug 18, 12:25 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Ineededaname
    Why did you move to UC, you still haven't explained this? I thought natural migration is when a significant change in your circumstances means you have to claim UC, and there isn't any choice in the matter.

    Have you had a conversation with your case manager yet, either through the journal or on the phone? They are the person who normally process all of this.

    Who on UC has told you you will be going for a new WCA, and how have they told you? Have you actually received a new medical questionaire in the post?

    Have you raised the points again with your work coach?

    Try both of these things before you do anything else.

    If you aren't getting anywhere, ask to speak to their managers. Failing that - formal complaint. Neither of these should be required honestly - if everything you've said here is accurate then this should not be complicated.

    Really no point considering a legal challenge before you've tried to resolve it first with the DWP.

    Just remember you can't get the severe disability premiums on UC at present, so no point asking about that. Just stick to your support group correction.
    Last edited by Ineededaname; 17-08-2018 at 12:28 AM.
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