LCWRA and due to start uni - quite confused about student loans! — Scope | Disability forum
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LCWRA and due to start uni - quite confused about student loans!

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DottyB
DottyB Community member Posts: 3 Listener
Hello :-) I've been LCWRA on UC for over 6 months, due to autism related fatigue and mental health difficulties. I have claimed PIP, but unsurprisingly was turned down. At mandatory reconsideration I was awarded an additional few points, and am now up to 6. I am now waiting for an appeal date and hoping (but not expecting) to be awarded the extra 2 to get me over the line. I've been advised that the wait for tribunal is currently approx 3-4 months, so it likely won't be sorted until after I start at uni. I've applied for the full maintenance loan, but I am wondering where this leaves my UC. As far as I can tell, it will just stop when I start uni. This worries me, because I honestly don't know how well I will manage - the uni are super supportive and I have a good support plan in place, but I haven't tried this before, and so who knows? I can't bear the thought that if I have to leave because my health isn't up to it, that I'll have to go through the entire UC claiming process again, alongside the wait and many 'fit notes' before LCWRA can be awarded. Also, if I do have success at tribunal and have a backdated PIP award, would my UC status be re-applied (as I believe I can continue my claim, even with no payments, if I am LCWRA and also on PIP)? Common sense would say that my UC should stay open (although without payments, given my maintenance loan) until the tribunal decision and/or I'm a month or so into the course and coping...but I suspect that isn't how it works. Any advice or experience gratefully received! 

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,127 Disability Gamechanger
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    You are correct that full time students need to be claiming a qualifying disability benefit as well. Therefore your UC will end if you start uni.

    The 3-4 months you were advised for the Tribunal could be as long as several months as this does seem to be the timescale for a lot of members now. I'm assuming you're going to either appear in person or have a telephone/video hearing? This will be the best chance of having a decision in your favour. Paper based hearings have an extremely low success rate.

    Usually with a zero award a claim will remain open for 6 months but i don't know if this will be the case for you. I'd advise you to keep a copy of your WCA decision letter in case your claim does close.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • DottyB
    DottyB Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    Thank you. Yes, the plan is to appear in person. The original PIP decision stated I am currently in FE and attending college - I'm not; that I lived independently away from home and cooked all my own food for a year - no idea where they got that from as it's completely untrue; and that I had no additional support through school or for exams - I attended a learning inclusion centre, only managing afternoons at school, and took my GCSEs during Covid when there were no exams. All of these points were disputed at MR, with letters from the occupation health team and my GP, and a statement from my mum, but they were still used to refuse my claim. They also referred to me in a number of places as 'he' and 'him', despite using 'Miss' and all the paperwork referring to me as female. Truly bizarre. I know it's not a given, but I'm really hoping the tribunal pays greater attention. If the UC claim with a nil award can stay open for 6 months, that would be great, I guess I need to have a conversation with the job centre.       
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,978 Disability Gamechanger
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    How frustrating @DottyB. Have they, at least, corrected those points for you yet and do you know why they still refused your claim? As you say, often these inaccuracies are often caused by a lack of attention and over-standardisation  :( have you been able to talk to the job centre yet? If so, I am just wondering if you would like to share a little more with us about how this has gone for you. Please don't hesitate to let us know if there's anything else we can do to help  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • DottyB
    DottyB Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    Hi. At tribunal the DWP representative said at the outset that there were some points he was prepared to concede, but wanted to check a few things to get the award right. The panel were all actually lovely and asked just a couple of clarifying points. The upshot is an award for enhanced daily living, plus standard rate for mobility - more than I was expecting. All backdated to the original claim last July and in place until 2027. Afterwards, the DWP guy came and apologised - he said that, as an assessor, if he had read my claim and the supportive paperwork he would have awarded it in the first place, and didn't understand why so many points had been ignored. Not a nice experience, but so glad that I persevered. I am starting a college course in September and can now access the support that I need to at least give it my best shot - we'll see, I'm not pressurising myself but I'm keen to try. I'm wondering now whether to tell UC about college (and remind them that I'm LCWRA and have PIP) via my journal, or whether it would be better to try and book an interview with someone and do it in person. Anyone have any experience with this? 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,127 Disability Gamechanger
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    Great news about the PIP award. For your UC then you will need to report the changes once you start college. If there's a maintenance loan available to you then it will affect your UC even if you decide not to take that loan.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.

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