UC Housing Element — Scope | Disability forum
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UC Housing Element

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AtlasShoulders
AtlasShoulders Community member Posts: 42 Connected
edited September 2023 in Universal Credit (UC)
I've been on Universal Credit for several years, receiving the standard allowance and housing element, although I had no work commitments because I was employed. 

Two years ago I had a breakdown and lost my job. I was assessed as LCWRA, so have not had to search for work. To be honest, with my current state of physical and mental health, I don't think I can cope with working anymore.

However, having read the government's White Paper on toughening up the WCA process, I feel like I am going to be forced back into work search at my reassessment whether I'm capable or not.

My question is this: If I were to be forced into work search, and if I were unable to do so and received sanctions, would I lose my housing element? Could I theoretically refuse to accept work commitments and only receive the housing element?

I've tried to look into this but I can't find a straight answer. Some say that the housing element is protected and cannot be touched; others say that the whole UC claim would simply be closed. 

Is there anyone who could advise on this? Thank you.
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Comments

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,103 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi - nothing is definite yet, & may not even happen, so I'd try not to worry. From what I could find, even if a claimant is sanctioned, it just involves their standard allowance, & not any other elements a person may have. The following is from the govt website dated August 2023:
    If that's correct then it looks like you couldn't be sanctioned anyway as you've a current award of LCWRA. Scroll down to the para Table 1: Percentage deducted.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,127 Disability Gamechanger
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    As chiarieds has advised, you can't be sanctioned because you've been found to have LCWRA.
    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.
  • Ray212
    Ray212 Community member Posts: 345 Pioneering
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    Only your standard allowance can be reduced – not your housing element payments.
  • AtlasShoulders
    AtlasShoulders Community member Posts: 42 Connected
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    Thanks all for your responses. Obviously nothing will happen while I'm on LCWRA, which is some comfort, but I'm well overdue for reassessment and I'm not feeling optimistic about the outcome.

    I had seen much the same advice as that mentioned - which is that only the standard allowance can be sanctioned. What is not clear to me is whether you could refuse to adhere to work commitments and have the standard allowance sanctioned in perpetuity, but still receive the housing element. 

    For example, as I also receive PIP, I could theoretically survive on just PIP and the housing element of UC if it would eradicate the need for work search. However, I could not survive just on PIP alone.

    Common sense would dictate that, if a person receiving legacy Housing Benefit would remain entitled to it even if they did not work, in theory, as Universal Credit replaces HB, it should be possible to continue receiving the housing element whether or not you work.

    In practice, I've heard it said that if you consistently refuse to accept work commitments, the whole claim is just shut down - housing element and all - rather than being sanctioned.

    I've not been able to locate any government guidance explicitly advising one way or the other. I just wondered whether anyone else had experienced this scenario.
  • Ray212
    Ray212 Community member Posts: 345 Pioneering
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    Honestly I think you should just wait and see what happens. Nothing is going to happen before 2025 and be then anything could be going on.

    No point worrying about something that hasn't happened yet

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