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Confusing question on to-do list

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eidetic
eidetic Community member Posts: 5 Listener

I'm new to the forums here, so hello to everyone – this has been a hugely useful resource for me and my partner. We have recently been navigating the process of Managed Migration from WTC to UC, with help from benefits advisers from Scope and CAB.

My partner is in the Support Group for contribution-based ESA. She is self-employed, but long-term sick – she has not de-registered as self-employed so has therefore been submitting zero returns during her period of ill health.

I am her full time carer, and this has been correctly recorded in our application and reflected in our UC award. Both of us are in receipt of ADP for health conditions.

However, a confusing question has arisen on our respective to-do lists.

"Confirm previous earnings from work Due by Monday 24 June 2024"

"In the 12 months before you claimed Universal Credit, were there any gaps in your employment? This doesn't include paid holidays, maternity or paternity leave."

The only option is to answer yes or no. It seems clear that the answer for me is "no" because even though I am caring for my partner full time and I am limited by my health conditions, I have been continuously self-employed during this period.

The answer for my partner is less clear. A benefit adviser from CAB said the answer is also "no" because even though she is off sick and in receipt of ESA in the Support Group, she has remained self-employed with zero income.

Is the advice from CAB correct? There seems to be some disagreement on this point in various threads on this forum.

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
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    This is a standard question they ask everyone that claims UC for the first time. It’s related to the benefits cap 9 month grace period. The benefit cap doesn’t apply to you anyway.

    If neither of you have received any earnings in that time then you would answer as no. If you were receiving earnings, even from self employment then you need to put your earnings in.

    One other thing, if you are self employed and earning, are UC aware of this?

    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.
  • eidetic
    eidetic Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    Yes, UC are aware that I am self-employed and earning, and that my partner is self-employed and zero income. We had an initial meeting with a work coach who confirmed that due to our circumstances we had no work-related commitments.

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 5,638 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hey there @eidetic and welcome to the community.

    I can see Poppy is already helping you out here, but I just wanted to stop in and say a quick hi.

    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
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    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • eidetic
    eidetic Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    Hi @Albus_Scope, many thanks for the welcome message. Thanks to Poppy too!

    I'm still confused by this question – if it does not apply to us anyway, why are they even asking? Also it seems so easy to answer incorrectly, and I'm concerned that doing so would have some kind of negative impact.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 12
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    It’s asked because the system is set up to automatically ask everyone. The system can’t detect whether or not the benefits cap applies to each individual person.

    Even if you did answer incorrectly, it wouldn’t have impacted your UC entitlement.

    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.
  • eidetic
    eidetic Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    Hi Poppy, many thanks for clarifying.

    Just so I'm clear, based on our current status the correct answer in both cases would be "no"?

    In other words, for the purposes of this question, there are no gaps in our employment – even though my partner is off sick from her self-employment, and irrespective of whether I had some (albeit minimal) self-employed earnings during the previous 12 month period?

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
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    If there were no gaps in your employment then you answer no.

    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.
  • eidetic
    eidetic Community member Posts: 5 Listener
    Options

    Hi Poppy, yes that makes sense for me, there are no gaps in my self-employent.

    However, in my partner's case, does being off sick while self-employed represent a gap in her employment, or not? That's the bit that's confusing me.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
    Options

    For your partner there were gaps so the answer will be yes. As I advised, it makes no difference anyway.

    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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