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Universal Credit

emmamc37 Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited January 2018 in Universal Credit (UC)
Hello everyone 

I've been reading through this discussion and found some very useful info thank you 

however ive still got a few questions if anyone can help

So this is a bit of background:I've been on long term sick since April 2017 and was finished up from Work in December 2017 due to it I've been off with Anxiety Depression and uncontrollable hypertension which has all been a direct result from my son who is going through the ADHD Autism process as I've had to come out of work 2/3 times a week every week because he's constantly being suspended. Now I've got all sick notes and a occupational health report which states at least another 6 months off work minimum but how will UC view this? I'm physically able to work as in I've not disability that effects that but not mentally I can't and physically can't as I'm constantly being called out of work to see to my son (I'm a single parent) will they conduct blood pressure measurement I'm just so worried that I'm going to fall into debt I've never been in a position like this 

sorry for the long message and I hope you guys can understand it 



  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @emmamc37
    I have moved your post over to the ask a benefits advisor category where I hope you can get a bit of help.

    Universal Credit is a confusing idea for many people, have you seen this info page on UC?

    There is also a video question and answer here with the brilliant @Debbie_Scope
    @Gill_Scope and @Scope_rosie

    Senior online community officer
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering

    I'm not sure if you're already on UC or whether you're thinking that you might have to claim it? If I've understood everything correctly you left work in December 17 due to your long-term sickness.

    If you are someone who has to make a new claim for UC or you are already on it, you shouldn't be 'sanctioned' (have your UC reduced) as you didn't leave work voluntarily. You'd have to explain exactly what happened and why you had no option but to be on long-term sick due to your anxiety and depression, and that is why your employer finished your job (I'm assuming). The DWP may also ask for information from your employer about how your job ended.

    If it's the beginning of your claim for UC, then for the first 14 days they'll suspend the requirement to seek work because you are signed off sick - you won't have to look for a job. After that, they can suspend the requirement for longer, but it is up to them, and will depend on your work coach. Give as much information as you can about how unwell you've been and why your doctor has signed you off.

    If you are long-term sick, they may also send you for a work capability assessment. You should think about whether this is something you want (it can help to change or stop your work-related requirements on a longer-term basis, which might help you), or whether you think that you'll be able to get back to work after the 6 months you mention. The DWP wouldn't carry out a blood pressure measurement, but the work capability assessment could look at this (for example, if high blood pressure means working is a risk to your health at the moment). 

    If the DWP don't suspend your requirements due to sickness, they can still consider the fact that you have a son with a long-term condition and you are a single parent. So your work-related requirements should be reasonable in the light of this. If your son gets PIP or DLA, and you are looking after him for 35 hours a week, then you shouldn't have any work-related requirements ,and won't have to look for work at all.

    If your caring responsibilities are less than this, it may depend on your son's age, but I'd expect you to be able to negotiate with your UC work coach and maybe agree that you have temporary circumstances which mean you can't be available for work, or that you should only be available for part-time work.

    So don't panic! I'd also want to explore whether there is anything else you can claim - for example, carer's allowance if your son is on PIP/DLA. Council tax reduction to make sure you get help with your council tax.

    Also, if you haven't already claimed UC, you might not be in an area where you can claim it. There might be other benefit options for you instead (such as income support or income-related ESA).

    Have a look at the benefit calculator if you're not sure what you can claim. And if you can get help locally, such as a Citizens Advice Bureau, that might be a good idea too.

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland


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