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Universal credit help

DB71 Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited May 2018 in Universal Credit (UC)
Hi, not sure how to start or what to say. I am informed Universal Credit rolls out to the area i live come September. Nothing i have seen about this benefit is optimistic or promising. I worry about the whole stage of signing off my benefitbenefit, applying for Universal Credit & how long without incoming money before I'm accepted. I have Fibromyalgia with severe difficulties & pain as well as a multitude of other disabilities. I doubt I'll get the financial support needed. I am signed off indefinitely for a 2nd time after the 1at time I was forced to go back to work which never took off. I am on WE A of which was underpaid for a long time before I was reimbursed 5k for understatement but still lost 1/3 of it due to tax. Had it been played properly i wouldn't have been stung. I believe the same will happen with Universal Credit. I get extra for my other disabilities but nothing for the Fibromyalgia as the PIP payments are worded so carefully I'm not deemed worthy enough. Please help, I'm so frustrated & scared for the future.


  • DB71
    DB71 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    It would seem I'm bad @ typing, my benefit is ESA. Sorry for bad spelling.
  • JennysDad
    JennysDad Member Posts: 2,299 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @DB71 and a very warm welcome to the community. I am sorry you do not seem to have had any responses to your post yet.
    I am sorry, too, that you are obviously alarmed and upset. I hope we can ease that a bit.
    The first thing to say, perhaps, is that it is the assessments and changes that go badly that we hear about. The same is true of the media generally. As far as the world at large is concerned only 'bad news' makes the news. What we tend not to hear about are the things that go well, and the result may be a distorted sense of how bad things are. Does that make sense?
    Anyway, worry as little as you can. You now have Scope in your corner, and September is still, fortunately, a little way away.
    We have benefits specialists here who will either be able to advise you themselves or put you in touch with others who can, so please bear with us. They will be in touch with you as soon as they can.
    Stay with us, DB71, and keep in touch. Ask any questions you care to and tell us anything that may help us to get to know you better and support you. Chat, rant, whatever it takes. We're listening.
    Warmest best wishes to you

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,450 Disability Gamechanger

    Even though UC is coming to your area in September it doesn't mean you'll have to change over at that time. Unless you have a change of circumstances then you'll stay on ESA until the managed migration process starts and this could anytime from 2019 onwards for those on legacy benefits like ESA, JSA etc. For some areas it could be as long as 3+ years.

    When the process does start then there will be a transitional payment protection in place, this means that you won't be worse off than you are now. If you have a change of circumstances before the managed migration process starts and you have to claim UC then yes, you'll be worse off.

    My advice to you is relax because the move across won't happen in September.
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering

    I agree with Poppy. You will NOT have to claim Universal Credit just because your area is moving to what is called the 'full service'. You only have to claim UC if, after that date, you have to make a NEW claim for income-related ESA, housing benefit, child tax credit, working tax credit, income support or income-related jobseeker's allowance. 

    So, as Poppy says, you'll stay on your existing benefits. At some point from 2019 they will start to move people, but it could take a while before this process (called managed migration) reaches you. And as Poppy points out, when it does, you won't be any worse off. It's POSSIBLE you might be worse off if you have to make a new claim (and therefore end up on UC) before managed migration starts, but even then, that isn't necessarily the case. Not everyone is worse off on UC, & it would depend on your individual circumstances.

    If you are in the support group for ESA, you should get the support component (called the limited capability for work related activity element) in UC. This is worth quite a lot, so whether you lose money will depend on what premiums you are getting in your income-related ESA (for example, severe disability premium and/or enhanced disability premium).

    But there is absolutely no reason for you to worry about September. You don't have to make any new claims. Your ESA should continue. And just to say, if you lost ESA because of tax, that indicates that at least some of your money is contributory ESA. Universal Credit is not taxable, so even if you had to wait some time for payment, you would not lose it due to tax.

    I hope this helps. Nobody has to claim UC unless they are in a situation where they have to make a new claim, in an area where UC has rolled out, for a benefit which UC has replaced. 

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


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