Universal Credit
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Support to get me through claiming UC

PolPolPolPol Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited June 2018 in Universal Credit
Hello everyone. I'm 52 years young lady.

Fairly recent neurological issues (injury/age deterioration no one knows YET? MRI shows bits of my brain are missing LOL and are confirmed as irreversible).

I'm having severe trouble with hearing, vision, balance, coordination, memory and concentration. I already receive high rate PIP and have many adaptations in work and at home. Hearing aid, 4 wheeled walker, rails all over the house, ramp in the drive, massive equipment/support in work, disability bus pass etc.

Recent reduction in hours to part time (with fit note support from GP) means I am now having to go through UC claim. I earn over limit for claiming new style ESA. 

I'm looking for some support to get me through claiming UC and the inevitable WCA I know is coming, but I also will likely have other questions (and opinions LOL) about disabilities.

I look forward to getting to know you all.

Replies

  • TarniaTarnia Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Hello @PolPol.
    A very warm welcome.
    I hope today has been kind to you. I'm still learning myself, how to navigate my way round this community however, what I can tell you is, that there is a lot of advice and support available here... I'm sure someone who is more in the know, will be in touch soon and able to advise or direct you further.
    Have a good evening.
    Kindness always 💜💙💜


  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @PolPol and a very warm welcome to the community. I am very glad you have found us and I look forward to hearing more from you.
    Please don't hesitate to ask us anything or tell us anything that might help us to be of use to you, and if you want to have a look around this is a list of our categories/forums that you might like to look through.
    Very warmest best wishes to you,
    @JennysDad

  • AlexAlex Scope Posts: 1,324 Pioneering
    Hi @polpol,

    Welcome to the community. Great to have you here. I've moved your post into our universal credit category to see if other members have any advice to offer.
  • PolPolPolPol Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks everyone.

    I guess for now my only queries are

    After getting back home after my initial identity interview I had a phone call asking if I wanted to be 'put forward' for a WCA. The adviser who called said they would need to send me a UC50 to fill in first. I expected a WCA, but a bit further down the line.  Is this normal so soon? And how long should I expect to wait? Asking because I am expecting practical help from the RNIB to fill in forms so need to warn them.

    Also I'm a little concerned that after filling in basic approximations of wages and rent when I submitted my application, no one has even asked who my employer is, nor my housing association or asked for proof of either. There's nothing in my to do list so I'm presuming they can get that information themselves? 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    PolPol,

    As regards the UC50, I don't think there's such a thing as too soon in UC. I would recommend that you do ask to be put forward for a WCA. That is because, without a decision that you have limited capability for work, you are technically someone who in UC could be treated as having voluntarily reduced your pay, or could even be made to look for more hours again - which would clearly not be appropriate.

    So I would suggest you do complete the UC50. It will ask you questions about what you can and cannot do, and you should also make it clear if working (or work-related activity such as training) would be a risk to your health. The more evidence you can provide, the better, as you might even be able to avoid a face to face medical.

    Because you are on PIP, if you do get a decision saying you have limited capability for work or limited capability for work-related activity, then it doesn't matter how much you are working - you can still be someone who doesn't have to look for more work on UC. It will mean you get to keep more of your earnings before they reduce your UC!

    I'd be hopeful that in the meantime, your work coach will be understanding and will agree that you don't have to look for or take back more hours of work, and that you haven't voluntarily reduced your hours, but been forced to because of your condition. 

    Re how long you should expect to wait - well, as I said, I think you should go ahead & agree to have the UC50 sent out, because it could take several weeks or months after you send that back before you actually have an assessment. When you get the UC50, you have four weeks to return it - so do warn the RNIB once you know it is on the way, and if you need more than the four weeks, make sure you let UC know, return it as soon as you can, and explain why it took longer.

    As I said, I'm hopeful that if you can supply enough evidence & get help with the form, you may not even have to have a medical - I have known this to happen.

    UC may be able to identify your employer from your national insurance number. The Real Time Information system is then used so that information about your wages goes from your employer, to HMRC, to the DWP. I'm not sure how they would know your housing association, however. Are you sure you didn't mention who they were on the online claim form?

    As long as the DWP knows who your landlord is, and if your landlord is part of the Trusted Landlord Portal, they would be able to verify your rent and your liability to pay it directly via your landlord. Many, but not all housing associations in full service areas are now 'trusted landlords'. My advice would be to speak to your housing association. They may have a welfare officer? Or they should be able to check whether they've had a notification that you've claimed UC.

    I would also keep an eye out when you see your first UC statement on your account - make sure it has your rent on there, and that the figure is correct, and also make sure it has taken account of your earnings.

    And do come back to the forum with any questions if that's easier, although I'd hope your housing association has someone who can also help.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • sam66sam66 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi. I use a website called work & benefits. If has been great for me.
    Good luck.
    Sam66
  • PolPolPolPol Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I'm back again. UC awarded and have been in light touch since then.

    Finally went to my WCA appointment this morning. I had filled in my UC50 with loads of evidence claiming I should be LCWRA due to severe mobility/balance problems.

    On arrival at the assessment centre I was called into a room by a lady in reception who apologised profusely, told me I didn't need to be assessed as they had now received further info from my doctor. 

    She would only tell me that this was VERY good news, and that I should wait for a letter.

    I'm hoping this means LCWRA, but with nothing confirmed I'm still in limbo.
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Fingers crossed for you, @PolPol!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,
    The HCP's should not give any indication like this because they don't make the decision, they only make a recommendation to the decision maker. A report will be written and returned to DWP and a decision maker will make a decision from the report. Good luck.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
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