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Universal credit / young people

Barney18 Member Posts: 7 Listener

This is likely to be a complicated question but I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible!

6 weeks ago my daughter lost her place in college as she wasn’t able to attend due to anxiety issues (she has been agoraphobic for 3 years).  I contacted the Universal Credit helpline to ask what to do and should I put in a separate claim for her and was told not to as UC will be paid alongside child benefit, and only when child benefit stops should we make an application. 

Ive spoken to several advisers since as the child and disabled child element was dropped from my recent award, who all thought it would be paid as she is a dependant young person, but have only had confirmation today that it definitely won’t be paid as she isn’t in education. This has left us with a shortfall of just over £400 a month. 

I can put in a new claim for UC and ask for it to be backdated, but my daughter has in the last few weeks started to go out and meet friends again so we now have an appointment with the college about her reapplying and she potentially might start soon. 

Can I start a claim for her and then in a week stop it if she’s given a college place? It would only be to cover the period between her losing the place and reapplying. The claim would be based on a 17 year old with limited capability for work. I wouldn’t normally care as much as it’s only one month, but I’m on SSP myself due to Fibromyalgia so we have a very limited income. 

Thanks in advance :)


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2019

    The reason the elements stopped for your daughter is because she lost her place at college, to claim the child elements of this she must be in full time non advanced education.

    16 and 17 year olds can only claim UC in certain circumstances and going by what you've said here, she doesn't qualify. I'm assuming she's claiming a disability benefit because you were claiming the disability element for her? I'll pop a link up here for you to read for yourself. Take particular notice of number 2, this doesn't apply to her because she's not waiting for an assessment for LCW.

    A claim for UC takes at least 5 weeks for your first payment, so that really isn't going to solve any problems for you if you started a new claim. UC can only be backdated for 1 month under extreme circumstances.

    My thoughts are your only option is to wait until she speaks to college to see about returning and then claim for the child element of UC again. Then it will start from when she returns to college.

    If she doesn't return to college then you'll need to get some face to face advice from an advice centre near you. UC and young people is extremely complicated.

    For yourself, have you been sending in sick/fit notes to UC for LCW?
  • Barney18
    Barney18 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi Poppy

    Thanks for getting back to me. I understand the rules for UC and qualifying young people as everything I’d read said they had to be in education which is why I’m so annoyed that I listened to the people working for Universal Credit! The initial lady sounded so knowledgeable so I thought it just must not be publicised. I had every intention of starting a claim for her but they told me not to which is why I’m so frustrated that it’s left us in this situation. 

    I’m pretty certain my daughter does qualify for limited capability for work as a lot of the areas on the form are relevant to how she’s affected by Autism, OCD and mental health issues. I have no way of knowing yet whether she’ll manage college as she hasn’t been able to mix with people she doesn’t know for years, but it’s not a mainstream college, it’s a specialist college for people with support needs so hopefully as she can leave the house again now it will be a success. 

    I think your advice is spot on though and I’m going to wait and see whether she’s able to go back to the college as that will add the elements back on my claim. 

    I have sent in the fit notes but only in November (I’ve been off since August). I had thought they didn’t need them as SSP showed I’m not well enough to work but this was wrong! I haven’t been sent any work capability form though.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    The advice you were given about claiming UC for her, is correct because she can't claim it even if she was a student.

    The same rules apply to students claiming UC as young people. They can't claim it unless they have LCW. Claiming a disability benefit doesn't automatically qualify you for LCW. As you can see by this link, which says " you're disabled and limited capability for work and are claiming PIP/DLA etc... and a PIP award doesn't qualify you for this. You need to be assessed as having LCW.
    See link.

    As for your work capability assessment, you need to ask your work coach to refer you for this. Once that's done you'll be sent the work capability assessment form (UC50) this will need to be filled in and returned no later than the date in the letter. There's no extension of time for this form and if it's not returned within the time you'll be found fit for work for failing to return. You'll need to make sure you send relevant evidence to support your claim with the form.

    Once you've had your face to face assessment a decision will be made eventually. If you're given LCWRA then you'll receive the extra £328 per month in your UC payable from the 4th month of your claim starting from when you sent in your first fit note.

  • Barney18
    Barney18 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi, just to clarify in case anyone else in similar circumstances reads this thread - the advice I was given by UC was wrong. My daughter had to leave college on medical grounds but I was told the child element gets paid while in receipt of child benefit so I shouldn’t make a claim for her until child benefit stopped. She was no longer a student and had limited capability for work which is why I called them to ask how to go about it, as I would need to be her appointee like I am for her PIP. I would have got medical evidence showing this but didn’t as they told me I don’t need to while child benefit is paid. Thank you Poppy for all the other advice though, I just wanted to clarify the situation with UC as other people might find themselves in the same situation.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2019
    Barney18 said:
     She was no longer a student and had limited capability for work which is why I called them to ask how to go about it, as I would need to be her appointee like I am for her PIP.
    She doesn't have limited capability for work because she hasn't be assessed as having this, this is what i'm trying to explain to you. Her PIP award doesn't automatically entitle her to limited capability for work because she needs to be assessed as having limited capability for work and this hasn't happened.  This means that she can't claim UC in her own right. Whether she's a student or not. Even though she's not a student right now, her age still goes against her.

    In the future when she is able to claim it you don't need to become her appointee again because you're already her appointee for PIP and this is for all her benefit claims with DWP.

    May i ask if you've reported those changes to child benefit? If you haven't then I would also advise you to contact them because she's no longer in full education and she's 17. The rules are different for those that are over 16. 16 year olds qualify for child benefit up until 31st August following their 16th birthday.

    16 or 17 years old who is registered for work, education or training in certain circumstances. As she's no longer in education because she lost her college place then you should have reported those changes.

  • Barney18
    Barney18 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi, yes I have reported it to Child Benefit and did so immediately. I think we may be talking cross purposes - when I say limited capability for work I mean I would have made a claim on the basis of limited capability for work but I understand you don’t have LCW until you’ve had an assessment. You can’t get an assessment without having put a claim in though, so a young person that is unable to work for health reasons would be able to apply and then wait for the assessment (this is my understanding anyway).


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