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Child responsibility element of UC

Nader
Nader Member Posts: 51 Courageous
edited April 2019 in Universal Credit (UC)
Hi all

Could you please advise:
I have started my application for Universal Credit, a joint application with my wife. Neither of us is working now. My question is: 
Will our previous year's earnings have a bearing on receiving the Child Responsibility element of UC? (It was formerly child tax credit I believe) Is there a limit or threshold for the previous year's earnings in respect of that element of UC? 

Thanks for your help.

Comments

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,596 Scope online community team
    Hi @Nader, the simple answer is no, not really. Assuming your child is of qualifying age, you're still entitled to the child element regardless of how much you earned in the previous year. 
    The reason they ask for the previous year's earnings is to see if you have earned enough to be in the grace period, so as not to have the benefit cap applied (a maximum amount of benefit any family can receive, inclusive of child benefit). There are other exemptions though, such as someone in the household receiving PIP, DLA, Carer's allowance, LCWRA, or the care element of Universal Credit.
    I hope that helps but if you do have any more questions just let us know!
    Adrian

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  • Antonia_Alumni
    Antonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
    Hi @Nader welcome to the community, i'll tag in @BenefitsTrainingCo for advice
  • Nader
    Nader Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    Hi Adrian 
    Thanks very much for that. 
    Could please explain ‘grace period’ for me? 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,596 Scope online community team
    Hi Nader, if you're claiming UC the benefit cap won't be applied for a 9-month grace period if you (and your partner) earned at least the amount you would get for 16 hours per week at National Minimum Wage for the previous 12 months.
    Are you currently in receipt of any other benefits?
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  • Nader
    Nader Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    Ok, I understand. 

    Re benefits:
    I’m getting PIP. My wife is getting Carers Allowance and one of our daughters is receiving DLA (she’s Autistic)
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,596 Scope online community team
    Okay, so you'll already be exempt from the benefit cap. The amount you'll receive will just be based on your income during your assessment period.
    Hope that helps!
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  • Nader
    Nader Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    I see. 
    I assume right now is the assessment period. Is this right? We aren’t earning anything right now. 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,596 Scope online community team
    Yep. The assessment period runs from the day you apply for a month and will take into account any earnings within this time. Say you apply on the 1st of April, the assessment period would be the 1st to 30th of April and you'd receive your UC on the 7th of May.
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  • Nader
    Nader Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    Thanks so much for your help Adrian.
    As a matter of fact, that is the date we applied! and 7th May was the date they’ve said we would receive the first payment! My work commitments interview is on the 30th April. 
    Of course, I have a 3 month fit note beginning April 1st. I know I’ll have to wait for the UC50 form, so I’m not really sure what will happen in the interview on the 30th, or what I’ll be asked. I guess I’m about find out! 


  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,596 Scope online community team
    No problem! Good luck with it and please let us know if you need any more advice on the process.
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  • Nader
    Nader Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    Will do. Thanks so much for your help. You’ve been great! 
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,622 Pioneering
    Hi Nader, I don't think we have anything to add after Adrian's excellent advice. 

    You should get a UC50 form if you continue to hand in sick notes. After 28 days of sick notes, they are supposed to refer you to a work capability assessment. But they might start the process earlier in your case, as it's clear that with a 3 month sick note, you will definitely still be signed off by your GP when it gets to day 29.

    Although technically it is up to the work coach what you have to do whilst waiting for the assessment, I'd be hopeful that in your case they will suspend your work search & work availability requirements. To put that in non-DWP speak, I'm hopeful you won't have to look for work whilst you are waiting for the process of completing a UC50 & possibly having to go to a work capability assessment.

    Any further questions, do get back to the forum. 

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Nader
    Nader Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    Hi Will

    Thanks very much for your advice. 

    On the assumption that the work coach insists on work search and work availability, even with my GP's fit note confirming otherwise, what can I do about it? How can I be available for something that I know I cannot do?!
    (Just for info: I am a T4 paraplegic who has had ongoing deterioration over the past 6 years, which necessitated further spinal surgery to my neck last June. In short, I am now even more disabled than I was when I was first injured!)

    Nader
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,622 Pioneering
    NaderNader,

    If your work coach did this, I would complain about it as it would almost certainly be unlawful - a full work availability requirement that you can't comply with could be disability discrimination.  I would advise not agreeing to a claimant commitment that you know you can't fulfil. If they really did insist on work search & work availability, it would have to be clear that jobs would be limited to something that you can do, and if you were not happy, you can ask for your claimant commitment to be reviewed. Given your situation though, I'd be very shocked if a work coach did insist on full work search/availability whilst you were waiting for the assessment. I would expect any claimant commitment to reflect the fact that you should only be expected to look for a very limited range of jobs that you can actually do, or that you are not expected to look for work at all.

    Although we do hear some exceptions, in your situation I would not expect your work coach to give you work-related requirements, and if they did, they should discuss them with you to make sure they are realistic (ie limited to things you feel you could do). 

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Nader
    Nader Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    Thank you so much for your excellent advice Will. It's a HUGE help!

    Nader

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