Impossible to answer question in To-Do List — Scope | Disability forum
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Impossible to answer question in To-Do List

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fade2gray
fade2gray Community member Posts: 8 Connected
edited November 2021 in Universal Credit (UC)
After being dumped from ESA/WRA onto UC, I found the process a bit daunting and took several days to complete the claim. However, I did manage to get my claim backdated and received my first payment (less deduction for a necessary advance) on Fri 3rd May. Simultaneously, two identical entries appeared in my To-Do List -

"Confirm previous earnings from work [Due by Friday 17 May 2019]"

When the entry is clicked on, the first question asked is -

"In the 12 months before you claimed Universal Credit, were there any gaps in your employment? [This doesn't include paid holidays, maternity or paternity leave.]"

The only option to answer is yes or no, but if I answer either way I will be inferring that I had been working during the twelve months before my claim, which I wasn't

I have been arguing this point in my journal, but I keep being told to answer "no". This is making me feel extremely anxious that I'm being forced into 'admitting' something that isn't true, and if I can't resolve this by the 17th might be subject to sanctions.

Any advice please?

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,283 Disability Gamechanger
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    HI,

    There were no gaps because you weren't working, you were claiming ESA in the WRAG. Your ESA WRAG will be honoured and you'll be placed into the relevant group for UC, which is LCW. I would put a note on your journal telling them you were in this group for ESA. It can take a while for your details to be transferred to UC and for them to place you into this group.

    As you have LCW your claimant commitment should reflect this, which will be the work preparation requirement group. you will be expected to prepare for a move into work, additional work, or better paid work. Actions to get ready for work could include attending training courses, preparing a CV or taking part in the Work Programme.

    You will not be required to take steps to apply for or take up work as a condition of your claim.


    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • fade2gray
    fade2gray Community member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited May 2019
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    Hi, thanks for the reply.

    The question seems poorly worded and might benefit from an initial question asking something along the lines of, "Were you employed in the twelve months before your claim?".

    But, I should answer 'no', to any gaps in employment, even though I wasn't employed?

    Also, I failed to mention that I have submitted fit notes, supporting my original condition, exempting me from looking for work or attending work-related interviews, will that make any difference regarding LCW?

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,283 Disability Gamechanger
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    Yes, it confuses almost everyone but you should still answer no. Then maybe put a note on your journal.

    You shouldn't need to submit any fit notes because you already have LCW but you may need to send them until they update your claim and place in the LCW group, this can take a few weeks because the details need to be sent from ESA.

    I'm afraid the fit notes will not exclude you from work related activity, if you're unable to do what is asked of you then you should speak to your work coach but LCW means you are expected to prepare for work in the future. Sanctions are possible if you don't do what's expected in your journal.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • fade2gray
    fade2gray Community member Posts: 8 Connected
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    Thanks for the explanations. :)
  • Jean Eveleigh
    Jean Eveleigh Scope Member Posts: 185 Pioneering
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    I would say yes there was a gap of 12 months as I was unemployed and claiming disability related benefits
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,011 Scope online community team
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    Hi @fade2gray
    I've spoken to a number of benefit advisors and DWP representatives about this particular question, it is very poorly worded and causes no amount of confusion. 
    Unfortunately I have to disagree with @poppy123456. You should actually put 'yes', there have been gaps, it was one long gap as you weren't working. Those that are unemployed, disabled or have been job seekers for the full 12 months prior would put yes. 

    However, if you've already submitted your answer please don't worry. It is used only to determine whether the benefit cap should apply or if you'll be in the 'grace period'. The majority of people answer this question incorrectly, and as you were advised on your journal to answer 'no' it won't cause you any problems. 
    As long as you answered the following questions regarding how much you earned in the previous 12 months correctly, that is the most important section. 


    Community Manager
    Scope
  • fade2gray
    fade2gray Community member Posts: 8 Connected
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    I sent another message to my work coach regarding the issue, who sent me this reply -

    If you answered 'no' to the question have you been employed in the past 12 months prior to your claim, then answering 'no' to the question were there any gaps in your employment does not infer you were in employment.
    But, I have come to the same conclusion and reckon I should answer 'yes' as you say, here goes nothing.

    Thanks.
  • ihatecorona
    ihatecorona Community member Posts: 5 Connected
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    Hello, I am also stuck on this question but with a different problem.

    If I answer yes to the question "did you earn less than £430 in any of the previous 12 months", then it asks me to confirm that I "earnt less than £430 a month", which is not true. Some months would have been higher, the average would have been higher. But it is also true that I did not earn more than £430 in every month.

    Again with this impossible question!?!
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,011 Scope online community team
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    Hello @ihatecorona and a warm welcome to the community. It's a very badly worded question isn't it?

    This question is to determine whether you should fall into the grace period of the benefit cap. For the grace period to apply, you need to have earned over the threshold every month, for the last 12 months. Ironically, the £430 figure is actually irrelevant as you need to have earned more than this for the grace period. 

    If there were any months you earned less than £430 a month, you would put "yes" and then confirm that you "earned less than £430 a month". I completely understand your argument that the average would have been higher than £430, but unlike some legacy benefits, UC work on a month-to-month basis and earnings in an individual month are what matters, rather than yearly or monthly average.
    Community Manager
    Scope
  • Lucielou
    Lucielou Community member Posts: 1 Listener
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    I’m still a bit confused. What counts as earning. I was on jsa and then become a career for my sister so I’ve had to switch to uc. I also got this questions and I’m not sure what to put as I’m not working and haven’t been for a long time. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,283 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2021
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    Lucielou said:
    I’m still a bit confused. What counts as earning. I was on jsa and then become a career for my sister so I’ve had to switch to uc. I also got this questions and I’m not sure what to put as I’m not working and haven’t been for a long time. 

    You would answer "yes" because there were gaps in your employment. You were claiming benefits and not working.
    The reason they are this question is for the benfit cap "grace period" If you're claiming Carers Allowance/Carers Element of UC then the benefit cap doesn't apply to you.
    You should also make sure you report being a carer so they can add the carers element onto your maximum entitlement.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Sweetpea8
    Sweetpea8 Community member Posts: 40 Listener
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    I had this question i have never worked i ended up clicking on no
  • honestjon
    honestjon Community member Posts: 173 Pioneering
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    fade2gray said:
    After being dumped from ESA/WRA onto UC, I found the process a bit daunting and took several days to complete the claim. However, I did manage to get my claim backdated and received my first payment (less deduction for a necessary advance) on Fri 3rd May. Simultaneously, two identical entries appeared in my To-Do List -

    "Confirm previous earnings from work [Due by Friday 17 May 2019]"

    When the entry is clicked on, the first question asked is -

    "In the 12 months before you claimed Universal Credit, were there any gaps in your employment? [This doesn't include paid holidays, maternity or paternity leave.]"

    The only option to answer is yes or no, but if I answer either way I will be inferring that I had been working during the twelve months before my claim, which I wasn't

    I have been arguing this point in my journal, but I keep being told to answer "no". This is making me feel extremely anxious that I'm being forced into 'admitting' something that isn't true, and if I can't resolve this by the 17th might be subject to sanctions.

    Any advice please?

    I wouldn't worry about it and just answer no because that is the answer.
    There were no gaps because if there was no employment there can't have been any gaps?
    I would answer no and leave a journal message saying you have answered no and you weren't employed 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,283 Disability Gamechanger
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    Lorna84 said:
    I had a similar problem with the health question. Does your health affect your ability to work? It's a yes/no question with no area to clarify. 

    I put yes, as it does but my employer has put reasonable adjustments in place. 
    They then want to send me for a work capability assessment for additional UC health payments (like the old ESA), despite me saying I have a job and work full time and I know I'm not entitled to any additional payments. 

    They told me the only way to stop fit note requests and work capability assessments was to change my answer to say that my health does not affect my ability to work, which isn't true as it can, but my employer is understanding of that.

    I ended up doing the change as I don't want them to be thinking I want to claim additional payments when I know I'm not entitled.
    The question should be re-worded.

    I never had any issues with tax credits. I've had nothing but problems with Universal Credits.

    This is a very old thread that you've commented on from 2019. If you answer yes to that question you would only be referred for a work capability assessment if you're claiming a disability benefit such as PIP/DLA or ADP. 

    This is because you're working full time and without a disability benefit award if you earn more than 16xNMW/week then you can't be referred for a work capability assessment.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,705 Scope online community team
    edited December 2023
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    Welcome @Lorna84, don't worry too much that this is an old thread. Especially if you're on certain mobiles, I know the date/time doesn't appear with certain versions yet.

    That does sound rather odd. Did they give any reason for the WCA? Just because you said your health was enough to affect your work?


    Edit: Though, while we are on the topic. If you are affected at work, is your life as a whole affected enough to claim PIP potentially?
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,705 Scope online community team
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    I would, if I was you at least, go through the PIP application. It's not means-tested and is there for people who have health difficulties and extra costs with their disabilities/health. Even if you work you have those extra costs. 

    If Universal Credit is being insistent I would perhaps discuss this with a benefits adviser, you can look up your local Citizen's Advice here, if you haven't already.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us. 
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,283 Disability Gamechanger
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    Lorna84 said:
    @Jimm_Scope

    I put a note on my journal that I am in full time employment, but on sick leave.
    That's totally different to actually working full time. You maybe employed full time but you're not actually working at the moment. If your earnings are less than 16xNMW at the moment then yes, you can be referred for the WCA.

    Have you received a letter on your journal telling you they have referred you? This is when you know the process has started, a few days after that letter you will receive the UC50 form in the post.

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,283 Disability Gamechanger
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    Lorna84 said:
    I went back to work in November. I received full pay whilst I was on sick leave, which is more than 16xNMW.

    Yes I received a note on my journal and filled in a work capability form that I received in the post. I put on the form that I'm already in employment, that I work full time and that I was currently on sick leave (at the time) which was full pay. I thought that would put an end to the matter but then the request to attend an assessment came through. 

    Then i'm very confused why you were referred for the WCA because your earnings were above the amount that should have prevented the referral.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.

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