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Not eligible for universal credit?

Rainbowbrite Community member Posts: 2 Listener
Hello. I work in healthcare and moved to a job in January 2019 asI was struggling to perform my previous duties due to Illhealth. I started in this new job and lasted 1 month before occupational health told me this new role was not suitable for me. Work was aware I had a surgery date in may and was advised to go on sick leave due to the job not being suitable for me and not enough time to find a new job before impending surgery. I had major surgery in may 2019, with a full recovery period of 12 to 18 months. After 6 months of me being on longterm sick, 4 months following major surgery I was told I would need to join the redeployment list to look for a more suitable job. This redeployment list is a hope at a job in my organisation but by no ways guaranteed. My sick pay from work ended in October and I was advised to claim ESA. I have since had a face to face appt with ESA and almost certain I will be found fit for work. Personally I agree, but due to occupational healths strict rules regarding where I can work on the redeployment list, I am very limited in job opportunities. When my ESA is stopped, I wont be able to claim JSA and will be forced onto universal credit. But here is the problem. My income is currently zero from work and has been for many months. I am struggling financially but with financial support from my parents, I am managing to cover my mortgage. When I entered my information on the benefits calculator for UC, it tells me I am not eligible for universal credit as I do not have a child and no disability (that fits their conditions, even though my condition is classed for work purposes as covered by the Disabilities discrimination act). Is it possible that I am entitled to nothing? My income from employment this tax year is a mere 8000 but the problem seems to be that I earnt over 15k more the previous year. 


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,131 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    If you are found fit for work once the decision is made on your ESA then claiming UC will depend on your circumstances.

    Using a benefits calculator will only give you an answer based on the information you put in it. UC is not based on your yearly income, it's based on your income each month during your assessment period. It's paid monthly and your first payment is 5 weeks after your claim starts and then monthly after that going forward.

    UC is a means tested benefit and it's not just for those that have disabilities, it's also claimed by those that work and are on low incomes. It's similar to JSA but also includes other elements and is paid as 1 monthly payment.

    If you have no savings and no income then there's no reason why a claim won't be successful. If you're over 25 then you'll receive the standard allowance of £317.82 per month. If under 25 you'll receive £251.77 per month, which are both the same amount as you are currently receiving for ESA.

    You won't be entitled to any help with your mortgage for at least 9 months and this has to be 9 months with no income from working.

    To claim this then you will be expected to look for work and what is expected of you will depend on your claimant commitments.

    If you are found fit for work for ESA will you be requesting the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) then Tribunal?

    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.
  • Rainbowbrite
    Rainbowbrite Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Tbe thing is I agree that I could be working. Just not in the role I was previously in. However instead of simply being able to apply for jobs I have to complete an 8 week redeployment period where jobs could be offered but my options are limited. So I dont disagree that I could be working. However I have a qualification and a career and my concern is that the DWP will state I'm fit for many jobs, such as working in a supermarket. However my concern is that should I be forced to take this kind of job, it will effectively put an end to my career as I will not be able to revalidate and continue to practice in my career. Does this get taken into consideration when I am looking for work? 
    Perhaps my worries about not receiving universal credit are because i used an annual salary, not weekly I the calculator. If I am have to take a part time role due to health issues and am paid say £600 gross a month, am I correct that because I would  earn over £317 a month I am entitled to zero benefits? Because that means someone with a disability, (but not severe enough to qualify for highest rate PIP to entitle them to a higher wage before tapering) is expected to be able to financially afford to live on a wage of less than 8k per year and not receive any benefits.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,381 Scope online community team
    Hi @Rainbowbrite.
    The type of jobs you should be looking for are usually agreed with your work coach on Universal Credit, but they will expect you to widen your net. Particularly if you remain unemployed for a length of time.

    With regards to the wage, yes if you are found fit for work you won't have a work allowance on Universal Credit, so a monthly wage of £600 would wipe out any entitlement to UC. (600x0.63 = £378 so a wage of £600 would reduce your UC by £378 meaning zero entitlement)

    However, if they decide you have LCW (Limited Capability for Work, meaning you could undertake some forms of work but they acknowledge it's more difficult for you) you would have a work allowance (an amount you can earn before deductions for wages). As you don't rent or have help with housing costs, yours would be £503. So on a wage of £600 you would receive 
    600 - 503 = 97 (wage minus work allowance)
    97 x 0.63 = 61.11 (wage taper applied to relevant earnings)
    317.82 - 61.11 = 256.71 (UC entitlement minus deduction for earnings)
    So you'd receive £256.71 Universal Credit on top of your wage of £600.
    Community Manager
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