Universal Credit
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Should i even be claiming UC?

feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
edited April 2020 in Universal Credit
I am getting carers allowance and PIP (high rate care, no mobility), was getting income support and tax credits but both of these have stopped now so i put a claim in for UC because i was awarded PIP at tribunal and so my circumstances have changed. I was also getting housing benefit and council tax help.

Took me ages to get through to anyone on the phone but they said the job centre would tell me if i was claiming the right thing, but after looking online last night i found something that says you can claim income support as a weekly payment if you're a carer. I do feel like the system is now set up so that you lose back payments you would be entitled to if awarded the correct benefit at he right time (without tribunal or making a wrong claim) so would i still be able to get income support back now or is it too late? It'snot been 4 weeks since my income support has stopped. Am i even claiming the right benefit? I am aware the government does not update their website often enough with the correct information so their site could be incorrect.

Did get through to someone on the phone today but apparently they can't tell what i'm saying on the phone so....
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Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    New claims for Income Support and the other old benefits are no longer possible unless you're claiming a severe disability premium in with another benefit.

    As you've now claimed UC then you won't be able to go back onto the old benefits, regardless of your circumstances.

    You will need to make sure you tell them that you are a carer, if you haven't already done this and then the carers element of UC will be added to your claim. As you're a carer then you won't be asked to look for work or do any preparation for work.

    If you do have a limited capability for work then you could send in fit notes from your GP to start the work capability assessment process off. However, if your UC claim is a single person claim then do be aware that if you're placed into the LCWRA group anytime in the future then you won't be able to receive the LCWRA element and the carers element at the same time. It will be the LCWRA element that you will receive instead.

    If it's a joint claim then your partner could claim the carers element instead of you BUT you would need to cancel your carers allowance claim.

    If you've recently started your claim for UC then your housing benefit will continue for a further 2 weeks and then transfer across to UC. There's also a 5 week wait for your first payment. You can claim an advance payment to see you through until you receive your first payment but do be aware, this payment will need to be repaid back from future UC payments.

    Hope this helps.
    Community champion and 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.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    edited March 2020
    I've been placed in the not looking for work category already. But also have to get a fit note off my GP?

    Sort of helps, i'm still not convinced about UC and think i should have been claiming more income support instead of being shoved onto UC but they stopped income support straight away. And yes the job centre were happy to offer me a loan until my payments started, i declined not realising they would stop everything but my carers allowance.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    As you're a carer then you won't have to look for work no. A fit note from your GP isn't needed BUT if you have a limited capability for work and you want to start this process off then yes a fit note will be needed.

    May i ask what the reason was that you claimed UC in the first place? what was the reason your Income support stopped?  was it a change of circumstances that prompted a move across?
    Community champion and 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.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    The reason why i claimed UC in the first place is because i was finally awarded PIP and so wanted to claim ESA but anywhere i called to update about PIP only had robots that told me to claim UC online then cut me off without speaking to a person, this includes ESA. I could not get through to a human at all.

    So had to try and claim UC online, couldn't verify my claim online so had to make an appointment at the job centre to do this and as soon as they verified me all my benefits stopped apart from carers. I don't even know if i'm entitled to UC and won't know for 6 weeks.



  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    There wouldn't have been any reason for you to have claimed ESA because you were claiming Income Support as a carer. Your PIP award doesn't automatically entitle you to limited capability for work.

    If you live alone (no other adults) unless they claim a qualifying benefit then you would have been entitled to claim severe disability premium in with your Income Support, providing no claims carers allowance for looking after you. If there's no other adults living with you then they will owe you back dated money for this too, which is £65.85 extra per week.

    You would have also been entitled to the disability premium in with your Income Support payment. If you were already claiming the disability premium with your Income support then DWP will owe you some money, which is backdated to the start of your PIP award.

    Sadly as you've now claimed UC then you can't go back onto the old benefits and the disability premiums are not payable when claiming UC. You should have got some expert advice before claiming UC.

    When claiming UC then an appointment at your local job centre is always needed to verify your identity. How much UC you're entitled to will totally depend on your circumstances. First payment for UC is 5 weeks and not 6 weeks and you'll receive your statement on your journal, which will tell you what you'll receive.


    Community champion and 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.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    edited March 2020
    Ok thanks. Shame i couldn't have got through to anyone on the phone when i first tried to claim.

    Edit: Just found out if i should've got Premium within the last month i may still be able to claim,will let you know how it turns out later, just waiting to get through to a human :smile: I did get income support until last week so this may help as well.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. If you were trying to ring DWP for advice before you claimed UC then it wouldn't have been the best place to go for advice anyway to be honest.

    Please do check what amount of Income Support you were claiming because you could be owed some backdated money. Extremely difficult to advise any further without knowing all of your circumstances and whether or not you were living alone or with a partner or a person over the age of 18.
    Community champion and 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.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    I'm still getting income support because UC hadn't told income support anything yet but despite this they cannot keep my claim open because i've claimed UC already, i even asked could i just not cancel UC and keep my income support open but they've said no. My carers allowance is fine and won't get stopped.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2020
    Your Income Support will end the date you claimed UC. Once you've claimed UC you can't go back.

    Your carers allowance will of course continue because it's not part of UC BUT it will be deducted £1 for £1 from your UC entitlement and reduce it by £286 per month. You need to make sure they are aware that you're a carer and make sure the carers element is added when you receive your first statement.
    Community champion and 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.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    Just messaged them now on my work jopuranl about it. Thanks a lot.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. If you need further advice then please do ask.
    Community champion and 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.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    I've asked them to put me back on income support because i can't get a fit note due to the virus. Also what is this about and why?:

    You are a carer and in receipt of carers allowance, we will pay you what we call a carer element
     which amounts to £160 a month, however we will deduct from your Universal Credit the amount of
    roughly £286.65 each month as you are in receipt of carers allowance.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2020
    You won't be able to go back onto income support because you've now claimed UC and once you claim this you can't go back.

    That message on your journal means that your Carers allowance is deducted £1 for £1 from your UC amount, just the same as it used to be from Income support. Carers allowance pay you separately each week.

    The £160 carers element is the same thing as the carers premium that use to be in with Income Support.
    Community champion and 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.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    Oh ok. I know they say you can't go back on it but i asked anyway because i won't be able to claim the correct amount of UC because of the lockdown. This sucks, after years of waiting i finally thought my money worries were over but they're just worse thanks to UC.

    Am feeling confident my mental health team will help me sort it, they've been greatup to now but i'm sick of relying on everyone else to everything for me, this claim was supposed to be so i could support myself.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2020
    Why won't you be able to claim the correct amount? Your standard allowance will be increased by approximately £80 because of Covid19 and this will apply for 1 year.

     The rates will be as follows.
    £342.72 for a single claimant under 25.
    £409.89 for a single claimant over 25.
    £488.59 for joint claimants under 25.
    £594.04 for joint claimants over 25.

    Community champion and 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.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    £20 a week? I won't be able to get the disability element (which is appx £330 a month) because my GP isn't doing  appointments for fit to work notes at this time as it's not classed as important.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, it's about that extra per week, for 1 year.

    I would imagine the fit notes won't be needed at the moment because of the current conditions. Obviously you've been sending them up to now but because GPs are not issuing them (mine is the same) this won't affect your LCW process.

    I will tag a member of our admin team to ask them, just to make sure.

    @Adrian_Scope if you've been sending fits notes for the LCW process for UC but your existing one is about to run out, has this process been suspended for at least 3 months too? Obviously a fit note isn't classed as important, so GPs are not writing then at the moment. Any help is appreciated, thank you.
    Community champion and 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.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    haven't sent in any fit notes yet,need an appointment to see my GP first but can't get one becuase of the lockdown as it's not classed as essential,
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