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Positive Universal Credit Experience

Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 7,018 Disability Gamechanger
Hey everyone, I just wanted to share a positive piece about applying for Universal Credit.

After some lengthy and heart-to-heart discussions with @poppy123456, she advised me to apply for Universal Credit. As an active member of the online community, I've lost count how many horror stories I've read about the benefit, as a result I was very hesitant.

We applied back in late January, this year. We had to complete to-do lists on the online journal (which I think is a fantastic concept as it's much more efficient). Once completed, we arranged to see a work coach at our local job centre so that we could provide proof of our identification and other documents, including a fit note for me.

I then received the WCA questionnaire to fill out, I was worried as the font was too small and found it difficult to read. Fortunately, you can download it online and fill out the form, which enabled me to read the instructions and questions in larger font.

As my husband works full time, we already knew his earnings would affect the amount we would receive, but we weren't expecting to receive the LCWRA amount in our first payment! After some confusion, Poppy worked out that this was most likely due to my application for ESA when I was dismissed from work due to ill health, however we were declined as my husband works full time.

It came to light that the claim with ESA was still open, which we thought had closed. (Now is closed completely). I forgot about this claim as it was a few years ago, but it looks like it came in handy for our application for UC!

Plus, I had not sent the questionnaire back before receiving our first payment of UC, so I was very baffled as to how I had been awarded LCWRA without even sending the form back!

The evidence I sent in, supporting what I stated in the questionnaire, was my rehabilitation discharge summary, my blind certificate (I apologise, I don't know the proper name for it, but its proof that a person has a vision impairment/is blind), and a recent report from a genetics specialist.

We sent the form back last Monday I think, and today I received an email to look on my journal. Very shocked that the whole process has been so quick, but I have been awarded LCWRA.

I just wanted to share a positive with you all, despite all the negative. I understand benefits are stressful, but take a deep breath, reach out for help and all will be okay.

I could have never done this without the constant help and support of my best friend @poppy123456. She has been there every step of the way, reassured me and kept me calm. Thanks to poppy, we don't have to worry anymore about not having enough food in the house (well, aside from this pandemic anyway).

Poppy, you're one in a million and I can't thank you enough ❤
Community Champion
Disability Gamechanger - 2019

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 22,214 Disability Gamechanger
    @Ami2301 Thank you for such lovely kind words! You just brought a massive lump to my throat and also made me cry too! You are such a sweetie and just a few years older than my eldest daughter and i can't help but think of you as an "adopted daughter" , as well as a very dear friend. You make me laugh so much, i'm used to losing my pepsi or tea down the front of whatever i'm wearing lol.

    When you told me that you didn't actually claim any means tested benefits, i was shocked. When i asked you your husband's earnings i knew straight away that you were definitely entitled to something. I couldn't just sit here and not help you because my heart won't let me do that. Especially when i knew you were struggling financially.

    Although we did find out that you were already in the Support Group for ESA, which was a bonus for you. If your LCWRA award hadn't continued then i would have written to your local MP myself! Given what i know about your disability and the way it affects it was a no brainer that you should with out any doubts be given LCWRA without a face to face assessment,  even though you did try to fool me :D but my benefit knowledge knew better haha.

    I know UC doesn't work for everyone but it certainly does for some people. I'm glad your experience was positive and they didn't keep you waiting long for the decision either, with is another good thing. It;s so nice to hear positive stories and when i spend so much time helping others, those positive stories make that even more worth while.

    It was my pleasure to be able to help you all i could..... I'll send the bill once this pandemic is over ;);) LOL <3

    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.
  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 381 Pioneering
    I actually paid a site ( around £20) for advice on various stages of my new PIP claim( from DLA to PIP) ...but not only did Poppy give me advice on this but also gave me advice on UC and my wife's pension ect .....her advice was spot on . Myself and my wife cannot thank Poppy enough , the government should have people as knowledgeable as Poppy working for them, as we got conflicting advice a number of times from DWP.
    I ( we) cannot thank Poppy enough for all her advice ...my PIP assessment was last September,  I waited around ten weeks ( ten weeks of stress and worry ) . ..Then it was a matter if try to get UC sorted out, once again ( with poy,s help) we felt we were advising the DWP workers who were telling us conflicting information , we then had my wife pension to get sorted out ( early January) the DWP  told us she would not get it since we were on UC . What they meant ( I think ) was that my wifes pension comes off our UC .
    It's now sorted out ,( that has taken three months) ...but we have my wifes pension ( deducted from our UC ) My ESA is also deducted from our UC ...and we still get £202 a month from UC . we have no complaints now ...but in our most darkest time , poppy was there to talk us through it ....we cannot thank Poppy enough for her advice and help 👍🙏
  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 381 Pioneering
    edited March 2020
    May I add .... I was helped by others ( Adrian and others )as well during a time of great stress at the beginning of this year , we were meant to get a wet room installed ...but...when the wet room builders found asbestos , it was put on hold until about five weeks ago ( after the guys had ripped out our bathroom ) ...sure , these things happen ...but just being able to chat to others on here was a great help ..after 4 months of hassle and stress from PIP, DWP, UC , my wifes pension and then our bathroom ripped out and then stopped...it just seemed never ending stress . We got our wetroom installed and its first class ( so we thought) ...but it turned out the pump was blocked from day one and our bathroom was being flooded , it was not until we spoke to a local that he told us the pump should be running all the time whilst in the shower ....and once we stopped the shower , the pump was meant to pump any water out that was left in the wet room . The firm sent someone out and the pump was blocked by a bit sealant . It's now working great .Another thank you to everyone that talked to me about it .....being able to talk about thing helped me hugely ....then the Spiceman with his recipes is great,  especially at a time like this when we have to make things spin out a bit more ...luckily I have family near me and my son gets anything we need and leaves it at the front door for us. 
    Thanks to all on this great site 👍
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 7,018 Disability Gamechanger
    Glad things are looking up for you and your wife @Seanchai :)
    Community Champion
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • soconfusedsoconfused Member Posts: 101 Courageous
    Nice to see. I've had to go to a tribunal to get anything done as they say I can work but they know I can't - the current crisis has put that on hold but I am hopeful I will also get that 
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 7,018 Disability Gamechanger
    Fingers crossed for you @soconfused :)
    Community Champion
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 381 Pioneering
    Yep soconfused,  it is very confusing and stressful with out the ongoing lockdown . Good luck my friend, please keep us posted when you hear anything 👍
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