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Can't claim UC because of PIP, and more

cerysdv Member Posts: 5 Listener
Hi, I am currently trying to claim Universal Credit. I tried for a while before the pandemic to get a fit note so I could apply for old-style ESA, as I got my injuries when I was 14 (now 19), and so have not paid into National Insurance before, due to struggling to find employment despite my efforts, most likely down to my age and disability. When I saw GP's to receive this fit note, I was turned away without either because I needed to go and research what it is that I needed (I stated I needed a fit note for ESA and they either had no idea what it was, or suggested I just try working. After this I didn't really know how else to ask for one and felt very discouraged from trying again.) Then, old-style ESA was merged into Universal Credit, so I applied. During the pandemic apparently no fit note was needed now. 

I applied, and was then contacted to be told I would have a phone consultation. This was then booked, and then cancelled same day. I was told I would receive another appointment about two weeks ago but have heard nothing back.

I checked my UC, as I was due to receive my decision yesterday despite having no appointment yet. It shows that I can receive the standard rate, but it looks like my PIP is used as a deduction. My PIP is a bigger amount than what UC is currently willing to offer me, therefore I am eligible for £0. I have a job but I am only offered about 5 hours per week, on minimum wage. I have been in this job for nearly 3 years, and have been job hunting for over a year now because I want a better job with more hours. I have struggled to find a job I can do properly due to my chronic pain and the fact I use crutches constantly to walk. From a health and safety perspective there's a lot of jobs I couldn't do. No heavy lifting or carrying or large amounts of walking etc, which leaves me pretty restricted. 

I am also going to university in September, and am worried about income. My apartment had to be accessible to it is much more expensive than a normal room, my maintenance loan does not cover those costs. My DSA concluded I may be able to receive the difference between my accessible room and a normal room of the same building, but there are very strict conditions that have to be met, so I may not be able to receive this because I pay a slightly larger amount for 10 months instead of spread out over 12. I am extremely worried about being able to meet these costs and still afford disability related things like medication, private doctor appointments, equipment like crutches (they don't last forever unfortunately) as well as food and university equipment (I'm doing a music course that recommends putting aside about £500 for personal equipment.)

I am wondering if anyone has any advice on how I could proceed? I could attempt to get a fit note although on my UC page it says I don't have to. But I am also worried that I'll keep getting turned away from trying to get one. I also don't know how to proceed with the fact that, right now at least, I will get no support from UC. I have looked for grants but cannot find very many that I am eligible for. I am also worried about what happens if I fail to find employment when I move, but I have really tried to find a proper job during this year and it's been hard to get any responses or interviews. I've never applied before, this is my first time on the system, I've only ever dealt with the DWP. I have left a note on my account asking about appointment times but I don't know if the phone appointment would make a difference. If anyone has any advice on how to handle this situation and what I could try, it would be very welcome :)


  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,939 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @cerysdv Welcome to the community, you problem does sound a bit complex so I would advice you get some expert advice from either CAB or Welfare rights.

    PIP does not count as income for UC in normal circumstances as far as I am aware I claim both. You only need to provide a sick note for UC if you are claiming you are unfit for work but as you are working this wouldnt apply.

    I hope somenbody can give you more specific advice

  • cerysdv
    cerysdv Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi, thank you for the advice! I will ask more questions if it turns out the deduction is definitely from my PIP, and I'll look at CAB/Welfare rights too.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,555 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @cerysdv, just wanted to check in to see how you were getting on. :)

  • louise1985
    louise1985 Member Posts: 50 Courageous
    hope you are well
    as someone who claims pip and universal credit they are not allowed to deduct pip payments from your universal credit as it isn’t an overlapping benefit no matter which rate your claiming 
    with you having a job they may ask you to do job searches but I doubt that as you have a job,the only thing that may affect your universal credit is student finance when you start uni as they use those figures as part of your income 

  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,508 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @cerysdv, I think you need advice from two different places one from welfare rights because if you are working you probably can't claim ESA but should qualify for UC, also you need to speak to someone at the Uni who knows whats what or student finance about extra help because you have a disability.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,595 Scope online community team
    Hello @cerysdv. I've seen before where Universal Credit claimants have incorrectly reported PIP as 'other income' when filling out the application, resulting in the amount being deducted from UC. It sounds like this has been the case for you. It would definitely be worth you querying this with them as PIP should be ignored by UC. If you've accidentally added it to this section they'll be able to amend this for you. 
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