Universal Credit
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

How much would I get off UC overall after earnings, and would I be entitled to carers element?

SystemSystem Posts: 520

Scope community team

This discussion was created from comments split from: carers allowance taken from universal credit..

Replies

  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi I’m new to the forum and looking for some in Depth but simple advice or even routes to take before making any decisions, great people on here taking their time out giving free advice to people like me and others in such difficult times. Thank you!

    I’m self employed in a small business which gets me by, some weeks before covid I would have earned between £145-£210 a week. (I have never been able to go over threshold £12k because of restrictions as I have a 9 yr old child and caring duties to my mother, self employed allows me to be flexible with my time and hours committed to child and mother)

    I have never claimed any carers money, I started claiming UC in lockdown as no work, so zero income past year I currently get £409.89 standard allowance and a child element £281.25.

    work will start to resume slowly and hopefully I’m looking to earn between £165-£190, my work coach is now saying it wnt work as in to eventually when minimum income floor is applied will have to find another job along side to meet it. I said to work coach I care for my daughter and work around her hours which she noted that’s 25 hours she was pushing me to use the childcare entitlements but my daughter does not want me to put her under anyone’s care and I haven’t done that for many years I just dnt feel comfortable ive always depended on trusted friends to help me out when I’ve had to put my child under their care or left her with my mum if I had to carry out my self employment from home and mum has provided basic care like just keep her safe as my daughter is very independent and usually helps my mum too and herself really but with covid I have had to change and restrict my ways to keep my mum safe so cnt do that anymore so I usually go inside the house alone and I have to call my child’s father to look after our child or drop her off to my support bubble who is a close friend

    So I said to my work coach I look after my mother too which is 35+ hours but never claimed anything. But she did say have a think abt it take some pressure off me do some research on gov website and discuss next time she did kind of mention taking pressures off meant I have restrictions so UC are not on my back (caring for my mum means I cnt extend working hours)

     (reading people’s comments I wouldn’t want to go ahead with applying for carers allowance it wouldn’t benefit me financially or even take any pressure off me which I am desperate now I just want the work coach off my back and take me off further work commitments Carry on being self employed and flexible caring for my child and mother but that’s not going to happen)

    basically the work coach was saying eventually once I’m earning enough they would like me off UC which I dnt think I would be as I’m a low earner from what I earn as it is I relied a bit on working tax credits before to top up my earnings as I was a low income earner before being on UC. 

    My mum was getting the enhanced rate in her PIP and after a recent phone interview it was dropped to standard rates and now we have appealed against that decision as it’s unfair as her health and mobility condition has stayed the same as before when she was previously getting the enhanced rate, the work coach said I wouldn’t be entitled to any carers payments as my mothers PIP standard rate isn’t at a stage where she needs additional caring duties and I can’t declare to UC I care for her just because I have said I do and it would need to be proven, I said on forms and really I am down as looking after her?! for example my mum would have to be on above rate (enhanced) for me to declare that I give caring needs to my mum that’s what she meant and she couldn’t take my word for it because I said that? I looked online and just going round in circles to what I would be entitled to (carers element?) and would I be entitled to carers element and or would it be deducted once my earnings are given in? Please can someone do a calculation for me considering the above points earnings and deductions and how much I would get off UC overall once earnings are given in and would I be entitled to carers element under UC. ALSO would I still be getting my child element no matter how much I earn? A breakdown and exact figures what I will get taking everything in consideration please also would it affect any of my mothers benefits, I apologise for the long post but feels like I’m going round in circles the work coach is lovely but lack of time phone interviews are cut short and feel like she gets frustrated with my repeated questions and queries 😬. She keeps just giving me links on the gov website for me to look into and then she calls I ask and she is saying completely something different like the conditions to declare myself as carer and where I would be better off. She said wether I get carers allowance or even carers element it’s the same thing it will be deducted from my UC? Something abt means tested benefit etc my mind is overloaded and hesitant to ask work coach directly I dnt want to sound like I’m in it for purely wanting money off the government which is untrue as I enjoy being self employed and working in my job even if it’s not long hours but a little help Would help me financially and take some pressure off me just dnt knw how t&c with UC WORKS and caring works in the long run and with being self employed. Thanks. 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,242 Pioneering
    edited April 13
    ashkhan said:
    ...the work coach said I wouldn’t be entitled to any carers payments as my mothers PIP standard rate isn’t at a stage where she needs additional caring duties and I can’t declare to UC I care for her just because I have said I do and it would need to be proven, 
    This is complete nonsense. There I should no such thing as different stages of PIP awards. If your mum gets the Daily Living part of PIP at either rate then she gets a ‘qualifying disability benefit’ and somebody can receive benefit for providing 35 hours of care. If you report that you you are they should accept that.

    in your case it makes sense not to claim claim Carer’s Allowance and just claim the carer element of UC. This would increase your entitlement and mean that you have no work related requirements but avoid the earnings limits that apply to Carer’s Allowance.

    However you should first confirm what benefits your mother receives. If any include a Severe Disability premium she will lose this if you claim for looking after her and she will lose more money than you gain.

    Does your daughter get a disability benefit? Sorry if you said - I go to a bit lost reading your post.

    if you do get the carer element in UC it simply increases your maximum amount. Deductions for earnings are still made in the normal way when applicable. Carer element cannot be deducted from UC, it is an increase in UC entitlement.

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,242 Pioneering
    Note to moderators. May make sense to split post by ashkhan and my reply into separate discussion.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,059

    Scope community team

    I'd split @ashkhan's comment but somehow didn't spot your reply @calcotti- thanks for pointing it out! 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,242 Pioneering
    I'd split @ashkhan's comment but somehow didn't spot your reply @calcotti- thanks for pointing it out! 
    Looking at the timing I was posting at the same time you split!
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Thanks for the reply again I apologise for the long post😬 this is what I was reading on gov sites that if someone is cared for under pip enhanced or even standard rate then their carer can claim carers allowance and the carer element in UC or even just the carer element but no the work coach clearly said she cnt take my say for it I even said I’m mentioned in my mums application forms and that I am her sole carer she said she will put that on my commitments and call back on Monday to see if my mums appeal has been accepted for the enhanced rate but she cnt take my word for it I said they wnt make a decision that quick as we made the appeal just 3 weeks ago they give upto 8 weeks to even reply she said Dnt worry we put that down as we’re waiting for appeal outcome of my mothers appeal, even though now she herself put that on my commitments she said she understands I do have caring responsibility towards my mother and still cnt accept it as it’s not declared anywhere? I just did not get it! She started huffing and puffing by this time as I clearly said I wouldn’t be claiming carers allowance as it restricts me to how much I can earn she said carers element is the same it’s restricts me to how much I can earn, I read that doesn’t, now she is sounding like the decision maker, though is she? As she can only make the decision on to wether to take me off extra working  requirements commitments which would take the pressure off me I wouldn’t be able to cope if I find another job along side being self employed look after my child (I’m a single mum and cnt rely on the child’s father) and also fit caring for my mum and I dnt want to get on the wrong side of her as she is my work coach she is the only one who deals with self employed people claiming UC in that job centre I can understand how difficult they make life but she was not letting me finish and needed to attend her next appointment I was so positive before doing my research which she told me to go on to do at the gov site which led me to other sites and info but I feel like I’ve been made to shut up and listen to her ways of doing it coz of the lack of knowledge people like me have when it comes to benefits like UC and carers eligibility. 

    Now I read on here what exactly I was trying to say to her I told her many times I won’t restrict myself to the limited amount to how much I can earn so wouldn’t carers element be suitable For my circumstances it was no not enough evidence there for my caring responsibilities, she said look we have people saying they are carers and claim and people who dnt care but still claim but have to prove it not just take my word for it??? And abt my child element I just get standard child element (my child is not disabled)

    Any advice on how I can really put my word across without her huffing and puffing and mention that I should be excused from work related commitments. Thanks. 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,242 Pioneering
    Your work coach is either being deliberately obstructive or doesn’t know the rules.

    Your mother has standard rate Daily Living PIP. Whether or not this is changed to Enhanced rate is irrelevant.

    if you wish to be treated as a carer and receive the carer element simply report a change of circumstances in the appropriate section of your UC journal. If the change is rejected you request a Mandatory Reconsideration in the normal way.

    As your daughter is not disabled you cannot claim carer element for looking after her. Your work search commitments should still be reduced to reflect your responsibilities, the hours depending on her age.

    Before claiming carer element for looking after your mother please take note of the comments in my previous post regarding your mother's benefits and whether or not she gets a SDP.

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    Hi @ashkhan
    As @calcotti said, it sounds like your work coach hasn't given you the correct advice. 

    Have you checked what other benefits your mother is claiming to ensure you claiming carers for her won't impact her money?

    On your UC account, have you reported being a carer yet or only just discussed it with your work coach?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi thanks for the replies I am going to go through all of my mums paper to see exactly so she doesn’t miss out in her money coz of me I will double read and check if my mother gets SDP or not. But yes it does seem like work coach is being obstructive and just wnt take my word for it coz she is my mum and because I’m saying I do have caring responsibilities for her everyday she is being difficult. And yes I’ve e discussed with the work coach 3 times now that I will find it difficult to find other work alongside my flexible self employment and looking after my mum as I’m her sole carer and would want to put it on my record that I have restrictions. Huffing and puffing starts so I just take a step back because she is ultimately the one I have to convince about dropping my work related commitments coz of my restrictions that’s how she put it. 
    Also when I do get To put in my journal I’m a carer for the carer element and I’m rejected what would be the reasons for rejection? And what would happen in a mandatory decision? Will I need to provide anything extra for evidence? Sorry I’m just trying to be prepared as the work coach notes she might make on my commitments might interfere with the decision she already has put down that I’m a sole carer and waiting on decision for appeal and that my mum gets the standard rate which was dropped originally from the enhanced rate. She said she would call on Monday to find out if there is any outcome on my mums appeal then will access the situation I dnt knw why she would do that. I think on Monday I will try and squeeze in a word and mention why can’t I just put in the change of circumstances in my journal and see what she says? Later at my mums I will go through relevant benefit papers and check exactly wether she gets SDP or not. Thanks 
  • SarahUCESarahUCE Member Posts: 20 Pioneering
    edited April 14
    To put it bluntly, your work coach sounds as though they don’t have a clue.

    A few key points:
    • Once you’ve reported being a carer officially and it’s accepted, your work commitments will update automatically. You won’t even have a work coach any more so don’t worry about trying to convince them. 
    • You can just report a change yourself, you don’t need her permission. You would go to Homepage > report a change > caring.
    Here it will ask you who you care for and ask you to confirm they receive a relevant benefit (standard Daily Living PIP is one of them). 
    Making this change will update your work commitments and increase your UC award by just over £160 a month. 
    • You will still be able to work self-employed alongside this if you choose and you will not have the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) or need to prove gainful self-employment. You would not have meetings with a work coach any more either. 
    Double check your mother isn’t receiving SDP in with her other benefits. It would usually be paid as a premium with Income Support, ESA or pension credit. If she receives Housing Benefit and lives alone or with no other adults then it is likely she does receive it or should be entitled.

    If you report a change that you are caring for her and she is receiving SDP, she would lose this and it is worth just over £65 a week, so be sure to double check.

    If your mother is receiving SDP and you both decide it’s not worth you claiming carers element (as she’d lose it), then you will unfortunately need your work coach on board to tailor your commitments for you. 
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    I also like to add that I asked her and said I was reading up on carers allowance and that it states upto a certain amount I can earn and I wouldn’t be able to claim that because my earnings will go over that amount once work picks up I was being honest then she said that’s the same with universal credit too there’s restrictions there too same thing it’s the same with UC?? But I didn’t read that on any site and now you have also mentioned that too that I will avoid the earnings limits that apply to Carer’s Element. 
  • SarahUCESarahUCE Member Posts: 20 Pioneering
    That’s correct, the carer element of UC has no earnings limit. 
    Although it is subject to deductions for earnings the same as your other elements, as deductions are made to your entire award rather than a specific element. 
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    She point blank refused and cut me off my sentence and said no this is the same with UC and it just took me back a bit as I’ve throughly gone through numerous checks on websites and it doesn’t state that. I would want to be self employed and earn and look after my child and mother it works for me especially my mum being flexible. I even mentioned I care for my brother who also lives with my mum who has been released from a mental health facility under section 3 just before Christmas and I do have a lot of pressure on me so it’s not like she is not aware of my circumstances and what is going on. But if I was rejected  the carers element what would the reason be for rejection? Many thanks for the replies. 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,242 Pioneering
    Ashkhan, you are, understandably, getting too bogged down in what your work coach is saying (which. Is either ignorant or wilfully obstructive).

    Check your mother’s benefits and then decide if you want to be treated as her carer and receive the carer element.

    If you do then simply go into your journal and report a change of caring responsibilities. Your work coach is not involved in this.

    it is unlikely that there will be any problem with this but, as mentioned, if there is you can challenge it. 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    Hi @ashkhan. There shouldn't be any problem with it. As @SarahUCE and @calcotti have said, if you check whether your mum receives SDP and if she doesn't and you decide that you want to claim as her carer, you don't need your work coach's involvement.

    The few times I've seen the carer element rejected have usually been because of one of the following:
    The person reporting the change has clicked something incorrectly (I don't care for 35 hours being one of them)
    They've misspelt the name of the person they care for
    Because someone else was already claiming either Carer's Allowance or the carer element of UC for the same person.
    Or because the person they care for wasn't receive either standard rate daily living PIP, mid or high rate care DLA or Attendance Allowance. 

    So I'm sure it'll be fine. :)
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi friends hope you’re all well. Sorry for the late reply into finding out what my mums ESA components are made up of as I had a long week got round to sorting my mums mails out and in her ESA she has living expenses payment and a support group payment and a disability income guarantee payment can anyone clarify is this ok for me to go ahead with declaring myself as my mums carer on my journal for the carers element in my universal credit? 

    Also I wanted to ask in a couple years time my mum will be reaching pension age will the carers element affect her pension payments? Many thanks to everyone’s helpful advice!

    Also will be having my work coach calling me on Monday (tmrw)as she insisted on finding out what’s happened to my mums appeal on her pip appeal but like mentioned above she is being obstructive and not giving accurate advice I dnt knw why she keeps deflating me on why I should avoid claiming carers money for my mother Who I look after she was saying I need to prove to her and she cnt take my word for it as many say they do and infact they dnt care for a disabled person I do understand where she is coming frm but honest people get the downfall of it when they are actually really looking after a member of the family for years without any financial or emotional support. 
     
    Also would it be down to the work coach to reduce my work commitments as I have a child where I work 25 hours plus so it’s down as that on my UC anyway and with me also caring for my mum 35 plus hours and me reporting my income every month through my journal should it get them off my back in regards to minimum income floor requirements and any extra Work requirements. 

    It takes a lot of pressure off me working the extra hours they want me to I would have to work 60 hours a week to get that kind of income for a small business like mine for me to be off universal credit while I put my child under childcare which I haven’t done since she was 4 as I was working full time then as a single parent it was the only option then but now I want to work around my daughters time and my mums needs even more now with covid still around and trying to protect my mum as much as I can. 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,242 Pioneering
    Can you clarify your mother’s situation. Does she live alone?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi my mum lives with my brother who recently had been released frm a mental health facility he has not been a carer for my mum even when he was well. It has just been me and my elder brother that too he lives in Cambridge and helps in whatever he can while I live in Birmingham same as my mum. 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,242 Pioneering
    edited April 18
    Does your brother who lives with your mother get any benefits?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    No he was on a sick note while he was under treatment only as he was working before his mental health took over him but he is back at work this week, first week back only 4 hours a day even though we feel it’s too soon so no he isn’t on any benefits. 
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    So I have actually been looking after my mum but also my brother too he never has been able to look after my mum as he has had anxiety for many years but never been diagnosed until last year but he always would go to work and not on benefits.   
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    It’s only my mum who is on benefits pip and esa for her disabilities.
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,242 Pioneering
    edited April 18
    The reason I asked the questions was to check whether your mum could claim the Severe Disability Premium. Because she lives with your brother who does not get a disability benefit she is not entitled to the SDP.

    You claiming carer element will not affect her existing benefits.

    Norwill it affect any benefit entitlement when she reaches pension age (assuming she is still not living alone).

    If you claim carer element in UC your work coach has no say in your work search requirements, As a carer you have none. Nor would you be subject to the MIF.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Calcotti thank u so much for all the replies at such a late time and thank you for the advice of anything else I will get back to this great new discovered forum. 💫👍
  • ashkhanashkhan Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Can I also ask currently my mum was awarded the standard rate for pip prior to that she was on the enhanced rate under pip we have appealed against that decision and waiting for a decision. Say if she was awarded the enhanced rate under pip would me getting the carers element affect or stop my mum getting the enhanced rate under pip? Many thanks. 
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,253 Disability Gamechanger
    Carers won't affect your mums pip 
  • Caz_ScopeCaz_Scope Posts: 578

    Scope community team

    Really glad to hear that you've found the advice of our members to be so helpful @ashkan.

    Thank you for your positive and kind comments :)
    Online Community Coordinator (she/her)

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
Sign in or join us to comment.