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What happens if I get better? I can't see a maximum income before coming off UC?

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Martyandme999
Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
edited December 2021 in Universal Credit (UC)
So I'm being a bit premature here. I am currently on UC and have LCW &WRA. I'm allowed to do a Masters past time whilst doing this which won't finish till October (and nearly dropped out because I struggled with my health so much last year).

However, I am a little better than this time last year. 

Once I finish, if I am better still, which might just be wishful thinking, is there a maximum amount of hours I can work before the limited capacity for work and work-related activity gets removed?

Also, is there a maximum earning for still being on universal credit? Is it national minimum wage full hours - because that is far lower than my current award? If not is it the same as my award? I can't see the information about this anywhere? 

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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,119 Disability Gamechanger
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    There's no maximum amount of hours you can work while claiming UC. As you have LCWRA then you will have the work allowance, which means you can earn a certain amount of money each assessment period before the 55% deductions apply. If your UC includes help with your rent then it's £335 if it doesn't then it's £557. See link regarding work allowances. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-work-allowances/universal-credit-work-allowances
    How much you can earn before your UC is reduced to zero will depend on what your maximum UC entitlement is, as everyones circumstances are different then it's not possible to answer that question.
    If you do start working you need to report the changes onto your journal. If the work you do contradicts the reasons why you were found to have LCWRA then you could be reassessed early and the decision could go against you once it's made.


    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.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    Martyandme999 said:..is there a maximum amount of hours I can work before the limited capacity for work and work-related activity gets removed?
    No there isn't. You will continue to get LCWRA element until reassessed as no longer qualifying. Obviously however you are expected to inform UC if you think you no longer qualify. Remember however that the assessment looks at how you are on the majority of days over an extended period. It is therefore legitimate to return to work and increase your hours and see how you get on before reporting anything to UC.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    I don't actually know on what grounds I was found to have LCWRA - the assessor said it looked like I would meet several so he could stop after the first one I met (but I can't remember what that was).  Would I be able to ask? 

    Let us say for an example my award is 20k  (and the benefit cap does not apply due to disability) if I earnt 20k on the dot would it stop or not because I would have a work allowance too? (also let us say that 20k was 16 hours of work a week?). 

  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    calcotti said:
    Martyandme999 said:..is there a maximum amount of hours I can work before the limited capacity for work and work-related activity gets removed?
    No there isn't. You will continue to get LCWRA element until reassessed as no longer qualifying. Obviously however you are expected to inform UC if you think you no longer qualify. Remember however that the assessment looks at how you are on the majority of days over an extended period. It is therefore legitimate to return to work and increase your hours and see how you get on before reporting anything to UC.
    Thank you - that's really useful especially as my condition fluctuates. E.g when I was younger I looked like I was coping at school full-time for three or four weeks. I then declined over the next month,  The following month I was pretty much housebound and doing 0 hours at school. So would it be reasonable to see I can cope with something for three months to see that it is sustainable? 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,119 Disability Gamechanger
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    Let us say for an example my award is 20k  (and the benefit cap does not apply due to disability) if I earnt 20k on the dot would it stop or not because I would have a work allowance too? (also let us say that 20k was 16 hours of work a week?). 

    UC is not based on annual earnings, as advised previously it's based on net earnings received during your assessment period. No one can tell you how much you can earn before your UC reduces to zero without knowing exactly what your maximum UC entitlement is.

    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.
  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
    Options


    Let us say for an example my award is 20k  (and the benefit cap does not apply due to disability) if I earnt 20k on the dot would it stop or not because I would have a work allowance too? (also let us say that 20k was 16 hours of work a week?). 

    UC is not based on annual earnings, as advised previously it's based on net earnings received during your assessment period. No one can tell you how much you can earn before your UC reduces to zero without knowing exactly what your maximum UC entitlement is.

    That's why I gave the figure of 20k  so we could do a worked example so I could understand it. In regards to gross/net earnings - what happens if you get temporarily overtaxed (I've had this happen to friends when they've started new jobs)? 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2021
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    Martyandme999 said: .. what happens if you get temporarily overtaxed (I've had this happen to friends when they've started new jobs)? 
    As already advised your UC is based on net earnings so if you are 'overtaxed' your net earnings will be lower and therefore your UC will be higher. When you are repaid any tax overpaid this refund is treated as earnings and will reduce the UC for the month in which the refund is received.

    To work out how much you can earn before your UC would reduce to nil you can use this formula
    Nil UC threshold = (Maximum UC amount minus any unearned income) / 55% plus Work Allowance

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    Sorry, I missed your reply before. I was very overly optimistic had a new health problem and let's just say I'm very sick of the hospital at this point. Maybe in six months, things will have improved.
    Maths isn't my strong point. My UC is currently £1900.  I'm confused: is it:  £1900 x0.55 = £1045+ 344 =  1384 - which would not even cover my rent :O  I would have thought it would be at least £2244 (my current payment plus the work allowance)?  I'm so confused? I really want to work a bit when I am able as my local housing allowance isn't really enough for rent where I live and I'm worried about a rent increase plus bill increases. I'm so grateful for the LCWRA money! 
  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    Other way around Martyandme999 If your UC is 1900 before deductions it’s 1900/0.55 (1900 divided by 0.55) and then add your work allowance. 
    1900 / 0.55 = 3454.55 and then add your work allowance, and that’s the amount you can earn before your UC ends. 
    Thank you Alicewillow.  Although - I can hardly believe it  -that means I would have to be earning over 40k :open_mouth::open_mouth: :O Is that correct?  I hope one day I can earn that working part time but a graduate in my field wouldn't earn that working full-time! 
  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    Also, I'm so confused by this system - what if you want to put more into your pension because you haven't been able to work for a few years? Is this not seen as cheeky if it's disregarded? 
    Also, a stress on my last relationship that has now ended  was I thought I couldn't move in with him because of Universal Credit -  but if the threshold is that high then maybe I can move in with a partner eventually and not be in absolute poverty but then I'm confused - do you fill out separate bits even if it's one claim as  they don't get my work allowance do they?  
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,119 Disability Gamechanger
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    If you don't work then the maximum amount you can pay into your pension per year is £3,600. Any pension that's in a pension pot is ignored for means tested benefits.
    If you moved in with a partner in the future you will need to claim UC as a couple and your entitlement will then be based of your joint circumstances.
    The work allowance is applied to the claim, regardless of whether it's a single or joint claim. https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-your-earnings-affect-your-payments


    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.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    Martyandme999 said:..but then I'm confused - do you fill out separate bits even if it's one claim as  they don't get my work allowance do they?  
    Both halves of a couple make separate claims but the claims are linked and only one party is paid. The Work Allowance is applied to the joint earnings.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    If you don't work then the maximum amount you can pay into your pension per year is £3,600. Any pension that's in a pension pot is ignored for means tested benefits.

    Hi Poppy! Thank you for this! I meant what happens if I am working part-time  - could I make up for the lost years when I'm still on UC but tbh £3600 sounds like a lot at the moment anyway if this the max whilst on UC (and working part-time)? 
  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    calcotti said:
    Martyandme999 said:..but then I'm confused - do you fill out separate bits even if it's one claim as  they don't get my work allowance do they?  
    Both halves of a couple make separate claims but the claims are linked and only one party is paid. The Work Allowance is applied to the joint earnings.
    This sounds like a recipe for control and enablement of domestic abuse. Is there any movement to change this system?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,119 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    calcotti said:
    Martyandme999 said:..but then I'm confused - do you fill out separate bits even if it's one claim as  they don't get my work allowance do they?  
    Both halves of a couple make separate claims but the claims are linked and only one party is paid. The Work Allowance is applied to the joint earnings.
    This sounds like a recipe for control and enablement of domestic abuse. Is there any movement to change this system?

    No. It's part of the UC regulations and won't be changed. Not sure why it should be because you claim UC as a couple if you live with a partner.
    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.
  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    No. It's part of the UC regulations and won't be changed. Not sure why it should be because you claim UC as a couple if you live with a partner.

    But if you're not a married couple you don't have any of the legal or financial security that comes with being married. It seems odd that I could move in with a friend as roommates and retain financial independence but lose that to someone who may or may not support me/ and may or may not be controlling. 
    A quick scan shows: 
    https://www.womensaid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Womens-Aid-Briefing-on-Universal-Credit-November-2018-Short-Version.pdf
     Advocating for seperate payments.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,119 Disability Gamechanger
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    Living with a friend and living with a partner, regardless of whether you're married or not are 2 completely different things.
    I have no idea whether it's possible for DWP to split the payment into 2 seperate bank accounts so i can't help with that one, sorry.
    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.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    calcotti said:
    Martyandme999 said:..but then I'm confused - do you fill out separate bits even if it's one claim as  they don't get my work allowance do they?  
    Both halves of a couple make separate claims but the claims are linked and only one party is paid. The Work Allowance is applied to the joint earnings.
    This sounds like a recipe for control and enablement of domestic abuse. Is there any movement to change this system?
    Split payments are possible but are the exception. See the section on split payments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-alternative-payment-arrangements/alternative-payment-arrangements#split-payments
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Martyandme999
    Martyandme999 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    Living with a friend and living with a partner, regardless of whether you're married or not are 2 completely different things.
    I have no idea whether it's possible for DWP to split the payment into 2 seperate bank accounts so i can't help with that one, sorry.

    Icalcotti said:

    Alicewillow said:
    You are able to request an alternative payment arrangement where they split the UC and pay it to members of the household separately. It’s really exceptional circumstances only though and usually just for domestic or financial abuse or where one partner mismanages money, for example due to things like addiction. 

    I realise I have got very off my original topic but I do find this system shocking. It's like handing controlling partners  a loaded gun and only intervening if they choose to shoot. By the time that has happened, the partner experiencing abuse may not be able to request separate payments. Also, women with disabilities disproportionately get into abusive relationships compared to the general population.

    I think in the modern world living situations are more complex and UC seems stuck in the 1950's with how relationships work.   e.g housemates may rarely interact or they might split a weekly shop together to cut down on costs having them same economic benefit as a married couple. 
     Equally, one of my siblings and their partner have a 'our money attitude' whereas my other sibling and their partner have completely separate finances and to my mind live more like housemates who just happen to occasionally have sex. I don't think moving in together should be seen as committed /stable like marriage as it might be a six months with how short rented accom's contracts can be and lots of couples in my generation have mainly moved in together to save on rent cost. 

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,119 Disability Gamechanger
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    UC is no different in terms of claiming with a partner than the old legacy benefits were. If you live with a friend or a family member, is completely different to living with a partner, even if you don't "share" your money.
    My daughter lives with her partner, they have separate bank accounts each but they also have a joint bank account where they split all the bills and put in half each.The DD's all come from the joint bank account. They both work full time and don't claim any benefits. Some prefer to do it this way, others don't.
    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.
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