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Disability allowance decreased by nearly £200 after joining universal credit

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meli
meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
edited July 2022 in Universal Credit (UC)
Hi 

 I was receiving legacy benefit and was getting Enhanced Disability Allowance and Severe Disability Premium. Since I was put on Universal Credit because my benefit amount has tremendously decreased. I have been receiving the transitional protection payment which still leaves me with nearly £200 less. 

 I was told by the manager and staff at my local jobcentre my amount received would not change. I was prompted and passively aggressively bullied by them to go onto universal credit even though it was not mandatory for me to do so. I was starting to get phone calls every week. The manager at the jobcentre said although I do not have to go onto universal credit but I could be asked to attend the jobcentre 3 times a week even though I was shielding and mocked me when I mentioned that I was still concerned about Covid.  I was pushed into signing up to Universal Credit as I got scared because it was a manager that was saying she was going to check that I had applied. I now have been left to deal with the fact that I now receive nearly £200 less.

I have asked my case manager at universal credit for a mandatory reconsideration but he said there are no grounds to do so. 

I am now really struggling with living and have found out from researching that they shouldn't have done this to me. It wasn't mandatory at the time and I shouldn't have felt pressured and be told that I would receive the same amount. 

I am thinking the next step would be to make a complaint but I am not sure? I thought you could ask for a mandatory reconsideration if you were within the time limit... 

I would like to challenge them so they can look into giving me the same amount that I had before because I was unfairly prompted to change my benefit even though I was meeting all of my commitments and it was not mandatory for me to switch at the time. 

Can you give me some advice on what I can do next?
How do you think I should ask them for the shortfall? How should I complain? 

Thanks for reading 
:)
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Comments

  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,649 Championing
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    Hello @meli and welcome to the community :) 

    How are you today? I just wanted to check in with you following your post yesterday, thank you for explaining a bit about your situation, and sorry to hear of what you have been put through. It sounds really difficult and I imagine you are quite upset and angry about it.

    If it were me I'd definitely be strongly considering making the complaint given how you were treated, you could start on this page which is the complaints page for the DWP.

    Of course with the current cost of living going on having the finances you are entitled to or are owed has never been more important for some, and I'm sorry to hear that you are now struggling with living as you said in your post. Do you mean in terms of managing financially?  It might be worth considering getting some professional benefit advice so that you can discuss your situation and the best way to proceed with it. You could try going through Citizens Advice or entering your postcode into Advice Local.


    I hope to see you getting involved more around the online community. I have included below a few of the pages I’d recommend having a look through to get used to things:

    • The virtual coffee lounge which is one of our categories, in which we play games and talk about general subjects such as hobbies and interests
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  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Championing
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    meli said:
     I was told by the manager and staff at my local jobcentre my amount received would not change. I was prompted and passively aggressively bullied by them to go onto universal credit even though it was not mandatory for me to do so. I was starting to get phone calls every week. The manager at the jobcentre said although I do not have to go onto universal credit but I could be asked to attend the jobcentre 3 times a week even though I was shielding and mocked me when I mentioned that I was still concerned about Covid.  I was pushed into signing up to Universal Credit as I got scared because it was a manager that was saying she was going to check that I had applied. I now have been left to deal with the fact that I now receive nearly £200 less.
    Moving from a legacy benefit to UC if you had SDP would result in a reduction in benefit.

    There is no grounds for a mandatory Reconsideration.

    You only option is a complaint to DWP with a request for compensation. You may wish to include your MP.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,289 Championing
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    You don't mention which benefits exactly you were claiming but you mention Enhanced disability allowance, which is known as Enhanced disability premium. This is only paid when claiming ESA so if it's this you were claiming, which group were you in when you claimed UC?
    If you were in the Support Group you should have the LCWRA element included in your claim from the start, was that included?
    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.
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Hello 

    thank you for your replies :) 

    I was on JSA
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    My bad I meant to say disability premium and severe disability premium 
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    You don't mention which benefits exactly you were claiming but you mention Enhanced disability allowance, which is known as Enhanced disability premium. This is only paid when claiming ESA so if it's this you were claiming, which group were you in when you claimed UC?
    If you were in the Support Group you should have the LCWRA element included in your claim from the start, was that included?
    Hi I was on JSA it was the disability premium and severe disability premium 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,289 Championing
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    So your UC will not include the LCWRA element. It should include the SDP transitional protection of £285 per month. The disability premiums are not payable when claiming UC.
    You can report your health condition and send in fit notes but if found to have LCWRA this will erode your TP completely, which will mean you will only be £69.28 per month better off.
    However, claiming UC means you're still classed as a job seeker until a decision on a work capability assessment says otherwise so it maybe worth going through the work capability assessment.
    I can only assume that they advised you to claim UC and report your health condition. As you were claiming JSA then you would have been expected to look for work and attend appointments at your local job centre. I realise Covid is still here but shielding ended quite sometime ago.
    You can make a complaint and request compensation as calcotti advised.
    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 Championing
    edited July 2022
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    When I replied earlier I inferred that you were previously on ESA but now realise you didn't say that.

    If you were on JSA then Job Centre were correct. Unless you were actively looking for work they are only allowed to suspend requirements for a limited period. You cannot remain on JSA indefinitely. Under the old system you would have had to apply for ESA but that is no longer possible so they are right to direct you to UC. I don't think you have any grounds for a complaint on that basis.

    Have you reported a health condition and are you waiting for a Work Capability Assessment? If found to have LCWRA you will get the LCWRA element added but the SDP transitional element will be removed.

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    calcotti said:
    meli said:
     I was told by the manager and staff at my local jobcentre my amount received would not change. I was prompted and passively aggressively bullied by them to go onto universal credit even though it was not mandatory for me to do so. I was starting to get phone calls every week. The manager at the jobcentre said although I do not have to go onto universal credit but I could be asked to attend the jobcentre 3 times a week even though I was shielding and mocked me when I mentioned that I was still concerned about Covid.  I was pushed into signing up to Universal Credit as I got scared because it was a manager that was saying she was going to check that I had applied. I now have been left to deal with the fact that I now receive nearly £200 less.
    Moving from a legacy benefit to UC if you had SDP would result in a reduction in benefit.

    There is no grounds for a mandatory Reconsideration.

    You only option is a complaint to DWP with a request for compensation. You may wish to include your MP.

    Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it 
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    calcotti said:
    meli said:
     I was told by the manager and staff at my local jobcentre my amount received would not change. I was prompted and passively aggressively bullied by them to go onto universal credit even though it was not mandatory for me to do so. I was starting to get phone calls every week. The manager at the jobcentre said although I do not have to go onto universal credit but I could be asked to attend the jobcentre 3 times a week even though I was shielding and mocked me when I mentioned that I was still concerned about Covid.  I was pushed into signing up to Universal Credit as I got scared because it was a manager that was saying she was going to check that I had applied. I now have been left to deal with the fact that I now receive nearly £200 less.
    Moving from a legacy benefit to UC if you had SDP would result in a reduction in benefit.

    There is no grounds for a mandatory Reconsideration.

    You only option is a complaint to DWP with a request for compensation. You may wish to include your MP.
    Thank you so much for your reply :) 
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Hi guys this situation has caused me depression, anxiety and really upsetting. I was wondering if anyone knows that if I do not do the UC50 form can I carry on getting transitional payment or do I have to fill it out or I lose transitional payment. The uc50 form is causing me a lot stress I'm happy to just accept the transitional payment. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Championing
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    If you do not return the UC50 form then you may be found as treated as Fit for Work.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    calcotti said:
    If you do not return the UC50 form then you may be found as treated as Fit for Work.
    Hello thank you for your reply. if I am deemed as being fit for work will I lose the transitional payment? I will be happy to be deemed fit for work if I do not lose the transitional payment and will be able to look for work that suits my disability
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Hello thank you for your reply. if I am deemed as being fit for work will I lose the transitional payment? I will be happy to be deemed fit for work if I do not lose the transitional payment and will be able to look for work that suits my disability
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Championing
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    meli said:
    calcotti said:
    If you do not return the UC50 form then you may be found as treated as Fit for Work.
    Hello thank you for your reply. if I am deemed as being fit for work will I lose the transitional payment? I will be happy to be deemed fit for work if I do not lose the transitional payment and will be able to look for work that suits my disability
    The transitional change would not change but you would then be checked to possibly demonstrate job seeking and would be required to have regular contact and meetings with your Work Coach.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,289 Championing
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    The TP erodes over time so in the long run you'll be better off going through the WCA.
    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.
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Ahh ok, I'm finding it mentally stressful to fill out the UC50 form at the moment and just need a break for a couple of months from having to do it. The stress and depression I have been under has taken its tole. May be I can take some time or inform the DWP I am under a lot of stress and if I can fill in the form in a couple of months?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,289 Championing
    edited August 2022
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    The issue with that will be that you could be found fit for work for failing to return the form. If this happens you will not be able to send another fit note for the same conditions, unless it's specifally states a worsening of condition. Or a totally different condition.
    You moved from JSA because you couldn't keep up with the appointments. The same thing will happen for UC and you if don't turn up for those appointments you could be sanctioned and find yourself in an even worse situation.
    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.
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
    Options
    I understand. It may make sense to do the form then so I have less stress in the long run, I just do not have the mental capacity to do it now, is there a way I can ask them to extent the time I send my form back?
  • meli
    meli Community member Posts: 15 Listener
    Options
    The issue with that will be that you could be found fit for work for failing to return the form. If this happens you will not be able to send another fit note for the same conditions, unless it's specifally states a worsening of condition. Or a totally different condition.
    You moved from JSA because you couldn't keep up with the appointments. The same thing will happen for UC and you if don't turn up for those appointments you could be sanctioned and find yourself in an even worse situation.
    I understand. It may make sense to do the form then so I have less stress in the long run, I just do not have the mental capacity to do it now, is there a way I can ask them to extent the time I send my form back?
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.