My reply from ESA/Universal Credit on my journal — Scope | Disability forum

My reply from ESA/Universal Credit on my journal

I was receiving £1000 a month ESA and Child Tax Credit. I applied for Housing Benefit but had to apply for Universal Credit. 
After getting housing element added I was only receiving £1089 a month. I had lost £300 a month by transferring onto UC from the old system. 

So, I asked a question on my Universal Credit Journal as to why after applying for housing benefit am I only getting £89.00 towards a £390 a month rent bill, they replied ..... 
I can see why it is Confusing but your payments are correct for your housing. 
I do understanding where you are coming from but this is what universal
credit is all about.

Regards Universal credit

They had given me the full housing element but reduced amounts elsewhere, which left me £300 a month worse off.  All I can say is I hope they have got a stack of emergency housing available for when those on Universal Credit start getting evicted. 

So, this is what Universal Credit is all about ? Making sure that people fall into arrears with their rent while waiting to be paid an then not even giving them enough to pay it. I have paid tax and insurance for many years and when I come to rely on the system for help this is the treatment you get. 

So by their own admission they know they are not giving people in need enough to live off and pay their rent. 

You read it hear first. 


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi itsmefee

    Thank you for posting this. You are highlighting a very disadvantageous aspect of universal credit (UC): it can pay a lot less than the  "legacy " benefits it's replacing, for some people. Notably, disabled people living on their own get less universal credit compared with the benefit they had before. 

    (What a poor and unfeeling explanation by the DWP about  what has happened to your benefit. Instead of saying "This is what UC is all about"., they could have tried to work out why you lost so much money and written a proper calculation or explanation.  You have to conclude yes, it's about reducing what I have to live on, if they write "This is what UC is all about". 

    With ESA, if you had an award of PIP daily living component, lived alone and no-one got carers allowance for you, there was a severe disability premium in place, which is currently £64.30 per week. There was also an  ESA enhanced disability premium of £16.40 per week, which you qualified for if you were in the "support group" of ESA or had  high rate care component in DLA. There are no premiums as such in UC, so you lose those amounts in a UC claim. Although the support group marking should be carried forward into UC, under the name "limited capability for work related activity", it sometimes isn't, and you can challenge the DWP about this.   

    In universal credit, a single person who isn't able to work, nor to prepare for going to work  - the support group person under ESA regulations, - gets an "extra" £328.32 per month by way of the component called   "limited capability for work-related activity" amount. 

    There is acknowledgement of not being able to work, but no acknowledgement at all of disability, which is of course something quite different. Some people who claimed ESA would have disability premiums in place but not be in the support group, and they would lose money on transferring from legacy benefits to UC. 

    Having read this part-explanation, do you recognise this as possibly the cause of what has happened to your benefit payments?

    Hoping to hear from you again. 

    Best wishes

    Helpline Benefits and Finance Information Specialist

  • itsmefee
    itsmefee Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thank you for taking the time to explain this to me I appreciate it and it is very helpful. 

    I received the single person element, the child element with a disability premium for my Son and a housing element. BUT what they then did was deduct my Contributory ESA from the total amount of UC due to me. 

    Basically the housing Allowance I applied for was lost through the deduction of ESA.

    On the old system I would have received both both but on the UC system I dont. CONT ESA is counted as earnings and deducted from UC. 

    After applying for housing benefit of £380 I was only £89 a month better off than before. Certainly not enough to pay my rent and arrears that UC had pushed me into.  

    When I questioned it the reply I got from UC on my journal was "This is what Universal Credit is all about. 

    Not a great response. 

  • whistles
    whistles Member Posts: 1,583 Disability Gamechanger
    I didn't think contributory had premuims, it's likely from the ESA IR or the IC that you mentioned in your other post. 

    After being made to move to pip they didn't pay me for five weeks. So I understand where you are coming from.
    They paid a dribble one week to get me right with their system. I lost the care and the premium overnight.

    The system is designed to get those premuims off you. Whichever way you look at it. Removing a benefit with linked premuims is spiteful. It sucks, big time!

    I think on the one hand giving the dwp the right to dictate your rent is wrong, on the other is it to stop fraud? But because they are screwing things up, I wouldn't be rolling UC out.

    There is also a benefits cap, some benefits are not meant to be included. But if esa is seen as income and deducted of UC, I bang my head on the virtual wall as to its purpose in the first place!

    Sorry rant there.
    Do not follow me, I don't know where I am going.
  • itsmefee
    itsmefee Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Whistles... I am banging my head on that same wall as you right now. 

    You are so right, there is no benefit in me receiving ESA if they are going to claw it back in Universal Credit. You have hit the nail on the head wity that one. 

    Basically I applied for housing benefit but didnt get any. 😂🤣 
    My Housing Association advised me to apply for it but I honestly wish I hadnt. 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering

    Mm, another thought then - talk to the housing association about this, if you think they shouldn't have offered that advice, or didn't advise fully enough. That would at least discourage them from doing the same another time. 

    I wonder whether in these circumstances, you might get a discretionary housing payment, to at least help for a while with the drop in income. Not a permanent solution obviously. 

    You could enquire at your local council offices about discretionary housing payments.

    I hope this works (not sure that it will, but it might be worth a try).

    Best wishes

  • itsmefee
    itsmefee Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thank you for your advice I will speak to the Housing and let them know what happened. 

    It really is all a bit of a mess and my case wont be the worse one by far. 


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