Archived Ask a benefits adviser [CLOSED]
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Concerned about the Coronavirus?


We've put together some helpful information and advice about Covid-19 on our website.

You can also read about: improving your wellbeing, getting food and essentials and claiming benefits during this time.

Disabled student refused UC

lou1808lou1808 Member Posts: 1 Listener
hi - I posted this originally on the ESA board but think it might be better posted on this one :
Just received a mandatory reconsideration refused for my daughters UC (from Jan17).
She's 17, in full time non advanced education, receives higher rate care and lower rate mobility PiP, lives at home but I (mum) do not get Tax credit for her just get child benefit (which I was prepared to give up in place of UC).
The problem seems to be establishing that she would have a low capability of work. GP refused to write fit note as she has a permanent disability, we submitted some diagnosis paperwork from her paediatrician to provide evidence of disability which they seem to have accepted as a self cert. Because she has no medical certificate they say she has no evidence that she has a LCW. She receives enhanced care PIP as she needs lots of help with daily living all of these issues would be relevant in the work place so inherently she would have a LCW. I don't know where to go with this now as the final option is to appeal at a tribunal which has to be done by 22 June. Does anyone have any experience of this situation? I'm sure if we weren't in a full UC area she would be entitled to ESA.

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    lou1808,

    I'm so sorry but you have run into a very specific UC problem. The DWP can't (or won't!) carry out a work capability assessment for someone who doesn't meet UC entitlement conditions, including not being a student (and your daughter can't fall into one of the exceptions, where you can be a student, without having limited capability for work). Yes, it's as crazy as it sounds.

    The DWP do not treat UC claimants who supply medical certificates as having limited capability for work anyway (although if she wasn't a student, she could supply medical certificates until they got round to assessing her). That puts your daughter into a 'Catch 22' situation. You can read more about the problem here.

    I'm assuming that she has claimed UC and been turned down, and that you've already asked for a mandatory reconsideration. 

    I would suggest carrying on with the appeal as the tribunal may say something useful about how the law should operate (the DWP's approach might be wrong). Just to point out though, if she wasn't in a full service area she would have to supply medical certificates to start the ESA claim, so the GP's approach is very unhelpful. I would complain to them and see if you can't get medical certificates after all, as these might help with your appeal tactics.

    I'd also recommend that you contact Disability Rights UK who originally noticed this problem. They want to hear from people who are stuck in this way, and they might be able to provide you with some advice for the appeal.

    You can email them on 

    [email protected] 

    or call their disabled students' helpline  0800 328 5050

    I know it sounds ridiculous, but currently the only definite way round this is for your daughter to claim UC when she finishes non-advanced education (or by leaving early, which obviously isn't what you are supposed to do), claim UC, supply medical certificates, insist on and have the work capability assessment, be found to have limited capability for work and then go back to full-time education!

    However because there will be so many young people affected in the same way we are really hoping the law will be clarified or changed. So I would consult with Disability Rights UK and consider going ahead with the appeal!

    Will

     



    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    PS lou1808

    Because I don't think there is a legal solution to this at the moment, another route to take would be to contact your MP and point out that the law isn't working, especially for disabled young people who are especially likely to fall into this problem.

    If the tribunal has no option but to agree that the decision is correct you might consider whether you should be claiming benefits yourself instead. You're in a full service area, so you don't even have the option to claim Child Tax Credit - it would have to be a claim for Universal Credit, which you may not be entitled to due to income or maybe savings. It could be worth pointing this out to your MP too, because it means you have fewer options.

    Essentially the result is less money for disabled young people and other disabled students who don't already have a limited capability for work decision. In your daughter's case it could eventually lead to her having to pause her education when she doesn't want to. Your MP may agree that this isn't acceptable.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Member Posts: 262 Pioneering
    This is exactly what is going to happen to my son: he gets enhance Pip and is just leaving 6th form to go to Uni and he is now very unlikley to get UC.  Which means no ESA (equivalent) and no housing benefit.  I know that Adult Social care were banking on him being on ESA when he moves onto a much bigger package of support from them for Uni (he needs personal assisant for all practical tasks due to quad athetoid CP) so that they can get him to contribute towards his package.  However now he will have no income apart from pip and so the burden will fall, yet again, back to local authorities to pick up when DWP cut benefits.  This latest UC thing looks on the face of it like a ludicrous conundrum...but it will affect thousands of young poeple I suspect.  But its OK if you have one or two extremeley specific conditions!!  come again??
Sign in or join us to comment.