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Need advice on the next steps to take

RDaniRDani Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited June 2018 in Universal Credit
I apologise if this is a bit of a ramble, please stick with me....

I'm approaching 40 years old and was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.  I can walk (with sticks, which I didn't need to use up until roughly 10 years ago), I wear calipers and am double incontinent.  I have recently been made redundant from a part-time job that I was in for 11 years.  I also worked in other jobs before this consistently after leaving college in my early twenties. When I started working previous jobs, to boost my income it was just a simple case of claiming tax credits.  I had no idea the system had changed until I called the Job Centre and asked if I could arrange to speak to a Disability Employment Adviser, and was told 'we don't work like that anymore, you'll have to apply for Universal Credit, then you can speak to a Work Coach.  

Now I am completely lost as to what is best to do, and am confused as to whether I should make a claim for Universal Credit and go through the (apparently) lengthy process as someone who is unemployed, or be applying for part-time jobs and potentially start working halfway through the process?  

As mentioned above my mobility has become a lot worse as I have gotten older, and everything else is just as bad as it's always been.  If I start working during the application process I am concerned this would affect the group they put me in.  From what I understand from reading about it online, if i'm unemployed I will be sent for a WCA and put into the LCWRA group due to my health, and from there I will be able to work 16 hours.  If i'm working beforehand I stand no chance of being put into that group?

Any advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated.       





Replies

  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,130 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello RDani and welcome I am not an adviser but I am sure someone will post more help,or advice than I can. I am wondering if you could apply for PIP. Also if you are put in the ESA surport group I am sure you can earn up,to £120 permitted work a week with out effecting your benefits. As you may be in a full UC area things will be different regarding ESA or no longer able to claim this benefit and have to claim UC. 
  • RDaniRDani Member Posts: 4 Listener
    wilko said:
    Hello RDani and welcome I am not an adviser but I am sure someone will post more help,or advice than I can. I am wondering if you could apply for PIP. Also if you are put in the ESA surport group I am sure you can earn up,to £120 permitted work a week with out effecting your benefits. As you may be in a full UC area things will be different regarding ESA or no longer able to claim this benefit and have to claim UC. 
    Thanks for your reply wilko, I am already receiving PIP i'm on the enhanced rate for both mobility and daily living needs, I should have mentioned that.  Yes I am also in a full UC area and the only thing available is UC.  
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community, @RDani!

    I'm tagging in @Gill_Scope in the hope that she can help here!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering

    Hi RDani

    As you suggest, the system has recently become more complicated even than usual as universal credit (UC) is rolled out across the UK. As the jobcentre staff mentioned, although perhaps didn't fully explain, some of the traditional jobcentre roles have been replaced with new roles. Many jobcentres no longer have a disability employment officer, but all have work coaches, whose remit is to encourage universal credit recipients onto work.

    You wrote about the Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (Support Group)category, for some people on ESA. There are different names for the four new work capability groups in UC. The nearest to the LCWRA is the No Work Requirements group.  Lots of the terms have changed, as you can see.

    In a full service UC area, there is no income-related ESA nor housing benefit available to new benefit claimants  and people have to claim UC to cover both living expenses and housing costs.

    This means that rules like the permitted work rule (which offers the possibility to earn up to as much as £120 per week without it affecting  your ESA) don't apply. However, you get a work allowance (a disregard on earnings) in universal credit of some £198.00 per month, which partially makes up for the lack of permitted work.  

    As far as we know it is possible to make a claim for universal credit whilst doing some work, so you may well not need to stop working altogether in order to get help from the benefits system.

    I would go online and try to claim universal credit and see how you get on.

    This will be at www,dwp.gov.uk/universalcredit.

    Best wishes


    Gill_Scope

    Benefits and Finance Specialist

    Scope Helpline



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