Author Topic: Universal Credit  (Read 905 times)

Fiz

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Universal Credit
« on: January 19, 2017, 08:43:53 AM »
Apparently I'm to be transferred to universal credit next month. This payment doesn't include PIP it seems so am I right in thinking I will now get a monthly payment for my income related ESA and my rent and I then pay the rent myself? So my income won't drop or be capped but will remain the same?

Also I'm registered disabled due to mental health problems and have been detained under the MHA twice in the last year so could be classed as vulnerable and I'm already struggling to pay off debt. Is it possible as a vulnerable person to be an exception and continue to have my housing benefit amount paid direct to the local authority? I fear inadvertently gaining rent arrears because of being chased for other debts would be a stress that I couldn't take and would be the final straw.

Thank you.

Eta I'm in the support group of ESA does this make any difference?  I get enhanced care PIP.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 09:02:56 AM by Fiz »

Monic1511

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Re: Universal Credit
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 08:47:32 PM »
First what has triggered the transfer to UC?  do you live in a full service digital area and have had a recent change in circumstances?

I ask cos UC is not the best benefit for any disabled person.  you would need to be able to manage your claim on line and most UC claims require you attend the jobcentre
To try and answer the question -  Your income will never rise again this is because there is no disability premiums (SDP) in UC so what your getting now will be your award until the rest of the UK catches up.
Yes you can ask for direct payments of the housing element but your landlord will need to request it as well.
Also NEVER ask for direct deductions for anything from UC, UC will take 20% of your award Including the housing element in the calculation to pay the debt.

go to entitled to dot com and enter your postcode to see what you'll get on UC but I'm wondering why they're forcing you onto UC.
I'll try and check tomorrow but cant recall the info just now
Monic

Fiz

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Re: Universal Credit
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 08:06:46 AM »
Apologies Monic. My LA just posted

"On 22nd February Universal Credit will be rolled out to all working age benefit claimants in (names 5 towns of which one is mine)" which I assumed meant me. But I answered their post with a request for clarification and apparently it is only new claimants and people with a change of circumstances.

If I have another WCA and my ESA either gets refused or they'd changed me out of the support group (which I'd appeal) then I guess that would be a change of circumstances and I'd be transferred to UC? 

Monic1511

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Re: Universal Credit
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2017, 09:48:38 PM »
Hi Fiz
thanks for that - I'll try and explain the procedure for the UC rollout.
There are a few "Full Service" areas - Inverness is one and Inverclyde in Scotland are the 2 I know of, sorry I'm in Scotland. 
In a full service area you can only make a NEW claim for Universal Credit - you cannot claim contribution based JSA or ESA without a fight and you cannot claim any income based benefits or tax credits.   If you are already on a legacy benefit ie ESA and are found fit for work you have to claim UC as a person looking for work even while your waiting on a mandatory reconsideration and after the decision you cannot return to ESA but will remain on UC.   Remember this is only in full service areas.

I'm in a "Live Service" are and only people who meet the gateway conditions can make a new claim to universal credit.  In my area you can only claim UC if you are single, have no child care deductions, have a bank account, do not have a mortgage or a live DLA/PIP claim.

I think what has happened in your area is that your are will become a Full Service area in the next month so for you to be moved to universal credit you would need to be found fit for work closing your ESA claim.
the place to check all this is the gov.uk website or google UC postcode checker.

The LA will be dreading full service as it means they no longer control the housing benefit budget and their rent arrears will go through the roof and they will be putting their tenants into severe hardship if they ask UC for direct deductions because of the 20% deduction the DWP applies.

a change from support group to WRAG shouldn't trigger a move to UC as you'd still be on ESA but remember anyone who makes a new claim to ESA after April 2017 will not get the 28 wrag top up.

aint welfare reform fun

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Universal Credit
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 06:33:49 AM »
Thanks for that explanation, Monic. I'm on income-related ESA and have been dreading UC. That's helped to ease my fears a little.  >hugs<

Fiz

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Re: Universal Credit
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2017, 08:37:50 AM »

The LA will be dreading full service as it means they no longer control the housing benefit budget and their rent arrears will go through the roof and they will be putting their tenants into severe hardship if they ask UC for direct deductions because of the 20% deduction the DWP applies.



Please could you clarify this for me. I'd intended asking for the rent part of UC to go direct to the LA which would ease the stress of gaining arrears significantly. I'd assumed the DWP would then send my housing benefit/rent amount to the LA.

Are you saying that if I did make that request, the DWP would deduct an amount greater than my rent/housing benefit from my UC if I made the request for a direct payment to the LA? So I'd be financially worse off that way?

I know I'm looking a way off as I'm not anticipating a change of circumstances but that would definitely affect whether I make that request or not. I'm struggling to manage as it is.

The general rollout for everybody begins in 2019 so I've only a couple of years reprieve.

Monic1511

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Re: Universal Credit
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2017, 08:38:35 PM »
OK Fiz
this is the scenario in UC
Single person over is eligible for 317.82, as they are single the maximum housing element will be the one bedroom rate of the local housing allowance or if your rent is lower than this then you'll get that.  In my area the 1 bedroom rate is 80.55/week  so 349.05.

So person makes a claim for UC on 1/1/17, you don't get paid for the first 7 days so your assessment period will be from the 8th of the month and you get paid a week after that but one month later.  so don't expect to get any money until 15th February.  So you have had no money for 6 weeks and you now receive the total of 668.87 (317.82 + 349.05).  You are expected to make this last you until 15th March  but you have January's rent arrears and February's will be due in 2 weeks time.  so you now need to go and pay your rent of 349.05 and probably a wee bit to the next months just to keep the rent team sweet.  You want to get the rent paid directly to the housing department so your council asks for direct payment and since your mean to pay rent in advance and benefit is always paid in arrears they tell UC that you have rent arrears of one months rent.

UC ask the council do you want direct deductions for the rent - yes so UC then deduct 40% of your total payment to pay to the rent arrears.
your thinking 40% of the 317.82 but its not that, UC take 40% of 668.87 that is 267.54 rather than 127.12   
so if they deduct 267.54 from your 668.87 that leaves you 401.33 to pay rent of 349.05 and your left with 52.28 for the next months food etc.   This is why you should never ask for direct deductions for arrears.  OK ask for direct payments if you have no arrears but you need to be sure before you ask for direct payments.

The build up of arrears for new UC claimants happens because it takes 6 weeks for the first payment and then the very skint person is handed 668.87so they go back and pay everyone they have borrowed money from then someone says you need to pay your rent and they have spent it, so now they have arrears, some sensible councils are not asking for direct payments but less tolerant ones just ask as soon as you have arrears.

All of the above is very scary but you need to stop thinking all this will happen to you - you are nowhere near UC and when/if UC starts for you then you ask for the housing element to be paid directly to the council.  your only issue will be if you have a spare room and would be affected by the under occupation charge.
Nearly 90% of social tenants receiving Universal Credit are in rent arrears because of a seven-week wait for the first payment, a report has revealed.

Please stop borrowing trouble - there will be such a build up of rent arrears as the roll out continues that changes in legislation are likely.

Fiz

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Re: Universal Credit
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2017, 11:15:28 PM »
Thank you Monic  >hugs<  >tah<