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Thread: Starting work - Universal credit switchover?

  1. #1

    Starting work - Universal credit switchover?

    Hi all, I havenít posted for quite a long time!

    Iíve been on income related ESA (support group) for several years now, I was offered a job for 25 hours a week starting on Monday next week but Iím uncertain if I should go for it.

    Due to it being over the permitted hours limit I would on face of it have to end my ESA claim (donít claim any offer benefit), but Iím worried in case I struggle with the job and I have to leave, then Iím left with no income at all..

    However I was given some advice and wanted to double check this as Iím nervous to move forward..

    The advice I was given is if I was to claim Universal credit today (Friday) being currently a live ESA claimant I could then be eligible for the LCWRA component of Universal Credit without having to having to start my UC claim from scratch with sick notes/assessment rate etc.

    Then if I start work on Monday Iíll have to phone up the DWP to cancel my ESA (but tell them over the phone Iíve applied for UC), then Iíll be able to start the job (with reduced or no UC) and if it doesnít work out (I will know pretty quickly) I will then receive my full UC LCWRA Allowance back and Iíve lost nothing.

    Does this sound plausible? I went to start my UC claim this morning but I stalled when they asked Ďif I was due to start work within the next month?í and if I was obviously to start the new job Monday Iíll have to declare this on my initial UC claimÖbut would this prevent me from getting onto the LCWRA UC? They also donít ask in detail of which benefit you are on either, so Iím nervous all round i case it all goes pear shaped! Many thanks.
    Last edited by Stressedout1; 26-11-21 at 13:43.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    All that is how it would work, with a few additions that are even better for you.

    First though, just to make sure- You say you have no other benefits* so your ESA does not include the Severe Disability Premium?
    If you do get the SDP then you will lose about £18 a week by moving to UC.

    Yes you should claim UC BEFORE starting this work. It is entirely the right thing to do in these circumstances.

    I'm speaking from very recent experience here, I just moved from ESA to UC a fortnight ago.
    (I haven't started work, I just decided it was time for me to change over and it's going well).
    See this thread where I'm explaining what happened / is happing during the move over:
    https://youreable.livingmadeeasy.org...ust-claimed-UC!

    You don't have to tell ESA anything, UC will do that automatically once you have claimed.
    Your ESA will continue to be paid for 2 weeks after you claim UC, and you don't have to pay it back.
    (I don't believe there is any issue with that if you start work within those 2 weeks. EDIT I've checked and there isn't; as long as you were entitled to ESA on the day that you claimed UC then you get the ESA run on).

    If your ESA claim is still open on the day that you claim UC then the LCWRA will carry straight across and will be paid in UC.
    No need for fit notes, no need for reassessment, it just carries straight over and is paid right from the start of your UC claim. (My LCW has done that)
    The law that does that says nothing about working or if you start work once you've claimed UC. it only says that you have to still be entitled to ESA on the day that you claim UC which you will be if you haven't started the work.

    If you wait till after you start work before claiming UC then it all starts from scratch with fit notes, an assessment, and 3 months before you are entitled to any extra money if you get LCWRA again.
    That's why it is important for you to claim UC BEFORE you start the work.

    Once on UC, with the LCWRA carried over:
    LCWRA won't stop being paid when you start working more than 16 hours, there is no hours limit like that in UC.
    Because you have LCWRA you will have a 'Work Allowance' that you can earn before it affects your UC payments.
    Anything you earn over that work allowance will be deducted at 55p for evey £1 you earn over the allowance.

    If you don't claim UC before you start work then you won't have LCWRA in UC, so won't have a Work Allowance, so they will deduct more.

    How much that Work Allowance is depends on if you have a Housing Element in your UC or not, it's £293 if you have a HE or £515 if you don't have a HE - which brings my next point

    *You say 'no other benefits' but what about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Relief?

    If so then:
    Any Housing Benefit will stop and be replaced by a UC Housing Element. Housing benefit also continues to be paid for 2 weeks after you claim UC and doesn't need paying back.

    Full Council Tax Relief is 'passported' from IR ESA so you should be getting it at the moment and not paying CT; but it's different with UC.
    It shouldn't change but may do depending on your circumstances and your council, there has to be a calculation done and you may have to pay some Council Tax.
    (Mine hasn't changed, but there have been other here who found they had to start paying a few pounds after moving to UC).

    So again - from what you have told us you should be making sure that you claim UC before starting any work.

    If you have a Passport or driving licence you should be able to verify your ID online, if not it will mean a trip to the jobcentre to do it.

    One other thing to note is that if you claim UC today your first UC payment is not going to be due until 1st of January, although being a Bank Holiday (and weekend anyway) it should be paid on 31st Dec.
    You will have that extra 2 weeks of ESA to come but will probably want to take a UC advance to tide you over Christmas. See the thread I linked above about how easy it was to get an advance, there are no checks at the moment. They say how much you can have up to, you say how much you want to take and how long you want to pay it back, and the money gets sent to you bank.
    Last edited by nukecad; 26-11-21 at 15:45.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  3. #3
    Thankyou so much Nukecad, I canít put into words how reassuring your post is! You certainly know your stuff!

    Yes I only receive ESA, I donít receive any house benefit etc because I live at home with parents.

    Iím going to claim for UC this afternoon (right now) but one other issue is any claimant commitment interview I will need to attend at the job centre after submitting my UC claimÖif I start work next week I wonít know when I have any days off as itís rotating on a weekly basis, could I rearrange any claimant commitment interview if I canít get out of work? Thanks again.

    Sorry I forgot to add I donít think I receive any disability premiums on ESA? I currently receive £131 per week, quickly check my letter it states

    Your living expenses: £74.70
    Extra money because of the disability income guarantee: £17.20
    Extra money because you are in support group: £39.40
    Which gives a total of £131.30
    Last edited by Stressedout1; 26-11-21 at 15:39.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Yes you should be able to arrange the CC interview, but only once or twice.
    Wait until you get an appointment and see.

    If you can't verify online and have to go for an ID verification appointment that will come first and is more important.
    Until verification is done your claim isn't fully 'live' and you can't get a UC advance until you ID is verified.

    PS. I've just checked up about the 2 week run on of ESA and starting work, and it's fine.
    As long as you were entitled to ESA on the day that you claimed UC then you are entitled to the 2 week run on.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  5. #5
    Brilliant, Iíll get on with that right now! Thanks again Nukecad!

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stressedout1 View Post
    Sorry I forgot to add I donít think I receive any disability premiums on ESA? I currently receive £131 per week, quickly check my letter it states
    That's fine you are in Support Group with EDP, but not SDP.

    In your circumstances you will actually get the equivalent of £22.45 more a week with UC than you currently get with ESA.
    That should help offset any deductions for any earnings over the work allowance.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    That's fine you are in Support Group with EDP, but not SDP.

    In your circumstances you will actually get the equivalent of £22.45 more a week with UC than you currently get with ESA.
    That should help offset any deductions for any earnings over the work allowance.
    Thatís good to know thanks Nukecad.

    Well that was extremely stressful! I set up my Universal credit account online, but couldnít verify my ID onlineÖ.the post office app wanted to see drivers licence (which was approved), and either a passport (which I donít have), or a national insurance card (which again I donít have), I attempted to scan a letter with my national insurance number on from hmrc but it didnít allow it.

    SoÖ.it says someone will be in contact to help me verify my id, most likely an appointment at the job centre like you said NukecadÖdamn. Worried I wonít be able to make the appointment if Iím supposed to be at work! Damn it!

    If my account isnít live until my account id has been verified does that mean technically I havenít claimed Universal credit before starting my new job on Monday? If thatís the case then Iím going to have to decline the job offer and just stick to universal credit! Or can i stick with ESA if the UC claim hasnít gone through? Sorry for all these questions my head is spinning right now!
    Last edited by Stressedout1; 26-11-21 at 18:37.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    No it's a bit funny from what I can find.
    You have now claimed UC, so can't pull out and go back to legacy benefits. but until your ID is verified it's not 'Official' with the DWP and so you can't yet get an advance and so on.

    They will have already informed ESA that you have claimed UC so they should close your ESA. Their computer does that so it's automatic.
    (If you try to pull out of UC now it can lead to big problems, we've see someone who tried that and didn't get any benefits at all for months until it was sorted out).

    If you couldn't do the verification online then your UC journal will say that they will phone you to do it - that was a covid measure so won't happen now, they just haven't updated the journal messages yet.
    It will have to be done at the jobcentre (if you can physically get there). My ID verifiction took all of 5 minutes at the jobcentre, read that link I posted above about my move to UC.

    Start the job on Monday and stick with the UC claim, you have done exactly the right thing for you to maximise your benefits in these circumstances.

    If you have any problems with the UC claim then come back and we can tell you exactly what to say to them.
    Last edited by nukecad; 27-11-21 at 14:56.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  9. #9
    Thanks again Nukecad,

    I assume they contact me first for a verification appointment at the JC or should I contact them?

    The fact that my UC account ID wasnít verified hence my UC claim is not Ďofficialí makes me incredibly nervous to start the job on Monday tbh!

    What if the claim date only applies to the date my UC claim is Ďofficially liveí which will be next week -AFTER Iíve start work? I donít know if I can take the risk of possibly not having the benefit safety net to fall back on if the job doesnít work out..

    Itís the problem of starting work while trying to transfer over to UC, Iíve got to make sure Iím covered
    Last edited by Stressedout1; 27-11-21 at 15:14.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stressedout1 View Post
    I assume they contact me first for a verification appointment at the JC or should I contact them?
    Look at the journal in your new UC account, and especially at the "To do" listings which tell you about appointments etc.

    Again you are doing exactly the right thing for you by claiming UC before you started the work.

    Your UC claim started as soon as you clicked that 'Submit' button, the rest is just admin and officialese.
    (for example I did mine on the 14th but didn't hear back from them on my journal for a few days, but my claim still shows as being made on the 14th and that's what counts)

    Start the work on Monday, now that you have submitted your UC claim it should not be any problem.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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