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TOPIC: Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC)

Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 02:26 #6726

Several members appear to have already been through the process of making a new claim for UC. Hopefully and thankfully we may be able to learn what is involved in making such a claim from their experiences. I would venture to suggest that going into such processes unprepared, without knowing what to expect and accepting at face value and in good faith the veracity of whatever we are told without question, as most of us tend to, is the main reason why we end up, sooner or later, struggling and suffering in the mire of what we unwittingly committed ourselves to.

There are 2 ways to make a new claim:
1. Online on one’s own computer or on any computer one has access to. To enable this I assume one has to have an active email address and disclose it in order to facilitate the necessary interaction between claimant and DWP/JCP.
2. By phone, either landline or mobile. To facilitate this option I assume it would be necessary to provide the phone number being used to make the claim.

The first thing to overcome then is any hurdles thrown up at this initial stage:

What personal details are they likely to ask? Any we should be wary of?

Are Claimant Commitments, UC Accounts, UC Journals or Universal Jobmatch mentioned or discussed during this stage?

Is a date and time for a face to face appointment with a coach at a Jobcentre arranged at this stage?

Is any guidance given on what to prepare or take to an arranged appointment with a coach?

Can anyone pick any holes in an idea that I am grateful to The Dude for, vis? Create a new email address in a new Google Account specifically for the purpose of making the claim and use it for nothing else.

It might be helpful if responses be confined to just this initial stage first before going on to the many and varied intricacies and challenges thrown up by UC. This will avoid getting diverted or confused by trying to juggle dozens of issues at the same time. It would also address the concerns expressed by several members who find it aggravating to have to trawl through reams of trivia, fluff and flannel in order to find an answer to a specific question.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 03:09 #6727

A document entitled ‘Universal Credit & You’

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/680837/universal-credit-and-you-140218.pdf

In its 18 pages it skims over many issues and leaves more questions than it answers. The vague reference to the specific issue that concerns us here tells us nothing except that I’ll be asked for my postcode:

Claiming Universal Credit

When you make your claim you’ll be asked for your postcode and will then be directed to the right service for you to complete your claim online. In both services you will always have access to a work coach who can help you with things like finding work, increasing the hours you work and getting more prepared for when you are able to work by learning new work skills or life skills. Helping you to improve your income is central to the Universal Credit service.

What does it mean by ‘….the right service for you to complete your claim online’?

Apparently there are two. What are they?
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 09:11 #6728

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BB wrote: It might be helpful if responses be confined to just this initial stage first before going on to the many and varied intricacies and challenges thrown up by UC.

Thanks for this BB. Something I think is crucial at the `baby steps` stage and something we should all be thinking about if not already on Universal Credit. Those who are could post about their own experiences and the barriers (if any) they found at the time of claiming. I want to take down a list of the things UC ask for when making the claim so that I have that paperwork in front of me ready to input them.

The first question I want to ask is, is it better to:
1. Claim online?
2. Over the phone?

I`m thinking over the phone I would speak to a real person?
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 10:43 #6730

My thoughts exactly CoD, thanks for that. Being prepared is 90% of the battle. Knowledge is power.

As to your questions; To each their own,claimants will choose whatever they are comfortable with. Unless I am persuaded otherwise I would lean towards claiming online.

1. Claiming online, the questions are there in front of me. I could complete each part at my own pace. I could take the time to make sure I understood exactly what I’m being asked rather than respond with the first thing that came into my head which might not be exactly what is being asked. I could pause and have as much time as I needed to get myself clued up on any question that I was not quite ready for. I would also have a copy, a record, I presume, of what I had said and done.

2. Claiming by phone, yes, one would be reacting with a ‘real person’ but therein lays the rub. Experience has taught me that interacting with DWP/JCP persons is invariably more surreal than real. It is estimated that making a claim by phone takes about 40 minutes. The ‘real person’ on the other end may turn out to be one of the obnoxious types, rushing you through at their pace without giving you time to grasp the questions or consider the answers. Conversations/discussions with such persons are usually one sided because most of us try to be agreeable and we are subliminally encouraged to go along with their slant on things, more so when one is in a pressure/stress situation. Unless you had taken the trouble to record the call you would have no record of what you said, answered or agreed to. You would also be obliged to let them have your phone number, something you previously said you would be reluctant to do, leaving you constantly at their beck and call.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 11:11 #6731

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Reading your reply BB I think I would opt for the online version and look at the paperwork I require before hand, looking at alternatives for things like not having a passport, driving licence or an ID photo. Two of which I don`t have. I could produce:

Utility bills, current council tax/rent amounts, email address, home phone number, NI number, house address, status as single etc....then if asked to attend my job centre, they no doubt ask people to supply bank details/savings and any other income based things?

I`m sure the CAB website has a link to what we need to have to hand when applying so will look at that soon and come back. Make a list of these and if there is anything on that list I don`t have, I would need to find out if those are actual requirements or if alternatives can be used.

Edited to add: BB wrote: When you make your claim you’ll be asked for your postcode and will then be directed to the right service for you to complete your claim online.

I wonder if they mean entering a postal code to find out if we are in a LIVE or a FULL UC area? Meaning, the right service for us? Probably not! But just something that sprung to mind.....
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 11:28 #6732

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Found this:
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Documents/Advice%20(public)/beta/UC-checklist-applying.pdf

It`s a Universal Credit `check list` of what we need when making a claim, so a good start. :)
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 12:11 #6733

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I'm wondering if there is a difference between making a new claim and making a claim when being moved to it from JSA or ESA.
Toads - Philip Larkin
Why should I let the toad work, Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork And drive the brute off?
Six days of the week it soils,With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills! That's out of proportion...
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 14:18 #6734

A good start indeed CoD, the link you have provided appears at first glance to contain information on most of what we need, or other links to same. It is the most comprehensive I have yet seen. Good old CAB.

Check you have everything you need to apply:

Before you apply for Universal Credit, you’ll need to gather some information together. This will help make sure you only have to do the application once, and help you to get Universal Credit as quickly as possible if you’re eligible.

Don’t start your application until you have all of the following details for you and your partner with you:
• your postcode
• your NI number - you can find this on a payslip or letter from HMRC - call the helpline on 0300 200 3500 (textphone 0300 200 3519) if you can’t find it
• details of your bank, building society, credit union or Post Office card account (if you don’t have one of these, you'll need to open an account or get payments using HM Government Payment Service.
• the type of accommodation you have, eg private rent, council tenant, or housing association tenant - make sure you check this before you apply
• how much rent you pay - this can be found on your rent agreement, ask your landlord for a copy if you don’t have one
• your landlord’s address - this can be found on your rent agreement, ask your landlord for a copy if you don’t have one
• your landlord's phone number
• details of any savings you have and any other ‘capital’ investments, eg shares or property that you don’t live in
• details of any income that’s not from work, eg from a pension or insurance plan
• details of how much you earn from work, eg recent payslips
• how much you pay for childcare (if you want to claim for childcare costs)
• details of any other benefits you’re getting, ie what benefit and how much you get
• child benefit reference numbers for any children you have if you get child benefit - this can be found on letters to you about child benefit, it will start with 'CHB' and is made up of 8 numbers and 2 letters, eg CHB12345678 AB - phone the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100 (textphone 0300 200 3103) if you need help

You’ll need evidence for all these details for when you go to your interview, so you’ll need to gather all the documents together, eg landlord agreement (or a letter from them with your rent amount on it), payslips, bank statements etc.

Re entering a post code:

If you click on the link:
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/before-you-apply/Check-if-youre-eligible-for-Universal-Credit/

you are invited to enter your post code to find out if you are eligible for UC. You are then told if you can apply for UC in your area. I presume that means whether or not UC is rolled out in your area. You are also informed of other conditions that have to be applicable to be eligible:

• you’re aged 18 or over
• you’re under state pension credit age
• you’re on a low income or unemployed
• you have savings of less than £16,000
• you’re not in full time education or training

This is the obvious preliminary step before actually making a claim, so obvious I overlooked it until I was reminded of it.

It may also be appropriate here to mention the benefits that UC is replacing:

Universal Credit will replace:
• Housing Benefit
• income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
• income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
• Child Tax Credit
• Working Tax Credit
• Income Support

If you're thinking of claiming one of these benefits for the first time, you might need to apply for Universal Credit instead. It depends where you live. A link is provided for you to find this out:

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/before-you-apply/benefits-being-replaced-by-universal-credit/
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 14:19 #6735

moogle wrote:
I'm wondering if there is a difference between making a new claim and making a claim when being moved to it from JSA or ESA.
There is a difference between making a new claim and transferring from what they call the ‘legacy benefits’. We can address those differences when we’ve done our best to cover as many angles as we can in making a new claim.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 16:36 #6736

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This part: • your landlord’s address - this can be found on your rent agreement, ask your landlord for a copy if you don’t have one
• your landlord's phone number

Do they mean the generic address/number we would write to or call if we were contacting our concil for a repair or a specific department at the council? My council has one of those numbers that gets you though to a message which once answered will say, "Welcome to X council, to speak to someone about X.Y or Z, press 1.

If I need to speak to someone in the Housing Benefit office for example, I have to ring this number and be put through. Or sometimes the council will have a direct number on a letter they send out, but it`s usually the generaic number everyone has to call. So is this what UC are asking for? Same with the address really as it`s all under one roof in the same building.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 17:58 #6737

It never occurred to me that it would be necessary to explain to anyone how to find their landlord’s address if their landlord is the council. If they can’t make contact with their council office or Town Hall via either, a website, the phone or calling in perhaps they could start another thread where I’m sure someone would assist.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 18:28 #6738

Another useful Guidance to UC Eligibility site:
www.gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility

This Government site recommends Citizens Advice eligibility checker and provides a link to it. If nothing else it’s nice to know that even the Government itself can’t best CAB.

It then goes on to spell out a bit more ‘Detailed guidance on eligibility’. at:
www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim

Whether you can claim depends on where you live and your circumstances.

Find out about eligibility if you’re in Northern Ireland.

Where you live
You can only make a new Universal Credit claim if you live in a ‘full service’ area.
Use the Citizens Advice eligibility checker to find out which area you live in.

If you live with your partner
You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you or your partner are working.
Your partner’s income and savings will be taken into account, even if they aren’t eligible for Universal Credit.

If you have children
You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:
• have 2 children or fewer and you live in a ‘full service’ area
• received Universal Credit in a ‘full service’ area in the previous 6 months and your payments have stopped - it doesn’t matter how many children you have
• received Universal Credit in a ‘live service’ area in the previous 6 months and your payments ended because of your earnings - it doesn’t matter how many children you have
You can’t claim if you’ve 3 or more children and you’ve not claimed Universal Credit in the last 6 months. You can apply for Child Tax Credit instead.

If you’re 16 or 17
You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:
• you have limited capability for work or you have medical evidence and are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment
• you’re caring for a severely disabled person
• you’re responsible for a child
• you’re in a couple with responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
• you’re pregnant and it’s 11 weeks or less before your expected week of childbirth
• you’ve had a child in the last 15 weeks
• you don’t have parental support, for example you’re estranged from your parents and you’re not under local authority care

If you’re in training or studying full-time
You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:
• you live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit
• you’re responsible for a child, either as a single person or as a couple, if both of you are students
• you’re disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have limited capability for work
• you’re in ‘non-advanced education’ (for example studying for A levels or a BTEC National Diploma), are 21 or under and don’t have parental support

If you’ve reached Pension Credit qualifying age
You can only claim if you live with a partner who is eligible for Universal Credit and under Pension Credit qualifying age.

It then goes on to advise on how to claim and what you need to apply:

How to claim
You need to apply for Universal Credit online.
You have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together. You don’t need to be married.
After you apply, you must contact your local Jobcentre Plus within 7 days to make an appointment with a work coach.
You won’t get Universal Credit if you don’t attend the appointment.

What you need to apply
You’ll need:
• your bank, building society or credit union account details
• an email address
• your National Insurance number
• information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
• details of your income, for example payslips
• details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
• details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs

If you don’t provide the right information when you apply it might affect when you get paid or how much you get.

You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:
• driving licence
• passport
• debit or credit card

This page also provides a link for starting the application process and it informs you that you have to contact Jobcentre Plus yourself within 7 days to make an appointment with a work coach to continue with the claim process.

The site goes on to spell out what you need to have ready at
www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/making-a-claim/before-you-claim/

What you’ll need
It’s a good idea to have the following information with you when you make your claim. You should make sure that it is up to date before you start.

Some of this information may not be needed to start your claim, but you will need to provide it before you can receive your first Universal Credit payment.

If you aren’t able to provide this information it may mean that your first payment is delayed.

You will be asked for:
• your email address
• your telephone number
• your postcode
• your National Insurance number
• proof of your nationality
• your housing details
• details about people who live with you – such as your partner, children you are responsible for, or lodgers
• Child Benefit reference numbers, if you receive Child Benefit
• employer details, if you or your partner are working
• details about any earnings or other income you or your partner have
• details of any savings, investments or other capital you or your partner have
• details of any other benefits you receive
• information about your health
• details of the account your payments will go into, such as a bank, building society or credit union account. This will need to be a current account, not a savings account, and should be in your name. If you don’t have one, the Money Advice Service website can help you choose the account that’s right for you.
You can’t receive Universal Credit and tax credits at the same time. If you start getting Universal Credit your tax credits will stop.

Identical to the CAB list really.

The next page goes through the process of making the claim online at:
www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/making-a-claim/how-to-claim/

Two short video clips guides you through, you guessed it, making the claim online:
1. Opening an online account
2. Making an online claim

I don’t know how to get a link to those videos onto here. If anyone does, feel free.

I expect any guidance required when making a claim by telephone will be forth-coming from the person you are talking to.

Numerous other sites are available by Googling ‘Making a Universal Credit claim’ They are all more or less the same as far as the advice they offer is concerned. Not necessary to copy them all.

The questions put in the first post appear to have been adequately covered unless someone can spot something we’ve missed.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 20:42 #6739

Some more general information and guidance to be aware of when making a claim. Apologies if some of it is repetative.

What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age people that replaces a number of existing benefits and tax credits. It is designed to support people who have a low (or no) income with their basic living expenses and housing costs.

The amount you can get depends on your circumstances and how much other income you have. You can continue to get Universal Credit if you are in work but have low earnings.

Universal Credit is also different because it is administered by one benefit department; the DWP, whereas other benefits are paid by a range of different departments.

When you start a claim your first payment should be made after 5 weeks (this includes a 4 week assessment period and up to 7 days for your payment to reach your bank account at the end). If you started your claim before 14 February 2018 you will also have a 7 day 'waiting period' at the start of your claim, meaning a total of 6 weeks to wait for your first payment.

If you live in England and Wales
The main difference between Universal Credit and existing benefits is that Universal Credit is paid once a month on the same date each month. The government say this is so that receiving benefits is like getting paid when you are in work.

Although Universal Credit is made up of different elements it is paid to you as one amount. This means the money to help with your housing costs is usually paid direct to you once a month and not to your landlord, so you will be responsible for ensuring your rent is paid.

If you live in Scotland
If you’re single and unemployed without children and are already claiming Universal Credit in what’s called a live service area your payments will work in the same way as in England and Wales.

However, if you’re claiming Universal Credit in a full service area you have the option of twice-monthly payments instead of once a month. You can also ask for the housing costs element to be paid directly to your landlord instead of you.

These flexible payment options have been offered to all new full service claimants in Scotland since 4 October 2017. From 31 January 2018 anyone who claimed in a full service area before October 2017 can also apply for twice-monthly payments and payments direct to a landlord.

If you live in Northern Ireland
Things are slightly different in Northern Ireland as, unlike the rest of the UK, unless you ask to be paid your Universal Credit monthly you will get two payments a month instead of one.

Help with your housing costs is also slightly different as your rent will usually be paid directly to your landlord instead of to you.
If you are working

If you have an employer and are paid through the PAYE system then when your wages change your Universal Credit will also change so you don’t have to keep handing in wage slips if your income changes. Ask your employer if you are not sure if you are paid under this system.

If you are self employed
If you have your own business you will need to have records to show how you run it, such as a business plan, invoices and receipts. Your Universal Credit payment will be based on your actual earnings if you have been running your business for less than 12 months. This is called a ‘start-up period’. If you have been running your business for more than 12 months the DWP will assume you earn at least an amount called the ‘minimum income floor’. This is usually 35 times the national minimum wage, minus an amount for tax and NI.

Which benefits is it replacing?
Over a number of years the following benefits and tax credits will be abolished as Universal Credit replaces them:
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Housing Benefit
• Child Tax Credit
• Working Tax Credit

Other benefits that are not means-tested will continue to be paid separately such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Carer's Allowance. Child Benefit will also continue to be paid separately.

Benefits based on National Insurance contributions, such as contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and contributory Employment and Support Allowance, will not be replaced and will work alongside Universal Credit.

Benefits for those over the state pension age, such as the state pension and Pension Credit, will also not be replaced. Neither will Council Tax Reduction/Support so you should check to see if you can claim it in addition to Universal Credit.

Who can claim?
Universal Credit is payable to people who are of working age. This usually means people between the ages of 18 and Pension Credit qualifying age. Although the lower age limit may be 16 or 17 years old in some limited circumstances.

The benefit is available to people who are out of work, including people looking for work and people unable to work due to illness, disability or childcare commitments and to those caring for disabled people or those in work and on low incomes.

The government is slowly rolling out Universal Credit in stages. To find out the status in your postcode area check out this link:
ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate

Will you need to look for work while claiming?
Receipt of Universal Credit is dependent on you signing a claimant commitment and being placed into a group that determines what you have to do in order to continue receiving the benefit.

The four groups include:

Work availability
People in this group are deemed ready for work and are expected to actively seek and be available for work.

Work preparation
People in this group are not considered ready for full-time work but are expected to prepare themselves for going into work. This group includes people with a disability or health condition which means they have a limited capability for work.

Work-focused interviews
People in this group are not expected to look for work but are required to attend occasional work focused interviews to ensure they do not lose touch with the labour market. This group includes lone parents and primary carers for children between the age of one and three.

No conditionality
People in this group have no work condition as they are not considered to be able to work at all. This includes people with a disability or health condition which prevents them from working or who are carers, lone parents or the primary carer for a child under the age of one.

If a person is in work and earning over the set amount for their circumstances they are exempt from the conditions of their group. If they earn below the threshold set for them, they would still have to follow the claimant conditions set for them e.g. looking for extra work if they only do a few hours a week.

Anyone who breaks one of the conditions of their commitment may be sanctioned and lose some or all of their benefit.

Current planning is that universal credit should be fully available for most new claims by December 2018. This is called the ‘full service’ and is a more developed online digital system.

Existing recipients of the benefits that universal credit will replace should be moved across to the universal credit at some point between July 2019 - March 2022.

Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit which will replace a range of existing means-tested benefits and tax credits for working-age households. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) refers to the benefits and tax credits UC is replacing as “legacy benefits.” Spending on these benefits currently totals around £70 billion a year.

Other benefits will continue to exist alongside UC, although in the case of contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) some of the rules will be brought in line with UC. DWP refers to these versions as “new style” ESA and JSA.

Which benefits are affected?
The following benefits will eventually be replaced by universal credit:
• income support
• income-based jobseeker’s allowance (IBJSA)
• income-related employment & support allowance (IRESA)
• housing benefit
• child tax credit (CTC)
• working tax credit (WTC)

Many benefits will remain including:

• contribution-based JSA
• contributory ESA
• pension credit
• state pension
• carer’s allowance
• child benefit and guardian’s allowance
• social fund maternity grant, funeral payments, winter fuel payments and cold weather payments
• health benefits
• statutory sick pay
• statutory maternity/ adoption/paternity pay/ shared parental pay
• attendance allowance
• personal independence payment (PIP)
• disability living allowance (DLA for children)
• bereavement support payment
• council tax support

Universal credit may be paid on top of some other benefits, for example, contribution-based JSA, contributory ESA or carer’s allowance, to bring you up to a specific level which is determined by your circumstances.

What are the general rules for universal credit?
Claimants will usually have to satisfy the following:
• be aged between 18 and pension credit age (although some 16-17 year olds may be able to claim - see below)
• be present, habitually resident and with the right to reside in Great Britain
• not be ’receiving education’ (see below)
• have no more than £16,000 capital
• have income below certain levels
• accept a ‘claimant commitment’ (see page 13)

There will be additional rules depending on the reason why you are claiming universal credit, for example, if you are unemployed or unable to work due to ill health.

Which 16/17 year olds can claim?
Some 16 and 17 year olds may eventually be able to qualify for universal credit including those who:
• have dependent children
• are unable to work due to ill health or disability i.e. have passed the work capability assessment or have a medical certificate in the initial assessment period
• are caring for a severely disabled person
• are pregnant from week 29 of pregnancy
• have given birth within the last 15 weeks
• are without parental support i.e. have no parent or are living away from home due to estrangement, serious risk etc

Which students can claim?
You can’t get universal credit if you are ‘receiving education’ i.e. if you are:
• aged 16-19 in non-advanced education of more than 12 hours a week up to the 31 August following your 19th birthday
• on a full-time course of advanced education
• on another full-time course of study or training for which a maintenance loan or grant is provided

In addition, if you are on some other type of course but the DWP believes it is not compatible with work-related requirements – you will be treated as though you are ‘receiving education’ and be excluded from universal credit.

There are some exceptions to the ‘receiving education’ rule:
• young people without parental support in non-advanced education until the end of the academic year in which they are 21
• those with dependent children
• lone foster parents
• disabled students (i.e. entitled to DLA/PIP and have limited capability for work)
• students in couples with no children where the other adult is entitled to UC
• students over pension credit age in mixed age couples

Couples
Couples must usually claim jointly and must both sign the claimant commitment. If one of a couple fails to sign then, subject to a cooling off period, the couple will not be entitled to universal credit.

However, a person who is a member of a couple may claim as a single person in certain circumstances, for example, where one partner does not satisfy the immigration and residence rules, or is under 18 and not entitled to UC. A single person’s allowance is paid although both partners’ income and capital counts.

Temporarily separated partners no longer count as a couple if the separation exceeds or is expected to exceed 6 months.

Once the ‘full’ service is fully rolled out across the country, couples where one partner is under pension credit age, and the other over, won’t be able to make a new claim for pension credit; they will have to claim universal credit instead. However, any couples already getting pension credit will continue to receive it.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 31 Mar 2018 21:11 #6740

Already claiming benefits?

What is the Universal Credit roll out?

Universal Credit is gradually being rolled out across the UK in stages. From 1 January 2018 onwards, whether you will be asked to apply for Universal Credit or existing benefits will usually depend on where you live.

When your postcode moves to Universal Credit you can no longer make a new claim for tax credits, Housing Benefit or out-of-work benefits like Income Support.

If you are making a new claim for benefits, or are already claiming benefits and have a change in your circumstances, you may have to claim Universal Credit at some point before December 2018 as the roll out for new claims will have covered the whole of the UK.

Families with three or more children making a new benefit claim are an exception to this rule. They can continue to make new claims for existing benefits and tax credits until at least February 2019.

Once the full roll out for new claims is complete, existing benefit claimants who have not had a change in circumstances, will be moved over to Universal Credit at some point between July 2019 and March 2022.

What were the rules before 2018?
Until 1 January 2018 there were slightly different rules in place. There were some areas, called live service areas, that only asked single unemployed people without children to claim Universal Credit.

If you made a claim in a live service area you will eventually convert to being full service area at the same time as almost everyone else in your area.

Are you already claiming benefits?
Existing benefits and tax credits claimants who do not have a change of circumstance will not be asked to claim Universal Credit until July 2019 at the earliest. The government expects to finish moving existing benefit and tax credit claimants onto Universal Credit by March 2022.

Universal Credit triggers
What changes in circumstances might trigger a move to Universal Credit?

The government’s current plan is that existing benefit claimants will be moved over to Universal Credit at some point between July 2019 and March 2022, as part of its 'managed migration'.

However, anyone who has a change of circumstance before that point will be moved earlier via 'natural migration'. This group of people will also lose their right to transitional protection.

A comprehensive table of what changes in circumstances could trigger a move to UC may be found at: www.entitledto.co.uk/help/changes_that_trigger_Universal_Credit

In general, natural migration could be triggered if entitlement to your current benefit ends (prompting a need to claim a new one) or you become entitled to a different or extra benefit. It shouldn't happen when you make changes to benefits you are already claiming.

The following gives examples of what may happen in a range of circumstances:

First, a word of warning
If you decide to switch from legacy benefits to Universal Credit we suggest you seek advice before doing so. It is not just the amount of money you may be entitled to that could change.

Some of the overall rules may be different, including; the initial waiting days you will not be paid for; the frequency of your payments (eg, weekly, fortnightly, monthly); or the commitments you need to agree to in order to remain eligible.

Plus, there is usually no going back to your previous benefits once a claim for Universal Credit has been made, so get advice if you're considering doing this.

The obvious way to ensure that the transition comes off satisfactorily is to seek the advice of your coach in the first instance. It is already a requirement that they be informed of a change of circumstances anyway.

Any UC conditions applicable after the transition will be the same as those that a new claimant is likely to subscribe to so it is not necessary to scrutinise them twice.

They will be addressed in the next stage which is the ‘Work Coach Interview’. We will examine that in another thread.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 01 Apr 2018 09:45 #6744

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Will read through more of the above later on BB but I picked up on this about verifying identity:

You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:
• driving licence
• passport
• debit or credit card

What do they mean `debit or credit card`? They ask us to provide our current account details already during the claim process, so why here, are they asking for a debit/credit card? I don`t have a driving licence or a passport, but I do have a debit card linked to my current account, but surely when I apply for UC (if I ever have to make a brand new claim) would I also be expected to relay my account details separately? The number on my debit card is not the sort code or account number of my actual bank account, so I`m presuming they are asking us to type the card number into their form? And it specifically asks for us to do this ONLINE. I don`t want to buy anything from DWP so they shouldn`t require my card details.

Edited to add: And this:

First, a word of warning
If you decide to switch from legacy benefits to Universal Credit we suggest you seek advice before doing so. It is not just the amount of money you may be entitled to that could change.

I might fall into this category if I had a `fit for work` decision again and was foolish enough to claim Universal Credit rather than WAIT for any appeal I may ask for and then have my ESA re-instated at the assessment rate (£73.10p a week) currently, rather than delve into the magical world of UC. All ESA claimants should make themselves aware of this because if you stick it out and steer clear of UC until your appeal is heard, you would automatically go back onto ESA again and not Universal Credit and would likely be `managed` or `migrated` to UC when that was automatic without having to do an online claim. So my advice would be, don`t rush to claim UC if you can wait for a Tribunal decision on your ESA claim. Although I realise a lot of people won`t have the funds to do this, it`s still worth waiting at least for the Tribunals service letter accepting your appeal when you can then call DWP and request the assessment rate of ESA be re-instated. Doing this means yo also protect any top up`s you already get on legacy benefits. You lose those under UC.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 01 Apr 2018 13:22 #6749

Re indentity verification: What we have been discussing in this thread was the process of making a new claim for Universal Credit. It is basically targeted at new claimants who are currently not claimants. Being as they are new claimants, therefore, they are going to be required to show the necessary ID and documents in order to process their claim, whereas the old familiars, who are already IDed and documented, need not.

Consequently, as an existing claimant of one or more of the legacy benefits, you would be unlikely to make a new claim for UC unless (a) your circumstance have changed or (b) you were notified of the transition from legacy benefits to UC in your area.

Since the transition of existing claimants to UC, even where UC has been rolled out, is not due to begin until July 2019, according to the latest estimates, your concern is premature.

When it gets to your turn to be transferred you will be notified in writing of the procedure. I feel sure that by that time you will have plenty to say and plenty to say it to.

The word of warning was for claimants currently on legacy benefits who may have considered initiating a change of circumstance themselves, pre-empting any compulsory transfer notice, in order to get onto UC.

This might look attractive to some when they get constantly barraged with propaganda telling them what a wonderful, revolutionary benefit UC is and how much better off we’re all going to be.

Important as the ESA issues you raise are, and enjoyable as it may be to immerse ourselves in what might be, getting diverted onto it here would deflect from the issue that this thread is primarily about. Might I suggest that you start a thread in the appropriate category to discuss your concerns about ESA where it could get the full attention it deserves.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 01 Apr 2018 13:55 #6750

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BB wrote:
Since the transition of existing claimants to UC, even where UC has been rolled out, is not due to begin until July 2019, according to the latest estimates, your concern is premature.

Yes, I heard about UC being stalled for new claims so given I am on ESA just now (for what it`s worth) I would only concern myself with some of the issues I raised above concerning ID verification because I`m already `in` the system. So chances are I won`t need to provide a few of the things they ask for in the listings, but it`s better to be aware of them.
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 01 Apr 2018 21:13 #6759

Benefit Bolshie wrote:
moogle wrote:
I'm wondering if there is a difference between making a new claim and making a claim when being moved to it from JSA or ESA.
There is a difference between making a new claim and transferring from what they call the ‘legacy benefits’. We can address those differences when we’ve done our best to cover as many angles as we can in making a new claim.

Moogle, you might find this Freedom of Information response informative:

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/453439/response/1099515/attach/2/FOI%205232%20Reply.pdf
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Making a Claim for Universal Credit.(UC) 05 Apr 2018 23:32 #6851

These two links give a detailed explanation of how to sign up to Universal Credit. They also describe what the Universal Credit Account is and how it is meant to operate. It also explains what the Journal is all about.

I haven’t come across anything that explains what happens if one refuses to open this account or use the journal which is built into it.

The first of the links runs through the signing on form in detail on a video clip. One can see the pages to be filled in as one gets to them.

www.accentgroup.org/about-us/news/2017/03/universal-credit/

www.newcastle.gov.uk/benefits-and-council-tax/welfare-rights-and-money-advice/universal-credit-more-detailed-guide
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