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TOPIC: Universal Credit CAB Advice Page

Universal Credit CAB Advice Page 07 Jul 2018 18:29 #9214

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I found this interesting link courtesy of a member of another forum who posted this link and it makes for interesting discussion:

medium.com/adviser/universal-credit-and-conditionality-c5f6f1a9306a

I read within the paragraphs about this AET or Administrative Earnings Threshold for a single person is £338 a month. So anyone who is single and claiming Universal Credit will already know this because it`s the basic monthly allowance. Then I divided this monthly amount by 4 and got £84.50p a week.

Then I thought okay, JSA pays £73.10p a week. So why is UC paying £84.50p a week? Am I missing something here? Or is it because UC works on that Calendar month thing? So some months will have various amounts? Or do they actually always pay this £338 on a monthly basis?

So as an example, if I found a job that paid me roughly £95 a week, this would then remove me from what UC calls work related requirements? Where someone earning UNDER the AET amount would still placed in the `intensive work search regime`?

Can anyone make any sense of this or am I reading it all wrong?
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Universal Credit CAB Advice Page 08 Jul 2018 08:31 #9222

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Some good points, Problem I think [ And I am very far from being an expert on UC ]
That the whole system has been constructed to cause the max confusion,
The job centre staff dont understand it, so how are we expected to figure it out ?
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Universal Credit CAB Advice Page 08 Jul 2018 09:06 #9223

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My main aim here Paul was to look at how much someone can earn in one calendar month that would exceed this lower limit to become free from any work search activity. What they seems to be saying is, if we take the basic monthly UC rate for a single person of £338 and divide it by 4 this comes to £84.50p a week.

So my question is, is earning £84.50p a week enough to free ourselves from any work related activity like looking for more paid work or more earnings? I have not factored in the housing element of Universal Credit in this calculation because the housing element is separate, but it CAN be sanctioned if a person is not earning enough per week/month to mitigate getting a sanction on their HB because they are not bothering or managing to make more pay. However, I have read conflicting reports that the housing element of UC cannot be affected by sanctions and DWP and local housing authorities have stated this.

If that IS the case and someone claiming UC as a single person cannot have their housing element of UC affected, then earning this lower limit of £84.50p a week could be seen to be the goal most UC claimants could aim for if they can`t find full time work?

Something I think needs further research, but thought I would get the ball rolling and ask people to contribute and say what their experiences are or whether this is all nonsense or actual fact.

We know that the old JSA system allowed claimants to close their JSA claim if they earned over their £73.10p a week but under UC rules, we can`t do that now and until we earn OVER this £338 a month, we are told that our UC claim remains live for at least six months.
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Universal Credit CAB Advice Page 08 Jul 2018 11:45 #9225

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And then there is this.....

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Taken from here: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/657842/ssac-occasional-paper-19-in-work-progression-and-universal-credit.pdf

The Conditional Earnings Threshold. This is the total UPPER monthly amount a SINGLE UC claimant is EXPECTED to earn before they are deemed to be free from this `in work conditionality` protocol. So the AET (Administrative Earnings Threshold) I mentioned previously seems to be over-ridden my this CET amount? :huh: So what are they saying here? As a single UC claimant, we are EXPECTED to be earning the CET amount (and not the AETamount) before we are totally justified from answering to DWP?

Talk about bloody confusing.....I`m not sure why they have TWO earnings limits? Totally bonkers.
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Universal Credit CAB Advice Page 08 Jul 2018 12:59 #9226

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My understanding (might be wrong) is that between AET and CET - you will sometimes be called in but depending on circumstances could be light touch or more hassle factor.
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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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Universal Credit CAB Advice Page 08 Jul 2018 13:40 #9227

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That seems to be what they are saying moogs. The AET could be the monthly starting amount or, basic amount of UC which pays £338 a month so a single claimant. If we get a job our UC is them `tapered` down by 63p in the £. Is that correct? Then if we earn MORE than the AET but LOWER than the CET, we would basically stay within the boundaries of conditionality to find more hours or more work? Starting to make some sense now.

I say sense, but I think we need some kind of degree to absorb the above. Personal circumstances would be considered, of course. But how they can say this is an easier, streamlined system beats me. I understand the whole having us all under one universal umbrella and the system will calculate our payments as and when any changes occur. But it`s no wonder claimants are confused. We have went from an older system where automation was easier to understand, yet UC has so many areas within it`s bloated system it`s no wonder it is failing people.
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Universal Credit CAB Advice Page 08 Jul 2018 14:08 #9228

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Rather than go through the reams of legislation that the link in your post identify it might be easier to understand and less complicated to try and keep it simple. For my own benefit, if for no one else.

The first thing you need to do is to distinguish between Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and Administrative Earnings Threshold (AET). Basically they have nothing to do with each other and can’t be compared in the way you suggest.

The JSA aspect of Universal Credit is still the same as JSA if you were still on the legacy payment system. This, as you say, is £73.10 per week.

The AET is the amount that has to be earned before you can be excused from being placed in the ‘all work related requirements’ which is the most severe of the four work related groups into which a UC claimant may be placed.

For example if you were unemployed your JSA, or the JSA element of your UC would be:

£73.10 x 52 wks per yr ÷ 12 months per yr = £316.76 per month.
Or
£73.10 per wk x 4.3333 = £316.76 per month.
(Note: to calculate weekly amount from monthly total you divide by 4.3333 not 4).

If you want to work out AET, you will first of all need to be earning, hence the name. It will be based on what you earn, not on what income you get from JSA.

If the AET is set at the figure you quoted, £338, then, only if you worked for less than 10 (9.66) hours per week at the National Minimum Wage would you be placed in the most severe of the four work related groups into which a UC claimant may be placed.

As your hours of work and/or salary increases, so the severity of the work related groupings reduces.

The Conditional Earnings Threshold (CET) is the amount you need to be earning before you are excused from all 4 of the work related groupings and are , as you say, free at last, free at last.

Hope this helps.
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Universal Credit CAB Advice Page 08 Jul 2018 15:55 #9229

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Glad you looked at this BB because although I got a bit of an insight into it, I overcooked the meaning. Your interpretation of it breaks it down to a more understandable account. Those division sums for example, I wouldn't have known how to calculate that.

So in a nutshell, we start on the basic monthly allowance of £338. If we find a job, anything we earn over this decides how much conditionality we face? So the more we earn, the further away from work related conditionality we get? I get that part.

I imagine anyone with reduced conditionality due to physical or mental or both problems would have a set/agreed amount of hours they would either work, or look for work based around those and as such, wouldn`t then find themselves at the mercy of this in work conditionality, or find themselves in the `all work requirements` group?

I know some members have said they are already under or at this 16 hour agreement with their work coach due to health problems. Would be good to hear from anyone who is on Universal Credit though while agreeing these reduced terms as I think the members are both still on JSA?
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