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TOPIC: Universal Credit

Universal Credit 22 Apr 2017 09:11 #1920

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Problems of the Universal Credit that need to be addressed
13 April, 2017

• THANK you for publishing my letter about the devastation that the new “omnibus benefit” Universal Credit’s application processes bring to economically vulnerable people’s lives

Perhaps one of the most fundamental problems about Universal Credit is its implicit assumption that those who cannot apply for it online should be penalised.

Another major problem with it is its means-testing in combination with ever-diminishing “overall benefit caps” that are extremely stigmatising. (A non-means-tested Universal Basic Income would be much simpler).

Universal Credit was supposedly brought in to “simplify” the benefits system, which it does not do. Neither do most of the other changes to the benefits system that have arisen over the past two decades or so while cuts in public spending have axed many of the formerly tax-funded information, advice and guidance services to help people claim what is rightfully theirs.

This adds to the alienation benefit claimants experience and increases the reason for being of Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group’s weekly meetings at Kingsgate Community Centre, NW6 2JH and our demonstrations that help Jobcentre users through the hoops and hurdles and narrowing goalposts that constitute the current benefit system.

ALAN WHEATLEY
Croftdown Road, NW5
camdennewjournal.com/article/problems-of-the-universal-credit-that-need-to-be-addressed?sp=1&sq=Alan%2520Wheatley

Means-testing means the ‘benefit trap’ but there is a better way
20 April, 2017

• FURTHER to Alan Wheatley’s letter (Means-tests of no benefit, April 13), while it seems fairer on the surface, means-testing, is actually what’s responsible for the “benefit trap”.

That is, people who struggle to get work see 65 to 98 per cent of each pound they make on top of any benefits disappear. With the added complications of the online process and sanctions, the take-up rate of unemployment benefits is dropping rapidly while many fall into debt and/or dependence on family rather than claim what they are entitled to.

With the benefit cap, sanctions, the sadistic harassment of disabled people who lose everything after failing a tick-box Work Capability Assessment (WCA) while challenging these judgments (the central problem in I, Daniel Blake), the cuts both in terms of actual benefits under Universal Credit and the lack of uprating in line with inflation for other entitlements, we have a terrible onslaught threatening the economy and diversity of Camden.

This situation also costs our already hard-pressed NHS untold millions in terms of increased mental and physical ill-health, time doctors have to spend writing letters to defend their patients’ entitlements, NHS-trained staff syphoned off to do tick-box work for the WCA.

Then there is the cost of tribunals, which are won by 35 per cent of claimants without outside help, and some 65 per cent or more with help.

And yet there are no sanctions, fines, or any other penalties for either the companies who run WCA or the Department for Work and Pensions for faulty judgments.

A far better and fairer alternative mentioned by Mr Wheatley, is Universal Basic Income (UBI), a regular payment made to each individual without means-test or work requirement.

Where it has been piloted in Canada, Namibia and India, excellent effects were seen with reductions of hospital visits and crime while economic activity increased. UBI is now being piloted in Finland and the Netherlands with other pilots on the way in many other places.

With UBI, work on top always pays more, which is really not the case with UC or other benefits, and disabled people aren’t starved while they defend their right to the extra help they might need.

Despite the wealth of the city just down the road, people in Camden, as elsewhere in the UK, are struggling too hard for survival, whether we have a job or not.

The NHS saw the principle of universality established, but we need to look after people before they get sick.

BARB JACOBSON
Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association

camdennewjournal.com/article/means-testing-means-the-benefit-trap-but-there-is-a-better-way
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Universal Credit 18 Dec 2018 11:20 #12189

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And almost 20 Months later, apart from a little "Tinkering around the Edges" just what has Changed ?
Guess the Answer is More Homeless; More Debt; More Poverty; And More despair. :angry:
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Universal Credit 18 Dec 2018 11:58 #12190

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With all we are seeing going on in France with the yellow vest movement and just last night on the BBC news, people in Hungary are being forced to work more hours for NOTHING by their elected TORY leader. And the excuse? They don`t have enough people to fill the jobs. WHY? Because this same leader placed barriers around the country to stop IMMIGRANTS from entering who normally done those `other` jobs.

So the people of Hungary are now being punished for their anti-immigration thinking and are being mandated into working for nothing in the jobs they have, or other jobs that can`t be filled due to lack of people doing them.

Seeing this made me think when the UK was lied to about our immigration policies and NHS funding when they were all shouting we should leave the EU, that this could very well happen here and if it did, guess who would be first on the menu for carrying out job that immigrants previously done? The unemployed. It`s also suspicious that every nation led by a Conservative government or leader are having these or similar measures introduced.

The clock is ticking for Brexit. It may also be ticking for our freedoms if we lose EU laws that currently give us some protection. Can`t imagine this government staying in power after Brexit and lording over us for years to come. :dry:
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Universal Credit 18 Dec 2018 13:32 #12194

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I Dont Watch BBC Fake News, so did not see this "Report" Cannot find anything on the Web about "Working for Nothing",
But did find these Links about Getting a Job in Hungary; www.justlanded.com/english/Hungary/Hungary-Guide/Jobs/The-Hungarian-Job-Market
And Working Conditions in Hungary; www.justlanded.com/english/Hungary/Hungary-Guide/Jobs/Working-conditions

Its only Right & Proper Jobs first go to British Nationals, Unless Immigrants have the skills in areas where British Job seekers Dont have the Required Skills,
THEN, And only then Offer Jobs to Immigrants, with a "No Job - No Entry" Clause.
I dont think any Government of any Type with a intelligent Brain,will let uncontrolled Immigration into there Country's

The BIG Problem is in the past to many people Did not want to work, just sit around all day and live on Handouts,
Those days are now gone for good, Happened a lot in the past in Left Wing Communist Country's; Thats why Communism in most Country's collapsed,
No Country can keep on paying out for No Returns.
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Universal Credit 18 Dec 2018 13:34 #12196

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I wouldn't worry about loosing EU laws CoD I have heard a few politicians say that most EU laws will be written in to British law anyway the majority of there laws lately are bullshit anyway like we need a law regarding the length of candle wicks or bullshit like article 11-13 its stuff like that why I want out of the EU

My only concern about it is allowing torys to select what laws they choose to get rid of to suit themselves hopefully it l be up to an independent judicial system made up of both left/right so we get the good laws that are beneficial to us
#KeKLivesMatter
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Universal Credit 18 Dec 2018 13:41 #12197

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They are not working for nothing the main point of contention as far as I have seen is the fact that new laws allow employers to delay payment for the overtime for up to 3 years so technically they do get paid for it just not immediately witch I agree is bullshit

From what I have read they want up to 400 hours of mandatory overtime an increase from 250 hours witch roughly works out to 1 extra hour a day on an 8 hour shift and close to one extra shift per week with no immediate benefit

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46551904
#KeKLivesMatter
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Universal Credit 18 Dec 2018 15:05 #12204

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Quote from Finnster: From what I have read they want up to 400 hours of mandatory overtime an increase from 250 hours witch roughly works out to 1 extra hour a day on an 8 hour shift and close to one extra shift per week with no immediate benefit

Yes, that`s the news I heard yesterday Finnster and the Hungarians were NOT happy bunnies.
I also agree with Paul when he says: THEN, And only then Offer Jobs to Immigrants, with a "No Job - No Entry" Clause.

Agree Paul. But would that mean all the car washing jobs and laundry work would then be on the zero hours of jobseekers who will then be targeted for such jobs when their man goal is to find permanent work? Or is it the case that all the work immigrants get is word of mouth/cash in hand and not truly helping the economy because the work they do is not `legit`?
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Universal Credit 18 Dec 2018 15:51 #12208

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Something for anyone who stops claiming JSA to do temporary work to be aware of. When reclaiming benefit it will be UC.

In this case the claimant was not paid until almost three weeks after finishing his work (in the first UC 'assessment period”). An overpayment occurred:

www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/AAC/2018/332.html

“10. This is different from the law that previously applied to most social security benefits: liability does not depend on a claimant misrepresenting or failing to disclose....That means that a claimant is liable for an overpayment even it
was caused by the Secretary of State.

14. The claimant is annoyed that he has lost out financially by going to work. He puts the loss at £230. He says that this is absurd and has quoted Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State who was the principal architect of universal credit, as saying that ‘work will pay’.

15. I cannot accept these general arguments. Tribunals are judicial bodies and they have to interpret and apply the law. The general policy underlying universal credit may be to make work pay, but some of the detailed provisions do not have that effect. As the claimant has discovered. The law must always be interpreted and judges try if possible to avoid results that are absurd. In this case, the language is too clear for any interpretation that would help the claimant."
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Universal Credit 18 Dec 2018 16:08 #12210

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The more i read on UC the more im convinced its just not worth the hassle of even trying ot get a little work here and there the whole process is so convoluted its just a huge hassle to even declare when you get work

Feels like uc is just one big tory over reach an attempt to rewrite the rule book in there favour at every step of the way ultimately I think all this hassle just incentives us not to bother working and keeps us trapped in the welfare state with little to no incentive to take up zero hour contracts that they love so much
#KeKLivesMatter
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 06:11 #12231

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"The more i read on UC the more im convinced its just not worth the hassle of even trying ot get a little work here and there the whole process is so convoluted its just a huge hassle to even declare when you get work"

Totally agree with you Finnster.I've done the maths time and again and unless a job appears where i can actually walk to with a bare minimum wage of £8.50 an hour its a total joke.I was financially better off in 1979.They've turned the uk into a financial disaster zone with many people now carrying trillions of debt. :evil:

I've had 10 years of this tory crap and been out of work more times over that period than ive ever been in.Totally disgusting. :evil:
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 11:24 #12234

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jobber wrote: I've done the maths time and again and unless a job appears where i can actually walk to with a bare minimum wage of £8.50 an hour its a total joke

Would be the same for me jobber because where I live, jobs are ridiculously difficult to get and KEEP. Anything that does become available is usually contracted, part time or temporary...or worse, a zero hours contract. Under UC, the conditionality is that anyone offered a ZHC MUST accept it or face a sanction without `good reason`, something I posted a list of just yesterday.

The town I live in has a few small shops, a post office and a small industrial estate and a few pubs. That`s it. I have to travel either way into the other town or the City to have any chance of finding employment and that incurs a weekly £20 returns fare on a bus. And that`s the savers weekly ticket. Fares are going up all the time, 20p here, or 30p there. yet benefits don`t and pay rises are only a pittance each tax year if you benefit at all. Or it`s taken away again in council tax or rent rises.

And then there`s Brexit hanging over us...…. :dry:
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 13:34 #12240

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im on uc . my work agreement is for 16 hours a week max, due to my health conditions ,
so whats the point of looking for part time work if i will be no better off,and my work roach as not said anything to me about this,
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 13:47 #12241

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Your predicament will be the same for all claimants with `health problems` london123 including myself who end up on UC and are given the 16 hour category. We could say it`s the better outcome when on UC with some reduced conditionality, but you hit the nail on the head really with finding a job that`s exactly16 hours a week on NMW or if we`re lucky, the living wage.

Working 16hrs at NMW a week = £125.28p. Deduct £20 + weekly bus fares from this and any other expenses like buying lunch every day if we have to reply on Greggs or other eatery. That probably takes us down to around £90. Mobile phone top up if you rely on it for contactless payments or use your phone a lot. That`s another little add on.

What do they expect people like us to do then if we just keep looking at jobsites, applying for jobs `we can do` (if we can find any) but never actually getting as far as an email reply for our application? Are we then seen as fodder for work programmes and endless cat sat on the mat skills courses? Courses that get us nowhere in the real world but satisfy our paymasters only?

That`s probably the reality. What have you agreed on your CC London? Apart from the 16 hour jobs? Have you had to agree to other tasks like uploading a CV onto various jobsites, joining agencies or navigating your way through the same actions day in, day out?
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 13:56 #12242

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comply or die wrote:
Your predicament will be the same for all claimants with `health problems` london123 including myself who end up on UC and are given the 16 hour category. We could say it`s the better outcome when on UC with some reduced conditionality, but you hit the nail on the head really with finding a job that`s exactly16 hours a week on NMW or if we`re lucky, the living wage.

Working 16hrs at NMW a week = £125.28p. Deduct £20 + weekly bus fares from this and any other expenses like buying lunch every day if we have to reply on Greggs or other eatery. That probably takes us down to around £90. Mobile phone top up if you rely on it for contactless payments or use your phone a lot. That`s another little add on.

What do they expect people like us to do then if we just keep looking at jobsites, applying for jobs `we can do` (if we can find any) but never actually getting as far as an email reply for our application? Are we then seen as fodder for work programmes and endless cat sat on the mat skills courses? Courses that get us nowhere in the real world but satisfy our paymasters only?

That`s probably the reality. What have you agreed on your CC London? Apart from the 16 hour jobs? Have you had to agree to other tasks like uploading a CV onto various jobsites, joining agencies or navigating your way through the same actions day in, day out?

nothing more yet as im still handing in monthly sick notes. i just had to take one down to the job center today for it varying, but was told i had to enter it first on my my journal which i had not done,so would have to go home enter it in my journal then come back,
so i went upstairs to see my work roach and she photocopied it.and i entered it in my journal when i got home, she also booked me in for an appointment on the 29th jan for a work search review,so what that entails ive no idea.
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 15:26 #12244

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Can I ask london123, what is the reason for handing in fit notes? Did they say you had to provide fit notes in order to have your UC conditionality reduced? Because declaring that you have health problems or a disability means they have to consider these anyway in light of your UC claim to determine if you have LCW or not. See this example and note that it states Carl does NOT have LCW (Limited Capability for Work) but has still agreed how many hours he can work due to his arthritis:

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A claimant on UC normally only required fit notes if they are in the assessment phase for ESA (or LCW) and waiting to have an assessment for that. Or, if your handing in fit notes after a certain amount of time, they usually refer you for one of these assessments because your illness has gone on longer than the permitted number of weeks where they allow for someone to be `sick` on UC, which I think is 2 x 2 weeks in a UC qualifying year?
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 15:47 #12245

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comply or die wrote:
Can I ask london123, what is the reason for handing in fit notes? Did they say you had to provide fit notes in order to have your UC conditionality reduced? Because declaring that you have health problems or a disability means they have to consider these anyway in light of your UC claim to determine if you have LCW or not. See this example and note that it states Carl does NOT have LCW (Limited Capability for Work) but has still agreed how many hours he can work due to his arthritis:

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A claimant on UC normally only required fit notes if they are in the assessment phase for ESA (or LCW) and waiting to have an assessment for that. Or, if your handing in fit notes after a certain amount of time, they usually refer you for one of these assessments because your illness has gone on longer than the permitted number of weeks where they allow for someone to be `sick` on UC, which I think is 2 x 2 weeks in a UC qualifying year?

i collapsed in the street in November,blood clot went from my bad leg in to my lungs, was in hospital 3 days nearly died. also i have severe nasal polyps and pain in my right leg from a motor cycle accident, im still on blood thinners trying to get rid of the clot,
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 18:39 #12247

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So in light of all this, have they waved any job search while you are handing these fit notes in? If not, why not? Or are they playing the game of `you are able to do `some work even thought a blind person could see you are not able.
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 20:09 #12250

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comply or die wrote:
So in light of all this, have they waved any job search while you are handing these fit notes in? If not, why not? Or are they playing the game of `you are able to do `some work even thought a blind person could see you are not able.

i have not done any job search.since going on to uc,i was on jsa but they moved me to uc. after my collapse when i came out of hospital.
has i needed to hand sick notes in. and i had exceeded my sick note quota with jsa. good job i still have my 82 year old mother to borrow money from.or i would be starving.having to wait 5 weeks before a payment and paying two weeks rent upfront. my first payment is n the 29th dec.
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 21:35 #12251

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comply or die wrote:
Working 16hrs at NMW a week = £125.28p. Deduct £20 + weekly bus fares from this and any other expenses like buying lunch every day if we have to reply on Greggs or other eatery. That probably takes us down to around £90. Mobile phone top up if you rely on it for contactless payments or use your phone a lot. That`s another little add on.

Yes But Comply Almost everyone "In Work" will have these Expenses, Million's of Commuters are stuck with paying Thousands of pounds on the daily commute, Be it Bus, Train or Car, its a "Fact of Working Life", As for lunch, over Many years I made up my own "Lunch Box" at home, And always had a big flask of Tea with me,
Being in Building I never actually "Stopped" for Lunch Break, but ate while I was working.
A Basic "Living Wage" would be my Priority; But as I was Selth Employed over many years Had to "Price Up" each job, and that can be real Hard & Stressful, more so if you hit unexpected problems, and Some times You can Loose Money.
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Universal Credit 19 Dec 2018 22:40 #12253

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"People should take up zero-hour contracts to avoid having their benefits docked, the work and pensions secretary has said."

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/amber-rudd-zero-hour-contracts-benefit-sanctions-universal-credit-work-pensions-dwp-a8690626.html

Happy Christmas!
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