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Thread: Starting a new job but what if...

  1. #11
    Oh God, hi nukecad, I have returned.
    I rang up UC, tried to talk about the 12 week rule. They didn't know (surprise, effing surprise!) so told me to ring ESA. Rang ESA, after a long time waiting, the woman there said a big fat no, if I left the job within 12 weeks, I would definitely have to be reassessed again for UC and there could be a sanction. There is a chance she doesn't know what she's talking about (and most of them don't as you know, we could do their jobs, why the hell are they employed??) but the risk now is overwhelming me. I am meant to start work on Monday and am freaking out. If I just remain as I am, on ESA, I will stay that way until next year without all this stress. I find it totally and utterly depressing. There are hardly any jobs where I am and feels like no hope of working :-(

  2. #12
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    The UC people would not know of any 12 week rule, there isn't one with UC.

    With ESA if you start working more than 16 hours/week then your ESA claim ends altogether, if you can't manage the work and give it up within 12 weeks then you can make a new claim for ESA and go back in your previous group without an assessment.
    That's the 12 week 'rapid reclaim' rule with ESA.

    With UC there is no need for the 12 week rule, because if/when you start working you will still be claiming UC while you are working, and still with a Limited Capability element (Unless you are earning enough that you no longer quailfy), your claim doesn't end so you don't have you make a reclaim if you stop working again, it's just a Change of Income to your ongiong claim.

    (If you do earn enough that your UC stops altogether then there is a different six month 'rapid reclaim' process with UC, this applies whether you have Limited Capability or not).

    So you wouldn't have to make a new UC claim if you start working part time on UC and then give up again, because your UC will continue all along just at a reduced rate whilst you are earning money part time.
    And any Limited Capability entitlement continues along with it (and if you get an extra payment for it then it will still be paid even if you are working part time), so there's no need for a reassessment.

    This link explains it a bit more, in particular see part 5 which explains working while still claiming UC Limited Capability:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...alth-condition

    And yes you're correct about the phone jockeys - they tend to have very poor training, just the basics, and often don't know the rules and regulations for situations that are less often encountered.
    Last edited by nukecad; 05-10-2018 at 04:01 PM.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Further to that-

    The only potential problem I can see in your case is that when you start working you will not be claiming UC, you will still be claiming ESA which will stop because you are working more than 16 hours.

    You then claim UC, this is called 'natural migration; because it directly follows on from from a period where you were claiming ESA, and your Limited Capability (WRAG) entitlement should be applied from the start of the UC claim without a new assessment.
    But again the DWP staff seem to have a problem with this legislation and often don't understand it properly.

    This post explains this and what the law says about it so you know what regulation to quote should you have any problem:
    https://www.youreable.com/forums/sho...l=1#post133915

    Note carefully that regulation 19.(1)(a), which says you should claim UC on the same date (or before) you ESA ends.
    (Otherwise your Limited Capability, WRAG, will not automatically carry over).
    Last edited by nukecad; 05-10-2018 at 04:16 PM.
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  4. #14
    Thank you nukecad.
    What concerns me the very most in all this, is this part;
    'With UC there is no need for the 12 week rule, because if/when you start working you will still be claiming UC while you are working, and still with a Limited Capability element (Unless you are earning enough that you no longer quailfy), your claim doesn't end so you don't have you make a reclaim if you stop working again, it's just a Change of Income to your ongoing claim.'
    A change of income...you see, I can't see them just accepting people working and then giving up and not being penalised or reassessed for UC. But I could well be wrong because of the group I would be in (and I know there is a commitment you agree to) But there just isn't enough information out there that says about this specifically (like the gov website) and there aren't enough/any examples of this happening to anyone. And there seems to be no one to ask! So the risk (and stress) seems huge to me. I understand and appreciate all about claiming, all about ESA, all about when to claim, etc, etc but what I am uncertain about is if I would be left vulnerable if I have to give up the job. If only someone at UC could answer this specific question...if only anyone who works for the benefits could answer this and have it in writing because without that assured safety net, I can't take the job.

  5. #15
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I see your concern,

    I'll have a look round and see if I can find anything specific about that.

    If not I'll probably fire off an FoI request about it, to get a specific written answer from them.
    But that' unlikely to be answered for a few weeks.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I'm still looking for something specific, but this may help put your mind at rest.

    As you will have a 'Limited Capability for Work' status with UC you will be in the "Work preparation requirement" group, even when working.

    From this:
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...Conditionality
    Work preparation requirement

    You will be placed in this group if you are assessed as having limited capability for work (LCW). If you are placed in this group, you will be expected to prepare for a move into work, additional work, or better paid work. Actions to get ready for work could include attending training courses, preparing a CV or taking part in the Work Programme.

    You will not be required to take steps to apply for or take up work as a condition of your claim.
    As you are not required to 'apply for or take up work' in the first place then they can't sanction you for stopping working.

    This is because they can't make working a condition in your claimant commitment.
    You can't be sanctioned for breaching a condition of your claimant commitment if what you do is not in the commitment in the first place.

    Again from turn2us:
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...#guide-content
    A sanction is a cut in your benefit if you fail to meet your claimant commitment without good reason.
    Also see this about Low Level sanctions:
    http://benefitsaware.centralenglandl...dit-sanctions/
    It tells you what you can be sanctioned for if you are in the "Work preparation requirement" group.

    EDIT
    I've been wading through the Advice for Decision Makers (ADM) guides but can't find anything specific to this situation.
    This is actually good news as a situation not being mentioned usually means that it is not an issue to be considered.
    If it was an issue then there would be chapters refering to when a sanction could be imposed for it.

    Sometimes that's the way it works, something not being covered is as telling as if it was covered.

    I believe that you will be fine, and would have no hesitation doing this myself, but of course it's your decision.

    I'l fire off a FoI request anyway to try and get written clarification, but they have up to a month to reply to an FoI.
    Last edited by nukecad; 05-11-2018 at 06:00 AM.
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  7. #17
    Thank you so much nukecad. You have been so helpful and are one in a million.
    I think the same as you really, in all that you have said.
    I feel so cautious because I do worry that the job will be too much for me anyway. They did offer me a smaller position and I should have just accepted that (oh the benefit of hindsight!) and now I don't think they will offer that job if I turn down the more responsible one. They don't know my health problems as I am quite sure they would think I wasn't reliable and would not have got any job with them.
    So typical to get a job when my area turns into a full UC zone. Would have been fine with tax credits. And so to become a 'situation' that is not talked about much yet with UC.
    But I do wonder, as I am obviously still on ESA, wrag group, if I did work below 16 hours, and earned below the required permitted amount, if I would be stay on ESA or whether that change of circumstances (working below 16 hours) would mean I'd have to claim UC? Thank you again.

  8. #18
    Wishing you all the best with your new job. Hope it all turns out right for you.

  9. #19
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by star2sparkle View Post
    ....... a 'situation' that is not talked about much yet with UC.

    But I do wonder, as I am obviously still on ESA, wrag group, if I did work below 16 hours, and earned below the required permitted amount, if I would be stay on ESA or whether that change of circumstances (working below 16 hours) would mean I'd have to claim UC? Thank you again.
    I suspect that it's a situation that hasn't arisen much yet, and probably won't do very often at all, so there will be very little information about it out in the wild.

    If you were below 16 hrs and min wage then you would stay on ESA, as it could be done under ESA Permitted Work rules.

    It's only the question of doing more than 16 hours and wanting to claim Working Tax Credits that brings UC into it.
    You can't claim WTC for less than 16 hours, you can't have ESA if you work more than 16 hours, so there is no way to claim WTC and ESA at the same time.

    Previously if you started working more than 16 hrs then your ESA would stop and you would claim WTC instead.
    (This still applies in a UC Live Service area).

    You can't claim WTC in a UC Full Service area, so it has to be UC if you want to top up your wages, and as soon as you claim UC your existing IR benefits get migrated too.

    In your case it won't actually be a migration as your ESA will stop when you start work, but as long as you make your UC claim on the same day then the Limited Capability element (WRAG) will carry over into UC.
    You may have to convince the DWP advisor of this though, I'd take a copy of that regulation 19 when you go for your initial UC interview.

    You realise that you will still be subject to mandatory WFI's and reassessments, even though you are working?

    Sounds like the day you start work is going to be quite busy, stopping ESA, claiming UC, and all on top of the first day in a new job.

    Best wishes, hope it all goes without any hitches.

    PS.
    You may want to follow this FoI:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...coming-1156460
    If you register with that website you can 'follow' requests and set it to email you when a request you are following has new activity.
    If you intend to make any FoI's yourself then you should use a 'real' name to register (It doesn't have to be your actual name as long as it looks 'real', if doing this then rember not to use your actual name when signing the bottom of any requests).
    This is a requirement of the FoI legislation, and they can (and do) refuse to answer if you don't use a 'real' name, or if they suspect you have given a false name.
    Last edited by nukecad; 05-11-2018 at 11:36 AM.
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  10. #20
    Hi nukecad

    Yesterday was a day where I really did have to make the right decision as to what to do.
    I am following the FoI, thank you for that.
    I think next year, when UC really has taken over, my issue won't be an issue anymore as it will just be like someone starting a job and earning tax credits like before and if they leave, there are certain rules (and of course, that was within 12 weeks).
    I am surprised actually that no one else has encountered this, the same situation as me. There must be people who are on ESA due to health reasons and start a job and have to switch over to UC due to their region, and find themselves unable to do the job, considering how many of us are in this country. So why there is nothing specific about it beats me.
    Common sense suggests all you say to be true; being in the work prep requirement group, there are certain specifics,such as preparing for work, attending certain events, etc and as you aren't required to take up work, one would think they can't penalise you for working. But that is common sense. I personally would wonder why someone was in that group if they were actually working and would consider reassessing them...and that is common sense too.
    You agree? That group is more about preparing for work, and thus would seem odd that even though my ESA dictates limited capability, suddenly I am working, and even though I have limited capability, I think they would reconsider the group I was in, but that we can't be sure of.
    It could trigger off a chain of events and due to the lack of information regarding it, I considered it to be a high risk. Even though DLA is different to UC and ESA, I know that I will be up for an assessment for PIP soon too and if I lose that...more horrors really.
    And the job itself, they only gave me this job because someone turned it down before me and they were desperate. I could be running myself down a bit there but the company itself has not been competent, taking an absolute age to contact me about DBS and references, and then not knowing what to put in for the DBS when I saw them. And it was only when I went to see them for the DBS that the role became clearer to me and I realised that it may not be for me (they had not made the role really clear and I had thought it was actually not as extreme as it turned out to be). I suffer from anxiety related disorders and then discovered that I could be calling an ambulance for people who had taken overdoses or drank too much, or were suffering from psychosis. It was then that I thought, oh shite! But I still thought that if there was a safety net...I would at least try. But we can't be sure of that safety net and I fear that me doing the job would open a can of worms instead.
    So I turned down the job yesterday and received absolutely no reply from them. My doctor rang me yesterday to say that blood tests had revealed lots of deficiencies that need addressing , so that added to it.
    The situation is depressing but in the end I felt like the risk was too big :-( It will be good to get a response from the FoI, which will take time but I do suspect that it won't be quite so simple as them accepting someone giving up a job and that a good reason would have to be provided that would need to be backed up with evidence. And in my situation, I would have liked to be already be on UC to know what I was receiving and being in that group first, before getting the job.
    Be interested to see what you think nukecad, and thank you again.

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