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Thread: Student on Universal Credit: What do I do?

  1. #1

    Student on Universal Credit: What do I do?

    Hi there! I've been on Universal Credit as a disabled student with PIP since June 2019, regular, under 25 rate, paid each month since. However around September-October I received a letter stating I would need a health assessment. They gave me a questionnaire which I filled in, and filled with medical evidence and sent off, but I never heard back. To this date I still haven't despite the monthly payments continuing.

    I've spoke to my work coach about this multiple times, they were confused but said it will happen eventually. But from what I've read online students can't have their work capability assessed by Universal Credit, nor can they be put into the not-fit-for-work-related-activity group. I said this to my work coach, they said it wasn't true, but again, sounded quite unsure and unconvincing.

    Now I don't know what to do. Wait for a health assessment that will never happen? Move to ESA instead for it? I just have no idea what's gone on or what's best to do.

    Any clarification or help would be amazing

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    You can have UC-LCW/LCWRA as a student, but as usual it's complicated. (And the DWP work coaches themselves often don't understand it).

    Because you are a student with PIP then you are automatically treated as having LCW for UC purposes without the need for a Work Capability Assessment, and so can claim UC.

    What you have read online is that if you don't have the automatic qualification for LCW then you can't claim UC as a student, so can't get referred for a WCA, so can't be assessed as having LCW enabling you to claim UC as a student.
    It's a catch 22 unless you have an automatic LCW entitlement, as a student with DLA/PIP. (or have LCW/LCWRA with ESA before claiming UC).

    Nobody is quite sure if this was intentional or simply an oversight in the UC legislation. (Most think it was intentional).

    This automatic entitlement to LCW does raise another interesting point if like yourself you are already claiming UC as a disabled student.
    Because you are automatically treated as having LCW then there is no need to refer you for a Work Capability Assessment, or reassessment.
    Which means that a disabled student would normally have no chance of being assessed for LCWRA (and thus getting extra money each month).

    So it may have been a mistake on the DWP's part to refer you for WCA and send you a UC50 questionaire?
    It raises an interesting question about what would happen if you are assessed and were found fit-for-work, I don't see how that could override your automatic entitement to LCW as a student with DLA/PIP which is set out in law?
    But the same may not apply if you were found to have LCWRA, I'd think the LCWRA would stand.

    However as they have sent you a UC50 then I believe that it would/should be followed through as a 'normal' reassessment.
    That's because the form goes straight to the assessment company not the DWP, and the assessment people won't know you are a student.
    Reassessments can take a long time, my last WCA for ESA took around six months to get an appointment after sending the form in.

    If I were you I would ring CHDA (not the DWP) during office hours on 0800 288 8777 - tell them when you sent in the UC50 and ask what is happening with your assessment.
    They'll say something like they are waiting to make an appointment for a face to face assessment, that they have sent it back to the DWP for decision, or that DWP have cancelled it.
    At least you'll know what is going on.

    You'll get more info about what's happening at this stage from CHDA than from the DWP.

    PS. You can't claim ESA anymore unless you have been working and paid NI contributions in the previous 2 years.
    Last edited by nukecad; 11-01-20 at 13:58.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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

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