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Thread: Individual benefits vs Universal Credit

  1. #1
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    Individual benefits vs Universal Credit

    I have a medical condition and am unable to work. I am confused about all the different benefits. Are you meant to apply for each of the relevant benefits individually (PIP, ESA, etc) or apply for Universal Credit? Do you get as much payout from Universal Credit as you would from applying for them all individually?
    I have already applied for PIP and hoping to get the higher rate. What do I do next to get everything I’m entitled to?

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    You say that you've applied for PIP already which is good. Continue with that.
    They will send you a form PIP2 to fill in and send back, then you will have an assessment which will be by telephone during Covid. (See Below).
    They will decide from that assessment if they can pay you PIP or not, you won't recieve any money for PIP until then.

    You should also be applying for both New Style ESA and Universal Credit.

    If you have been working and have paid sufficent NI in the previous 2 years then you can claim 'New Style', contribution based, ESA. (and maybe UC as well).
    If you don't have the required NI contributions then you claim UC.
    You can qualify for both NS ESA and UC at the same time, many people do.
    So apply for both and let the DWP sort out which you qualify for.
    When you apply tell them that you are unable to work, that's obvious for ESA but you must make sure you also say it on the UC application.
    Tell each that you have also applied for the other, there should be a question about it on the applications. (there is for UC, but I've not seen the NS ESA application for a while).

    UC currently pays more than NS ESA.
    NS ESA can include extra money for Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activities. (LCWRA)
    UC can also include extra money for LCWRA, if applicable it also includes money for rent, children, etc. (If you already get Housing Benefit or Child Tax Credit then when you claim UC they will be 'migrated' and paid as UC instead).

    If you do get both NS ESA and UC then any money you get for NS ESA will be deducted from the UC payments.
    So why would you want to claim both if one simply gets deducted from the other?
    The difference is that NS ESA can be paid even if you have high savings, or a working partner, or other income.
    UC is income related so high savings or a working partner/other income could mean that it is reduced or that you may not be elligible.
    So say you qualify for both now, but in future you got a large windfall (lottery win, inheritance, etc.) UC could stop but NS ESA would continue.

    NS ESA and UC will start paying a basic rate from when you first claim, you don't have to wait until after assessment - so the sooner you claim the sooner you will start receiving money.
    You will need to provide doctors Fit Notes to be paid NS ESA at the basic 'assessment' rate.
    Once you ahve started your ESA claim you can send fit notes to ESA online: https://www.gov.uk/send-fit-note
    They will also want copies of the fit notes for UC although UC can still be paid without them. (It's awkward at the moment with Covid so they may just ask if you have Fit Notes, or may ask you to upload them to your UC journal).
    If you don't supply copies for UC then they may expect you to look for work.

    You will need to have an assessment to assess your capability for work (unsurprisingly it's called a Work Capability Assessment or WCA), the first stage of which is a questionaire that they send you.
    It the same assessment for both ESA and UC and so you will only need to have one.
    If you apply for both then the assessment will be done under UC, they will send you a form UC50 to fill in and send back.
    You will then have a Telephone assessment/WCA. (again See Below)
    It's different from PIP as if they can't be sure from the telephone assessment they you will stay being paid as you are and be put on the waiting list until they can do Face to Face assessments again.

    If you qualify for extra money for 'Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activities' (LCWRA) then it will not be paid for the first 3 months of your claims.
    Currently because of covid it can take much longer than 3 months to determine your capability for work, if that happens then the extra will be backpaid to the 3 month point if you are awarded LCWRA later.

    So overall - Get in applications now for both UC and for New Style ESA. You are losing money by waiting to apply.
    https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim
    https://www.gov.uk/employment-suppor...e-9f183aca85b9

    You may want to use one or more of the online benefit calculators to check how much you should be entitled to recieve and if there is anything else you should be doing:
    https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators

    About the Assessments.
    Although they seem similar, and the forms and questions asked are similar, the assessments for PIP and ESA/UC-LCWAR are quite different.

    PIP is all about how you can cope with daily life and getting about. (Washing, getting dressed, cooking, eating, going to the shops, etc.)
    ESA/UC-LCWRA is only about if you can do any work or not.

    One thing is the same for both:
    What specific medical condition(s) you have is relatively unimportant - what matters is how any condition affects you capabilities.
    People with the same condition can be affected differently and so have different abilities.
    Many people make the mistake of just listing their conditions, giving diagnosis letters as evidence, and thinking that is enough - it isn't.
    Neither benefit is about conditions, they are all about, and only about, your abilities.
    You have to show/explain how the conditions affect your abilites. How they affect your life for PIP, and how they affect your ability for work for ESA/UC-LCWRA.
    Last edited by nukecad; 18-11-20 at 19:59.
    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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    Thanks a lot. I have a few questions I’m still a bit unclear about;
    -So it’s just PIP and ESA I am entitled to?
    -Are these both included in Universal Credit or are they applied for separately?
    -Do I apply for Universal Credit first or ESA first?
    -Is there any benefit applying for individual benefits as oppose to applying for universal credit? I see a lot of separate benefits listed on the uk.gov site each seemingly with separste applications. But then there’s Universal Credit which covers all of these benefits also?

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    OK there was a lot in that last post, I'll simplify it:

    1. You may be entitled to all 3, PIP, New Style ESA, and UC.
    2. You apply for each one seperately, PIP and NS ESA are not included in UC.
    3. I'd do NS ESA first. (But it shouldn't really matter).
    4. Not quite, UC replaces 6 INCOME RELATED benefits and you can no longer apply for those 6 benefits (except in very special cases). Benefits that are not Income Related are still seperate and have to be claimed seperately. NS ESA and PIP are both non-Income Related and so have to be applied for seperately.

    You say you have already applied for PIP - You should now apply for both New Style ESA and Universal Credit.

    Simply apply for both NS ESA and UC and let the DWP sort things out from there.
    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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    Ok, thanks a lot. Its confusing because “Employment” Support Allowance you would think would be “Income Related". Do you happen to know how Access To Work Grant factors into the aforementioned benefits? If I apply for ESA and UC can I still apple for Access to Work?

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    Are you only eligible for New Style ESA if you have made national employment contributions in the last 2 year? Or are there exceptions?

    Also, the first questions on the UC application is "Are you getting any disability benefits?". Does this mean I have to wait for an answer from DWP on my PIP application before I should apply for UC?
    Last edited by JamieJ1; 23-11-20 at 20:13.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Access to Work is for if you are starting (or doing) work as a disabled person, the employer has to be involved.
    If you are working more than 16 hrs a week or earning over £140 a week (16x minimum wage) then you can't claim ESA.

    It's possible that you could be working less than 16 hrs, and/or earning less that £140 while still claiming ESA and so claim Access to Work, but you do have to be working or starting work.
    https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/eligibility

    I'm not sure on the current UC application, (you can never see a current example with out making a claim), does the next question ask if you have applied for any?
    You could always ring the UC helpline and ask for advice, prepare to be on hold for possibly a long time waiting for someone to answer.

    There is also the 'Help to Claim' scheme with CAB, but that was always pretty limited and is even more so in Covid times, using it can also delay the start date of your application as you have to wait for an appointment with CAB.
    Last edited by nukecad; 23-11-20 at 22:08.
    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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    Thanks. I read you can apply for Access to work if you're self employed. I have a business but because of my health am only able to work on it less than 16h/week.
    At the start of the UC application it just asks if you are receiving any disability benefits and shows you a list of things to tick. Will my UC application be affected by whether I'm receiving PIP and what rate of PIP? If I just answered i'm not receiving PIP for now (could be weeks before I get a reply), would it be easy enough to amend my UC application if I was awarded PIP at a later date?
    Thanks for the Helpline resources. I called CAB a while ago and they only seeded to have limited answers to some of my questions.
    Last edited by JamieJ1; 25-11-20 at 13:15.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    When you have your initial interview (probably by telephone) you can tell them then that you have applied for PIP (and NS ESA).

    It shouldn't affect anything at this stage, except possibly making sure that you don't get both an ESA50 and a UC50 and only get the one form for both.

    PS.
    (could be weeks before I get a reply)
    I think you are underestimating how long a PIP assessment decision can take.
    You might be lucky, but the latest figures available (July 2020) show an average of 23 weeks from first applying for PIP to an award being made.
    See section 7 of this: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...s-to-july-2020
    Last edited by nukecad; 25-11-20 at 17:29.
    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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