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TOPIC: Actually about Universal credit

Actually about Universal credit 1 month 1 week ago #195228

I live in Bath and they started people on Universal credit in May 16. This is a new nightmare. They took 3 months to pay me anything, their phones are answered by kids who dont know anything and give wrong information, You have to contact them by typing things in their journal and anything you query their response is to go thru a mandatory reconsideration. I had to use the ESA guidelines for my medical assessment and Mandatory Reconsideration and was awarded 15 points under mobility and thought it would be the same as ESA and I would be ok. I was wrong. The person doing the man rec decided that although I was not available for work and did not have to look for work I was available for Work Related Activity. I went to the job centre to ask what this meant and was told it was so I could prepare for work by writing a CV, going for job interviews and training events in the event that my disability got better. When I explained what my disability was he got really embarrassed and said they would never ask me to do any of this as it would be a complete waste of my and their time. I thought again I would be ok, I was wrong. When my next payment came through they had reduced my money by £189.49 under the limited capacity for work component. I am going to Court but currently the wait is 6 months; that added to the 2 months it took for the Man Rec will mean that by the time of the Court date I would have lost over £1000 in benefits. I am cautiously optimistic that I will win, after all this is the third time but will they pay me all the money back, no one knows!!! No luck on the journal they say they cannot say until after the decision, no luck at the CAB, no information provided by the DWP, no luck when the CAB phoned the UC helpline and insisted on speaking to a Manager.

I realize the DWP has had to slow down in rolling out UC to all parts of the country, but for people like me there is no information out there to help a person get thru the claim process.

Are you at Benefits and Work working on one of your fantastic guides for UC. I bet you are finding it really hard to get the information you need! I think first as last you will need to apply under the Freedom of Information Act, but in the meantime is there any advice you can publish to help people like me going thru this new nightmare that is Universal credit.

Beragon

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Actually about Universal credit 1 month 1 week ago #195266

Beragon

The assessment criteria for UC is exactly the same as ESA with some minor reference changes.

Our guides already cover the assessment process under UC, it's not our intention to provide information on claiming UC in general as we do not cover benefits such as Housing Benefit or Tax Credits at the moment.

I'm unclear which group you have been placed in;

- ‘no work-related requirements group’ - you don’t have to do any activities to prepare or look for work

- ‘work-focused interview group’ - you have to go to regular interviews with your work coach at the Jobcentre to get support with preparing for work in the future. You won’t have to look for work, be available for work or prepare for work now

- ‘work preparation group’ - you have to do activities to prepare for work, eg attend training, do some work experience, write a CV, go to interviews with your work coach at the Jobcentre to help you find or stay in work. You won't have to actually search for work or be available for work

- ‘all work-related requirements group’ - you have to do all you can to find a job or a higher paid job. This includes looking for jobs, applying for jobs, going to interviews, etc. You have to be ready and available to take up work straight away

I assume it is not the first or the last.

Are you appealing to be placed in the no work-related requirements group? If you are and you are successful then you will receive back payment of any outstanding payments from the date of the Decision appealed.

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Actually about Universal credit 1 month 6 days ago #195369

Dear Gordon,

Thank you for your reply. Yes the Universal credit questions are much the same as ESA but the interpretation of the Medical Assessment can be very different. As in my case. With ESA, if you score 15 points then you are not available for work and get the full limited capacity for work addition. On UC I scored 15 points and am not available for work but have been placed in the work preparation group. This is also called being available for work related activity ( or if you are not then not available for LCWRA.

Yes I am appealing against this and am quietly confident that my appeal will be successful. If Successful I should get the £189.49 a month back. However this will take 6 moths, so together with the 2 months wait for the Man rec, this will mean 8 months of deductions totalling over £1000.

They say because I ticked the I can mobilize 100 meters box on my claim I needed to have ticked the 50 meters box to get exempt from this LCWRA. I only ticked this box back in December last year as my chiropractor insisted I try to walk more and I was too frightened to tick the 50 box in case someone from the benefits was watching me.

In my Man Rec I said that things had got worse with my mobility since December but they said they can only go on what I said on my original form, but I know that before the Man rec they phone you and ask if things have changed. I said yes when they phoned me and repeated this in my man rec form. Which is correct?

Realise that UC is not your bag, but please advise

Beragon



So now you know I have been placed in this work preparation group is there any advice you can give me

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Actually about Universal credit 1 month 6 days ago #195412

Beragon

The Work Preparation Group is the same as the old ESA WRAG.

If you can show that the deterioration in your walking occurred before the assessment then it may be possible to have it included in any MR or appeal, did you mention at the assessment that the distance you could walk had reduced?

However, it is not a walking test, it is a Mobility test! In addition to your walking it considers your ability to self-propel a manual wheelchair over the same distances, you do not need to be using a wheelchair or even to own one for it to be considered. SO even if you can show your walking is restricted, unless you can also show that you cannot self-propel the wheelchair you will still not score points.

Gordon

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Actually about Universal credit 1 month 4 days ago #195559

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for your advice, but my situation is that I did score the maximum points under mobility, but ticked the 100 metres box

In the Mand rec they are saying that I needed to have ticked the 50 metres box to be exempt from LCWRA.

Also the decision maker who wrote the Man Rec report said the health assessor who did the medical recommended this. She did not as I asked for a copy of her report! It was the decision maker who said this.

Should I mention this at the court appeal?

Beragon

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Actually about Universal credit 1 month 4 days ago #195573

Beragon

You can't have scored 15 points for Mobility, if you had then you would have been placed in the No work related requirements group and you would not need to appeal the Decision. If they accepted you could only mobilise 100m then this would have scored 9 points so you must have scored an additional 6 points for another activity.

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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