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Universal Credit nightmare.

Discussion in 'benefits and housing' started by Paul 2017, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Paul 2017

    Paul 2017 New Member

    Does anyone know the answer to this?

    A person has a UC award amount of £700 a month.
    (400 Housing, 300 Personal)

    The person gets a full sanction for 6 months
    (so only receives 400)

    The person gets a part time job which pays 400 a month.

    How much of the wages can they keep?

    335. (300 + 100x0.35)

    or

    140. (400x 0.35)

    or

    0.


    (I'm so glad Universal Credit has simplified everything. )
     
    Slo-mo likes this.
  2. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    If the person has kids that live with them or has limited capacity for work then they'll have a "work allowance" so will keep more of their earnings.
    If not, i think the person will have their UC reduced by 65p per £1 earned so will keep 140 a month from working - and that should be the same if sanctioned or not.
    This benefits calculator might be useful to check in case i'm wrong though.

    The person might be able to get a hardship payment, but they'll have to pay that back when the sanction ends.

    Also its worth them looking at this page has some advice about what to do if you get a job offer when you're on Universal Credit - this will still apply with a sanction.

    Sanctions are shit!
     
    Paul 2017 likes this.
  3. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    Also, if the sanction was applied in the last month they could appeal against it. How to guides about doing that are here - they download as zip files.
     
    Paul 2017 likes this.
  4. cyril_smear

    cyril_smear Well-Known Member

    Appeal the sanction!!
     
  5. cyril_smear

    cyril_smear Well-Known Member

    Isn't it the other way round I.e you can keep 65p in every pound until your wages take over your UC.

    Slightly off topic but It's worth keeping track on how much you get paid in each assessment period e.g my assessment period starts 13th of each month. I forgot about this over December/January and ended up with nothing in February.
     
    Paul 2017 likes this.
  6. Paul 2017

    Paul 2017 New Member


    No, I wish it was.

    The wording on the form is "Every £1 you earn in take home pay reduces your UC by 65 pence." ie spend all day earning £60 and they'll let you keep £20.

    What I'm really trying to fathom is whether, for the 6 months of the sanction, the Award Amount stays at £700 and only the Payments reduce, or whether the Award Amount drops to £400, or even Zero if you have other income.

    By the way: to anybody in non-UC areas. Enjoy it while you can. UC is vicious compared to JSA and all the other benefits that it will soon replace. As for the self-employed who are currently getting help from Working Tax Credits; that's all going out of the windows over the next two years. From then if you're self-employed you will be deemed to be earning £1100 a month, whether you are or not. (35 hrs x £7.50)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  7. Paul 2017

    Paul 2017 New Member

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  8. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    Its shocking isn't it! - the self employment thing is really scaring me because i'm half in paid employment and half self employed, but last time i got tax credits they said i was in the "self employed" category. I'm earning ok now so it probably won't affect me immediately, but all it takes is a change in circumstances, losing a few hours work, or getting ill again or whatever to end up needing help - and there might not be any!
     
    Paul 2017 likes this.
  9. Paul 2017

    Paul 2017 New Member

    It's going to turn this country upside down. I'm shocked by how tough the whole set-up is compared to the last 50 years.
     
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  10. Jackobi

    Jackobi swallows anything

    The system is fucked at the moment. Universal Credit is in pilot phase and areas differ in eligibility. Also bear in mind that under Universal Credit, the housing element is sanctionable. In other words, getting a job would not negate the sanction as the person would still be receiving 'housing benefit' which can be sanctioned under UC.
     
    Paul 2017 likes this.
  11. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    Oh shit, thats a point - if you're sanctioned when unemployed and then get a part time job does your housing element get sanctioned?
     
  12. Paul 2017

    Paul 2017 New Member

    This is exactly what I'm wondering.

    Jackobi ; do you have any links to Info about sanctions on the Housing Element?

    From what I've read, you can't have it sanctioned if you have no other income. Is that right?
     
  13. Paul 2017

    Paul 2017 New Member

    Right. I think I've just worked this out.

    When you get sanctioned they take £73 a week off your payments. (£10 a day)

    So, if you have no other income that's £300 a month.

    However, if you then get a part-time job and earn £400 a month, then they will reduce your Award Amount by £400 x 0.65 = £260.

    That leaves you with a monthly Award of £440. They THEN take £10 a day off THIS , leaving you with £140 a month UC (plus all your wages)

    Do you think that's right?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  14. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    I think so - i've been mathing it too - they take off the amount of the personal element from the benefit so the benefit you get is
    (Housing element + personal element) - (wages * 0.65) - personal element
    =(400+300)-(400*0.65)-300
    =700-260-300
    =140
    Then your total income is
    Benefit + wages
    =140+400
    =540
    So you still get to keep 140 of your wages.
     
    Paul 2017 likes this.
  15. Paul 2017

    Paul 2017 New Member

    Yep. I'm pretty sure that's the right way to calculate it.
     
  16. Jackobi

    Jackobi swallows anything

    There is still limited information available but I read a couple of years ago that it was the case:

    "Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed to Inside Housing that under the government’s flagship welfare reform, where a tenant is working less than 35 hours a week at minimum wage and is not eligible for JSA or ESA, the housing element can be sanctioned instead."

    "A DWP spokesperson said: ‘It is only right that people claiming benefits should be aware that not sticking to the rules can have a consequence. Any reductions to benefits as a result of a sanction are applied to the universal credit benefit as a whole rather than a particular element of it.’"

    DWP: Housing benefit will be sanctioned | News | Inside Housing

    There is a lot of information available here:

    Advice for decision making: staff guide - GOV.UK

    Chapter K9 is very relevant (K9006);

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/534750/admk9.pdf

    and quotes the Universal Credit Regulations 2013:

    "Daily reduction rate

    111.—(1) The daily reduction rate for the purposes of regulation 110 is, unless paragraph (2), or (3) applies, an amount equal to the amount of the standard allowance that is applicable to the award multiplied by 12 and divided by 365."

    It's all very unclear but I'm guessing that the 'standard allowance' is the £73.10 a single person over 25 would receive if claiming JSA so the housing element would be sanctioned by that amount where the housing element is the only element of UC received.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
    Paul 2017 likes this.
  17. Paul 2017

    Paul 2017 New Member

    Thanks.

    It makes more sense now.

    They don't directly sanction the Housing Element, but if you earn some part-time wages whilst you're ON sanctions, then two thirds of your wages will be taken straight off your H.E. payment each month.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  18. Jackobi

    Jackobi swallows anything

    As I understand it, regardless of which elements of UC a person is claiming, a claimant's UC can be sanctioned up to the maximum amount of the 'standard allowance' entitlement.

    So if a claimant is receiving the JSA element of £73.10 and rent of £100 per week, the JSA element of £73.10 will be sanctioned.

    If a claimant is working part-time but receiving the housing element, that housing element can be sanctioned up to a maximum amount of £73.10 where that would be the standard allowance received if the claimant wasn't working.

    However, regarding the first post, earning £400 would mean that the person cannot currently claim UC anyway as income is over £338 per month (Although, that might be area specific).

    You can check eligibility by starting the application process:

    Apply for Universal Credit - GOV.UK

    "Universal Credit is a new benefit that is being introduced in stages throughout the UK.

    It’s mainly available to people who are unemployed or earn less than £338 a month - but you can get it in some other circumstances."

    Check if you're eligible for Universal Credit - Citizens Advice
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
    crossthebreeze and Paul 2017 like this.
  19. Paul 2017

    Paul 2017 New Member

    You're right about the earning £338 for NEW claims. But, bizarrely, if you are already on UC and unemployed, and then find work, you can earn £800 a month in wages, keep the lot, and get a tapered £200 more in UC.

    My friend did exactly that with a recent Christmas job. The figures all add up.

    In some ways this is unfair to people who have always been working. But I think UC was designed as a pathway off benefits for the unemployed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
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