To ask a universal credit question?

(70 Posts)
BarcelonaBabes Sun 03-Feb-13 15:57:21

To get benefits when it changes, if you are part of a couple, will you both have to be working? I'm confused

Sneezingwakesthebaby Sun 03-Feb-13 17:58:15

I thought housing benefit is being merged in with the universal credit? The only thing that the local authorities deal with individually is the council tax benefit change. I think most councils have an explanation of what they are thinking of doing available on their websites now (well, apart from 12 of them, including mine grrr).

Also, if you are both job hunting on universal credit its like JSA now but I think its going to be stricter with more work programmes and stuff.

The only people who really need to worry right now are the ones in the four pilot councils. I think they are the only ones who have UC in April. The rest of us get it gradually from September.

Sneezingwakesthebaby Sun 03-Feb-13 17:59:18

Oops cross post!

vision123 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:02:17

I have read the link [thanks CRUMPS]but it says nothing of working somewhere for nothing. [workfare]

Mrcrumpswife Sun 03-Feb-13 18:05:29

Sneezing Housing benefit is definitely worked into UC. Its already inc on the calculators.

policyinpractice.co.uk/universal-credit/universal-credit-calculator/

This is the nearest you can get to a calculation. I cant think why they are being so cagey about updating entitledto.com so that everyone can find out just how they will be affected.

The calculator is only an estimate.

Mrcrumpswife Sun 03-Feb-13 18:07:24

Vision thats because its in the small print. I will find you a document if i can but this whole system is constantly changing because they have already been warned it wont work so its a work in progress hence why local MPs havent got a clue about finer details.

vision123 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:11:01

Crumps... thank you.

Are my calculations above correct?

Mrcrumpswife Sun 03-Feb-13 18:11:14

*Changes to the existing regime
3. We will introduce important changes to the existing conditionality and sanctions
regime to strengthen the link between people receiving benefits and meeting
their responsibilities.  
4. This will involve:
a. increasing the level of conditionality that is applied to some recipients;
b.  ensuring recipients fully understand what is expected of them by introducing
a claimant commitment;
c.   improving the sanctions regime so that it more effectively encourages recipients
to meet their responsibilities; and
d.  introducing Mandatory Work Activity so that some recipients will be required
to take part in full-time work activity for four weeks.
5. We will begin to make these changes in the existing benefits system and they
will be carried forward under Universal Credit, with adjustments as necessary.
6. Financial support will remain unconditional for people who we do not expect to be
able to work or prepare for work. None of the changes set out in this White Paper
change that basic principle.

I have copied and pasted the bit about conditionality for you but heres the complete doc on the link. Its the DWP so not newspaper gossip and speculation but may have changed as they dont know what they are doing. Its Letter d you want!

www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/universal-credit-chapter3.pdf

vision123 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:12:22

So if as a couple you work [one full time and one part time] and have a child aged 12 and you earn £369 a week together you will not be asked to work in poundland for free?

£19,188 a year.

vision123 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:17:19

People receiving Universal Credit but earning above the relevant threshold would
not be subject to conditionality. Those in work but earning below the threshold
would be in the conditionality group applicable to their circumstances.

GOOD DOCUMENT BUT WHAT IS THE : RELEVANT THRESHOLD;

Sorry for caps

Mrcrumpswife Sun 03-Feb-13 18:18:55

I Have absolutely no idea tbh. The way i read it is that if you rely on financial support from the state by applying for UC then you sign the agreement and therefore become subject to conditionality and all of the sanctions they can enforce if you dont comply.

The only way around it would be is not to apply but that might be me being very pessimistic about this Government.

If the cut off point is 19,188 and they will leave you alone, it makes you wonder if you are entitled to claim UC if you earn that amountconfused

I'm a cynical old git so ignore me!

vision123 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:21:22

mmmmmm just have to wait and see.......

Mrcrumpswife Sun 03-Feb-13 18:24:05

I think that is their intention, pretty much the same as Privatising Schools and Hospitals, by the time we open our eyes to whats happening its too late and job donesad

vision123 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:25:55

It could be another poll tax though!!!!

Mrcrumpswife Sun 03-Feb-13 18:31:03

Lets hope so but this whole country appears to be totally indifferent to everything. Maybe the choice of heat or food will focus everyone onto the streets. Something has to wake everyone up.

If i hear the phrase languishing on benefits once more i will scream.

calandarbear Sun 03-Feb-13 18:33:00

I have to say, if the threshold was over £19,000 and we earned that I wouldn't bother claiming as we would be comfortable on that amount.
I have done some sums and as a couple we would have to work another 10hrs at NMW to reach that threshold so I hopefully if we are not switched over to UC until after September 2015 when my youngest starts school I will be able to stick to my plan of a 16hr job without claiming at all.

I think people dont really know what to do.

We can vote them out, but UC will already be in place.

What can anyone do?

OptimisticPessimist Sun 03-Feb-13 18:38:35

If all of your children are 12 or over then as a couple you will be expected to earn the equivalent of two full time jobs at NMW, so 70 hours at £6.19. That's £433 a week. If your family earns £433 or more per week you will not be expected to look for extra work.

PearlyWhites Sun 03-Feb-13 18:39:11

Vision, relevant threshold is earning the equivilant of the following at national minumum wage: 35 hours at nmw x 2 per couple(70 hours) or 35 hours add 24 hours if you have child age 1-12 (59 hours) or 35 hours if you have an under 1 That will give you no conditions.

PearlyWhites Sun 03-Feb-13 18:41:00

You also only need to work the 35 hours if you have a dc's age 1 to 4 but you will have conditions ie back to work meetings etc

PearlyWhites Sun 03-Feb-13 18:44:19

For a lone parent it's under 1 zero hours
1 to 4 zero hours but attend back to work meetings
5-12 24 hours
13 over 35 hours

Hours are not actual hours but the equivalent in national minimum wage

Sneezingwakesthebaby Sun 03-Feb-13 18:48:13

Does anyone have any ideas what the back to work meetings between ages 1-4 will entail?

lougle Sun 03-Feb-13 18:50:09

I don't think that's what barcelona was asking, was it? I think you're asking (but I might be wrong!) if a couple will have to be working to get benefits.

The answer to that question (but perhaps not the question you were asking confused) is 'no'.

Universal Credit will be payable to all working age claimants. However, the ceiling for UC 'conditionality' is possibly going to be 35 hours at NMW for both earners if you have no children. If you have children, the age of the children will affect the number of hours one of you has to work, or seek to work. If one of you is disabled, that too will have an effect.

However, the ceiling is an either or ceiling. If one of you can get work that pays enough to lift you above the equivalent value of the 'conditionality', then the other will no longer be subject to it.

So:

2x£6.19x35=£433.30 per week.

But, if one of you earns £12.38 per hour, then you would only need one of you to work, because

1x£12.38x35=£433.30

If one of you were very lucky to be earning a wage of £30 per hour, then you would need only one of you to work 15 hours per week.

lougle Sun 03-Feb-13 18:52:06

x posted with a few of you!

OptimisticPessimist Sun 03-Feb-13 18:52:28

If it's anything like the current ones (I'm a LP on income support, and that's already a requirement) they're every six months, I go to the job centre and discuss my situation with my advisor and what I'm doing to prepare myself for work (so in my case I'm doing an OU degree and intend to learn to drive) and then she lets me know of any big employment opportunities (say a big store opening soon or similar) gives me a list of the back to work incentives and that's about it.

vision123 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:57:46

There will haVE TO BE lot of work in job centres going to keep up with all the extra work!!!

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