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Universal Credit - anyone know when it's coming in?

(24 Posts)
thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 00:44:58

If it's this year my chances of doing a placement year at uni are scuppered.
If we can still get WTC then we'll get a contribution towards childcare which will make it possible.

Does anyone know when the changeover is happening?

I live in the South East.

GobbySadcase Wed 08-Jan-14 00:47:04

Probably not helpful but the government itself doesn't know.

There's been massive delay as the IT side of things went tits up.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 01:05:15

This government are just useless. How long till we can vote them out again?

I've been looking at www.turn2us.org.uk/ Turn2Us and there's a massive difference between WTC & CTC and Universal Credit.

Surely loads of people on low incomes will have to quit their jobs once WTC and CTC are effectively removed as they won't be able to afford to go to work any more?

The difference for me under each system is huge.

caketinrosie Wed 08-Jan-14 01:25:46

It's trialling oop north in Wigan. It's going to be an unmitigated disaster for the most vulnerable people. Give it ten minutes and the government will be forced to change the whole system again costing billions to the public purse. Shocking. sad

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 01:45:59

What was all that nonsense about no one being worse off under UC?

I'll get a 7th of what I got under the old system, under UC.

To imply there's no difference for anyone when making such massive changes is not just spin, that's a barefaced lie.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 08-Jan-14 08:34:31

How do you know you'll get a 7th if you don't know when the changeover's happening and you don't know the criteria yet? There would be hell to pay if any government brought in such a big change without properly testing it or rolled it out knowing there were problems. It's unwise to plan your life choices around benefits which may or may not change. Plan to be as self-sufficient as possible and only take on commitments that you can afford. Benefits will be there as a safety net if things go wrong.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 10:28:08

Cogito I know that because that's what the benefits calculator came up with.

Sorry but I'm not going to take your advice. I think it's ideological nonsense. Help with childcare is what has made my degree possible. If I had not planned to use it, I never would have done the degree and I would still be stuck in a job I hated, and DP (who graduated last summer) would still be working in a career which took him away from us for months at a time.

I am absolutely going to plan my life around benefits, as I am cash-poor at the moment, but I have an opportunity to make myself more employable, (and pay more into the system long-term if you want to look at it like that) but only if help with childcare costs is available.

I just spoke to the council's Universal Credit helpline and they said UC is unlikely to come in for the next year, so I am going to jump at that chance.

But according to you should I give up the chance to do a placement because I've got to claim WTC to do it? The long term effect of that will be that I will probably pay less into the system as I won't be earning as much after uni. I'll also be (probably) less satisfied in my career. Why on earth would I chose to do that?

LIZS Wed 08-Jan-14 10:31:42

It is aimed to be in place 2016-17 but has started in some areas of the country for new claimants. Can you check with your local Job Centre? How old is your dc , from September you might be able to claim 15 hours of funding for a 2 yr old +.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 10:33:49

And don't make me laugh! Rolling it out despite there being problems is exactly what this government are doing!

I didn't quite appreciate until I saw the calculations, but there are a lot of people on low incomes, particularly parents, who are going to have to quit their jobs when UC comes in as they will no longer be able to afford to go to work.

It's going to be disastrous sad

stubbornstains Wed 08-Jan-14 10:37:36

And don't even start on what's going to happen to the self employed under UC. Bang goes everybody's plans of starting up a small business. Alternatively, if you're even considering it, do it NOW, so that you have some chance of being at the point of making enough profit by the time UC comes in.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 10:39:25

I checked with the council, and had a chat with a lovely guy who agreed with me that it's going to be mayhem once it's introduced. He also agreed that it's a terrible move for victims of domestic abuse, as many victims of abuse will simply lose access to money. (Under the old system, people are treated as individuals. Under the new system, one named partner gets all the money). Thankfully not a situation I'm in personally, but I think it's all terribly shortsighted and people are going to suffer, disproportionately the disabled, parents, single parents, children, victims of abuse and working people on low incomes are about to get totally shafted.

But I digress ...

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 10:39:40

LIZS DD will be 2 in 2015. I'd forgotten about the free places for 2yos, thanks, I'll look into that.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 08-Jan-14 10:43:15

Can you get WTC for childcare whilst you are a student? If you both work at least 16hrs per week (paid work, not placement) then you should be ok, but when I was at uni you couldn't get childcare tax credits unless the student and other person worked.
You might be able to get a childcare grant from student finance.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 10:44:15

stubbornstains you're right, I'd forgotten about the self-employed. The UC approach to start-up businesses is so ridiculous as to be laughable if it weren't so bloody destructive.

This government wants us to be so desperate for work that we'll accept terrible conditions, awful pay and zero hours contracts while visiting food banks to survive and living in overcrowded conditions. But it's OK as big business will make a profit. angry

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 10:49:51

Norudeshitrequired I don't normally claim WTC when I'm studying, as I'm not working, simply. I don't know if I'd be eligible for it or not, if I worked enough hours.

In my placement year, I won't be attending uni, not getting the usual grants or loans. Again I don't know whether I can get WTC for my placement, whether it's seen as a job or not? I think perhaps you can.

However, the reason WTC is relevant to me is that DP claims it, he's on a low income at the moment as he's working for a start-up, and has accepted a low salary for now, while the company gets going. DP will be able to claim childcare costs under WTC.

I can't get a childcare grant from SFE for the placement year AFAIK.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 10:51:34

Sorry I should clarify, when I'm talking about claiming WTC, I mean us as a family not me personally.

Michaela0216 Wed 08-Jan-14 11:08:20

It will affect us alot not looking forward to it, slightly confused though as i put in my friends details as she wanted to see how it would affect her she has 5 children, partner works part time and her rent is alot more than ours so we thought she would lose quite abit but surprisingly she gets more under the new scheme confused

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 11:17:57

I just spoke to Student Support at my uni, and they confirmed that I'm not entitled to the Childcare Grant on placement year, but that my paid placement is counted as employment and I can claim WTC & CTC for myself as well as DP.

Debs75 Wed 08-Jan-14 11:38:43

I have checked on other sites and we won't be too badly affected by the cap as we have a disabled child.
The turn2us site though is crap, it told me I wasn't entitled to benefit I am on, even after I put in that we claim it. Then it told me my income was less than half of what it is. for people worrying about losing their jobs and having to go on benefits for a while it isn't very clear and helpful

Norudeshitrequired Wed 08-Jan-14 12:03:12

Yes if your placement is paid then it will count as work, unpaid placements don't count for childcare tax credits as they count as study and not work. If you are declaring your placement income as salary (student grants and loans don't count) then you are entitled to help with childcare.
Of course you would claim as a family and not a single person (don't think that's legal anyway) but if the placement was unpaid then you wouldn't get childcare help (due to not being employed for at least 16 hours per week). Student finances and tax credits are so complicated.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 12:22:26

Thanks Norudeshitrequired . It doesn't help that the staff at SFE don't understand the system either, but they seem to think it's OK to just make stuff up and tell it to you as fact.

And it's not just that I've been unlucky, I mentioned to my student support dept on the phone earlier that SFE have told me loads of lies over the years about how much I would get and when, and she said that was fairly typical.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 12:24:33

Debs75 that's worrying! Where are we meant to go to for advice on benefits then?

Last time I signed on briefly, I asked the job centre what benefits we were entitled to and simplythey couldn't tell me, they just said to apply and see what happened. But as I wanted to know if we should go for WTC or Income Support that wasn't much help! (Turned out it was WTC, got that info from mumsnet!)

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 12:25:51

Michaela0216 did you see the post from Debs75 about turn2us being unreliable? I'd be wary if I were your friend, I'd be surprised if many people with kids will be better off.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Wed 08-Jan-14 12:28:25

cogito I'm still annoyed about your post. I was thinking about it while washing up!

If you see WTC as a benefit that I shouldn't rely on to study, what about the help I got with childcare last year, the Childcare Grant. Should I not have relied on that? If not, what's the difference? They both come from the public purse.

If so, then you're basically saying only rich people should go to uni, is that it?

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