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Universal credit - I have a few questions if anyone can help?

(12 Posts)
Monroe Sat 28-May-16 08:35:56

I know universal credit is going to be replacing tax credits. At the moment I'm not entitled to anything but I'm starting a midwifery degree in September and will be entitled to tax credits then.

Will universal credit replace tax credits completely? Does anyone know when it will be rolled out? (I'm in the north west) And most importantly will I still be eligible if I'm not working? I read somewhere that if you are a couple you would both need to be working to claim. I'm married with 2 DC's

When I was working out if I would be able to do my training I had factored in the tax credits in our finances. I'm worried now I won't be able to claim and it may put my place at risk.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Sat 28-May-16 08:45:28

Hi OP:
I work in Welfare Rights. Off the top of my head (someone please correct if im wrong)-
1. Universal Credit is currently available in a lot of places but only to new claimants who are unemployed and no kids. You will still be able to claim tax credits.
2. Its not true that both partners need to be working. There is some "conditionality" which means that some claimants will be expected to show they are moving towards a situation where the family as a whole earns equivilent to 2 full time wages at minimum wage. This is supposedly to stop people "coasting" on part time hours and relying too heavily on benefits (its evil but thats another thread!)
I dont think it applies where one partner is a student in anycase.

Please dont give up your studies because of this.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Sat 28-May-16 08:51:25

Ok, just checked and there are no "work related requirements" for full time students under Universal Credit.
You are fine to do that degree.

OddBoots Sat 28-May-16 08:57:45

The rollout timetable is here - it will depend which jobcentre you would claim from. If you aren't sure you can check here

I am not clear on exactly the rules in your situation but the CAB says

"You can’t get Universal Credit if any of the following apply:

...

you’re in education or on a training course of any kind"

They also suggest: "call the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723 (Textphone: 0345 600 0743). Calls can cost 9p a minute from a landline, or between 8p and 40p a minute from a mobile (your phone supplier can tell you how much you’ll pay). You can call and ask them to call you back"

OddBoots Sat 28-May-16 08:59:17

It sounds like unlimiteddilutingjuice knows more than me (sorry for cross posting) so ignore me.

It all seems very confusing though.

Monroe Sat 28-May-16 09:07:07

Yes, very confusing!

OddBoots, I think that it what I saw which started the panic but it seems to be contradicted by what unlimited has found

Thank you both. I will definitely be starting the degree, and crossing everything the rug doesn't get pulled out from under me half way through and we can manage for the next 3 years

Monroe Sat 28-May-16 09:11:43

That link also says you can't apply if you're a home owner confused

Why are these things never straight forward!

Babyroobs Sat 28-May-16 12:04:25

I think savings and assets will be taken into account when applying for UC ( not sure whether housing is counted). Currently you could have your mortgage paid off and £10k in the bank and you could still get tax credits ( although you would need to declare interest), wheras with UC I think you won't get it if you have savings above a certain limit.. I think this is definately a step in the right direction !

Monroe Sat 28-May-16 18:29:31

We have a mortgage, no savings. If we did I'd bring more than happy to use them rather than make any claim while I'm training.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens and hope for the best in the meantime

unlimiteddilutingjuice Sun 29-May-16 09:58:12

A house you currently live in is not counted as Capital.
Please don't worry Monroe- you are unlikley to be moved on to Universal Credit during your course. And even if your were- it would not be a disaster.
Good luck with your studies smile

Monroe Sun 29-May-16 12:44:56

Thank you unlimited I'm determined to do it regardless, just don't want to struggle massively. I keep telling myself it's only 3 years, we'll cope either way. Thanks again

AndNowItsSeven Sun 29-May-16 19:58:47

Not applying as s home owner means you have apply for tax credits. You want not to be able to claim UC.

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