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Universal Credit

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Thursday 7 April 2016 1.49pm
Any one else here had there benefit changed to UC and are plunged even deeper into poverty. As self- employed was told I was entitled to 0 benefit at all even on months income is 0. I had to agree to not be self employed for the purpose of UC ( though the work I do is and I am according to HMRC) This is because I have bee self employed for years - if I was newly self-employed then I would be entitled to some benefit.
To my horror I honestly declared some money I had in ( less than 200) for work I did sometime ago when NOT on any benefits and they have now deducted 65 pence per 1 of my benefit now because of it. Even though I am living per month at the moment at least 200 less than a minimum wage and what the law says I need to live on. At the end of the tax year I will also be taxed in my full earnings not on the 35 pence per 1.00 I am left with.

It means to me unless I earn a significant amount where I do not need or am entitled to benefit(hopefully) - if I do work even if do not meet what the law says I need to live on-I will be severely penalised through UC financially .

They also class things like travel expenses as income but will not take into account travel expenses on work searches/interviews - for example mine were more than 150 a month last month and more the month before ( going out of London etc) All mounting debt for me.

It means if anyone loses there job and goes onto UC - any money owed to them that they receive after they are on UC - will be liable to them taking 65p per 1.00.

Apart from that - different UC centre staff have made so many errors on my account - to the point of being moronic -a manager did at last sort it out for me yesterday after two months!!!! They also deduct monthly a small loan UC gives you while thy sort I out (in my case 300 for to live on for the two months it has taken - this is for everything including rent) Which means what I have to live on even less and far less than JSA was.

Even the job centre agree this is ridiculous but they can't do anything.

What ever your political party is-
How can this work? All it is going to do is drive honest people trying to work into deeper poverty, debt, crime and worst.
Thursday 7 April 2016 2.38pm
Oh poor man.
Thursday 7 April 2016 3.54pm
well clearly not what they would like us all to believe in the papers/media about people who for no fault of their own are out of work - yet the millionaires all put their money in offshore accounts and pay sod all tax while the poor get clobbered, Jeremy is not looking so bad afterall
Friday 8 April 2016 8.07am
The new Universal Credit (UC) is, in my opinion, regressive. I truly believe it's setting people/families up to fail!

The premise behind this new system, which has so far run over budget more than once, is to allow greater independence, by paying all entitled benefits in one lump sum, on a monthly basis. This supposedly will help families on benefits budget and become more responsible.

How have they not considered the scenario of a family choosing between feeding and clothing their family over paying rent/utilities. It's short sighted, and patronising of those in their ivory Westminster towers to assume people need budgeting skills.

What people need is greater personalised support, better living conditions, less extortionate day to day living costs
and proper job opportunities.

UC is working against those that claim benefits rather than asisting to come off benefits.
Friday 8 April 2016 10.16am
Thanks for you comments and support. I agree - in my case and many others-is people who were/are working and only claimed benefit between engagements ( like many freelancers on short jobs) for help usually with HB and CT reductions - this when at times my monthly income was 0. If I was working or owed money I signed off JSA/HB

So over the last two years I think the most I signed on was for two months in one go. In that operating honestly - I was mostly working ( and paying tax end of tax year) and costing the government/UK a lot less than someone who was not working at all. In fact I would have signed on a lot less that if like every other country in the EU companies were enforced to pay freelancers within 30 days and not like happens so often 2-3 months after an engagement you are still chasing up invoices.

UC says my working pattern is not acceptable- it does not fit into their system. They want me NOT to be self employed and be sitting on UC - where they give a 'full time ' reduced benefit but then take 65 pence a from anything I earn as I have to declare ( which will be self employed) So in my case - it is like the most dodgy money lender saying we will just about cover your rent if you jump through all our hoops - and we will take a big chunk of anything you earn, plus tax you, plus class any expenses paid as income ( so taking the 65p a ) plus not take in my expenses to account for travel to job interviews etc.

What I don't understand - is how they can deduct money from you when working and getting a little bit of benefit when the combination of both is massively less than what the law says is legal to live on per month? If it was over that- then obviously I would not claim benefit?

This is no worst than door step lenders - except you see them in the flesh- where as even jobcentre staff cannot talk to anyone not change anything/override anything -all goes into a internet online journal/form - that UC HQ mostly do not respond to.

Friday 8 April 2016 7.37pm
Wish there a like button on here!
Tuesday 10 May 2016 11.31am
Further Universal Credit related agro.

I have spent two days of emails and phone call to sort out a matter caused re UC and Dental treatment. As earlier in thread -JSA changed to UC in SE1 in early Feb this year. In late Feb - I attended a routine appointment at Borough Dental Surgery ( who I like and are very good) as usual they asked me to sign forms re being on JSA - on telling them it had changed to UC - I was told they had not yet received any UC forms - so advised me to sign the JSA form and write UC by the side of it-which I did in good faith.

On Friday I received a letter from NHS Service authority accusing me of fraud - sending me an invoice for the charges and inflated penalties to come to 332. To be paid by 4th May ( day before it arrived) This is because I signed the JSA form and they said I am not on JSA- true because it changed to UC! I rang the Dentist and they said they still had not received UC forms and I have to say in the first instance were reluctant to help - however when I said I was being accused of fraud so I may have to go to the police became a bit more receptive. Insaying that- they still have not responded to my further email re the below!
I emailed the NHS service authority. On Monday 9th yesterday - I got from NHSA an intention of court proceeding to County Court with further charges, letter. I rang NHSA head office and was very lucky to speak to a kind lady - who took ownership of the issue and to cut a even longer story short closed down the case and the issue. She admitted that NHSA/UC and not yet provided Dentists with the change of forms - this is ridiculous as UC has been rolling out for a while nationwide now. That means if you fill in the current benefit form Dentists give you - you can be charged plus penalties, accused of fraud- plus potentially very quickly end up in court.
As you can imagine this has been very stressful.
I have gone on to find out that if you earn over 435 a month and still entitled to some UC - but like me still living on FAR below what the law says in min wage you need to live on- have all help with Dental Charges stopped. The NHS managed to get with penalties for a routine Dental check up to nearly 400. Do the maths - The NHS are fully aware of this systemic admin error re the forms as are UC but are still intending to prosecute against it -unless like me you are very tenacious in fighting your corner!
I had/have work interviews Friday, yesterday and today - yet instead of being able to focus on that- have been going out of my mind with this issue.

If anyone else has any issues with this please private message me and I will give you the NHS Head Office Contact.
Tuesday 10 May 2016 12.49pm
Have any of you on UC ever thought about getting a job and working ??
Tuesday 10 May 2016 12.58pm
Thank for that Chelsea - if you read my original thread you can see I am working but not earning enough to make minimum wage floor I have had 5 interviews in the last 10 days and apply for 5-10 roles per day.
I can only end you love as leave again for another interview. An hours walk there an back because I cannot afford the tube.
Tuesday 10 May 2016 12.58pm
Sorry forgot to add that above is what your average Tory MP would say to you
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