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EU national, JSA to UC migration

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Hi everybody,

 

apologies if you've seen my question on some other forum, but I did not get any replies and I'm getting a bit anxious about this issue.

 

Quick recap:

 

- EU national, in UK for 15 years, but with an absence of more than 6 months (see below)

- Never claimed any benefits until late 2013, till I lost my job, then left the UK for 8 months and came back in 2014.

- Claimed JSA in 2015 (six months after coming back) but it was initially refused on the ground the 8 months absence would not entitle to any benefits.

- Appealed and won, but was told I could only claim for 3 months

- Appealed again, offering to show documentation of my previous jobs and NI contributions; won the appeal (they didn't even bother asking me for proof of my documentation) and was granted JSA with no restrictions. I even have a letter from the Benefit Centre stating that they accept I am a permanent resident.

- Since then I've been in and out of JSA and this is basically the same claim, which has been extended by multiple rapid reclaims

- My area has now gone full digital. I'm still on JSA, but I understand any change in circumstances will trigger a migration to UC.

 

My questions:

- Can I voluntarily ask to be migrated to UC? My work coach says that I would have to quit JSA first and then make a new fresh claim for UC. Is this true?

- In any case, if I'm "naturally migrated" to UC, would I have to go through a new procedure of showing my entitlements to benefits or would my file be just moved on from JSA to UC?

I'm worried that, if I move to UC, the DWP will give me hard time, because the regulations are much stricter for UC than for JSA.

 

In 2015 it took me 10 months of appeals to get unrestricted JSA. Would the letter from the Benefit Centre (2015) be enough to prove my entitlements?

 

I don't really want to stay on the dole for the rest of my life but I just would like to know where I stand.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

Your query is quite compicated but we have a few people here who might know the answer. Please bear with us until they're able to get here. :)

 

Best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Why would you change to UC voluntarily when there was no change of circumstances ?

 

Under UC if you change to this yourself you would need to attend the job centre every week for the first 13 weeks and after that every 2 weeks. After that it would be easier, if you are in and out of jobs, because they were just temporary jobs.

 

And changing to UC yourself either with or without a change of circumstances, is likely to require submission of documents ID/residency to the Job Centre staff dealing with UC and referral to a Decision Maker in a UC service centre. I suspect that they might run through the same process for a new claim, without looking at the documents that proved your JSA claim rights. You would of course tell UC of your JSA claim, but whether it would then stop full checks on identity/residency being required, I am not sure.

 

Once your UC claim was set up, you then have to attend a commitments meeting as part of a UC claim.

 

You might also be waiting awhile until you received any benefit award payment, because UC is paid monthly and not every 2 weeks.

 

Suggest you might want to wait until change of circumstances or normal migration to UC.


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Why would you change to UC voluntarily when there was no change of circumstances ?

Good question. It is because I want to avoid the hassle of a fresh new UC claim at one point in the future.

 

And changing to UC yourself either with or without a change of circumstances, is likely to require submission of documents ID/residency to the Job Centre staff dealing with UC and referral to a Decision Maker in a UC service centre. I suspect that they might run through the same process for a new claim, without looking at the documents that proved your JSA claim rights. You would of course tell UC of your JSA claim, but whether it would then stop full checks on identity/residency being required, I am not sure.

This is the part that I'd like to know more about. The people at the Jobcentre seem to know less than me.

 

Are you aware / in receipt of Housing Benefit?

Yes, I'm getting Housing Benefit right now. I had to go through the same procedure with HB. I was told this is the last time I'd get HB. Next claim would have to be a UC claim.

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Yes, I'm getting Housing Benefit right now. I had to go through the same procedure with HB. I was told this is the last time I'd get HB. Next claim would have to be a UC claim.

 

I asked because your HB claim could bounce you over to UC independently of what is going on with your JSA. That could well be the trigger that sends you across to UC.

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I asked because your HB claim could bounce you over to UC independently of what is going on with your JSA. That could well be the trigger that sends you across to UC.

 

Well, assuming there will be a trigger that sends me to UC, what would possibly happen? Will my JSA be forcibly closed and a UC claim automatically open?

 

This is what I need to understand.

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Well, assuming there will be a trigger that sends me to UC, what would possibly happen? Will my JSA be forcibly closed and a UC claim automatically open?

 

This is what I need to understand.

 

As far as I know, if circumstances mean a change to UC, you are given a time period to sort out a UC claim. You then complete the UC application online covering everything e.g JSA, Housing. You then see someone at your Job Centre to go through all paperwork to support your UC claim and once your UC claim is up and runnung your current seperate JSA and your Housing Benefit through your local council is closed.

 

It could be straightforward, if it is processed by someone correctly, but given your previous experience you might not be confident in it being hassle free. Suggest you wait until you are told you must transfer to UC and follow the process you are advised of.


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There are complaints about UC and I will outline a few of them in case you can relate to any of them.

 

1) Delays in receiving first payment.

 

If your first payment took 2 months to arrive, would you be able to cope?

P.S. Claimants can ask for an advance

 

2) Being 'worse off' on Universal Credit

 

There are Tax Credits claimants who are staying on that benefit for as long as they can, because under UC, they will receive less money.

 

3) Computer literacy

 

For those who do not have an e-mail address / internet connection, they will likely struggle with UC

 

There may be other reasons why you could fear migrating to UC but as I see it at the moment, it sounds like you are afraid of being afraid.

 

As advised, I would just wait it out.

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