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Self Employed UC - Does this sound right to you?


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My situation is I ran a successful business for many years, we had our second child (now 2) and time became very limited as our first child (now 6) is disabled and needs a lot of care so ended-up working part-time around 20 hrs per week.

 

We needed to rent a house and my earnings from SE were generally about £1,000 a month but we found-out we may be entitled to UC so started to receive this around a year ago (during Covid restrictions).

 

More recently the Job Centre has started to try and pressure me into earning more money - I'm called in to visit them most weeks now. 

 

Understand why they are doing this and don't want to sound ungrateful, but with time as limited as it is, this is not helping me - in fact I feel I could be relapsing into depression.  

 

They have been very vague when I've asked what my minimum income floor is or what I should be earning and no one at the Job Centre has been able to give me a definitive answer - could any of you 'shine a light' on this for me?

 

At the last meeting they suggested I should consider working for a company but can't see how this would fit with domestic life  - I also plan on growing the business again in the future when I have more time - should I really throw away something that I've worked on for 15 years just like that?

 

It might be that I was 'late to the party' sorting everything out - working on an EHCP for our eldest and we have just received DLA for them which means my partner can classed as a Carer -   would it be best for me to be primary carer for our youngest now?

 

What are your thoughts - any advice appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

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Have you attended Gateway intervention  appointment to verify your self employment ? Appointment is for 60 minutes.

 

On your claim, if your partner is noted as primary carer of the children, then you would have a minimum income floor (MIF) of 35 hours per week at National Minimum wage which would work out to about £1230 net per month.  As you don't know what the MIF is and the Job Centre cannot tell you, this suggests that there is no MIF on your claim.  The MIF  was removed during the Covid period and gradually from 31/7/21 Job Centres are reviewing the self-employment again at Gateway intervention appointments, where they will look at applying the MIF.  If they are commenting about your self employment earnings, it is because your net earnings are quite low and you are in an intensive work search regime requiring regular appointments.

 

If you register as primary carer on your claim for your Children including eldest with DLA and that you are caring 35 hours per week it would put you in no work related requirements, which means you are not gainfully self employed with no MIF. Any self employed earnings are then just taken into account in UC award calculations.  And you would no longer have Job Centre appointments.

 

If your partner is fit to work, they would then be the one having job centre appointments, If employed earnings are below a certain threshold level. More information about your partner and their situation  please

 

If you are asking questions online, this suggests poor service from the Job Centre, who should be providing a clear explanation so you understand.  So phone 0800 328 5644 and ask to book an appointment long enough to clarify all information.

 

 

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Hi Uncle - Thanks for your comments

 

My partner is full-time at home (no income) which I think makes them eligible for Carer's Allowance (I read you can't earn more than £138 per week) - because they are also the primary carer for our youngest (2 years old) they have only occasional visits to the Job Centre.

 

If she becomes a full-time Carer for our eldest then should I consider becoming primary carer for our youngest? 

 

I mentioned the 20 hrs currently worked when applying for UC, so don't know how many hours they are basing their calculations on - will take your advice and ask for confirmation of this.

 

I have not had the gateway interview yet to establish 'gainful employment' - they said this would likely be August time but they've moved goal posts in the past so we will see.

 

The whole claim just doesn't seem set-up right at the moment - I don't think the system has recognised our eldest and as far as it is concerned they would be in education by now even though we homeschool.

 

The interviews focus on growing the business/increasing fee levels and generating leads etc but I get lots of enquiries and am fully booked-up -  I keep telling them the only obstacle to this is my time.

 

   

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Do you receive Disabled Child Element on UC claim for the eldest with DLA ?

 

What is the basis of the DLA claim ? Care rate level ?

 

Who receives the Child benefit ?

 

If the Disabled Child Element is missing on UC claim, then report change under Children and people who live with you with the effective date of change for when DLA claim was awarded.

 

In theory yes under Children section could say you are primary carer and your partner can report specific caring activity for eldest child with disability. And they could look into claiming Carers Allowance.

 

Sounds like you need proper benefits advice and therefore should really see someone from Citizens Advice.  It is not just about UC, but other benefits including any help from local Council due to having a Child with DLA award.

 

 

 

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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Hi Uncle - Thanks again

 

When we claimed I remember stating we were looking after a disabled child but looking at the statement I'm pretty sure we don't receive Disabled Child Element (I've told JC we have started to recieve DLA)

 

Will research this as I have not heard of it before - is it an attempt to  'streamline' things and replace the DLA payment - could you explain why you advocate making this change so I can understand better?

 

They have been awarded the highest rate of care on the DLA - partner 'recieves' child benefit although I think due to benefit cap they don't actually get this...

 

Agree, all seems a bit of minefield to me!  will visit CA - there is also a local disabled charity who has a welfare officer so will try and get an appointment with them.

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You need to report change on your claim under Children and people who live with you to record your children, answering question for eldest that they receive DLA. Report change date is when DLA was awarded. And send a journal note services issues advising that you told UC/Job Centre when your eldest was awarded DLA asking for disabled child element to be paid from date the DLA was awarded, if this was within the UC claim period.

 

WWW.UNDERSTANDINGUNIVERSALCREDIT.GOV.UK

Find out how Universal Credit can help towards the cost of looking after children, and how it pays back up to 85% of childcare costs

 

Having a disabled child on your claim will also exempt you from benefit cap.

 

WWW.GOV.UK

There is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to under State Pension age can get - benefits affected, benefit...

 

Your UC claim needs to be corrected ASAP as you could well be owed a reasonable sum of benefit you have missed out on.

 

Also read section 7 of the following link

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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