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Universal Credit would like to invite you to write an article for the site. If you have strong opinions on the universal credit or feel that there is a component of the UC that needs to be explored further, please feel free to submit any articles to us at mail@universalcredit.co.uk . Each and every article will considered by us for publication. Please note that once submitted, articles will become the property of universalcredit.co.uk although full credit will be given to authors when published.

We look forward to receiving your articles on the  universal credit, many thanks from the universal credit team.

We want to hear your real stories about how the Universal Credit, Benefit Cap or Bedroom Tax has affected you and your family.

Please bookmark us at www.WelfareReform.co.uk or www.UniversalCredit.co.uk


  1. My continually developing paper on welfare reform with a lot of detailed modelling can be downloaded from http://blog.cix.co.uk/gmorgan

    • Excellent blog Gareth, great information.

    • jenny says:

      i will not be able to claim any universal credits im a single mm with 2 children under 10 as the child element is stopped as i part own a house in addition to the one i live in – this was a rental property and brings in 25 a month this ‘house’is calssifeid as capital under the new rules , i dont work so the kids will be going into care – my current property will be reposessed to pay my current commmunity charge – my duaghter is suicidal we are all upset

    • Andrew says:

      I am a registered 100% disabled solider living off my war disability pension. My wife works full time and we have three children. When I left the army I had a lump sum which we split and used as a lump sum on the house and the rest helps with the mortgage payments. Because of this lumps sum (which is over 16000 but isn’t a lot more) will we lose out on the child tax credit side of the universal credit now when it changes over and would I get any part of the disability element or are we going to be worse off just like everybody else

  2. Congratulations on your new site.

    Universal credit is set to be one of the most controversial benefits the UK has known, it is our opinion that the system is long due an overhaul and on paper universal credit has the potential to make a difference to many people. Sadly we know from experience that “on paper” and in practice are two different things; ESA as an example.

    If it encourages people to seek employment, removes barriers from starting employment and reduces fraud then this can only be a good thing for the individual and the country.

    We wish you every success and hope that this site becomes a useful resource.



    • Many thanks Aiden for your kind words and input.


      • Patricia says:

        What about the people who have always worked, are on a low income have had to claim tax credits to top up their income and have strived hard to crawl up the ladder by saving for their future e.g. for a deposit on a house. When tax credits are scrapped and universal credit take over people in this category will suffer because what they have strived for will be stripped from them little by little if they have managed to save over £6000 and they will get nothing if they have over £16000. This is a system that ensures only the wealthy will be able to own property and be able to afford to educate their children and ensure their future. This is a slap in the face for thousands of families.

  3. Bill Irvine says:


    Congrats on the website.

    I’m an ex Head of Benefits, Revenues & Advice Services at one of the UK’s largest councils and an ex Advisor to the HB Standing Committee, Westminster. Having retired from Local Government in 2001, I spent some time in the private sector but around two years ago I was invited to attend, as an observer, a number of HB First-tier tribunal hearings. I was so disappointed by what I observed I decided to set up a company offering assistance to Housing Associations and Private Landlords, including representation at First and Upper-tier tribunals. My recent experience led me to produce two recent articles (see below) relating to Welfare Reforms which, in many ways, support the views expressed by Messrs Frost and Seddon.
    I’ve also read Gareth’s recent updated analysis which is similarly very helpful and should aid others understanding of how UC is likely to impact.

    I hope others, like me, will become aware of your helpful site and provide deserved support.



    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks for the kind words. Excellent articles, I’m sure they’ll be helpful to our readers.
      Any articles you would like to share with us would be much appreciated.

      Kind regards

  4. karen clarke says:

    The sentiments in the Secretary of State summary relatively speaking are accurate I feel. The claimants world financially is impoverished by benefit dependancy. But not only that the claimant can be psychologically and socially inpoverished by non-integration with others and lack of stimulation and fruitful activity. Having said that it can be hard even if one can manage it to do/find a job which pays enough to cover all costs of living. Some of the arguement seems to revolve around how universal credit will be delivered i.e using information technology. I agree with the caution and isnot it insensitive to the need of person to person contact that will stimulate the economy and create jobs and which most of us prefer. Also, many find the internet mentally and physically inaccessible literally. More imaginative investments in peoples talents and abilities are needed. In the 1990s I was an aspiring fashion model. handed benefit form on mental health ward even before that I had a fledgling career-no encouragement-lost to illness and predicament. on benefits since for 20 yrs! So much talent is wasted and there’s so much talent out there-about time this cause was taken up-in the right way. hand outs and help outs please-invest!!!

  5. This is an odious idea, not least because it is fundamentally and profoundly insincere – and expressly designed to hound people over the edge who are already living on the brink and clinging to survival for themselves and their families; while also straining every muscle, nerve and sinew in their efforts to create a future on the basis of practically nothing. And all because this Government will not admit that it would prefer to see the poor ( working or otherwise) lined up and shot as (supposedly) expendable lives. Universal Credit is nothing more than an attempt to eliminate the poorest and most vulnerable by the back door. As if such people do not already have enough fear and uncertainty to deal with…!

    • I agree 100% & this must be world war three we are entering I can only see a horrid end. I agree it’s good to work if the job provides enough for all living expenses but what sense is it to be working for very little & be worse off! an end to life more like,also the rules have changed yet again as I found out at the job focused interview! it was at first you have to return to work when your child reaches five ok! and now we are being forced back into work even if we have children under five even babies as young as nine months old if not younger, we are now expected to leave our children with strangers even if they are qualified childminders who our children don’t know, if we have no family to help look after our children, & go to work! How is this helping anyone in the family? it doesn’t!, It’s the road to Hell that’s all this is heading too! children need their parents & now this is no longer taken into consideration, who ever made these rules we must abide by would rather us put our children’s lives in danger all for the sake of money! it’s evil & needs eliminating, we all have a right to live!

  6. s marsh says:

    As i understand people with over £16000 in savings will no longer be able to claim working tax credits or the new universal credits which will include myself, they are now penalizing people for working and saving, what is the point in working and trying to save for the future only to be told you now have £16000 and are no longer entitled to working tax credits? without working tax credits we will only have £130 a week to live on, we will then be forced to use the savings up which we have saved for the future, having then spent that to live on will then be able to claim but not save, so what do the future hold for us? not much and there are thousands of people like us, this looks like a scheme to raid our bank accounts and send thousands of people into poverty or further into poverty what ever the case may be, it looks like there is no reward for the low earners who want to save for the future indeed it will be impossble to save even if you wanted to, also the people affected will no longer be able to have free prescripions and dentistry making life even harder.

    • Tony says:

      Yes s marsh I am in this position also and what a stupid idea to “Means Test” Universal Credit. If anyone is listening why not count the Net Interest as Taxable Income instead ? This would still allow savings without it having to be used as “Income”.

    • Alanna Cohen says:

      I have asked the £16,000 question (response from Lord Freud ) and have been assured that transitional protection will apply to people already in receipt of tax credits as long as there is no ‘significant change in circumstances’ I don’t know how long this transitional protection will last for but I’m guessing it means that it would be a bad idea to make more babies or split up with/ acquire a new partner or move to another rented property as these would presumably constitute significant change. The rationale behind this is that people should be expected to use their own money if they have it and in response to the ‘but I’ve been trying to save for a house’ argument, the reply is that there can be no evidence that savings are earmarked for a home purchase and in any case in the current climate of lending, a household on universal credit is highly unlikely to be able to obtain a mortgage.
      I disagree with this. We have private pension accounts that are not classed as savings or capital for means tested benefits, I don’t think it is beyond the realms of possibility for the banks to step in here and create designated ‘saving for a home’ accounts that can only be accessed for property purchase. As far as the difficulty in getting a mortgage goes, I am confident that I could get a mortgage on a 3 bed property in my area (although not exactly at the top end of the market) if I had a 20% deposit. This would mean about £26k though, not £16k. This would be a mortgage of 3.5x household income (inclusive of Child Tax Credit) which is currently out at the edges of the mortgage market but definitely not unobtainable.
      If we can’t do designated savings accounts, then we should set the limit to e.g. 20% of the amount needed to buy an average for area property of the requisite size (using the same rules as HB room allocation) plus one bedroom (if I’m actually purchasing I don’t think my children should be forced to share because they are under 10 as I wouldn’t want to move again within that timespace). This is probably an unnecessarily complicated equation for a computer system that is not yet tried and tested, so the designated bank accounts would be a safer bet.

      • Stephie says:

        Hi, I agree with you, UC is encouraging people not to work hard, not to save. If you spend all your money, the benefits will keep coming. Use your saving to buy a new car, if you have a lot of saving, buy an expensive one. Or buy a lot of gold, buy anything valuable. Most people will worry more than ever if trying to buy a house. If their income becomes lower, under UC, they will not be qualified for child tax credit or working tax credit anymore. They may struggle or not be able to keep up with the payments and living costs. However, people work at low pay jobs or no job and no chance of buying a house, can live comfortably without stress, just claim all the entitled benefits. When they have money, they spend, when they have no money, they claim.

    • Debbie says:

      OMG, so now other taxpayers should support you becasue you don’t want to use your own money to live off?! What a cheek. No wonder Britain is going downhill fast financially! I would like to see a situation where benefits don’t kick in until your own capital is down to £1,000 or £2,000.

      • sally says:

        I agree absolutely! The person states they have £130 a week to live off, how have you managed to save so much? If you can save this much why do you need benefits? Its meant to be a safety net for the poorest not an entitlement so you can hoarde money for future luxuries.

      • Jas says:

        Scenario: Lady has a good income for 10 years and saves £40k, paying her share of tax in that time. She then is unable to continue in that job but can’t receive UTC because of her savings. She spends the next 4 years living off them and has none left.
        Her friend had no savings and was claiming UTC for 4 years until she landed a job with a good income. After a further 10 years she has saved £40k.
        Today, the first lady has £6k left. The second has £40k, yet they have both had the same fortunes and misfortunes – just in a different order. They have both been taxpayers but only one of them received benefits – and you think the other would have a ‘cheek’ to complain?!

  7. kirsty says:

    Having watched the televised news today I began to panic. I then decided to look into what the new iniversal credit would mean for me. I am a lone parent and in the eyes of others I am nothing more than a scrounger, which to be honest makes me angry afterall there would not be any lone parents if fathers took on their responsibility’s but that is another issue ( for this government it’s easier to blame the mothers).
    I have worked and had a good career, owned my own home and done all of the other respectable things that society expects. I had my son when I was 28( so no sorry I don’t fall into the gymslip mum category either) and took on the full responsibility of caring for him alone after his father decided it wasn’t the right time for children. I continued to work, sold my home and moved nearer to my family. At the age of 2 my son was constantly ill, my wages were docked for the time off that I had to take care of him and I still had to pay the nursery fee’s in full. It got to the stage where I was going to be evicted from my home because I could not keep my head above water. I was forced into giving up work just to keep a roof over our heads. After several hospital admissions my son’s consultant told me I should have been getting disability benefit for my son all along. At the age of 5 I was awarded the middle rate of care which was a god send. It covered all of the extra heating and equipment that I needed for him.
    I also receive carers allowance and still have to attend interviews at the jobcentre every 3 months which even the advisor thinks is ridiculous as I am a full time carer for my son. If I do not attend my income support is reduced which is already reduced because I am a carer????.
    Today to my horror I have discovered that I am to lose more than £500.00 per month. The disability element has been cut in half for a child. The money that I am to receive will not even cover the rent on my home which I had to move into because of my son’s disability, I have no choice in where we live.
    We do not live the high life, I have one night off a year and that is not an exageration, I spend my time trying to keep my son out of hospital which is actually saving the country thousands of pounds. I am not a scrounger just a victim of circumstance I would far rather have a child that is fit and healthy than take a penny of tax payers money. How can these changes to the benefit system be justified. Mr Cameron had a disabled child he more than anyone should understand the daily difficulties that we endure . I will always remember him on PMQ’S saying how difficult he found it filling in the forms for the DLA. DLA for him was money to pay for the nannies DLA for normal people is a lifeline. If the government is so hell bent on penalising disabled children why don’t they means test it. Millionaires receiving benefits is wrong. This government should hang it’s head in shame.

    • Will H says:

      Slightly off topic but lone parents are not just women! mothers ALSO need to take responsibility..your statement was prejudice .. I manage to work AND take care of my two boys. Universal Credit will straighten out finances and get the country out of this rut

  8. Bobby says:

    Kirsty unfortunately you are a victim of circumstance, what the government do not realise is, that they are dealing with human beings and peoples lives, it is a sad indictment for the 21rst century that the people who work hard for their lot are being penalised, I hope the Government are going to put as much effort into penalising MP’s who massage their expenses..Also when it comes around to voting Labour don’t bother, they endorse this Unfair system.


  9. Liz Dawson says:

    Would you like a review copy of the new CPAG guide ‘Universal Credit: what you need to know’ for this website? Maybe one of the regular contributors would like to review it? More info here http://www.onlineservices.cpag.org.uk/shop/UC

  10. amanda says:

    Being a landlord and working in the DHSS tennats i am afraid that i shall now be starting to evict my most vulnerable tenants as they will not be able to manged there accounts and shall become heavily in arrears, I am so upset as this new system shall mean we will have more homeless than ever , i simply can not take the risk of housing them , some of my tenants have bullying partners, drug & drink problems and the temptation will be to great, to spend the rent and council tax monies, this needs rethinking quick !!!!!!

  11. Deven says:

    Hi Dave,

    We spoke when you launched the site.

    I thought that a link to this Universal Credit Calculator might be helpful to your readers.


    The site also includes comment pieces and updates as information about Universal Credit is released – for example information on the local government pilots for UC announced by the LGA.


  12. Mo says:

    I agree with Amanda. I am a very good landlord and look after my tenants, but some tenants just do not have the skills to be able to manage their money and it is not because they would spend their money on say drink/drugs etc. It is because they are of a low IQ and just do not know how to manage. This vulnerable group will end up homeless. I think the paying of rent should go from the government direct to the landlord for unemployed people.

    • Stuart says:

      Unfortunately ,when the tenant receives this large amount each month they are (not all tenants ) going to spend the money elsewhere ,as with havering council pay the tenants direct, my tenant hasn’t paid for 3 months , but she has a new car new furniture ,now evicting her ,tenant wants to know why ,so now havering you find her a property ,well done the government you have made the housing crisis worse .

  13. J cook, says:

    I think its unfair and quite wrong to say that they have a low IQ, and consider It could be more the case that they could be learning disabled or just suffering other problems, such as domestic violence. I agree that the rent may be better being sent to the landlords directly by such as Housing Services, if not only to stop the money going somewhere else, but also feel that there could be other factors involved , which are making the direction of the money difficult. Also please remember that there are people out there who have a degree but are unable to get a job due to other problems, who may have been put into this category through no fault of their own.

    • Alanna Cohen says:

      Learning disabled definition (although there is debate around the definition at the moment) is specifically an IQ of 70 or less. There are many people with a lower than average (100) IQ which does impact on their ability to budget, fill out job applications etc. Obviously, it does not necessarily follow that a person of low IQ (regardless of whether it is low enough to class as a learning disability) will spend their money on drink or drugs. This tends to be more closely (but definitely not exclusively) associated with mental health problems than cognitive abilities. The idea of having tenants pay their own rent does have the potential to be empowering. This empowerment is (according to Lord Freud) the rationale behind the decision. The rationale for this I think is fine if it comes with appropriate education/ support for those that need it. ‘Need’ here may not apply simply to cognitive function but also applies to many who simply have not had the opportunity to develop the skills, including those who have had relatively massive drops in income and just don’t have a clue how to budget at subsistence level. There are also still many people for whom it is simply not appropriate and there certainly needs to be scope for assessing this before significant arrears are incurred.
      At the moment it is the default for private tenants to have their housing benefit paid into their bank accounts. Direct payments to landlords happen when there has been significant rent arrears or when a person has been assessed as vulnerable.
      Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) i.e. housing associations will continue to receive direct payments as the government recognises the need for a reliable income stream. Is there scope maybe for some of our more altruistic type private landlords to become RSLs?

  14. Mark Rodgers says:


    Very nice site – it is obvious how much work you have put into this.

    I have posted an introduction to your site from my Google Plus account: see http://tinyurl.com/btoly4k

    Keep up the good work

    Warm regards

    Mark Rodgers

  15. worker says:

    As a self employed new start up dependent on WTC and Housing benefit for survival I am very concerned about UC and the income calculation . Why not use the same calculation as HMRC? I work long and hard and I reinvest everything I get to grow my business. So last year I took more than I’ve ever earned in paid work ( I have 3 degrees, no pension, depression, deafness and no prospect of getting or keeping a paid job) and I made a loss because I invested in tools and stock. I could have just spent it – it requires a lot of willpower to see hundreds of pounds pass through your hands and dress from our 99p charity shop you know. None of this investment , either of time or moneyis counted by the current Housing Benefit ‘income’ calculation, which is so complex and perverse that it even shocked my accountant, and it looks like it will not be counted under UC either. I believe in my business and hope to turn a profit and earn me a living wage in the next few years. Many large companies make a loss some years and a profit the next. Their investments in stock and capital is accepted as normal- so why should mine not be? It seems to me that the present government is only paying lip service to ‘entrepreneurship’ , and is guilty of double standards which penalise the poor and those who really are pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. My business is progressing slowly because I will not take a loan or credit – not a model encouraged by banks or business start-up advisors, but to me it is a source of pride and independence. I feel this has been taken from the employed and unemployed poor with little or no chance of making a living except by manipulating the absurdities of the welfare state – what would you expect?- and Universal credit is in no way addressing this fundamental issue. I hope to be lucky and make my business succeed before being forced to either starve or give it up, so I’m well motivated, but if I fail, I and many many others will be forced to join the growing ranks of the unemployed fruitlessly pursuing unpaid work experience to add to the 35 years of paid work experience I already have.

  16. Gill Hughes says:

    40 years ago I was a single mother on benefits. We didnt have housing benefit then. I paid my rent out of the money I received from Social Security. If someone could research this – there was a reason why housing benefit was introduced in the first place. Now this government wants to go back 40 years. Benefits are not given to us out of the kindness of strangers – they have been fought for by ordinary people.
    If we have to fight to keep what we have, then we must. I agree to simplify a system but having read abut UC I am not sure it is simpler. It probably will result in a lot more homelessness.

  17. Anita Allen says:

    I work for an organisation that supports adults with Learning Disabilities. Within my service, we help with money & budgeting, benefits etc and try to ensure that their bills get paid. All of the people we support have housing benefit of some degree and this is paid straight to the landlord. If this didn’t happen, a majority of these people would be in severe rent debt and even evicted from their homes due to rent arrears. Many of them have other priorities with how to spend their money and would rather fritter it away than use it to pay their rent. There is also another issue in regards to direct debits. Some of the people we support have bank accounts that do not support having direct debits/standing orders. Others will only operate with cash as they do not like anyone taking money from their accounts. I believe that Universal Credit is a good idea, but there should be still the option to pay Housing Benefit direct to the landlord, otherwise I can see many more people being taken to court and losing their homes.

  18. kevin c says:

    How can this Universal credit be introduced, I see it as both unfair and discriminative to people who suffer with, mental illness.
    The Government, as we are aware of, want to introduce a DIGITAL BENEFIT, where one has to apply for, and monitor, Benefits online.
    This immediately raises concerns for me, as people who suffer with mental and physical illnesses, most who are in receipt of some form of benefit, cannot operate a computer/laptop.
    Also, I find, that most people( not all ) in receipt of a benefit cannot afford to buy a computer/laptop, or pay the monthly subscriptions to an internet provider…..on the pittance they receive to live on, which, this government is trying to reduce constantly.
    So, IF this government introduce the Universal Credit in October 2013,As is expected, will they be supplying everyone who is in receipt of a benefit, with a computer/laptop and pay the monthly subsciption fees to the internet provider, after all it is this Government that wishes to bring in the DIGITAL BENEFIT.

  19. kevin c says:

    All benefits are to be collated together, and paid as ONE benefit, into a claimants bank account, once a month.
    Housing Benefit, J.S.A…..E.S.A and the rest…will be put together and paid as one.
    I have read that benefits being paid directly to a landlord (H/B) will cease, and it will be paid to the claimant directly, via bank account.
    Most, not all, of people who are in receipt of a benefit suffer with an addiction, alcohol / drugs …..so can you see the scenario, addicts receiving their benefits once a month ( in excess of £1,000)….it would be like a child in a sweet shop.
    Rents will not be paid, arrears would escalate whilst the landlord/lady applies through the courts for for possession of the property, sometimes taking up to 3 months.
    Landlords / ladies would lose thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.

  20. Drew says:

    I’ve bookmarked this site as a resource of Universal Credit articles and I thank you for creating it.

    I get the impression that the thinking behind inducing poverty will create a society of job seekers. More likely is the fact that desperate people take desperate measures and an increase in crime is inevitable.

  21. Michael Lloyd says:

    Nice site, very useful

    Sorry to be pedantic but should it not be ‘Your’ views. Or am I missing something?

  22. julie says:

    im rather shocked to find out that uc will also impact on part time employees if they are on national minimum wage.

    i work part time 16 hours per week,i have never not worked ever and have never claimed any unemployment benefits.i am unable to increase my hours as i have a disabled child.

    i have had the same job for 8 years my boss is extreamly helpfull with regards flexability due to my child we have a very good respectful relationship that works both ways but he will not under any circumstances pay more than he has to,nor will he increase offered hours.

    i have been told today that because i only work 16 hours at nmw i will be told i have to attend meetings at the job center and go on any interview they tell me to,even if i am surposed to be at work,and that they can also require me to accept a job with more hours even if they are not ‘contracted hours’ that compels me to be availible when ever the employer wants me to be so cant keep my other job or get another one to make up the hours and apparently they also want to push through a law that says an employer can offer me a job subject to me not having any employment rights! so i may have to quit a job where im promised the hours and protected by law from exploitation have flexability to care for my child and if i dont i will be sanctioned,what about all the zero hour contracts that are the norm in lower paid employment would i be sanctioned if i refuse to accept one?

    it seams very very wrong to treat working people like people who have never worked and use the same rules for both.

    • Julie, I think you should write to your MP. You raise a lot of the issues that critics are talking about hypothetically. These are the sort of questions that need to be answered. Your MP should be able to ask questions on your behalf. Then post the replyies on here so we can all see them. My particular concern is how Universal Credit will affect the unemployed, but I’d be interested to hear your questions answered too.


    • R Skinner says:

      Yes i agree,,,,WHY should the people who work get treated the same on Universal Credit as non workers???. Its the UNEMPLOYED it should be for ONLY!!!!!!. Also not everyone has internet access and you cannot go there at the times they say when your working. I was also more or less told i would be forced to go on courses???. I WORK and im not losing the job i already have thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!.

  23. Carolyn Cumber says:

    Absolutely no incentive for a disabled home owner to work. Also no long term protection for a lone parent home owner. Example a lone parent with children between 5 – 13 seem to have no more than two years protection with mortgage interest. Crazy considering mortgage rates are lower than rents. So ultimately they will end up driving disable or lone parents to sell their homes into rented and it will cost the system more. I know there is arguements about it being an investment. Think of all the greedy landlords making from rents being paid by the state.

  24. Marian says:

    Dreading the introduction of UC. The Government are expecting to extend the payment to monthly, from fortnightly. Will that be every month or every 28 days, if you are paid monthly you will have 4 weeks less money each year as some months have 5 weeks in them and some 4, not being sarcastic just think how much better off the government will be if they get 4 weeks for each family on UC They also want you to access them on the internet, can anyone remember the billions that was spent on computer systems for collection of maintenance from absent parents, also billions spent on failed computer systems by the government on the NHS. I dont feel confident that this system will work, I can see lots of people being out of pocket and probably waiting weeks without money, already in poverty. But the Government will send over a billion to Rawada. Why is the government cutting our benefits and claiming austerity measures and can send this sort of money abroad, charity begins at home

  25. lorraine says:

    I filled out the form you can online , and thanks to this i will be £40 a week worse off, what is the point in working, as I filled it out not working and im better off, why cant they leave it the way it is , and penalise those who have never worked, and dont intend to ever work,.

  26. sharon says:

    its what will bring this government down its is doomed to fail there are not enough hours or jobs available big companies are going into administration every week at least this government will not be in power for a long long time after this

  27. Linda says:

    There are areas of this country where the only internet connection available is via a satellite subscription. Public transport is sparse; understandably governed by demand. Oh and local libraries have CLOSED.

    Rising fuel costs, which include heating, lighting cooking and transportation/insurance/MOT costs often mean that budgeting precludes the LUXURY of an internet connection, satellite connections, tv licence and landline. Have you ever tried to organise a new start to life on a £10 pay-as-you-go-mobile? It’s well nigh impossible. So what is the ‘ poverty line’ now based upon? It includes tv.

    Using the internet and telephone there are discounts to be had. Rail tickets can be prebooked in advance for half price, bus passes can be bought and updated via online account. The train journey to the local centre in which the library has not closed ….can be halved…during off peak hours.

    What really bothers me in all this is the word ‘ expect’.

    A lot of people expect the state to fund them, expect to have families which other people will pay for, expect to be looked after in old age, expect to be treated in hospital, expect ‘the Council’ to clear up litter, expect the bins to be emptied on a particular day, expect that there wll be bread on the shelves and petrol in the pumps.

    Yes, citizens have responsibilities, we are occupying the same small place in this planet and inhabiting the same social structure.

    I am very concerned that a small phrase…..
    ….. expect claimants to maintain and update their claims via internet…
    seems to have slipped through whilst Professors debate the ability of the state infrastructure to deliver the new system.

    When I walk into a Government Department or Public building there are signs and signposts in a multitude of languages. There is guidance for the blind. There is augmentation for the hard of hearing. There is extra time for the Dyslexic and Dsyspraxic. There is help with grammar! There are ramps for those who need assistance with access. There are wider and larger transportation vehicles and facilities for bariatric clients. For those with gender concerns there are separate or unisex water closets, and specific changing rooms.

    What happerns if internet access is difficult?

    What happens if people are living in circumstances where personal control over household finances is an issue?

    What happens to people for whom it really IS difficult.

    Most of all – what will our governement ””EXPECT”’ next? This is dictorial.

    This has bothered me for years – Facebook. Twitter. Get onilne. I have many relatives/friends who dont have the internet. Will this now feature in the ‘poverty’ index? Will they get an allowance??

    Internet access is a little different to walking down the road or round the corner to your local bank or post office to open an account.

    These are my thoughts.

  28. Shane says:

    I was wondering who receive the monthly payments. I work full time and my wife receives CTC I get WTC. My wife is not very good with money to be honest and spends it v quickly on the children as she is a loving mum. We would not survive the month in bread, milk and cereal etc if we cant buy it daily or weekly.
    I would suggest approaching major supermarket s for a prepay card that people can credit out of their money thats non transferable and not allowing alchohol or tabacco.

    Also imagine the wage earner was a gambler and the family didnt see any money but the other parent was good with money.

    I find the same with fuel because fuel varies from week to week depending on circumstances etc.

    Schools crop up with we need this and that or your childs excluded but if your on certain benefits they get everything covered eg dinners trips uniforms. How can you budget with a torn pair of shoes mid month. As you can tell I have no savings and I am not likely to ever be in that position its called breadline.

    No matter what name you call it the problem will always be there.

    Up working income and reduce the price on consumables. Bring on nanotechnology free water heating and electric power cars.

  29. Shane says:

    I have another issue with payment dates will it work on the last working day of the month or last Friday for eg.

    Bank payment dd only work properly on a static day for example 1st of every month.

    Banks need to be told they cant hold the country to ransom anymore and allow 365/366 days transactions in and out of our accounts. We should scrap dd altogether and work on a debit card system of instant transactions. If payday loans can do it why can’t everybody follow suit.

  30. ellie says:

    firstly Kevin ive just had to reply to your comment.
    how do you come to the conclusion that ‘most’ people on benefits have an addiction. have you researched this or have you got figures to support your suggestion.
    i have spent many years working in a social care setting and have to say that you are spouting a load of judgemental and ill informed rubbish.
    only a small proportion of benefit claimants have an ‘addiction’. as do people who arent on benefits. not all benefit claimants are scroungers or spongers as is so often suggested. yes there are some and hopefully the changes in the benefit system will stop making it beneficial for people to stay at home and just claim benefits without any thought of getting a job.
    the benefit system needs to be fairer so that people who have had to give up work due to ill health, or have lost their job through no fault of their own, are offered the financial support they need and to ensure they are not in a worse financial state than people who may never have worked. i know these groups of people can be worse off because i am in that position now, having had to give up my job due to having a longterm illness
    i am worse off getting contribution based esa than friends i have who havent worked. i dont get help with my mortgage, i dont get free dental, prescriptions, or glasses and i still have to pay a lot of my council tax. my friends on IR esa get all this and any rent paid for. the system needs to be fairer.
    i am not saying the new system will be perfect. in fact it may be far from perfect. we need a system that supports people who are unable to work, that supports people who have a disability.
    the monthly payment will make it easier to budget. i accept this will be difficult for people who are use to having rent paid direct to landlord, not paying council tax. im sure some people will spend the whole monthly payment within a couple of days
    unfortunately they is no ‘one size fits all’ benefit system. the benefit bill is growing out of all proportion and needs to be altered. i hope the government will carry out regular reviews of UC to ensure that people who really need the help will get it

  31. Dawn says:

    I think the new universal credit will stop alot of fraud as taxi drivers are one of the worst, most of them dont pay tax or ni and declare they are on low wages so thay get full benefits and full tax credits

  32. Mr Jim Brown says:

    This is one of those projects that looks better on paper than it does in reality. This idea could set the poorest working classes back a hundred years or more. This project is for them to start budgeting their money for when they get back to work and receive a wage again. In the majority of cases, it won’t work, priorities will differ from home to home. There are four main elements involved: Rent, Rates, Food and Power.
    In some homes, some parents will skimp on meals to make sure they can pay the reant but try telling that to the children, they will still want their kind of food they have been used to, that will be their priority. The power ; that will rank last in most young families, especially if there aren’t any old people living there but they will still need power, more so in the winter months. Any luxuries, are a no go area, there are no allowances for them. Don’t forget most of them will have less income, due to ‘The Bedroom Tax’.
    As for those who don’t make paying their rent and rates a top priority, they will be faced with eviction, now this will cost the councils a lot of extra money over the year, plus the shortfall in the total rents that they have to pay the government, means less money the government will pay back to the councils for the upkeep of their housing stock. This will become a never ending circle every year.
    Now what will happen to the families that are evicted? If the council have another council house to accommodate them, then in most cases, the whole problem will start all over again. So where can these people go? There are no workhouses to place them in (not yet anyway). There’s one thing about these evictees, They won’t be carrying much baggage, for all their furniture will have been retained, to help pay off some of their rent arrears. So I can only see most of them finishing up on the streets.
    Do we really want to go back to the beginning of the last century?
    I can only see this leading to a large upsurge in crime, especially shoplifting and burglary.

  33. Alan McClary says:

    This new Universal credit is suposed to make things FARER however looking at it it seems that I will still get NO unemployment benefit . I made the mistake of actually working all my life , paying my own way , never having a loan , saving my money , buying my own house and living within my means . Now at the age of 58 I have been made redundant and the system into which I have paid all my life pays me £72.00 per week for 6 months and now I get NOTHING . HOW IS THAT FAIR ???

  34. Claire Wilson says:

    I’m very worried for my mother through this process, she is 59 and was on lower disability allowance due to her arthritis and the level of pain and movement she can make. She recently attended an ATOS assessment and was told she was awarded 0 points (of which she needed 15 to remain in her current plan). Having had to take a day’s leave to take her to the assessment which was 15miles away as she could not travel herself due to her ailment and mental capacity to find the location (even I got lost!) and attend the assessment, we got to the appointment having been told there was a 3hour wait and only 3 people in the waiting room. Having said we would wait we actually only waited an additional 10minutes to our appointment time – other people chose not to wait!

    The assessment itself was extremely basic and was a check list of minor activities (lift your arm about your head and touch your nose). Upon receiving the response we were told my mother was no longer eligible for her claim. Having reviewed this report it stated a lot of untruths and tended to manipulate certain aspects of what my mother had said, they were also leading questions in the assessment which confused my mother. Although only a young age (I work with people who are older than my mother) she has the mental and physical ability of a more senior citizen (and I mean no offence to them).

    I have now started the appeal process however I am now under undue stress worried that my mother with lose her home as the rent is 248 per fortnight for a 1 bedroomed bungalow with a community warden to aid and help. My mother has now gone into a depression and I’m stuck what to do next. The websites are not very user friendly, from what I can work out she will have to go onto job seekers allowance of £70pw and have to pay her own rent and council tax, this means she can’t even afford her rent let alone to feed herself or pay her bills.

    Can anyone advise or help me? Surely this can’t be how we are treating our elderly, I couldn’t even employ my mum to clean my house let alone work a full time job – not that I could afford that either!

    • Claire, get your mum to ring the CAB. They’ll be able to help her work out her next steps. I see no reason why she won’t get Housing Benefit, but best she talks in detail to someone qualified to advise.

  35. Hi David
    I have put a link to your site on my list of resourses. My particular interest is Universal Credit as it affects the self-employed – it’s all here:
    permaculturehouseintotnes.co.uk/1/post/2013/03/universal-credit-and-the-self-employed.html …
    I’d be interested to know if this is your take on how the rules will be applied.

    I’ll have a proper read of your site over the next few days and see if there is anything I can conribute that you haven’t already covered.


  36. Hi David
    I have put a link to your site on my list of resourses. My particular interest is Universal Credit as it affects the self-employed – it’s all here:
    I’d be interested to know if this is your take on how the rules will be applied.

    I’ll have a proper read of your site over the next few days and see if there is anything I can conribute that you haven’t already covered.


    • Hi Cathy
      I have a put a link to your excellent article in the blog post Universal Credit and the self employed – I’m sure it will prove to be an excellent resource for our readers.


      • Thanks David, that is very kind of you. I’m just reading through the other regulations, so there may be more soon – about the technicalities of claiming, reporting and payment, and transitional provisions from other benefits to UC. (Not the most riveting of reads…)

  37. onbenefits says:

    I am on benefits, i have a learning disability which i do not let it hinder me, and i have two disabled children, two children without disabilities and another with dyslexia that requires an hours worth of private tutoring as the school does not do a very good job to help her move forward. I claim DLA for 1 child only and carers allowance for myself. I am also studying for a Batchelors Degree in English literature so that I can eventually go back out to work and earn a nice sum to support us all. We live in a council rented 3 bed house in Sussex, and I will be affected by the Universal Tax Credit system. I do not moan about it though, in fact Im quite excited about it, and although I will be taking a ‘cut’, Im hoping it will help me be a bit more financially organised. My learning disabilities makes bill payments hard for me to organise, so I have opened up another account, ready to be able to make direct debits where i have no need to go in and withdraw monies. I have applied for as many supermarket bonus cards that will help me lower costs during shopping, i have picked up some saving cards for supermarkets, invested in a second hand chest freezer. reduced our shopping labels from named brands to value brands, made an appointment with the smoking nurse so i can quit smoking. I dont drink, i have never gone out for the night in over 6 years, I am a single mum, i dont have my hair or nails done, i dont do luxuries I cannot afford. In fact my idea of a naughty night in, is a tub of reduced ben and Jerrys ice-cream and a film. we do have sky, and we do have internet. I have disconnected my home phone, but do own a mobile as i need to be accessible to schools for my children. my children attend after school clubs, but they are allowed one each only. we have pets, whose food has also been changed to lower costs. we own a car, which i changed to a lower litre. I have also gone to a government run consolidation company, that dont charge fees, to help me with my debts. I have made changes in my lifestyle, as said above, so then when the change happens, yes it may hurt for a few months, but it will not cripple me. I am a greatful benefit scrounger, I do not want to be on benefits, but I am greatful for what i have and get.
    I wont pretend to understand all the political jargon that has been said above my comment, but i do see a lot of ungratefulness, and alot of fretting. Maybe, things can be said to us simpletons, a bit plainer, a bit of reassurance, a bit of help with how we can prepare for the change within our lifestyles, sort of like what I have done above. but to those who will be affected with a decrease in money, start adjusting now, start preparing, we have been given alot of time to do this. put a separate account aside to make a small amount of savings in, so during the changeover, you have money to fall back on.
    I have been on benefits for years (i am ashamed to say), and because of the money i received i got accustomed to small luxuries such as tv, internet, named brand foods. I just try to remember each time im struggling, what did they have 50 years ago. I think our government has been more than generous

  38. Andrew Staden says:

    This is a comment I made on the Guardian letters page a week or two ago. I also used it on the Telegraph letters page two weeks ago since I wasn’t minded to write the same piece twice.

    “Universal Credit is as dumb as the bedroom tax is evil. It will not work. It has no prospect of working. In its application it will not work because of its massive scale, incorporating benefits now paid by HMRC (tax credits), the Dept for Work and Pensions (Jobseekers’ Allowance) and local councils (housing benefit). Anyone who thinks all these departments and payments can be merged and paid by one gargantuan computer system connecting multiple departments is living in La-La Land. IT WILL NOT WORK. The government hasn’t the competence, it never pays enough for in-house technical (IT) staff to get the most able and it never pays for the best outside contractors, always accepting the lowest bid when it goes out to tender.

    But more than its technical problems, Universal Credit will not work because it is asking the least able people in the country, some of them unemployed due to mental health issues, to cope with monthly budgeting AND paying their rents themselves, whereas at the moment housing benefit payments are made direct to landlords. Moreover, it should self-evident to anyone with more than a half-inch of brain that millions of households across the UK have keys and cards for their electricity and gas meters because they cannot budget weekly and fall into arrears! If they cannot cope with two services costing £10 or so each week, how in the name of sweet bleeding Jesus does the government expect them to cope with the monthly budgeting of ALL their outgoings. It is difficult to put into words how insane this project is, or what an absurd waste of taxpayers’ money it will prove to be. It is a third-form project which some idiot, whose initials are IDS, has been bonkers enough and ignorant enough to try to roll out for real. It is certain – certain – to fail. That might not matter so much since no-one gives a tinker’s damn about Iain ‘Duncan’ Smith, except perhaps Mrs Smith: what does matter is that hundreds of thousands or millions will suffer immeasurably whilst this car-crash unfolds in front of us. The government’s welfare reforms have already resulted in at least two suicides since they went live, and probably more; and Universal Credit promises to be as devastating as all the others put together.”

  39. Andrew Staden says:

    There is a final paragraph to my comment above which I left off, but it might be useful:-

    “I told my MP – Jonathan Djanogly – this would not work last year and again in February this year. It will not work and even divine intervention will not breathe life into this bastard child of Iain ‘Duncan’ Smith. Universal Credit, to misquote Blackadder, comes straight from Satan’s bottom, and our genius ‘Welfare’ Secretary has wasted a fortune of our money on it. Well, good riddance to him.”

  40. KELLY ROBERTS says:

    I am a Mum of one son age 5 at school and due to have my second baby at the end of November
    .My husband works 40 hours at a factory and earns approx 15,500 per year
    I started work as a part time registered Childminder almost 3 years ago and intend to return part time to this role when my statutary maternity pay ends in June next year.
    I have heard that the self employed will be affected quite significantly and that expenses Childminders have been allowed to deduct from income up until now will not be allowed under the Universal Credit rules.

    This seems very unfair as most people go into Childminding in order to earn money while still being able to care for their own children (even though as I have found… this is not always in the best interests of their own children as my son has found it very hard to share his Mum and home with other people’s children at times!) This is why I choose to only take on minimum children and work only part time hours in order to make plenty of time for my own child/ren.

    Because I choose as a self employed Childminder to work part time and not to fill my spaces so i am working to full adult-child ratio (In the best interests of my own children, the minded children and myself) I claim Child Tax Credit and Working tax credit as my husband is also on a low wage for full time hours… when my second baby is born in November the amount we receive under current benefit rules will increase although I will still return to work as a childminder but doing fewer hours than i currently do (probably 16 hours a week where as before I was doing 27.)

    However if the new Universal Credit comes in and I find that I lose money from the working tax and child tax benefits (as they are now) will I be forced to

    a: take on more minded children up to full adult:child ratio and/or for more hours a week ?

    b:Give up working altogether and try and manage on the Universal Credit alone that we’ll receive on top of husbands wage?. or

    c:Will I be forced to find an employed position and have to put my new baby and 5 year old into child care while I work?

    I don’t expect to live on handouts but I do believe that young children need their Mums to care for them as much as they can especially in their earliest years 0-3/5 years. The current system for Childminders and workers in general seems to work very well and be fair for those who want to strike a good balance between working and family responsibilities as it allows wages to be topped up with the child and working tax credits. (Not the same as families where parents both want to work as little as possible if at all and still get benefits to support them!)

    Also as I said earlier Childminders go into the business wanting to contribute to the household income but still being able to stay at home and care for their own child/ren. Also obviously Childminders are very important as they are their to help lots of other parents go out to work, especially those who prefer a more relaxed home from home environment for their children as opposed to a more formal setting of a nursery.

    If anyone can help with my questions I would be very greatful as I am quite worried about how the Universal Credit is going to affect my work and young family.

  41. Adrian Stapleton says:

    Universal Credit has a set taper rate of 65%. For every £1 earned, there will be a 65p reduction in the amount received from the state. So as a married man with 3 children:

    I don’t work, I get the maximum £500 a week.

    I do work, I earn £300 a week.
    I then loose £60 in tax and national insurance,
    I then loose £195 from the taper rate,
    I then loose £33.75 In free school dinners for my three children (not included in universal credit),
    I then loose £16.00 council tax benefit (not included in universal credit),
    I then loose approx. £17.50 getting to and from my job (that’s a bus, not the car)

    I pretty sure I just lost £22 a week to go to work, did I go wrong somewhere?

  42. Andrea says:

    I have capital in respect of an additional property it is half mine and half my ex =we just put a tenant in but I dont make any money from it it just breaks even for the moargage – i think that I dont get anything with universal credit as I ahve 2 small kiddies and I dont work at the moment as the kids are really small and im on my own so how do i pay my rent on where i live and my community charge and food off 134 a month child benefit ONLY ?

  43. Shaun says:

    I am a very concerned citizen who has recently applied for universal credit as it has replaced the current JSA. I think that this new benefit scheme is fundamentally flawed. How is it that you expect me a person who has just came out of full time education and is struggling to find a job, search for 35 hours a week when I do not receive a penny of this benefit until after a month. Furthermore, how is it that you expect me to travel to the nearest job centre for an interview every week to show I’m doing 35 hours a week if I’m having to spend 3 hours of that 35 hours walking to and from the job centre since I don’t have money for transportation. My next issue is that my mother has now had to apply for this universal credit scheme after the widows pension allowance has finished and she had to come back onto her carers allowance. How in the hell is it sane for you to state that a parent of 2 disabled adolescents, who can’t do things for themselves, go to the job centre and prove she is looking for work when she is a full time carer for 2 disabled? You really need to revise this scheme as it’s clearly not working and a lot of people are annoyed and fed up with this new government scheme. I hope you take the time to read through this e-mail and reply to me as I would like to hear how you can justify such a fundamentally flawed system conjured up by a bunch of egotistical money grabbers who expect people to live on less money when in fact they get a pay raise every year. How is that fair?

    • KJ says:


      this website is not connected to the jobcentre/government/benefit office.
      there are indeed many flaws with the new universal credit.
      you could try e-mail your local MP outlining your family’s case.

  44. Sainbury’s Bank money matters blog have created a useful guide to credit scores, it’s an excellent visual guide and should hopefully be useful to our readers

  45. I have recently applied for Universal Credit and I am very unhappy with the new scheme:-

    You need to wait 5 weeks for payment; you ask for credit advance but this will leave you in debt. I much prefer the 2 weeks payment because people know where they stand and can plan their money more wisely.

    The staff on the Universal credit, not them all but most do not let you speak and treat you like someone out of prison on the Universal Credit line. I have been told around 4 times to shut up all I will end the call. I have asked to speak to the Manager and they have put the phone down. I have been upset on many times.

    When I signed on to their website; they then give you a call but the call is so stressful because they speak to you as if they are bullying you and will not allow you to speak. As I said the call is very stressful and I spoke nicely and they told be to shut up. The customer service is very poor and I feel like a person in a prison outfit for Universal Credit and I must stand in line and not say a word and just answer the questions how every stressful.

    At the jobcentre; you do not get any private cubicles at all they shout at you if you have not done what they say and embarass you infront of the whole room. The staff get a kick out of seeing you embarassed and this is a form of belitting you. As I am a 39 year old woman I feel very upset and often feel like running away and I do not want to claim even though I have worked all my life and never claimed for a while. They exclaimed, why have
    you not applied for the jobs at £6.50 per hour we have posted to you. Provide proof of what you have been doing. I tried to explain that I am new to the Universal credit and I forgot to print all my emails out and they would not accept my response and I also said can I come back this afternoon and provide the proof. I had to leave the Jobcentre because I was so upset by the bullying behavior of the Jobcentre person. This new system does not give you any information to write your search on. It is all done on a computer system; where they post you jobs and you must apply whatever the job they post even if it is £6.50.

    I am looking for an established career and have only been out of work 3 weeks and I need to apply for anything and sack my career as a Sales Administrator paying £18,000 and go for a £11,830 job. I remember my first salary was as an Office Junior at £11,830. I have always supported myself but I find the new system so stressful and everyday I cry and would like to commit sucide than go on the Universal Credit. I apply for many jobs and I very much do like to work as I feel I have no life at the moment being out of work.

    For the first time in my life, I cannot see why people are not striking about this new policy agreement for Universal Credit as I feel I no faith in the government any more and very concerned how people manage especially with new 1 bedroom house rules. My last flat I had was a housing association and it was £380 per month, the terraced property I am living in is £400.00. Why do I need to pay £50.00 towards it. I do not mind paying £20.00. Also the 20% contribution of Council tax from your Universal Credit which does not get deducted where it leaves again vulnerable people in difficulty with the management of money.

    Where will I stand in a couple of weeks homeless I think ?

    • R Skinner says:

      I agree with you Angela,,i went down there and after was worried SICK. Ive cancelled it for now as im not putting up with their bullying attitute,,,and YES i felt like a B***Y prisoner in there. I had a security person nearly laying his hands on me when i walked in the door before id even said anything,,DISGUSTING. Then as you said theres no privacy at all!!. I actually had another staff member standing behind the so called JOB COACH just staring at us like i was a LAB RAT or something!!!. They have to get shot of this as its going to cause trouble and upset people. I was panicked into thinkin i was going to be homeless in a few weeks and you wait five weeks!!!! for your money.

  46. Stephanie says:

    I live with my mother who is disabled. We are in a bungalow, there is myself, my mother and my sister.

    The bungalow belongs to a housing association, and because my mother is disabled, she gets the relevant benefit to survive on.

    I have recently started full time work, my benefit was UC (for ONE WEEK ONLY AS I GOT THE JOB A WEEK AFTER I CLAIMED) as I too was unwell. Now my mother has had a letter saying her rent will not be paid as I am claiming UC.

    No, I’m not. I’m working!! I have proven this with wage slips, yet the council have conveniently lost them, my bank statements too. I don’t earn a lot per week (agency). I am paying basically all of my weekly wage in rent, so we don’t get evicted. I called UC who have now said my claim has been terminated which it should have been as soon as I notified them I am working.

    Please can anyone advise? I am worried to death, and can barely eat or sleep and this is affecting my work.

  47. desprate unemployd no work says:

    i have bean claming UC for 2 month now since being laid off from work due to lack of busines. i had to move out of my acomodation as it was rented from my employer and with no longer haveing a job was not able to stay in staff acomodation. i have since had to move in short turm with my farther. however he is on a single income and cant aford to pay for me ontop of himself since i have come home the bills have doubled and he no longer gets the single person dicsount on his council tax. he has askd that i pay half of the runing costs on the home and this works out at £150 a month at present with high heating bills. for council tax and utilities only. (no phone bill nor interet i have to pay for those sepratley) i am curently getting a pitifull £314 a month from UC this is a huge drop in my income from being payd £600 a month when i workd. my isue is that due to me only getting £314 a month after i pay my half of the bills internet and phone so i can infact meet my uc requierments of spending 30 hours a week ONLINE seeking work. i am left with around £120 to cover food and travel costs to find work. on avradge a monthly shop buying cheep branded food such as baked beans, eggs, bread, milk, and tea bags, this comes to £80 a month im eating verry little one meal a day at present as cant aford more. i am left with £40 for the month to pay for transport to get to the jobcneter £2.80 each way via bus and to get to my main town’s to look for work £5.80 day saver. this does not last all that long. when i factor in the mony that i Owe the bank overdraft fees etc from the first month of being unemployed due to having to wait a month and 2 weeks to get my first UC payment due to being crimbo i applyd for a crisis loan as i had to pay to get from the isle of wight to manchetser to live with my father but was refused the money being told my parents can pay for me. (they cant my fatehr eanrs less then 10k a year) and can just suport himself. i am paying the bank £1 per day for each day i am overdrwan. UC will not suport me with the bills and after being payd today and the bank takeing thier cut i am left with £93 of my UC payment that i need to find the mony for both my father and food out of this months. low payment. i find this verry anoying i want to work i dont want to sit at home sufering on this un aceptable pitance. what anoys me more is if i had a child or was infact of difrent origin my share of the bills would also be coverd in full ontop of that id also qualify for food parcels and stamps etc but as i am male 27 single no chilcdren and white i get the minimum amount of suport for the maximum ampount of efort on my part. i have applied for 15 jobs this last fortnight and atended 1 interview that was infact a £25 train journy from my home from those jobs. this was again not coverd by UC as they said due to the role not starting for over a month i dont get the funding. yet my UC advisor still claimd i have not done enough to seek work. and gave me a verbal caution to DO MORE OR BE SANCTIOND and lose all of my benifts.

  48. razor says:

    Got offered £80 to last me 34 days till my monthly universal credit payment arrives,this was on 20/2/15 now paid my rent got 3 days shopping which has gone and a bus pass to get to look for work.Does anyone know if I’ll be eligible for another small advance till I get paid on 19/3/15

  49. carefixer says:

    For fourteen years now I have looked after my wife who is severely disabled and would require two paid carers if I had left her care to social services. I am exceptionally well qualified and highly skilled. If I had followed a normal career path those fourteen years would likely have produced an income of about a million pounds after tax. My career has had to be sacrificed to save the tax payer and ratepayer many hundreds of thousands of pounds. I do receive carers allowance and child tax credit for my daughter and my wife gets ESA and higher rate care and mobility DLA. Even so our income has been £6,000 a year less than means tested benefits so over those years I have subsidised the taxpayer to the tune of £96,000 by spending our savings.

    I am very concerned now about the governments plans to abolish both child tax credit and carers allowance and make DLA taxable. I have just enough money in the bank to subsidise the taxpayer for a little longer at current benefit rates. However these cuts would amount to a reduction in our income of £7.500 a year should these reforms become law, That would leave us with a welfare income £13.5K below means tested welfare levels.

    While Ian Duncan Smith has made the point that we can claim Universal Credit, as he full well knows, “claim” isn’t the same as “get”. Universal Credit has unpleasant capital rules which would mean we could not get any at all. If the residual capital is in excess of £16K Universal credit is denied. If I spend our savings (even in subsidising the State up until they ran out) I might be denied Universal Credit on the grounds that I had disposed of my capital in order to obtain Universal Credit. If I keep capital less than £16K it is deemed to produce an income at an interest rate of 21% per annum so any benefit would be reduced significantly.

    For fourteen years I have acted responsibly and in such a way as to provide a massive subsidy to the tax payer and ratepayer. Instead of being rewarded for my efforts and self sacrifice it seems the plan is to punish me and my family severely. Should the Conservatives form the next government the outlook for those whose efforts have massively subsidised the government at their own expense is bleak indeed. Families of the sick and disabled who have minimised their impact on the welfare state are to be severely punished. Homes will be lost, families will be on the street and children will be taken into care. On average sick and disabled people tend to be older, they are more likely to have savings and more likely to inherit some wealth. A small inheritance of say £20K could be their passport to becoming homeless.

    Already Ian Duncan Smith’s vicious trap has been set. The welfare cuts proposed are aimed directly at that sector of welfare claimants who have minimised their welfare footprints. Ian Duncan Smith is telling these people that they can claim the higher rates of welfare available on Universal Credit instead. So how does spending more on welfare cut government expenditure on welfare? Obviously it does not. Any savings can only be made by denying current and future claimants any access to Universal Credit. This is the plan of the Conservative party: The purpose of the proposed welfare cuts is not to force claimants onto the higher paying benefit levels of Universal Credit. The purpose of these cuts is to use the capital rules of Universal Credit to impoverish and asset strip the most vulnerable people in society.

  50. R Skinner says:

    I was told you cannot come off it until your earning £960 at least a month??,,yeah right cos its ongoing apparently. And its not got seperate areas for housing and jobseeking,if you dont comply with the jobseeking part your housing benefit portion will be stopped or sanctioned also??. Who do they think they are?. They can force you into any job and use the slightest excuse to santion you. This came from Maidstone Jobcentre so BEWARE everyone dont get CONNED as thats what it is!!!. They put things on the aggreement you have not even agreed or spoken about. Ie they put i would travel to work on mine when i had not said that in fact i said i did not want to travel. Im notp payin bus fares and losing money out of my wages!!!. Think they had better ABOLISH this as its going to cause MAYHEM!!!.

  51. Paula steeden says:

    I am so against this new benefit! I have on going health issues with my heart and was on esa until recent but missed my medical assessment due to be ill in bed. I phoned up the next day to explain but they decided I’m fit for work which is an outrage! I have told to claim universal credit and look for work. I have two young children and haven’t received any money at all for over 2 weeks and won’t receive any till 8 June how am I ment to live my housing have also stopped which will probably see me evicted x

  52. Rose Skinner says:

    Almost about six weeks now since sanction is out the way and ive STILL!!!! got no payment at all. DISGUSTING!!!!!!!,,im sick of this and its made me ill!!!!!!!!. Im waiting for a phone call now for them to tell me whats going on. Their asking for tenancy aggreement dated within six months now ,when i was just asked to take a tenancy aggreemnt when i went to the Jobcentre as one of my documents. They DID NOT specify ANY DATE!!!!!!!!!!,,so its their fault their havin to ask again. Whats wrong with you lot at UNIVERSAL CREDIT?????????. Are you deranged or something????. This is ridiculous!!!!!!.

    • Paula says:

      Its now the 7th week without any money apart from 34.00 child benefit a week . How am I and my 2 kids ment to live on that! My bills are now massive with all late payment added on. ! I too received a letter asking for information but didn’t say what so phoned up and not only do they want tenancy agreement but a letter of my landlord say I rent the property. They want me looking for jobs as well as attending appointments even though I can’t afford the bus fairs! Fumming is the nicest way to put it. I also suffer for a heart condition and my 8 year old son is asthmatic! Seriously what the heck is this government playing at! They are quick to lend money to other countries / banks but leave all families in the UK struggling to even eat ! !

    • Ivor says:

      Hi, i am wondering if you know anything about the council tax reduction.So far,i appear to be losing money re:council tax ,which is not included in U C credit.When i used to leave a job in the past, my council tax reduction was issued straight away.When i got paid -off my last job recently,i applied and was told (without explanation) that i do not qualify.

      If you have any information on how they work -out council-tax reduction when a person is in receipt of UC,i would be grateful.

    • ANON says:

      I think they are ! want to try and get of it completely ,maybe that’s what they’re aiming for I have had a mild panick attack today , just trying to make a better life , and feel worse

  53. Ivor says:

    I am usually a temporary worker,and because of this, i need to apply for benefits to help me when i am not working.I am a single man and i live on my own.
    On my previous claims for benefits such as job-seekers allowance,housing benefit,and council-tax benefit, i have never had a problem with my claim,usually receiving my benefit after a couple of weeks.

    I am fully aware of what documentation to provide when i apply for all the above benefits.
    I recently became unemployed and was moved onto the new Universal Credit.I reported to the job center and provided all the information that was requested of me.
    When i was at the job-center, they accepted all this information from me, and they did not mention that any documents regarding my claim were missing.
    About three weeks later i get a letter from universal credit which states,

    “You must provide evidence to support your claim for Universal Credit.”
    We asked you to provide some evidence to support your Universal Credit claim but we have not received it.
    If you do not know what you need to provide for your Universal Claim,please contact us on the number above.

    It is important that you provide this evidence as your payments may be delayed or your universal credit claim stopped.

    Well knowing that i did provide all the information that was requested of me, i phoned the number they gave.
    I waited 25 minutes on the phone before my call was answered,and i explained to the adviser that i was confused as i have given all the evidence to support my claim when i went to the job-center.
    The adviser was unable to tell me what was missing from my evidence that i provided but said she would send a “task” to the job center to see if they were able to re- solve the issue.
    She said not to worry to much about the letter at the moment.

    Well i have never had this problem on the old -system,but looking at other comments on the inter-net,This letter that i received about insufficient evidence being provided,seems to get sent out to a lot of people who start a claim for UC.
    There appears to be a breakdown in communication between the job-center and the universal claim center.

    Please note,the Universal Credit is in the very early stages of its roll-out. At the moment very few claims are on the new system.But i still had to wait 25 minutes for them to answer their phone, and they have still not told me in that conversation what i failed to provide for evidence regarding my claim.
    I thought they would have known what the evidence is,after them asking me to phone.Also if i had not provided all the evidence when i attended the job center,the job center should have told me this at that time.
    For that reason,it surely proves that i did provide all the evidence to support my claim.

    So i have done everything requested of me (never had a problem on the old-system) but as soon as i (a single man) who’s claim should be a simple task, claims on the new system-I receive problems straight away.

    I believe the phone- line to UC is open Monday -Friday from 8 am-6 pm.
    Most people who are working and claiming UC,can only contact them in WORKING HOURS and considering that UC is still in the very early stages and that they took 25 minutes to answer my call,how long will the working person who phones in working hours have to wait for their call to be answered as more and more people are moved onto UC?

    Can anyone imagine the stress that this will create !!! when they need to return to the workplace after their lunch hour, (which they spent trying to re-solve their issue on the phone to UC) only to be told by an automated voice on the phone that,” Lines are busy,and to stay on the line or PHONE BACK LATER.

    Worrying times ahead for a lot of working poor people.

  54. Ivor says:

    Just to add to the my above comment, on the day i applied for Universal Credit, i also applied for council tax benefit through my local council office.
    I had to fill in the forms for this, and on the same day as i got the letter from UC (regarding evidence they say i failed to provide), i also received a letter from council tax people regarding my claim for council tax benefit,in which they say,

    They cannot award my claim for Council tax benefit UNTIL they have proof of,
    “My Universal Credit award Letter (including breakdown) at your current address.”
    The council tax people want this provided 1 month from date on their letter.

    In short,if the Universal credit center do not have my claim corrected in 1 month,i will loose my claim for this month for council tax benefit.This will be approx £25.00.

    Many more people are likely encounter this problem.

  55. Janet says:

    UC is a joke! My nephew has no form of income and has been trying to find a job. He applied for UC 12 weeks ago and has still had no money through. He signs on every week and is told it is being processed. There is no one he can discuss this with. He has had an emergency meeting to be fast tracked three weeks ago! He has no food, no home, no money and has been in and out of hospital after attempting to commit suicide. I am 48 and have paid my taxes since I was 16 sometimes I wonder where the bloody hell they go to other than rich politicians who do not understand state education and people who hit hardship.

  56. Ivor says:

    An update with regards to the above comments.

    My claim is due to be paid tomorrow, but today i receive a duplicate letter as noted in the above comment which states,

    “You must provide evidence to support your claim for Universal Credit.”
    We asked you to provide some evidence to support your Universal Credit claim but we have not received it.
    If you do not know what you need to provide for your Universal Claim,please contact us on the number above.

    I have now got to go to the job-centre tomorrow and provide the information that i have already provided 5 weeks ago.luckily it is my day -off work,so i do not have to ask for time off.

    Probably have to wait another couple of weeks now until i receive what i am due.That will be 7 weeks without money.

  57. k hadfield says:

    I JUST WONDERED if when universal credit broke there commitment did they suffer and get santioned like the public do on it.How long are the publics lives being gamble for with by trials by goverment.do we get compensation for your errors to..we are not gunea pigs for sample runs were human being like you are..total piss takers and sick trial disgusted

  58. Erin says:

    I applied for universal credit the 12th of October 2015 and over 2 months later I still haven’t been paid universal credit due to them having the wrong date of birth so the requested my birth certificate to be taken in to the job centre which I did 2 weeks ago, so because of that I have had possession proceedings for my house and my I won’t be able to afford Christmas for my children. Every time I phone them and they say they’ll ring me back they don’t so I have to speak to someone who doesn’t know about my claim they say I’m not on the system which is really frustrating so my opinion on universal credit is not good they need to sort the system out and have to communicate with properly with dwp, housing and people claiming!!!!

    • Rosemary Skinner says:

      You will wait ages for your payment,,,,,,,dont hold your breath. You have a long wait people i feel for you!!!.

  59. Rosemary Skinner says:

    Universal Credit will not last,,its not going to work!!. All its doing is raising the homeless rate,,what a terrible thing to do to people and CHILDREN!!!. SICK!!. It will go directly down the pan where it belongs!!!. Its doing NO GOOD AT ALL!!. When is Mr Iain Duncan Smith going to come to his senses and end it!!. Wont be long,,,,,watch this space!!!.

    • ANON says:

      It is one big complete mess, I have been so stressed today by it all , I wonder what will happen when the minimum wage goes up ?

  60. ANON says:

    I claimed for UC when I left my job in December and claimed but went back to same job after 3 weeks, I finally got a payment of £105 after 5 weeks although I ot no wages for them 3 weeks They said it worked of how much you get but that was The end of December for moth gone, which they said is right and that was that ?? they have wrote to me again asking me to take all my documents in even though I’d already done it !! I still have to claim because only part time I wish I didn’t have to but my legs arn’t the best at moment ! and it’s very physical work . I get appointments sent by email to attend while in work , which job centre know nothing about! , and also ones made by job centre I know nothing about !! on several occasions and no one can ever explain what’s going on or ever appologises which I think is disgusting ! UC dont know what they’re doing and neither do the job centre FACT !

  61. Katherine says:

    I lost my job in February. I was on a trial with a new company when I was frog marched into the manager’s office and told that I would be leaving in 5 minutes as they didn’t feel I was right for the company. They hired the manager’s daughter fyi. 10 days after losing my job I was paid my final wage a measly £300 after tax. Universal Credit told me quite gleefully that as I had been paid they would pay me £20 for the entirety of March. I’m due to be paid on Friday and guess what I’m getting £20 again despite not having any income. I’ve spent hours in tears on the phone and in branch but no-one cares.

    I’m living at home currently but am facing being kicked out as my inability to help with bills is financially crippling my mother.

    I’m 25 and suicidal. I’ve had 4 interviews so far with no luck since February. If it wasn’t for my mum I’d be dead already. I’ve already had the joy of the universal credit group meeting which was about CV’s and Covering Letters. I’m a trained Administrator so that course was a box ticking waste of time lead by a woman who openly confessed she doesn’t have a CV or even know how to use a computer.

    It’s soul destroying to see someone who hasn’t got clue about the subject lecture you for 2+ hours. On Friday I will be 3 months behind on council tax, bills mounting and facing debt collectors. I don’t want to live on benefits, I want to work but I at least need enough money to get to an interview if one arises.

  62. Wilfred Cummins says:

    Your people at Universal Credit are un-educated they cannot tell the difference between previous payments and a P60 so no wonder people are in Rent Arrears with idiots like that employed,

  63. wow says:

    I have been saving with my partner for the past 5 years to buy a home now I will have to use our savings to live on and have nothing in return.
    I have a low paid job £12,000 a year and we have done so much to save every penny we can to buy a house and it seems like its all for nothing, yet next door never work buy all the latest gadgets and go away every weekend.
    What is the point in me working?
    It works out I’m £200 better off in work and I have been fine with that since it allows us to save to buy a house but now I’d be working for £1.25 an hour with no chance to buy a house.

  64. katharine says:

    Hi I have been on universal credit for 3 months and while it sounds like a lot of money, out of the 535 I get I pay 277 for my rent. I loose another batch of money towards direct debits and then have to repay emergency credit on gas/elec meters which usually end up needing more as the last two weeks before I get paid is hell. I am trying very hard to get a job apply for lots and have interviews but due to lack of recent experience and probably my age, it is proving hard. I miss getting benefit every two weeks, knowing that your rent would be covered and I keep the rest. I have worked before and aware of being paid monthly but since I allready have had one advance payment 3 months ago I cannot get another. I have £60 left for just over three weeks until my next payday and it is horrible. I cannot afford to go out everyday as bus fares are costly and cannot keep asking my parents to lend me money as they’re not rich either. Life is not fair as it never was but I just wish I knew how to survive without having to go to a food bank (last resort). I dont understand how this is meant to be better for us as you cannot live realistically on £200 for 3 weeks after rent etc. I should maybe live on tins of soup every day…I am aware that when I do get a job I will be better off but so far that is failing to happen so I am frustrated, depressed and stuck.

  65. Paul says:

    universal credit is like putting the low paid unemployed and all who work under 35 hours a week and claim any in work benefits on probation , it will have an Impact on people with mental illness just as the JSA and ESA reforms had it will cuase more suicides more crime more poverty and solve nothing, how can it be right that if a person works 28 houis a week and is happy and been doing that job for many years but get some in work benefits , will have to sign an agreement at the JCP to say they will look for a set amount of hours aweek can be up tp 35 hours a week and have to show proff of that tlo a JCP Coach and if the JCP want to see them the JCP can give tghem 48 hours notice to Attend a meeting that wil mean time of work to attend if they do not then what small amount of in work benefits wiil be stopped ghey willbe sanctioned this should not be legl lin my opinion , but this government change the law as and when they please whyh should a person that works 30 hours a week but claim a small amount of in work benefits have to spend lesiure time searching for work for up to 35 hours a week and be called in by the DWP most MP’s don’t work a 30 hour week unless you class sitting in the Bar as work

  66. John Doe says:


    I felt I should publish my story here, to help others.

    Today, I made the decision to sign off from Universal Credit as it was having a distinctive, negative impact on my mental health.

    Last September, I signed on for Universal Credit and for the last few times before recent events, everything was fine, no concerns. I was told I was looking for a good amount of jobs etc. and there were no issues.

    In the last few meetings, I was told suddenly I wasn’t doing enough and the meetings I went to, threatened to turn volatile, leading to me at one meeting losing my temper with a job advisor. Having reviewed my work plan, I had been reasonable in my job activities and at my latest meeting, I was yet again told I wasn’t doing enough and I would be put up for review for a sanction – I felt enough was enough and signed off from the system as luckily, I have other avenues of support. It is those who don’t, my heart goes out to.

    For me, the government can’t justify playing with people’s lives in such a bad way and with the suicide rate, linked to Universal Credit, possibly going to rise, it is a very alarming situation indeed. The advisor at the job centre doesn’t take into account your circumstances, that the system in itself is flawed (its not always possible to meet a 35 hour criterion) and their attitude is extremely hostile, to good, well meaning individuals – all of a sudden, its a crime to become unemployed. Because of this treatment, I resent getting a new job because I know some will be going to the government, whom I have a new found dislike for, now. They will never answer for the lives that have been lost, due to this system, nor will they care. That is the cold truth.

    Job Hunting in itself is cumbersome and often leads to depression, feelings of worthlessness when you don’t get a job, job centre staff who make you feel worthless. It really is a stressful time. Also, it has been widely reported and widely denied that the government openly encourage job centre staff to sanction individuals. The denials, for me, kind of speak for themselves because if it ever came about the government were possibly doing this, all hell would break loose and rightly so.

    There is only so much you can do to find a job and the limitations that are there – what if you have no money to go to interviews, what if there aren’t enough jobs to warrant a 35 hours a week search? Jobs fluctuate, so each week will be different. Also, it seems there are those who do nothing to try to find work and are being rewarded better than those who are honestly trying to find work.

    I was told today I would be put under review for not doing enough to find work (apparently 80 jobs over two weeks isn’t enough – go figure) and the advisor gave an example. Have you been keeping in contact with agencies? Hello.. agency jobs are ONLINE as are all jobs now and they are rubbish anyway as they never keep in contact with you and one could ask what purpose do they serve? They are perfectly polite when you do go in and see them but generally they are a poor source of job encouragement.

    My advice would be, wherever you can, to not take benefits as its already been shown, they will arguably, may try to find ways to sanction you unfairly so they don’t have to pay you and if this is your only source of income, then this will have an effect on your life – even more so if the sanction time increases – also, hardship payments on loss of benefits are not guaranteed. So where does one go from there? I hear you need ZERO in your bank account or best part of to even be considered and even if you are, its a pittance you get through hardship payment – treating people so abysmally by a non-caring government is sickening and losing life because of it, well, there is no justification from the government that could ever compensate for this. Death from sanctions is totally unacceptable, yet it happens, which is why the system needs to be reviewed to make it fairer.

    However, as long as this pointless system continues, the more misery it will create. I remember the days where you went into a job centre, got a print off slip and applied for work and things were much simpler and more encouraging back then – now, its a miracle to even get a job. That is why I have considered self employment and see where that takes me as I know I have the skills to do something – just what is the question.

    In closing, the system is a flawed one, but a fatally flawed one at times which needs an urgent review. Taking your own life because of this system, there is no answer from the government for, as they care little for this, which goes to show they are cruel and cold hearted. A radical change is needed and quickly, but wherever possible and for as long as possible, don’t consider Universal Credit – you will end up regretting such an action.

    When one is in situations like this, it leaves me to think if I have any faith in the government now. It is time for them to answer and not make excuses.

  67. Jenna burton says:

    Hiya people i lost my job on the 6th of feb ive recently just started a new job i was told on two different occasions that i would still be able to receive my payment on the 13th of march ive just received a letter asking uc to call them to check my details are still correct so i did to be told my payments being withheld 3 days b4 i was supposed to be paid i was counting on that money to get me to work next week and i am appauled at how hard uc are making it for people to keep a job. Uc is no good at all and all its doing is making it more convenient for people to stay on uc because if this is all the trouble you have to go through to receive a payment im begining to wish i hadnt got another job i have been informed i will be receiving a call in the next few hours but only time will tell.

  68. Emma says:

    I’m absolutely petrified when i have to start claiming this i was working from home but currently no success and was nothing but trouble. constantly applying for jobs but never hear back even though i suffer depression and very bad anxiety some days i cant even get out of my home. Making me more depressed knowing i can’t even get a job. I have two children and when it comes my time to claim this im worried how im going to feed my children having to go 6 weeks maybe longer without money

  69. Emma says:

    I’m absolutely petrified when i have to start claiming this i was working from home but currently no success and was nothing but trouble. constantly applying for jobs but never hear back even though i suffer depression and very bad anxiety some days i cant even get out of my home. Making me more depressed knowing i can’t even get a job. I have two children and when it comes my time to claim this im worried how im going to feed my children having to go 6 weeks maybe longer without money i don’t want to be on benefits ever since i have been on them i feel as though i have failed as a mother i never wanted this life for my children im just hoping this isn’t going to push me over the edge like it will many others to please scrap this its going to ruin to many peoples lifes


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