Universal Credit has replaced Housing Benefit, income-related ESA, income-based JSA, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Income Support. If you are already claiming one of these benefits, you should get advice before claiming Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is a means tested benefit. You can claim Universal Credit whether you're working or not. How much you will be entitled to depends on your circumstances, your household income, and any savings or capital. You won't be entitled to Universal Credit if you have more than £16,000 in savings or capital.
Your Universal Credit payment is made up of different elements. On top of your standard allowance, you will get an extra amount if you:
Have a long term health condition or disability
Are a carer
Universal Credit has replaced income-related ESA. If you have a health condition or disability which means you can't work, you can claim Universal Credit without needing to look for work. This is called Limited Capability for Work. You might also be assessed as having Limited Capability for Work Related Activity, which is also known as the Support Group. If you are in the Support Group you will get an extra amount of money in your Universal Credit payment.
You can claim Universal Credit at the same time as PIP, and PIP won't be counted as income. If you're claiming New Style ESA you can also claim Universal Credit to top-up your income.
How to claim Universal Credit
with Limited Capability for Work
If you don't already claim Universal Credit, you can start your claim online. If you are already claiming Universal Credit, tell your work coach (the person who interviews you at the Jobcentre) that you want to have a limited capability for work assessment. You will need to provide a fit note from your GP as evidence of your illness or disability.
You will then be sent an ESA50 capability for work questionnaire. It's good to get advice on how to fill our the form at this stage. Contact us to speak to one of our benefits advisors about what you should include.
Then you will usually be asked to go to a Work Capability Assessment, where you will be asked about how your condition affects you. Work Capability Assessments are currently taking place over the phone.
You will then receive a decision letter which will tell you whether you have been awarded ESA. It will also tell you whether you have been put in the Limited Capability for Work Group or the Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (or Support) Group.
For more information, or for help claiming benefits, please get in touch with our benefits team. We provide initial information and advice to everyone. We provide members of the Sheffield ME and Fibromyalgia Group with more detailed advice, casework and representation.
Tel: +44 114 253 6700