BENEFITS EXPERT: I’m a carer on UC but I’ve just lost one of my benefits: why?
Q. I receive Universal Credit and included in my benefit calculation I receive additional money as I provide care for a relative. A few months ago I became unwell and my GP provided fit notes which I have provided to my local job centre.
I recently had to complete a form and then had a phone assessment and got the results via my journal which I didn’t really understand. When I got my next Universal Credit statement my money went up as it said I couldn’t do any type of work but I also noticed the carer’s addition was no longer in payment even though I still provide care for my relative. What has changed the UC payments?
A. When you initially claimed UC it appears you would be claiming on the basis of being a carer and as such you wouldn’t have any job seeking or other commitments as long as you provided 35 hours or more a week care and the person you looked after got a qualifying benefit, such as DLA care, PIP daily living or Attendance Allowance.
When you started to submit fit notes you effectively notified the DWP you may have health conditions preventing you from working.
This has triggered a Work Capability Assessment (the form you mentioned was likely a UC50 form) and following the medical assessment a decision maker has decided you should be placed in The Limited Capability for Work Related Activity Group.
This has led to an increase in your Universal Credit. As such, as a single person you only qualify for the higher of the two additional elements. LCWRAG is more than the carer’s element so this is why that addition is not on your payment anymore.
The situation would differ if you were part of a couple, one being a carer, the other having limited capacity for work. If the person having limited capacity to work was assessed and placed in the same group as you then in this situation both carer’s element and the LCWRAG would be included in the UC calculation.
You may also wish to consider claiming PIP if your health condition means you need assistance with mobility, daily living needs or both. Your status as both a carer and having limited capacity for work would not preclude you from making a claim.