Apologies for the lack of blog but I’ve done a lot of driving and study the past 2 days…am here now though. 🙂
I told you we were going through the Universal Credit switch-over and promised to update you, so here I am to do just that.
When I left the topic last I was going in to see a guy at the Jobcentre about my self-employment.
It was fairly straight forward. They told me in advance to bring 6 months’ accounts, My tax number (UTR), date of registration and any other official paperwork.
For regular people at work or home this meeting wouldn’t be needed but it’s worth knowing for those who are self-employed. Also, whether self-employed or on variable hours, if you have a variable income then you’ll need to submit monthly income through the online account. This means the amount you get could vary each month.
They gave us a set payment date (remember no benefits of any kind are paid from the moment you apply until the new payment date!) and a date a few days before when we can check what we’ll get…and a date a few days before that for submitting variable accounts. Fairly straight forward really.
A few points:
As we are full-time students with part-time work, we do not need to look for additional income. If you are required to work then the rules are as they would be for Job Seeker’s Allowance.
Planning ahead is important for finances in those few weeks. There is an option to borrow ahead once you have an award…we’re trying not to though as it will take some off our payments, but it is an option if you get stuck.
Students would not normally be entitled to UC unless they have a family and the Self-Employment/variable hours thing makes it a little more complicated but it is all possible.
Remember, the advisers are still learning too. They will do their best (and they’re all lovely) but sometimes you have to wait for a answer from someone higher up the chain.
There are discounts and other support (like free prescriptions) that may be available if you claim certain benefits (including Universal) so it’s worth checking.
Generally, it’s not been too bad or too complicated, so don’t be scared if it’s your turn.
I’ll let you know when we get to those last few days and how smoothly it goes.
Have a good one.