My telephone appointment last week went fine. All the Work Coach wanted was to ask if I had received, completed and sent off the form for my WCA will which be coming up in the next few weeks. I wanted to check that someone was on top of sorting out exactly what UC I should be getting.
My new appointments are added quietly to the UC journal without my receiving any notification. When I logged in, I found I had been scheduled an appointment for 2:40pm. Due to my illnesses, I have to sleep in the early afternoon, so I left a note in my journal asking for the appointment to be put back until after 3pm. A new appointment has now been made for a later time. I trust I won’t be sanctioned for ‘missing’ the original appointment. As it is no longer showing on the system I’m reasonably confident there will be no problem.
On the other hand, the notification of my UC payment for this month seems bizarrely low, at just over £200. It’s been calculated as my basic (jobseeker or work-related activity) allowance, minus 63% of my earnings. Nothing has been given for my rent. No mention of deductions due to the ESA of which I am still(!) in receipt.
I think I shall have to do DWP’s job for it, and phone ESA to tell them to stop paying me. But will that mean I lose my status as Support Group, and thus forfeit any more backpayments the DWP might, haha, one day realise it owes me? I guess I’d better not tell ESA to stop my claim until after I’ve had my WCA. But not long after, because the confusion if I were to fail my WCA but win at appeal, whilst still in receipt of ESA from my old claim, would be horrendous. I might end up with double backpayments! Maybe I’ll phone ESA on the day of my WCA. Or the day after. Or, realistically, many days later when I’ve recovered from the WCA.
Of course, I also need to phone UC about the lack of any rent element, and the failure to deduct for ESA, and the failure to treat me as being in the Support Group equivalent, so I can easily remind them at the same time that they need to tell ESA to stop paying me.
Oh, and I realised recently that more than half of the money in my current account is from ESA payments that I should not have received. Of course, an amount I haven’t calculated is missing from UC payment that I should have received, and earnings tapers that shouldn’t have been applied. But as I have no idea when either the ESA will be taken back or the UC backpayment paid, I have to proceed on the basis of discounting the ESA without adding in additional UC. It means I no longer have enough savings buffer to be able to proceed without devoting exhausting and demoralising amounts of thought to money. Not much thought at the moment, but soon I will be wanting to turn the heating on, and I don’t know how much heating I can afford.
Still, bed time now. If only I had a hot water bottle.
UC has re-entered my rent element, and have correctly recorded how much rent and how much service charge I pay. However, the rent element of my UC is 36% less than what I pay. I can’t imagine how they have worked that out. I should be paying 14% of my housing costs, due to the Bedroom Tax, but even if I had two spare bedrooms that Tax would be 25%, not 36%.
Whilst UC should be deducting some money because of ESA overpayments, and indeed a housing element overpayment in August (because of not deducting 14%), this isn’t recorded in my UC payment notice. I don’t think that the amount the DWP would take from UC because of these overpayments would amount to 22% of my housing element. I would expect it to be more than that.
I have no idea what is going on, and I very much doubt that UC does either.