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Universal credit - saying to pay nil

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One of my clients tells me that in order to claim Universal Credit she can't have any wages on her payslips for March, and ongoing.

She is furloughed, and properly! (Her salon is shut!) but if she has 0 on her payslips then the  80% claim won't be a lot will it. 

Is benefits office correct? 

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By Duggimon
09th Apr 2020 12:15

If she's furloughed and in receipt of a salary then I don't think she's entitled to Universal Credit, at least not the basic payment available to everyone who has no income. She might get some form of tax credit or housing support.

If she pays herself no salary then she can claim UC but she can't claim grant money for her own salary in that event, the grant is only given for wages actually paid.

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By HeavyMetalMike
09th Apr 2020 12:34

Thank you, Duggimon.
So let's hope the additional UC is more than the 2.4K she would have claimed over three months then.

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By Duggimon
09th Apr 2020 12:39

The basic UC she is ruled out of claiming by having wages is about £95 a week. If it's available to her, the wages are a better option, unless she can get UC faster than the CJRS grant.

edit: I'm assuming she's entitled to about £575 a month under the CJRS, maybe that's not correct though, you didn't say.

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By HeavyMetalMike
09th Apr 2020 12:52

Salary under PAYE was £1,043 per month. so about 2.4K. Far far higher than £95 a week! I'll tell the client.....
timing and cashflow noted. She can always not pay her acct if she's strapped for cash!!

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By paul.benny
09th Apr 2020 14:18

It sounds like the advice to your client has become garbled in the re-telling.

Universal Credit encompasses both out-of-work and in-work benefits - principally Jobseekers' allowance, working tax credit and housing benefit. Clearly if you are working, you can't get the JSA element but those with low income could still (depending on circumstances and income) receive other elements. The £95/week mentioned is just the JSA element.

The 20% drop in gross pay implied by the JRS mean your client becomes eligible for UC. As a rule of thumb,
- being a renter, being single and having children tend to increase the potential UC;
-being a home-owner, having a working live-in partner, and having no or grown up children reduce the potential UC.

You or your client should use at the benefits calculator on turn2us.org.uk

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RLI
By lionofludesch
09th Apr 2020 17:37

She doesn't have to furlough herself if she thinks UC is a better option.

I'd be surprised if it was, though.

Just make sure she knows what she's gibbering about and let her make her own decision. If it's the wrong one, you did your best.

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