If you have less than £16,000 in savings, you might be able to claim Universal Credit.
Claiming Universal Credit when you are unable to work has 4 stages:
submitting a claim for Universal Credit
sending 4 weeks of fit notes showing you cannot work
filling out the work capability form (UC50)
having a Work Capability Assessment (WCA)
When you start claiming Universal Credit, your Work Coach might ask you to:
go on training courses
look for work
apply for work
This is called your claimant commitment. When you have been placed into a group, your commitments might change.
Universal Credit has 3 groups for disabled people:
Fit for work: you’re entitled to the standard amount of Universal Credit. You may also be required to look for work and apply for jobs.
Limited Capability for Work (LCW): you’re entitled to the standard amount of Universal Credit. But you do not have to look for work. You can be required to attend appointments with your Work Coach and go on training courses.
Limited Capability for Work-Related Activity (LCWRA): you’re entitled to an additional payment in Universal Credit. You have no work requirements.
Your Work Coach has a duty to ensure that anything they ask you is reasonable, taking into account your impairment or condition. If you are being asked to do too much, ask to change your claimant commitment.
When you have completed a benefits application, make a copy of the form and evidence.
The DWP will not send your application and evidence back.
A copy of the form can be helpful:
to remind you what to say in an assessment
if your form gets lost in the post
for when you have to reapply at the end of your award
If possible, ask your post office for proof of postage.
Preparing for a benefits assessment
It can be hard to talk about how your mental health affects your life. Knowing what to expect might help you prepare for the assessment.
You can request adjustments to make things easier. These can include:
an assessment over the phone or at home
being in a quieter room
having an afternoon appointment to avoid travelling in rush hour
If you know what adjustments you will need, ask as soon as possible.
Attending your assessment
When you attend an assessment, you can:
take someone with you
bring a copy of your claim form
read from your claim form
ask for a break
You will have to talk about your mental health condition and how it affects you. This can include talking about self-harm or suicide. If you have someone with you, they can answer questions and support you.
If talking about your mental health causes you extreme distress, write what you want to say. Show this to your assessor.
Support if claiming benefits affects your mental health
It’s important to look after your wellbeing. If anxiety starts to affect other areas of your life, seek advice from your GP or a mental health organisation.