Paying people who receive benefits

Paying people who receive benefits

Social Care Institute for Excellence

I recently attended a one day seminar on ‘paying people who receive benefits’. Typically these people are service users. How can I condense an intense six hour seminar into 500 words? Not easy, so here are a few important points. Paying people who receive benefits is not straight forward. The rules are complex. Also the DWP expect you, the service user, to understand them. Ouch :-(.

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

This course took place at the offices for SCIE in London.  Also do look around their website. Another one is the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). If you have any questions regarding your rights or information in this area then contact these organisations.

Paying people who receive benefits

I will try to explain things from my point of view. I receive ESA and I do bits and pieces of work to help local universities who are training nurses and social workers. The DWP understand that service user involvement is not the same as work and should not be used to assess capacity for work.

Citizens Advice Bureau

What you really need to know

The benefits system is complicated and, in my opinion, not fit for purpose. There are far too many ifs, buts and exceptions. For example 4 different people are working together and each person is on a different benefit. Even though they all have the same experience and are all doing the same work the maximum amount of money each person can receive will vary. Does that make sense?

Change of circumstances

When you complete your benefits form and sign it then you must notify the DWP if you experience a ‘change of circumstances’. I think this is an awfully woolly phrase. What they really want to know is if you start earning any money. If the organisation paying you have your national insurance number the DWP will find out how much you are receiving.

People at the DWP will often give different answers when you ask them the same question because the rules and regulations of benefits are so complicated. Don’t despair or bury your head in the sand pleading ignorance when the DWP are on your case. Try to get independent advice.

A good idea or two

For every organisation that pays me I have completed a Permitted Work form (PW1ESA). To download one online, click here. Surprise surprise the DWP did not tell me about them originally. I have now sent off forms after starting the work. Keep a photo copy and post them by recorded delivery. By the way do not expect the reply.

If you are invited to a meeting and want to change the date or time the reason must be very important. Missing it is unforgivable.

Incidentally the course was seminar was provided by Judy Scott Consultancy.

As you might know

The DWP have requested me to attend a couple of interviews. I think it is fair to say they were not enjoyable experiences. A bit like school, the prefects summon me into their common room for doing something that I considered trivial. In those days I was a teenager, now I am 62.

Have you had problems with the DWP, receiving the correct benefit or just getting the correct information? Feel free to share the problems

October 2016

2 responses to “Paying people who receive benefits”

  1. The experience here, in Australia, with Centrelink (our name for DWP) is very similar. It is made me very interested in what is called the Universal Basic Wage a concept that is well-documented on Wikipedia.
    The UBW It’s a comfortable basic income but he’s paid to people regardless of whether they work or not. To pay every one of the 8 billion people on the world a basic wage would require less than one percent of taxation on speculative trading.
    Finland is already trialling a UBW.

    • Hello,

      To be eligible for benefits in the UK is complicated. I receive Disability Living Allowance as well as Income Support (because I cannot work, blame MS) and that is about £ 115 per week in total. I don’t think that would cover food, energy bills and clothing for one person. I could earn another £ 120 per week which takes me up to £11,000 pa. Tax starts when annual income exceeds £ 11,000 pa. This is highly simplified.

      Whole issue is a hot potato and cost of living varies tremendously depending upon where you live In the UK whole benefits system is a bit of a mess, that is a massive understatement The UK government trying to rationalise it but running into trouble

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