Universal credit application: Hi all, I am about to... - Mencap


4,800 members1,289 posts

Universal credit application

Bluey203 profile image

Hi all,

I am about to apply for universal credit on behalf of my 18 year old son who is severely autistic with severe learning disability, nonverbal and lacks capacity. He is no longer in education, but receiving 12hrs per week direct payment for a PA to take him out and about. I am his appointee.

I have researched the internet for information, there is a lot of support from 'dosh' and citizens advice etc, but there are 2 things I'm unsure about. The first is, in one section of the application you are asked to verify your identity, would that mean me as the appointee or my son as the claimant?

The second area I'm confused with is, my son has a lifelong mental disability which will not improve or change, they ask for a sick note from the doctor with a start and end date to be added to the application, my son will never be able to work or train for work due to severe learning disability , he has the mental age of a 3 year old.

To be honest I cant understand why parents should have to explain all their young adults difficulties again , when we had to jump through hoops to get enhanced rate PIP. Why on earth doesnt the DWP use the PIP assessment as evidence of capability for universal credit, instead of causing unnecessary further stress, especially when it is a lifelong disability.

Thank you for any advice, take care ❤

11 Replies

Hi Bluey203,

I know applying for Universal Credit can be stressful but don’t worry.

Once you start making the claim online it will ask you to verify your son’s identification as he is the claimant, so a passport or birth certificate will be perfect. I think you could also use the PIP award letter and his National Insurance number the letter he would have received as you need 3 forms of identification.

With regards to you being the appointee you will also need to provide 3 forms of identification - passport, driving licence, bank card, utility bills. I hope this helps you and puts your mind at ease.

You will need to get a fit note (sick note) from the doctor for your son and keep providing one until he is invited for a Work Capability Assessment where he will be assessed to see if he is capable of working. I know it’s obvious to us and everyone else who knows your son that he isn’t able to work ever. It’s a procedure Universal Credit follows and this is the process that you have to go through where once he’s been for the assessment he won’t have to provide any more fit notes. You will have a Work Coach your son will be assigned to so you can ask questions and get support.

Just make sure you keep the username and password safe as you will need them each time you login to Universal Credit. And if you need to speak to the Work Coach you will need to put a message in the journal and the work coach will reply back to you.

I hope this all makes sense and again don’t worry to much.

Good luck!!

Bluey203 profile image
Bluey203 in reply to Orange45

Hi Orange45, Thank you so much for your detailed reply, it has lifted a weight off my shoulders and i can be more prepared to tackle the questions now !

Great advice from Orange45. My son had to have an interview at the job centre to verify his identity. I phoned them before hand to tell them I didn’t have much in the way if ID as everything is in my name being his appointee. I can’t remember exactly what I took in the end but definitely his birth certificate and PIP letters. I had also registered him to vote for the sole reason that it’s form of ID.

His doctor gave me a sick note for 3 months. Once he was awarded the higher rate of UC we no longer had to supply them.

Bluey203 profile image
Bluey203 in reply to BenjiB

Hi BenjiB, Thank you so much for your reply, great ideas for ID for my son, it is such a difficult thing to find, good to know sick notes dont have to continually be supplied if they receive higher rate.

Hi Bluey203, just read your concern now and want to tell you that Orange45 had really answered all your questions. Just follow her advice because that is exactly what I have gone through when I applied for my 20 years old son who is Autistic with some learning disabilities 2 years ago as his appointee.

Hi Bluey 203, hope you don't mind me jumping on your post. Seems you have had some good advice. My son receives ESA and PIP but I'd never thought of claiming UC. Is this something to apply for aswell as ESA or is it one or the other? Thank you!

Hi swimbikerun, As far as I know, at the moment it is one or the other, in our area as a first time claimant my son will receive universal credits instead of ESA, but several benefits including ESA will gradually be replaced across the country by universal credits, DWP will contact those effected.

Ah right, thank you!

Hi Bluey 203 the advice people give you is right, my son is 20 and has learning disability and autism we I applied for him during the first lockdown and I only had to give sick note just once. They took my details as a pointee so that I will be checking his universal credit journal and updating it . It was just a procedure that they have to follow I did his application online and then asked for a phone call to verify it was straight forward. Within three months I was sent a form for extra benefit which was filled and sent back after that my son was classified unfit for work and activities group so extra benefit was added to his universal credits and no more sick notes was required. I hope this helps .

Hi all,I just wanted to give an update of my experience of the online application for UC on behalf of my son.

Unfortunately I did not find it that straight forward, probably due to the fact that at the time of application we were in lockdown, therefore everything is done online and you cannot take paperwork evidence to anyone in the jobcentre.

When applying online, the first thing i noticed was at no time do they ask if youre filling in the application as an appointee on behalf of someone, which should have been the first question.

There was also a question about 'work status' which only gave two options both work related, but didnt have a 'not applicable ' option, but i had to choose an answer to move onto the next question.

When it came to verifying the claimants ID , you are sent to the government gateway for which you need to have a credit history. My son has no credit history as he is nonverbal and doesnt even have a phone, so after going through the whole process at the end it told me it couldnt proceed and somebody would phone to verify ID.

When that person did phone, (they tell you when in your online 'Journal') I told them i was speaking on my sons behalf as his appointee, they were confused and asked for my son to confirm that he agreed to this on the phone, i told them that wasnt possible because he is nonverbal, it took about 20mins for them to sort things out and then verify his ID.

I made a complaint about the process online to the DWP, and had a reply in the 'journal', they agreed that some areas in the system need to be improved. But one point he made was that when a person is Appointee under PIP this does not mean they are automatically appointee under UC.

On research I dont think that is right, I found out under the gov.uk website for info for their own employees, a section entitled 'Existing appointee claims another benefit' section 5307 , where it basically said when an existing appointee claims another benefit for the person he represents you (meaning the person at the jobcentre) must confirm they are the appointee before deciding the claim, by checking the CIS (customer information system) or asking ie. PIP if they have the BF56 form of the appointee.

One other thing that was annoying, I had to fill out the UC50 medical assessment form which is every bit as detailed as the PIP claim.

Had i been able to attend the jobcentre with the requested sick/fit note from the doctors and other evidence, this would not have been necessary, my son would have been given an automatic LCWRA (lack of capacity for work and work related activity). But when filling in online ,the only thing they ask for from the fit note is the start and finish dates. Had they seen the fit note they would have seen the doctor had written not fit for work due to severe learning disability, and that he would not need to see him again at the end of this period when the fit note expired.

On the benefits and work website ,which i found extremely helpful when filling in the medical form, they stated "In practice, the DWP try to pick out all the most severely disabled people who are eligible for the support group(LCWRA), as early as possible, based on medical certificates from their doctor. This is done before you are even sent a questionnaire to complete"

I even told them in the online journal what was written on the fit note, and was told i still needed to fill in the medical assessment form, which duly arrived the following day !

I have now filled it in begrudgingly and am awaiting the outcome.

Hope you all have a smoother experience, maybe things will improve when jobcentres open for face to face again.

Good luck!

Charlie2750 profile image
Charlie2750Community friend

Hi I caught this thread but didnt read all the posts but I did see that someone was asking about ESA and UC. For information my son gets ESA and UC besides his PIP.There were a few hoops at first but now we have been getting it for about 2 years with no problem.

You may also like...