Universal Credit for the Self-Employed: unworkable, unfair and short-sighted

Universal Credit is set to hit the self-employed severely. This article outlines what to expect and what you can do.

Self-employed incomes in the UK have crashed since the downturn started. The squeeze on living standards has hit the self-employed hardest, according to government figures. Yet the self-employed have also provided most of the new jobs and their flexibility has helped to buffer the UK economy from the worst effects of the economic storm.

You would think government would have an interest in sustaining or even strengthening this economic shock absorber. The plans for Universal Credit for the Self Employed (UCSE) suggest otherwise. One in five of the self-employed – almost 1 million people – currently rely on Tax Credits to supplement their self-employed earnings. That system is set to be shaken-up dramatically with the introduction of UCSE. The rigidities of UCSE  look set to strip the buffer down to a very thin line. The implications are a concern for the self-employed, new start-ups and for the wider economy.

If you think it’s likely you may need to rely on UCSE at some stage, what should you be prepared for? Despite the far reaching implications, no information has yet been sent to any of the businesses concerned. We’ve done some homework for you and prepared the following briefing:

When is UCSE due to be introduced? 

Initially it was scheduled to be introduced in October 2013. However there have been high-profile delays to the implementation of the mainstream Universal Credit scheme and the latest official word from DWP is: “Universal Credit is being introduced gradually, so you may need to claim a different benefit until it is open to you.” In this case, no news is good news.

How Universal Credit for the Self-Employed will work

Gateway interview

Self-employed people who make a claim for Universal Credit will be invited to a ‘Gateway Interview’ to assess whether their self-employment is ‘gainful’. What the assessors will be looking for is evidence that your self-employment is well-organised, developed and regular and that you are, or have good prospects of, making a reasonable profit. They will also want to see that it is your ‘main’ source of employment, either in terms of taking up most of your working week, or delivering the larger part of your income. If they aren’t convinced that you are ‘gainfully’ self-employed then you’ll need to ‘look for and be available for other work’.

The Gateway interview will also consider any special circumstances, such as disability or caring responsibilities, which they may be able to take into account when they set the number of hours they’ll be expecting you to work.

Minimum income floor

UCSE assumes that you are earning at least the equivalent of minimum wage for the number of hours they expect you to work. For most people that is a 35 hour work week, 52 weeks a year (no holidays or bank holidays for the self-employed it seems). Your minimum ‘assumed’ earnings will be £957 per month. They call this the ‘minimum income floor’. The ‘floor’, or number of hours you’re expected to work, may be reduced depending on your circumstances, eg. if you have childcare responsibilities or a disability.

Minimum assumed earnings will be factored in to your claim whether you have earned that amount in the month or not. DWP state: “If you earn less than the minimum income floor in any month, Universal Credit will not bridge that gap. This will encourage you to grow your business and make sure it can support you.” There is no option for income fluctuations to be averaged out over the year, as would be the case in normal accounting practice and with Tax Credits.

The ‘minimum income floor’ is a new ‘policy innovation’ being tested exclusively on the self-employed. Everyone else eligible for universal credit, will have their claim based on actual earnings. The self-employed alone will be subject to so-called ‘assumed earnings’.

In interviews for a report commissioned by DWP, most business owners currently being supported by Tax Credits felt that they would be negatively affected by the minimum income floor. Only one business out of 45 was confident that their earnings would never fluctuate below the ‘floor’ level. Incomes were most likely to fluctuate seasonally or in line with client payment schedules.  Those business owners told researchers that this appeared to be an ‘unfair and punative’ policy which will make it harder for people to meet living expenses just at a time when their business may be experiencing a dip.

Reporting your income

UCSE will have real time monthly reporting. You will need to report your self-employed earnings online every month, no more than 14 days after the end of each month. You’ll then be paid monthly directly into your bank account. The amount will vary in line with any earning above the minimum floor level.

The DWP’s accounting requirements for UCSE are different to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Businesses will have to prepare two sets of accounts. DWP also will not accept many of the costs accepted by HMRC.


New businesses have a grace period of 12 months where the minimum income floor doesn’t apply and you also do not have to look for other paid work. During this period “you will receive the same amount of Universal Credit as you would if you were earning the same amount from PAYE employment”. Individuals are allowed one start-up period every five years, provided you meet all the other eligibility criteria. To qualify for a new start-up period, you also need to be starting a business in a different sector.

Moving from Tax Credits to Universal Credit

The DWP says: “In future, if you are self-employed and on Tax Credits, you may be moved onto Universal Credit if your circumstances have not changed for some time. If this happens, you will not be subject to a minimum income floor for the first six months of your claim.”

Capital limit

You won’t be eligible for UCSE if you have capital of £16,000 or more; that is savings, investment property or a lump-sum like a redundancy payment. Your personal possessions, business assets and your home will not be taken into account. Capital between £6,000 and £16,000 will be added to your ‘assumed income’ at a rate of £4.35 for each £250 or part of £250 of capital you have over £6,000. Tax Credits currently have no capital limit.

What are the implications?

Reversing the increase in self-employment

UCSE is set to disincentive self-employment as an option for people who do not have an independent safety net.

“The reason why the recession hasn’t proved as devastating on employment as first feared is because huge numbers of people laid off from their regular jobs have turned to self-employment. However, the government needs to be clear these proposed changes to Universal Credit could reverse this trend and remove a valuable route back into the labour market through self-employment.”

John Walker – Chairman of the the Federation of Small Businesses

Business closures

DWP are clear that their aim is to: “limit the extent to which universal credit subsidises underemployment and long-term low-earning businesses.” While that tough stick will galvanise some to move up and out of out-of-work benefits, the evidence suggests that it will see many more fall into unemployment, ‘off the books’ or into debt. One business owner said that he would take on more work if the opportunity arose, but the only realistic option he could see in the short term was to reduce family spending.

The policy shows no understanding of the cyclical nature of small business. It discriminates against seasonal businesses, including those in the agricultural and tourism industries. It discriminates against freelancers, consultants and contractors, paid by the job in lump sums. It assumes low-earning business is a one way street, discriminating against previously thriving concerns struggling to rebuild in the wake of the economic downturn.

Social impact

DWP-commissioned research found that self-employment enabled many low-earning businesses to fit work alongside providing care for sick relatives or children or to work around their own poor health. The researchers concluded:

Finding out about people’s routes into self-employment and reasons for sustaining this way of working show how important self-employment can be in supporting other arms of government policy – strengthening families and support for children, and enabling some people with severe health conditions to participate in employment.”

The policy will also hit women hardest. The low-earning, part-time self-employed are disproportionately female. The DWP research was weighted to include more low earners: two thirds were women, they comprise just one third of self-employed people receiving Tax Credits.

Increased, unworkable bureaucracy

The changes add significant layers of complication and time-consuming bureaucracy at a time when government have said that they want to simplify small business tax affairs. Accountancy group ICAS says: “Far from offering worthwhile simplification compared with the pre-existing Tax Credits regime, the Universal Credit proposals have the potential to increase considerably the administrative burdens on small businesses.”

While Paula Tallon of the ICAEW’s small business committee says:

“The new UC regulations will actively discourage self-employment and undermine the policies of reducing administrative burdens on small businesses. For low earners this is no incentive to start a new business.”

What can you do?

Since the downturn started 400,000 people have started working for themselves. They have delivered most new UK jobs in that time. Imagine what could have been achieved with a meaningful skills and support strategy for those new small businesses?

It hasn’t been easy: average self-employed incomes have been squeezed more than employees’ earnings. Add to that unworkable bureaucracy, a safety net based on imaginary income and little sign of alternative routes back to the labour market for those who have made a job for themselves. It is hard to see who this strategy will help. What is clear is that it will close down enterprise as a route to employment for many and remove important flexibilities from our economy.

So what can you do?

Be prepared. The Citizens Advice Bureau has put together practical information and a detailed step-by-step guide which will give you a clearer idea of how UCSE will impact on your particular circumstances. Click here for more details.

Lobby for sensible changes. Write to your MP and lobby any membership bodies, trade associations or unions you belong to. Click here for details of your local MP and how to write to them.

35 thoughts on “Universal Credit for the Self-Employed: unworkable, unfair and short-sighted”

  1. “Your minimum ‘assumed’ earnings will be £957 per month.”
    is this before or after expenses? As this makes a huge difference.

  2. Hi Rosa
    The assumed ‘minimum income’ is the assumed income after expenses. It’s the figure they use to calculate entitlement – not what you receive. If your earnings are below that level, then for UC purposes your expenses are irrelevant.

  3. This is absolutely ridiculous. You’d think they would have done some research into this before implementing such policies. I went into self employment because I was so ill I could barely walk but according to the government I wasn’t disabled enough even though I could hardly stand up. They would have given me DLA if I had been depressed though. Anyway I got myself through it and work from home on the phone earning about £100 a week or thereabouts. The work just doesn’t bring in anymore. What do they want us to do? Register as unemployed and continue working on the side or something?

    • I take it you never been depressed let me tell you that this illness is terrible and also I can’t get any benefits because of my illness so don’t you dare bring people down that have this illness . I didn’t choose to be like this it’s people like you that have a cold and make out it’s a hundred times worse and get all the benefits . You should be ashamed !!!

  4. Hi this is a joke. I am a single father and got into wedding photography to work around my daughter. Its hard to live at the moment I was told on Friday I would have to find other work as I don’t bring in the required amount of money. I was told I would have to go from self employed to unemployed and look for other work. By doing that I will be worse off. Its hard to find work that fits around my daughter so it would have to be part time if I can find any part time work. But that would bring in less than I am getting now so why are they doing this

  5. I have just found out about the UCLE and it’s absolutely frightening. It means both my partner and I will have to stop working as self employed and look for other work. But there is no other work! We both have a disability but been self employed for two years as was given the opportunity to develop our businesses through the tax credit system. We feel like we have been doing all we can to move forward with our disadvantages but now we are kicked back to where we started. This is not OK. This is playing with people lives! I hope more and more people will realize what is happening and there will be a massive outcry. I think people are not aware yet, otherwise how could they vote for them again???

  6. My son who has been operating as self employed as a stonewaller, a situation in which he often works for someone else who removes 20% of earnings for the tax office each time he is paid, is currently unemployed as there is no work available. shockingly it looks as if he will be unable to receive any financial support while he seeks more work, added to which the experience and implications of the demands on those who genuinely wish for work from the job centre are punitive in the extreme. My son additionally has bi-polar disorder which makes consistency at work problematic.
    what is likely to be the result of this for him and so many others?
    Seems to me we are going backwards as a society and moving towards the equivalent of the workhouses which is where help for the unemployed came in to prevent such appalling poverty circumstances, ill health and early death.
    I am a pensioner in my 70s and will do what I can to inform others of the effects of the changes.
    I cannot believe that many people would support such practices and policies if they knew what the effects were, and the effects are what count at the end of the day.
    I will contact my MP. If there is anything else I can do to bring attention to this plight of so many please let me know.

    • As a self employed taxi driver in wigan I am in the same boat
      Since the closure of one the main ranks in the town and the closing of two major retailers the majority of the town’s taxis now park on the other main taxi rank.
      The dwp now won’t accept my expenses and get no payments.
      Think that they who are on 30k a year should try working hard graft for a living and see how long they last

  7. Blimey I’m not the only one commenting on this article years later. Yes this is very scary stuff. It’s a huge stress.

    I’m a self employed performer so my work is seasonal and payments come in blocks – sometimes half a years income in a single payment for a contract done over months! I don’t earn enough to meet the ‘minimum income floor’ so if I’ve not boosted my business by the time I’m pushed off Tax Credits I’ll have to quit.

    The really sad thing is my plan for leaving support completely was maybe only 1 year from fruition… I’m bi-polar and quite proud I’ve carved my own job that I’m capable of sustaining. I’ve gone from being on the dole, claiming housing benefit, unable to fit in anywhere, to almost standing alone through what I’ve achieved for myself. It’s taken me a decade but it’s all been in the right direction and I could see the end in sight. Till now….

    As you’re allowed to save on Working Tax Credit I’ve been living as frugally as possible to keep enough to make a mortgage deposit on the cheapest run down shoebox (with one half coming from a parental loan). Because the monthly mortgage repayment would be half of what I pay on rent, that saving would negate my need for Working Tax or any other credit. I’d achieve my dream of having my own place and being self sufficient. My latest date forecast for that momentous change was April 2017 but maybe as early as May 2016!

    …But now I’ll never get there as I don’t earn enough to get UCSE, so I’ll have 6 months to save myself before I’ll have to start paying the rent with what could have been the mortgage, before I’ll have to ditch 10 years of hard work…. so I’ll become unemployed (and possibly unemployable),… so then I’ll have to claim Universal Credit including the housing element.


    If it wasn’t already so hard for a self employed person to get a mortgage I’d never have even read this article as I’d not be claiming. The whole system’s stacked against.

  8. Please could you provide a reference for the statement:

    “The DWP says: “In future, if you are self-employed and on Tax Credits, you may be moved onto Universal Credit if your circumstances have not changed for some time. If this happens, you will not be subject to a minimum income floor for the first six months of your claim.””

    This is really important information for many people if it is true, but I can’t find any trace of this policy on government websites.

    I am in my second year of business and currently going through a quiet patch. I was claiming tax credits previously but decided to claim UC to get some extra help with rent. As a result of the MIF, I was awarded £0 and lost all my tax credits even though I have made a loss for these 2 months. I am technically ‘gainfully self-employed’ if you take it over the course of a year, but this won’t be of any help until October when my busy season starts. If I tell them I’m not gainfully self-employed, I have to look for another job, which means I can’t run my business (catch 22!?) As a result of UC wanting to assess accounts monthly instead of yearly like HMRC, I am seriously struggling to pay rent and eat. It is possible this will cost me my business and home (a very modest studio flat in suburbia) or at the very least leave me in massive debt which means the problems will continue into the next year.

    It is disgusting how small business owners are being treated under this new scheme.

  9. Hi James, thanks for sharing your experience of how the new UCSE rules are being implemented The statement you refer to was accurate when the article was published in 2013. I’m not sure if that is still the case, DWP may have changed the rules. Also it sounds as if you left Tax Credits for a period as you had to apply for UC. The transition rule if it still applies would have been for people who had been claiming TCs continuously. We completely agree, the MIF is a senseless and cruel measure. Do send your testimony to your local MP and any trade associations you are a member of, like FSB. Hope things work out for you, good luck.

  10. Hello ,

    I have just read your very helpful and informative article on self employment and universal credit .I am a graduate and also a start up business this year .
    I am also a loan parent.
    I have just lived through the process of becoming selfemployed and having to be interviewed and “processed” in order to qualify for the child tax credits which were stopped during this process leaving my children and I penniless and incurring bank charges while my business startup in the first few months was taking off…I feel I am being punished almost for trying to start up a business whilst being a loan parent …this has been the most difficult time of my life and at times my children have gone without the normal things like new shoes and clothes etc …starting up a business in the beginning will always involve costs initially ,no provision at all has been made for this in this terrible and inhumain universal credit system .I am a highly intelligent women and I have been belittled dehumanized and insulted by this universal credit system ,I have not at all felt supported to become an entrepreneur who wil;l if successful employ many others in this country ..I strongly feel that this system breaks families and people and does not encourage business in any way ,rather it channels people into becoming drones /workers for the establishment ,the system leaves families vulnerable and hungry for weeks on ends while it uses the excuse of decision making ….this is a fundamentally flawed and inhuman system which is wrong and we must lobby to have it removed completely .It does not work for business start ups or for women or for loan parents ….I would like to write a longer article on my experience so far of this system and if anyone is interested in me doing this for publication or just to include in research data please do not hesitate to contact me my email is suejmacaulay@yahoo.co.uk.I will be happy to write my experience of becoming self employed as a l;o9an parent /graduate this year 2016 .

  11. My partner is self employed he has less earning minimum wage they calld him interview at Jobcenter like he is unemployed person we have not received any payment up to 8 weeks this must be joke and they want people to become homeless and stressed they must be stopped

  12. I started with universal credits 2 months ago when I became unemployed. I since got a part time job and am self employed part time. last week, while I was at work, I received an email telling me I had to report my self employed income by calling the expensive ‘help’ line. I tried calling as soon as I got home from work, but in 55 minutes no one answered the phone. Now I have been told that I have missed my opportunity to report my self employed income and that my universal credit will be stopped. (Not that I’ve had a bean out of them so far anyway. Is this right?

  13. Me and my partner have 4 children (2 of school age between us) I work part time 28h a week in the nhs on 7.84 an hour. He works part time as a taxi driver as he was widowed 10 years ago and left with a 7 year old son. I sold my house for a miniscule profit when separated and rented and got housing benefit. My partner had his own house. Received bereavement benefit. We have come together. We have lost quite a bit of money doing so. Love conquers all they say. We would have received 100 a week on tax credits on our circumstances. Now we are 6 weeks in with nothing. This minimum floor is ridiculous. How terrible they could leave people with nothing because they expect you to take No time off or holidays. I cant believe they have gotten away with this

  14. I have been on universal credit and gainfully self-employed for 9 months now and am due to hit the end of my ‘start-up period’ in March. From that time it will be assumed that I earn just over £1000 (!!!). Yes, thats right… even higher than originally expected. I don’t even think I will be able to claim the ‘housing element’ part of my payment if it is assumed I earn that much so its looking like my choices will be 1) Stop working for myself and waste all the time and effort I have put into building my business up to this point, start being a ‘job-seeker’ again and probably get a minimum wage job somewhere 2) Continue working for myself however end up homeless thus unable to ‘work from home’ as I do now, so in essence jobless AND homeless.

    Brilliant. Thanks DWP…nice one!

    For the record, I struggled even before this as I am only 23 so even if tax credits were still happening I still wouldn’t be eligible to claim them for two years anyway! You think the system is rigged against the self-employed? Try being under 25 and attempting to start a business without ridiculous amounts of capital to back you. I went through a Princes Trust Enterprise Course and managed to work for an Loan to set this business up so that will have all been wasted, and then when i’m past the point where being gainfully self employed is possible I will somehow need to pay that loan back but with what? The peanuts that you get when you’re search for work? Or perhaps the pay I might get from a minumum wage job that I’ve just strived for 3 years to get away from?

    What the hell!

  15. I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, it has been operated on, but flares up if I do anything with my hands repetitively on a daily basis, eg: typing, using any sort of hand tool, driving, even stacking shelves or serving pies to people – I have ended up in sleep-depriving agony after a few weeks doing all those things full time.

    Working Tax Credits enable me to work 2-4 days a week, taking time off when my hands begin hurting, which allows them to calm down before I work again. I have used lots of heavy tools in my work as a gardener for the past 5 years now and have sustained a level of self-employed income which has stopped me being wholly dependent on the state.

    Universal Credit will finish me – it is being rolled out in my area soon, but hopefully I won’t be moved over to it for some time. I have worked out that I am unlikely to qualify for anything like the help I get now and anticipate losing around £400 – £450 a month in benefits with nothing to replace them.

    I may find work that doesn’t involved using my hands, but the prospects are very limited. I won’t be able to continue the work that I enjoy and which fulflls me. Having had one ATOS assessment in which I score zero points, I am not confident that I would qualify for any help in lieu of my condition so it looks as though I will have to be unemployed – though it appears that I may not even qualify for that element of UC if they do not accept that I can’t do many jobs for 35 hours a week or work 5 continuous days. Terrifying.

  16. I am a single father, had full custody of my daughter (12) and son (9) since 2011, left my job due to a back injury and took up self employment as a taxi driver in July 2014. We were not well off but we managed. I had been in receipt of housing benefit and this stopped. Upon trying to reclaim I was informed I had to claim UC.

    I did some research and came to the conclusion if I claimed UC by month 3 I would run out of money. I eventually bit the bullet (no pun intended) in July due to increasing rent arrears to claim UC. I did this on July 7th. Here we are September 14th I was paid my 3rd UC payment yesterday and have ceased self employment and signed on the sick with depression. I am livid. I have worked 24 years since I left school to be put on the dole by the dole themselves. The taxi company I was paying rent to work from has an advert in my job centre for drivers!!


  17. This country is no longer a welfare state. The UK has become, with the introduction of this new benefit, a nation that plunders and pickpockets the poor to pay for tax breaks and bonuses for the rich. Is this self-seeking leadership, which spits in the face of social justice, what we want? Is it what the nation needs? Is it right? Is it moral?

    Expect unemployment to soar, as the above comments demonstrate. Who, without protected family capital, can now afford to create their own work, without the safety net of accessible benefits? Expect homelessness to skyrocket. Expect suicide rates to quadruple from the fear and shame of losing everything. Expect families to break up over the strain, children’s mental health problems to become an everyday reality and self-employment to be restricted to those with ample capital, private incomes and overseas bank accounts capable of quietly cushioning the blow of others’ bankruptcy.

    This government has no shame. It is beyond ignorant.

  18. I became self employed a long time ago in order to come off disability benefits and work 16 hours from home due to long term illness, true my earnings were propped up be Working Tax Credits but I was active and occupied. Since then I have had cancer and no improvement in my original condition but I still continued to be self employed. In October I was told my tax credits have stopped and now I have to sign for Universal credit – I know I can’t possibly reach the minimum income floor, so if they assume I am earning minimum wage x35hrs I assume this will affect my housing benefit and council tax reduction and therefore cannot possibly afford to be self- employed. Instead I will have to sign on as looking for work when I am not fit enough. Looking for work after I had succeeded in creating some work for myself. Looking for work when unemployment is as high as ever. How can this possibly be cost effective for the country? Given the complexity of the reporting of income to Universal credit how can it be practical to those who continue with their self employment with so much time wasted preparing accounts in different formats! The commitments expected of you when unemployed and claiming Universal credit are ridiculous. Even though I have been submitting “fit notes” from my doctor I have had to attend many job centre appointments have been emailed/called at home. This government should be ashamed of this situation, I have been advised to apply for personal independence payment by a macmillan benefits advisor but due to the complexity of the system and the hoops you are made to jump through I don’t think my nerves could stand it at the moment. This government are saving money (maybe) by putting too many obstacles in the way of people who have tried to help themselves out of the benefit trap and restricted employment opportunities for those who try to work with a health problem by making it almost impossible to be self employed

  19. we should vote the out with a vote of no confidants, before more people loss their home and self worth it can make strong people feel like a failure and think their no point.
    we need to stand together and be heard …we not all sheeple ..that why we took the plunge to work for our self’s…

  20. single parent women here, ive just given up my business of 5 yrs after being told yeah be self emp, build it up for when kids go to school ( my sons 5 now ) i may as well sat on the dole for the last 5 yrs then put time and effort into something (not that id have done that ), i will never make the min floor so have now applied for jobs etc as with the huge rents on the s coast ill be homeless in a month if i get money assumed when i dont get it, it sucks and v unfair, id say discriminatory against women as well :( just have to be prepared i guess and look for other work if need be, not much else we can do at this time x

  21. I was claiming WTC as a joint claim with my wife. When we split I had to make a new claim for UC.. Being self employed I was judged to be gainfully self employed but due to the slow footfall where I trade my earnings are very low (under min income floor)
    As I have no kids and being back at parents (due to split) I was told that because they had used the min income floor, that I was earning too much too claim.

    So in reality I am earning too little to qualify for a benefit that is supposed to help those on low income !!

  22. I have a small subscription business which I work with my son and daughter which although just over a year is still building and is only just paying costs not wages however has the potential to be a fantastic big business given time, my local enterprise think it is the most exciting business start up they have seen but no funding available.I suffer with complex regional pain syndrome which is highly unpredictable and working from home allows me to work when I am able . My youngest child has just left school so my Bereavement benefit and child tax credits have ended and as I am gainfully employed !! but signed off sick I should have had the foreseen the future and saved money to pay myself when off sick!! was trying to work 20 hours but that was taking into consideration that everything takes me twice as long to do things
    so am entitled to no money how can people be expected to live ? I have previously been deemed as unemployable and am going through the pip assessment again . I just feel so stressed which makes my condition worse and just makes you feel that it is not worth trying I felt so proud of myself for my idea and for trying to move forward with my disability and coping with losing my Husband and now I feel that it is all pointless when I cannot afford to pay bills . so much for supporting self employed !

  23. Hi Worried, well done for what you have acheived with your business in this first year and so sorry for your loss.
    Not up-to-date on the benefits situation, and clearly you’ve hit a wall with UCSE. It may be worth asking the jobcentre about New Enterprise Allowance. Also re business funding, it may be worth checking-out the government-backed Start-up loans company. http://prowess.org.uk/your-start-up-loans-application-inside-tips/ You can’t live on a start-up loan, but you may be able to use it for business costs to build the business and then start to have some profits to pay yourself with.
    Wish you well and hope you can find a way through.

  24. I’ve just hit this problem :(

    been self employed for thirty years. My net income has always fluctuated, but averaged out as “just enough” until recently.

    I’m now down to the point where my regular outgoings exceed my income by quite a bit and haven’t been able to find additional work, and therefore income – so I decided to claim UC, and discovered this Minimum Income Floor.

    The difference between that and my income is near enough the same as the difference between my income/outgoings, so I’m going to get almost nothing.

    I’m not sure how long I can keep going like this – eventually (before the end of this year) I’ll be unable to pay my rent. I suppose I can make what little I have go further by putting as much as I can on my cards (to which I already owe a bit) but that will just make things worse further down the line.

  25. It is now 2024 and Tax Credits are ending, DWP are now sending out the UC migration letters… Amazing. I hate the DWP, condescending, aggravating, penny pinching little *****.
    It’s going to be fun at the gateway interview, for these upstarts to claim I am not gainfully employed or being told I don’t make enough look for a job instead…. For around 20 years I have had zero complaint from paying my taxes HMRC or from TC decision as far as the only power I respect is the HMRC I do not for the DWP. I am self employed. I am disgusted by how the DWP treat people, they have very little respect for you, and that’s from the limited experience I have had with them. You would think the money came out of their own pockets. Penny pinching *****. DWP are not fit for purpose!!!


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