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  • FIRST POST
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 14th Jul 17, 6:57 AM
    • 388Posts
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    Cyclamen
    Can husband and wife both claim ESA?
    • #1
    • 14th Jul 17, 6:57 AM
    Can husband and wife both claim ESA? 14th Jul 17 at 6:57 AM
    Hello,

    My husband has sadly and reluctantly had to leave work due to his health. He has been hanging on as long as possible but sadly its happened.

    I already get contributions ESA and PIP.

    He has been making the normal NI payments.

    I have been googling and reading the various sites, I've been to a benefits checker but am still unclear so thought I'd ask here please.

    Would he be entitled to his own ESA contributions based claim or do we have to do a joint claim?

    Thank you
Page 1
    • sammyjammy
    • By sammyjammy 14th Jul 17, 7:45 AM
    • 4,127 Posts
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    sammyjammy
    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 7:45 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 7:45 AM
    He would have his own contributions claim, assuming he is entitled. They may "link" the two claims but the amount of money due would remain the full entitlement for contribution ESA based on your individual claims.
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 14th Jul 17, 8:52 AM
    • 388 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:52 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:52 AM
    Thank you Sammy.. that is what I thought but was unsure as turn2us stated income support was better than ESA. But I wonder if it only counted income related benefits not contributions.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 14th Jul 17, 9:48 AM
    • 10,507 Posts
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    pmlindyloo
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 9:48 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 9:48 AM
    Reading your other posts it seems that your husband also gets PIP. Are you or he or both of you claiming Carer's allowance?

    I suggest that you get a benefits check from CAB as it is possible that one of you should be claiming income based ESA and the other added onto this claim as this may give you more money.

    There may also be an alternative for one of you to claim Income Support and the other added on to the claim if one of you or both of you claim Carer's Allowance.

    There are pros and cons to the different scenarios so it is vital that someone advises you of the best type of claim.
    Last edited by pmlindyloo; 14-07-2017 at 9:50 AM.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 14th Jul 17, 10:31 AM
    • 388 Posts
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    Cyclamen
    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 10:31 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 10:31 AM
    Hello Pmlindyloo

    My husband claims carers for me and absolutely deserves it, definitely doing 35 hours.
    I know I could claim for him but at this time I don't feel I do 35 hours of care tasks.. so havent. I am absolutely terrified of getting into trouble so always declare everything an dwouldnt feel comfy claiming carers.

    I have a small 'ill health retirement' pension so that stops income related ESA I believe ..I am on contributions in the support group.

    We have applied for income support.. we were the last day before universal credit started by luck not judgement.

    I am confident he fits WRAG ESA criteria but think support would be a fight. I have read that contributions ESA for WRAG is only a year long.

    I think popping to CAB would be good idea thank you.

    Its a bit tricky for wheelchair access and I'm limited to how long I can sit up and wait.. I'll have a look though and try an dget there in next few eeks.

    We are both quite upset about closing the business but it was just too much.

    I hate being reliant on benefits.. as I am sure we all do.

    Thank you
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 14th Jul 17, 11:03 AM
    • 1,212 Posts
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    Alice Holt
    • #6
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:03 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:03 AM
    Yes. If in the WRAG group contribution - based ESA stops after 365 days, and an income-based assessment is then made. If in the SG it can continue indefinitely.

    Give the CAB a ring / email, explain your circumstances and see if they can arrange an appointment time for a benefits check.
    Income Support is a means tested benefit and would look at household income. Your husband may be better off with his own contribution-based ESA claim (at least for a year).
    Have you tried the online benefit calculators?

    I assume your pension is under £85pw?

    Are you getting help with Council Tax?
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 14th Jul 17, 11:45 AM
    • 388 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:45 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:45 AM
    Alice.. yes pension is sady below the £85pw.. I still feel bitter about this as at time of applying I was as poorly as I am now but because the medical reports had a date outside 6 months I only got a part pension.. However its good to have some income that I feel I have earnt.

    We used the turn2us benefit calculator..but it didnt seem to consider contributions based ESA.

    Council tax.. yes we get help.. the council seem to send us a letter every few weeks with a different figure so its not very clear. Thankfully we paid a lump sum in April we had saved towards it so I can rest easy for now.

    I will try contacting CAB for an appointment but last time it was a drop in 'assess the problem' clinic before they gave you an appointment.

    Thank you
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 14th Jul 17, 11:52 AM
    • 1,212 Posts
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    Alice Holt
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:52 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:52 AM
    It's possible they might be able to do the 'assess the problem' gateway bit over the phone if you explain difficulties of getting in for a drop in session.
    • epitome
    • By epitome 15th Jul 17, 4:29 PM
    • 2,564 Posts
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    epitome
    • #9
    • 15th Jul 17, 4:29 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Jul 17, 4:29 PM
    That advice to claim Income Support may not have been the best advice.

    A claim in his name for ESA Conts could have been the best way to go (assuming he satisfies ESA Conts tax year earnings requirements). If he satisfies the conts criteria he would have got £73.10 per week ESA C but his Carers Allowance would have reduced to £0.00 and underlying entitlement.
    He would eventually have a medical:

    If he goes into WRAG
    He would get £73.10 a week for 1 year from start of claim and no more
    If he goes into SG
    He would get £109 a week for as long as he stays in the SG.

    If he had done this, you could have asked for an ESA3 to add him to your ESA claim, however see below note ##**

    As he claimed Income Support all your income will be removed from his Income Support, and his own income i.e. Carer's Allowance will also be removed (except PIP/DLA), but he would get a couple rate disability premium on his Income Support of £46.40 which is not available on ESA IR, Additional premiums on IS or ESA IR would depend on what rate yours and his PIP Daily Living is standard or enhanced?

    And if he claims ESA C and is awarded it... then you would get potentially more entitlement in your ESA IR or his Income Support claim Although I am not sure if a claimant can claim Income Support and ESA Conts at the same time. I don't think it can be done due to the ESA requirement of "Must not be entitled to IS".

    note ##**
    You also mentioned the "Universal Credit Full Service Area" (UCFSA) has now landed in your postcode? If that is the case, then closing the Income Support and you asking for an ESA3 *could* *theoretically* mean that your ESA3 request is passed on to Universal Credit and will be treated by UC as a claim for UC (along side your existing ESA C, would become ESA C NewStyle)
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-full-service-and-live-service


    If you are in a UCFSA he can still withdraw his claim to IS, and claim
    "UC ESA C NS only"
    And you can ask for an ESA3 on your ESA claim and they probably will not refer your case to UC.


    My questions to you are:

    What rate is yours and his PIP Daily Living? standard or enhanced I need to know both yours and his

    Are you in a UCFSA?

    Do you both live with anyone else? Who? Are they also in recept of PIP DL or DLA Care? if so, at what rate?

    Potentially, If he is entitled to ESA C or ESA CNS
    You could get on your ESA IR claim (if allowed) and if PIP awards are ok
    Personal Allowance £114.85
    Support Grp £36.60
    Severe Disability Premium of approx £124
    Carer premium £34.95
    (less his ESA C award and your Occ Pen and anything else.)
    Last edited by epitome; 16-07-2017 at 9:06 AM.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 16th Jul 17, 8:43 AM
    • 388 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    Thank you Epitome that must have taken a while to post I appreciate it.

    I am having trouble following this .. it's my problem nothing to do with your writing style... just one of the symptoms in my collection. So I'll read it back later and try and work things out.

    Income support.. yes they took my ESA and carers off the amount we thought he'd get. We gave the work accounts over to the lady in job centre. We are waiting to hear but it doesn't look like much. So some belt tightening going on here. However I'd far rather a healthier husband than money.

    If he claimed ESA I doubt he'd get support group although it where i think he should be he should get wrag.. but at the moment I think he just needs some time to transition from working to not.

    We were told Working tax credit carries on for 4 weeks? This will help. He phoned the day he closed straight after calling HMRC.

    In all honesty I haven't even started to get my head around universal credit. I need to do some reading up.. whilst he was working I didn;t think it would affect us..but now i need to work things out.

    Your questions.

    My PIP is enhanced Daily living and mobility. Husbands PIP standard daily living. I am on ESA contributions support group.. he has enough 'credits' for contributions benefits.

    UCFSA - yes as far as i was told and checking website this has now happened in my job centre.

    We live together with no 'extras'.

    he receives carers allowance for supporting me. I don't claim for him as I don't do 35 hours 'care stuff' so am not eligible.

    We are both 'not-so-good' at the moment so feel just letting things happen for a few weeks might be the best way for us, in an ideal world we'd be on top off this but well it's not ideal.

    All help appreciated as the whole ting is quite daunting. I am off to read up on ESA criteria over next couple of days to see if he would qualify.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 16th Jul 17, 9:42 AM
    • 1,212 Posts
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    Alice Holt
    Go to your CAB for advice.

    Claiming IS will not maximise your income (see post 6).

    Your husband would have been better to claim "new style ESA" i.e. CB based. He needs a fit note from his GP to do so.

    On legacy benefits because both of you are in receipt of PIP Daily Living you both may be entitled to the £62pw Severe Disability Premium.
    However, under UC these disability premiums are not payable. Disabled couples are considerably worse off under UC.
    http://www.poverty.ac.uk/report-disability-un-government-cuts/disabled-people-%E2%80%98worse-off%E2%80%99-under-universal-credit

    Why did you claim IS?
    If you are now in a UC full service area, you situation is very complicated. You need:
    - to see if you can 'undo' the IS claim and your husband claim new style ESA instead,
    - to understand what constitutes a change that forces you on to UC (and try to avoid it),
    - get a 'better off' benefits check to establish which is the better option for you,

    Please, please get accredited benefits advice. You are potentially missing out on the best option by not doing so, and trying instead to interpret posts from a public site.

    Go to your CAB or another advice agency.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 16-07-2017 at 10:51 AM.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 16th Jul 17, 9:57 AM
    • 1,212 Posts
    • 1,296 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    Re the SDP.

    "If you are in a couple you can receive the severe disability premium if:
    you both receive a qualifying disability benefit (i.e DL component of PIP); and
    you have no non-dependant adults living with you (unless they are also receiving a qualifying disability benefit or are registered blind)
    Where both members of a couple receive a qualifying disability benefit you will receive a couple's rate of SDP if no-one receives payments of Carer's Allowance (CA) for looking after either of you."

    See - http://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/severe-disability-premium

    Couple rate of SDP is £125pw.

    Please go to your CAB to check if:
    - you can open a claim for SDP at the couple rate. and how
    - you can close your current CA claim.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 16th Jul 17, 10:00 AM
    • 388 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    Thanks

    I agree and we will go to CAB its just tricky with my health and have a few hospital/GP appointments to get through first.

    We claimed IS because the turn2us webiste linked from .gov.uk told us that was what was best. We didn't know Universal credit was due to start the next day.

    I don't get any of the disability premiums as I am on contributions based ESA.

    I assume as UC is now here we are too late for the old ESA premiums.

    At the moment it was health first, hence closing the business and then sort money out. I am a little OK a lot overwhelmed by this.. but lots to work with here.

    Thank you ..I do appreciate the help.

    I will try an dget in touch with CAB via email asap.


    EDIT: our posts crossed.. I really do need help with this from CAB. Hadnt thought carers could be swapped for anything.
    There is quite a lot of pride as well as ill health getting in the way here.
    Last edited by Cyclamen; 16-07-2017 at 10:02 AM.
    • epitome
    • By epitome 16th Jul 17, 10:08 AM
    • 2,564 Posts
    • 1,615 Thanks
    epitome
    Ok let me see if I can clarify a few benefit amounts to see where we are and where we might be.

    Your Current ESA C = £109.65
    His Carers Allowance = £62.70
    Your PIP DL = Enhanced
    His PIP DL = Standard

    His Income Support currently should be
    £114.85 (couple personal allowance)
    £34.95 (carer premium)
    £62.45 (severe disability premium couple lower rate - for him)
    £22.85 (enhanced disability premium couple)
    £46.40 (disability premium couple)
    £281.50 (sub total)
    -£62.70
    -£109.65
    £109.15 TOTAL

    So that is where you both should be right now. Ignoring PIPs as they make no difference,
    You get £109.65
    He gets £62.70 + £109.15 = £171.85
    TOTAL both of you = £281.50

    ************************************************** *********
    Now the only thing that can change at this stage is if he closes or withdraws his Income Support claim (because you can't do an ESA3 unless he closes IS) and (he -as far as I know- can't claim ESA C unless he closes Income Support)

    If he closes IS...**and you are allowed to do ESA3** <<this bit is important, you may not be allowed to do an ESA IR claim. You will be sent an ESA3 when you tell ESA, but what they do with the ESA3 when they receive it back is what matters.

    Your ESA would be:
    £114.85 (couple personal allowance)
    £36.55 (support group)
    £22.85 (enhanced disability premim)
    £62.45 (severe disability premium)
    £34.95 (carer premium)
    -£62.70 (carers allowance)
    £208.95 TOTAL


    You would get £208.95
    He would get £62.70
    Total both of you £271.65

    So far, Income Support is winning. Now let's see what happens when he claims ESA C.

    His potential ESA C NS = £73.10 (for 1 year) (There is no WRAG amount anymore on new claims from April 2017)

    Your ESA would be:
    £114.85 (couple personal allowance)
    £36.55 (support group)
    £22.85 (enhanced disability premim couple)
    £124.90 (severe disability premium couple higher rate)
    £34.95 (carer premium)
    -£73.10 (his ESA)
    £261.00 TOTAL


    He would get ESA C £73.10 (his Carer's allowance would stay open but CA payment would stop - underlying entitlement)

    Total both of you = £261.00 + £73.10 = £334.10

    As I thought, if you did it this way it beats Income Support by a long way. But you only get this for 1 year then he would go back to Income Support & Carers Allowance to get a total of £281 between you. (EDIT: sorry he would not be allowed to go back to IS due to UCFSA, instead you would stay on ESA IR and he would be ESA C nil rate, total £271.65).

    Purely on contributory benefits you get £109.55,
    He gets £73.10
    Total = £182.75 so Income Support is better than this. so you need to be careful before closing IS.

    My questions are:
    What date did he stop working?

    What date did he claim IS from?

    How much is yours & his Pension? Gross amount and net amount. (your pension will affect the above amounts but the ranking results could still be the same or similar)
    Last edited by epitome; 16-07-2017 at 10:47 AM.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 16th Jul 17, 10:17 AM
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    Alice Holt
    That's very impressive.
    It would take me hours to do such a comprehensive better off calc without the use of a benefits calculator!
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 16-07-2017 at 10:21 AM.
    • epitome
    • By epitome 16th Jul 17, 10:30 AM
    • 2,564 Posts
    • 1,615 Thanks
    epitome
    Go to your CAB for advice.

    Claiming IS will not maximise your income (see post 6).

    Your husband is better to claim "new style ESA" i.e. CB based. He needs a fit note from his GP to do so.
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    You can't gaurantee that, because they are in UCFSA they may not be allowed to change to ESA IR now, as it may be treated as a UC claim.

    On legacy benefits because both of you are in receipt of PIP Daily Living you both may be entitled to the £62pw Severe Disability Premium.
    However, under UC these disability premiums are not payable. Disabled couples are considerably worse off under UC.
    http://www.poverty.ac.uk/sabled-peoedit
    This cannot be done on Income Support.
    And ESA IR may not be allowed, it might migrate to UC.
    This is only possible on ESA IR if they process the ESA3 at the ESA Benefit Centre.
    Last edited by epitome; 16-07-2017 at 2:21 PM.
    • epitome
    • By epitome 16th Jul 17, 10:43 AM
    • 2,564 Posts
    • 1,615 Thanks
    epitome
    Essentially OP, it is a gamble,

    Stay on IS and get what you get now.
    or
    close IS, claim ESA C (him) and ESA IR (you)
    If they allow the ESA IR you will be much better off
    If they don't allow the ESA IR you will be more than likely worse off, possibly much worse. Ask someone to do a UC calculation for you (I don't do those).

    You could phone your ESA ask for a callback from your ESA BC and ask them if I send in an ESA3 would you process it there for ESA IR or pass it on to UC? Even then you can't gaurantee they know what they are talking about.

    It may be that your ESA BC is not in the habit of passing on ESA3 to UC, or it may be that they are.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 16th Jul 17, 12:47 PM
    • 388 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    Crikey... that's blown me away.. thank you so very much.

    My pension is £69 and pennies a week or £300.12 pcm. He doesn't have a pension.
    Business closed from 11th..thats when he phoned hmrc, wtc and stopped actively doing work. UC in this area apparently started on the 12th so the Income support people sent him to job centre appointment same day to start claim.

    ESA Income based.. I was checked for this a few months ago and was inelligble.. is this something that would change?

    I assume my pension would be subtracted from the income support amount in the first example? So £109-69 = £40 of Income support.


    EDIT : Just been through ESA criteria.. he wouldn't qualify on points. Although working would harm his physical health it would be a battle to evidence this. He's in that tricky spot too poorly to work (otherwise he would still be working) and to well for ESA according to the dwp.
    Last edited by Cyclamen; 16-07-2017 at 2:41 PM.
    • epitome
    • By epitome 16th Jul 17, 2:55 PM
    • 2,564 Posts
    • 1,615 Thanks
    epitome
    Are we talking 11th July 2017? This could be seen as good news, but I'm not guaranteeing anything, it's your benefit, your risk.
    Also
    ESA Income based.. I was checked for this a few months ago and was inelligble.
    could also be potentially good news.

    Essentially within an UCSFA, *ANY* change of circumstances can lead to your existing claim being converted to a UC claim. Things like:
    Change of address requiring Housing Benefit for rent
    Requesting ESA IR to be added to an existing ESA C claim
    Change of circumstances on an existing ESA IR claim, adding/removing partner etc. The good news is that this roll out of UC is confusing a lot of Benefit staff and they don't all do what they are supposed to do and they may have decided to hold off on referring to UC in certain circumstances where it is not absolutley necessary.

    Regarding the Income Support claim
    If it is the 11/07/17 it should be very easy to call Income Support on 0345 608 8545, say NOTHING to the computer when it asks you to say why you are calling, then choose the Income Support option from the numbers 1 2 3 4 5
    When you get through to Income Support tell them "I made a claim on xx/07/2017" and the method of making the claim i,e, filled in a form at jobcentre or whatever... and I do not want that claim to be processed, I am going to be put on my partners ESA claim.


    Regarding
    ESA Income based.. I was checked for this a few months ago and was inelligble.
    Were you sent an ESA3, did you complete it and return it, and then did ESA say your benefit will remain the same?
    OR
    Did you just have a conversation someone who told you there's no point applying for ESA IR you would get nothing as your partner is working Full time?

    If it is the latter then your ESA claim should already be holding the information that you have a partner who is working full time, and they should have asked you for evidence wage slips, pension statement etc, and so you already have an ESA IR claim which is being nilled by wages & pension. The good news here is that if this is the case:
    A) Income Support will not be processed
    B) It is very unlikely that removing your partners employment would result in a transfer to UC (very very unlikely, extremely unlikely).
    C) He can claim ESA CNS
    To find out... you should phone ESA on Monday and ask them on your claim.. * Is my claim ESA C or ESA IR?
    * What is the amount showing underneath ESA IR on my claim? and underneath ESA C (on page JA504 if they wonder what you mean).

    If your claim says this:
    ESA C...................................ESA IR
    109.65...................................
    You have no ESA IR at all and would need to do an ESA3 or insist that they process the ESA3 you sent a few weeks ago and add it to your claim.

    If your claim says this:
    ESA C...................................ESA IR
    109.65...................................35.00
    You have established an award of ESA IR and Income Support should not processed until you have agreed to your ESA being changed.

    If your claim says this:
    ESA C...................................ESA IR
    109.65...................................0.00
    You have established an award of ESA IR and Income Support should not processed until you have agreed to your ESA being changed.

    I now have your pension amount £69 but it would be better to know the gross/net, however I will adjust those claim amounts in the post below.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 16th Jul 17, 3:20 PM
    • 388 Posts
    • 394 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    epitome

    Thank you.. not an easy day today and your kindness and amount fo work you are putting in is over whelming.
    I don't get taxed..but my pension statements are in a heavy folder and today that is beyond me.

    I feel I am wasting your time as I don't think he'd get passed the assessment phase of ESA. Even though he's poorly.

    I am not certain of the code on the ESA form I did but it did ask about all the financial details rather than health stuff. My statement says I would be entitled to about £28 or income related but because contributions is more I will get that.. Again its in that folder and beyond me today.

    I am going to 'give it my best shot' at getting to CAB tmrw.. each time I do a benefits checker its coming out differently.
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