Backdating ESA re. change of circumstances

Until recently I was in receipt of Contribution based ESA and my partner was receiving Carer's Allowance as his only income. I was made aware that I was entitled to Income Related ESA due to our low household income and so I completed an ESA3 form.
IR-ESA has been awarded but has only been backdated by 1 week. I asked for a verbal explanation of this from the decision maker (as the form stated that ESA could be backdated by 3 months). The DM informed me that the 3 month rule only applies to NEW claims not claims regarding a change in circumstance. The most a latter can be backdated by is 1 month - but it doesn't say this when the question regarding backdating is asked on the ESA3 form.

Is anyone out there able to confirm this for me, I've tried to access decision maker's handbooks online but the PDFs don't want to open for me (I do have the appropriate software installed to read PDFs btw). If someone has a link to anything that states the rule I'd be super grateful.

It's not that I outright disbelieve the DM I just spoke to - I was just wondering if there was any point in appealing the decision to see if I could get the claim backdated at least a month. After all we've been living on this income since 2013 and we only realised this year that we should have been entitled to a little more.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for anyone who can advise :)


  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,580 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    Generally a change of circumstance will only be applied from the date the application is made or received.
  • epitome
    epitome Posts: 3,199 Forumite
    edited 25 March 2015 at 9:46PM
    Ok, I just typed a load here and have just lost it all. So this is going to be a short version of what I typed earlier.

    If there has been a "Revision of Benefit" then you can ask that ESA IR be awarded from the date the Revision is applied from. So if you win an appeal for Support group and SG is awarded from 01/01/2014 then you can apply afresh for ESA IR to be applied from 01/01/2014.

    There is an upper tribunal ruling recently
    Choose Category ESA
    Sub Category Income Related

    You will see one search result 21/10/2014
    File No. CE 4181 2013
    Paragraphs 14 & 15 are answering your question.

    I believe the judge is saying that submitting an ESA3 as you did is asking for a supersession ...(supersessions can be backdated 1 month under supersession rules) ... However, the judge seems also to be suggesting that a claimant can ask for a "Revision of Benefit" (for ESA IR) under Section 9 "on any ground" and that could be backdated for the life of the claim.

    You should read it, take advice on it and then ask for a Revision of Benefit perhaps....?

    EDIT: oh and I also said your partner could have claimed Income Support backdated 3 months
    And your partner still can ask for a Wholly Retrospective Claim for IS from 3 months ago up to the date from which you were awarded ESA IR. But doing this could mean complicating any "Revision of Benefit" request on ESA.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,580 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    Sorry, my original reply was far from complete.

    An initial claim to ESA can be backdated a maximum of 3 months. A change of circumstances which is a change in the claimants favour (i.e. will result in an increased payment) will normally only be backdated a maximum of 1 month.
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