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  • FIRST POST
    • alwayssmile123
    • By alwayssmile123 17th Oct 19, 10:32 PM
    • 26Posts
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    alwayssmile123
    ESA Support Group to UC
    • #1
    • 17th Oct 19, 10:32 PM
    ESA Support Group to UC 17th Oct 19 at 10:32 PM
    Hi guys, appreciate if anyone could help.

    I'm moving area and now have to claim UC. Wondering if I will be automatically transferred to the UC version or will I be reassessed? Do I need a fit note from my doctor?

    I called up ESA last week and they told me I am not up for reassessment until June 2020, just for information.

    Moving home wth so much to buy and now fearing most of my income will disappear just that like that is causing me sleepless nights.
Page 1
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 17th Oct 19, 10:51 PM
    • 6,120 Posts
    • 5,658 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #2
    • 17th Oct 19, 10:51 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Oct 19, 10:51 PM
    Hi guys, appreciate if anyone could help.

    I'm moving area and now have to claim UC. Wondering if I will be automatically transferred to the UC version or will I be reassessed? Do I need a fit note from my doctor?

    I called up ESA last week and they told me I am not up for reassessment until June 2020, just for information.

    Moving home wth so much to buy and now fearing most of my income will disappear just that like that is causing me sleepless nights.
    Originally posted by alwayssmile123
    If all of your ESA is income related then once you claim UC your ESA will stop. Your ESA award will be honoured in UC and you will be placed into the relevant group for UC which is LCWRA. However, this doesn't always happen straight away and there maybe a delay before this happens. This means that your first payment may not include the LCWRA element.



    As for your next reassessment, despite the time frame you've been told by DWP you can be re-assessed anytime from 3 months and this includes when you transfer to UC.



    When you claim UC because there's a 5 week wait for your first payment you can claim for an advance payment but this will need to be repaid back from future UC payments.
    • alwayssmile123
    • By alwayssmile123 17th Oct 19, 11:32 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    alwayssmile123
    • #3
    • 17th Oct 19, 11:32 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Oct 19, 11:32 PM
    Thanks Poppy. I think my immediate concern is that I don't have to face the stress of assessment right away and to not have to get a doctor's note.

    I believe that I am on ESA contribution based with an income related top up (if that makes sense). Does this change anything?
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 18th Oct 19, 5:50 AM
    • 6,120 Posts
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    poppy12345
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 19, 5:50 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 19, 5:50 AM

    I believe that I am on ESA contribution based with an income related top up (if that makes sense). Does this change anything?
    Originally posted by alwayssmile123
    Yes, it does. It means you'll continue to receive the CB ESA of £111.65 per week (paid fortnightly) then you'll receive the standard rate allowance and the LCWRA element, plus your rent. Your CB ESA will then be deducted £1 for £1 from your UC payments.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 18th Oct 19, 7:05 AM
    • 3,808 Posts
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    calcotti
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 19, 7:05 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 19, 7:05 AM
    I'm moving area and now have to claim UC. Wondering if I will be automatically transferred to the UC version or will I be reassessed? Do I need a fit note from my doctor?.
    Originally posted by alwayssmile123
    To be clear. You will only need to claim UC if you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and therefore need to claim UC in order to get help with your rent. If you do not get HB and do not need help with rent then you do not need to claim UC and your full existing ESA award can continue.

    There is no automatic transfer to UC. If you need help with your rent at your new address you need to make a claim for UC. The act of claiming UC will end your existing income based ESA and HB. The income based ESA will end on the day you claim UC, HB will run on for two weeks. You will have to have DWP appointments to verify your identity and complete a Claimant Commitment.

    In respect of Fit Notes. If you claim UC you should not have to provide a Fit Note because of your existing ESA status. However, in practice, you may be asked to provide one while the information about your ESA claim is obtained by UC.

    As poppy has explained, if you claim UC any contribution based ESA will continue and will still be paid fortnightly. Your UC will be made monthly.
    Last edited by calcotti; 18-10-2019 at 7:08 AM.
    • alwayssmile123
    • By alwayssmile123 18th Oct 19, 10:22 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    alwayssmile123
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 19, 10:22 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 19, 10:22 PM
    Thanks Poppy Calcotti and sorry, I should have put all the info in my opening post.

    I do need help with my rent and was told by landlord to claim UC.

    If I continue to receive ESA in the immediate future, I am relieved.

    If someone could confirm that at the initial UC appointments, will I be asked about work and what jobs to look for? Can I refuse to answer? If I am told that claiming UC means I have to be reassessed, can I challenge them?

    In my new UC online account it asks me to list jobs that I will look for, and I've been told I need to complete it before my initial appointment. Do I need to fill this in or can I refuse?

    Thanks again in advance.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 18th Oct 19, 10:35 PM
    • 3,808 Posts
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    calcotti
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 19, 10:35 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 19, 10:35 PM
    In your journal make a note that you have been on ESA in the Support and understand that you are entitled to betrayed as having LCWRA and to receive the LCWRA element from the start of your claim.

    I suggest you get a Fit Note if you can because this may make things smoother.

    If they choose to reassess you you cannot refuse this because they are entitled to do so.
    • alwayssmile123
    • By alwayssmile123 18th Oct 19, 11:14 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    alwayssmile123
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 19, 11:14 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 19, 11:14 PM
    Many thanks Calcotti, I'll put that note in.

    Your last paragraph worries me. I have been told by my support worker that everyone claiming UC from ESA gets reassessed. So possibly they do this to everyone in my new area?

    Can you just clarify that if I am told that I am to be reassessed that my UC/ESA will continue as normal until the assessment is done?
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 18th Oct 19, 11:19 PM
    • 3,808 Posts
    • 2,571 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 19, 11:19 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 19, 11:19 PM
    Many thanks Calcotti, I'll put that note in.

    Your last paragraph worries me. I have been told by my support worker that everyone claiming UC from ESA gets reassessed. So possibly they do this to everyone in my new area?

    Can you just clarify that if I am told that I am to be reassessed that my UC/ESA will continue as normal until the assessment is done?
    Originally posted by alwayssmile123
    Your Support Worker may be wrong. You can certainly query the need for a reassessment but I donít think you can refuse it. Your existing LCWRA status should be accepted and the LCWRA element paid until such time as a WCA decision is made that revises it (should that happen).
    • alwayssmile123
    • By alwayssmile123 18th Oct 19, 11:45 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    alwayssmile123
    Many thanks Calcotti. I've translated your note into:

    I have been on ESA in the Support and understand that I am entitled to be treated as having LCWRA and to receive the LCWRA element from the start of my claim.

    Does it sound too arrogant?

    in the journal it asks who to direct my entry (above) to. The two that seem plausible are a "change" in health and "message for my work Coach"

    Which, if either should I direct it to?

    Could you also confirm that I don't have to fill in the "prepare for your commitments meeting" entry on the to do list? (The first questions are what jobs I can do).

    Many thanks again.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 18th Oct 19, 11:55 PM
    • 3,808 Posts
    • 2,571 Thanks
    calcotti
    Message to work coach

    I would add the word Group after Support.

    You need to complete the to do list in order to progress the claim. Although, with LCWRA, you are not required to work or look for work UC is supposed to help you find work that you might be able to do which is why it is written that way. It would seem sensible to write something like “because I have xxxxx I am unable to work which is why I have been in the ESA Support Group”

    Please note that these are my suggestions - I have never actually worked my way through a UC claim.

    (I’m going to bed now so that’s me for this evening)
    • alwayssmile123
    • By alwayssmile123 19th Oct 19, 12:13 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    alwayssmile123
    Thanks for all of your help
    • Spoonie Turtle
    • By Spoonie Turtle 19th Oct 19, 12:35 AM
    • 231 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    Spoonie Turtle
    Regarding the list, I didn't do it at the start of my UC claim (thought about it and clicked through the steps several times but never knew what to say) and my work coach just deleted the task when I first saw her
    • alwayssmile123
    • By alwayssmile123 13th Nov 19, 4:42 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    alwayssmile123
    Hi guys,

    Thought I would give an update on this for information purposes. I did exactly as advised above and when I went for the initial interview, somebody told my work coach that my ESA does not run out til 2020.

    Agreed and signed a claimant commitment etc, with the agreement to find voluntary work.

    About a week or so later I received a letter from the DWP that my contribution based ESA has stopped, although I have heard nothing about a reassessment.

    I have sent my work coach a couple of messages regarding help with CV and about a few voluntary jobs I have found which require a minimum commitment (to see if this is acceptable) but I've had no reply.

    Next week I will find out how much UC I will receive and am expecting the minimum which is a shame as it gives me no time to sort things out and I can't really justify claiming ESA again given how I currently feel.

    But I will come back and update if there is any interest?

    Thanks again Poppy and Calcotti for your time and advice.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 13th Nov 19, 6:30 PM
    • 3,808 Posts
    • 2,571 Thanks
    calcotti
    What reason have DWP given for stopping contribution based ESA? That doesn’t sound right unless they have made a decision you do not have Limited Capability for Work (which require an assessment) or believe that you have been working for 16 hours or more or earning more than £131.50/week.
    • alwayssmile123
    • By alwayssmile123 13th Nov 19, 10:54 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    alwayssmile123
    Hi Calcotti,

    I haven't worked in 4 years and the letter is actually contradictory/confusing. It effectively says:

    We cannot pay you ESA from .... This is because you are required to claim Universal Credit

    We may still credit you with NI contributions whilst claiming ESA

    To continue to receive ESA you may need to attend a work focussed interview with a personal Advisor. You will be notified separately if you need to attend.

    It has been confirmed that you have limited capability for work. The extra money you will get is shown on the ESA award page.

    I'd you disagree with our record of your contributions, please tell us at once. We will check our records and tell you at once,...

    Unless they changed it to income based without writing to me?

    I received another letter telling me that the contributory element of ESA can count as taxable income.

    For the period of %%% to %%% in the tax year 19/20 you received £%%% of which £0.00 was taxable.

    So I guess it did change to income based if £0.00 is taxable
    Last edited by alwayssmile123; 13-11-2019 at 11:11 PM.
    • huckster
    • By huckster 14th Nov 19, 7:06 AM
    • 3,795 Posts
    • 1,709 Thanks
    huckster
    Give ESA a call and ask them to explain.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 14th Nov 19, 7:47 AM
    • 3,808 Posts
    • 2,571 Thanks
    calcotti
    About a week or so later I received a letter from the DWP that my contribution based ESA has stopped
    Originally posted by alwayssmile123
    We cannot pay you ESA from .... This is because you are required to claim Universal Credit
    Originally posted by alwayssmile123
    These are not exactly the same thing. Have you had two letters or is it just the wording of your posts?

    So I guess it did change to income based if £0.00 is taxable
    Originally posted by alwayssmile123
    If none was taxable that does sound as if none of it was contribution based. Are you sure you were in the Support Group? If you were in the Work Related Group rather than the Support Group then the contribution based part would have run out after 12 months. You would need to be in the Support Group for it to continue longer.

    Bear in mind that if you were to continue getting ESA it would be deducted in full from the UC so whether or not you get ESA will make no difference to your overall income. It will however disrupt your cashflow as without ESA all your income will be monthly rather than fortnightly and there is the initial 5 week wait for UC unless you request an advance (but bear in mind that an advance has to be paid back and therefore reduces your future payments).
    Last edited by calcotti; Yesterday at 7:59 AM.
    • alwayssmile123
    • By alwayssmile123 14th Nov 19, 10:46 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    alwayssmile123
    Thanks for replies.

    I assumed that I was still on contribution based ESA as the letter I kept said that, but it seems that I was wrong, and the letter I recently received made no mention of it being contribution based (sorry for saying this).

    I am definitely 100% in the support group though (or was until UC). I did take out the advance and cash flow is OK, despite spending most of it on my new place and the pain will come from repaying, but cest la vie.

    I suppose my main concern now is if they tell me I can't accept the voluntary role (due to the 6 month minimum commitment if offered), and I've booked an interview with them next week to discuss.

    Sounds like from above posts, that I will not actually be required to look for work until I'm called in for reassessment? But I don't really want to argue with them and am actually dying to get back into work right now, although I am worried/anxious.

    Main issue now is, this voluntary position is a way in to a sector I actually feel passionate about entering and the organisation is understanding to health conditions. Combined with no recent work history/references it would be a huge shame not just for me, but for the DWP, because I generally struggle to hold down jobs.

    Thanks again for all the advice, especially Calcotti, and sorry for giving so much wrong info which has wasted your time.
    Last edited by alwayssmile123; Yesterday at 10:48 PM.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 14th Nov 19, 10:53 PM
    • 3,808 Posts
    • 2,571 Thanks
    calcotti
    .. sorry for giving so much wrong info which has wasted your time.
    Originally posted by alwayssmile123
    Benefits are very confusing and understanding letters is often challenging even if one knows what they are meant to be saying. No need to apologise.

    Good luck with the volunteering. Unlike ESA which would have restricted your hours of volunteering to a maximum of 16 there is no such restriction in UC. In UC the only limit is that hours spent volunteering can only count as a maximum of 50% of your work search requirement. In your case you have LCWRA (provided that DWP transfer across your Support Group status correctly) and therefore have no work search requirement anyway. Be aware that depending on the nature of the volunteering and the proposed hours this may prompt a reassessment of you capability for Work sooner than might otherwise have been the case.
    Last edited by calcotti; Yesterday at 11:16 PM.
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