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  • FIRST POST
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 8:03 PM
    • 42Posts
    • 2Thanks
    nicdigby
    Contribution based ESA
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:03 PM
    Contribution based ESA 10th Jan 19 at 8:03 PM
    I would like to find out if I am entitled to contribution based ESA.

    I have not worked in the past four years but have been claiming enhanced rates of PIP + Carer's allowance + child benefit for that time and the NI website says I have 52 weeks of history for the past few years BUT I CAN'T WORK OUT IF THAT IS ENOOUGH TO QUALIFY ME FOR CONTRIBUTORY ESA.

    I have a terminal illness and cannot work. I also have a disabled child so claim child tax credits with those rates.

    BUT I live in a Universal Credit full area. I am currently on the old system of child tax credits and because I have some savings left, when I move to UC I will lose £820 per month. Which I still can't believe, but that's what all the calculators tell me. So I don't want to do anything that counts as a change in circumstances and moves me across to UC.

    Does anyone know if:

    1. I have earned enough NI contributions to be eligible for contributory ESA JUST from the fact that I have received full child benefit, carer's allowance and PIP for the past few years?

    2. If I submit a claim for contribution based ESA and successfully receive it, will they just move me across onto Universal Credit and therefore I will be worse off after receiving ESA than staying on child tax credits etc with no ESA?

    3. If I submit a claim for ESA and am unsuccessful, will this trigger a change to UC for me?

    4. Who can I ask for help about all this?
Page 1
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 8:27 PM
    • 1,929 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:27 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:27 PM
    Please note that if you successfully claim ESA as discussed below your Carer’s Allowance will end as you cannot be paid both. They are known as overlapping benefits. However the ESA is worth more than the Carer’s Allowance.

    Does anyone know if:

    1. I have earned enough NI contributions to be eligible for contributory ESA JUST from the fact that I have received full child benefit, carer's allowance and PIP for the past few years?

    You need to have actually paid some NI contributions to qualify, not just been credited with them. Normallytherefore you would not qualify. However there is a special exception for people in receipt of Carers Allowance which means that instead of just looking at the usual two years DWPcan look at you complete work history. therefore if you have ar some time earned over the NI threshold for 6 months in the same tax year you should qualify.

    2. If I submit a claim for contribution based ESA and successfully receive it, will they just move me across onto Universal Credit and therefore I will be worse off after receiving ESA than staying on child tax credits etc with no ESA?

    No they will not. You need to be firm with the DWP that you only wish to apply for new style ESA. If they tell you you must claim UC do not believe them. New style ESA and UC are separate. You cannot be moved to UC without claiming it.

    3. If I submit a claim for ESA and am unsuccessful, will this trigger a change to UC for me?
    See comments above.

    4. Who can I ask for help about all this?
    If you need help go to you local Citizens Advice or other agency.
    Originally posted by nicdigby
    You cannot claim what used to be called contribution based ESA. It will be new style ESA (which is a new name for essentially the same thing).
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance
    You can ask for the claim to be backdated for 3 months - you do not have to give a reason.

    If you have previously submitted a DS1500 to support your PIP claim you can tell the DWP this when claiming the ESA and ask for the claim to be processed under Special Rules.

    All of the above assumes that you do not have more than 2 children. If you do have more than 2 children please let us know and I will revise my advice because your situation will then be different.
    Last edited by calcotti; 10-01-2019 at 8:36 PM.
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 8:27 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:27 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:27 PM
    Just to say that I have checked and it does say that if I was a carer for the full tax year in the year before I became unable to work - which I was - that my situation is complex but that I may be entitled to contributory ESA.

    Can anyone help me please?
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 8:33 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:33 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:33 PM
    Thank you Calcotti for posting.
    I have two children. One is disabled in receipt of enhanced rates of DLA.
    I am terminally ill and became unable to work in Jan 2016. I claimed PIP at enhanced rates from then on but when I looked into getting ESA at the time it said I had to have been in work for the previous two years - and I wasn't because I was caring full time for my child for the previous three years.

    1. Does this mean that I should indeed be eligible for ESA?
    2. Does this mean I have missed out on the last three years?
    3. Any chance of backdating it (I guess not, it's my own fault but I was dealing with a terminal cancer diagnosis, chemo, etc at the time).
    4. You are saying that should ring the ESA helpline and claim for the new style ESA and that even though I live in a full UC area, that my claim for ESA won't trigger a change in circumstances that means they will move me from old benefits to UC?
    5. Do you know how much a week I could get? I am very confused.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 8:46 PM
    • 1,929 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:46 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:46 PM
    1. Does this mean that I should indeed be eligible for ESA? in my opinion, yes
    2. Does this mean I have missed out on the last three years? Unfortunately, yes
    3. Any chance of backdating it (I guess not, it's my own fault but I was dealing with a terminal cancer diagnosis, chemo, etc at the time). unfortunately 3 months is the maximum permitted backdating
    4. You are saying that should ring the new styleESA helpline and claim for the new style ESA and that even though I live in a full UC area, that my claim for ESA won't trigger a change in circumstances that means they will move me from old benefits to UC? correct, but do not get misdirected by DWP staff into making a UC claim
    5. Do you know how much a week I could get? I am very confused.The basic amount is £73.10/week but your Carer’s Allowance would stop so you would only be better off by £8.50/week at this rate. If you are put in the Support a Group you get £110.75/week after 13 weeks which obviously makes more difference. If you are claiming under Special Rules you get put in the Support a Group from the start.
    Originally posted by nicdigby
    ...................
    Last edited by calcotti; 10-01-2019 at 8:48 PM.
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 8:56 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:56 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 19, 8:56 PM
    thanks again for posting.

    Having read your reply I have googled the Support Group and it says I would qualify if I have one of many factors and I qualify for the first two:

    1. Mobilising unaided by another person with or without a walking stick, manual wheelchair or other aid if such aid can reasonably be used.
    Cannot either
    (i) mobilise more than 50 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion
    or
    (ii) repeatedly mobilise 50 metres within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion.

    2. Transferring from one seated position to another.
    Cannot move between one seated position and another seated position located next to one another without receiving physical assistance from another person.

    And then the special rules you mention refer to me because:

    "The main benefits for people living with a terminal illness that are covered by the special rules are:

    Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which is for people who are ill or disabled and unable to work or need help to work"

    "Your claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) can be fast-tracked. You’ll also be put in the ‘support group’ of claimants. This means you will be paid a higher rate of ESA and will not have to meet work-related responsibilities to keep getting the benefit in full."

    So it looks like I will qualify under the special rules but eve if I don't, are you saying that after an assessment I could go into the support group after 13 weeks?
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 9:18 PM
    • 1,929 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 19, 9:18 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 19, 9:18 PM
    So it looks like I will qualify under the special rules but eve if I don't, are you saying that after an assessment I could go into the support group after 13 weeks?
    Originally posted by nicdigby
    Special rules are quite specific. It depends on your prognosis. You will only qualify under Special Rules if your medical team consider it appropriate to issue a form called a DS1500.

    Yes, if you are found to meet the qualifying conditions you will be put into the Support Group after 13 weeks.
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 9:24 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 19, 9:24 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 19, 9:24 PM
    Iíve got a ds1500.

    Can you pls tell me why it is that if I receive ESA I will lose the carerís Allowance? I
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 9:40 PM
    • 1,929 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    calcotti
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 19, 9:40 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 19, 9:40 PM
    I’ve got a ds1500.

    Can you pls tell me why it is that if I receive ESA I will lose the carer’s Allowance? I
    Originally posted by nicdigby
    In that case you should be able to claim under Special Rules. The DWP should be able to access the DS1500 you previously submitted. However if the DS1500 you previously used is more than six months old DWP may ask for a new one.

    As per post 2 ESA and Carer’s Allowance are known as overlapping benefits. You cannot be paid two overlapping benefits at the same time simply because that’s what the rules say. The background is that they are both benefits to compensate you for having limitations on being able to work, in the one case because you care for someone, in the other because you are ill. They therefore serve the same purpose and you can’t be paid twice.
    Last edited by calcotti; 10-01-2019 at 9:43 PM.
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 9:49 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    Thank you so much youíve been really helpful

    When I ring the ESA helpline and they try to tell me I need to claim
    UC what do I tell them? ďNo Iím claiming standalone new style ESA and it doesnít trigger a change to UCĒ? Or something else?
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 9:57 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    Also I just read that esa is reduced by pension payments. I received mine early on the grounds of serious ill health at 250 pcm. Do you know how much the ESA will
    Reduce by and is it still worth claiming given I will also lose my carers allowance?
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 9:59 PM
    • 1,929 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    calcotti
    Thank you so much youíve been really helpful

    When I ring the ESA helpline and they try to tell me I need to claim
    UC what do I tell them? ďNo Iím claiming standalone new style ESA and it doesnít trigger a change to UCĒ? Or something else?
    Originally posted by nicdigby
    Claim new style ESA by calling:

    Telephone: 0800 328 5644 (choose option 2, then option 6)
    Textphone: 0800 328 1344
    Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 10:01 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    Claim new style ESA by calling:

    Telephone: 0800 328 5644 (choose option 2, then option 6)
    Textphone: 0800 328 1344
    Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
    Originally posted by calcotti
    And when they try to tell me I should claim for UC what should I say to make sure that that doesnít happen ?
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 10:02 PM
    • 1,929 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    calcotti
    Also I just read that esa is reduced by pension payments. I received mine early on the grounds of serious ill health at 250 pcm. Do you know how much the ESA will
    Reduce by and is it still worth claiming given I will also lose my carers allowance?
    Originally posted by nicdigby
    Apologies I should have mentioned pensions. The ESA reduction is 50% of any pension amount over £85/week. A pension of £250/month (approx £58/week) will therefore be ignored - but you should still the DWP about it.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 10:10 PM
    • 1,929 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    calcotti
    And when they try to tell me I should claim for UC what should I say to make sure that that doesn’t happen ?
    Originally posted by nicdigby
    If that happens just insist that you only want to claim UC and ask them to start the ESA claim process. Hopefully the person you ring will know what they are doing and won’t mislead you but it does happen which is why I wanted to prepare you.

    You’ll be sent a claim form to complete which you will then have to take to a JobCentre along with identity documents. If it is not possible for you to get to the JobCentre because of your illness you may be able to get a home visit.
    Last edited by calcotti; 10-01-2019 at 10:22 PM.
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 10:18 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    Ok thank you for all your help today, I will update when I know more
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 10th Jan 19, 10:33 PM
    • 2,856 Posts
    • 4,135 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I'd suggest getting in touch with MacMillan who have benefits advisers. They are very good and will take the stress out of a difficult situation - especially, if you have to struggle with DW staff

    https://finance.macmillan.org.uk/benefits/benefits-online
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 10:34 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    Claim new style ESA by calling:

    Telephone: 0800 328 5644 (choose option 2, then option 6)
    Textphone: 0800 328 1344
    Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
    Originally posted by calcotti
    I'd suggest getting in touch with MacMillan who have benefits advisers. They are very good and will take the stress out of a difficult situation - especially, if you have to struggle with DW staff

    https://finance.macmillan.org.uk/benefits/benefits-online
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Actually I did do exactly that, three years ago when first diagnosed. They failed to tell me
    I was eligible for ESA
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 10th Jan 19, 10:38 PM
    • 1,929 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    calcotti
    Final thoughts for today.

    One of the questions on the form you will have to complete asks about other benefits and you will need to list the Carer’s Allowance. If you are awarded ESA the DWP should stop your Carer’s Allowance automatically. If you have asked for the ESA to be backdated by 3 months you will be paid the difference between the ESA you were entitled to and the CA you actually received for this period. Nonetheless if you are told that you have been awarded ESA you should ring the Carer’s Allowance unit to make sure they know.

    As for Carer’s Allowance, new style ESA is taxable and therefore counts as income for Tax Credits so you will need to tell HMRC when you make the switch. This might make a difference to the amount of Tax Credits you receive next year but you should still be better off overall. Your local Citizens Advice should be able to run a full benefits check for the two situations if you want to confirm things before you apply.
    Last edited by calcotti; 10-01-2019 at 10:45 PM.
    • nicdigby
    • By nicdigby 10th Jan 19, 10:40 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    nicdigby
    Final thoughts for today.

    One of the questions on the form you will have to complete asks about other benefits and you will need to list the Carerís Allowance. If you are awarded ESA the DWP should stop your Carerís Allowance automatically. If you have asked for the ESA to be backdated by 3 months you will be paid the difference between the ESA you were entitled to and the CA you actually received for this period. Nonetheless if you are told that you have been awarded ESA you should ring the Carerís Allowance unit to make sure they know.

    As for Carerís Allowance, ESA counts as income for Tax Credits so you will need to tell HMRC when you make the switch. This might make a difference to the amount of Tax Credits you receive next year but you should still be better off overall. Your local Citizens Advice should be able to run a full benefits check for the two situations if you want to confirm things before you apply.
    Originally posted by calcotti
    Thank you very much
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