Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • PippyLS
    • By PippyLS 5th Jul 18, 1:56 PM
    • 11Posts
    • 2Thanks
    PippyLS
    1st time claimant -Don't know where to start
    • #1
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:56 PM
    1st time claimant -Don't know where to start 5th Jul 18 at 1:56 PM
    Hi, I have been looking at some posts and think part of it has been answered so just need some advice.
    My husband was self employed and last year set up a ltd company. He only worked through it for a few months and has been unwell - mental health issues.

    I finally managed to convince him to see the GP and for the last couple of months he has been on medication, including diazepam for when he has a severe attack. He is also utilising talking therapies. GP signed him off sick - we have not done anything with the 'fit notes' yet.

    All this has helped, he is still on medication and therapy and the GP still signing him off sick and has told him this will be a long process.

    We are closing the ltd company. He has not worked since before christmas. I have a decent job on PAYE in the 40% tax bracket and we have savings.

    Now my queries :
    1. Can he use the 'fit note' from GP to claim any benefit.
    2. We think answer to 1 is a No. - Can he claim any help with his prescriptions charges.
    3. As he is not fit to work, and will probably not be entitled to anything due to my salary, is there any way we can make sure he gets NI contributions in place.

    I have gone on the entitled to / benefits calculators and they say he is not enttled to any thing - fair enough, but is there a form or process to get NI paid .
    Last edited by PippyLS; 05-07-2018 at 2:03 PM. Reason: too much info - hope it is more concise now.
Page 1
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 5th Jul 18, 2:05 PM
    • 7,796 Posts
    • 17,019 Thanks
    kingfisherblue
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:05 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:05 PM
    Has he actually paid any NI contributions for the last two full tax years? (2016/17 and 2017/8)


    If so, he can claim contributions based ESA. He would need to apply by phone, fill in a form that is sent out, and then attend a medical assessment.



    If not, I think that he can apply for income based ESA, and whilst he would not receive any payments because of your income, I think that NI contributions are paid. However, I'm not certain, so it's worth checking.


    The ESA enquiry line is 0800 1690310. It does get very busy, and you can be on hold for upto an hour. The best time to ring is around 8am, when you have a chance of getting through sooner.


    It may also be possible for your husband to apply for PIP. This is not means tested, so your income will not be counted. It is a fairly long process at the moment, as there is a huge backlog.


    For both benefits, it is worth looking up the descriptors. They have separate descriptors, as ESA is a work replacement benefit, and PIP is to help cover the additional costs of disability.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 5th Jul 18, 2:21 PM
    • 11,644 Posts
    • 13,531 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #3
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:21 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:21 PM
    Has he actually paid any NI contributions for the last two full tax years? (2016/17 and 2017/8)


    If so, he can claim contributions based ESA. He would need to apply by phone, fill in a form that is sent out, and then attend a medical assessment.



    If not, I think that he can apply for income based ESA, and whilst he would not receive any payments because of your income, I think that NI contributions are paid. However, I'm not certain, so it's worth checking.


    The ESA enquiry line is 0800 1690310. It does get very busy, and you can be on hold for upto an hour. The best time to ring is around 8am, when you have a chance of getting through sooner.


    It may also be possible for your husband to apply for PIP. This is not means tested, so your income will not be counted. It is a fairly long process at the moment, as there is a huge backlog.

    For both benefits, it is worth looking up the descriptors. They have separate descriptors, as ESA is a work replacement benefit, and PIP is to help cover the additional costs of disability.
    Originally posted by kingfisherblue
    I think the relevant tax years are 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 - the last two full tax years years before the benefit year (January)- possibly when the OP's partner was self employed.

    It is certainly worth applying for contribution based ESA or 'new style ESA' (same thing/different name) if you are in a Universal Credit area. They will check his NI contributions and say 'yay or nay'.

    I do think the limited company should be closed asap as this can cause complications re: claiming benefits as he may be classed as an employee of the company and query his receiving SSP from the company. I am presuming the company is insolvent?

    And just to add, contribution based ESA ('new style ESA') is not means tested so your earnings or savings would not prevent his claiming.

    Follow the links here to make a claim:

    https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/how-to-claim

    Also a good idea to check out the PIP descriptors and see if he is eligible.
    • PippyLS
    • By PippyLS 5th Jul 18, 2:23 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    PippyLS
    • #4
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:23 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:23 PM
    Thank you kingfisherblue. I will phone them this afternoon, if the queue is too long it will have to be tomorrow 8am.
    He has worked in the previous 2 tax years - not fully though. This is a long term illness which comes with panic attacks and all the side effects of those. He has had time off but never managed to claim before. We did try a couple of years ago but he was so unwell after the 1st interview we never went back as the effect on his health was not worth it.


    The online calculators does not say he is entitled to any PIP. There does not seem to be any person we can talk to about applying, before we actually apply as the last thing i want is for him to get worse due to stresses of the application itself.
    My question of the prescrition as current cost of his prescrition charges, and NI is really so long term it does not affect state pension etc
    • PippyLS
    • By PippyLS 5th Jul 18, 2:33 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    PippyLS
    • #5
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:33 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:33 PM
    Thank you pmlindyloo.
    We made the call to the accountants to close the company this morning. They charge a monthly fee even if no activity so it was costing us.

    He has not recieved any SSP from the ltd company, as the company has not had any activity ( he has not worked) since before christmas.

    Still have some money in the compnay account but I have asked him to withdraw and close that too. Just need to fill in the form and send to companies house.


    Does he need to have worked the full 2 years. I have access to his self assessment account so will I be able to check there?

    We will make the calls and I will take time off to go to his first meeting if required.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 5th Jul 18, 2:47 PM
    • 7,796 Posts
    • 17,019 Thanks
    kingfisherblue
    • #6
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:47 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Jul 18, 2:47 PM
    PMLindyloo, thanks for sorting out my errors!



    It may be worth buying a twelve month certificate for prescriptions.


    https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/Prescriptioncosts.aspx
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 5th Jul 18, 3:00 PM
    • 11,644 Posts
    • 13,531 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #7
    • 5th Jul 18, 3:00 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Jul 18, 3:00 PM
    The actual conditions for contribution based ESA are here:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/658256/dmgch41.pdf

    Scroll down to 41022

    To be honest I always advise people to make the claim as it can be complicated to work out!
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 5th Jul 18, 3:08 PM
    • 11,644 Posts
    • 13,531 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #8
    • 5th Jul 18, 3:08 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Jul 18, 3:08 PM
    Even if your OH is not entitled to contribution based ESA nor income based ESA but meets the conditions for it except on income grounds then he can claim NI credits towards his state pension. You should ask the Job Centre about this.

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-3725546/I-m-ill-NI-credits-state-pension-Steve-Webb-replies.html

    and

    https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance-credits/eligibility
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jul 18, 4:12 PM
    • 2,271 Posts
    • 2,648 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 18, 4:12 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 18, 4:12 PM
    Just to echo the excellent advice from pmlindyloo, do consider PIP:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/

    https://www.rethink.org/living-with-mental-illness/money-issues-benefits-employment/personal-independence-payment
    (look at their PDF Useful Resource guide)

    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip

    PIP is neither means-tested nor taxed.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • PippyLS
    • By PippyLS 5th Jul 18, 4:23 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    PippyLS
    ANother quick question please - I have started a claim online as we live in a UC area. It states he needs to make a joint claim and they will forward a linking code. I am not making a claim. Is this still a joint claim as we are married and living together?
    • PippyLS
    • By PippyLS 5th Jul 18, 4:32 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    PippyLS
    Thanks you Alice, I will definitly try. At the moment looking at the descriptors he can do everything as long as he takes his meds in general. I do check every day he has taken them.

    GP has changed his tablets and he is better last 2 weeks but it will be a slow progress.
    Last edited by PippyLS; 05-07-2018 at 6:01 PM. Reason: removed possible identifiable info
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jul 18, 4:46 PM
    • 2,271 Posts
    • 2,648 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    ANother quick question please - I have started a claim online as we live in a UC area. It states he needs to make a joint claim and they will forward a linking code. I am not making a claim. Is this still a joint claim as we are married and living together?
    Originally posted by PippyLS
    That doesn't sound right to me.
    Be careful. Make sure this is not a UC claim - that's an online application.
    New Style ESA is a phone application.


    "How to claim new style ESA
    If you live in a Universal Credit Full Service Area, you can claim new style ESA by calling:

    Telephone: 0800 328 5644 (choose option 2, then option 6)
    Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

    When you ring the helpline, you may be talking to someone that does not have sufficient training to understand that New Style ESA exists. They may tell you that you need to claim Universal Credit (even if you are not eligible to claim UC!)

    If you are unfortunate enough to encounter a call handler that fell asleep during the New Style ESA part of their training, politely insist that it is New Style ESA you wish to claim and that you do not need or wish to start a claim for Universal Credit by itself. The call handler may try to give you the ESA helpline number, this will be incorrect as you cannot claim for the old version of Contribution based ESA in a full service Universal Credit area. Again, you will need to politely explain this to the call handler and insist that you talk to a manager. Please, please be persistent.
    Many claimants are wrongly being advised they can only claim Universal Credit and in some instances this is leaving the individuals financially worse off. We cannot stress enough, how important it is to ensure that you claim for the right benefit and don't assume that the call handler must be correct if they tell you that there is no such thing as ESA in a Universal Credit Full Service Area.

    At the end of the call you should have given them some personal details and the call handler/manager should be confirming that they have registered your claim for New Style ESA. They will then e- mail you a UCESA1 form which needs to be completed and then you will need to phone UC again to arrange an appointment at the Job Centre Plus (JCP), if this wasn't done on the previous one call.

    At the JCP appointment you will then hand in the completed form plus fit notes for the DWP to process and your claim should then proceed without any problems."
    https://www.benefitadvice.org/new-style-esa.html
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 05-07-2018 at 4:51 PM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • PippyLS
    • By PippyLS 5th Jul 18, 5:03 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    PippyLS
    That was it Alice. I was transered to the UC Live if that means anything, after being on hold 58 minutes. Back on the phone now, hopefully wont be so long this time.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 5th Jul 18, 7:58 PM
    • 7,796 Posts
    • 17,019 Thanks
    kingfisherblue
    Also reported. Hopefully it will be removed soon, but the more people who report it, the better.
    • JoCha
    • By JoCha 5th Jul 18, 8:12 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    JoCha
    It does annoy me - re the fibromyalgia person - that people encourage others to 'fake' illnesses. Some people are genuinely unable to work and need the benefits system to survive. This sort of 'you can pull it off' attitude just hardens to opinions of those people who are convinced that everyone who is on sick benefit is a faker.

    To the OP, re free prescriptions, I've learned recently that this one is a bit of a minefield! From the information I now have though I do not think your husband would be eligible, unfortunately.
    • PippyLS
    • By PippyLS 5th Jul 18, 11:05 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    PippyLS
    Thank you all for the input. Well I tried calling back and after being on hold for over an hour 6 pm came and went so back to it tomorrow.
    For the serious advice please, I have spoken to OH and now know that we could probably apply for pip. I have to make sure he has had lunch, when I get in from work as sometimes he will go all day without it, I also remind him to take his meds, do his 'homework modules' for therapy, do all the driving as he gets anxious, and deal with the mortgage and utilities as he gets anxious. The mortgage and utilities are in his name, plus the accountants for his ltd company but I am a named correspondent to make decisions as again he gets anxious and it can lead to panic attacks.

    Now my query, I will be back on the phone for the esa tomorrow - he cannot because of his anxiety again. Do I still need to do that, apply straight for pip, do both together, I really don't know what to do or say or to whom. The worst case we get no help but we won't lose anuything for the sake of a couple of hours asking.
    • PippyLS
    • By PippyLS 5th Jul 18, 11:08 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    PippyLS
    Re Getting OH to fake anything or lie will probably lead to full blown attack where ha cannot move, all his muscles lock up, he starts throwing up, cannot talk or breath and taking diazepam. I'd rather pay the prescription charges and have a lower state pension than that...
    • JoCha
    • By JoCha 5th Jul 18, 11:16 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    JoCha
    Just a general (possibly rather selfish) question to Pippy .. do you find it easy to get ESA to talk to you on your partner's behalf? I find it very very difficult to talk on the phone and often end up having to hand the phone to my partner to explain that I am panicking and can't talk but they won't discuss my case with him personally. Is there a way to get them to do it?
    • PippyLS
    • By PippyLS 5th Jul 18, 11:24 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    PippyLS
    Hi JoCha, haven't managed to talk to them yet. I managed to speak to someone early afternoon who told I needed to apply to UC Live (?) in my area. Once I started applying, came back on here and realised it was the wrong place. Phoned them back and after being on hold for over an hour their services shut at 6 pm.
    Anytime I have to talk to anyone else on behalf of OH I usually have him near me or will find him in the other room. He has to give his passwords etc and then I can talk to them e.g utilities, mortgage, banks, accountant and even hmrc are ok. I moved into his house after getting married. I have now started getting this in writing with the various companies so hopefully in future he doesn't have to be standing next to me
    • JoCha
    • By JoCha 5th Jul 18, 11:44 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    JoCha
    I must try that too .. it would be a huge load off my mind if my partner could speak on my behalf. I often put off phone calls cos I just don't feel up to making them (I know how that sounds to someone who has not witnessed or experienced it but I am guessing you understand). All the best to you and your husband
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

122Posts Today

1,367Users online

Martin's Twitter