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A friend has lost his higher ESA allowance

DrAndiDrAndi Posts: 7Member Listener
hi, I'm sharing my house and life with, as a lodger and friend, a lovely young man 20 yrs old. Because of his autism, ADHD, Nystagmus, and bipolar disorders, he is classed as disabled. He was on JSA where he got both disability allowances, but when we transferred to ESA he lost the higher allowance, and is now poorer by over £30 per week. He doesn't realise the significance of this as he is useless with money. what do we do now?

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,732Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @DrAndi
    Welcome to the community - he can appeal the decision, there is information on appealing a DWP decision here.

    Does he have anyone who acts as an advocate for him?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,249Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome

    Little bit confused so can you clarify

    Is he on ESA ?
     if so which Group and which award ESA(CB) or ESA(IR) ?
    When was the assessment ?

    The Disability allowance you talk about, is this PIP ?
    Was this a change from DLA?
    what rates was he getting and what rates now ?
    When was the decision made ?

    Both awards are appealable, but usually both have to be appealed within a month of the decision letter,although there are other ways

    ESA and PIP are separate benefits although there are some passported benefits

    If you can clarify the above it would be most helpfull

    CR
     
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • DrAndiDrAndi Posts: 7Member Listener
    He is appealing the decision to refuse him Essex, so the jobcentre took him off income based JSA with its two disability allowances, and he is now on ESA with one , the higher, at£62 but not the lower at£32. I was in touch with the ESA office who say this is until his appeal is heard, when if he wins he gets that lost portion backdated, but if he loses he won't get that lost portion back, and will therefore have been driven into debt.
  • DrAndiDrAndi Posts: 7Member Listener
    There is no mention of pip in his 'award letter' it also states that he hasn't enough NI contributions yet he's been unemployed and in care all his adult life. Im confused, and in his official advocate which is why in asking for help
  • steve51steve51 Posts: 5,861Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @DrAndi

    A very big welcome to our community/website.

    I'm very sorry to hear that you are having a bad time.

    https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/benefits-and-finances?_ga=2.34071848.844006222.1507390205-329981180.1498300069

    Please let me know if I can help you further ?????
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,249Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    As he doesn't have enough NI contributions he should be on an income related benefit which does passport him to the premiums because he has an award for PIP.
    Does the decision letter say which group he is in ?

    PIP is a separate benefit paid the people that have difficulty with everyday activities, as his advocate you should check for this

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hello

    The benefit system is complex and confusing.  

    To make sure that we give your good guidance and help we need to be clear on what has been taken away, and why.

    You refer to 2 disability allowances on JSA.  Was one disability allowance a severe disability premium and the other a disability premium? If so, has the severe disability premium been taken away when transferring from JSA to ESA?  If you are unsure, please contact ESA and ask them to give you the exact name of the disability 'allowance' that has been taken away and ask them way.  

    Please post again when you have spoken to ESA.

    Maria

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    edited December 2017
    @DrAndi, There is a lot of confusion happening even in the advice posts so to clarify. JSA is Job Seeker's Allowance. This is for normal healthy people and disabled people who, dispite their disability are classed as fit for work. ESA is Employment and Support Alllowance which is for people classed as more severely disabled. However there are 2 groups within this benefit and people who are eligible for ESA are placed in either group according to the severity of their disability. The groups are The Work related activity group for those who may, with help, be able to work towards getting employment in the future. People in this group are expected to attend any interviews or courses discussed with an adviser at the job centre to help them to find employment.
                 There is no disability allowance or severe disability premium on JSA. So firstly you now need to tell us which benefit he used to be on. If it was JSA he wouldn't have lost any money moving onto ESA as this pays out more than JSA. He may have been on ESA in the Support Group when he would not have attended the Job Centre or be required to do any job related activities and then been moved into the Work related Activity Group in which case he would have lost some of his ESA as being assessed as disabled but able to work with help and support. 
               I haven't mentioned PIP as you don't mention this but it does sound like he would be eligible for PIP if you applied on his behalf. 
               I have included info about the job centre visits as this may help you to tell us which benefit he is on and if this is ESA and has been all along which groups he has moved from and to for him to have lost some of his benefit. 
  • DrAndiDrAndi Posts: 7Member Listener
    He was on JSA and had the lower and the higher additional payments for his disability. We appealed the decision not to put him on ESA. We were then told he would go on ESA until the appeal  is heard. The ESA award letter gives him the higher but not the lower, therefore he has lost £32/week. We have been told that he will get that back if he wins his appeal, but not if he doesn't, so he will, I know get into debt. Does my English not scan?
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    edited December 2017
    @DrAndi I'm so sorry. I got my facts wrong. I should have googled JSA disability allowances before posting. I have a disabled son who is on ESA and PIP long term and was going by what the job related benefits were like in 2011.I had no idea they had changed. Apologies also for my remark about the advice being wrong. I will learn my lesson and make sure anything i post in future has confirmed facts behind it. Please forgive me everyone...
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hello DrAndi - it seems that things have got a bit confusing, but I'm afraid to advise you thoroughly we would need the actual names of the premiums or allowances you are referring to, as Maria and others have mentioned above.
    JSA, ESA and PIP all carry their own vocabulary, which can be very frustrating, but once we have pinned down exactly what's happening then it will be much easier for us to advise you fully.
    If someone is on JSA, but also receives PIP, then the extra amounts that can added onto JSA are usually called the Disability Premium and the Severe Disability Premium. (Terms and conditions apply though!)
    If someone is on ESA, and also gets PIP, then there is no equivalent of the Disability Premium, but, as with JSA, the Severe Disability Premium might be payable. Once someone gets past the ESA medical assessment, they are put into either the Work Related Activity Group or the Support Group. Extra components may be paid in either of these groups, along with the Severe Disability Premium, but again, numerous terms and conditions apply. As you know, it's a complicated business. If you are able to tell us the terms that have been used by the DWP when they have communicated with your friend, then that would help us get the full picture, along with the exact components / rates of ESA  and PIP or DLA that he is receiving. Sorry that this is a drawn out process, we just want to make sure we are giving completely accurate information. 
    All the best,

    Jayne
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • DrAndiDrAndi Posts: 7Member Listener
    Again : he was on JSA getting disability premium and severe disability premium, he is now on ESA and is not getting severe disability premium, how many times do you need this info??
  • mary545mary545 Posts: 3Member Listener
    This happened to me too. Jsa give you disability premiums but Esa do not unless you go into the support group. He could have stayed on jsa until after his appeal. I did so that I could get the extra money
  • DrAndiDrAndi Posts: 7Member Listener
    Thanks mary545, at last someone who understands.  what I am saying. I now need to sort this for him, as I don't think its fair to take away from a lovely young man without offering at least an explanation, not that he would understand why his bank account is empty before the next payment is due.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,249Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry, we are doing our best to help you without sight of the paperwork.
    You say that he is not receiving the severe disability premium, is it possible that the DWP are unclear that he is your lodger and therefore not classed as living alone which is a requirement for SDP ?

    CR
     
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • mary545mary545 Posts: 3Member Listener
    I was on Esa in the support group and after my third medical assessment I was found to be fit for work. I had to sign on or starve. So although I was signing on I was also giving Esa a sick note. I have permanent disabilities and the lady at the job centre told me that I should not be there. However I signed in for 6 months until I got to my appeal. The reason I signed on was because you get disability premiums on Esa. The disability premium and the severe disability premium are nothing to do with living alone or living with someone. They are based on how disabled you are. So you could get high rate PIP but when you apply for Esa you originally will only get the standard £73 per week. If you are given Esa after your medical assessment then you either go in the wrag or support group. The wrag group gives you a basic payment of £102 a week. You do not get any disability premiums on ESA. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    edited October 2017
    Hi mary545,

    The disability premium does not depend on whether you live with someone else, the disability premium is included in JSA if you receive a qualifying benefit (DLA or PIP). There is no disability premium in ESA.
    The severe disability premium DOES depend on whether you live alone, or classed as living alone, and is available in JSA and ESA if you are entitled to it.
    You can also get an enhanced disability premium (in income based JSA and income related ESA) if you get higher rate DLA care or enhanced rate daily living PIP, and this can be paid from the start of your claim if you are entitled to it. Another way of getting the enhanced disability premium is if you are put in the support group after your assessment.
    If you get the "severe disability premium" and "enhanced disability premium" in JSA you should also get it in ESA and vice versa because the rules are the same. The only one you can't get in ESA which you can get in JSA is the "disability premium."
    It is really confusing but we are trying to explain it as clearly as we can!

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
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  • DrAndiDrAndi Posts: 7Member Listener
    I obviously forgot to say that this lovely young man is autistic, dyslexic and has severe ADHD, along with visual impairment nystagmus, and daylight sensitivity. He is a vulnerable adult as classed by the Mental Health Act. He has difficulty managing by himself but is considered to be capable because the various social services are run by inconsiderate, rude uncaring people like Mr Danny Moore. He doesn't 'waste' his money, he will never be truly capable of managing it which is why i, as an elderly man who cares is helping, unlike all the previous friends who helped him spend it to the expense of his health and diet, while he was supposed to be being monitored by the managers of the hostel he was dumped into after his various foster placings came to an end. Is that enough info for you Mr caring Danny Moore??
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    DrAndi,

    I've come across this situation many times, where people who were on JSA whilst waiting for a mandatory reconsideration of the ESA decision then lose money because they move to ESA whilst waiting for the appeal.  As a few people have said, you can't get the disability premium (worth £32.55 a week) in ESA, and that means a lot of people find themselves worse off whilst they are waiting for their appeal hearing about ESA.

    If though it's the severe disability premium (SDP) that he was getting before and now isn't getting, that could be wrong (that would be a loss of £62.45 a week). He might have lost this though for other reasons (for example, if he didn't get Personal Independence Payment when he was asked to claim it). The other reason he might not get it is because he doesn't live alone, but as a lodger he may be liable to make payments to you on a commercial basis for living in your home, in which case living with you shouldn't stop the severe disability premium.

    If he wins the appeal and gets into the support group for ESA, he could also get the enhanced disability premium (worth £15.90 a week). As Lee says, he could also get that premium if he gets a higher enough rate of the daily living component of PIP.

    Getting into the support group also means getting the support component which is worth £36.55. If he doesn't get into the support group but still gets his ESA back, he may get something called the work-related activity component, which is worth £29.05. But that is only included if the ESA started before 3 April 2017.

    Does this help at all? I know it's extremely complicated! But it does sound as if it might be the disability premium he has lost, which is unfortunately correct. If it's the SDP though, and you can show that he has a commercial agreement to pay you rent and you can check what PIP or DLA he is getting, it's worth raising that with the DWP. 

    About the national insurance contributions, they always say that if someone hasn't paid them, even if there are very good reasons that the claimant couldn't work. It just means your friend can't get contribution-based benefits. All of the advice we've given is about income-based benefits.

    Will 




    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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