If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Having difficulties logging in or resetting your password?


Please email [email protected]

UC, ESA and PIP

bigmommabigmomma Posts: 17Member Connected
edited March 2018 in Universal Credit
Hello, can anyone help? I have quite a few health problems and my mobility is severely affected. I am 90% housebound. I am on Universal Credit and about to apply for new style ESA. I have been sending in fit notes for the past 6 weeks with another one (for 1 month) just sent in. I thought after 28 days you get sent a form regarding your health problems? Today, my work coach, who interviews me via telephone, informed me that after this form is completed, it will probably take a year for the assessment. Why does this take so long? The form has not been sent, do I chase it? I have requested a home visit to apply for ESA and even this will take weeks. In the meantime, I am having to go to appeal with PIP, this has been ongoing since June. Can I get help anywhere to prepare me for this? Is there anything I can do to speed up all of this? I get the impression from the work coach they don't favour people applying for ESA, she tried her best to make me change my mind. I am quite new to all this and would appreciate any help.
Thank you so much.

Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,856Member Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @bigmomma, and welcome to the community!

    Hopefully a benefits advisor will be in touch with further advice for you regarding your ongoing situation. In the meantime, Scope have some information on appealing a DWP decision that you may find helpful. Keep us updated, and fingers crossed that things start progressing for you soon!
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hello bigmomma - there's certainly a lot going on here, and I would recommend that you urgently try and contact a local advice agency, such as Citizens Advice, who may be able to help you tackle your PIP appeal, and also what's going on with your UC/ESA situation. You can also get very good information on PIP appeals from several websites, including www.benefitsandwork.co.uk. This is partly a subscription website, but people on benefits get a discounted rate and access to very comprehensive materials as well as support from experienced moderators. 
    I'm sure you are aware of this already, but it's important to understand the terminology of your UC/ESA issue. 'New style ESA' is the term used for the contribution-based version of ESA which is paid when a person is also getting Universal Credit in a full service area. If you get 'new style ESA', it will be taken into account as income in the calculation of your Universal Credit. The process of claiming new style ESA can be annoying and bureaucratic, as the IT that supports UC doesn't respond well to new style ESA basically! However, if you have the national insurance history to qualify you for new style ESA, then you should persevere, including insisting on your right to a home visit if necessary. The Work Capability Assessment is the same points-scoring exercise whether you are claiming new style ESA or establishing your limited capability for work within the UC rules. Either way, unless you are claiming on exemption or exceptional circumstances grounds, you will have to score at least 15 points from the list of activities and descriptors. It is very difficult to speed up the assessment process, especially if you are requesting a home visit, and unfortunately in some areas it is taking a very long time. Some people have contacted their MP about this, and have managed to get the process speeded up. The benefits and work website I mentioned also has excellent materials on the ESA / UC claiming process, and the role of new style ESA in all this. Please don't be put off claiming what you are entitled to by work coaches or anyone else - remember that these benefits are your legal right, but they are sometimes quite challenging to get. 
    Good luck and please get back to us if you need further steerage.

    Jayne
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • bigmommabigmomma Posts: 17Member Connected
    Thank you for your replies. I have subscribed to benefits and work where there is a lot of information. I have requested a doctors report to assist in my PIP claim. This will cost £30 but hopefully will be worth every penny. I am aware new style ESA is contribution based which leads me to a specific question. When I first got made redundant, I claimed new style JSA, which was successful due to enough NI credits. Now I have put a claim in for the ESA, will they take into account the few months of JSA I claimed with regard to N I contributions? Will I be penalised? 

    I am am also going to write to my local MP as I think waiting a year for an assessment is not really acceptable. I was told by my work coach it's because there are so many people waiting to be assessed. I would imagine this would cause a lot of stress for some. Even having to wait many weeks for a home visit, I find unbelievable. When would they date the claim from?

    Many thanks for reading and for the help. Trying to sort out benefits is like walking through waist deep mud!
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
     Hi bigmomma,
    To check your entitlement to new style ESA they'll first look at the year you are claiming in - 2017. Then they will look at the 2 previous tax years -2014/15 and 2015/16. They can't use any tax years later than that. If you meet the contribution conditions, you can get your 52 weeks of new style ESA (longer if you get put into the support group). Depending when you claimed JSA, it will either make no difference, or, if the period fell in the tax year 2015/16, it will mean you have a period of credits then, to use towards your ESA claim.
    So no, you won't be penalised for claiming JSA first. If you were to wait until 2018 to claim new style ESA, then the tax years used would be 2015/16 and 2016/17. I can't see any advantage to doing that, but it would be worth checking with a local advice agency, as Jayne suggests. You need to have at least one tax year where you were working enough for national insurance contributions to be generated. The guidance for UC does say that after 28 days of sickness they should send out a UC50 (the form about your condition and how it stops you doing things). I'd definitely consider complaining about this, and contacting your MP could well help. As Jayne says, it's proving much more difficult that it should be to get this process started.Also as Jayne advises, the new style ESA, if you get it, will reduce your universal credit, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't apply for it - it is your right to do so.

    They would date your new style ESA claim from the date of claim - the date of your telephone call (if it's followed up with a completed form within one month) or the date your claim form is received by the DWP. Backdating is possible in new style ESA, but may not be something you want to do here (you would need sick notes for the period of backdating and the backdated period would also count towards your 52 weeks of contributory ESA, if your ESA is time-limited. It won't be time limited if you are put in the support group following your assessment).

    Any assessment you have in UC should be recognised in ESA, so that you shouldn't have to have another one, but in practice, the DWP can call you for an assessment at any time, so many people do end up having more than one.

    Do come back to us with any other questions.

    Will

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • bigmommabigmomma Posts: 17Member Connected
    Just an update on this comedy! I had a home visit on 19th December. This was to complete my application for new style ESA. I was aware that they also wanted my bank statements as they said I shouldn't of been spending my savings. The gentleman arrived, as I had everything ready for him, he was only here for 10 minutes. I put my bank statements infront of him to which he said, 'don't need them'. Later in the day, he phoned and said there had been an oversight and he should of taken bank statements. Because of his incompetence, my payment, due on 21st was put on hold. It resulted in a second visit on the 22nd to collect my bank statements. Obviously, there was no way I was going to get payment before Christmas. I did finally receive a payment on the 28th but it was missing housing support. I really cannot believe how some of these people get jobs, no one seems to know what they are doing! On the plus side, I have now received the letter from doctor supporting my PIP appeal so now it's just a waiting game to get a date for tribunal.  However, I am getting my local MP involved in this. To anyone out there who feels like giving up, don't! If you deserve it then fight for it. To end on, I also reported the gentleman that failed to take my bank statements. These people are paid to do a job, when they don't do it properly, they should be pulled up. I wish you all a very Happy New Year.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering

    Hi @bigmomma

    Glad to hear the farce seems to be drawing to a conclusion for you.

    Just one thing - you mention no 'housing support'. If this is rent (as opposed to mortgage) and you are back on ESA, then this would mean a claim for Housing Benefit from the local council, as the DWP only pay rent in UC.

    If you're a renter you may therefore need to claim Housing Benefit.

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • bigmommabigmomma Posts: 17Member Connected
    Hi Mary, I live in a park home which I own. The housing costs are for the rent I pay for the land it is sat on. If I am successful in claiming ESA, will the housing costs stop? Can I not claim UC and ESA? I appreciate that if I get ESA they deduct it from UC but I thought I would still get housing costs. Thank you
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering

    Ahh apols @bigmomma are you talking about contributions based ESA? (i.e. not the income-related version most claimants are on?) If it is contributions related then yes, you can claim both together, but the housing element will still come from UC not ESA.

    If you are talking about income-related ESA, i.e. not based on your NI contribution record, then no, you cannot claim this with UC and would have to claim Housing Benefit.

    If you're definitely on the contributions based 'new style' ESA then make sure UC are aware of this, and chase your payment for housing costs while on to them.

    Sorry for any confusion @bigmomma just wanted to make sure you had all your claims in!

    Kind regards,

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • bigmommabigmomma Posts: 17Member Connected
    Thank you Mary, yes, the claim is for contribution based ESA which I have been told can take a year. Hopefully, my MP can make a difference here!
  • bigmommabigmomma Posts: 17Member Connected
    Just an update incase it may help others. I contacted the court regarding my PIP appeal. (Cardiff, although tribunal held more local to me) They advised there were 30 infront of me and average waiting time is 15 to 20 weeks. I am at 9 weeks so still a bit of a wait. As to ESA and UC. I am nearly up to the end of my ESA assessment period. As I was sent a UC50, I asked in my UC journal for an update. This was the reply 
    
    We have received your report back and are now 
    just waiting for a Decision Maker to update 
    your account with what you have been awarded.
    This shouldn't take long.
    
    Not sure what this means, can anyone enlighten me?  

    I'm trying to remain positive but it seems it will never end.

    Good luck to everyone in the same position as me, stay happy xx
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    bigmommabigmomma,
    If you've been awarded contributory ESA, then your UC account will need to be updated - contributory ESA is income for UC, as you know. So I think that is probably what is happening here.

    Although you're near the end of your ESA assessment period, that doesn't mean you will necessarily have your medical any time soon - there is often a delay. But if so, any extra ESA you're entitled to (called the support component - not everyone gets this) will be backdated to the date your assessment phase ended.

    I'd encourage you to complete & return the UC50, even if you've already completed an ESA50. I know this is odd, but UC often do this, and the thing is that if you don't return it, they could treat you as not having limited capability for work. Just try to make it as consistent as possible with the ESA50 (assuming that you have already completed that).

    As advised before, if you get a decision that you have limited capability for work or limited capability for work-related activity in ESA, that decision should be reflected in your UC. There are two main effects:

    1) what you have to do to get UC. If you have limited capability for work, you don't have to look for jobs, but you do have to attend interviews and take part in work-related activity, depending on what your work coach arranges for you

    2) if you have limited capability for work-related activity, you don't have to do anything AND you get an extra amount in your UC called the limited capabiility for work-related activity (LCWRA) component (your ESA support component will be taken into account as income, but it isn't as big as the LCWRA component so you do end up better off). 

    And just to confirm, your housing costs element in UC can help with the site rent you pay for your park home. And you'll still get those housing costs. There should be a page on your UC account showing the different elements of UC, and then your income (contributory ESA) which comes off your UC pound for pound.

    Hope this helps!

    Will


    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • bigmommabigmomma Posts: 17Member Connected
    Thank you Will. Just another update. Yesterday I received a letter in my UC journal informing me that I have been awarded LCWRA, which I believe is the support group. I'm not being reassessed for 18 months. This decision was made purely paper based. I did not have to attend any medical assessment. And it was all done in around 15 weeks! No idea what financial implications are as yet but I'm relieved to say the least. Just to recap, I am on UC and new style ESA. Still no news of PIP tribunal but at least ESA is sorted. I put the heating on yesterday to celebrate!!!
  • MaraieMaraie Posts: 26Member Listener
    Hi I’m giong through similarities 
    can anyone help
    i was on esa and they closed my claim 
    to claim uc
    im on enhanced pip both.
    the amount I get now is £314
    a month minus advances 
    of £100  per month.
    today the u c
    said
    im getting an extra 141 
    a month
    which now is the £341
    as it was only £190
    This went on for three months .
    i was on £375 a forghtnight esa
    after an asset.
    im still failing to understand 
    where that money’s gone and 
    what I can do
    to get my payment back to nearly what I was getting.
  • MaraieMaraie Posts: 26Member Listener
    The uc said on my journal 
    that 
    we owe you money
    £252
    But we may keep it as
    you owe advance pay
    back .
    I’m repaying advance at £99
    a month.
    I’m not entitled to houseing element.
    si they said there makeing a referral as esa said I have ltd
    capa for work can anyone help?


  • MaraieMaraie Posts: 26Member Listener
    What if the refferance 
    do I have any chance of them backdatingy money intill December end of d esa claim 
    an I still waitiyto here a thing 
    or is this over
    and I’m out of pockit of £350?? Per month
    All help welcome
    i will help if I can h?
    many thanks 


  • MaraieMaraie Posts: 26Member Listener
    Typos above
    what I was trying to say 
    is the iv said they were makeing a refferal
    what does that mean
    can I get money backdated
    at all
    am i due extra 
  • MaraieMaraie Posts: 26Member Listener
  • MaraieMaraie Posts: 26Member Listener
  • MaraieMaraie Posts: 26Member Listener
  • jakeyjakey Posts: 2Member Listener
    I have just past a esa face to face.. now I have to. Im already on pip to but have to go face a face with can this effect my esa 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 14,965Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    jakey said:
    I have just past a esa face to face.. now I have to. Im already on pip to but have to go face a face with can this effect my esa 
    Are you saying you have to go for an assessment for PIP? If it's a review and you're claiming any disability premiums and the decision on your PIP doesn't go in your favour, then yes it can affect it. It totally depends on your circumstances and what if any premiums you're claiming on ESA. Good luck with your assessment.
Sign in or join us to comment.