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ESA to UC and the ESA under payment

I was placed on contribution based ESA from contribution based incapacity benefit. Been informed by DWP this was wrong and I should have been assessed and placed on income related ESA. Because I lost the mobility component from my benefits I was taken out of the support group which meant I could only receive contribution based ESA for 365 days. Once I completed 365 days I was advised as I live in a pilot universal credit borough that I had to apply for UC. My issue is this if I should have been on income related ESA I would not have had to apply for UC. UC does not have the severe disablilty premium and from the info I read only those people who are part of the 'managed migration' qualify for transitional protection. Will I be taken off UC and put back on ESA?  Who should I be contacting to address this mistake.  No one is paid to care for me I am classified as homeless (sofa surf) which has been the case since 2014.  I have asked UC and enquired to the ESA number on the ESA3 form I completed and sent back in November 2018? 

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    HI,

    When you were taking out of the Support Group, was this after a review of your ESA?  Sorry but i don't understand why losing the mobility part of your benefit affected your ESA claim. Were you claiming the severe disability premium in with your ESA?

    Unfortunately, because you're now claiming UC then you won't be able to go back onto ESA because once you claim it, you can't ever go back.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    Also, do you claim DLA or PIP, if so what award do you or did you have?
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Thank you for replying.  I shouldnt have been put on contributon based ESA in 2014 from incapacity benefit,  I had to reapply for ESA in 2017. I was informed by DWP you can't be in the support group of ESA unless you receive mobility and care components, I lost mobility in March 2017 after the assessment, so was taken out of the support group, you can only be in receipt of contribution based ESA for 365 days if not in support group.
    So I had to apply for UC in 2018 once the 365 days came to an end. 
    Because of the DWP "Error" if I had lost the mobility component whether in support group or not I would still be on ESA in reciept of the SDP and not had to apply for UC last year 365 days after my contribution ended.

    I wonder if anyone had experience around this issue or how I go about challenging or who to contact? 
    Thanks you in advance 

  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Been getting either DLA or PIP continuously over whole period and meet all criteria to be awarded the SDP 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    I understand the IB to ESA contributions part but what was the reason why you had to re-apply for ESA in 2017? This is the part i'm now not understanding. Were you found fit for work so re-applied with a worsening condition?

    Being placed into the support group has nothing to do with receiving both parts of PIP because they're completely different benefits.
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Yes Esa was awarded for 3 years had to be reassessed.

    All circumstances for care stayed same for ESA always been on middle care IB and ESA only lost mobility part of ESA. 

    I know on PIP. I was informing you about DLA and PIP as you asked what I was awarded. 

    I have always been in reciept of middle care DLA or standard PIP lost mobility on PIP in 2016 just before I had to reapply for ESA IN 2017.

    Losing mobility is only change on ESA and PIP. 


  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    My condition stayed the same. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    Yes Esa was awarded for 3 years had to be reassessed.

    All circumstances for care stayed same for ESA always been on middle care IB and ESA only lost mobility part of ESA. 


    There's no middle rate of ESA and there's no mobility part.

    Regarding any backdated money, all you can do is wait for DWP to assess you and make a decision and this can take 12 weeks.

    Regarding the SDP whether or not you would be entitled to it being homeless will depend on your circumstances and that would be down to a decision maker to decide. The part where is says "classed as living alone" and sofa surfing could be an issue.

    You won't be able to go back onto ESA because you claimed UC.
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Thank you for your help

    Ok so working this out clearly. I wasn't awarded enough points on mobility to earn enough overall points to be in the support group? 

    Yes is a waiting game hopefully if I can trust the info on .gov.uk the benefits of the people I stay with should be disregarded. 

    I can't see how if I was forced to claim UC due to the unlawful administration error putting me on the wrong benefit in the first place means there is no process or legislation to challenge it?

    I don't think being in the support group or not is relevant to the backed dated ESA except to explain my query as to why I had to apply for UC. 

    Thank you for your time and advice. I will seek other avenues. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    Being placed into the Support Group isn't about scoring points, it's about satisfying at least one of the Support Group descriptors and mobilising is one of them. They do take into consideration your ability to use a self propel wheelchair.

    For the SDP then those that you live with need to be claiming a qualifying benefit which wouldn't be PIP daily living, DLA mid/high rate care or Attendance Allowance.

    If you're named on a tenancy agreement and you pay your share of the rent then living with others is irrelevant because this would class you as living alone.
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety didn't trigger descriptor I can only assume I was awarded less points than from previous ESA claim not an expert why I am asking!

    I'm classified as homeless no tenancy.

    "For the SDP then those that you live with need to be claiming a qualifying benefit which wouldn't be PIP daily living, DLA mid/high rate care or Attendance Allowance" .

    So if they are in reciept of PIP standard care or DLA care middle I don't qualify? 

    Thanks again
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    If I wasn't in the support group why was I never required to attend work related activities?
    So confusing sorry.
    I don't known if this helps but I just called the ESA number on the form to that said I should have been on income related said they don't know if I will be put back on to ESA it should be addressed by case manager investigating  my case if not bring it up with them when I get my phone call and letter should be in next two weeks ? 
    Thanks even more confusing? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    You reasons for claiming don't qualify you for the mobilising descriptor for Support Group. Most likely the reasons you were previously in the Support Group were through regulation 35, which are special circumstances. Usually this regulation is mostly aimed at those with mental health.

    For you to qualify for the SDP every adult person you live with needs to be claiming either of the benefits mentioned above.

    All i'm saying is that when you claim UC you can't go back to ESA forever. This doesn't mean you won't be backdated all the money owed to you, if you were underpaid.
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Can you expand on or provide a link to the section 35 for mental health and support group my circumstances medication therpay effect  never changed from the award from 2014 to 2017 but was withdrawn after reassessment in 2017, I thought this was due to tribunal judge saying emotional psychological distress didn't warrant the points awarded and was challenged and over turned in the high court as blatant discrimination or is that for pip  Thank you again for replying is really appriciated thank you.

    A friend I stay with is in receipt of middle care PIP and income related ESA.
    When I stay at my mum's she is on same benefits, my brother is paid carers allowance specifically for her.

    I do however stay at a friend's house every now and then when my friend has his son and my mum's drinking becomes to bad that is only 5-6 times a year longest stay is a week but he works? 

    I have my benefits forms sent to my Aunts as my mum hides or destroys mail, I stay one or two nites at my aunts a month when collecting mail she works as well? 
    Everything else is online.
     
    I can't really say on a month by month basis where I stay the most I guess as most of personal stuff e.g.my clothes are at my mums they will consider that as my main address?  Sorry just so hard to find any info
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    You're welcome.

    Reg 35 is explained here in this link.

    The psychological distress that you mentioned is for PIP following and planning a journey and doesn't apply to ESA.

    I'm assuming the reason you weren't placed into the Support Group after a re-assessment in 2017 was because they didn't they that reg 35 applied to you at the time, even though your conditions hadn't changed. This can and does happen a lot. Had you requested the MR and Tribunal at that point the you may have been placed back into the Support Group but it's too late for that now, sadly.

    I do feel that you have been treated very unfairly with regards to your ESA claim. What should have happened when you were placed into the WRAG from the Support Group was be assessed for Income related ESA, had they done this correctly then you ESA would have been changed to Income Related, as i assume you have no other income, savings or capital. Instead of doing this they stopped your payments and you had to choice but to claim UC.

    As for the SDP i think in your situation it will come down to the decision maker to decide on whether you will have been entitled to it or not. Your situation is very complicated and there's no specific guide lines other than what i've said.

    As for you claiming UC and going back onto ESA then i really don't think that will be possible because what ever the circumstances you can't go back to claiming ESA. I will of course be very happy to be proved wrong with this situation but having heard stories like this before, the outcome hasn't been good and people were unable to go back onto ESA.

    All i can advise at this point is to wait for the decision to be made on the ESA3 form to be made and go from there.

    Good luck!



  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Thank you for your reply.

    I haven't seen any info re transfer from UC back to ESA and agree is highly unlikely. 

    I did go through MR at time but was considered not to have provided any new evidence, I couldn't face the stress of tribunal. 

    Your correct regarding my ESA and my financial circumstances in fact I had to stop my debt management plan due to losing the mobility on my pip and the reductions from losing the support group , I'm in a negative figure of £2.600 prob go to CCJ'S.

    Thank you for all your help

    Regards.  


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    You're welcome. I wish you good luck for the future and hope that your living situation improves for you!
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Hi Poppy sorry to disturb you again can I ask you another question, is SDP only paid out if you where on ESA and only if you where in support group I can't find anything online that say this is the case.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    SDP is paid on Income related ESA, JSA or Income Support. For ESA it's paid on any rate (income related)

  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Thank you poppy you are very helpful sorry to keep asking questions.
     UC have told me that you can only get SDP if in the support group the .gov.uk site say you can only qualify for the Enhanced permuim if in the support group. 
    They contacted me to say I may have been put on wrong benefit back in 2014 I was transferred from Con based IB to Con based ESA I was taken out of the support group on re assessment in 2017 they are saying there is no error but that's not what I have been reading this week my circumstance at the time in 2014 meant I lived with people who themsleves received a qualifying benefit for SDP but they had someone recieveing carers for them and my circustances if they had assessed me properly would have meant I was put on IR ESA in 2014 not Con ESA.
    I haven't got a clue sorry just seems they are giving me contradictory info ? 

  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Thanks again poppy 👊
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    No problem.

    UC have advised you incorrectly, SDP isn't only paid to the in the Support Group. You're right it's the Enhanced disability premium that's automatically paid if someone is in the support group claiming income related. However the enhanced disability premium is also paid if you're in the WRAG on income related but you must be claiming Enhanced daily living PIP or High rate care DLA to qualify for it.

    Have you had a decision on the Income related underpayment yet? It can take 12 weeks for a decision.
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Poppy I have been pulling my hair out over this tbh if you wasn't helping I think I would go nuts or done something bad.
    You have been my day of light. 
    With all the different benefits I know I have confused one benefit to another which you kindly clarified again thank you 
    No not heard is 11 weeks on Monday the 11th and they may extend not expecting them to find in my favour as my living situation confuses things it's not the money as survive this long without anyway, I was really anxoius about having to go through assessments again I know it's part and parcel but I was trying to say to them if it's an error on they made do I have go through assessments again. 
    Doesn't matter as I've got a trigger on UC and got to be reassessed just hope its not done again if they do find in my favour. 
    I only just did my PIP face to face and it stresses me so much I was dreading having to go through it all again.
    Thank you so much for your feed back and help there are still some helpful non judgemental people out there 👊
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    You're very welcome. Being assessed for a mistake made by DWP in the past won't cause another re0assessment. If you're sent another work capability assessment form then it will be a total coincidence. They can re-assess you anytime from 3 months.

    The 12 week time is just a guide, it could go past that but hopefully you'll hear something soon. If you do receive backdated money and it takes you over the savings threshold for means tested benefits then it's disregarded for 12 months.
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Hi Poppy is there any process to challenge the ESA underpayment? 
    Has been 13 weeks now? 
    I was in support group (C) IB from 2007 till 08/08/2014 then assessed for (C)esa 09/08/2014 till March 2017 was then placed in work group (c) esa. Wasn't assessed for (IR) esa. Can only recieve (C) ESA for 365 days, had to apply for UC last march 2018 because my ESA ran out. I have been continuously in reciept of either DLA middle or standard PIP. 
    The addresses I have been sofa surfing at or staying at and always infomred DWP, were in reciept of middle DLA or standard PIP
    No one has ever been paid CA for me.
    I haven't been asked to provide any additional information. 
    When I call them they say all boxes have been ticked and letter should be sent soon that was going back 2 week's ago now.
    There is no process guidelines online to follow ? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,456Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    The backlogs are most likely huge because there's thousands of people to assess. The time scale they give you is just a guide and all you can do at this point is to ring as ask what's happening.
  • baileyboy18baileyboy18 Posts: 19Member Listener
    Thanks for replying. 
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