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Advice on ESA from 2012

I had been on Incapacity benefit and DLA for many years whilst my partner worked full time. Following ill health, my partner went to the job centre with a sick note and after a time successfully applied for sickness benefit which at the time was the new ESA. Some weeks later, I was migrated over to ESA in the support group and was receiving PIP at this time. Unbeknown to us, I was added to my partner's ESA claim which meant I was not receiving my Enhanced Disability Premiums.  We didn't understand the benefits system and despite highlighting several times that the online benefit calculator was showing we were entitled to more than we were actually receiving, nobody at Citizens advice or the job centre could work out why. This error has only come to light through the Incapacity to ESA migration error investigation and although it was spotted by a job centre member in 2015 and applied correctly, could I be entitled to have the edp backdated for 2012 to 2015? Kind Regards Joyce


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,073Community champion Disability Gamechanger

    If you were in the Support Group claiming Income related or Contributions based with an income related top up then the Enhanced disability premium is automatically paid.

    Some more information is needed and then i'll try to help you further.

    What year were you migrated over to ESA from Incapacity benefit and was your partner working when you transferred across?

    What year did your partner apply for ESA and did they apply for Contributions based ESA?
  • Joycey01Joycey01 Posts: 8Member Listener
    Hi if my memory serves me correctly I was receiving contribution based Incapacity benefit when my partner was working full time. My partner then received ESA contribution based in January 2012. In July 2012, I was migrated over to ESA and was added to my partner's claim. No disability premiums were added although I was receiving PIP and was in ESA support group. It was only in 2015 we received a call telling us that we were required to complete a form to transfer my partner on to my claim instead and it was at that point Enhanced disability premiums were added to our entitlement. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,073Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry but i'm totally confused here and with my benefit knowledge that doesn't often happen.

    All i can advise at this point is that all those that transferred from IB to ESA will be contacted. If you haven't already been contacted you should be at some point in the future. Once you receive the form you'll need to fill it in with both of your details and let DWP assess you. Once a decision's made they will send you a decision letter. How long this will take i have no idea but i do know the backlogs for the underpayments are huge.
  • Joycey01Joycey01 Posts: 8Member Listener
    I appreciate your reply and to be honest I'm confused myself. I completed the paperwork from the department dealing with the migration errors and got a call from the guy and he said whilst he can see I wasn't receiving my Enhanced Disability Premiums, this was because I was added to my partner's claim as opposed to the other way around? However they can't help as they are there to investigate whether I was assessed correctly in regards to the household receiving an income related element (which we apparently were through my partner's claim) as I say I'm confused and don't have a full understanding of how the system works. Perhaps I will ring the job centre. Many thanks again, Joyce 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,073Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 21
    No problem. Ringing your local job centre will not get you any answers here because like DWP staff they mostly read from a screen.

    I have just re-read what you've said again. May i ask when you transferred from IB were you assessed for your own ESA claim? I see you were migrated straight onto your partners ESA claim, is this correct? If so then you wouldn't have been assessed for your own ESA claim because you were added to your partners. Unless you were assessed and placed into the WRAG and you have your dates wrong about when you were added to your partners claim. If you were placed into the WRAG then Contributions based is only paid for 365 days. When this ended you would have been added onto your partner claim.

    I'm just trying to make sense of it all but it's not really adding up. I also don't understand why you were added back onto your claim in 2015, this really makes no sense.

    If you were claiming as a couple in the support group then the Enhanced disability premium would have automatically been added as a couples rate, not a single persons rate.

    I'd also like to point out that those benefits calculators are only helpful if you put in the correct information and you can only do this if you understand the benefit system. If the incorrect information is put in the figures will be incorrect. One of the reasons why these calculators aren't always helpful.
  • Joycey01Joycey01 Posts: 8Member Listener
    I'm sorry if what I'm saying makes no sense, I'm just going by the notes I took when the guy from DWP called me after I sent the paperwork back. I guess I have no choice but to call the job centre who could possibly she'd more light on things or just let it go and accept I'm receiving the correct benefits now. Thanks anyway, sorry I've wasted your time. Regards, Joyce
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,073Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    You haven't wasted my time. I'm a community champion here on scope and i advise others on the complex benefit system.

    However, it would be wasting your time if you went to your local job centre regarding this because as i advised, they would have no idea. They are not benefit advising people and i've lost count the amount of times they have incorrectly advised people.

    You'll be much better off taking all your paper work to your local advice centre and ask them to have a look and they will advise you correctly.

    I suspect that you either didn't start your own ESA claim or you were placed into the WRAG when you transferred from IB. When you 365 days of Contributions based ESA ended you then had to be added to your partners ESA claim and claim as a couple. As your partner was in the support group you would have been receiving the correct amount as a couple claim.
  • Joycey01Joycey01 Posts: 8Member Listener
    Good idea yes I shall try and get an appointment at Citizens adice.  I do remember that in 2015 when I completed the form to have my partner added to my claim, we were receiving approximately  £25 per week extra money but quite how that came about, I'm not sure. Anyway, thanks again for your replies, Joyce.
  • Joycey01Joycey01 Posts: 8Member Listener
    Hi again

    Just thought I'd update. Citizens advice gave me a number to call my local job centre. I spoke to a helpful lady who is looking into things for me. She's explained to me that whats happened is my partner was receiving ESA with Income element when I was switched from incapacity benefit to ESA, however as only one of us could claim the income element, my  contribution based claim was added to my partner's. As a result of this for some reason, I didn't receive the enhanced disability premium. It wasn't added to our joint claim however it would've been added if I was the main claimant with my partner added to my claim. It's all very confusing but at least it's bein looked into. Many thanks 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,073Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    That still doesn't really make any sense because the income related element is the Enhanced disability premium and there's a single person rate and a couples rate, with the couples rate being slightly more than the single person rate. If you were claiming the income related top up as a couple then it should have automatically been added.

    You can't add your Contributions claim to your partners but you could have have claimed Contributions based yourself in your own right so i'm not really sure what happened or why you were added to your partners claim at the time. As you were both claiming Contributions based then you should have remained on that in your own right.

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 5,842Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @Joycey01, how are you getting on? Sounds like things have been complicated!
    Online Community Officer
  • Joycey01Joycey01 Posts: 8Member Listener
    Hi Chloe yes it seems to be very complicated. I had a call yesterday and was told that the enhanced disability premium wasnt added, and receiving the backpay  will come down to whether in 2012 job centre plus staff were obliged to advise me that I was entitled to ask for my partner's claim to be closed down and have a joint claim with myself as main claimant so I could maximise benefit and receive my disability premiums. I'm not hopeful. Many thanks for your reply, Joyce.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,073Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry but even that advice you were given doesn't make any sense because you should still have both been claiming Contributions based ESA in your own right. This would have given you more money at the time.
  • Joycey01Joycey01 Posts: 8Member Listener
    I was receiving contribution based ESA and my partner was income related. Ive no idea what's happened for the enhanced disability premium not to be added, and I don't know if it makes sense or not, I'm just going on what I'm being told and as I say, I don't understand the benefit system. Joyce
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