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Maternity allowance and new style ESA

hi I am waiting on an award for maternity allowance which I have been advised a decision has been made just waiting for it to be processed. Am I right in thinking I cannot claim both maternity allowance and ESA even if I’ve been assessed to have limited capibility to work is it one or the other 

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,069Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    Your ESA will stop because you can't claim both at the same time. Good luck with the birth of your new baby :)
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,497Administrator Scope community team
    Congratulations @stacey0208. :smile:
    I've heard there's a massive backlog with Maternity Allowance at the moment. People are unfortunately waiting quite a while for it to be processed. Do you currently claim anything else?
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • stacey0208stacey0208 Posts: 15Member Listener
    Hiya yes I just had a phone call from maternity allowance there was a 14 week back log which is not dropped to 10 weeks. So I’ve been told because I claim carers allowance they take that amount off my maternity allowance and because I claim UC they then take the maternity allowance off that £1 for £1 so in theory I am not a single penny better off. It’s so frustrating as I have been off work since June and been assessed to have limited capabilities to work and I’m 8 months pregnant plus being a single parent. When I received tax credits I kept all my tax credits plus my maternity allowance so all was good but since switching to UC all I’ve been in is debt
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,069Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Unfortunately, your carers allowance and the maternity allowance is counted as income for the UC and deducted £1 for £1. As you're also claiming new style ESA then this is also deducted £1 for £1 from your UC.

    The LCW will not pay any extra and you will remain on the same amount as before you were given LCW.

    Are they adding the carers element to your monthly UC amount?
  • stacey0208stacey0208 Posts: 15Member Listener
    Hiya yes I get the carers element. i am not currently claiming esa but they have made me an appointment to start a claim on Wednesday but is there any point if they are just going to take it from me. The new benefit system is ridiculous. I’ve worked all my life even after having my son 3 years ago and only stopped in June due to being signed off and now cannot work due to my illness and being heavily pregnant. What’s upsetting is I get the same amount as money as a job seeker even though it’s not my choice not to work and I’ve technically earned my maternity allowance and they can just take it away. I’m over spending each month by over £150 and that’s just bills rent and my car that’s without clothing and taking my son out. So not only am I getting into more and more debt my son has to suffer too.
    sorry for the rant it just upsets me and makes me feel like a failure to my children. I also do not get no child maintenance from their dad either 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,069Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    You can't claim New style ESA as well as maternity allowance, so there's no point in claiming ESA.

    Even though you have LCW this doesn't allow you to receive any extra money each month because your claim started after April 2017.

    Are you also renting your home, if so then you should be receiving the housing element in with your UC.

    I assume you have 1 child with the baby being your 2nd? is that correct? If so then once the baby is born you'll receive another child element of £231.67 per month, which is the 2nd child amount. If this baby is your 3rd child then you won't receive any extra money each month.

    You'll also receive child benefit for the new baby. Council tax reduction needs to be claimed through your local council, if you're not already claiming it.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,497Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @stacey0208
    I'm sorry things are so hard for you at the moment. Can I ask who you claim Carer's Allowance for?
    Have you checked that everything on your UC claim is correct? 

    As Poppy said, you should be getting your standard allowance, child element, housing element (does yours cover your full rent?) and the carer element. 
    Then deductions of £286 for Carer's Allowance. 
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • stacey0208stacey0208 Posts: 15Member Listener
    Hiya
    I claim carers for my nephew 
    Yes everything on my UC is correct and i get the elements i should get but due to a £250 rent shortfall each month and they take £100 a month deductions for an advance i had to help furnish my flat when i was made homeless and to buy baby essentials. so after paying my rent im left with £120 UC  £286 carers and child benefit. i know it probably seems a lot to some people but its not even covering my main bills. i took my current flat on banking on my maternity allowance not knowing its taken into full account and with my mental health so bad and being 35 weeks pregnant i cannot work. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,069Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    That's a huge shortfall in your rent. Is it just yourself and your child at home? If so then you'll be entitled to the 2 bed of LHA for your area, the same when your baby is born. Put your postcode into the link to check you're claiming the correct amount of housing element. https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/

    If you're claiming the correct amount then you can ask your local council for a discretionary housing payment but you'll need to fill out a form for this. It's not guaranteed and is only a temporary thing but you can re-apply. Whether or not they'll pay all of the shortfall, i really don't know because that's a lot of money.




  • stacey0208stacey0208 Posts: 15Member Listener
    I get my local housing allowance which is £997 for a 2 bed. It’s just property is so expensive to rent in my area so I pay £1250 for a 2 bed which is average. My local council won’t even consider a discretionary housing payment for another month as I only moved back into the borough 2 months ago for my health needs so I have another month to wait before I can even apply. I’m still really considering downsizing to a 1 bed just so I don’t struggle but I feel bad for the kids as they need there space 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 15,069Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Wow, that really is a lot of money for a 2 bed. My advice is to apply for the DHP in a months time. Maybe contacting the child maintenance service is something to consider also?  This isn't counted for any means tested benefits.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,497Administrator Scope community team
    edited November 27
    Hiya
    I claim carers for my nephew 
    Thanks for confirming @stacey0208. I just wanted to double check it wasn't for your own child and you were then missing disabled child elements. 
    It does sound as though the rent shortfall is a big problem here. I know our LHA is a good few hundred short of actual rent prices in my area too, so I can empathise. Hopefully in a month's time you'll be able to get the DHP which will cover the shortfall. 
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,497Administrator Scope community team
    Just another quick point, it's only temporary but you could ask to defer your advance for a few months. It would mean you have that extra £100 until your baby arrives, after which you'd receive an extra £231 a month for them.
    Be aware though that if you're paying back any other debts (tax credits overpayments for example) they will try and increase the repayments on these, so be sure to talk to debt management about that too.
    As Poppy said, child maintenance is ignored as income, so could be worth chasing that up if possible. 
    I've also just thought, you said you were awarded LCW. Do you think you meet the LCWRA descriptors and have you appealed the decision? 
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • stacey0208stacey0208 Posts: 15Member Listener
    Hiya 

    so i have asked them today to see if they will defer my advance for a few months so fingers crossed and i dont have any other debts im paying back wgich is good.
    child maintenance i am currently fighting to get collect and pay which will be £170 a month so again fingers crossed

    So ive recieved my report for the LCW award and yes i feel i definitely meet the LCWRA descriptors so have asked for a reconsideration, i am prepared for this to be refused so have started on my appeal papers ready.

    stacey
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 5,842Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @stacey0208, fingers cross this all works out for you! Please do let us know. :)
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
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