Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Do I claim ESA?

Hi, wondered if anyone can help me out understanding UC and ESA. I have been claiming UC as a working single parent over the last year. My income has greatly declined due to health issues that have greatly limited mobility and functioning. I get enhanced pip on both mob and functioning. I applied back in March for work capability Assessment through UC and just been awarded LCWRCA. However I never claimed ESA, I was told I should do just made a claim but now worried that should not have as money will just be taken back from UC claim. I asked UC for advice but won’t offer any as Aldo ESA advisors wont. I spoke to CAB who said to claim ESA as would be better off but not sure why? Can anyone offer guidance?
im worried about making things more complicated if I’m not going to be any better off. Prior to the last year I worked gill time.
advice needed as to whether I should cancel my ESA claim. Thanks in advance 😀

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,510 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    There's no financial gain to claiming both New style ESA and UC at the same time because you're right, the NS/ESA will just be deducted £1 for £1 from your UC entitlement. 

    To claim the NS/ESA you need to have paid the correct amount of NI contributions from working in tax years April 2017 to April 2019. There are some advantages to claiming the NS/ESA as well as UC because the ESA pays class 1 NI credits and UC pays just class 3. UC is means tested but the ESA isn't. It's also paid fortnightly and UC is paid monthly.

    However, i have noted that you're working and there are some differences to working while claiming ESA that's different to UC. For ESA it's called permitted work and you mustn't earn anymore than £140 per week after deductions and it must be less than 16 hours per week. If you earn more than this and work more than 16 hours per week then you won't be able to claim the ESA. See link. You must also tell DWP that you are working and fill out the PW1 form.

    Hope this helps.

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • bettyblue01bettyblue01 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi, thanks so much for that! 
    I’ll probably be working only a few hours with income less than £140. What difference will the N I classes make? I get N I credits as a parent when not paying these and by time kids over 16 will have accrued full pension years entitlement. So, financially UC offers same as benefits as ESA and less hassle. Will they allow me to cancel ESA claim.
    thanks so much for your help.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,510 Disability Gamechanger
    Class 1 can be useful for some benefit claims, if you've work and paid some NI contributions in the years needed when you claim.

    If you cancel the ESA then you may regret that in the future because it's not means tested which means that savings/capital/work pensions up to £85 per week are ignored and any partners income. You may not need this now but no one can predict the future. If it was me then i'd keep the claim, not cancel it.

    Also Child benefit only pays NI credits up until your youngest is 12 years old.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • bettyblue01bettyblue01 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks so much Poppie, I would never have known these things. Will ESA need to reassess my capability or will they accept the LCWRA from. UC? If have LCWRA will I still need supply fitness notes?
    again thanks 😀
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,510 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. No assessment will be needed because you already have LCWRA, the equivalent to this for ESA is Support Group which pays £113.55 per week.

    No fit notes needed for UC or ESA.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • bettyblue01bettyblue01 Member Posts: 4 Listener
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,557 Scope community team
    I'm glad Poppy was able to help @bettyblue01. Welcome to the community. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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