Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA at 16 for disabled child

Hello.  I'm a parent of a 16 year old disabled child.  I came across ESA recently but was confused as to whether my child would be entitled to claim it.  We are in a Universal Credit area so i understand to claim we'd have to claim UC.  My child is a permanent wheelchair user and currently gets higher rate DLA (will be moving over to PIP soon).  He intends on continuing full time education so would be classed as a full time student still.  Given the nature of the condition he is likely to be seen as having limited capability for work.  Would he be entitled to income-related ESA?  if this is means tested - who's means are included?  

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 21,081 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    All areas are now a full UC area so it's not possible to claim Income related ESA. Full time students can only claim UC under certain circumstances and claiming DLA/PIP isn't one of them. Claiming PIP/DLA doesn't automatically entitled them to Limited capability for work.

    As your child is still in full time education then you can still claim child benefit and tax credits for them until they reach their 20th birthday providing they remain in full time education. As they also claim DLA then disabled element of child tax credits is also payable.

    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.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @S243420
    Please dont post identical messages in different categories, you only need the one and then members can offer support more easily :)
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Hello.  thanks for the reply.  The only benefit we claim at the moment is child benefit and DLA.  I wasn't aware we could apply for any tax credits.

    With regards the Universal Credit it seems it is quite challenging to get approval as you need to have a WCA before you apply which seems to put you in a catch 22 as you can't get the assessment without applying!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 21,081 Disability Gamechanger
    You can no longer claim tax credits unless you're already claiming them. New claims aren't possible because all areas are a full UC area. Whether you could claim UC for yourself, with the child element and disabled child element added on top will depend on your circumstances/household income because UC is a means tested benefit. For this you could use a benefits calculator to see what you could claim, if anything. They are only as accurate as the information you put into them though. Try this one


    which says that 16 and 17 year olds can claim UC under certain circumstances. It says this....
    is awaiting an assessment to determine whether they have limited capability for work and has a statement given by a registered medical practitioner which provides that the person is not fit for work;

    A statement simply means a fit note from their GP. You'll also need evidence to support their claim for LCW which will be needed eventually and then most likely a WCA.


    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.
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    thanks once again for looking into this for me.  My child is a permanent wheelchair user with multiple physical issues so I think we should be able to take forward some of those items needed.  
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 21,081 Disability Gamechanger
    You're very welcome. Good luck with the claim! It takes 5 weeks to receive first payment of UC and your child will receive standard allowance of £251.77 per month. If they are given LCWRA then they will receive an extra £328.32 per month, payable from the 4th month of the claim. If the decision takes longer than this and sometimes is does then it will be backdated to the 4 month.
    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.
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Several months later....we applied for UC for my child and have been declined twice on the grounds that they are under 18 and don't have LCW or are not waiting for an assessment for LCW!   I put in a mandatory reconsideration and this was refused.  So basically we are stuck in a catch 22 - we don't have LCW and becuase they keep refusing the claim before we get far enough we can;t get a WCA to prove that my child has LCW.  I don't know what else to do.  HELP!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 21,081 Disability Gamechanger
    The issue here as you've found it is that he doesn't have LCW and he's not waiting for an assessment because you can't get past that initial claim process. I wish you had posted back here when he was first refused, rather that waiting 7 months. It's definitely not easy for students or under 18's to claim UC.

    My only other advice is to claim New style ESA to start with, he won't receive any money from this because he will need to have paid enough NI contributions in the previous 2 tax years from working, which isn't possible at his age. What he will receive is NI credits towards his state pension. Once the claim is up and running and he's waiting for the work capability assessment he should then be able to claim UC.

    He'll need fit notes from his GP to be able to claim it.


    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.
  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Hi @S243420,

    It is certainly difficult for students to claim Universal Credit!
    It is my understanding that your son will need to have had the Work Capability Assessment and to have been found to have Limited Capability for Work through the New Style ESA application (credits only) before applying for UC. People cannot be deemed to have LCW during the waiting period so students tend to find their claims get closed down.

    Joanne 
    Scope
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    thanks all.  So new style ESA seems to be the way forward to get a WCA.  IS that affected by child benefit claims?  the original application for UC was turned down because I was still claiming child benefit so I stopped claiming for that before applying second time around.  Obviously if my child getting UC is likely to be several months away then there is no reason i cannot claim child benefit unless it will also prevent a credit only claim for ESA as well.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 21,081 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, new style ESA. You won't be able to claim child benefit at the same time.
    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.
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    an update on this.  we filled in the health questionnaire form and have now had a letter confirming my son is in the support group for ESA.  Does this mean he has LCW status and we can therefore move forward with a claim for universal credit?
  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Hi @S243420

    Glad to hear that part of the process has been successful.

    Yes, if he has Limited Capability for Work and is on PIP/DLA then he should be able to claim UC. :)
    Joanne 
    Scope
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    the letter doesn't say anything about limited capability for work, just that he is in the support group and doesn't need to attend work coach meetings or have further health assessments unless conditions change.

    Does that matter or does being in the Support group mean you have LCW status automatically?
  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Being in the Support Group means that as well as having Limited Capability for Work, you are not able to take part in any work related activity.

    When he applies for UC he should be put straight into the Limited Capability for Work Related Activity group which is the equivalent of the Support Group. He should not be asked to have any further assessments.


    Joanne 
    Scope
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    ok.  that is clear.  thank you
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    just an update on this.  we've applied for UC again and the work coach has put the following comment:

    I am aware that you have applied for universal credit and that you have had a Work Capability Assessment on ESA but that does not give you automatic entitlement to universal credit as the regulations/rules are completely different for both benefits.  Your case has been referred to a Decision Maker, once they make a decision it will be uploaded to your journal.

    So this has got me worried now.  I thought if we were put in the support group for ESA that would qualify us for UC.  Are there any regulations or directives i can go back with that confirms this?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 21,081 Disability Gamechanger
    It won't qualify you as a family, it will qualify your child.

    As there's already an award of Support Group (LCWRA) then it should just be a simple transfer of the award being put into place for UC. If you've only recently applied, there is a 5 week wait for first payment, hopefully by that time the LCWRA element will be added to the claim.
    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.
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    ok thanks.  i hope I don't have to go down the mandatory reconsideration route again
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 21,081 Disability Gamechanger
    There shouldn't be any need for that because LCWRA has already been awarded.
    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.
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    so my childs claim has been closed yet again for being under 18 despite them having had a health assessment and being put in the support group.  this is so frustrating.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,600 Scope community team
    It sounds as though they haven't transferred his ESA support group status to Universal Credit @S243420. Have you had any update?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    i had a letter on 2nd April saying they couldn't pay ESA because he was required to claim Universal Credit and we also received a seperate P45.

    since they closed the UC case i can't make any updates to the journal and the phone lines are crazy so i'm stuck once again.
  • S243420S243420 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    have they closed his ESA as well?  we know he can't get any payments but he should be getting ESA credit so not sure they can close it.  Is this why his UC claim has been turned down as well?
  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Hi @S243420,

    They should not have closed his ESA claim. As you say, he should have been given a credits only award once he had been assessed as having Limited Capability for Work.

    That should have been enough to allow him to make the claim for UC and the Support Group should have automatically entitled him to LCWRA element.

    Your initial claim for UC may have been closed pending the outcome of the ESA and you would then need to make a new claim. 

    Unfortunately you may have to start the process again with UC and as you say, everything is taking much longer than usual.


    Joanne 
    Scope
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