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Thread: Migration from ESA to Universal Credit - the facts.

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit - the facts.

    Scroll down or click these links for more info on:
    Moving House and Universal Credit.
    Will I need to have a new Work Capability Assessment if I Migrate to Universal Credit?
    What happens if I have to claim UC during an ESA Mandatory Reconsideration?
    Getting an Advance Payment of UC
    Can you get free prescriptions with Universal Credit?
    What about Permitted Work?
    Will I be worse off on UC than ESA?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    There has been a lot of speculation around the web about Universal Credit recently.

    That's only natural for something new that is going to affect most of us.

    But many of the articles and posts you see elsewhere are mistaken, or speculation, or just plain wrong.

    People are not reading things properly, misinterpreting what legislation and guidance says, and then shouting about their wrong conclusions.
    (I have seen a number of blogs and posts that have later been removed once the author realised they were wrong. Of course by that time their false conclusion has been spread about the web by others who also didn't check properly).

    The UC rollout is changing which areas are Full UC or Live UC from week to week.

    And of course the government keep tinkering with the laws underpinning it.

    So here's a quick recap of what is actually happening with ESA and migration to Universal Credit at the moment.

    As of the current time: November 2017.

    Nobody is being made to change from Income Related ESA to Universal Credit.
    (This is called 'Managed Migration' and will happen eventually, but it's not happening yet).
    (The latest government 'guesstimate' is that it will start in July 2019).

    Contribution Based ESA will not change to Universal Credit. All Contribution Based benefits stay outside of Universal Credit.
    (It is only Income Reated benefits that are/will change).
    (So if you claim Housing Benefit for instance, that will eventually become UC).

    It does not matter which ESA group you are in. - The only criteria is Income Related or Contribution Based.

    It is possible to have CB ESA with a Universal Credit top-up.
    (Just like you can have CB ESA with an IR ESA top-up).

    In the future those who change from IR ESA to Universal Credit by 'Managed Migration' will not get any less money.
    (There will be 'Trasitional Protection' to make sure you don't get any less money than your ESA).

    BUT

    You can be changed from Income Related ESA to Universal Credit if you have a 'Change of Circumstances'.
    (This is called 'Natural Migration').

    This can only happen if you live in, or move to, a Universal Credit 'Full (digital) Service' area.

    Not all 'Changes of Circumstances' will trigger a migration to Universal Credit.
    (For instance a change of health circumstances that moves you from WRAG to SG, or vice-versa, should not trigger a migration to Universal Credit).

    It will only happen if you need to make a new claim for an Income Related benefit in a 'Full Service' area.
    (For example if you are claiming HB but move to a house in a 'Full service' area you will have to claim UC-Housing Element in the new area, a new claim).
    (If you are already in a Full Service area and move house in the same Local Authority area this does not apply, you can stay on HB. It only applies if you move to a different Local Authority).
    (Eventually though all HB will be migrated to UC).

    Contribution Based 'New Style' ESA WRAG ending after 365 days is a 'Change of Circumstances' that also currently counts.
    'New Style' ESA is a CB ESA claim made in a 'Full Service' UC area.
    (This is because after 365 days CB are over you technically have to make a new claim for Income Related benefit. So in a Full Service area this would have to be a new UC claim).
    BUT
    If you still have 'Old Style' ESA CB WRAG (claim made in a Live Service area) then you can change to IR WRAG by means of an ESA3, even if your area is now Full Service.
    It is what UC Service you were under on the date that you made the claim that counts.

    There is no 'Transitional Protection' for 'Natural Migration' by a change of circumstances, so you could end up with less money.
    But equally you could end up with a few pounds more, it all depends on your individual circumstances.
    (So you need to check carefully before considering any move).
    (In particular Disability Premiums are not paid with Universal Credit, If you have SDP on your ESA and are migrated now you will lose the SDP).



    Those are the main points about migration from ESA to Universal credit at the current time.
    Obviously it does not cover all the little wrinkles, that would just get too long and complicated.

    And yes, the DWP are making some wrong decisions about it. (They always do with something new).
    If they do get something wrong then of course you can still ask for MR and appeal.

    Eventually the whole country will be Full Service for Universal Credit (which will simplify thing a bit).

    This thread will be kept closed to posts, to keep it clear of distractions, but I will try to keep it up to date.
    Last edited by nukecad; 11-11-2017 at 03:36 PM.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Moving House and Universal Credit.

    Will moving house mean that I have to claim Universal Credit instead of ESA?

    If you already claim HB and move within your current Local Authority then no, you can stay on your current benefits.
    If you are already claiming Housing Benefit with them you can keep claiming it even for a different property.

    If you don't currently claim HB, move house within you current Local authority and want to start claiming HB, then it might do.
    or
    If you move to a Different Local Authority then it might do, depending on what benefits you currently claim.

    This depends on if the area you are moving to is 'Full Service' for Universal Credit.

    In a 'Full Service' UC area (also called a 'Digital Service' area) then any new claim for help with housing costs will be a Universal Credit claim.
    In these areas you cannot make a new claim for Housing Benefit, new claims have to be UC.
    Which will mean that any existing IR ESA award (and any other IR benefit) would be migrated into UC as well.
    ESA would be migrated to UC with a Limited Capability for Work element, or a Limited Capability for Work Related Activity element.

    This should not trigger a new Work Capability Assessment on it's own, but you will still have to have your regular reassessments just like anyone with LCW or LCWRA.
    UC 'Full Service' information.

    In a 'Live Service' UC area (the rest of the country) the fact that you are already claiming ESA means that you cannot currently claim UC, because of what are known as the 'Gateway Conditions'.
    So you would still be able to claim Housing Benefit instead.
    UC 'Live Service' information.
    Current Gateway Conditions. (See 'Other Benefits' at the bottom).

    This interactive map shows which areas are Full Service and which are Live Service.
    It is kept up to date.
    You can zoom in and out, and click on the 'pins' for more details of a particular jobcentre.
    http://dwp-stats.maps.arcgis.com/app...8eb9df1dcc5ab9

    It's best to check with an advice centre local to where you intend to move.
    Last edited by nukecad; 11-04-2017 at 10:10 AM.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Will I need to have a new Work Capability Assessment if I Migrate to UC?

    If you are 'Naturally Migrated' to UC then-
    You should not need to be reassessed if you 'Migrate' from ESA to Universal Credit.

    This does not apply if you make a new claim for UC during a Mandatory Reconsideration, that is a new claim and not a 'Migration' - see the next post.

    (You may need to be reassessed though if your health circumstances have changed, or if you were due for a reassessment anyway).

    However you should be aware that the Jobcentres are mistakenly telling some of those being migrated that they must have a new assessment before getting a Limited Capability element added to their UC.
    Jobcentres have even sent out letters stating this.

    THIS IS WRONG.
    The DWP have argued that this is not against the law because the primary legislation says that they can reassess at anytime.
    However legislation says that they should not reassess just because someone has been migrated to UC.

    Having to be reassessed before they give you a Limited Capability element on UC is against the law.

    The actual legal situation is that they can reassess whenever they want to.
    BUT.
    They must pay you UC from the start with the same Limited Capability element that you were getting on ESA.

    They can't legally make you wait until after a new assessment before paying the Limited Capability element.

    "The Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014" clearly state that if you are migrating from ESA WRAG or ESA SG to Universal Credit then you should automatically be awarded the UC equivalent (UC-LCW or UC-LCWRA) with no need for a new assessment.

    The Legal bit-
    This is made quite clear in Regulation 19 of the Transitional Provisions Regulations 2014.
    Transition from old style ESA
    19.
    —(1) This regulation applies where–
    (a) an award of universal credit is made to a claimant who was entitled to old
    style ESA on the date on which the claim for universal credit was made or
    treated as made (“the relevant date”); and
    (b) on or before the relevant date it had been determined that the claimant was
    entitled to the work-related activity component or to the support component.


    (2) Where, on or before the relevant date, it had been determined that the claimant
    was entitled to the work-related activity component

    (a) regulation 27(3) of the Universal Credit Regulations (award to include LCW
    and LCWRA elements) does not apply; and
    (b) the claimant is to be treated as having limited capability for work for the
    purposes of regulation 27(1)(a) of those Regulations and section 21(1)(a) of
    the Act.


    (3) Unless the assessment phase applied and had not ended at the relevant date(a),
    in relation to a claimant who is treated as having limited capability for work under
    paragraph (2)–
    (a) regulation 28 of the Universal Credit Regulations (period for which the LCW
    or LCWRA element is not to be included) does not apply; and
    (b) the LCW element is (subject to the provisions of Part 4 of the Universal
    Credit Regulations) to be included in the award with effect from the beginning
    of the first assessment period.

    (4) Where, on or before the relevant date, it had been determined that the claimant
    was entitled to the support component–

    (a) regulation 27(3) of the Universal Credit Regulations does not apply; and
    (b) the claimant is to be treated as having limited capability for work and workrelated
    activity for the purposes of regulation 27(1)(b) of those Regulations
    and section 19(2)(a) of the Act.


    Continues...
    (My higlighting in red).
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2..._311216_en.pdf
    End of Legal bit.

    This is/was supposed to have been sorted out back in June, (and it was for Jobcenters that were Full Service UC back in June).

    But everytime a new Jobcentre goes to Full Service UC they make the same mistake again, and tell people they must be reassessed on UC.

    There is obviously something flawed in the initial training they are giving to Jobcentre staff. (Deliberately flawed?).

    If they say you must be reassessed before getting a Limited Capability element to you then:
    • Politely tell them that they are wrong, ask to talk to a supervisor, and quote that regulation 19 at them.
    • If they still won't listen then ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration, (they will tell you there is no MR because they have not made a decision, again bullshine), - insist that they have made a decision not to award you a Limited Capability element and you want to challenge that decision.
    • If they grant the MR then again quote that regulation 19 at them, in writing.
    • If they still won't grant an MR then it's time for a written complaint to DWP, (and your MP).


    You may want to get CAB's help, they are well aware of what is going on with Jobcentres not knowing this legislation and getting it wrong.

    Of course if they send you a UC50 anyway then there is not a lot that you can do other than fill it in and send it back.
    Once the reassessment process has started you can't stop it.


    Hopefully once the whole country is Full Service UC this mistake will be corrected everywhere and disappear, but in the meantime.......
    Last edited by nukecad; 11-10-2017 at 12:44 AM.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    What happens if I have to claim UC during an ESA Mandatory Reconsideration?

    New Claims for ESA.
    New claims for ESA should not need to claim UC during a Mandatory Reconsideration.

    New ESA claims will usually be Contribution Based claims and so outside of UC.
    If you need to ask for MR on a CB ESA claim then you can claim CB JSA whilst waiting for the MR result.
    (Unless you have already been on CB ESA assessment rate for 6 months or more, after 6 months on a CB benefit CB JSA is no longer payable).

    New claims for Income Related ESA are currently only possible in a 'Live Service' UC area.
    In these areas the UC 'Gateway Conditions' mean that you cannot claim UC, and so can still claim Income Related JSA during the MR.

    Reassessments for ESA.
    In a 'Live Service' UC area you cannot claim UC while awaiting an ESA MR because of the 'Gateway Conditions'.
    So you can still claim Income Related JSA during the MR.

    In a 'Full Service' UC area ESA claimants that are found Fit-for-Work at reassessment have a problem.
    A very, very small minority of these might still be eligible to claim CB JSA during MR. (Although I suspect the DWP staff will not know this).
    However the majority will need to make an Income Related claim, which in a 'Full Service' area will be Universal credit.

    The problem.
    UC is paid monthly, so it will be at least a month from your Fit-for-Work decision before you get any money from UC.
    Your MR may well be over and done with before you get any UC payment.

    You may or may not have a part payment of ESA still to come, because ESA is paid in arrears.

    So what can you do if you find yourself in these circumstances?
    1. You could claim UC and ask for an advance 'Hardship Payment'.
      They are suposed to have made these advance payments easier to get. See the next post for info.
    2. You can then stay on UC if/when you appeal. (or if your UC claim is not yet assessed and in payment (the hardship advance shouldn't count) you can try to close your UC claim and go back on ESA. - The Jobcentre will probably still tell you that you can't do this, they are wrong but try convincing them of that).
    3. You could claim nothing during the MR and go back onto ESA if/when you appeal (again they will try to tell you that you can't).
      This should then backpay for the time that you were on MR, but do get sicknotes for that time to cover yourself.


    Which you choose to do will depend on your personal circumstances and Finances.

    More.
    There are reports that if you claim UC during MR/tribunal and then win your ESA MR/tribunal they are not reinstating your ESA but just adding a LCW/LCWRA element to your UC.
    This letter certainly seems to bear that out.
    https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/?ACT=39...87j&board_id=1

    If you do claim UC and have a Housing Element added then you are stuck on UC no matter what the MR/tribunal decides.
    You can't go back to Housing Benefit from the UC Housing Element, so all other IR benefits get migrated into UC.

    Remember that if your tribunal fails then you will have to start a Universal Credit claim anyway, with a wait for your first monthly payment.

    Eventually (soon) the whole country will be 'Full Service' for UC and this situation will apply to everyone claiming IR ESA, (and the vast majority claiming CB ESA), who gets found Fit-for-Work at a reassessment.
    Last edited by nukecad; 11-06-2017 at 03:30 PM.
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    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Getting an Advance Payment of UC

    The latest, 23rd October, Government info. on getting a UC advance payment.
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-advances
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Can you get free prescriptions with Universal Credit?

    The quick answer is yes, but only if you have low or no other earnings, a child element, or a Limited Capability element.
    (UC can be paid to wage earners, so free healthcare is not an automatic entitlement for all UC claimants).

    https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/help-nhs-p...-prescriptions
    Under the 'Benefits' section says:
    If you’re getting Universal Credit, your entitlement to free NHS prescriptions depends on your earnings for the most recent assessment period. You’re entitled if your earnings during that period were:

    • £435 or less
    • £935 or less if your Universal Credit includes an element for either:
      • a child
      • limited capability for work


    ‘Most recent assessment period’ means the assessment period that ended immediately before the date you claim free NHS prescriptions. It runs for a calendar month.
    Note that there is no box on the back of the prescription to tick for Universal Credit:
    The patient declaration on the prescription form does not yet include Universal Credit. You should tick the Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance box and show your Universal Credit award notice as proof that you’re entitled.
    Here's a link to the NHS Choices page about UC and health costs:
    https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Health...al-credit.aspx
    Last edited by nukecad; 11-18-2017 at 03:22 PM.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    What about Permitted Work?

    There is no concept of Permitted Work with Universal Credit.

    UC is a benefit that can be paid if you are working or not.

    What happens is that any earnings above your 'Work Allowance' are deducted from your UC at 63 pence in the pound.
    (ie. For every pound earned over your Work Allowance, loose 63p of your UC)

    If you have a Limited Cabability element, (either LCW or LCWRA), then your Work Allowance (from April 2017) will be:
    • £397 if you don't have a Housing element included with your UC.
    • £192 if you do have a Housing element included with your UC.

    So if you have a Limited Capability element you can work and earn those amounts without it affecting your UC.

    (Always remember that any work that you do may have an effect on your next WCA if it contradicts the reasons for your Limited Capability).
    Last edited by nukecad; 11-11-2017 at 03:33 PM.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Will I be worse off on UC than ESA?

    You may be surprised.

    This is a simple comparison of the IR ESA and Universal Credit rates for a single person over 25 with Limited Capability who is 'Naturally Migrated' now to UC.

    (If you are 'Managed Migration', after July 2019, then your money is guaranteed not to decrease).

    It does not include Housing element, Carers element, Child element, Work Allowance, or anything else UC.
    There would be too many variables to do all that.

    I am using 52.143 weeks per year to calculate UC weekly equivalents. (365/7 - Ignoring leap years).

    ESA rates:
    Personal allowance = 73.10
    WRAG component = 29.05
    SG component = 36.55
    EDP = 15.90
    SDP = 62.45

    UC rates:
    Personal allowance = 317.82
    LCW element = 126.11
    LCWRA element 318.76

    Results:
    ESA Group/premium Weekly amount UC weekly equiv. Difference
    WRAG 102.15 102.16 +0.01
    SG+EDP 125.55 146.50 +20.95
    SG+EDP+SDP 188.00 146.50 -41.50

    I have not included SG only with no premiums, because this would be Contribution Based ESA only and so not migrated to UC.
    (If they were elligible for UC then they would also be eligible for an IR top up to their ESA, and so would have at least EDP).

    Remember that CB ESA stays outside of UC. If this applies then whatever is paid as CB ESA is deducted from your UC payments.

    As you can see it is only if you have the Severe Disability Premium that your UC would be lower than ESA if migrated now by Natural Migration.
    If you can hold out until Managed Migration, after July 2019, then you will be guaranteed not to be worse off at all.

    I have double checked these results with the Entitledto benefit calculator. (They say £146.49 / week for LCWRA, so a penny difference).

    Remember that this is only a simple comparison, other elements of UC may come into play depending on your circumstances.

    Use one of the online benefit calculators to check your full circumstances and benefits.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    NOTE: This thread will be kept closed to avoid distraction.

    If you do find it Open it is because I am updating or adding something.

    Please do not post here.
    Last edited by nukecad; 11-11-2017 at 04:05 PM.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here.

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