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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 move to Universal Credit?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    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: September 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 ESA WRAG ending after 365 days is a 'Change of Circumstances' that also currently counts.
    (This is because after 365 days 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).

    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 a move).
    (In particular Disability Premiums are not paid with Universal Credit, but alternatives may be).



    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 keep it clear of distraction.
    Last edited by nukecad; 09-15-2017 at 12:06 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 for the facts

  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 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 move to a Different Local Authority then it might do, depending on what benefits you currently claim.

    It all 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 would 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; 08-25-2017 at 08:43 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 for the facts

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

    You should not need to be reassessed if you transfer from ESA to Universal Credit.

    (You may need to be reassessed though if your health circumstances have changed).

    However you should be aware that the Jobcentres are mistakenly telling some of those being migrated that they need to have a new assessment.
    Jobcentres have even sent out letters stating this.

    THIS IS WRONG.

    "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.

    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


    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 need to be reassessed on UC.

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

    If they say this 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.

    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; 09-15-2017 at 12:02 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 for the facts

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