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Thread: help with my wife and my ESA / PIP

  1. #1
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    help with my wife and my ESA / PIP

    Hi hopefully someone can head me off in the right direction, I got news today from my PIP tribunal (DWP backed down and made me an offer of what I am should have had anyway ) so I now get full PIP mobility and care, I also get support group ESA, my question is this my wife and I are moving area in the new year to be closer to my family to help with my care, if my wife stops work when we move and becomes my FT carer and applies for careers allowance can I add her to my ESA claim as she will no longer be working also if I did this who would be better getting housing and council tax her or me, I have searched everywhere spoken to some very unhelpful welfare rights who didn't seem to have a clue about impacts of PIP.. So any advice will be great

    thanks

    Pally

    Oh on CB ESA if that makes any difference

    Merry Xmas all
    Last edited by Pally69; 12-20-2013 at 05:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    If your wife has no income, your ESA will be treated as a claim for a couple. That claim will be Income Related ESA with additions for family, disability due to PIP, etc. Income Related ESA has certain advantages, depending on your circumstances.
    Then, if your wife claims Carers Allowance she will not receive it as such, but a Carer Premium will be added to your ESA. There are several premiums/additions which can make up your total weekly amount, depending on your personal/family circumstamces.
    You can then claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit/Support based upon your Income Related ESA.

    I hope i've explained that logically - i never usually do,lol.

  3. #3
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    Further to the excellent advice of ivb, I would suggest you try again to get the advice of a qualified benefit adviser (like CAB or similar) with this. As I've seen it said elsewhere that it can be more advantages if the carer/wife/partner (whatever) claims Income Support together with the carer's allowance instead of being added to the ESA claim. Which is best for you obviously involves consideration of all your pertinent circumstances, that's a very complicated job and can't be done on the net.

    With regard to your PIP, as with DLA I don't think it impacts on the rest of your benefit(s).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivb View Post
    If your wife has no income, your ESA will be treated as a claim for a couple. That claim will be Income Related ESA with additions for family, disability due to PIP, etc. Income Related ESA has certain advantages, depending on your circumstances.
    Then, if your wife claims Carers Allowance she will not receive it as such, but a Carer Premium will be added to your ESA. There are several premiums/additions which can make up your total weekly amount, depending on your personal/family circumstamces.
    You can then claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit/Support based upon your Income Related ESA.

    I hope i've explained that logically - i never usually do,lol.
    Hi thanks for the info you have explained it well I think lol, I spoke with CAB this morning only to be told speak to turn2us the more I ask for advice the further away I seem to get ( CAB advice that is) I just can't seem to get my head round if my wife stops work to care for me she will only be able to get care allowance as any other benefit would overlap, has anyone used turn2us before??? I was hoping to have some direction before the festive break but not looking promising

  5. #5
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    Thanks Jard I have tried again this morning and CAB couldn't help told me to try turn2us, I have looked and completed the online guesstimate thing which produces different result to the .gov calculator so now I am even more confused maybe I should just stick with the wife working and continue to be a pest to the rest of my family lol, are the turn2us my best bet in your opinion ??...

  6. #6
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    Hello Pally,
    I think turn2us are good for a quick 'quesstimate' but with the situation you've got I think you really need to sit down with a professional that knows and understands the system and can give you a written summation of it all.

  7. #7
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    There's a huge number of parameters that have to be taken into account to arrive at a meaningful answer.


    To answer the straightforward part of your question, the impact of PIP on other benefits and entitlements is pretty much the same as the impact of DLA. PIP is fully disregarded as income for means-tested benefits and, I believe, income tax (as with DLA).

    The standard rate of the Daily Living component of PIP gives almost identical entitlements to the middle rate of the DLA care component, whilst the enhanced rate of the Daily Living component of PIP gives almost identical entitlements to the higher rate of the DLA care component.

    The mobility entitlements are somewhat different with PIP than with DLA, but this really only affects entitlements to free vehicle excise duty, a Blue Badge and the right to enter the Motability scheme.


    I'm unclear whether by "full PIP mobility and care" you mean the enhanced rate of both components, or the standard rate. Further, with any decisions based on disability benefits, you cannot guarantee staying on the same rates in the future - do you know how long the PIP award is for? At least, unlike those on DLA, you aren't left worrying how you will fare in the DLA to PIP transition for people of working age.


    In most scenarios, it would make no difference whether you or your wife claim means-tested benefits, as the means-test will be applied to your joint income and capital.


    It isn't as simple as you being entitled to income-related ESA as a couple if your wife gives up work. As you are on contributions based ESA in the support group, you will remain on the contributions based benefit for as long as you remain in the support group, plus the first 365 days of any time you spend in the work-related activity group.

    You will only become entitled to means-tested benefits if you are below the income and capital thresholds. Your income includes your contributions based ESA, any payments you get from pensions or insurance policies in relation to your disability or inability to work and any notional income from capital over the lower threshold. Your PIP is fully disregarded as income.

    Means-tested benefits are only paid if your entitlement after any deductions is a penny a week or more.



    I suggest you look at this in the broadest possible context. You need to get the best idea you can, likely be asking for a formal care assessment, of what social care the council would offer you at your new address, and how much they would expect you to contribute (which can include a contribution of some or all of your PIP Daily Living component, as well as a contribution from your other joint income including your ESA). Will that care entitlement, together with anything your wife can provide whilst remaining in work and your family can provide, be sufficient for your needs? If not, you have little alternative to your wife reducing her hours at work or giving up work entirely.

    If you could cope without your wife as a full-time carer, the decision on what to do is both a financial and a relationship one. Without your wife's income, you may be entitled to means-tested benefits, which may, in turn, entitle you to help dependent on means-tested benefits (such as help towards housing costs and council tax). Even with this help, you are likely to be worse off financially than if your wife continues to work unless your housing costs approach or exceed your wife's income. Don't forget the effect on retirement income if, by giving up work, your wife stops contributing to a private pension, also that any legacies you receive in the future could push you off means-tested benefits.


    Carer's Allowance is derisory for the hours involved, and Carer Premium is even more derisory (they fully overlap - you can't get both). Maybe more importantly, being in a scenario where either of these benefits applies might well mean that the pair of you will get little time apart, which is not always the healthiest thing for a relationship, and the extension of carer responsibilities can make it harder to switch from the carer & cared for roles to the partner / lover / spouse / parent (if relevant) roles. These are obviously deeply personal things, about which only the pair of you can have an honest and ongoing dialogue. There's no harm asking a relationship counsellor to facilitate these conversations if you both think it might help - it could strengthen your relationship by having meaningful conversations as a pre-emptive strategy, rather than waiting for any problems to emerge.


    It might be that when you move, your wife cannot hang on to the employment she currently has anyway, which may make all this a moot point. However, the best approach may well be for her to keep working at least part-time if she can, trying to find a balance between financial, personal and relationship factors, than her becoming your full-time carer.


    Really, because of the myriad of factors involved, you need help from a welfare rights advisor to work out the financial impacts of potential scenarios. Dealing with the effects of PIP on other benefits isn't too hard - if they start from the principle that the effect is similar than the DLA component of the same value before checking the effects on a specific benefit in a 2013-14 reference work, they'll soon deal with that aspect. It's not as if you are asking for support with a PIP claim or appeal, as that is a very different thing to a DLA claim or appeal.

    If CAB can't help, one of the carer organisations may be able to give some worthwhile advice, much as I expect their resources are stretched thin.

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