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Thread: Check if YOUR ESA is Contribution Based, Income Related, or Both?

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Check if YOUR ESA is Contribution Based, Income Related, or Both?

    I recently answered another query where the ESA claimant thought that they were on Income Related ESA only, but looking at the circumstances they were actually on Contribution Based ESA with an Income Related entitlement (top-up).

    It seems to be a common misunderstanding.

    It's not helped by the confusing 'How Employment and Support Allowance has been worked out' letters talking about 'income-related amount' but then neglecting to mention that part of it may actually be Contribution Based.
    (They don't mention it because the main CB amounts are the same as the main IR amounts, so if they were mentioned it would only be to add it and then take it away again).

    It's also not helped by ignorant DWP staff, especially on the phones, saying that you can be on one or the other but not both - they are simply wrong.

    Which type of ESA you are getting is going to become important to know when managed migration to Universal Credit starts next year.

    I'm anticipating that quite a few people are going to be surprised when it comes time to migrate to Universal Credit.
    They are going to find that a part of their ESA was Contribution Based all along, and so that part will stay outside of Universal Credit and be paid seperately each fortnight.
    But it will be deducted £ for £ from their monthly Universal Credit payments. (Which is similar to what happens with IR ESA now - they 'credit' the CB but take it from the IR, but it's all done internally at the same time and doesn't change the payment so they don't explain that in the letter which is why it is confusing).

    So is your ESA Contribution Based, or Income Related, or Both?

    It looks complicated, but it's really pretty simple to work out-

    1. Pick which heading applies to your ESA, then pick either #1 or #2 depending which group you are in.
    2. If this then says that you are Income Related then that's all.
    3. If it says that you are Contribution Based and you DO NOT have a joint claim or get paid a disability premium then that's all. (But see the note at the bottom).
    4. If it says that you are Contribution Based and you DO have a joint claim or get paid a disability premium then you have an Income Related entitlement as well as the Contribution Based.


    Transfers from Income Support.
    If you were transferred to ESA from Income Support then your ESA was/is Income Related no matter which ESA group you are in.

    Transfers from Incapacity Benefit. (Also see the note at the bottom).
    If you were transferred to ESA from Incapacity Benefit then your ESA started as Contribution Based.
    1. If you transferred from IB to Support Group then it remains Contribution Based for as long as you are in Support Group.
    2. If you transferred from IB to WRAG then it is only Contribution Based for 52 weeks, it then changes to Income Related if you qualify by low or no income/savings.
      However if you are later reassessed from WRAG into Support Group it becomes Contribution Based again.
    In either case you may also be entitled to an Income Related 'top-up' extra to your Contribution Based ESA.
    The Income Related 'top-up' entitles you to the Disability premiums, a joint couples claim, etc.


    New claims before Universal Credit Full Service. 'Old Style' ESA.
    If you had not been working or paying NI contributions before claiming ESA then it will be Income Related for the life of the claim.

    If you had been working and had paid enough NI contributions before claiming ESA then it started as Contribution Based.
    1. If you were awarded Support Group then it remains Contribution Based for as long as you are in Support Group.
    2. If you were awarded WRAG then it is only Contribution Based for 52 weeks, it then changes to Income Related if you qualify by low or no income/savings.
      However if you are later reassessed from WRAG into Support Group it becomes Contribution Based again.
    In either case you may also be entitled to an Income Related 'top-up' extra to your Contribution Based ESA.
    The Income Related 'top-up' entitles you to the Disability premiums, a joint couples claim, etc.

    New claims after Universal Credit Full Service. 'New Style' ESA.
    These are always Contribution Based. You cannot claim Income Related ESA in a Universal Credit Full Service area.
    1. If you are awarded Support Group then it remains Contribution Based for as long as you are in Support Group.
    2. If you are awarded WRAG then it is only Contribution Based for 52 weeks, it then changes to Universal Credit if you qualify by low or no income/savings.
      You cannot currently go back to Contribution Based ESA from Universal Credit, even if you are reassessed as the equivalent of Support Group. (This may be changed in future but don't hold your breath).
    In either case you may be able to claim Universal Credit as well as New Style ESA, if this applies then the ESA payments will be paid seperately but they will be deducted £ for £ from the Universal Credit payments.

    NOTE:
    You may be aware that the DWP made a big error with some transfers from Incapacity Benefit to ESA.
    Some people transferred who should have an Income Related entitlement were never checked for it and were only given Contribution Based ESA.
    This means that they may have missed out on disability premiums on their ESA. (Among other things).
    The DWP are currently re-checking all transfers where this check may have been missed, and backpaying the premiums where applicable.
    Last edited by nukecad; 06-26-2018 at 09:09 PM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  2. #2
    Thanks for posting this Nukecad as I am one those people who doesn't know if on IR or CB ESA. It really is so confusing.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the clarity Nuke

  4. #4
    Absolutely thanks for this clarity, Nuke. Know many of us will be moved via migration (if no changes in circs crop up) but does the above mean from July '19, that those receiving both CB & IR top up ESA will have to make application for UC as well as also have to apply for new style ESA? Or will it be case that only the Income Related part of ESA will have to claimed and CB ESA paid seperately?

    Hopefully there won't be any changes or circs in foreseeable but just out of hospital after stem cell transplant and seems to be more and more news regarding the move to UC for those on sickness/disablilty benefits and trying to get head round what is to come to lessen any stress! Many thanks for any response/clarification.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencer69 View Post
    Absolutely thanks for this clarity, Nuke. Know many of us will be moved via migration (if no changes in circs crop up) but does the above mean from July '19, that those receiving both CB & IR top up ESA will have to make application for UC as well as also have to apply for new style ESA? Or will it be case that only the Income Related part of ESA will have to claimed and CB ESA paid seperately?
    It's not fully worked out or set in stone yet, but there are some things known.

    What should happen is that you will be informed if/when the migration applies to you.
    Don't do anything until you get this notification.

    It's intended that there should be no making of new claims involved it should be done internally. (Expect mistakes to be made. LOL).
    It is possible though that you will have to make an online UC claim, as I say it's not been fully worked out yet just how they will do it.

    • If you have CB ESA only then you will not be affected.
    • If you have IR ESA only then it will be migrated to UC in it's entirety.
    • If you have both CB & IR ESA then the IR part will be migrated to UC and the CB part will remain as 'old style' CB ESA.
      The money you get for CB ESA (which will be a single persons allowance and group component, with no disability premiums) will be deducted £ for £ from your UC.

    Any Housing Benefit or other IR benefits should be migrated at the same time as IR ESA.

    There will be Transitional Protection (details to be announced) so that you will not end up with less money when migrating.
    Last edited by nukecad; 06-28-2018 at 05:02 PM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Interestingly some draft regulations about managed migration have recently been published by the Social Security Advisory Committee.

    I've started a new thread about them. (and another because the first one went off track).
    https://www.youreable.com/forums/sho...lations-Part-2
    Last edited by nukecad; 07-25-2018 at 03:43 PM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  7. #7
    Most grateful for that, Nukecad. Certainly wont be doing anything until notification received...that part is clear so as to keep Transitional Protection (as it was when we all on IB moved over to ESA).

    Also suppose that between now and July 2019 is a long long time...esp in politics! Let's hope there are some changes to make matters easier (hah...that'll be the day) & suppose many things can change between now and then...fingers crossed! Again, TY for explanation...(am blaming chemo brain for my excuse but will have to get my head around UC some time and how it could/will affect us).

  8. #8
    I am sorry but I would like some help with this as I cannot understand what ESA I am getting. My letter says that my ESA is based on my NIC, but further down it says that my Income Related intitlement is. I was moved from the WRAG to SG so I ssumed that it must be CB, but when I tried to clarify if I had to pay for prescriptions. I was told that I am on IR ESA. Totally confused!
    Last edited by Lemonbalm; 08-16-2018 at 10:13 AM.

  9. #9
    You can be on both at the same time, i.e. on Contributions Based but with an IR entitlement and top up. If any part of your ESA is income-related that entitles you to free prescriptions, sight tests, glasses voucher etc..

  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi Lemonbalm,

    The letters are very poorly designed and are confusing.

    If your claim started as CB then it will be CB anytime you are in Support Group, but can also have an IR entitlement (top-up).

    From what you say you have both CB ESA and an IR ESA 'top-up'.

    A quick check, assuming that you are single:

    If CB only then Support Group will pay £73.10 + £37.65 = £110.75 / week.

    If CB + IR top-up then Support Group will pay at least an extra £16.40, giving at least £127.15 /week.
    (It could be more depending on your circumstances).

    The extra £16.40 is the Enhanced Disability Premium (called the Disability Income Guarentee on letters).
    It is only payable with IR ESA or an IR top-up, and is paid automatically if you are in Support Group.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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