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Thread: strange letter from ESA about IR eligibility

  1. #1

    strange letter from ESA about IR eligibility

    Good Morning
    I have been searching through the forum but not - as yet - found a post about this

    Last week I received a letter from ESA - it says they 'need to look' at my claim to see if I might be eligible for IR ESA from 2012.
    I think that is the date I went from IB to ESA SG
    I know in all that time I have been on contribution based.

    I have read somewhere about them needing to backpay EDP and SDP
    I don't think I have ever had them
    although in my housing benefit award form it includes them as part of their assessment for living costs

    the thing is they say they are just going to phone me at any point during the next 2 weeks - that is very stressful in itself

    it also says i can chose if i DONT want them to check

    I have no idea what to do, because i live in a full UC area, and i am concerned that even if i was eligible - that would put me onto IR ESA and then that would launch a whole new claim which would be under UC

    I would really appreciate any help at all - as i went to CAB yesterday and they had no idea what the letter was about
    (they didn't even seem to know/mention about the back payments)

    Thank you for reading

    W

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    This is normal at the moment.

    They made a big error when transferring people from IB to ESA.
    They have not been paying them the money they should have been.
    So they are checking them all again.

    This is people like yourself who have only been getting CB when they should have had IR as well.

    Their checks have indicated that you are probably one of these people.
    So they may owe you a couple of thousand pounds.

    It does not "put you into" IR, it gives you IR as well as CB.

    This will not put you on UC, it is nothing to do with UC.

    We have members here that have already done this (and have got thousands).

    So do this - you will probably get a lot of money because they should have been paying it all along but haven't been.

    You will probsbly have to fill in an ESA3 form but that is easy, it's just about where you live, what benefits you get, and what savings you have if any.
    Last edited by nukecad; 06-27-2018 at 04:35 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.

  3. #3
    Thank you SO much for you helpful reply

    there are a few more things i need to ask -

    one is that on the 'entitledto' web site, they say a something that could be identified as a 'change' is if you are on contribution based and believed to be entitled to IR - and that will be taken as a 'new' claim on UC
    i don't know if that would include my situation

    the other
    is that i had no idea that ESA need to know about other benefit changes - having changed from DLA to PiP
    they knew about the dla - but it is not until today - reading some posts on this site and consequently looking up esa online that it says you are meant to

    there have been no other changes
    and now i am scared this will get me into trouble

    also
    sorry to go on so much
    but if IF they do decide to back pay something - will it then continue from present?
    I have some savings so would be affected by that i assume

    oh this is so stressful
    and i am annoyed that the CAB women didn't have a clue the letter

    thank you AGAIN for you kind support

    ed. - found a thread by freedomeagle about the back pay situation
    they say they are now on income related esa
    so will this back pay move me OFF contribution based, because if it does i could be worse off due to having some savings

    also
    if i do get any back payment will that affect my housing benefit?
    certainly if i got a certain amount it would mean i could no longer claim it which is fair enough - but what about the HB from the past 4 years i have been eligible?

    oh this is getting more and more difficult
    i need to stop reading stuff and try to get some sleep
    Last edited by walker; 06-27-2018 at 11:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I'll try to answer in the order that you asked:

    The article on entitledto refers to if you have a change of circumstances that means you have to make a [u]brand new claim[/] for an IR benefit.
    eg. Moving house to a different area and wanting to claim help with the rent.

    It does not apply here because this is not a brand new claim, it would be a change to an exisiting claim.

    They do need to know about what other benefits you have, especially DLA/PIP because it may give you extra premuims on ESA.
    This is a part of what this is all about, thousands of people should have been getting paid these premiums but haven't been, so now they have to sort it out and give backpayments of what they should have paid in the first place.

    You will not get into any trouble at all for this; it's the DWP who made the error and are now in trouble.

    If, as sounds likely, you are should have been entitled to the IR addition then you money will go up and will continue at the increased rate.
    You will also get a big wodge of backpay.

    Yes freedomeagle has been through this, and we have talked about the CB and IR situation.
    The legal situation is that you will be on CB ESA with an additional IR ESA entitlement - so you will have both.

    The problem is that this is not made clear in letters from the DWP which only mention the IR part and so confuse people.
    It further muddied by DWP phone operators and jobcentre staff being poorly trained and not knowing that you can have both CB ESA and IR ESA at the same time.
    (They tend to rely on what they have been told about Jobseekers Allowance where it is only possible to have one and not the other).

    This will not affect any past payments of Housing Benefit.
    In effect it is saying that you have been (should have been) on IR ESA all along, and IR ESA automatically 'passports' you for full Housing Benefit - so there will be no overpayment of HB for them to recover.
    It also means that you continue to be passported to full Housing Benefit.
    But-
    There is a question as to whether the backpayment should be counted as savings/capital for HB, if it is then that may mean that you do have to pay at least some HB once you have the backpay.
    (It is not counted for DWP benefits, but HB is run by the council).
    There was something legal ongoing with this to try and stop councils from counting it as savings/capital.
    I'm not sure just where the legal argument on that one is, I'll try and find the latest position later.

    Before you ask about Council Tax:
    Pmlindyloo has posted a link (another thread) to Council Tax Benefit legislation that say that arrears of benefit under £5k should not be counted as savings/capital for Council Tax Purposes.
    (Over £5k it has to be backpay because of 'official error').
    For those who want to read it:
    The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England) Regulations 2012, Schedule 6, paragraphs 21 & 22
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...chedule/6/made

    You should not be any worse off by this, and probably will be a lot better off.

    Another consequence of getting IR ESA added to your current CB ESA is that you will also automatically qualify for other things.
    eg. Free prescriptions, dental treatment, eye checks, and other healthcare are the first that spring to mind.

    Remember that it is the DWP who made this error, and it's up to them to put right their mistakes
    Last edited by nukecad; 06-28-2018 at 04:31 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.

  5. #5
    thank you so much again for you VERY VERY in depth reply

    i went to CAB today - to tell THEM, what the letter was about, since they didn't know
    she didn't seem interested and couldn't answer any questions, and just kept saying you will need to ask them when they ring
    she poo pooed my getting info from online forums i.e here -
    and made me feel like i was trying to cheat the dwp or something
    i am left feeling upset and not wanting to approach them again

    re. the IR
    i have savings and it will only need a very few thousand to take me over the 16000 limit
    and that has been the case since 2014, so IF i had been assessed for any IR payments then surely they would have been reduced anyway

    the only reason it has not affected my HB is because although they allowed for the premiums, i was not getting them so my 'income' (including that from capital) remained below what they allowed
    if i get IR premiums, it will be over and the HB will be reduced


    not sure if that is clear as somewhat distracted by almost setting my kitchen on fire with cooking!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    They will dismiss anything you say you have read online.

    TBH so do I most of the time.

    You do know the ones that will be correct, CPAG, rightsnet, entitledto, B&W, turn2us, etc.

    But there is a lot of crap talked on facebook and the like.
    Forums like mumsnet also tend to be full of "I heard in the pub, or from a friend" type of inaccurate advice.
    A lot of it can be well meaning but is ill imformed or out of date.

    Nobody is immune, I've got things wrong in the past.
    Luckilly I've been corrected by one of the other knowledgable members here.


    I have to say that your CAB person does not sound very well trained.
    They do seem to be going downhill in places since their funding was cut.
    Last edited by nukecad; 06-28-2018 at 05:37 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
    well i don't use FB
    i just refer to here, disability rights and the benefitsand work forum

    i may be on benefits but i cannot abide being patronised by someone who clearly doesn't have a clue
    she actually said to me - you need to be honest with them tell them the truth
    i said i NEVER lie to them

    and they seem to get most of their info from online themselves anyway

    i have had much of the night and the entire day wading through bags of unsorted paperwork, online benefit sites/gov site, and it is making me so anxious that i cannot work this all out

    if i get a payout it will take me over the limit, then my HB will stop - of course (because i wont be lying to them!!)
    and then in a few months or so when i need it again it will be a new claim and that will be UC

    i am seriously considering telling them to leave it be

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It's a disjoint between the DWP and the councils.

    I know that the big welfare players, CPAG, NAWRA, Rightsnet, are trying to get it clarified and sorted out.

    Why should anyone become worse off because of a DWP error?
    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.

  9. #9
    also i found this in the housing benefit regs - which avoids the critical par. 21/22 that are included for council tax
    - and it reads - to me - that i will have to pay back because that overpayment was 'normally due' years ago

    4) Except any income derived from capital disregarded under paragraphs 1, 2, 4, 8, 14 or 25 to 28 of Schedule 6, any income derived from capital shall be treated as capital but only from the date it is normally due to be credited to the claimant’s account.
    as i said in a post above (not sure you saw as i think we crossed posts) i have savings and am convinced it will impact to make my life much more difficult
    Last edited by walker; 06-28-2018 at 05:52 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    That is talking about interest etc. paid on any savings that you have. (income derived from capital).

    The backpayment (becoming savings) will not, can not, affect any previous payments - you didn't have the savings when the payments were made so they can't be taken into consideration for those payments.
    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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