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Thread: Falling into the gap between ESA and UC....

  1. #1

    Falling into the gap between ESA and UC....

    Hello everyone, new here.

    I've fallen into a huge gap between ESA and UC simply because I'm trying to get back into the world of work. I'm confused about whether I'm getting what I'm entitled to, and if I am, then I think there is a massive problem that the DWP may not (or may!) be aware of.

    I was getting IR ESA, and SDP not working for the past 2 years ish because I am disabled and have had a flare up of one of my conditions. I also get PIP enhanced mobility and standard daily living. Full housing benefit (which I top up because my rent is higher than LHA).

    I got myself a job, 15 hours a week. Hooray! I thought - this will make me feel worthy in society again and I think I'll earn a bit more (maybe only £20 or so) once I'm working again.

    But no, of course that isn't the case! My salary is just above minimum wage, so ESA has not allowed it as permitted work. I earn £166 a week and permitted work earnings allow £131.50.

    So they have stopped my ESA. I can't go onto UC because of the recent court case and decision that people getting SDP can't apply for UC. So the SDP has also stopped.

    Before I started working, I got £194.30 in ESA and disability premiums plus housing benefit of 529.72 (my rent is 600). Now I earn £166 a week there is a shortfall of about £28 a week. I am no longer entitled to free prescriptions and I'm sitting here trying to work out what other things this will affect...

    I've read several websites that say you can still get SDP through Housing Benefit, but my local housing benefit office is telling me this is just in relation to personal allowances and not an actual payment to me of premiums. The gov.uk website says that premiums are 'extra amount of money added to your...housing benefit' - so is this true or is the website totally misleading and actually this is about the calculation of personal allowances for assessing housing benefit applications?

    I'd be so grateful if anyone can give me any concrete information about the SDP and housing benefit issue. And any other tips about how I can manage this would be really helpful.

    I'm so worried I'm going to eventually end up unable to pay my rent/eat properly, all because I got myself a job.

    Worried isn't strong enough a word.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by oscarki View Post
    Hello everyone, new here.

    I've fallen into a huge gap between ESA and UC simply because I'm trying to get back into the world of work. I'm confused about whether I'm getting what I'm entitled to, and if I am, then I think there is a massive problem that the DWP may not (or may!) be aware of.

    I was getting IR ESA, and SDP not working for the past 2 years ish because I am disabled and have had a flare up of one of my conditions. I also get PIP enhanced mobility and standard daily living. Full housing benefit (which I top up because my rent is higher than LHA).

    I got myself a job, 15 hours a week. Hooray! I thought - this will make me feel worthy in society again and I think I'll earn a bit more (maybe only £20 or so) once I'm working again.

    But no, of course that isn't the case! My salary is just above minimum wage, so ESA has not allowed it as permitted work. I earn £166 a week and permitted work earnings allow £131.50.

    So they have stopped my ESA. I can't go onto UC because of the recent court case and decision that people getting SDP can't apply for UC. So the SDP has also stopped.

    Before I started working, I got £194.30 in ESA and disability premiums plus housing benefit of 529.72 (my rent is 600). Now I earn £166 a week there is a shortfall of about £28 a week. I am no longer entitled to free prescriptions and I'm sitting here trying to work out what other things this will affect...

    I've read several websites that say you can still get SDP through Housing Benefit, but my local housing benefit office is telling me this is just in relation to personal allowances and not an actual payment to me of premiums. The gov.uk website says that premiums are 'extra amount of money added to your...housing benefit' - so is this true or is the website totally misleading and actually this is about the calculation of personal allowances for assessing housing benefit applications?

    I'd be so grateful if anyone can give me any concrete information about the SDP and housing benefit issue. And any other tips about how I can manage this would be really helpful.

    I'm so worried I'm going to eventually end up unable to pay my rent/eat properly, all because I got myself a job.

    Worried isn't strong enough a word.
    I am not sure why they have closed your ESA claim. If you are earning less than your ESA award then you would still be entitled to some income based ESA.

    Perhaps I am missing something...………………..

    Income from work would be counted £ for £ from your ESA award (with, I believe, a £20 disregard) so I am not sure what has happened?

    Did you receive a decision letter about your ESA ending? Perhaps you could tell us what it says...……

    You would be receiving the SDP in your HB award as part of your personal allowance calculation as advised by your council. This would stop you from transferring to UC.

    You could try putting all your details into a benefit calculator such as www.entitledto.co.uk to see what you are eligible for. I have worked on the information contained in your post.
    I try my best

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    SDP is payable with Housing Benefit - if it's not already being paid with another benefit.

    Whoever you spoke to at the council was wrong.
    Well, they were only partially right - if SDP is in payment with another benefit then you get can only get extra allowances in HB.

    As you are no longer being paid SDP with ESA then you can have it paid with HB instead.
    (And it should be backdated to when the ESA ended).

    I'd try ringing them again, ask to speak to a supervisor, and refer them to the government website regarding SDP:
    https://www.gov.uk/disability-premiums-income-support

    That clearly states right at the very begining:
    Overview

    Disability premiums are extra amounts of money added to your:

    • Income Support
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
    • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • housing benefit

    Any money you get is added to your benefit payments automatically so you usually do not have to apply for a disability premium.
    In this case you will have to apply for it to be added to the HB now that your ESA has stopped.

    PS. I assume that you have already changed your HB to be paid on the grounds of low/no income?
    If it was being paid because you were getting ESA then that has to be changed or they will just stop the HB as well.
    Last edited by nukecad; 06-20-2019 at 01:08 PM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmlindyloo View Post
    Perhaps I am missing something.
    I think maybe so.

    Income from a partner working, or from another source will be deducted from IR ESA.

    But the question here is about the claimant working and exceeding the exempt (permitted) work rules.

    Those are clear that if the hours/wages exceed the limits then ESA is not payable for any week that they do exceed them.
    That applies to both CB ESA and IR ESA.

    If they are regularly going to exceed the limits then ESA is not payable at all, and the claim will be suspended or stopped.
    (Which to most DWP staff simply means stopped, they did it to me once over exempt work that I wasn't even doing).
    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
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oscarki View Post
    I can't go onto UC because of the recent court case and decision that people getting SDP can't apply for UC.
    That's correct that you can't claim UC if you have been entitled to SDP in the previous month.

    Which will continue to be the case once you get it added to your HB.

    If you stop working you could reclaim ESA (within 12 weeks it will be linked to the previous claim so no WCA needed), or claim JSA.
    The DWP don't like that and will try to push you towards UC, even though by law you can't claim it because of the SDP.
    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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