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Thread: Contribution + income based ESA & housing benefit

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  1. #1

    Contribution + income based ESA & housing benefit

    Hi, I'm really hoping someone here will be able to clarify some things for me.

    I'm asking on behalf of my mother who has been in the ESA Support Group since April 2018. We thought she was just on income based which she is definitely entitled to when I look at the numbers, and her award letter shows that she receives the enhanced disability premium which I believed you can only get if you're on income based? We called the DWP to clarify as we needed to know if mum was entitled to free prescriptions and they said that it was income based.

    I live at home and receive income based ESA in the support group, as well as the enhanced rate of both daily living and mobility for PIP. My dad gets Carer's Allowance for me. My younger sister is also at home and she's a student. That's all the money coming into the house.

    The problem is with housing benefit. When mum first applied she was told she was entitled to the full amount (around £510 a month) as she's on income based ESA, just minus the amount for me as a non-dependent (I believe this is right about £15 a week). My sister doesn't have a deduction as she's a student. It wasn't until March this year that mum received an email stating that she'd been overpaid housing benefit as the DWP had informed them that she was actually contribution based so she wasn't entitled to the full amount of rent from the beginning. They dropped what they would pay to £90 a week to take back the overpayment and we had to find the extra. We've now had another letter stating that we're in arrears with the housing association because the council are actually paying even less housing benefit to them than they said.

    I'm just confused as to what our actual entitlement to housing benefit is? I was under the impression that even if the award was contribution based with an income based top up, that would still qualify for the full rent amount besides the amount for me as a non-dependent?

    If anyone could help clarify I'd be very grateful. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi hollyjay,

    Let's see if I can help, but I have a couple of concerns so need to ask a couple of questions as well.

    If she is getting EDP then at least part of her ESA is Income Related. (So yes she is entitled to free prescriptions/healthcare).

    But that doesn't necessarily mean that it is all IR, ESA payments can be made up of both Contribution Based ESA and Income Related ESA at the same time.

    It appears from what the DWP have told the council that your mothers ESA was Contribution Based for the main elements (Personal Allowance plus Support Group Component) and Income Related for the Enhanced Disability Premium (at least the EDP, probably more).

    When it comes to the HB then because your mother has at least some Income Related ESA then she is automatically entitled to full HB (less non-dependant deduction).

    So as long as she is getting paid the EDP (and other premiums), then she is currently entitled to full HB.

    A couple of things do strike me as odd/concerninging here though. And may explain if there has actually been an overpayment of HB.
    I'm concerned that although she is entitled to IR ESA (and so HB) now she may not have been in the past.

    Firstly you say: "she wasn't entitled to the full amount of rent from the beginning".
    That "from the begining" is a concern.
    It suggests that although she is entitled to full HB now she may not have been in the past, and so there may indeed have been an HB overpayment in the past.

    So secondly:
    You make no mention of your father being included in her ESA claim?
    If he is not working then it should be a couples claim with a higher payment. (Which is Income Related).
    If he is working, or has been working in the past, then your mother would not be entitled to IR ESA whilst he was working.

    So we need to know if your dad is included in her ESA claim? (If you can tell us how much ESA she gets we should be able to work that out).
    We particularly need to know if he has been working at any time while she was claiming ESA.
    If he has been working at anytime she was claiming ESA and HB then the dates will be important, but don't worry about those for now.

    If it is the case that he has been working then the council may well be correct that there was an overpayment of HB, and are entitled to recover that overpayment from what they currently pay in HB.

    (If your parents had any savings/capital over £6,000 in the past that could also be relevant).



    Although your question is about HB and only incidentally about your mums current ESA:
    I calculate that if there is an entitlement to IR ESA then it should currently be paid as follows-
    If dad is already on the claim then the CA that he gets should be deducted from the Income Related part of the ESA, and a Carer Premium should be added to the ESA.
    ESA SG couple + EDP + Carer Premium = 114.85 + 38.55 + 24.10 + 36.85 = £214.35
    Carers Allowance = £66.15.
    Giving £214.35 - £66.15 = £148.20 total ESA to be paid each week (£296.40 a fortnight).

    If for some reason there is no entitlement to IR ESA and it's all Contribution Based then she would only be paid the single persons rate of CB ESA SG, which is £111.65 a week (£223.30 a fortnight).

    It's could be a good idea for your mum to contact the DWP and ask for a form ESA124 "How your Employment and Support Allowance was worked out".
    That will show you just how the DWP are working out what should be payable and what should be deducted. (So you can check for mistakes).
    You can download a blank example of that form by clicking on this: Example ESA124


    If you could answer those two questions about your dad and working, and confirm that what I have calculated is what your mum is being paid as ESA, then we should be able to work out what is going on.

    You may also want to get help from a local welfare/benefit advice agency, you can find local advisors by putting your postcode in here :https://advicelocal.uk/find-an-adviser
    Last edited by nukecad; 08-31-2019 at 03:27 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
    Hi nukecad, thank you so much for getting back to me.

    My dad hasn’t been working and wasn’t at any point while my mum has been claiming ESA. He’s been getting CA for me for a few years now. I’ve managed to find her ESA letter and it says at the top “living expenses for you and your partner” and mum is sure dad was included in the claim. There are no savings either.

    The ESA letter says “extra money because of the Disability Income Guarantee” as £24.10 and I believe this is the enhanced disability’s premium?

    There are the deductions for CA but I completely forgot that my mum also gets Industrial Injuries Benefit of £35.80 a week and something that just says “Other income for your household” at £28.74. I’m not actually sure what that is and neither is my mum so we’ll have to check that with the DWP.

    Ultimately it says “Your income-related amount is £214.35 less £130.69 so you would have been entitled to £83.66. However because you are entitled to contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance we will pay you £111.65”.

    Is it only the EDP that matters in proving that their is an income related element and therefore she is entitled to full HB? The whole thing just seems one confusion after another.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I've relocated to the pub now so this is on my phone and I don't have access to my files.

    From what you say there dad is on the claim and the total ESA is what I calculated.

    The CA and IIB come to £101.95 to be deducted so I'm not sure where that "other imcome" is.
    I think you need that ESA124 which may say just what it is.

    However it has been calculated it shows that she has an ENTITLEMENT to Income Related ESA, it's just not being paid because of the deductions

    So although she is only being paid CB ESA she is entitled to IR ESA as well.
    I need to double check but I'm almost certain that it's that entitlement (not payment) that counts for HB.

    The confusion comes because some guidance says 'in receipt of' instead of 'entitled to'.

    [B /]So I believe that the council are wrong [/b]and full HB (less non-dependant) is, and always was, payable.

    When I get home I'll do some further checking for guidance/memos to back that up.

    I still suggest you see a local advisor for help, but I'll be back much faster than that. (Although it may be tomorrow now).
    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
    If that’s the case it’ll be a massive relief. I’ll head to the council on Monday and make sure they understand mum is entitled to IR ESA as well. Fingers crossed it’ll mean they stop taking any “overpayment” and set the HB back to what it was.

    Enjoy your time at the pub! Thank you so much for your help.

  6. #6
    I should add that we went through some paperwork and the mystery £28.74 is most likely from a small private pension mum has. Would this affect the HB entitlement at all?

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Not any more than what we have said before, but it does explain that 'other income'.

    (Private pensions can also affect CB ESA if they are large enough, but in this case it's much to small to do 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 information.

  8. #8
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    Sorry for jumping in but having trouble starting a new thread. Would like some info if possible. Currently on ESA £270 fortnight, PIP standard on mob and daily. Wife gets pension £165 week and is a carer for her mum. Housing benefit is £270 month rent £320 month. Would like to know if when i become pension age in 2 yrs time and receive my pension, would our housing benefit drop because of the extra income. Would also like to know how to start my own thread. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Mooz
    Top left of the benefits forum there is a blue tab that says "New Thread" click on that, put a title and then your comment in the box below.

  10. #10
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    Thanks beau. Not getting the (start new thread) in top left. Computer has had new memory since joining the forum. Maybe has something to do with glitch! But question still open. Thanks

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