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Thread: ESA Support Group reclaim advice

  1. #1

    Question ESA Support Group reclaim advice

    Hi there,

    I was on ESA - Support Group for around 8 months due to my mental health condition and then at the end of August I decided I would be going into College full time so I phoned the DWP and advised them of this and my last payment was on the 24th August 2019. However, after attending college for the past few weeks I have completely crumbled and have realised I am unable to continue college so I have now left college.

    From reading forums I discovered that when you come off of ESA there is a sort of grace period of 12 weeks where you can call and ask to reopen your claim (I think it was called "fast reclaim", unsure of the exact term).
    However, upon phoning the DWP this afternoon, they advised me that because Universal Credit is now available in my area I would have to phone the UC Helpline and complete a brand new claim as they do not do ESA anymore.

    Now this confuses me because of what I mentioned above.

    Any help on this would be really appreciated, I'm not super knowledgeable on this.

    Thanks,

    Rebecca

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Unfortunately then unless you had the Severe Disability Premium with your ESA then they are correct and it's a new claim so has to be for Universal Credit.

    That's because a "Rapid Reclaim" (that's the term) was still a brand new claim even under ESA 12-week linking rules - and all new claims for IR benefit now have to be for UC.

    A Rapid Reclaim was simply a new claim that was 'Linked' to a previous claim so that you didn't need a new Work Capibility Assessment, and again unfortunately you can't even link that so will need to have a new WCA under UC.
    The WCA's for ESA and UC are identical and follow the same rules.

    However if you did have the SDP included with your ESA then you are barred by law from claiming UC for a month after payment of it ends, so still have until 24 Sept to make a claim for 'Old Style' ESA.

    The only other way you might claim ESA is if your previous ESA was Contribution Based because you had been previously working and paying National Insurance.
    That would mean that you should still have enough NI contributions in the previous 2-years to claim 'New Style' CB ESA.
    Last edited by nukecad; 09-16-2019 at 05:06 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 for your reply.

    I did not have SDP with my ESA and it was Income - Related ESA aswell.
    That is unfortunate that I have to go through the whole process again but hopefully it will be fine.

    Again thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.

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