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Thread: Moving from Contribution based ESA to Income Based ESA.

  1. #1

    Moving from Contribution based ESA to Income Based ESA.

    Hi I'm new to the forum and posting for a mate who's in a right state. Actually his mental health has been that bad he can't fully remember details so please bear with me.
    We think he was claiming Contribution based ESA and received a letter in March 2019 say this was being stopped. He managed to call DWP to ask why and was told his claim only lasted 12 months. He thinks he was told to claim Income based ESA. All he remembers is that he completed a form online, went to the job centre then received a form which he thinks was ESA 3. He returned these and received a text from DWP to confirm this. This took a while due to his health and think the forms were returned in July/August.

    There was no news so after we phoned DWP on 3 Oct 2019 and was told there had been an issue and they would look at it urgently as he had no income since March and someone would be in touch within 3 days.

    Still no news so we called this week 15 Oct and was told he had been given wrong advice and he should have claimed UC in the first place and was advised he should do this now as a new claim to get some money coming in.

    Should we be challenging this ? I feel we should but it means my mate will be without money until it's sorted if it does get sorted.

    Also just to throw into the mix he recently made an application for PIP and has had the questionnaire which has been returned so presumably he's waiting on an assessment.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    That sounds like he was in the Work Related Activities Group (WRAG), CB ESA WRAG only lasts for 52 weeks at which time you have to change it to an IR benefit. (If you qualify for IR benefit).

    To change CB ESA to IR ESA is done by means of an ESA3 form, which is what he seems to have been sent (but that may have been a DWP error).

    So now the tricky bit-

    You need to know when he first claimed ESA.
    It looks as if this may have been in March 2018, - but it's possibe that he had claimed earlier and been in Support Group until March 2018 and then moved into WRAG following a reassessment.

    If he claimed in March 2018 then his ESA is/was probably 'New Style ESA'.
    If he was moved to WRAG because of reassessment from SG then it's probably 'Old Style ESA'.

    This is important because if it's 'Old Style ESA' then it can be both CB and/or IR ESA - the ESA3 after 52 weeks and changing to IR ESA as a change of circumstances (ESA3) is correct.
    However if it's 'New Style ESA' then it can only ever be CB ESA, and claiming UC after 52 weeks is correct.

    Whichever it would appear that either - he was given the wrong advice, and sent the wrong form, back in March 2019 - or they are wrong now and the ESA3 was correct.

    I suspect from what you have said that it is the first of those and he was wrongly told to fill in an ESA3 rather than claim UC.

    My opinion is that he should make a claim for UC to get some money coming in, and attempt to get it backdated to when his ESA stopped because he was given the wrong advice.
    He should state when applying that he has a health condition that pervents him from working and supply doctors Fit Notes to support that.
    As this will be a new UC claim then this will mean another Work Capability Assessment.
    If he is found to have LCWRA (the equivalent of Support Group) then he will get extra money, if he is found to have LCW (the equivalent of WRAG) then no extra money but he won't have to look for work, etc.

    I'd get that new UC claim going first, and then look into getting it backdated because of the wrong advice.
    If you do get it backdated then he will get backpay for that period. (And his WRAG status from ESA will be applied from the start of that backdating, not that it makes any practical difference).

    You will need help with getting that backdating done sucessfully, so you should contact a local advice centre who can see his letters, if he still has them.
    You can find local advice centres by putting your postcode in here: https://advicelocal.uk/find-an-adviser


    The PIP is a seperate issue, but yes he will probably be called for an assessment for that.
    I'd leave that seperate and not mention it in getting the UC backpay sorted out, it's not relevant to that.

    Hope all that helps.
    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
    Many many thanks for the advise. We think it was the New Style ESA as he was working previous to this claim in March 2018.
    We've been to the CAB this morning and they said the same thing and have set up an appointment to help him apply for UC with a back date based on the wrong advise.

    Thanks again and by the way looks like we are just down the road from you in South Cumbria!

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    No problems.

    But be aware that the time spent waiting for a CAB appointment to help apply doesn't count, his UC claim only starts when he actually gets the application in.
    (It's one of the vagries of the contract CAB have with the DWP to help people make UC claims).
    Of course that won't matter if he is successful with the backdating.

    Yes it's no secret that I'm up in Egremont, I've been here about 20 years now (previously from Bolton).
    I came up to design stuff for the nuclear plant, hence my username.
    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
    Hi Nukecad

    We managed to get an appointment next week with CAB so not long to wait considering he's been without money since March.

    Are you ware of Ways to Welfare part of Cumbria County Council offer ? They have a scheme called an allpay card where people in financial hardship can request a small amount of money up to £30. It's a pre loaded debit card and you can use it as a chip and pin to buy essentials in most shops apparently.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I am aware of 'Ways to Welfare', it's mainly more of a referal thing to point you towards organisations who can help and/or advise you.
    https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/welfare/

    The pre-paid cards you talk of will be part of the 'Community Support' from the council that replaced DWP 'Crisis loans'.
    These payments are only meant to cover temporary 'emergency' circumstances.
    It could be in the form of a Community Support grant, or may be an interest free loan arranged in partnership with a Credit Union or similar.
    http://www.billhelp.uk/cumbria-ways-...oan-programme/

    Other Local Authorities have similar schemes, but just what they offer/provide will differ from council to council.
    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
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    As you are in Cumbria you/he may also be interested in this:

    https://www.youreable.com/forums/sho...054#post167054
    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
    My thinking is, and I havent fully read nukecad's reply.

    That this is "not" a change of circumstances and as such it should be a ESA3, followed by a switch to IR ESA, akin to people filling in ESA3's to get premium's added on.

    This would also mean not needing to treat it as a new claim, so no sicknotes, no new WCA, and keeping WRAG component (if its an old style claim).

    Nukecad you agree?

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by worried33 View Post
    Nukecad you agree?
    Sorry I don't.

    As said above this is 'New Style' ESA which can only ever be CB, you can't change it to IR ESA. (And can't have any of the IR premiums added).
    From above:
    This is important because if it's 'Old Style ESA' then it can be both CB and/or IR ESA - the ESA3 after 52 weeks and changing to IR ESA as a change of circumstances (ESA3) is correct.
    However if it's 'New Style ESA' then it can only ever be CB ESA, and claiming UC after 52 weeks is correct.
    You are correct that if a UC claim is made on the day that 'New Stlye' WRAG ends then there should be no need for fit notes and a new WCA.

    However in this particular case because its been so long since the ESA stopped then it's either a new UC claim with fit notes, or wait until you can get an appeal decision about the wrong advice being given - which could take months.
    So being practical it's better to get the UC in payment, with fit notes, and argue about the wrong advice / backdating afterwards.
    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.

  10. #10
    Yeah my comment assumed if old style ESA.

    I never disagreed with the advice of getting a UC claim in, as obviously the ESA at this point has already been stopped, the question was more about what should have been done before the ESA claim was stopped

    thanks

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