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Thread: ESA Income Related LCWRA stopped, Linking rule

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Unhappy ESA Income Related LCWRA stopped, Linking rule

    I was on Income Related ESA LCWRAG for a couple of years. I recently wanted to try to work doing 14 hrs. I contacted DWP told them and they said its fine to work under 16 hours and sent a Permitted Work Form and completed it with the hours and rate of pay. I then waited until December and didnt hear from them. So i called them. I was told they have closed the claim because i earned more than the £131.50 weekly limit which i wasnt aware of and i thought i will be asked to simply pay back the extra which i would be happy to do. I was told to apply for UC. I called the New Claim ESA line and the advisor said make a claim and tell my colleagues your applying under the linking rules. I also got sick notes from the DR. I still got a letter from them just a few days ago saying apply for UC the claim is closed and gave me my P45! I told them i MAY work 11 hours instead spread over the week which will also keep me under the limit. My condition has become worse this is why i want to reduce my hours and perhaps not work at all. I was also getting Severe Disability premiums. Does anyone know if the linking rules apply to me since i was getting Income Related and not contribution based? Does it make any difference? Ive been told by a welfare benefits advisor to put through an MR which im drafting but would like to know what rules should i quote to argue my case? Would appreciate any help since i am very worried with a geunine disability and two children to maintain. Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by KayA; 09-01-20 at 13:18. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Oh dear, you have made a mistake.

    The rules/limits for Permitted Work are that it must be for less than 16 hours a week and that it cannot pay more then £131.50 a week.

    If you exceed either one of those limits then it is no longer Permitted Work and is simply Work, which stops payment of ESA for any week that you exceed the limit.

    If this work goes on for long enough (which is at their discretion to decide how long), or is likely to be ongoing, then your claim will be closed altogether - because you are working.
    You don't say how long you were doing this work for?

    Unfortunately your not knowing about the PW limits doesn't change anything, the law is the law whether you know about it or not.

    They are pretty keen on enforcing PW limits.

    As you had SDP then it's also very important to know on exactly what date they closed your ESA claim?
    (If it's within the past month then you can't claim UC, and maybe should have tried to claim Old Style ESA instead of New Style - but I think it may now be too late for that).

    Unless you have been paying National Insurance Contributions in the previous 2 years, which you won't have been if you were on ESA, then you can't claim New Style ESA.

    I believe that linking is irrelevant anyway because the rules on linking ESA claims state that a claim can't be linked if it was closed for exceeding the PW limits.

    If it has been more than a month since they ended your ESA then my advice is that unless you can live without benefits for a while (months) then you should make a claim for UC as soon as you can.

    Unfortunately the UC is going to be less than ESA with SDP was. (And there is no transitional protection because this is a new claim not a migration).

    You should also get in a MR about the decision to stop your ESA. (But from what you have said that decision looks to be correct, because you were working more than the PW limits for some time).
    If the MR revised things in your favour then because you had the SDP you would then be able to contact a specialist DWP team and get the UC changed back to ESA.
    These would be very special circumstances and it's one of the only ways you can go back onto ESA after claiming UC.

    If the MR doesn't change anything then at least you have been getting UC whilst waiting for that decision.

    If/when you claim UC explain the circumstances and provide fit-notes - they may include Limited Capability from the start.
    Oddly there is nothing to stop an ESA claim closed for exceeding PWL linking to a UC claim made within 12 weeks of the ESA ending. (Different linking rules for new ESA claims and new UC claims).
    But it's much more likely that they will want you to have an assessment, especially if you are doing some work.

    One thing to note is that there is no concept of Permitted Work in UC, you can work and claim UC with Limited Capability.
    If you have LCW/LCWRA in UC then instead of PW rules you have a 'Work Allowance' which is an amount of money that you can earn before it affects your UC payments.
    If you earn more than that allowance then any extra earnings affect UC on a 63p deducted for every extra £ earned basis.

    As said you have made a mistake by earning more than the ESA PW limits, what you do now is all about damage limitation.
    Last edited by nukecad; 09-01-20 at 15:46.
    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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