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Thread: ESA assessment rate £43?

  1. #1
    Senior Member phaedra's Avatar
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    ESA assessment rate £43?

    Morning All

    A while ago I posted about my friend who lost her ESA award in 2018.

    After absolutely appalling service and no payments from the DWP for the last 17 months (lost paperwork etc.) they've finally written to her saying she'll be paid the assessment rate while she's waiting for the tribunal date (applied for this in May 2019).

    It's for £43 (and pennies) back dated to November 2018, I know the usual assessment rate is £74.35 so would the reduced rate be because she receives child tax credit for her 6yr old?.

    That's the only benefit she receives at the moment, she failed her transfer from DLA to PIP so that's also waiting to go to tribunal.

    Edit. Just checked, she gets Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit and carers allowance for the kid. Her GP has just given her another not-fit note and wrote "mentally unstable" on it!!
    Last edited by phaedra; 23-04-20 at 11:08.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    CTC or CB should not affect any ESA payment.

    Is/was your friend under 25 years old?

    Does/did she have any DWP debts, or any other 3rd party deductions (Electricity, Gas, Water, other) taken from her ESA?

    If you know which ESA group she was in, and how much she was being paid, before it stopped that might help work out what is going on.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member phaedra's Avatar
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    Thanks Nuke

    Think I have it sorted, got a bad copy of the letter sent to me (can't see the pennies on the award amounts), from what I can see it's being paid from Nov 2018, standard rate contributory ESA (she was I think in SG as her final payment was £254).

    So, ESA at £73, CA at £36 so £109 total.

    Less £66 carers allowance leaving a balance of £43

    The letter says "A payment of £86.50 was issued to cover the period March 28 - April 10"

    I'm assuming she will also receive a payment for the arrears going back to Nov 2018? , at the top of the letter it say CB ESA can only be paid for 365 days.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    £254 in 2018 would indicate Support Group with the EDP, so there has to be an IR component at least.

    CB WRAG can only be paid for 365 days, but CB SG has no limit, so that's confusing.

    I believe they are saying that (since 2018) she has IR ESA at the assessment rate (personal allowance), and not CB ESA, - that follows because the CA should not be deducted from CB ESA but will be deducted from IR ESA.
    However there shoud then be a carer premium added to the IR ESA. - But I'm not sure if you need to be in a group to get that added?

    It's all confused and there are so many questions here.
    We'd need to know more of just what has happened since 2018 to try and work out just what has been going on.
    For instance just why was the ESA stopped? To go from SG to FFW is unusual but it can happen.

    Then there is the Carers Allowance - for looking after a child? (I think you said the child was 5yo when you first posted about your friend, so would be 6-7 now?).
    Is the child getting DLA?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member phaedra's Avatar
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    Hi Nuke

    She failed her ESA renewal assessment, failed the following MR (which took a few months) and then put in an appeal, that was in Nov 2018.

    From failing the initial ESA assessment her payments were stopped, all she had (at the time) was her daughters CTC and CB and her own DLA.

    Her daughter was assessed and awarded DLA (Dec 2018) so she could also claim carers allowance for her. The daughter is 7 this week.


    She lost her own DLA when she had an assessment for transfer to PIP, this has also had a failed MR and is now also going to appeal (at some point).

    The DWP admitted they "lost" her paperwork in May 2019 and it's taken a further 11 months to get any sort of payment out of them.

    So apart from her initial DLA and the childs benefits she's had no other benefits paid to her.
    Last edited by phaedra; 23-04-20 at 19:30.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    If she had always been in Support Group then after the ESA stopped and whilst awaiting tribunal the should have been on CB assessment rate for 365 days, which would be to Nov 2019, and as this is 'Old Style' ESA then IR assessment rate after that. (Although I've no doubt that they'll probably try to muddy the waters with UC).
    That could be what the letter was trying to say.

    The CA should not have been deducted from the CB ESA. (It may not have been, she'll have to wait for the assessment rate backpayment to see).
    It should be deducted from IR ESA from when that started.

    I'm still not sure if the Carer Premium can be paid with assessment rate, I can't yet find anything one way or the other.

    If she does win at tribunal and gets the decision changed to SG all along then it's going to be quite complicated to work out the backpay due with the mixture of CB ESA, IR ESA, CA, and Carer Premium all applying at/from different times.

    TBH I believe that she may be better off making a claim for UC, and continuing the ESA appeal as a 'closed term' appeal.
    That means that she will be appealing the ESA decision from when it stopped until the date she claims UC.

    That should give her standard UC (with the extra £20/week for the C-19 increase), with a child element and a carer element (and a housing element if she pays rent).
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...#guide-content
    The CA will still be deducted from the UC.
    She can also apply for Limited Capability, which will mean a new WCA, on paper or by phone at the moment.
    If she later wins SG at the ESA tribunal then that can be added fronm the start of the UC to the date of any new WCA decidion.
    Last edited by nukecad; 23-04-20 at 20:25.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I make it that if she claimed UC now she would get:

    £404.89 Standard rate 2020/21, single adult over 25. (includes the C-19 increase).
    £281.25 Child element. (Born before 6 April 2017).
    £162.92 Carer element.
    £849.06 Sub-total.
    Plus:
    £128.25 Disabled Child Allowance if the child has Standard care DLA.
    £400.29 Disabled Child Allowance if the child has High care DLA.

    So that's a total of either £977.31 or £1,249.12 a month depending on the childs rate of DLA.

    She may also later get a LCWRA element added (£341.92), if she passes a WCA with LCWRA or wins Support Group at the ESA Tribunal.
    Or a LCW Element (£128.25), but only if she is awarded ESA WRAG by the tribunal.

    The CA would be deducted £ for £ from that. (Any Rent Costs would be added the same as her current HB).

    You might want to double check all that by putting her current details into one of the Benefit Calculators, but it looks like a no brainer to me that she should be claiming UC as soon as possible.
    https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
    Last edited by nukecad; 23-04-20 at 20:53.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member phaedra's Avatar
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    Thanks Nuke

    I'll try and explain that to her!, she was put off swapping to UC when this all started, of course at the time we didn't know it would drag on for so long!.

    I'm assuming if she claimed UC now it wouldn't affect her tribunal, she should also get her back payment ok?

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    That's right.

    The only difference it would make to the tribunal would be that it becomes for a 'closed period' - so any ESA backpayment due would only apply from when it stopped in 2018 up to the date that she claims UC.

    If she is awared an ESA group component by the tribunal then that would also apply as the equivalent in UC, from the start of the UC claim until any new WCA is carried out under UC.
    So if that was the case then there should also be backpayment of UC from the start of the UC claim until either the date of the tribunal decision or the date of a new WCA decision - whichever comes first. (And ongoing payment until any new WCA if the tribunal ruling cones first).
    If that is the case she would have to tell UC about the ESA tribunal decision to get the componenet added to UC and backpaid; but that's for the future after the tribunal has ruled.

    I think the main thing to point out is that she will be vastly better off claiming UC now, she'll be getting at least twice as much.
    Last edited by nukecad; 24-04-20 at 11:09.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    PS. Just looking back at your original post it seems that she is already getting the Carer Premium included with her assessment rate ESA.
    Which answers if premiums are payable with assessment rate IR ESA.

    Current rates would be:
    £74.35 ESA assessment rate.
    +37.50 Carer Premium.
    -67.25 Carers Allowance.
    £44.60 ESA to be paid.

    For 2018/19 that would have been 73.10 + 36.85 - 66.15 = £43.80; as you said "£43 (and pennies)".
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