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Thread: ESA phone assessment

  1. #31
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    "Tweaking" your realtionship status as you call it may well be seen as a fraudulent attempt to claim benefit, because it would be. (A criminal offence).

    If he's your partner as you freely say here then that is your relationship, if you are living with your partner then you are 'Living Together as a Married Couple' (LTAMC is a specific term in benefit rules) .
    You can't have it different ways for different purposes.

    The DWP are very experienced at spotting couples trying to claim that they are single in order to claim, or increase, benefits.
    They are also very quick to stamp down on it.
    Once they decide that you are a couple they will treat you as a couple, and it's then very difficult to prove to them that you are not.

    Here's a couple of extracts from the DWP 'Advice of Decision Makers' about 'Living Together as a Married Couple' (LTAMC):
    https://assets.publishing.service.go...1551/adme4.pdf
    E4001 The general principle in SS legislation is that couples, be they married or unmarried, should be treated in a similar way. The guidance in this chapter applies to UC and is to help the DM determine whether two people who live together but are not
    1. married to each other or
    2. a civil partner of each other
    are LTAMC.

    Note: DMs should note that guidance on LTAMC for benefits other than UC is in DMG Chapter 11.

    E4002 “Couple” means
    1. two people who are married to, or civil partners of, each other and are members of the same household or
    2. two people who are not married to, or civil partners of, each other but are LTAMC.
    Further down it states:
    E4091 The term LTAMC is not defined in legislation. It is for DMs to determine, on the evidence, whether the whole relationship of two people who are not married to each other, is comparable to that of a couple who are married
    So it is the DWP Decision Maker who decides if you count as a couple or not for benefit purposes; and I'm pretty sure what they would decide in your situation as you have described it here.

    You may want to read E4091 onwards, in particular the note at the bottom of E4098 about seperate finances.

    Living with your parents should not be a problem - unless you want to /try to claim housing costs.
    • If it's a rented property then each 'unit' living there would be expected to contirbute to the rent.
      (So you/partner would be seen as liable for half the rent and your parents the other half).
    • If your parents own the property and you are paying them rent that would not be seen as a "commercial" tenancy and UC would not pay your rent.
      (It's dificult enough getting UC-Housing Element paid if you are renting from relatives who don't live in the property, with a parent as live in landlord there is practically no chance).
    • On the other hand if you own the property and your parents pay you rent then that would be classed as your income.
    Last edited by nukecad; 05-07-20 at 14:39.
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  2. #32
    Ok - It seems I should limited what I say on here, noted.

    Just out of curiosity what if a couple split up but remain living together for financial reasons, because neither of the couple could buy houses independently and have a mortgage on the property together? Very common situation nowadays.

    The mortgage is in our names, my parents live with us. They don’t pay rent as such nor towards the mortgage but they pay towards the bills, nothing more. How would that work?

  3. #33
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    There are specific rules in UC for couples that split up but neither will/can move out of their porperty.
    eg. E4034(2) in the ADM linked above says that they cannot be considered part of the same houshold, so 4031 says they cannot be LTAMC.
    (Sometimes these clause jump back and forward like that, you can't take each one alone).

    Of course they will have to convince the DWP that they have actually split up, which could/can be very hard to do.
    For example sleeping in seperate bedrooms would not be enough proof, many married couples do that anyway (especially if one has a disability or health condition).

    If you have a mortgage rather than renting then you can't claim UC housing element anyway, so that's not an issue.
    Your parents paying their share of the bills would not be counted as your income, so no problem there either.

    If you are getting an Income Related benefit (which would be UC for a new claim) and are struggling to pay your mortgage you may be able to get a 'Support for Mortgage Interest' (SMI) loan to help.
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...#guide-content
    Last edited by nukecad; 05-07-20 at 18:38.
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  4. #34
    Hi nukecad called the dwp today and was told my award is for 2 years

  5. #35

  6. #36
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbie66 View Post
    Hi nukecad called the dwp today and was told my award is for 2 years
    That's your review date (prognosis date) so you can expect to get a new ESA50 about six months before that - if things are back to normal by then.
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  7. #37
    Do you think it's possible and worthwhile to ask for a copy of the assessor's report from telephone interviews? They're pretty much able to write what they like, unless recorded.

  8. #38
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    Before they can initiate a telephone assessment do you have to return a completed ESA50?

  9. #39
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    They could do one without an ESA50,

    They can make/send you a F2F appointment without any ESA50, so it's possible to do a telephone assessment without an ESA50 because telephone assessments are allowed under the same law as F2Fs.
    (They always have been, they just didn't do them by telephone until they had to because of covid).

    They couldn't/shouldn't ring you out of the blue though without sending you a letter first, just like they have to give you notice of an F2F.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    They could do one without an ESA50,

    They can make/send you a F2F appointment without any ESA50, so it's possible to do a telephone assessment without an ESA50 because telephone assessments are allowed under the same law as F2Fs.
    (They always have been, they just didn't do them by telephone until they had to because of covid).

    They couldn't/shouldn't ring you out of the blue though without sending you a letter first, just like they have to give you notice of an F2F.
    Would phone assessment come from the same people who do the F2F?

    Would this assessment be actioned by the DWP telling the company to carry it out?

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