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Thread: ESA phone assessment

  1. #11
    Hello All,

    New to this forum and we are both struggling to understand all these changes. OH (other half) has MS (relapse remitting) and was pushed into redundancy back in Dec as he was found unfit for work. We are confused as to what to claim for ESA or Universal Credit. We know you cannot claim if you have more than 6000 but we don't have that anymore so we need to do a claim ASAP but we have been struggling to know if we would be better off on UC or ESA. I am not working and now partner cannot work anymore. I am still receiving medication from having Breast Cancer and I suffer with arthritis we are in our late 40s. What can or should we claim. We are extremely worried about paying rent and council tax. Can anyone shed any light on what route to take please. Many thanks. gerryscarer.

  2. #12
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    You can claim both ESA and UC, or just UC if you only want to deal with the one claim.
    There are also other benefits that you should be claiming.

    Of ESA and UC then UC is the main benefit you should claim.
    Your OH should be able to claim ESA as well, but that wouldn't give any extra money because it would be deducted from UC, see below.

    The savings limit for claiming an Income Related benefit is £16k (not £6k).
    But the amount of benefit payable will be reduced if savings are between £6k and £16k.

    You can make a joint claim for UC, with a Limited Capability for Work element for each of you (only one LCW will be paid though).
    That will also include a Housing Element for the rent.
    Are you in a private rental or social housing?
    Other Elements may/should also be payable.

    If you can say that one of you is caring for the other then you can also get a Carer Element added to the UC, giving more money each month.
    (You could also claim Carers Allowance, but that would be deducted £ for £ from the UC, it does give automatic entitlement to the UC Carer Element though).

    Your OH can also claim 'New Style' (Contribution Based) ESA if they have paid enough NI contributions in the previous 2 years.
    That is not affected by savings at all.
    If your OH claims ESA, or you claim UC with a LCW(RA) element then a Work Capability Assessment will be carried out.
    These are only being done on paperwork and by phone at the moment.

    If you do claim both ESA and UC then any ESA paid will be deducted £ for £ from the UC payments.
    Which is why you may decide not to bother with claiming ESA as well as UC, the money would be the same anyway.
    The main reasons for claiming both at the same time is that NS ESA is not affected by any savings you may later get, and ESA is paid fortnightly not monthly, which may help with budgeting.

    You should also contact the Council about Council Tax relief, the council deal with that not the DWP.

    From what you have said then I think that you should both also put seperate claims in for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
    That is not means tested and does not affect the other benefits that you claim.


    That's quite a bit to consider all in one go.

    I would start by putting your circumstances into one (or more) of the online benefit calculators, which will give a good indication of what you should be claiming and how much you should get. (I usually use the 'entitledto' calculator).
    https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators

    Once you have done that, and have a better idea of what you could/should be claiming, then you may want to contact a local advisor to help you with the various claims.
    Put your postcode in here to find advisors local to you: https://advicelocal.uk/find-an-adviser


    Here are links to more information about the benefits you could/should be claiming:
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-styl...detailed-guide
    https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...iversal-Credit
    https://www.gov.uk/apply-council-tax-reduction
    https://www.gov.uk/pip
    https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance
    Last edited by nukecad; 15-06-20 at 17:48.
    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. #13
    Thanks Nukecad. We are council tenants but not getting any help from our council. We are still waiting for a ceiling to be repaired and its been 4 years. They have our details but won't move us. Can't even get a OT round to assess OH as the waiting list is over a year. We will try and speak to an advisor. Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.

  4. #14
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    I was due re assessment in January 2020, obviously due to Covid 19 it was able to take place.

    Can we foresee that re assessment will be starting up anytime soon?

    Regards.

  5. #15
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerryscarer View Post
    We are council tenants
    You should get all your rent paid with UC then, unless you have 'unused' bedrooms in which case the Under Occupancy Charge (bedroom tax) will apply.
    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/under-occupation
    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.

  6. #16
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaPa View Post
    Can we foresee that re assessment will be starting up anytime soon?
    It's another 'piece of string' question.

    They said they were stopped for an initial period of 3 months, which gives no fixed end date.

    It's been asked in parliament but no clear answer given, yet, if they change distancing from 2m to 1m then that may allow then to (try and) justify starting F2Fs again.

    LOL, strange thought of the day -
    Should we all be carrying a 2 metre piece of string?
    We can fold it in half to do 1 metre if they change the rule.
    Last edited by nukecad; 17-06-20 at 22:22.
    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. #17
    Got my phone call tomorrow with them, can't say I'm not anxious as my socialphobia is kicking in, but I'm actually relieved to do it over the phone rather than F2F. It bugs me why they can't offer that normally for people who can't mobilize easily or go outside.

  8. #18
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millicent1234 View Post
    It bugs me why they can't offer that normally for people who can't mobilize easily or go outside.
    They have always been able to do assessments by phone, they just chose not to until Covid came along and they had to do something.
    Mainly that was to allay acusations of - "How can you assess someone properly over the phone".

    And it seems to have been shown with PIP phone assessments during Covid that they can't assess properly over the phone.
    PIP assessment recommendations to the DWP have been lower with phone assessments than the DWP would have expected with F2Fs.
    The DWP themselves noticed the low recommendations and say that they are 'looking into it'.

    That doesn't mean that PIP awards have been lower during Covid, although some may have been.
    As said the DWP noticed the discrepancy and the Decision Makers have been taking the lower recommendations into account - hopefully the ESA/UC Decision Makers have been instructed to do the same with telephone WCA recommendations.
    And it's still the case that you can't be found 'fit-for-work' without a F2F.
    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.

  9. #19
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    What would be a lot better than a simple phone call that the assessors can't see you would be a video call If PIP or ESA decide they don't have enough info to award me either my main symptom can be seen but I could be telling them about this symptom to the cows come home & it would just be my word how much it affects me but set their eye's on me & they can see how much it effects me.

    I understand there will be hundreds of thousands of people who don't have access to video call's but for the people who do, it could be a good choice rather than delaying until F2F are started again.

  10. #20
    just over 3 weeks after having my esa phone assessment been placed back into the support group got letter this morning but as usual they never tell you how long the award is for will phone on Monday first thing to find out

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