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Thread: Moving home - how will it affect my claim?

  1. #1

    Moving home - how will it affect my claim?

    Hi,

    I wonder if someone could give me some idea of what is likely to happen with my ESA claim if we go ahead with our intention to move from our 2 bedroom housing association flat in Birmingham to a privately rented 1 bedroom house in Shropshire. I am currently in receipt of ESA (I am in the Support Group) and claim for myself and my partner. I also receive PIP at the standard rate. My partner has her own health issues but does not claim anything herself. We have no savings.

    I am aware that there is 'natural migration' and 'managed migration', and have heard that moving from one area to another can trigger a move from ESA to UC. I also recently came across this piece of information: "new claims for any benefit will be directed to UC, with the exception of claims for contributory benefits and for people receiving the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) in their ESA. Following a court case centred on the loss of this premium in UC, this group will not naturally migrate and will only move on to UC through managed migration when they can qualify for transitional protection". I'm assuming that as I'm in the Support group this would apply to me? I'm also wondering how this will affect my partner - would our moving to UC mean they would start putting pressure on her to look for work? Also, if we are moved from ESA to UC, will that mean that I will need go through another medical assessment? And will there be a break in payments, and in Housing Benefit? It's all a bit worrying.

    Thanks[/SIZE]

  2. #2
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    Unfortunately being in the Support Group doesn't protect you from migration to UC where circumstances call for it. You have to be receiving SDP to get that protection and as you have a partner are not entitled to SDP. Because you will be in need of housing benefit your move will entail a transfer to UC as you will claim UC housing element, not housing benefit. You shouldn't need another assessment until your current award is due for review, as far as I know. There may be a short break in payments as UC takes a few weeks to sort out and is paid in arrears.
    Last edited by noisynoodle; 02-09-20 at 17:37.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by noisynoodle View Post
    Unfortunately being in the Support Group doesn't protect you from migration to UC where circumstances call for it. You have to be receiving SDP to get that protection and as you have a partner are not entitled to SDP. Because you will be in need of housing benefit your move will entail a transfer to UC as you will claim UC housing element, not housing benefit. You shouldn't need another assessment until your current award is due for review, as far as I know. There may be a short break in payments as UC takes a few weeks to sort out and is paid in arrears.
    Thanks noiseynoodle. So what will this mean for us do you think? Will it mean that we will inevitably get less money after being moved to UC?

  4. #4
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    I'm not completely sure, but I think in a lot of cases, especially if you don't get SDP you'll actually be a bit better off on UC. But someone who knows more about UC will be able to answer better than I can.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by noisynoodle View Post
    I'm not completely sure, but I think in a lot of cases, especially if you don't get SDP you'll actually be a bit better off on UC. But someone who knows more about UC will be able to answer better than I can.
    Thanks noiseynoodle. At least that offers some hope then. Is there anyone else here who could offer any more thoughts please?

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    You can't have SDP unless your partner also qualifies by having PIP herself, so the SDP 'gateway' does not apply to you and you can claim UC.

    It's only if you need help with your rent payments that you will have to claim UC. (Because you can no longer make a new claim for Housing Benefit).

    Have you already found a place to rent privately?
    Many/most private landlords will not consider renting to those who's only income is benefits and who are not working.

    If you are moving to a private rental then what you can claim for housing will be capped at the LHA 1 bedroom rate for the area you move to.
    For Shropshire the 1 bedroom LHA is currently £92.05 a week in HB, £399.98 a month in UC.
    That might not be enough to pay the full rent, and so you may have to top it up out of your other money.

    PIP would not be affected and will continue to be paid as normal.

    What happens to ESA depends on if it's Income Related ESA or Contribution Based ESA.
    IR ESA migrates into UC, CB ESA can stay outside.
    If CB ESA stays outside of UC then it is deducted £ for £ from the UC payments.

    Your Support Group status from ESA will automatically be migrated to UC-LCWRA which means that extra UC would be paid, you won't need a new assessment until one is/was due anyway.

    I believe that you partner would be expected to look for work unless she reports her own health problems.
    However, if she can say that she is caring more than 35 hours a week for you jobseeking would/should not be required, plus there would then be a Carer Element payable in UC.
    She doesn't have to be claiming Carers Allowance to qualify just care for more than 35 hrs, but they will ask if she does claim CA.

    You would normally get more money on UC than you do with ESA; but the fly in the ointment for you is moving from Social Housing to a Private rental which may mean that UC-HE may not cover your full rent.

    As a quick calculation after you move I reckon you could expect to get UC of:

    £ 594.04 UC Rate couple over 25
    £ 341.92 LCWRA
    £ 162.92 Carer Element (caring more than 35 hrs/week).
    £ 399.98 Maximum Housing Element (1 bedroom LHA, Shropshire)
    £1498.86 Total monthly UC.

    If your ESA is Contribution Based and you keep it open outside of UC then that will pay £113.55 a week (£227.10 a fortnight).
    But that will mean that £454.20 a month will then be deducted from the UC.

    PIP will be paid as normal, it is not affected by and does not affect UC payments.
    Last edited by nukecad; 03-09-20 at 13:18.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    You can't have SDP unless your partner also qualifies by having PIP herself, so the SDP 'gateway' does not apply to you and you can claim UC.

    It's only if you need help with your rent payments that you will have to claim UC. (Because you can no longer make a new claim for Housing Benefit).

    Have you already found a place to rent privately?
    Many/most private landlords will not consider renting to those who's only income is benefits and who are not working.

    If you are moving to a private rental then what you can claim for housing will be capped at the LHA 1 bedroom rate for the area you move to.
    For Shropshire the 1 bedroom LHA is currently £92.05 a week in HB, £399.98 a month in UC.
    That might not be enough to pay the full rent, and so you may have to top it up out of your other money.

    PIP would not be affected and will continue to be paid as normal.

    What happens to ESA depends on if it's Income Related ESA or Contribution Based ESA.
    IR ESA migrates into UC, CB ESA can stay outside.
    If CB ESA stays outside of UC then it is deducted £ for £ from the UC payments.

    Your Support Group status from ESA will automatically be migrated to UC-LCWRA which means that extra UC would be paid, you won't need a new assessment until one is/was due anyway.

    I believe that you partner would be expected to look for work unless she reports her own health problems.
    However, if she can say that she is caring more than 35 hours a week for you jobseeking would/should not be required, plus there would then be a Carer Element payable in UC.
    She doesn't have to be claiming Carers Allowance to qualify just care for more than 35 hrs, but they will ask if she does claim CA.

    You would normally get more money on UC than you do with ESA; but the fly in the ointment for you is moving from Social Housing to a Private rental which may mean that UC-HE may not cover your full rent.

    As a quick calculation after you move I reckon you could expect to get UC of:

    £ 594.04 UC Rate couple over 25
    £ 341.92 LCWRA
    £ 162.92 Carer Element (caring more than 35 hrs/week).
    £ 399.98 Maximum Housing Element (1 bedroom LHA, Shropshire)
    £1498.86 Total monthly UC.

    If your ESA is Contribution Based and you keep it open outside of UC then that will pay £113.55 a week (£227.10 a fortnight).
    But that will mean that £454.20 a month will then be deducted from the UC.

    PIP will be paid as normal, it is not affected by and does not affect UC payments.
    Thank you for your detailed reply nukecad. I'm afraid I am burnt out with the stress of it all today, so I will reply tomorrow.

  8. #8
    Hi nukecad. We have the offer of a place, yes. The landlord is my brother's landlord. The problem is we would need to move in in 6 weeks time.

    My ESA figures as of 2018 are these:
    Living expenses for you and your partner £114.85

    Extra money because of the Disability Income Guarantee £23.55

    Limited capability for work addition

    Extra Money because you are in the Support Group £37.65
    Which gives a total income-related amount £176.05

    Income and Benefits

    No income will be taken off your Employment and Support Allowance

    Your income-related amount is £176.05 less total income of £0.00

    So your income-related entitlement is £176.05


    I am getting conflicting information from other advisers (from the F.A.C.E group), who say that "As it stands, your move will drop your income considerably" and "As it stands, moving from one area to another without the protection of SDP, will result in you having to jump through the hoops of UC and the new style ESA. This is a long process, and they do not fast track this, so you will be a lot worse off at the start, with an amount that is also less when things are sorted out properly." So it's very confusing.

    Re: my partner saying that she cares for me 35 hours plus - would she just have to tell them that and that would be it?

    Thanks nukecad.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Sorry I don't know who 'F.A.C.E group' are, can't even find them on the web, but they seem to be out of date with their information.
    (If you mean a Facebook group then I wouldn't bother, those groups are notorious for uninformed and incorrect comments).

    The amount you got for ESA looks correct for 2018 at £176.05, and tells me that at least part of your ESA is Income Related and so would be migrated to UC.

    For 2020 the mumbers are £116.80, £24.50, £39.20 respectively - giving a total of £180.50 a week now for ESA.

    £180.50 a week equates to £784.32 a month. (180.50*52.143/12).

    Leaving out the Housing Element and any possible Carer Element for now.
    With the couples Standard Allowance and LCWRA element you would get £935.96 a month with UC, so £151.64 a month better off than your current ESA from that aspect.
    If you get the Carer Element added then another £162.92 better off.

    As said though the LHA rate cap for a private rental may be the fly in the ointment for you.
    Whatever your rent is UC Housing Element will not pay any more than £399.98 a month towards the rent. (1 bedroom LHA, Shropshire).
    How much rent are you looking at for the new property?

    Council Tax is something else you need to look at, you should get a Council Tax Reduction with UC but it may not be for the full amount.
    Each council has different rules (some even count PIP as income) so you need to check with the council you are moving to.
    Here is some Council Tax information from Shropshire council: https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/benefi...using-benefit/
    (Forget the bit about Housing Benefit, you can't make a new claim for HB in your circumstances).

    Whilst it's true that possible problems can arise during the migration from legacy benefits to UC it's not as much of a problem as it used to be a few years ago.
    And remember that over the past few months they have had a lot of practice at processing new UC claims, many of which involved migrations from one or more of HB, WTC, & CTC.

    There are now 'run-ons' of existing benefits which still get paid for a couple of weeks after you claim UC.
    So for those two weeks you get paid double benefits, the legacy benefit plus the UC at the end of the month, what is paid as legacy benefit run on does not get deducted from the UC.
    Housing Benefit runs on for 2 weeks. (Although your moving to a different LA may complicate that).
    Since 22 July 2020 IR ESA now also runs on for 2 weeks.
    https://www.understandinguniversalcr...#runonpayments


    For the UC Carer Element then yes, as you already get PIP then she just has to tell them that she cares for you for more than 35 hours a week.
    More information:
    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Ca...iversal-Credit

    Quite a bit to take in there, hope it helps and come back if you have any more questions.

    EDIT- Just one more thing to make sure; you are not a 'Mixed Age Couple' ie. one above state pension age and one below?
    If you are then things get much more complicated.
    Last edited by nukecad; 04-09-20 at 12:58.
    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
    Many thanks for all this nukecad. I very much appreciate it. As you say, it will take a while to digest, but here are a few more bits of information:

    The F.A.C.E. is a Facebook benefits advice group. It's a bit worrying if they are giving out such incorrect information when so much depends on it.

    My ESA is all IR.

    The rent for the flat we would be moving to is £125 per week.

    At the moment, because we have a 2 bedroom flat and therefore pay the 'bedroom tax', we are paying a total of £28.30 a week on top of our HB (which I think is £92 pw).

    At the moment I think I get full Council Tax Benefit. I will check, as you suggest, the situation in Shropshire.

    I just want to be clear about what the situation with my partner will be in a move from my ESA to UC. Are you saying that, because I receive PIP (at the standard Daily Living rate), all she has to do is tell them that she cares for me (as she does, in spite of her own health issues) for 35+ hours, and she will be exempt from jobseeking activities? They will not ask for proof of this?

    Finally, the process of moving from ESA to UC itself: will I be making the claim as a couple, or would my partner be making a claim for herself?

    Thanks nukecad.

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