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Thread: ESA reduction calculator

  1. #1
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    ESA reduction calculator

    Hi

    Can anyone point me in the direction of a ESA payment reduction calculator or some sort of table that I may be able to use to check if I am receiving the correct amount of ESA?

    I currently receive about £72.25 a week (Contribution based ESA) and also have a small private pension that I took early (at 54) when my disability became so bad that I could no longer work. I receive enhanced rate PIP for the Care and Mobility elements and my wife receives Carer's allowance for looking after me. She doesn't do any other work. I say she doesn't do any other work but to be fair she spends 28 hours a day looking after me!

    We don't receive any other benefits but no longer have a mortgage on the house, which is just as well, as we struggle to pay the bills some months.

    Several friends keep telling me I should be receiving more benefits but when I asked DWP if they could tell me how they worked my ESA out they said they would write to me but never did. It took 25 minutes to get through on the telephone last time, followed by a barrage of questions and I just can't face that again so would like to have a go at working it out myself if I could just find out how they carry out their calculations.

  2. #2
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    Sorry, I forgot to say, Thanks in advance.

    Will

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    The main question is is your ESA Support Group or WRAG (

    Sorry, second question when did you first claim ESA?

    Private pensions are deductable from CB ESA but only after the first £85.

    So say you were ESA WRAG on a claim made after April 2017 then if your pension is around £87 a week the ESA payment sounds about right..
    If you are in SG or WRAG first claimed earlier then it needs adjusting for those.

    It does sound as if you may be able to claim more benefits, Council Tax reduction and help with rent if you rent your house/flat to start with.

    No tables because benefit calculations are too complicated for that; but there are online benefit calculators that you can use to check you are claiming what you should.
    https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators

    They can all be a bit funny with legacy benefits at the moment -they tend to concentrate on new claims and UC.
    So if you use one and anything looks odd then give us a shout.

    I like the entitledto one to check my own calculations for this forum.
    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.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply nukecad.

    I am in the support group and have been claiming ESA since 2015.

    I also tried claiming Council Tax reduction at the time but was told that we didn't qualify for that as there was two of us living in the house. (My wife and I)

    We own the house and paid the mortgage off in 2012 so don't need to pay rent.

    I will try one of the calculators you recommend and see how I get on.

    Many thanks

  5. #5
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    You could possibly get a council tax reduction due to your disability.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Just on a quick calculation;

    If your ESA is CB only then it should total £113.65 before any deduction.

    You say you get £72.25 so that would be a deduction of £41.30 being made.

    Which would mean that you have a private pension of £126.30 a week (about £548.80 a month).

    Is that about correct?

    It may be that you are also 'entitled' to IR ESA top-ups, but that the amount your wife gets for carers allowance, and what you get as a private pension, is greater than that top-up so it is not paid.
    I'd have to think then just how (the undeducted remainder) of your private pension would affect the CB ESA that would still be payable in that circumstance.
    (It may be that they are deducting the pension both partly from IR ESA and then still taking it fully into account for CB ESA, but I'd need more details to calculate further to see if they are doing that).

    If you do have an IR ESA 'entitlement' then that should also 'passport' you to full Council Tax relief, but if the 'entitlement' is 'underlying' and not actually in payment then the council may not be seeing that.
    (It's an ongoing problem with some areas of benefits, you qualify for things by having an 'entitlement' but if there is no actual payment then the council and others don't/can't see that entitlement).

    So another couple of questions:
    Do you have savings/capital of above £6,000, if so then are they above £16,000?
    Are you willing to say how much the private pension is? (I know not everyone is happy to give such details in public).
    Last edited by nukecad; 26-10-20 at 15:43.
    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. #7
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    Thanks Nukecad. I did the benefits calculator thing and it said that I was entitled to a council tax reduction but nothing else.

    I have been in touch with my local council and they said that the only entitlement I would be eligible for is a reduction down to the next lower band (a saving of about £10 a week) if I could prove that I have had a specific room adapted because of my disability and specifically for my use. Bathroom converted to a wet room, old doors removed and replaced with wide access doorways, access ramps and a stairlift are all things that DO NOT fulfil the criteria! I am not quite sure what I do need to do but I have now given up with them!

    As for your other questions, savings currently total about £600. (£6000??? lol, I wish) My private pension is a bit more than you said, and is £622 a month.

    I think it would seem that I am getting all that I am entitled to but things are certainly not easy. I can't even get free prescriptions!

    Thanks for your help anyway.

  8. #8
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    Worth applying for a council tax reduction, they can only sat no. Councils put their own interpretation on the reduction rules and they may have just quoted the general guidance to you.

    In our area just to have grab handles and being disabled qualifies you for the reduction.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    The online calculators tend to look at new claims so may not always recognise a right to existing CB ESA (especially older awards that were converted from IB).

    It looks as if you may indeed have an 'entitlement' to IR ESA as well, but that it is not being paid because of the CA and pension being more.
    In which case that should mean 'passporting' to full CTR - but as said above if the council can't see that entitlement (because it's not being paid) then they won't apply it.

    I'll take a look at that pension amount and what that should mean with regard to ESA payments later and get back. (There's a couple of possibilities and I'll have to work throug a few permutations to see just how the DWP are doing it).

    In the meantime I would ask the DWP for a form ESA124.

    That form shows how your ESA payments are made up and has seperate columns for CB ESA and IR ESA, as well as showing what deductions they are making.
    You can see a blank example here:https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...d%20Letter.pdf

    If it shows IR ESA amounts in column 'B' then that is proof to the council that you have an IR ESA entitlement and so should get FULL Council Tax relief.
    (It would also show that you are entitled to free prescriptions, etc.)
    Last edited by nukecad; 29-10-20 at 15:12.
    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
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    When you said your ESA is £72.25 is that this years rate or last years?

    I've done some calcuations and can't find any match for that figure - the best matches I can find to your reported £72.25 are:

    1 - If you were in the WRAG group with CB ESA only. (But I'm sure that you know which group you are in).

    You say your pension is £622/month which equates to £143.15/week. (622 x 12 / 52.143).

    The deduction from CB ESA for a private pension is half of any amount over £85 so (143.15 - 85)/2 = £29.08 to be deducted.

    CB ESA WRAG is £74.35 + £29.55 = £103.90

    £103.90 - £29.08 = £74.82 ESA payable.

    2 - If you are in SG with your partner included on the claim, it's IR ESA only so the full pension is deducted, and there is an Error on the DWP's part:

    £116.80 (ESA for a couple).
    £ 39.20 (SG)
    £ 24.50 (EDP, automatic if you have SG in IR ESA)
    £ 37.50 (Carer Premium because your partner has CA).
    £218.00 Total before deductions.
    Less:
    £143.15 (Weekly pension income)
    £ 74.85 ESA payable.

    The problem/error with that second one is that the Carers Allowance payment has not been deducted like it should be.

    I've tried various other permutations of premiums/deductions (and with possible different errors in payment) and none of them get any closer than those two.
    I may be missing something if it's CB ESA with an IR ESA top-up, but I can't make those figures work either.

    I'd definitely ask for an ESA124 to find out just how they are calculating your ESA payment.

    If you have your annual ESA uprating letter from earlier this year and can tell us the figures it gives on that then I may be able to better work out what is going on, but it's not as comprehensive as the ESA124 will be.

    (My brain hurts now and I'm going to the pub to cool it down with some beer).
    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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