Higher tier ESA? — Scope | Disability forum
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Higher tier ESA?

Anteater
Anteater Community member Posts: 6 Listener
i’ve got bipolar disorder diagnosed 2008 / attend a local bipolar group which has helped me accept my diagnosis and end my feeling lesser than than


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  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,316 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Anteater

    Welcome to the community! :) That's great to hear, I hope they continue to be a support for you. How are you today?
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Anteater
    Anteater Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    i receive esa contribution based and in 
    support group as i have enhanced PIP but have found out there is a further tier - how does it work to swap to income based?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,447 Disability Gamechanger
    When did your claim for ESA start? because there's also New style ESA, which is a contributions based benefit only and there's no Income Based top up with this one.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,361 Scope online community team
    edited October 2023
    Hi @Anteater, hopefully we can help answer your question with the information Poppy has asked for. I know it's a pain, the benefits system is so complex. You have to check so many things to see what you're entitled to!

    I'll just pop this thread into our ESA section so it's seen by more relevant people :)


    Also, can I just say how amazing it is to hear you've been able to come to terms with your diagnosis. I know it took me a long time to come to terms with my Crohn's Disease diagnosis. I'm so glad that support group helped you!
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,447 Disability Gamechanger
    Just wanted to add some more information. There's no such thing as "tiers." There's 2 groups for ESA, which are WRAG or Support Group.

    If you're claiming the old contributions based ESA then this can include an Income Related top up known as the disability premiums but it will depend on your financial circumstances.

    There's also New style ESA as i mentioned above but this is just a contributions based benefit only. If your claim for ESA started after end of December 2018 then it's more than likely to be New style.

    If your claim started before this then again, it's possible that it's New style and you will need to ring ESA to ask then.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Anteater
    Anteater Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you both for responding

    My claim for ESA started earlier than 2018 and i am in the support group on contribution based - dreading having to call ESA 

    with my mortgage hikes from november i lose nearly all net rental income so trying to figure out if i can swap to income related to get help with bills 

    I’ll have a scroll through ESA section if this has been answered before 
  • Anteater
    Anteater Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    i’m questioning whether i can get the SDP as i’m on enhanced pip without a carer but i have a lodger paying rent - would that exclude me? i’m scared to call them in case i lose my support group for contribution based 

    Is income related based on our net income per month? 

    all i have read is that i can’t have more than £17k in savings - not
    found how much i am allowed to have coming in and whether ne
  • Anteater
    Anteater Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    i’m questioning whether i can get the SDP as i’m on enhanced pip without a carer but i have a lodger paying rent - would that exclude me? i’m scared to call them in case i lose my support group for contribution based 

    Is income related based on our net income per month? 

    all i have read is that i can’t have more than £17k in savings - not
    found how much i am allowed to have coming in and whether net
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,447 Disability Gamechanger
    There's a high possiblity that your ESA is New style and not the old contributions based. As i previously advised, if this is the case then there's no disability premiums payable with this.

    If your ESA is the old contributions based and you're able to claim the Income Related top up (disability premiums) then the first £20/week of income from your lodger is diregarded. After that any entitlement to the Income related top up will reduce it £1 for £1. See link and scroll to 51112. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1174567/dmgch51.pdf

    For the SDP which is a disability premium if you're renting on a commercial basis then this will usually not affect entitlement to SDP, unless the lodger is a close relative or you're living with another adult such as a partner or a son/daughter that doesn't claim a qualifying disability benefit theirself or they are not registered blind. 

    However, as i advised above any income above £20/week will reduce any Income Related ESA £1 for £1. For this reason even if your ESA is the old contributions based there may still be no entitlement to the disability premiums but it will depend on what income you receive from the lodger.

    You will first need to ring ESA and ask exactly which ESA it is you're claim.. New style or the old contributions based.

    Anteater said:


    all i have read is that i can’t have more than £17k in savings - not

    That's not correct. For means tested benefits like Income Related ESA and Universal Credit if you have savings/capital of more thna £16,000 you're excluded from claiming. This doesn't include the home you live in. For every £250 or part thereof over £6,000 there's a £1/week deduction for Income Related ESA. For UC the monthly deduction is £4.35 for every £250 or part thereof over £6,000.

    Anteater said:

    Is income related based on our net income per month? 

    It's based on other household income such as net earnings from a partners earnings (if you live with one), savings, capital, income from a lodger and any private pensions you maybe receiving.

    There's another option for you and that's to claim Universal Credit. Income from a lodger is ignored when claiming this. As you're in the Support Group for ESA then you'll be entitled to the LCWRA element from the start of your claim. Your ESA will continue to be paid as normal but it will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement.

    Also when claiming UC the LCWRA element pays more than ESA Support Group unless your ESA includes the SDP but with a lodgers income, even if you can claim the Income Related top up there may still be no entitlement.

    Are you claiming council tax reduction? If so do your local Authority know you have a lodger?


    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Anteater
    Anteater Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    thank you so much for the above - yes the council know i have a lodger i pay 75% as i’m classed as severely mentally impaired due to my bipolar 

    i’ll give esa a buzz

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