ESA Cont and ESA Income based query. — Scope | Disability forum
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ESA Cont and ESA Income based query.

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LMJ
LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
I have been receiving income based ESA for 15 years, I also receive PIP. My partner has moved in with me and applied for Carer's Allowance, this happened a month ago. Carers Allowance say it will take 6 weeks to review his claim. I notified everyone I was supposed to. My partner has no savings and no income and I now need 24 hour care. The DWP changed my Income Based ESA (Support Group) to Contributions based and removed the disability premiums. My housing Benefit has now been suspended because I no longer have a passport benefit. I have contacted the DWP 3 times and been told someone will call me back but they have not. I am now trying to keep 2 people on my ESA benefit, my partner has no income at all and our rent is due in 10 days and will not be paid. Needless to say I am panicking and much worse off than I was before my partner moved in. Does anyone know what I should be doing other than having feeling constantly sick with worry?
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  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    Just to add I was told that I swapped to Conts. ESA and the disability premiums were removed while they checked my partners income and savings (he has none). That was 6 weeks ago and my Housing Benefit claim will be permanently ended on March 1st.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,176 Disability Gamechanger
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    It's normal for this to happen while they assess your claim after your partner moved in. I have no idea how long it will take though, unfortunately. I'd advise you to ring ESA to ask for an update.

    For your Housing benefit, this will have been suspended because of the Income Related ESA stopping until they assess your claim. They should be able to start paying your housing benefit even without the Income Related top so for this reason I would ring your local Authority to ask them. 
    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.
  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    Thank you so much Poppy!  <3 As long as they will still pay the rent I can relax a bit. I can manage to scrape together enough to feed us both until the Carers Allowance comes through but I do not have enough for this month's rent payment too. I will send evidence off to the Council tomorrow.

    Do you know what happens to my disability premiums once the Carers Allowance comes through please? I know they remove the Severe Disability Premium but I had others? Do I have to contact them to apply again or will they be added back automatically? Thank you so much.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,176 Disability Gamechanger
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    The only other disability premium is Enhanced Disability Premium which is £19.55/week single person or £27.90/couples. It will automatically be added once they do the calculations. 
    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.
  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    That is such a relief. I had visions of us both living under a bridge  :D

    Thank you so much as always Poppy  <3
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    @LMJ Did you manage to get through to ESA? 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    I did, and they got someone from the Benefits Team to call me back. The delay is that they are trying to trace my partner. For 10 years before he lived with me he was his mother's carer, he didn't claim benefits as she had enough money to basically pay him. It means to the DWP he sort of disappeared for 10 years. Now his mother has sadly had to go into a home so he has moved in with me but they just can't trace him for the last 10 years. He doesn't even have a bank account so I do understand their problem, it is just financially tough while we wait it out. On a bright note they believe the council will still pay our rent while we wait so it is a question of gritting out teeth and hanging in here.
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,081 Scope online community team
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    I really hope they can get things sorted for you quickly @LMJ, fingers crossed for the council being able to help you. 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    Just wanted to give an update in case it helps anyone else going through the same situation. After 5 weeks my partner has been awarded Carers Allowance for me, backdated to when he applied. The Housing Benefit was reinstated a day before the rent was due - close, but they made it in time. I am waiting for them to hopefully return my income-related ESA and single disability premium now that they know that my partner isn't a secret millionaire but as the Carers Allowance has only just been awarded this may take a while yet. Despite my panicking it all went pretty smoothly, the waiting isn't fun but we are almost there now.
  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    I do have one little question please? Do I need to inform the ESA department that my partner now has Carers Allowance or will they know and adjust my payments accordingly? I know departments don't always communicate well. Thank you!
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,176 Disability Gamechanger
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    ESA will already know about the carers allowance. This is one time where 2 departments do communicate. 
    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.
  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    Hurrah!  :D Thank you so much for letting me know, I wasn't looking forward to an hour on hold. I shall wait for them to get back to me. I hope you are well Poppy, thank you for all you do.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,176 Disability Gamechanger
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    You're very welcome. I've had a busy couple of weeks and I'm rather tired tonight. I don't often go to bed before midnight but tonight my head feels fuzzy so off to bed I go.  :)
    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.
  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    Night night Poppy, I hope you have a lovely sleep. I just slept for 15 hours after 3 days of only sleeping 2 hours a night due to symptoms of my condition so I totally get you with the fuzzy head. Take care of you, you do more than enough to help other people. <3
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,176 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thank you, that's very kind of you! I slept well but woke early but that's not unusual for me. I hope you slept well too.
    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.
  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    Hello again! So an update. My ESA wasn't paid today and I was called by the Benefits Team. They have stopped my ESA entirely (and informed me therefore my Housing Benefit will stop too) because now my partner is claiming Carers Allowance for me and now lives with me it constitutes a change of circumstances so I have to fill in the relevant form. This has only been posted to me today.

    Once more it was explained that they need to know if he has any savings or is working despite me telling them neither apply 9 weeks ago. I did point that out but was told I have to fill in the correct form. What is confusing me is that changed my Income based ESA to CB when he first moved in, surely if he did have savings it shouldn't have any bearing on that? They have now left us with his Carers Allowance and my PIP and nothing else. The advisor was adamant they will not pay my ESA until they get the Change of Circumstances Form back for reassessment. I am not sure how we are supposed to live and pay rent in the meantime...
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,176 Disability Gamechanger
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    When you first posted here last month I was under the impression that the ESA3 form had already been sent out to you. When reporting changes such as a partner moving in with you, they need to assess your claim based on your joint circumstances. For this reason the form will need to be filled in first.

    If part of your ESA is contributions based then I don’t understand why all of your ESA has been suspended. 

    I would ring them back to ask why it has all been suspended.

    For housing benefit this can be recalculated based on your income without the ESA and you just need to ring your local Authority. The issue you will have if it stops completely and ends you will not be able to reclaim it and you would need to claim Universal Credit for help with your rent. 
    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.
  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    Afternoon Poppy! Thank you again! :) I called the council and they said to email proof of my partners and I current benefit to them which I have now done. They said I can email them when it changes again with the next evidence of benefits. I called DWP again and they think there may have been and over or under payment so that is why it is suspended. They will not reinstate the CB ESA until they get the ESA back which has only just been posted.

    Sorry for the confusion, what originally happened 9 weeks ago was I called to report a change of circumstance and someone from the Benefits Team called me back and took my partners name, date of birth and NI Number. She said she would undertake the assessment. I called back 3 weeks later to check how it was going and they said I would be called back but they didn't call. Now I've been informed they need the actual ESA3 form filled in to complete the assessment. I wish they had made this clear weeks ago and posted the form sooner than today if that was the case but here we are.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,176 Disability Gamechanger
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    CB isn’t means tested so it makes no sense to suspend that as well. 

    I’m glad your housing benefit will be recalculated. It’s normal for them to suspend it when they receive information from DWP that a benefit has been suspended. 
    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.
  • LMJ
    LMJ Community member Posts: 21 Courageous
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    So despite what I was told on the phone (which my partner heard too on speakerphone) my ESA arrived as an emergency payment at midnight. I really am not going insane, the person clearly stated they couldn't pay me ESA until they had the form back. I have of course now had to email the council again re: Housing Benefit and say disregard the change of circumstance request, I am getting ESA after all. They probably don't have a clue what's happening and I'm not sure I do at this point but at least I have my payment. Now to wait for the ESA3 form when hopefully everything will be sorted out. I am forever the optimist  :D

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