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Benefit help needed

reewennreewenn Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi everyone my name is Irene.  I have been out of work now for about four years and my only income is pip and a small monthly private pension. I live with my partner who works part time 25 hours a week. I suffer with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and copd. Mobility is a bit of a struggle for me lately and have just sent in my renewal assessment for pip as I am at the lower scale at the moment. If I do go unto the higher teir can I apply for esa as I am not claiming job seekers allowance as That involves looking for work which I am just not up to. Can you advise please as went into the calculater and wasn't entitled to anything. I am 61 and not entitled to oap until I'm 66 since the government moved the goal posts unfortunately.  Any ideas would be very much appreciated. Many thanks


  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @reewenn welcome to the community, I have moved your post to the Ask A Benefits advisor category so hopefully there will be expert help along soon.
    Senior online community officer
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi reewenn (Irene), welcome and let's have a look at your question. I'm glad you are asking for your PIP to be reconsidered. If you are not currently getting the mobility component of PIP, perhaps you should be getting it, or perhaps you should be getting it at a higher rate.

    You might find it useful to do the PIP self-test to see how many points you think you should score in each component. You need 8 points for the standard rate, and 12 for the enhanced rate.

    As regards ESA, unfortunately getting ESA based on your national insurance contributions looks unlikely because you haven't worked for a few years. And because of your partner's hours of work you can't get income-related ESA. I suspect this is why the benefit calculator is coming up with nothing. In some parts of the country you have to claim Universal Credit instead of income-related ESA. Universal Credit doesn't have the same rules about hours of work - but you can only claim it if the postcode checker says it has started for people in your situation.

    What I would suggest though is considering whether to make a 'credits only' claim for ESA. This won't give you any extra money now, but it would give you national insurance credits which you may need to get a better state retirement pension. Before deciding whether to do this, check your pension forecast on gov.uk to see if there is any point - maybe you already have enough national insurance for a full state pension, in which case claiming ESA credits won't make any difference. 

    Other things I would recommend checking are Housing Benefit if you pay rent, and Council Tax Reduction if you pay council tax. These two benefits are paid by the local authority (council) and help you with rent and council tax respectively, so you should ask your council about them. In some areas of the country you may have to claim Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit, but the council will tell you if that applies to you. If you claim either of these benefits make sure you tell them about any changes in your PIP, as getting higher rates of PIP can make you more likely to get help with your rent and/or council tax.

    Good luck, I'm hoping there may be a small amount of extra money you can claim. If your partner is older than you, another benefit to check may be Pension Credit  (this doesn't have rules about hours of work).

    The Benefits Training Co:
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    Michael Chambers
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