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pentom Member Posts: 2 Listener
My husband is currently receiving contributions based ESA.He is in the support group.He first claimed when I was working.
I am now unemployed. I do not receive child benefits or redundancy payments or anything.
I want to claim JSA. Because our full time student daughter 20 we are classed as having no dependents.
Because we are classed as having no dependents my claim has to be a joint claim as a couple (The Jobcentreplus adviser told me).
I filled out an exempt form for my husband but he still needs to be interviewed.
I am worried that my claim for JSA will trigger some change in my husband's situation re assessments.Would they make him attend another work capability assessment ?
If my claim was successful and we were awarded the £114.85 for a couple , would my husband's ESA benefit of £109 be deducted from the amount leaving me with £5.20?
I'm more concerned about the consequences of me claiming on my husband.
Still don't understand why ESA can treated as a single claim but a JSA one has to be treated as a joint one.
Could any one help please?


  • gnmeads
    gnmeads Member Posts: 187 Pioneering
    Hi pentom welcome to the Scope community.

    I think the answer yo your last question is JSA is means tested, so it depends on your over all circumstances at home. ESA on the other hand is assessed on your husbands condition.

    Your husbands ESA amount shouldn't change for the same reason, it is based on his condition not how much you receive and unless his condition change's, they shouldn't reassess him.

    Here's a link that explains more:
    Please feel free to get back to me if you have any more questions
  • Liam_Alumni
    Liam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,105 Pioneering
    Hi @pentom,

    Welcome to Scope's online community! It's great to have you on board.

    I've moved this post to our Ask a Benefits Advisor category, where @BenefitsTrainingCo may be able to offer further help and support.

    If you have any other questions, then please do get in touch.
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi pentom

    Both ESA and JSA have two parts - one is contributory, based on your NI contributions and is non-means tested. The other is means tested, is nothing to do with NI but is only paid if your income is low enough. Some people only qualify for the contributory version because their income is too high to get the means tested version (e.g. when you were working). Some people only get the means tested version because they are on a low income and haven't paid sufficient NI. And some people get both because they've paid NI but their contributory benefit is not enough to live on (your situation now).

    I am assuming your husband claimed ESA based on his NI contributions whilst you were in work. Your work will have meant that your husband couldn't get income related ESA at that point because your combined income would have been too high. But now you are both unemployed you probably qualify for a means tested benefit on top of your husband's contributory ESA.

    Means tested benefits have to be claimed together as a couple. What i mean is it's not possible for you to claim income based JSA and your husband to claim income related ESA. You must team up and decide which benefit to claim together. I suggest your husband contacts the ESA office and asks for you both to be included in a claim for income related ESA. This will probably lead to an increased ESA entitlement including an amount for you.

    As you have been in work i suggest you do make a claim to JSA but for the contributory version. If you have paid enough NI you can get this for 26 weeks and it may increase your income a bit further. But for this you will have to sign on as available for work of course.

    Finally, if your husband gets a disability benefit such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component then it may allow you to claim Carer's Allowance and this would also increase your income further. But you can't be paid Carer's Allowance at the same time as contributions based JSA (just to make things more complicated!). You can find out more about Carer's Allowance on the related Scope pages.

    I hope this is clear as mud. We may be able to tailor the advice a little further if you can tell us whether your husband gets a disability benefit such as PIP and if so at what rates.

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland


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