ESA to UC — Scope | Disability forum
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bev1958 Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi, I lived in Manchester and had an award for 3years on ESA, TWO months after I was awarded it I move to Norfolk, I had to end my ESA claim and go on to Universal credit, I asked why couldn’t they just swap me over and they said no I would have to go through their process, 6 months later after struggling on JSA they said they would uphold the 3 year award, now after 2 years they have sent me a form to see if I’m still unfit for work, I’m so depressed I’m so scared that I will be forced to fight for my benefits again, last time I was taken off and told I was fit for work and then I had a stroke, so I was awarded ESA for the three years; I have fibromyalgia,arthritis,ibs ,a full knee replacement and I get high rate DLA, the form I have just filled in is to see if I need a face to face , I’m just so scared I can’t get it out of my head I’m going to lose it again, 


  • JennysDad
    JennysDad Member Posts: 2,299 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @bev1958 and welcome to the community. I am very glad you found us, but very sad to read of your difficulties.

    First, you are far from alone. We receive a great many posts like yours and you will find many people in the community who can either relate to what you are going through or who can offer good, solid advice.

    I am not a benefits specialist, but I have notified the necessary people who are and they will, I am sure, be in touch with you in due course.

    You are among friends here, Bev (?), we're listening and we'll be looking for ways to help. Bear with us, don't hesitate to ask any questions or just to chat here if it helps at all, 
    Here, listening,
    Warmest best wishes to you,
  • bev1958
    bev1958 Member Posts: 3 Listener
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    Is your new area full service UC? You can check this at

    It is not the case that a change of address should trigger an obligation to claim UC. There is some useful recent stuff on this but, more importantly, a letter before action may be sufficient to get them to back off and put you back on old style ESA. Take a look at

  • bev1958
    bev1958 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I can’t unders how they can award it me for 3 years then change it to two years, the stress of it all last time caused me to have a stroke, I can’t go through all that again,,
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    It’s an individual decision for 1, 2 or 3 years but if you fit the criteria you may have one more medical and then be accepted as not needing it again.
  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
    It's likely a review. They can do that anytime, alas. :/ 

    You can get through this. We'll be here for you. Can you see your GP and ask for help to prevent another stroke?
  • ScopeHelpline
    ScopeHelpline Member Posts: 207 Courageous
    Hi Bev1968

    Good to hear from you, and to echo what others have said, I am so sorry that you are going through another review, but we will try to help you to get through it, and you will manage it. 

    I hope that the DWP is paying the limited capability for work(related activity) amount whilst they review your case yet again?  If not, you could challenge this as they should transfer that money across to the new benefit. 

    Just to clarify, if you move to a new geographical area and it is a full service universal credit area, then the way the regulations work is that you have to transfer onto the new benefit. This is because a new claim to a "legacy" benefit - housing benefit, two kinds of tax credits, income-related ESA, income-based JSA, income support - triggers a universal credit claim. I think that this is what happened to you when you moved to Norfolk. You would have tried to claim housing benefit for a new tenancy and been told that your claim would have to be universal credit. 

    Anyway, good luck with the review and keep in touch.

    Best wishes 
    Scope Helpline

  • Perks1989
    Perks1989 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi there I am new to this forum but in desperate need of some help and advice!

    Back in 2017 I was claiming ESA until Oct of that year when I tried to go back to work (retail) (20 hours plus) so obviously I had to come off ESA. Turns out I couldn't cope (dunno why I thought I could tbh!) so I had to reclaim. My husband works and he has a good job but its never been a problem as I was claiming ESA - Contribution based as I was placed in the support group. (Mental health difficulties, severe anxiety and depression / bpd).
    So when I went to reclaim I was told because I'm an area covered by UC that I would have to claim that. Me and my husband set up an account as a household. Immediately I was skeptical because it was quite obvious based on my husbands income we weren't going to get any money from UC. 
    Since January its been a massive back and forth because all I want to do is claim New Style ESA which I was told about AFTER I claimed UC. Apparently this is what I need to back on something similar to Contributions based ESA. 
    If anything the UC claim seems to be getting in the way and even though I've attended a WCA and sent in evidence and fit notes as they now call them I am still getting nowhere! 
    No one is giving me any information in regards to my ESA claim, I have to wait days for a journal response and when I call customer services they just say they'll leave a msg for my case worker! Who then takes another 3 days to respond.
    It's really starting to stress me out and affect my health. I'm working 8 hours at the moment to tie me over but with all this stress and the fact I've got my little boy to think about and nursery fees, bills, debt and no money coming in from UC - its all proving too much and I can feel my health slipping! 
    I just want to contribute to the family as I was doing before!  
  • Ripples
    Ripples Member Posts: 189 Pioneering
    @Perks1989 When did you attend the WCA for your most recent claim? A decision can take weeks sometimes. The  UC journal is failing many people, I read a whistle blower  account whereas the informant said they are under sourced and the work load is such that they often do not read or respond to journal messages within 72 hours or sometimes not at all. 


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