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fossie32 Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited March 2018 in Universal Credit (UC)
my wife and I have a appointment with the job centre regarding universal credit if my wife gets ESA and we have to sign on as a couple will her money stop or would she carry on getting it until are couple allowance is sorted with universal credit thanks graham


  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,457 Disability Gamechanger
    Get advice from CAB as it may pay you to claim the new style ESA instead of universal credit. Only a benefits adviser could tell you as they will need to know all your income savings and outgoings.
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,622 Pioneering


    Hi there, it depends whether your wife is getting income-related ESA, or contributory ESA (she might even be getting a bit of both). If she is getting income-related ESA, then this stops when you claim Universal Credit (UC).

    If she is getting contributory ESA, then this carries on, and your Universal Credit 'tops up' the contributory ESA to an amount for both of you. What you have to do to get UC would depend on the circumstances, but it might be that one of you has to sign on and look for work, and the other one (your wife) doesn't have to look for work, but might have to take part in work-related activity, depending on what group she got put in after her work capability assessment.

    'New style' ESA is the name for contributory ESA within the UC system, and it's no more or less than the old contributory ESA, so there is no advantage to claiming it if your wife is already getting it.

    I would be careful about claiming UC without getting advice. Some disabled people are worse off financially on UC, some are better off. It will also depend on whether you or your wife get DLA or PIP, whether anyone lives with you, what ESA group she is in (support group or work-related activity group), and whether there's anyone claiming carer's allowance because they care for her or for you.

    Sometimes the Jobcentre tell you to claim UC when you don't have to, so it's important to check. You could try your local CAB or a disability advice centre if there is one.

    Just to answer your question though, if your wife is getting income-related ESA for both of you, and you claim UC, I'm afraid that income-related ESA usually stops before your first payment of UC is due. If you're getting Housing Benefit or tax credits, they will usually stop too. That can obviously cause a problem, but you should be offered an advance payment of UC to help you through the first few weeks. You do have to pay back the advance payment from your UC, but you do this gradually.

    First of all though, I would try to get advice locally to make sure UC is the right benefit for you to move to, and what the consequences will be if you do claim it.

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,457 Disability Gamechanger
    Good advice Will, we are looking into the dark there is not any or a lot of information about how claments are coping with the transition on what their benefits payments amounts where and what the transition benefits amounts are. Until Scope and other agencies get this information can they accurately advise members ect.


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