Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA and NI

Hi i wonder if you could help me please?
Im 43 and most my life i have been on benefits due to not being able to work because of agoraphobia.
Up until Jan 2017 i was getting ESA income related but sadly my dad died and i inherited money so could no longer claim ESA income related so stopped the benefit.
My husband and i are living on the money i inherited which is going down fast as i can no longer get housing benefit or council tax benefit either, my husband cant work as he is my carer (doesn't claim as carer)
Ive been told by a friend that i could possibly get ESA contribution based as its not means tested but they think i will need to of paid two years NI but not sure what type or for how long and the second year of that either be employed or self employed for a certain amount of time but didnt no how long.
Could you please tell me is it at all possible for me to try to claim ESA contribution based now or in the future and what i would need to do? How soon could i claim it please as ive read this but still dont really understand it.
First contribution condition - in one of the last two complete tax years, you must have paid Class 1 or 2 contributions on relevant earnings at the lower earnings limit for at least 26 weeks. This means you must have worked for at least 26 weeks of the last two complete tax years; andSecond contribution condition - in both of the last two complete tax years, you must have paid or been credited with, Class 1 or 2 contributions to the value of 50 times the lower earnings limit.If i paid NI class 2 for 2017-2018 myself and then went self employed now and was paying class 2 NI from April 2018 to April 2019 and my business didnt work because of my mental health would i then be able to claim contrubution based ESA in April 2019? or even sooner? Im worried that things could go wrong and i would feel better knowing there is a safety net. 
If ive got that all wrong could you please tell me what i would need to do and pay to be able to claim now or in the future? 


Also my husband and i have been living together for 14 years while i was claiming income support and then ESA income related, i put my husbands name on all the forms and was getting couple rate. A couple of days ago we checked are pensions and the DWP have not paid any NI for my husband in all those years. I was under the impression that as he was my husband and i was claiming as him being my dependant that they are meant to pay his stamp but they have paid nothing, is this wrong and what do i do about it please? My brother gets contrubution based ESA and they have paid his girlfriends NI even though there isn't a couple rate of contrubution based ESA. 
Thank you

Replies

  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,200 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello Serge88, welcome to the scope community. I to am claiming ESA but only me is credited with NI, maybe your brothers girlfriend is claiming carers allowance which the DWP pay the carers NI. Just a thought but I sujest you ring DWP to find out more as I intend to.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Unfortunately to be able to claim Contribution based ESA you will need to have worked and paid enough National Insurance Contributions in the previous 2 tax years. As you've been claiming benefits for most of your life then you won't be able to claim Contribution based ESA.

    Once your savings have gone below £16000 then you'll be able to claim ESA/housing benefit again. You do have be careful what you spend the savings on because of deprivation of capital.

    DWP will not have paid your husband NI stamp, they will only pay the main claimant. He's not your dependent, he's your partner. Do you claim PIP/DLA, if you do and he claims Carers Allowance for looking after you then his NI will be paid through this.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Sarge88Sarge88 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you for replying Wilko. 
    Was a bit of a shock to find out that for 14 years they have not paid any NI for my husband which is going to affect his pension. 
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  • Sarge88Sarge88 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you for replying Poppy.
    Yes i understand at the moment i would not be able to claim Contribution based ESA but i wondered if i paid the tax years of 2017-2018 myself and then this month registered as self employed and then paid 2018-19 as a self employed person if i could then claim contribution based ESA in the future?...basically if i paid 2017-2018 then went self employed this month and paid my NI for this coming year and it all went wrong how soon could i claim contrubution based ESA please? Find it all so confusing. 
  • Sarge88Sarge88 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you for replying Victoriad, we checked hes 21 years short!!! 14 of those years he was with me so we thought the DWP were paying his NI, we have only just found out they wasn't. There is no way we can pay those years back. 
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  • Sarge88Sarge88 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    We dont have kids but he was basically my carer but never claimed as being a carer. I think a lot of people think that because income related ESA is a couple rate that they must be paying the partners NI too, if they dont then they shouldn't include them in the claim as im pretty sure i got extra for him so "he" was getting ESA too in MY claim.  I dont trust any of them Victoriad. 
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  • Sarge88Sarge88 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    UPDATE...

    I got dates wrong on my post so this is the correct info.

    Id like to be able to claim contribution based ESA but im very confused about the 2 conditions, benefit years not overlapping with a year in which you work and paying NI.

    I claimed ESA income based most my life due to mental health conditions but in Jan 2017 i inherited money so stopped the claim.
    I think i have NI credits from April 2016 up until December 2016 so im about 3 months short for the tax year 2016 but im happy to pay those missing months so that i have a complete tax year for 2016-2017.

    I started up a little online pet product business in May 2017 so became self employed.
    I have not yet registered as self employed as i wasn't sure how i do it and the business isn't going great (dont i have 2 years to register i think) im not earning enough to have to pay NI but i do want to pay it voluntary and if i have got it right i could pay class 2?

    Now this is where im confused, the two conditions and overlapping benefit year and the period that my limited capability to work began and tax years.

    What id like to know please is HOW would i be able to claim contribution based ESA? and whats the soonest i could claim it?

    Could i use the tax year 2016-2017 if i pay those missing months to satisfy a condition? if yes what class would i need to pay please?
    If i now register as being self employed for the tax year 2017-2018 and voluntary pay class 2 NI for the complete tax year 2017-2018 would that satisfy the other condition please? would this be 50 times the lower earnings limit?

    If ive got it correct if i do the above i still wouldnt be able to claim contribution based until jan 2019?
    Is that correct? i read something about not having the tax year overlapping with the benefit year in which my limited capability for work started? Dont really understand that bit?

    Do i still have to be self employed in this tax year April 2018-2019 and pay a complete year of NI class 2? im so confused. How much do i have to pay? Do i pay April 2018 to April 2019? but then i want to claim ESA Jan 2019 so do i pay up until December 2018 then claim jan 2019?

    I want to get it completely right if i have to claim but im finding it so confusing could you please help? 
    I basically would like to know what i have to do to be able to claim contribution based ESA and when would be the soonest i could claim it please?
    Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. 

    Ive emailed CAB and even they are not sure what i have to do or if i could claim or not. 

    In short terms if i do the following could i claim contribution based ESA in Jan 2019 please? 
    1) I voluntary pay the 3 missing months NI as class 2 for jan.feb.march 2017 and use the CREDITS from April 2016 to December 2016.
    2) I now register with NI as being self employed from May 2017.
    3) I voluntary pay NI class 2 for April 2017-April 2018.
    If not could you please explain why and what id need to do please? 
    I dont seem to be able to get help from anywhere who knows for sure so if anyone knows a help line/email address where i could get clear answers please? 
    The worry is making me ill. 

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