Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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A few questions about claim

val54val54 Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hello all

My son is 26, he has been signed of work with Anxiety and Depression by the doctors since 17th May. He usually works 10 hours a week @ £73 weekly. Took his first fit note into his works for him, and they have said he is not entitled to SSP as he doesnt work enough hours. They said HR was sending him form SSP1 and his fitnote back, that was over a week ago (said posted 7th MAy), son has already filled form ESA1 ready to go, just waiting on the SSP1 from employer.
I have checked on the Benefits checker to see if he is entitled to ESA, but it says he isnt.
Can anyone tell me if this is right or not? If it is, there is no point in applying for it. He hasn't paid enough NI in the last 2 years as he doesnt work or earn enough to contribute.
He is due back at the doctors tomorrow and will more than likely get another fitnote signing him of for another 2 weeks, he has had no money coming in since his last shift on the 17th may.
Thanks in advance

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Does your son live with a partner that works? If he doesn't then he'll be entitled to claim Income Related ESA, rather than Contribution based. Income Related ESA is a means tested benefit and household income will depend whether he can claim or not.

    He also need to check what's in his area, if he's in a full Universal Credit are then he won't be able to claim Income Related ESA, it will have to be Universal Credit.
    Check his area through this link.

    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.
  • val54val54 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi,
    Thanks for response.
    My son doesn’t have a partner, he lives with us his parents still.
    Ive just checked the link, yes we are in a full Universal Credit area, and according to benefits checker, he will get £26 a week. 
    How does it work? Is it the same process as if claiming ESA? I.e, same money ? 13 weeks before assessment?  Does he have to sign on at JC every other week to get it? If that’s the case I think he will leave it tbh, he doesn’t want to sign on, if he has to do this, he might aswell ask work to make him unemployed so he can get full UC. 
    Sorry for all questions, only his manager told him he could sign of work with sick pay or look for another job, turns out he can’t get sick pay, so HR of the company have told him to claim ESA andvthere sending form out, and now he can’t and has to claim UC? how confusing lol!!! 

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    val54,

    That is good advice from Poppy, and I agree. Unfortunately your son doesn't earn enough to get sick pay, and he hasn't paid enough national insurance to get contributory ESA. It's no wonder the company have given him confusing advice, as most employers don't really understand Universal Credit (UC), but yes that is the benefit he needs to claim.

    There isn't an assessment phase in UC, which means that you can be expected to look for work whilst you're waiting for your medical. If your son claimed & handed in sick notes, he wouldn't have to look for work for the first 14 days. After that though, it's difficult to say as it would depend on his work coach (the person who tries to help him back to work at the JobCentre). The work coach might agree that he doesn't have to look for work until he's had a result from a Work Capability Assessment (a medical like the one you have for ESA), or they might say he has to look for some limited part-time work whilst he's waiting for the medical. 

    From what you're saying, the reason he'd only get £26 a week is because work are still paying him something? Or perhaps because he hasn't had his last payment of earnings from them? If he claims after he has stopped getting any payments from work, then he should be entitled to full UC for his circumstances, which is £317.82 a month (or about £73 a week). The bigger question of what he'd have to do for his UC though depends on the work coach after the first 14 days, and then eventually on the medical assessment & a form called UC50 which your son would have to fill in before going to the assessment.  He might get more money following the assessment, but only if he is found to have limited capability for work-related activity (for example, if his condition is so bad that even work preparation like training courses might be a risk to his health). If he is only found to have limited capability for work, he wouldn't have to look for jobs but he might be required to do things like training and CV preparation, and he wouldn't get any extra money (ie, nothing on top of the £317.82).

    As you've probably discovered by now, you claim UC online & then you usually have to make an appointment to agree a claimant commitment (and sometimes a separate one to verify your identity if you haven't been able to do this online).

    Another thought is whether your son might qualify for PIP? This is completely separate to UC and he could claim it if his condition affects his daily life at home, or getting out and about. The PIP self-test is here which is a good thing to use to check if someone qualifies. PIP can be claimed whether or not someone is working. I hope you feel you have a clearer idea of things now, & can help him decide what to do. 

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • val54val54 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you for that, what’s confusing is, does he still have to go to see a coach at the job centre and actually look for work? As he fully intends to go back to his job. Hopefully in the not too distant future
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