Pause in my ESA whilst abroad — Scope | Disability forum
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Pause in my ESA whilst abroad

I am claiming income based ESA. I am abroad receiving medical treatment for the condition that I am claiming ESA. For this reason I continue to receive the benefit.

On the 5/07/2018 I would have been abroad (India) for 26 weeks. I am coming back to the UK on the 30/07/2018. 

Should my ESA be stopped or is it possible to pause it ? 
Do I need to make a fresh claim when I come back to the UK?
Is there some underlying entitlement here for ESA which means I can resume the claim when I get home?

Comments

  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi RSISolutions

    You continue to be entitled to  ESA for 26 weeks if you are receiving medical treatment for your ESA condition and your absence abroad is not likely to exceed 52 weeks. 

    As far as I can tell, your claim would then be closed and you would have to reclaim either income - related ESA or universal credit (UC) upon your return, depending upon whether the geographical area you return to has become a full service UC area meanwhile.   

    The exception would be if you are getting NHS treatment abroad, when you can be paid as long as the treatment lasts. 

    You could write to or phone the ESA department and ask whether they can keep your claim open, if this is better for you. Please let me know if this turns out to be possible  - it would add to my knowledge, if it can be done. (I think it can't be done because I think this is about entitlement as opposed to payability; payability can be withdrawn without entitlement ending, but the wording i have seen talks about entitlement). 

    Gill_Scope
  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
     Hi 
    I have been on the phone to the DWP. I spoke to them about your point above However, they say the claim has to be closed because I am still abroad but when I get back to the UK I can ring them up again and do a 'Rapid Reclaim' to speed up the process of signing on again. Thank you. 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi RSISolutions

    Right, but I don't think that you can do a rapid reclaim of income-related benefit when you return to a full service Universal Credit  (UC) area. 

    IF UC is already installed in your geographical area of the UK, then I think your ESA claim will have stopped and can't be restarted. 

    https://ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate

    It is different for contributory ESA however, and this can still be claimed in a  full service UC area.  

    Gill_Scope


  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
    Hi. Thanks for this. I checked your link and UC doesn't start in my area until October 2018.
    I am on income based ESA. How long do I have after returning home to start the ''Rapid Reclaim'? 
     
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,890 Disability Gamechanger
    Rapid reclaim is within 12 weeks.
  • yozy
    yozy Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I am claiming income based ESA. I am abroad receiving medical treatment for the condition that I am claiming ESA. For this reason I continue to receive the benefit.

    On the 5/07/2018 I would have been abroad (India) for 26 weeks. I am coming back to the UK on the 30/07/2018. 

    Should my ESA be stopped or is it possible to pause it ? 
    Do I need to make a fresh claim when I come back to the UK?
    Is there some underlying entitlement here for ESA which means I can resume the claim when I get home?
    Hi

    I have some questions please.

    Before you went to India did you let the DWP/JCP know you were going, and for how long? Did they approve of your reason?

    In other words, did they actually know you were away? And what happened after your last post in here?
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,351 Disability Gamechanger
    @yozy I'm afraid the OP hasn't been on scope since last September.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,067 Disability Gamechanger
    yazy - this thread is two years old. RSIsolutions has not visited the site for over 6 months.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
    That's true. 
  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
    Yes I let them know. They approved of the reason. I came back from India and restarted my claim with no bother. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,067 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes I let them know. They approved of the reason. I came back from India and restarted my claim with no bother. 
    But because this was two years ago before UC was fully rolled out it may not be relevant now. I would expect the ESA claim to be closed if the permitted absence period is exceeded and that UC would need to claimed upon return.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
    I was allowed to leave the country for 6 months and continued to be paid ESA during this time. I told them why I was going abroad and this was permitted. I sayed for more than 6 months for the same reason as they allowed in the first place and they kept the claim open but no money was paid. When I returned the ESA money was paid again. The claim never closed. I continued getting ESA payments up unitl I signed off this year. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,067 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 6
    The claim never closed. I continued getting ESA payments up unitl I signed off this year. 
    But your experience is two years old and DWP may take a different approach now.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
    Regardless. This question does not need to be answered anymore as I found out the benefit rules when I returned in 2018. 
  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous

    calcotti said:
    The claim never closed. I continued getting ESA payments up unitl I signed off this year. 
    But your experience is two years old and DWP may take a different approach now.
    That's fine. I'm not asking the question any more. This thread is 2.5 years old. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,067 Disability Gamechanger
    RSISolutions said: This thread is 2.5 years old. 
    Exactly my point!
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • yozy
    yozy Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I was allowed to leave the country for 6 months and continued to be paid ESA during this time. I told them why I was going abroad and this was permitted. I sayed for more than 6 months for the same reason as they allowed in the first place and they kept the claim open but no money was paid. When I returned the ESA money was paid again. The claim never closed. I continued getting ESA payments up unitl I signed off this year. 
    Thanks for replying. I appreciate this thread is 2.5 year's old. It's very hard to find this information out and your information here seemed very relevant and useful.

    Just to be clear:

    Before you left for India you called them up, told them you're going to be away for 6 months and will be receiving medical treatment. And they said that would be fine as long as it does not exceed 6 months. That right?

    But as far as I am aware, on IR ESA you're only allowed out the country up to 4 weeks, no? And it's only those on Cont. ESA that are allowed out for up to 26 weeks if they are receiving medical treatment? Not IR ESA...

    Was your medical treatment western style treatment or was it of the spiritual healing/eastern kind?

    Did you provide proof of the medical treatment?

    In your original post you state you had exceeded the 26 weeks and was still in India. When you called them up from India to explain this, they were okay and they just paused the claim (stopped payments temporarily)?

    Then when you got back they resumed payments again?
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,067 Disability Gamechanger
    yozy said: But as far as I am aware, on IR ESA you're only allowed out the country up to 4 weeks, no? And it's only those on Cont. ESA that are allowed out for up to 26 weeks if they are receiving medical treatment? Not IR ESA...
    There is no difference in the rules for income based or contribution based ESA.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
    At the time there was a rule that said you could go away for up to 6 months to get medical treatment for the reason that you were claiming ESA. I got a letter from my GP approving the visit to the medical centre in India and gave this to the DWP. 

     I had tried everything on the NHS and it hadnt worked. The medical centre abroad offered something different and they were also experts in my condition. My GP had no problem in writing the letter. 

    When I went I wasnt sure how long I would stay for. I went to the country on a medical visa. I provided proof of the medical treatment to the DWP. I provided letters from the medical centre and also detailed proof of all my expenditure. 

    Yes - the ESA payments were paused after 6 months and resumed when I got back to the UK. 

    The whole trip was worth it because I got considerably better. 

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