Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Hi, my name is bisselhead! I am here on behalf of my son-in-law.

bisselheadbisselhead Member Posts: 7 Listener

Back in 2008 my son-in-law received an inheritance which he used to finance himself to study and become qualified as a hypnotherapist. He gave up his full time job to do this so never paid any NI during that period (about a year). He qualified and started his own practice using a spare room and a shared office in a medical centre. A few months later he suffered a stroke and heart attack and for a time it was touch and go whether he would survive. It has left him partially sighted, epileptic and with severe short term memory loss. He currently receives PIP He only receives ESA.in the form of paying his NI. They say he cannot receive any more than that because his assessment is based on the year 2008 when he didn't pay NI. Can this be right.

P.S. I am writing this because my daughter and her husband have become tired trying and a little apprehensive of the DWP following their experience with them. Anyone out there got any Ideas. 

Replies

  • IklepicklesIklepickles Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi I'm new to 
  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
    Hi @bisselhead,

    Welcome to Scope's online community! It's great to have you on board.

    I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've been having. I've moved this post into our dedicated ESA category.

    @BenefitsTrainingCo, can you help?
    Liam
  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
    edited July 2018
    Welcome to the community, @Iklepickles! :)
    Liam
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    Back in 2008 my son-in-law received an inheritance which he used to finance himself to study and become qualified as a hypnotherapist. He gave up his full time job to do this so never paid any NI during that period (about a year). He qualified and started his own practice using a spare room and a shared office in a medical centre. A few months later he suffered a stroke and heart attack and for a time it was touch and go whether he would survive. It has left him partially sighted, epileptic and with severe short term memory loss. He currently receives PIP He only receives ESA.in the form of paying his NI. They say he cannot receive any more than that because his assessment is based on the year 2008 when he didn't pay NI. Can this be right.

    P.S. I am writing this because my daughter and her husband have become tired trying and a little apprehensive of the DWP following their experience with them. Anyone out there got any Ideas. 

    As he's your son-in-law then i'm guessing that he lives with your daughter? Just to confirm what you said, he's receiving no money, just NI contributions from ESA? If so does your daughter work? If she does then Contribution based ESA is based on your national insurance contributions in the previous 2 tax years before his claim started. Being able to claim Income Related ESA will depend on household income.
    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.
  • bisselheadbisselhead Member Posts: 7 Listener
    As I said, he has not received any ESA other than paying his N I since 2008/9 based his previous record.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    As I said, he has not received any ESA other than paying his N I since 2008/9 based his previous record.

    As you haven't answered my question as to whether your daughter works or not, i'll assume she does. Therefore ESA only paying his NI contributions is correct. Income Related ESA is a means tested benefit and to receive this will depend on household income.
    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.
  • bisselheadbisselhead Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Yes, you are right his wife works, but only part time.  His ESA is contribution based and because he didn't pay NI in the year before his first claim  (2008) he doesn't receive any payment.  Will this be the case for the rest of his life?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    How many hours does your daughter work? If it's 24 hours or more then they won't be entitled to any ESA. As they are a couple for Income Related ESA they claim as a couple. With limited information it's very difficult to advise you further.
    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.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Tell them to pop all their details into a benefits calculator. Like i said claiming means tested benefits depends on household income.

    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.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    bisselhead,

    It sounds as if this is all due to timing. If your son in law was claiming contributory ESA in the calendar year 2010 for example, then the tax years used to decide his claim would have been 2007-8 and 2008-9. If he claimed in the calendar year 2009, the tax years used would have been 2006-7 and 2007-8. In either case, unfortunately, I can see why not having paid contributions in 2008 would be a problem. 

    The rule is that you look at the calendar year in which you APPLY for ESA. Then you look at the two complete tax years which don't overlap with that calendar year. Unfortunately it does seem possible that the year in which your son-in-law didn't pay NI was crucial to his ESA claim. 

    You say he gets PIP, which is good. As for a claim for income-related ESA, well that may not be possible any more as it depends on the area you live in. Even if it could be claimed, it won't be possible, as others have advised, if your daughter works 24 hours or more.

    It's possible they might be able to claim Universal Credit, which doesn't have any hours rules. Poppy's advice to use the benefits calculator is a good idea, as this will enable you to check if UC is a possibility, and if so, how much it would be.

    I'd bear in mind that depending on the overall situation, whether they have children, etc, claiming UC can involve having to look for more work. However, in your daughter's situation it's possible she may meet conditions as her partner's carer and therefore not have to look for more work. For your son-in-law, whether he has to look for work would depend on the outcome of the Work Capability Assessment (he should have had one of these as part of his credits-only claim for ESA, but it's possible another assessment will be carried out within UC).

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • bisselheadbisselhead Member Posts: 7 Listener
    I think she works 32 hours a week. He has just had an assessment, declared fit for work, appealled and awarded 8 points. This is the 3rd time since 2008. Someone at the DWP advised my daughter to get some legal advice and of course that costs money they haven't got. 
  • bisselheadbisselhead Member Posts: 7 Listener
    I understand the rules as you described. As he has appealled the assessment results and been successful would it not constitute a new claim?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    As she works 32 hours per week then he won't be entitled to Income related ESA, they will only pay his NI contributions. If he was found fit for work then won his appeal then his NI contributions will re-start but this can take approx 6 weeks.
    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.
  • bisselheadbisselhead Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you each for your comments. It would seem that not signing on the dole back in 2008 when he started studying has proved to be a bad decision. Life can deal some rotten cards sometimes.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Signing on back then would not have helped his claim for contribution based ESA now or in 2008. NI credits from JSA/ESA will only help for your future pension.
    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.
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    @bisselhead, just a thought can you daughter in law not claim working tax credits.

    In my opinion, taking NI contribution from us is a waste of time , we would be better saving the money ourselves because by the time we reach pension age it won’t be worth anything.


  • bisselheadbisselhead Member Posts: 7 Listener
    My thoughts that he would have been better off by signing on in 2008 is that his NI would have been paid.
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