Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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advice needed rest ESA please

Hello I am new here and need some advice about ESA - I have been assessed and put on income related ESA in support group - I want to change to contribution based ESA  but am worried that I will have to go through the whole distressing / degrading application all over again. Is it possible to simply change to contribution based ? - any advice very much appreciated -thankyou  Cathy 

Replies

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

    If you started your claim as Income Related then it's not possible to change to Contributions based. If you were entitled to Contribution based when you applied for ESA then it would be this you were claiming. Contribution based depends on NI contributions in the previous 2 years before your claim.

    May i ask why you want to change to Contribution based and why you think it's possible?
    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.
  • cathysclaimcathysclaim Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi - Thank-you for replying - I understand that I have the NI contributions needed and am worried an inheritance I am due will push me over the means tested income related ESA  .............this is why I wanted to find out if I could change ESA to contribution based. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    When you first claimed ESA if you had the correct NI contributions needed at that time then you would have most definitely been put onto Contributions based ESA. If you didn't and your circumstances allowed it then you would have been placed onto Income Related ESA. You can't claim Contribution based benefits from NI credits from claiming benefits like ESA, JSA, Income Support or Universal Credit. It's possible that your ESA claim is Contribution based with an Income Related top up.

    The easiest way to answer the question is, did you work and pay NI contributions in the 2 tax years before you claimed ESA? Or another way to look at it is do you live with a partner that works?

    If the answer is no to working then you would be claiming Income Related ESA and you can't change from this to CB ESA.

    When your inheritance hits your bank if this takes over the savings/capital amounts then you need to report the changes. Anything over £6,000 will affect any means tested benefits £1 for every £250 over and £16,000 will stop all of your means tested benefits like housing benefit, council tax reduction and ESA Income Related.

    The conditions for claiming CB benefits when you first started claiming ESA are explained here. https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/employment-and-support-allowance-contribution-based

    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.
  • cathysclaimcathysclaim Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank-you Poppy for such a helpful and full explaination - the whole system can be very confusing and difficult to understand.................... I will go and check credits etc - I appreciate the information / links  - thanks Cathy 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2018
    No problem. What you really need to do is check any recent letter you have or ring ESA and ask what exactly you're claiming, whether it's Income Related or Contribution based with an Income related top up. If it's fully income related then you absolutely can't transfer to Contribution based.
    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.
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