Universal Credit
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Parent failed esa now considering universal credit in family home

chris_simschris_sims Member Posts: 10 Listener
Hi, sorry if similar posts exsist i could not find a particular one that matches what i needed answering.

My mum failed an esa medical but is not well (anxiety/weakness etc)cand unfit for work, she cannot possibly get or find a job and we will contest the decision but if that fails we are not sure on further options because i see universal credit may be a help but she lives with me and my brother that are both adults in full time work and pay the rent/c tax and other normal bills, her benefits are money for her (food/small bills (phone)/clothes etc) so if she was to apply for universal credit would she get anything at all and how does me and my brother effect it as obviously she cant live with no money for herself and we cannot afford to help her directly by giving her money so would they give her anything at all to live on? Any and all help apreciated.

P.s. i have tried the calculators and websites and cant find much that directly take into account our personal situation. Thanks


  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,929 Disability Gamechanger
    Get face to face advice urgently. Once you claim UC there’s no way back to ESA and he may well be worse off and the claim process will likely exacerbate her anxiety considerably. 25% of claims don’t even get to payment. UC claims are taking between 5 and 12 weeks to get to 1st payment so that’s not really a solution here either. 
  • chris_simschris_sims Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Hey and thanks for the reply, yes we will seek advice but if the MR doesnt go through and the tribunal dont pay etc we might not have a choice because she needs some money to live on they cant expect her to survive for months on nothing so UC may be the only option for an income of any sort but even if she is on UC does that mean she cant start a new claim after 5 months on esa and if not why does it work like that? Shes 56 and unfit for work so does UC force u to look for work too or can you stay on it without actively seeking work? Thanks
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,929 Disability Gamechanger
    If found fit then you do an MR and claim JSA. As soon as the latter is live you get a fit note and claim an extended period of sickness, which can last for up to 13 weeks. By that time you should have an MR decision. If unsuccessful you can appeal and can go back onto assessment rate ESA until the appeal is decided. All of this is way better than UC, which is a lobster pot. Once you’re in you’re not coming out. There is no going back to ESA because it ceases to exist for you as soon as a UC claim is made. Note “made” not “awarded”. 

    If on UC then any ESA won at appeal would be treated as income for UC and reduce the amount paid. If she claims UC they’re unlikely to accept a fit note so the claimant commitment will apply to her and yes looking for work will be her only option. 

    There is no reason to claim UC in this scenario. 

    Calculators are okay if you’re a first time claimant in receipt of nothing but other than that there’s little to commend them. Web sites can only give information not advice. They are different things and that’s why you need face to face advice before acting in haste and repenting at leisure. As UC is a lobster pot you could be condemning her to a lifelong significant reduction in her income by claiming UC.
  • chris_simschris_sims Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Many thanks for the detailed answer and i have understood many things i didnt before, it makes sense what you said so UC is a bad option. Either way we will fight this with the MR and then tribunal as we know it will come to that, thank you
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi Chris

    I'm glad that Mike was able to give you this  information as it's true that if you claim UC, you can't get back to ESA.

    I would just add that there are some people better off on UC than on ESA.

    These are normally people who are definitely not able to work but who don't qualify for disability benefits.  A single person in the limited capability for work related activity group and who doesn' t live alone is likely to get £127.15 per week on ESA  plus housing costs; the same person would get the monthly equivalent of £149.11 per week plus housing costs on UC.

    However, there is no advantage for being on UC if you are in the work-related activity group, and for new UC claims, the person doesn't even get a  work-related activity group element, as that is paid only on claims made before April 2017. People who transfer form ESA to UC should get the work-related activity group money transferred over, if they qualify for it before they move over to UC. 

    Just for information.

    Good luck with your Mum's ESA appeal. Be sure to argue for the support group as well as just for ESA, if she should be in the support group. I hope that you find local advice to help you. 

    Do contact the helpline if there's no-one available locally and we will do the best we can over the phone. 

    Scope Helpline
    Tel: 0808 800 3333



  • chris_simschris_sims Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Thanks Gill, we will do all we can to fight as thats all we can do and i apreciate all the help and advice on here
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Thanks Chris/ Please let us all know how this progresses. 
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