On ESA But Want To Move Home. UC Process is Worrying Me So Much! — Scope | Disability forum
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On ESA But Want To Move Home. UC Process is Worrying Me So Much!

NatureSeeker Member Posts: 10 Listener
edited October 2018 in Universal Credit (UC)
I put a post up a few weeks ago. I need less domestic stress in my life, and to move to a healthier home. I started to look into moving back to Scotland from England, found an ideal place, and I couldn't believe how great it seemed.... but have hit MANY obstacles. I feel overwhelmed right now, and the house I found will probably be taken by someone else. I can't believe I have another winter in this damp hovel. Why do the government keep changing things and persecuting the disabled and the struggling!?

I'm on ESA (Support Group). My last assessment was at home in July 2016. Looks like they shelved me for a few years, but I wasn't told that. I guess I could be reassessed any time now. I live in a full UC area, and found out that if I want to move I will have to apply for UC. After a few weeks of reading things online, and almost completing the online journal, I still don't feel happy about it. I phoned the help line and told them I don't get sick notes any more, I'm on ESA, and they said I have to complete the form, then call them to 'make an appointment.' I have acute anxiety, agoraphobia, and some physical issues and chronic fatigue too. Stirring all this up again is intolerable. I can't stay here, but I don't want to claim UC either.

Since I'd got my partner to start a claim for PIP, we started the UC claim as a couple, and we thought it would help me avoid the assessments and meetings because I am his carer. I feel trapped again. I don't even go to my doctor because I'm so fed up and neglecting myself. I don't sleep and can't get to blood tests or early appointments. The thought of going to interviews and assessments and asking for sick notes is so depressing.

If he gets PIP, and applies for UC, does that mean I have to apply for UC as well, or can I stay on ESA and he could become the tenancy holder, and we could get the new Scottish tenancy under his name? I guess if we say we're a couple I will have to go over to UC too? If I do, and he needs care for over 35 hours a week, should I get left alone and not expected to work or go for an assessment? I already put on my part of the UC form that I have health problems/disabilities, and I cant see anywhere to edit my 'journal'. This all seems like a sick joke, which is par for the course with government schemes.


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,919 Disability Gamechanger

    Have you moved house? As you say you've claimed UC as a couple and i'm not sure why, if you haven't moved house. Your ESA were you claiming as a couple, if you weren't claiming as a couple it must have been contributions based, yes?

    Sorry for the questions but some things aren't clear by your post.
  • NatureSeeker
    NatureSeeker Member Posts: 10 Listener


    Have you moved house? As you say you've claimed UC as a couple and i'm not sure why, if you haven't moved house. Your ESA were you claiming as a couple, if you weren't claiming as a couple it must have been contributions based, yes?

    Sorry for the questions but some things aren't clear by your post.
    Hi Poppy,

    I'm still in the same old property. I enquired about the new place, but as soon as I realised about UC I told the owner that I would be delayed, and she still has the house up online for rent.

    My partner only moved in with me full time earlier this year. He was staying between me, his mum, and other friends, as my flat is so tiny and bad for his health, but he fell out with his mum, and his health got so bad, we decided we had no choice but for him to move in here and rest, and start to apply for some money for him. We are still in the process, it's taking ages. His health means things move at a snail's pace, but he phoned up about PIP, even though he didn't want to claim any money for a long time. He saw it as limiting him and that he'd failed. He hasn't claimed any help for over 10 years, and has been living off my ESA, but I was just claiming ESA for myself, even though he is bed bound now, and is entitled to more money than I am! I've had to do what I can to look after him. We've had to start from scratch, getting him any sort of ID, which we're still not there yet with. All he has got so far is his NI number. Which took weeks. He hasn't been well enough to get to the doctor to ask for a letter so he can fully open his basic bank account. I feel like I'm stuck and things will never be sorted.

    I just don't know the best way to proceed with UC, I know it'll be easier when his PIP is granted, which will take months, but UC is stressful and complicated. I know there is a disability advice centre 20 mins walk away, but his fatigue and pain is so bad, we rarely get out. He doesn't sleep at night, just most of the day instead. We have no access to a car, and buses aren't great here. What a situation!!

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,919 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2018
    May i ask why you're not claiming ESA as a couple? as you're living together as a couple then you should be claiming as couple and you shouldn't be claiming as a single person.

    As you're now living together you're classed as a couple and he can't claim UC in his own right. If he's paid enough NI Contributions in the previous 2 tax years from working then he could claim Contributions based ESA but because he's not worked a lot then i highly doubt he would qualify for that.

    You need to ring ESA to add him to your claim, couples rate ESA pays more than single person's rate and is approx £40 more per week.

    As you're claiming housing benefit have you reported the change in circumstances to your local council? If not then you need to ring them and do this. There's also council tax reduction, if you were claiming the single person discount before he moved in with you then you no longer qualify for this reduction, so your local council need to be told about him living with you.

    All changes in circumstances must be reported.

    Are you claiming PIP or DLA for yourself?
  • NatureSeeker
    NatureSeeker Member Posts: 10 Listener
    I had no idea that you could/should claim ESA as a couple!! Won't that change also trigger a move to UC anyway? It's all so confusing. I'll look into it today. Thanks. I haven't told the council that he moved in as I was planning on leaving, splitting up with him, until this last couple of weeks when I realised all the hurdles in my way. I'm stuck here, so we sort of decided to stay together for now.  I can't even get myself somewhere to live. We've sort of worked out the idea to stay together so that we can get our finances and home location sorted out, and figure out if we can stay together once things finally settle. I guess we are a couple again, but it's very unsettled. I sleep in the livingroom on a chair bed, and I've been on the verge of leaving so often. Originally I got him to start the claim for benefits so that he could take on this tenancy when I left to go back to Scotland alone, as soon as I could. Even though I think this place is very bad for his health. There is nowhere else we can find that is in an ok area here that takes housing benefit, other than single rooms, and his health means he can't live in that set up. That's why we have to go to Scotland instead, he realises that's the only way to get one or both of us out of this substandard environment. We have to try to think and function through health problems and fatigue that are made worse by this place.
  • NatureSeeker
    NatureSeeker Member Posts: 10 Listener
    I'm not claiming PIP or DLA. I just couldn't stand the extra stress and interviews involved. I know I may have to look into PIP now though, to help my UC claim, but I just can't get things straight in my head. I've had a migraine for 3 days now. It's too much to take in.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,919 Disability Gamechanger
    Adding him to your ESA claim will not prompt a move to UC. As soon as he moved in with you, you should have reported those changes.

    Has he ever worked since he's lived with you? Self employed, anything?

    In the area that you're living in now you won't have to change to UC because you're already claiming ESA and housing benefit. He won't be able to claim UC in his own right because he's your partner and you're classed as couple for benefit purposes.

    If you move to a different local council in the future then this will mean you'll have to claim UC and then your ESA will transfer to this. A PIP claim will not help a claim for UC because they're different benefits.

    If you didn't ring DWP today then you must ring them tomorrow morning and claim as a couple and then ring your local council and report those changes. It's highly likely you will owe money for council tax because you've been claiming the single person discount and shouldn't have been.


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