Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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moving from universal credit to employment support allowance

carledcarled Member Posts: 1 Listener
Hello,
I'm on universal credit at the moment,and in the not fit for work or work related activity group.I am expecting a small inheritance in a few months time which will take me over the £16,000 limit.
I have been told that I can apply for contribution based ESA when this happens as I was getting carers allowance for six years before I made my claim for UC last July,therefore I was getting class one NI contributions.Is this correct? and if it is will I need to have another medical assessment,or will the one I had for UC count towards my ESA claim?
Thank you.

Replies

  • Garfield412Garfield412 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    hi carled,

    it is possible, having done a Internet search there seems to be evidence to confirm your query but it does seem to be on individual case-by-case basis dependant on your personal circumstances.

    in depth information can be found on this website I was looking at 
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-if-you-have-a-disability-or-health-condition-quick-guide/universal-credit-if-you-have-a-disability-or-health-condition#moving-from-employment-and-support-allowance-to-universal-credit

    this doesnt cover your situation exactly but does give some advice...

    hope this helps.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,560 Disability Gamechanger
    Are you saying you’re not already on contribution based ESA? What were you on before UC?
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @carled, and a warm welcome to the community!
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    carled,

    With contributory benefits we look at 'benefit years' (the year you claim in) and contribution years (which are like tax years).
    Your entitlement could quite literally change if you are claiming in 2019 (strictly speaking, after the first Sunday in 2019, which will be 6th Jan). But I'll explain the rules below & you'll see what I mean.

    Mike's question is quite important - do you know that you're not getting contributory ESA now? And what were you getting before UC?

    Leaving that for now, you can meet the first contribution condition via earnings at some point in the past if you were entitled to CA in the last complete tax year before the benefit year. If you claim in 2018, that would be the tax year 2016/17. It sounds like you were on CA then, so that's helpful. If you claim in 2019, we'd be looking at 2017/18 - that would also be ok, as long as you were getting CA for the whole of 2017/18.

    If you do meet that condition, then you still need to have had earnings at some point - there must be a tax year in the past where you had earnings, and you must have earned enough to reach the lower earnings limit for that year multiplied by 26. To put it another way, there has to be a tax year in the past when you would have met the first contribution condition via actual paid work - it can be employed or self-employed. How your earnings are calculated is different for employed and self-employed work, but for example, for employed work, it would mean having at least 26 weeks in the tax year where you earned at least the lower earnings limit for that year.

    There's a second contribution condition, which would have to be met in either 2016/17 and 2015/16 (if you claim in 2018) or 2017/18 and 2016/17 (if you claim in 2019). That condition can be met by NI credits, so it sounds as if you'd be fine for that one.

    I'd just be careful to check your tax years and not delay your claim to 2019 unless you are sure that will work just as well. There's no reason not to claim cont ESA now, it will just come off your UC so you'd end up with exactly the same amount of money, & UC should be more than your cont ESA so you should still have some UC payable until the inheritance turns up.

    Re the medical assessment, a LCWRA decision in UC counts for what the DWP call 'new style ESA', so no, you don't have to have a new assessment & there should be no delay in you getting your support component in ESA. However, there's nothing to stop them carrying out an assessment at any time for various reasons (to check whether there's been a change, for example), though depending on your condition you may have a decision from your last WCA which recommends that you are not reassessed again.

    So, it sounds like the advice you've got may be partially correct, but I'd still want to ask whether you have worked at some time in the past (or perhaps got a form of contributory ESA when you were much younger, although I don't think this applies to you as if this was the case, the contribution conditions might not be relevant at all).

    Hope this helps!

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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