Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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new style esa - new claim

Hello,

I was hoping to get some advice from someone, as it is unclear for me from what I have read extensively elsewhere. Here's my situation.

I was in receipt of Carer's Allowance (and therefore the Carers N.I Credit) for Tax Years 2015-16, and 2016-17. So I have two years of credits and because I was on Carer's Allowance, I should be entitled to new style, (contributory) esa... However, the issue is that the Benefits Year as stated by the DWP ended this Sunday, so the relevant tax years for contributions from this point onwards is now 16-17 and 17-18, (I stopped getting Carer's Allowance in late 2017, so this would mean I'm not entitled. I have read that ESA can be backdated 3 months (so I would be starting my claim in the previous Benefits Year, and therefore eligible with my 15-16, 16-17 contribution)... Firstly, I wanted to know whether this three month timescale is correct specifically for new style esa. Also, do I need any kind of proof of illness or certificate from a Doctor to be allowed to backdate, or can this just be requested on the phone when starting your claim? I have not yet got Sick note from my GP. I saw him back in December and I talked about me potentially claiming ESA, so it wouldn't be a problem. I have not got any Sick notes yet as I have not worked for over 29 years due to Depression and Anxiety. Please note: I wouldn't be eligible for income-related/Universal Credit due to my Husband's Pension Income, so this is not applicable.   


Basically any advice on my likelihood to be able to start a claim for new-style esa based on my full two years of contributions and tax years 15-16 and 16-17, would be much appreciated. 

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