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. 

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes ESA can be backdated 3 months from the date you claim but you must put the date you want your claim to start from on the form. You will need a fit/sick note from your GP from the date you want to claim it from and you'll need to continue to send those fit notes until you're assessed and a decision is made on your claim, this could potentially be several months.

    You'll need evidence to support your claim once they send you the work capability form and this needs to be sent with the form to support your claim.

    Also be aware that New style ESA is only payable for 52 weeks unless you're placed into the Support Group (LCWRA)

    See Support Group descriptors here.

    Reg 35 here.



    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.
  • yellow2018yellow2018 Member Posts: 22 Listener
    Hello, I appreciate the reply.

    Just a few points of clarification:
    Would a GP be able/willing to backdate a fit note to the date I saw them in December in order for me to claim from that date? As stated, I haven't been able to work for many years, so nothing has changed.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You will need to speak to your GP about that because only he/she will be able to tell you yes or no. Was there any reason why you didn't claim ESA back in December?
    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.
  • yellow2018yellow2018 Member Posts: 22 Listener
    I just had not heard of it and was recently told it was something I should look at, as I have been unable to work for all of those years. As I only saw my GP less than a month ago, I think he should be alright with that. I appreciate your help. Ultimately, my final question is if I can get the backdated fitness note to December and can backdate my esa claim to start then... will the DWP then look at my NI contributions from 15-16 and 16-17, as they would if I had claimed on that date... or will they base it on the current benefits year (runs from the first sunday of each year), and look at 16-17, 17-18 , where I would not have a full set of contributions... This is the crucial issue for me.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    If it's backdated then they should look at 15-16/ 16-17 but of course you can't claim it without the fit note. Assessment rate New style ESA is £73.10 per week.
    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.
  • totspringtotspring Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Good luck with your claim, as mine was rejected due to insufficient NI contribution although I was awarded ESA. I now have a letter saying that ESA did pay my NI but its different from paid employment contribution!!! confused or what!!!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    NI credits through ESA are purely for state pension only and won't help you claim Contributions based benefits. To be eligible for this you need to have work and paid enough NI contributions in the previous 2 tax years.
    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.
  • totspringtotspring Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Thanks for that advice, I was worried I would have to pay gap.
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