Claimed Income related ESA using form ES3. Reply letter says must claim Universal credit. Why? — Scope | Disability forum
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Claimed Income related ESA using form ES3. Reply letter says must claim Universal credit. Why?

My welfare rights advisors have told me under no circumstances to apply for universal credit and that the DWP AND my local council offices will tell me I must claim it and can't claim Employment and Support Allowance. I had felt some reassurance and had been spreading the word to others about this outrageous situation. Very stressed as have today received letter from Job Centre Plus post handling site B saying in second paragraph and onwards;

The area you live in is a Universal Credit Full Service area. This means that you can not claim Employment and Support Allowance and must make a claim for Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is a monthly payment for people who are on low income or are out of work. It's being rolled out in stages across the UK and is replacing other benefits. How much you'll get depends on your circumstances, including your income and how many children you have.

You now need to make a claim for Universal Credit.
If you have any questions ( telephone numbers and times).'


This letter ignores the fact that I am already on ESA and am claiming for the higher rate because my income has changed, due to breakup of relationship so that I now live alone. I can speak to welfare rights people locally - they are good and helped me fill in my form but over the weekend I am feeling bad so is there anything I can do? Can anyone advise? 

I am recovering from cancer and have CPTSD.


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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,209 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    When you lived with your partner were you claiming Contributions based ESA or were you claiming ESA as a couple?
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,212 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you notified them of a change in circumstance ?
    Do you claim SDP ?
    Do you claim PIP ?

    At the moment a change in circumstance can trigger a change to UC. The current exception is if you are claiming SDP then you cannot make a claim for UC and will have to wait for managed migration to start
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    poppy12345 I was claiming Contributions based ESA for myself alone. My partner worked at first but then retired. I claimed this other income based one when he left in November. 


  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    Can I ask what Brian Blessed means on both your posts? Confused as to whether you are the same person!
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,212 Disability Gamechanger
    Brian Blessed tag is given by Scope to members that respond frequently to questions. It is a bit confusing
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    Not used to how to see answers- keep getting logged out
  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    I kind of wish they wouldn't! 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,209 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2019
    Lilegg said:
    Can I ask what Brian Blessed means on both your posts? Confused as to whether you are the same person!
    That's just based on the number of posts we've made. If you look closer that's not our forum name, my name is Poppy123456. We are not the same people. The other person's name is CockneyRebel.

    To answer your question. As you already have a claim for ESA then there should be no reason why you can't claim the income related top up, it's just filling out the ESA3 form.
  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
     My original post was long so sum it up I can say that I want to stay on ESA but need to qualify for a higher rate than I have been on because my partner has gone and so I have less coming in. I have been told by 3 different bodies concerned with welfare rights, Macmillan CAB, BUCFP in Brighton and the FED that I should not apply for UC. Despite this legally sound advice the ESA office has replied to my application for ESA (Income based) by saying I need to claim UC as it is being rolled out in our area.

    This is an official government letter.  This sort of letter makes claimants vulnerable and in my view is a way to deflect us from benefits we are entitled to.

    There is no way back onto ESA once one has been taken off, even if one can prove it was caused by incorrect advice from the benefits agency. 

    All of us need to protect ourselves against this and work together to change it. Any ideas what to do next Poppy or Cockney?

  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    Oh and CR  - apologies, I don' know what SDP is.... I am claiming PIP and am entitled to ESA too. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,209 Disability Gamechanger
    SDP (severe disability premium) is paid on top of Income related ESA to those that live alone, or classed as living alone, no one must be claiming carers allowance for you. You must also be claiming daily living PIP. Of course you need to be claiming income related to claim this as it's not paid on contributions based.

    As i advised, as you already have an ESA claim then there's no reason why you can't claim the income related top up. I can't find anything online that says otherwise. If i find something, i'll post a link. In the meantime i'd advise contacting your local MP and explain your situation, maybe they can help you.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,209 Disability Gamechanger
    One thing that comes to my mind. Are you claim old style contributions based ESA or new style ESA? The answer to this could change things completely.

  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    Oh Poppy this is great. My Mp is very good and already helped me when I had my PIP taken away. I got it back thanks to working full time on it with a temp PA and various welfare rights groups where I live. (Can give more detail of them and what they said if needed but trying to keep to the point). I am receiving PIP but not the higher mobility rate which I am awaiting a tribunal for. I wonder if there was no mention or discussion of SDP  because I don't fit the criteria? I have good physical mobility ( can walk, exercise etc) but can be immobilised for other reasons - i.e. the activation of the trauma elements of severe ( complex) PTSD. Its hard to explain but terrifying flashbacks are the one most people understand.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,209 Disability Gamechanger
    Please answer my question above. Are you claiming old style Contributions based ESA or new style ESA? If you're not sure then  how long have you been claiming ESA for?
  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    Hi poppy , I didn't see this at first but I am currently receiving contributions based ESA but need and have applied for using ES3 form, the income related one. Is that's the new style one you refer to? I am so sorry I didn't see this for ages Poppy. ESA since 2015/16. My records need organising at moment but a long time. Does this answer you ok?
  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    edited February 2019
    I was diagnosed with Breast cancer in Sept 2015 and didn't claim for a month or two as I was too ill and too shocked. I have all the award letters on file. I can look later for precise date if it helps? - but end of 2015. I think I should go and get some sun and come back in  a while as I need the outdoors.  Hoping other kind bloggers can also enjoy the sun if you have it where you are. I will be back very soon though so please do post any replies. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,209 Disability Gamechanger
    Lilegg said:
    Hi poppy , I didn't see this at first but I am currently receiving contributions based ESA but need and have applied for using ES3 form, the income related one. Is that's the new style one you refer to? I am so sorry I didn't see this for ages Poppy. ESA since 2015/16. My records need organising at moment but a long time. Does this answer you ok?
    No problem at all, it's easily missed. My guess is because you claimed back in 2015 then it will be the old style contributions based ESA. This means that my advice above is correct, there should be no problems with you claiming the income related top up. Definitely contact your local MP regarding this. Good luck and please come back and let us know the outcome.

    If no one claims carers allowance for looking after you and you're claiming the daily living award of PIP then you should be claiming the Severe disability premium on top of your contributions based ESA. This premium and the Enhanced disability premium will give you an extra £80.70 per week.
  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    Thanks Poppy. My daughter claimed carer's allowance for a while but then stopped as she couldn't care for me due to her work. I wonder if that is what they have seen other record going back? I answered truthfully that nobody claims Carer's allowance for me and they don't but someone did a long time ago. 
    An extra £80.70 would be great. 
    I will definitely keep you all up to speed. I feel this is a very good forum. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,209 Disability Gamechanger
    The reason you can't claim the SDP now is because your claim is contributions based. You need to be claiming the income related top up before you can apply for the SDP.
  • Lilegg
    Lilegg Member Posts: 60 Connected
    Ah yes, I understood that as you explained clearly. It' snot t issue though. I applied for income based before Christmas and my post here is about being refused it today. In the letter I received today it says;   The area you live in is a universal credit service area. This means that you cannot claim employment and support allowance and must make a claim for universal credit.
    Once again I have been warned so many times not to fall for this and have been told that I'm fully entitled by law, to claim as I currently am doing, employment and support allowance. I have had a payment of this, albeit at the lower rate that I am currently on into my bank account this week. Because my partner has left I should be entitled to more ESA and I've applied using form ES3 but this letter of reply from job centre plus says I cannot claim Income related and puts pressure on me to apply for a benefit which would give me much less support, the notorious Universal Credit.  I don't want to claim SDP, just income related ESA ( IR ESA). Maybe I will need to claim SDP too later on but for now just IR ESA is what I seek.
    Universal credit cannot be left once you are on it so I feel like a cat on hot tin roof here. Thanks everyone. We'll get to the bottom of this. I hope that we can get as many people as we can their proper entitlement.
    Yes my Mp will be very keen to take this up. She's a good sort.

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