Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Contribution ESA - tax years

Hello All! 

I have read the govt's website regarding the 'new style ESA' and I am slightly confused about the tax years and benefit years link. 

I will be apply to contribution-based ESA but wanted to know which tax years would be taken into account? I fell ill on the 11th April 2019 and have been advised to stay off from work by the community mental health team. Sorry if this has been asked and answered, but would the tax years they will take into consideration 2017/18 and 2018/19 for me? Or do they mean the tax years before the benefit year (running from Jan to Dec), in which case they would consider 2017/18 and 2016/17 as my tax years?

I am asking because this would impact eligibility as I was working part-time in 2016/17 and did not earn enough to pay national insurance enough times to deem 2016/17 a qualifying year.

Thank you for your help!

Deb

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    The first thing to look at claiming will be SSP from your employer, this is paid for 28 weeks.

    For a new style ESA claims made in 2019 the relevant NI Contributions are those made from April 2016 to March 2018. Must have 50 weeks of contributions or credits in each of these years and in one of these years must have at least 26 weeks of actual contributions.


    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.
  • veryconfused19veryconfused19 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi,

    Thank you for your help! Sorry, should have mentioned I am self-employed and paid NI contributions voluntarily for the past two tax years. My 2016/17 NI contributions are little all over the place but HMRC confirmed as I was not self employed, I can only make class 3 contributions which don't count for contribution-based benefits. 

    Do you know if it is possible to have 2018/19 be taken into consideration at all for a claim made now? Or is that a steadfast rule?
  • veryconfused19veryconfused19 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Also, if it makes a difference - I have qualified years from 2003/04. 2016/17 is the only year that I have a gap in my NI contributions/qualifying years.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    It's the 2 previous years that count and there's no relaxed rule for this. The only time there's a relax rule is if you claimed Carers Allowance for looking after someone in the past year, then any year of NI contributions count.

    Are you able to claim Universal Credit? It's means tested and if you live with a partner then you'll have to claim as a couple.
    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.
  • veryconfused19veryconfused19 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you for the help, Poppy. I think I am eligible but may be worse off on UC currently - I was advised to avoid triggering moving to UC whilst I'm currently unwell. I will head over to the citizens advice bureau after the long weekend and see what my options are. Thank you anyway.
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