Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

ESA support group and student finance

Hi I'm new here so I hope I'm posting this in the right place. I need a rough idea of how student finance will affect someone in the ESA support group. 

My husband is disabled and I'm currently his carer. He is in the support group of ESA and receives a small income related element of ESA but the majority of his payment is contribution based. I'm going to do teacher training in September and will receive student finance. I understand it classes as income for means tested benefits such as income related ESA. However as my husband gets both types of ESA, am I right in thinking we would only loose entitlement to the income related part, or would the contribution based also be affected?

Its confusing, as his award letters refer to the amount we receive as an 'income related amount', and its paid in one amount, but when it's broken down its mainly contribution based as we have to declare it for tax credits. It seems like we only get it on the basis of income though, so I'm worried we will loose all of it when I get student finance. Does anyone know how this works? Thanks! 

Replies

  • Tammyjane33Tammyjane33 Member Posts: 685 Pioneering
    Depending on where you live uk, Ireland etc you should have access to a benifit enquiry line I would ring them or citizens advice to know exactly where you stand. 
  • EnnazusEnnazus Member Posts: 7 Listener
    I have contacted our local CAB, they said the rules with student finance are beyond them and they wouldn't believe me when I said we got both types of ESA. They basically said all they could do was run a calculator check online (no point as don't include student circumstances) , as it was beyond them and they couldn't help. Have tried calling esa helpline and they just say they can't tell me anything until the change takes place and they process the details. Which doesn't help me decide if returning to study is financially viable. I was just hoping someone here might have had real world experience with it all! 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Are you receiving ESA 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.
  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    Hiya, your university will be able to advise on this, they’re very good with this stuff.
    But on the surface, the contribution-based part of his esa should remain unaffected but the income related part will change. Do you currently claim any other benefits? 
    I’d really recommend calling the finance part of the uni, they’re better trained in this area than cab xx
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Contact these, they will give you all the advice you need. https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/how-we-can-help/helplines/disabled-students-helpline

    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.
  • EnnazusEnnazus Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Yes get esa as a couple, also housing which I know will be almost wiped out by sf, carers which I know I won't be eligible for as a full time student and child tax credit which will be largely unaffected. He also gets pip which won't be affected. Its just the extent it will affect esa that I need to have an idea of.

    Hadn't thought of the unis finance department but that's a good idea, thank you. I'll call in the morning 🙂
  • EnnazusEnnazus Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thanks poppy I will call them tomorrow too. Very much appreciate the link 🙂
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Claiming ESA as a couple are you sure part of this is Contributions based? Usually couples claim all Income Related.
    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.
  • EnnazusEnnazus Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Yes, just had his end of year benefit statement, has a taxable and non taxable amount, taxable is much higher as contribution based makes up most of it and income based tops it up. Also had previous statements from them detailing both types, it's caused all kinds of issues in the past with housing and tax credits. We definitely get the couples allowance though. I'm told its because he was on contribution related before being put in support group, when I wasn't on the award. then when he was moved across to support group he became eligible to get contribution based indefinitely so stayed on it. I was added to his award after that point, as I had to stop work to care for him and my son. I couldn't get IS as we were in a UC area so to avoid a move to UC I was added to his ESA award. That took it to more than the contribution based maximum, meaning it gets topped up with income related element too. Complicated situation but definitely claims a couple and definitely get both types!
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @Ennazus! I hope the advice given will be able to help you with this. I used to want to be a teacher, very exciting! Are you looking at primary school or high school?

    Please do let me know if there is anything else we can do to help :)
    Scope

Sign in or join us to comment.