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ESA - UC ?? Dilemma

emmarose35 Member Posts: 3 Listener
I am currently receiving UC and am in the Limited Capability For work and work related activity group aka Support Group. I also receive PIP. I am very grateful to be in this position . 
Last year when I sought advice from my nursing union RCN it was said there would be no financial benefit to me claiming New Style ESA as opposed to UC. Now I am tentatively looking at potential future part time work it seems I may be better off financially if I was under contribution based ESA instead of UC as the allowances are better ? Please can you explain this for me and what the allowances are … 
I would appreciate an explanation in as simple a language as poss as ive been onto benefits and work forum and am just getting more tangled up with it … 
I was paying NI and tax on a 30hrs a week staff nurse wage up until OCT 18..

Thank you for your support and heres hoping I can get my head around this 


  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,183

    Scope community team

    edited July 2019
    Hello @emmarose35 and welcome to the community!

    Whether you’d be better off on New Style ESA or UC LCWRA would depend heavily on your personal circumstances, there isn’t a strict rule that works for everyone. 

    It would depend on things like whether you have a partner that works, your anticipated income and whether you get help with housing under Universal Credit.

    If it’s easier and you would rather not reveal that information on a public forum, you can always email us at [email protected] or call our helpline on 0808 800 3333.

    Alternatively you could contact your local CAB who would be able to go through your options. 
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  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,842 Disability Gamechanger
    The only difference between new style ESA and UC is that the former still has provision for permitted work whereas UC has no permitted work rule. 

    UC does have the confusingly titled work allowances which are a fancy phrase for income disregards. 

    So, if you’re thinking of some work then you need to know the specific hours and earnings in order to calculate which would treat you more generously. You do that before you think about housing costs etc. 

    If for example your earning would be likely to be above the permitted work figures which apply to you but below the work allowance which apply to you then UC may be better. 

    However, I think there’s some confusion here. ESA C is a standalone benefit but can be topped up with UC. If you have the contribution record have you checked you’re not already getting ESA C? If you’re getting both then you could end up doing permitted work and having your ESA untouched but your UC reduced. If you’re not currently getting ESA C then claiming it will just see it treated as income for UC and reduce your current UC by an equivalent amount. The only way to achieve what you want jay be to drop the UC claim. I would her face to face advice immediately.
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Did you sort it OP?


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