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Can my student daughter claim new style ESA?

AprilApril Member Posts: 98 Courageous
I am so confused. Can someone help me?
My daughter is at college and I was considering helping her to apply for ESA (my other daughter and son received ESA when they were students). But it seems the rules have changed and now disabled students can NOT apply for ESA. Or can they?

There's something called New Style ESA, and some websites say that disabled students can apply for this instead. But, the application form would seem to say otherwise. The form says she must have paid in National Insurance contributions in the past to qualify (she has never had a job, so never paid NI, so it seems she doesn't qualify after all). 

But, other websites say that disabled students SHOULD apply for New Style ESA (even though disabled students can't get it!), because they can use the ESA work capability assessment to apply for Universal Credit (which disabled students CAN get, apparently, but they need a work capability assessment to qualify and you can only get that via the New Style ESA application process!!).
But why would they give her a work capability assessment for New Style ESA if she's not entitled to that benefit?? Wouldn't they refuse to do one, leaving my daughter unable to use their assessment for Universal Credit? So confusing!

 I know there was a discussion on this somewhere on this board, but I can't find it. I would be so grateful for advice, because a benefits calculator tells me that my daughter is missing out on money! What is a disabled student entitled to claim: New Style ESA, or Universal Credit? Or both? And how does a disabled student get that Work Capability Assessment that seems to be a gateway to benefits?

Replies

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

    Claims for the old Income Related ESA are no longer possible because all areas are now a full Universal Credit area, with the exception of those that are claiming the Severe disability premium in another benefit, as your daughter doesn't claim this then she will not be able to make a new claim for the old ESA.

    Disabled students under the age of 21 and UC is very complicated and if they have parental support they can only claim UC under certain circumstances. This is because they must be claiming either PIP/DLA and they must have already been assessed as having limited capability for work.

    Does your daughter claim a qualifying benefit such as PIP or DLA? may i also ask if you claim child benefit and/child tax credits for her because she's still a student? If you do then claiming a benefit in her own right will end both of those benefits.

    If she does claim PIP/DLA then the only way around this is to claim New style ESA for Ni Contributions ONLY, with a fit/sick note from her GP.  She will not receive any money until she's been assessed as having limited capability for work.

    Once she's assessed, if the decision is LCW then she will be able to claim UC BUT any student loan will be taken into consideration when calculating any entitlement to UC, even if she doesn't have that loan. Whether she's taken out that loan or not, it will still be classed as income when calculating any entitlement to UC.

    The other downside to this is that being assessed for LCW could take several months and sometimes longer, especially if she's not found to have limited capability for work.

    Hope this helps.
    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.
  • AprilApril Member Posts: 98 Courageous
    Thank you Poppy.  She's under 21 and she gets PIP. So she should apply for the New style ESA? But are you saying that she won't actually qualify for it? If so, then why would they even do the work capability assessment?
    Anyway, we'll go for that if you think it will work, and then apply for UC. Thanks so much. Happy New Year!


    poppy123456 said:
    Hi,

    Claims for the old Income Related ESA are no longer possible because all areas are now a full Universal Credit area, with the exception of those that are claiming the Severe disability premium in another benefit, as your daughter doesn't claim this then she will not be able to make a new claim for the old ESA.

    Disabled students under the age of 21 and UC is very complicated and if they have parental support they can only claim UC under certain circumstances. This is because they must be claiming either PIP/DLA and they must have already been assessed as having limited capability for work.

    Does your daughter claim a qualifying benefit such as PIP or DLA? may i also ask if you claim child benefit and/child tax credits for her because she's still a student? If you do then claiming a benefit in her own right will end both of those benefits.

    If she does claim PIP/DLA then the only way around this is to claim New style ESA for Ni Contributions ONLY, with a fit/sick note from her GP.  She will not receive any money until she's been assessed as having limited capability for work.

    Once she's assessed, if the decision is LCW then she will be able to claim UC BUT any student loan will be taken into consideration when calculating any entitlement to UC, even if she doesn't have that loan. Whether she's taken out that loan or not, it will still be classed as income when calculating any entitlement to UC.

    The other downside to this is that being assessed for LCW could take several months and sometimes longer, especially if she's not found to have limited capability for work.

    Hope this helps.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes New style ESA is the only benefit she can apply for. She won't receive any money each week, like the old style ESA because she's not paid enough NI Contributions to qualify. Instead, while she wait for the work capability assessment she will only receive Ni Contributions towards her state pension.

    Once she's been assessed with the work capability assessment, if she's given limited capability for work then she will be able apply for Universal Credit.

    May i ask if she receives any student loan, or if there's a student loan available for her to apply for? It's really important that you answer that question.
    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.
  • AprilApril Member Posts: 98 Courageous
    No, she doesn't receive a student loan. I've never looked into that. She lives in the family home.
    Thanks.


    poppy123456 said:
    Yes New style ESA is the only benefit she can apply for. She won't receive any money each week, like the old style ESA because she's not paid enough NI Contributions to qualify. Instead, while she wait for the work capability assessment she will only receive Ni Contributions towards her state pension.

    Once she's been assessed with the work capability assessment, if she's given limited capability for work then she will be able apply for Universal Credit.

    May i ask if she receives any student loan, or if there's a student loan available for her to apply for? It's really important that you answer that question.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    If there's a student loan available for her to claim then the loan she could have will still be classed as income even if she doesn't claim it. Living with parents doesn't exclude her from claiming a student loan. Whether she's entitled to claim the student loan will depend on what course she's doing. See link. https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies

    May i ask how old your daughter is?


    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.
  • AprilApril Member Posts: 98 Courageous
    No, she doesn't qualify for a student loan because she's not in higher education.  She has a type of learning disability. She's 20 and she's doing a college course in art.
    Can I just ask one more thing...are you sure they would give her a capability for work assessment even though she doesn't qualify for New Style ESA? Wouldn't they look at the application form and reject her application at the start? eg. because she hasn't worked before.


    poppy123456 said:
    If there's a student loan available for her to claim then the loan she could have will still be classed as income even if she doesn't claim it. Living with parents doesn't exclude her from claiming a student loan. Whether she's entitled to claim the student loan will depend on what course she's doing. See link. https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies

    May i ask how old your daughter is?



  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm 100% positive that it's New style ESA she needs to claim. As i advised because she hasn't worked and paid enough NI Contributions then she won't receive any money at all while she's being assessed because she's not entitled to that money. She will only receive National Insurance contributions towards her state pension, which isn't money.

    If she's given limited capability for work once she's assessed then she can claim UC.
    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.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for your support here @poppy123456!

    Please do let us know if we can do anything else @April. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • AprilApril Member Posts: 98 Courageous
    I'm 100% positive that it's New style ESA she needs to claim. As i advised because she hasn't worked and paid enough NI Contributions then she won't receive any money at all while she's being assessed because she's not entitled to that money. She will only receive National Insurance contributions towards her state pension, which isn't money.

    If she's given limited capability for work once she's assessed then she can claim UC.
    Thanks again @poppy123456. Not quite what I was meaning though. I know she needs to claim for the new style ESA to get the work assessment. I know she won't get any money.
    She would only be applying for it because she needs to get an assessment done in order to claim UC. My concern is that she won't get as far as an assessment. Why would they do an assessment if they can see (from the application form) that she isn't entitled to New Style ESA? If I was them, I would say, "There's no point doing an assessment because you've never worked, so we know from the outset that you won't be entitled to the benefit." Do you see what I think the problem might be? I don't want to fill out a massive application form if she doesn't get offered an assessment at the end of it. On the other hand, it it's standard practice to do assessments on everyone who applies, then we might as well go for it.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I know exactly what you mean but you're overthinking it. You've already said yourself that New style ESA is what she needs to claim. She needs to claim it because it's the only benefit she can claim and it's the process to being assessed for limited capability for work. In other words, like you said "it's standard practice"

    There's really no further advice to give you here other than it's 100% New style ESA she needs to claim. Good luck.
    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.
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