Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Has this happened to anyone else?

Cb23Cb23 Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi I’ve been living with MS for many years suffering chronic pain cognitive issues I’ve had Tysabri for 7 years to high risk to continue  Lemtrada twice and now Ocrelizumab

ive always lived alone till this year my boyfriend Moved in  he hasn’t worked for two years he cared for his father who had prostrate cancer (sadly passed away)

We notified esa housing benefit child tax credits 

got a letter today saying that my esa has dropped from £380 fortnightly to £114.00 per fortnight 

they said it is because of tax credit change back in 2011?

ive written to appeal 

its left us relying on food bank three mouths to feed on less than half 

has this happened to anybody else 


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    I'm one of the community champions here on scope and i'm here to help and advise others.

    That doesn't sound right to me at all. Tax credits and ESA are 2 different benefits.

    I'm assuming you claim either PIP daily living or DLA mid/high rate care, is that correct? As you were receiving £380 every fortnight ESA then this must have included the severe disability premium because you were classed as living alone?

    When your partner started living with you, then unless they were also claiming a qualifying benefit such as PIP daily living or DLA mid/high rate care then you would have lost the SDP.

    I see that by the amount you're now receiving that this is the couples assessment rate. Which group are you in for ESA, Support Group or WRAG? potentially the support group? If so then i can tell you that they haven't added the support group amount and the Enhanced disability premium couples rate.

    May i ask if you've spoken to an advice agency near you for help and advice regarding this? If you haven't then i'd advise you to do this and they will be able to look at all your paper work and advise you correctly based on your circumstances.
    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.
  • Cb23Cb23 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi thanks for your reply 

    I have spoken to a charity they said dwp have stopped housing benefit and had removed my child from the residence and hadn’t added Carers allowance or the enhanced disability couples element 

    they have sent it back to dwp who have said that they will increase it by £50 but it still doesn’t seem right, but until I get the next award letter this is only a verbal guesstament,  we are reliant on food bank.

    I get PIP full rate and child tax credits, these all got changed because my boyfriend moved into care for me. When that happened, I seemed to become a single person with no MS?

    it’s such a worry, my health is deteriorating and I’ve now been out on antidepressants because of this l, as I’m so worried about everything.

    I’ll update the post once I hear back from dwp, here’s hoping it will be resolved soon as we haven’t had money and are now in rent arrears 

  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Scope helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Hi @Cb23

    I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time with your benefits.

    PIP will not be affected by your partner moving in.

    Do you have an overpayment of tax credits? Is it possible that your ESA is being reduced to recover this?

    Have you spoken to the MS Society helpline?

  • Cb23Cb23 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    No I haven’t tried them I will try contacting them 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Cb23, I hope they are helpful. Please do let us know how you get on. :)
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  • Cb23Cb23 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks Hun I will do glad I joined this group 
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